Today’s News - Thursday, March 31, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. And a heads-up that our wonky schedule for the next two weeks may make for an erratic posting schedule, but we'll do our best...
• A very, very sad, sad day: We lose Zaha Hadid (at only 65): "Among architects emerging in the last few decades, no one had any more impact than she did," says Richard Rogers.
• And Kirsten Childs, a truly "unsung hero" of the green building movement: "Our buildings are better places to live and work in today because of her efforts," says Alex Wilson.
• In Australia (as elsewhere), there is discontent with a procurement process that is "hollowing out" the "middle ground": "the public sector should feel some sense of obligation to at least give small to medium sized practices a chance."
• Weller and Fleming pose the question: "Has landscape architecture failed?" - and make a compelling defense: it is "less a story of abject failure and more one of a discipline taking the time to prepare for a more significant role in the 21st century" - landscape architects are "the urbanists of our age."
• Schumacher has high hopes that there's time to improve "a number of awkwardnesses" in the design of the new Milwaukee Buck arena that otherwise shows "an almost incalculable number of winning moves."
• Semuels takes us down the rocky road of why some cities are "doubling down on highways. It's a testament to Americans' continuing obsession with cars. No matter the effects on the city underneath" (seems some highway departments are acting like spoiled brats).
• O'Sullivan, on a brighter note, cheers Urb-i's updated before-and-after archive that offers "a compelling, increasingly comprehensive and completely addictive overview of just how many cities are rethinking street plans that once prized car access above all else."
• Boston's plans for a Seaport Transportation Center underscore the growing trend to design "garage complexes that contribute to - rather than detract from - street-level activity and an urban area's aesthetics" (no pix yet, but we're hopeful).
• A Minneapolis firm is playing a key role in "an ambitious venture" in central Africa called Asili, a "clean water-health-agriculture development - the world's first 'social enterprise strip mall.'"
• Wiesmann reports on efforts to rebuild Mies's Wolf House that could be Europe's first Mies museum, but "the question of architectural reconstruction has raised 'a really deep-seated ideological debate.'"
• Lewycka explains why Lubetkin is her hero: "He may not have understood the needs of penguins, but he did understand that, in his words, 'nothing is too good for ordinary people.'"
• Call for entries: Build Earth Live Hyperloop, a live, 48-hour worldwide virtual design competition to link Dubai and Abu Dhabi + 7th ISARCH Awards for architecture students and young architects.
• Weekend diversions:
• Keats is keen on the CCA's stimulating "The Other Architect": "More than an exhibition, it is a deeply-contextualized call to action to make architectural thinking accessible to everyone."
• "Moscow Metro. Subterranean Monument" at the Shchusev Architecture Museum celebrates a metro system that "is not just public transportation, but a living museum beneath the earth."
• Calys cheers Lamb Hart's "A New Look at Humanism in Architecture" that offers "a fresh examination of humanism and its impact on the built environment - that is in danger of being lost."
• Gammage's "The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons from Sustaining Phoenix" challenges "the idea that this is a city in the middle of the desert that shouldn't exist - and has lessons to offer other cities."
• Rhodes rhapsodizes about her "journey back to the dreamy, gorgeous architecture of utopia" that she found in "The Tale of Tomorrow: Utopian Architecture in the Modernist Realm."
• A great Q&A with Shulman, who "dishes" on the Bacardi family and its "lesser-known legacy" that he investigates in "Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity."
• McDonald's "Fantastic Structures" is a "dazzling new coloring book" that is "no casual design jaunt" for "advanced scribblers" (they are having fun!).
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Obituary: Zaha Hadid dies aged 65: ...had a heart attack on Thursday while in hospital in Miami...“She was so distinct that there isn’t anybody like her"..."no one had any more impact than she did. She fought her way through as a woman."- Guardian (UK)
Obituary: Kirsten Childs 1944–2016: The Green Building Movement Has Lost One of Its Unsung Heroes: Our buildings are better places to live and work in today because of her efforts. By Alex Wilson -- Croxton Collaborative Architects- BuildingGreen.com
Are Architects Being Valued Enough? ...architecture...has seen some of its traditional areas of dominance encroached upon especially in the procurement space...The result...is a growing polarisation between very large and very small firms and a hollowing out of the ‘middle ground'...the public sector should feel some sense of obligation to at least give small to medium sized practices a chance.- Sourceable (Australia)
Has Landscape Architecture Failed? In our defense, we might argue that landscape architecture is a very young and very small profession...less a story of abject failure and more one of a discipline taking the time...to prepare for a more significant role in this, the 21st century...landscape urbanists had to also become urban designers and urban planners...“the urbanists of our age.” By Richard Weller and Billy Fleming- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
There's still time to improve awkward elements of new Milwaukee Buck arena: ...when it comes to the design process...we are in a fourth-quarter timeout...there's time for corrections, but defeat is a possibility...While [the architects] have made an almost incalculable number of winning moves...designs reveal a number of awkwardnesses, including deadened public spaces and a very clunky back side. By Mary Louise Schumacher -- Populous; Eppstein Uhen Architects- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Cities Doubling Down on Highways: Physically expanding roads doesn't cure congestion. So why are places like Arkansas spending millions to do just that? It’s a testament to Americans’ continuing obsession with cars...No matter the effects on the city underneath. By Alana Semuels- The Atlantic
More Before-and-After Photos of the World's Best Street Designs: A newly updated archive lets you track images of urban makeovers across the world: ...a compelling, increasingly comprehensive and completely addictive overview of just how many cities are rethinking street plans that once prized car access above all else. By Feargus O'Sullivan -- Urb-i [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
A parking garage that won’t be just a parking garage: ...“Seaport Transportation Center”...Massport’s efforts underscore a trend that has emerged in the past few years: designing garage complexes that contribute to - rather than detract from - street-level activity and an urban area’s aesthetics. -- Fennick McCredie Architecture- Boston Globe
Twin Cities architects play key role in Congo clinic: Interesting developments continue to sprout from an ambitious venture in central Africa. It’s Asili, a multiyear clean water-health-agriculture development...the world’s first “social enterprise strip mall.” -- RSP Architecture- Minneapolis Star Tribune
A Push to Rebuild a Mies Van Der Rohe Modernist Gem: German architects and planners are seeking to rebuild his Wolf House...But some experts oppose the idea: ...could eventually become Europe’s first Mies van der Rohe museum...the question of architectural reconstruction raised “a really deep-seated ideological debate.” By Gerrit Wiesmann- New York Times
My hero: Berthold Lubetkin: He may not have understood the needs of penguins, but, unlike some of our present politicians, he did understand that, in his words, “nothing is too good for ordinary people”. By Marina Lewycka/"The Lubetkin Legacy"- Guardian (UK)
Call for entries: Build Earth Live Hyperloop Competition: create a plan to link Dubai and Abu Dhabi with a super-speed Hyperloop; live, 48-hour worldwide virtual design collaboration, May 23 - 25 (brief will be released by the 1st week of May)- Asite / Vectorworks
Call for entries: 7th ISARCH Awards: open to students of architecture and young architects who have graduated within the last 3 years; cash prizes; early bird registration deadline (save money!): April 15 (submission due October 15)- ISARCH
Why Waste Architecture On Building? "The Other Architect" Shows How To Fix Cities With Architectural Thinking: A stimulating exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture...The simple premise...is that architecture need not entail building...More than an exhibition, [it] is a deeply-contextualized call to action...to make architectural thinking accessible to everyone. By Jonathon Keats- Forbes
The Moscow Metro Celebrated in All Its Glory at Shchusev Architecture Museum, Moscow: "Moscow Metro. Subterranean Monument"...visitors can retrace the history of this symbol of Moscow...and be convinced once again that the metro system is not just public transportation, but a living museum beneath the earth.- The Moscow Times (Russia)
"A New Look at Humanism in Architecture, Landscapes and Urban Design" by Robert Lamb Hart: ...a fresh examination of humanism and its impact on the built environment...No small task...offers a perspective...that is in danger of being lost...Whether today’s young architects will cultivate their attention on the philosophical and scientific humanism underpinning modern architecture only the future can tell. By George Calys- San Francisco Examiner
The Lessons Phoenix Can Teach Other Cities About Sustainable Development: A new book suggests the desert metropolis has been getting a bad rap, and has lessons to offer other cities: "The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons From Sustaining Phoenix" by Grady Gammage challenges the idea that this is a city in the middle of the desert that shouldn’t exist. By Patrick Sisson- Curbed
Journey Back to the Dreamy, Gorgeous Architecture of Utopia: The idea of “utopian architecture” is a fraught one. Utopia, by definition, is a place where things are perfect. But who, exactly, gets to decide what is perfect? "The Tale of Tomorrow: Utopian Architecture in the Modernist Realm" offers a more measured interpretation. By Margaret Rhodes -- Zvi Hecker; Buckminster Fuller; Eero Saarinen; Paolo Soleri; Bruce Goff; John Lautner; Louis Kahn; Robert Bruno; Ricardo Bofill [images]- Wired
Q&A: Allan T. Shulman Dishes on the Bacardi Family's Architectural Impact on Miami: ...investigates the family’s lesser-known legacy in an upcoming tome..."Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity"...an image- and fact-filled tour of these structures that boasts legendary architects, noted artists, and company leaders.- Ocean Drive magazine (Florida)
A Coloring Book for All Who Love Architecture: ...get a load of "Fantastic Structures," the dazzling new coloring book from the Canadian artist Steven McDonald...This is no casual design jaunt: the book takes advanced scribblers to six continents... [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan: Studio Gang's Arcus Center embodies the ideas of social justice - an inclusive building encouraging equality, openness and conversation...continuously considered how they could use their agency as architects to address issues of social justice themselves. By Nina Tory-Henderson [images]
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