Today’s News - Tuesday, March 15, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy post-Pi Day (and beware the Ides of March)!
• ArcSpace brings us Haugh's great take on Caruso St John's Newport Street Gallery that "sees the practice return to a restrained, almost Nordic modernism of solidity, civic scale and sleek detailing."
• Alastair Gordon is faced with a dilemma in assessing Calatrava's WTC transit hub: "The perfect word to describe it may not yet exist" - he's "thrown violently against my own expectations" (throw in "hokey and bloated in an Oz-meets-Mormon Tabernacle way" - his take on the surrounding developments make this well worth reading!).
• Kamin parses China's call to tame "weird architecture" after years of importing "brand-name foreign architects like designer handbags. Maybe object-centric Chinese leaders are finally understanding that a striking silhouette does not a good city make - and that the spaces between buildings are as important as the buildings themselves."
• Dittmar makes the case for London to reconsider its own towering ambitions "or we'll have a skyscraper glut and still no affordable housing" - housing should be "seen as infrastructure supporting a robust economy rather than as an investment product."
• Heathcote bemoans "a de facto privatization of the skyline" in both London and New York: "the consequence will be a new architecturally-imposed class system and a picture of inequality inscribed in the skyline in the most graphic way imaginable."
• Altabe considers new "bone-thin apartment towers" as "sky-stabbers," and ponders "where such anorexic architecture leaves pedestrians" (perhaps design codes "that govern air and light are warranted").
• Wainwright tells the tale of two affordable housing schemes that make those who need it most either losers or winners, but even the winners are "now perilously threatened by the Housing and Planning Bill."
• Maltzan's hyper-big, "hyper-dense" One Santa Fe mixed-use development in L.A. is an example of a new breed of "place entrepreneurs" devising "anticipatory architecture" that "fuses architectural prowess with developer ambition."
• Welton wonders "what's up" with Raleigh's seeming bent for demolishing buildings from the 1950s and '60s, and "turning of blind eyes to highly talented local architects - a lack of political will to do the right thing is surely evident."
• Place Lab's Ferguson lays out "Nine Principles of Ethical Redevelopment" that "are part of a living, evolving approach to making cities successful."
• Hawthorne has some good things to say about L.A.'s huge, new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art complex, but is still left a bit underwhelmed: "This is closer to Selldorf Lite. Or maybe Selldorf Once Removed - a design not so much disappointing as suffused with a faintly nagging sense of what might have been."
• Hodgetts checks out "what's under the hood" at the remade Petersen Automotive Museum by KPF: "The shock waves from that fluorescent, zebra striped makeover draws eyes, insults, and parody. Clearly, this is not a museum for car-nuts" ("looky-loos and lurkers" included).
• Campbell-Dollaghan takes an in-depth look at what's gone into "putting the Architecture for Humanity name to rest," and reimagining the organization as Open Architecture Collaborative, "a radically transparent band of nimble, on-the-ground community architects - real people doing real projects in their communities."
• BCJ has big plans for Expedia's 40-acre campus on Seattle's waterfront (lots of re-used industrial buildings included).
• Studio Gang beats out a stellar shortlist to design a new U.S. embassy in Brazilia (will it play nice with Costa and Niemeyer?).
• Wainwright has one we couldn't resist: the "Frankenstein-like new face of Matrera fortress" in Spain "has been damned as the world's worst ever restoration," and "one of the most extreme façadectomies of modern times" - but it "may prove enduring - and perhaps, with time, even endearing."
• Call for entries: Programs/papers for AIASF's 2016 Architecture and the City Festival: "Resilient City: Strength by Design" + Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum architecture competition (earlybird registration closes tomorrow).
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Caruso St John: Newport Street Gallery: ...opened its doors in London last autumn. Their latest creation is hard to fault - an elegant gem in the crown of London’s eclectic gallery scene...the culmination of a long-cherished project of British artist Damien Hirst...sees the practice return to a restrained, almost Nordic modernism of solidity, civic scale and sleek detailing. By Alice Haugh [images]
Ground Zero’s new transport hub: Crash landing or ‘dove of peace’?: The perfect word to describe it may not yet exist. The first view is quite a shock...I'm thrown violently against my own expectations...There's a velocity to the architecture that one hasn't seen before...It is neither a comforting nor a healing gesture...but more dissonant, even dystopian...may be a bit hokey and bloated in an Oz-meets-Mormon Tabernacle way, but it presents us with a most timely dilemma... By Alastair Gordon -- Santiago Calatrava; David Childs/SOM; Snøhetta; Michael Arad/Peter Walker- Miami Herald
China taming 'bizarre architecture' after years of envelope-pushing design: ...criticism of "weird architecture," represented a major reversal for the country that imported brand-name foreign architects like designer handbags...are the Chinese diminishing their future prospects by curbing design creativity? Maybe object-centric Chinese leaders are finally understanding that a striking silhouette does not a good city make - and that the spaces between buildings are as important as the buildings themselves. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
A towering mess that the government has the power - but not the will - to address: We must act to shape the market or we’ll have a skyscraper glut and still no affordable housing: It’s time to use public land as well as public sector planning to shape the market to deliver the housing that London needs...with housing seen as infrastructure supporting a robust economy rather than as an investment product. By Hank Dittmar- BD/Building Design (UK)
Skyscraper projects too often fail to express a city’s spirits: The skyline has always revealed who owns the city: The furore over the [“Paddington Pole”] seemed to indicate a turning point in London just as the concern over the shadows being cast over Central Park did in New York...the consequence will be a new architecturally-imposed class system and a picture of inequality inscribed in the skyline in the most graphic way imaginable. By Edwin Heathcote -- Rafael Viñoly; SHoP Architects; Jean Nouvel; Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill; Renzo Piano- Financial Times (UK)
Time to re-name new skyscrapers sky-stabbers: From the air, Manhattan’s canyon of tall buildings can come across like hulking grave markers. Trending now are bone-thin apartment towers...The bigger problem...is where such anorexic architecture leaves pedestrians? Those questions are not academic to Londoners, where sky-stabbing building are running riot...not a fan of design codes...That said, codes that govern air and light are warranted. By Joan Altabe- Examiner
A tale of two cities: winners and losers in London's social housing divide: In one part of London, residents are being bulldozed out of council-built homes to make way for a privately led development most cannot afford. But elsewhere in the capital, a radical scheme is putting residents in control...momentum is now perilously threatened by the Housing and Planning Bill. By Oliver Wainwright -- Karakusevic Carson Architects [images]- Guardian (UK)
Crit> One Santa Fe: ...offers up predictive density in a city undergoing a change of urban identity: ... “place entrepreneurs,” so it appears, are seeking to radically alter the way urban living is conceived and implemented in Los Angeles...example of “anticipatory architecture” - exercises in form making that endow architecture with the power to productively shape urban policy, planning, and the city at large...fuses architectural prowess with developer ambition. By Victor Jones -- Michael Maltzan Architecture [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Missed opportunities: Raleigh is blessed with a sophisticated legacy of modern...architecture...So what’s up with the ongoing demolition of buildings from the 1950s and ’60s, the turning of blind eyes to highly talented local architects...a lack of political will to do the right thing is surely evident. By J. Michael Welton -- Eduardo Catalano; James Fitzgibbon; Harwell Hamilton Harris; KlingStubbins/Cherry Huffman Architects; Milton Small [images]- News & Observer (North Carolina)
The Principles of Ethical Redevelopment: Values, process and aim are what distinguish Ethical Redevelopment from gentrification: robust public life requires a belief in and devotion to place in advance of investment...The Nine Principles are part of a living, evolving approach to making cities successful. By Isis Ferguson/Place Lab -- Theaster Gates- Common Edge
Why does DTLA's huge new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art complex underwhelm? It's a familiar story: This is closer to Selldorf Lite. Or maybe Selldorf Once Removed...brings new energy to the area...a pity...seemed to have the potential to cohere as a kind of supremely rare but quintessentially L.A.-style urban village...it still might...debut from a well-known out-of-town architect, a design not so much disappointing as suffused with a faintly nagging sense of what might have been. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Annabelle Selldorf/Selldorf Architects; Creative Space; Mia Lehrer- Los Angeles Times
The Petersen Museum: What’s Under the Hood? The shock waves from that fluorescent, zebra striped makeover...draws eyes, insults, and parody...Clearly, this is not a museum for car-nuts...To the rest of us. To the looky-loos and lurkers, it’s an obligation, a chance to pay respects, but, sadly, not a chance to really connect. By Craig Hodgetts/Hodgetts + Fung -- Gene Kohn/Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) [images]- FORM magazine
What Renaming A Failed Brand Taught This Design Organization: Putting the Architecture for Humanity name to rest: ...local leaders worked to resurrect the organization...reimagining themselves as a radically transparent band of nimble, on-the-ground community architects...only real people doing real projects in their communities...But after its public rebirth, it still needed a new name. By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan -- Garrett Jacobs; Open Architecture Collaborative- Fast Company / Co.Design
Expedia lays out plan for airy, expansive waterfront campus: ...a first look at its vision for redesigning the 40-acre former Amgen Helix campus...removing the brick cladding from the existing buildings and connecting the airy spaces between them with green atriums and bridges. -- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Studios Architecture; PWP Landscape Architecture [images]- Seattle Times
Studio Gang Architects chosen to design new U.S. embassy in Brazilia: ...the Brazilian capital city designed by planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer...Plans for the site are still to be determined.- Dezeen
Spain's concrete castle: a case of accidental genius? The Frankenstein-like new face of Matrera fortress has upset heritage watchdogs...As with other famous ‘botches’, might detractors learn to love it with time? It has been damned as the world’s worst ever restoration...one of the most extreme facadectomies of modern times...may prove enduring - and perhaps, with time, even endearing. By Oliver Wainwright -- Carlos Quevedo [images]- Guardian (UK)
Call for entries: 2016 Architecture and the City Festival: “Resilient City: Strength by Design" (international): Call for programs that will investigate how architecture and design arts can pro-actively respond to urban resiliency challenges; September 1-30, San Francisco; deadline: March 25- AIA San Francisco / Center for Architecture + Design
Call for entries: Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum architecture competition (international); cash prizes; earlybird deadline (save money!); March 16 (final registration/submissions due April 20)- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert)
Q+A with Rob Rogers, Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers: The New York City-based architect talks about the challenges and rewards of public projects, the value of competitions, and cross-disciplinary team work.- ArchNewsNow.com
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