Today’s News - Thursday, March 24, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've been laid low by a mean spring cold, so tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, March 29.
• Anderton has a great Q&A with Sadik-Khan re: "Streetfight," the remaking of NYC's streets, what could be in store for L.A., and how she feels about being called "the child that Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs never had."
• Florida also has a great Q&A with Gravel re: ""Where We Want to Live," and the Atlanta BeltLine: "I get the fear of big ideas, but I think it's more about a distrust for our ability to implement big ideas."
• A fascinating look at China's private museum building boom that raises questions about "the motivations behind their construction," but "for all the criticism - there is no denying the uniquely stunning architectural creations it has spawned" (with pix to prove it!).
• Artscape Launchpad on Toronto's waterfront picks a design team for "a new model of creative space: part incubator, part co-working facility and part entrepreneurship center."
• Bernstein puts the spotlight on a spate of new U.S. embassies, with a number led by female architects: "There wasn't a deliberate effort to involve more women, but I'm very happy that it turned out that way," says OBO director.
• Design team beats out 136 rival entries in Cornwall's Tintagel bridge competition (headline is a bit misleading - "Shard architect" does not mean Piano).
• The chair of the Los Angeles Harbor College architecture department taps into an unusual strategy to help his students gain experience.
• Eyefuls of the winners in the Bangkok Artists Retreat competition to repurpose a Brutalist department store.
• One we couldn't resist: Poons parses playful cat shelters designed by L.A. architects to raise money for a good cause: "they're intriguing for both cats and humans."
• Weekend diversions:
• A sneak-peek of the opera "A Marvelous Order": "The story of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs is almost Shakespearean. Now their epic battle has been dramatized."
• Hopkirk takes in the film adaptation of JG Ballard's "High Rise," and the "Hinterland" installation in Gillespie Kidd & Coia's abandoned St. Peter's Cardross seminary: both were originally "designed to usher in a better world - what went wrong?"
• A new documentary explores "why Reston, Virginia, still inspires planners 50 years later - it just goes to show that the principles of new urbanism aren't all that new."
• Lasky lauds BAMPFA's inaugural show "Architecture of Life" (especially the spider webs): "It's a sensibly low-key strategy to take when you're putting finishing touches on a $112 million museum as well as curating the exhibition that is meant to show it off."
• Southcott finds the CCA's "The Other Architect" to be "not without its challenges," but revels in the mundane and the extraordinary - it "is anything but a passive experience - rich, fruitful."
• Q&A with Mendoza re: how and why he "dared to uproot a humble home" rotting in Detroit and brought it to Rotterdam, "where it is destined to remain as an artwork for the rest of its foreseeable future."
• Hill x 2: "A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond," Gadanho's "swan song at MoMA" (and one of his best): "It is an exhibition that can be studied intently yet does not overwhelm."
• He cheers Senie's "Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11": the book "reveals that permanent memorials need to embrace this confusion and complexity so they are more than just markers of death; they could be places of hope where the future learns from the past."
• Eyefuls of Burdeny's photos of Moscow's palatial metro stations: "He was struck by the use of opulent architecture to elevate an otherwise drab destination into a work of art" (talk about eye candy!).
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DnA/Frances Anderton: Janette Sadik-Khan and the Remaking of New York’s Streets: ...you went in proposing...Jane Jacobs level changes like bike lanes. Those were then interpreted as Robert Moses level impositions..."these are the strategies that...bring a new type of urbanism to the streets...moving quickly, in the sort of Robert Moses model, but with the Jane Jacobs sensibility." -- Bloomberg Associates; "Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution"- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Building Infrastructure for More Inclusive Communities: Q&A with Ryan Gravel, creator of the Atlanta BeltLine, on his new book "Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities": He reconciles his passion for big ideas with some of the unfortunate realities of urban expansion..."I get the fear of big ideas, but I think it’s more about a distrust for our ability to implement big ideas..." By Richard Florida- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
China's private art museums: Architectural wonders or empty vanity projects? ...scores of spectacular new museums are being built each year...questions are being raised about the breadth of content and curatorial guidance...as well as the motivations behind their construction...For all the criticism...there is no denying the uniquely stunning architectural creations it has spawned. [images]- CNN Asia
Design team announced for Artscape Launchpad on the Toronto Waterfront: ...a new model of creative space: part incubator, part co-working facility and part entrepreneurship centre. As part of the Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts complex... -- RAW Design; Rafael + Bigauskas Architects; Quadrangle Architects [images]- Canadian Architect
Designing Diplomacy: Top Firms Selected for New U.S. Embassies: “I believe in the power of architecture,” says director of Overseas Buildings Operations: With Beha, Tsien, Weiss, and now Gang, there seems to be an increase in the number of women designing U.S. embassies...“There wasn’t a deliberate effort to involve more women, but I’m very happy that it turned out that way." By Fred A. Bernstein -- Studio Gang Architects; KieranTimberlake; Morphosis; Tod Williams Billie Tsien/Davis Brody Bond; Weiss/Manfredi; YGH/Allied Works Architecture; Ennead Architects; Ann Beha Architects; Michael Maltzan; SOM [images]- Architectural Record
Shard architect wins Tintagel bridge contest: William Matthews Associates beat Niall McLaughlin, Marks Barfield and Wilkinson Eyre: ...teamed up with Belgian engineer and specialist bridge designer Ney & Partners for the £4 million English Heritage project in Cornwall. The pair beat 136 rival entries from nearly 30 countries... [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
LAHC [Los Angeles Harbor College] Architecture Department Chairman Invests in Former Students: Michael Song Purchases EZ Plan Franchise to Help Students Gain Experience- Random Lengths News (California)
Bangkok Artists Retreat competition results: repurposing a brutalist department store... -- Quyet Tien NGO (Vietnam); Pimnara Thunyathada/Boonvadee Laoticharoen (Thailand); Win Rojanastien/Nuttapol Techopitch/Satavee Kijsanayotin (Thailand) [images]- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert)
Sleek Shelters for L.A.'s Most Discerning Felines: Los Angeles’ top architects designed playful shelters to raise money for the city’s stray cat population: ...they’re intriguing for both cats and humans. By Linda Poon -- Architects for Animals; Standard Architecture; Abramson Teiger Architects; DSH; HOK; Lehrer Architects [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
The Battle to Reshape New York Gets the Opera Treatment: The story of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs is almost Shakespearean...Now their epic battle has been dramatized [in] “A Marvelous Order." -- Joshua Frankel; Judd Greenstein; Tracy K. Smith [video excerpt]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
"High Rise" and "Hinterland": Modernism's morality plays: JG Ballard’s brutalising tower and Gillespie Kidd & Coia’s abandoned seminary [St Peter’s Cardross] were both designed to usher in a better world. Elizabeth Hopkirk asks what went wrong: Ultimately, it’s the building in both installation and film whose performance is most mesmerising. Can fetishising concrete really be a sin?- BD/Building Design (UK)
Why Reston, Virginia Still Inspires Planners 50 Years Later: A new documentary traces how the D.C. suburb’s pedestrian-centric, mixed-use approach came to dominate urban design: "Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA"...just goes to show that the principles of new urbanism aren’t all that new...cities now are adapting this approach in urban redevelopment... By Julian Spector -- Robert E. Simon- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
BAMPFA's “Architecture of Life” Links Art, Built Environment With Poetry, Not Prose: Each work...has something to do with architecture - not buildings, necessarily, but organization, containment, transition, or structure. This explains what the spider webs were doing there...It’s a sensibly low-key strategy to take when you’re putting finishing touches on a $112 million museum as well as curating the exhibition that is meant to show it off. By Julie Lasky -- Diller Scofidio + Renfo [images]- Artinfo
"The Other Architect" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) asks: what if architecture is the question, rather than the answer? ...challenges the idea that buildings are the ultimate architectural object...reveals architecture through its alternative tools of communication. Some are mundane...Others are extraordinary...the exhibition is not without its challenges...[it] is anything but a passive experience...a rich, fruitful inquiry at that. By Tanya Southcott [images]- Canadian Architect
Transplantation: A chunk of Detroit in Europe: Ryan Mendoza...dared to uproot a humble home, one of the thousands that were neglected and left to rot. And he has brought it to Europe [Rotterdam], where it is destined to remain as an artwork for the rest of its foreseeable future. [images]- DAMN° magazine
"A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond": ...the swan song at MoMA for Pedro Gadanho...an impressive show that is easily one of the best that [he] mounted in his three-year tenure...It is an exhibition that can be studied intently yet does not overwhelm. By John Hill [images]- World-Architects.com
"Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11" by Harriet F. Senie: ...simplification of expression seems to coincide with the simplification of history...Vietnam Veterans Memorial and later memorials are modern(ist) attempts to reconcile loss with confusing and complex circumstances. Senie's book reveals...that permanent memorials need to embrace this confusion and complexity so they are more than just markers of death; they could be places of hope where the future learns from the past. By John Hill -- Maya Lin; Michael Arad; Peter Walker- A Daily Dose of Architecture/Archidose
The ornate beauty of Moscow's palatial metro stations: Photographer David Burdeny captured the first study of Moscow's historic metro stations...He was struck by the use of opulent architecture to elevate an otherwise drab destination into a work of art. [images]- CNN Style
wHY Architecture: Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky: The primary concept of the Speed's re-design is "Acupuncture Architecture," a blend of careful and precise interventions... By Kirsten Kiser -- Kulapat Yantrasast; K. Norman Berry Associates Architects [images]
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