Today’s News - Monday, May 9, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow we're heading to New Haven early, early in the morning to preview Knight Architecture's subtle makeover of Louis Kahn's Yale Center for British Art (and can't wait to see it!). The newsletter will return Wednesday, May 11.
• ArcSpace brings us Breathe Architecture's The Commons in Melbourne, "a raw and captivating piece of architecture," and a prototype that "sits in stark contrast to current housing models, which remain unaffordable and conservative in their ambitions."
• Mendes da Rocha receives the 2016 Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement "for the timelessness of his designs."
• King doesn't think SFMOMA's addition is a masterpiece, "but it has real joys" with "sublime smaller touches that show us why Snøhetta won the job" (though it still seems "an architectural marriage of convenience").
• Betsky goes a bit ballistic in comparing the new Whitney and the SFMOMA expansion to the Met Breuer: "Architects either fake it, trying to make cheaply built structures look slick, or resort to ever more exuberant moves to show their stuff" (that's one of his nicer statements).
• Brake is almost as brutal re: Calatrava's WTC transit hub: it "may be Instagram-friendly, but it is part of a troubling trend for public spending on spaces that aren't really public at all," with the aim of "converting tourists into consumers."
• Kamin, on the other hand, strikes a brighter note about the first apartment tower in Chicago's Wolf Point development: it may have "no eye-grabbing forms. But what it lacks in architectural pyrotechnics it makes up for in sound site planning and skillful design."
• Smallman offers a fascinating look at "the most influential modern British housing style you've almost certainly never heard of" that could prove to be one of the now-former Mayor of London's "most enduring contributions to the city."
• In Lagos, Nigeria, architects call for more high density high-rise buildings, and for "indigenous architects" to "reengineer their approach to the practice of architecture" (and a revamp of the "bastardized" construction industry).
• Cathcart-Keays and Warin offer a fascinating history of how Copenhagen "laid the foundations for its contemporary reputation as one of the world's most 'liveable' cities" by rejecting 1960s Modernism's visions of urban utopia (i.e. lots of concrete and urban highways).
• Sadik-Khan and Solomonow ponder why the question "What would Jane Jacobs do? remains so vital today."
• McArdle offers a wonderful profile of "Gridlock Sam," and how his "plan to combat the very thing he's nicknamed for is inching closer to reality" in NYC.
• A fun (and serious) take on "how Miami became a trendsetter in design": "Adios, flamingos! These aren't your father's buildings."
• Lambert pens a plea for the soon-to-be renamed Four Seasons "to keep in place the furniture designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, and therefore to maintain the authenticity of two of the world's greatest rooms."
• Gumusyan pens a tribute: "Zaha Hadid opened the doors to structures that will shape the way our cities look for decades, while opening the doors to those traditionally barred from the profession's upper echelons."
• Plans for The Skyline, an airborne cable car attraction in Chicago, "could become a tourism centerpiece" as the city's own Eiffel Tower or Big Ben (we shudder to think of wind-blown winter rides).
• NYC's own Eiffel Tower could be Heatherwick's sculpture on Hudson Yards' public plaza, whose design "has been shrouded in secrecy" (we might see the design by September); the cost has gone from $75 million to $200 million (gulp!).
• Two we couldn't resist: Eyefuls of "spectacular new bridges that break the mold," and "the most anticipated buildings of 2016."
• Best laugh of the day: Stott updates last year's "150 Weird Words That Only Architects Use" - this time with definitions: "Parametric: A method of designing by computers, so you don't have to."
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Breathe Architecture: The Commons, Melbourne, Australia: ...a raw and captivating piece of architecture. It's also the prototype for a new development model, called Nightingale...It sits in stark contrast to current housing models, which remain unaffordable and conservative in their ambitions. [images]
Paulo Mendes da Rocha chosen to receive Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by Alejandro Aravena: A citation...praised the architect for the timelessness of his designs.- Dezeen
SFMOMA’s new wing is no masterpiece, but it has real joys: ...there are sublime smaller touches that show us why Snøhetta won the job...But several major aspects seem forced...So we have two very large structures attached at the hip, an architectural marriage of convenience...the more that we get to know it, I suspect, the more satisfying it will be. By John King -- Mario Botta (1995); EHDD- San Francisco Chronicle
Out with the New, In with the Old: Comparisons among the New Whitney, the Met Breuer, and the SFMOMA expansion show that novelty cannot overcome materiality: Architects either fake it, trying to make cheaply built structures look slick, or resort to ever more exuberant moves to show their stuff...Are you watching, LACMA? By Aaron Betsky -- Marcel Breuer,; Renzo Piano Building Workshop; Snøhetta; EHDD; Beyer Blinder Belle [images]- Architect Magazine
Santiago Calatrava's transit hub feels utterly scrubbed of memory and dislocated from New York: ...World Trade Center transit hub may be Instagram-friendly, but it is part of a troubling trend for public spending on spaces that aren't really public at all...task is to draw people down to the shopping concourses, converting tourists into consumers. By Alan G. Brake- Dezeen
Apartment tower is a promising start for Wolf Point development: The new tower has no eye-grabbing forms...But what it lacks in architectural pyrotechnics it makes up for in sound site planning and skillful design...So far, so good. By Blair Kamin -- bKL Architecture; Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Wolff Landscape Architecture [images]- Chicago Tribune
Boris Johnson's Low-Key Contribution to London's New Housing: Forget Boris's bridge, buses, or even his bikes. In a century's time, [he] may be best remembered for his Boris buildings...New London Vernacular: The most influential modern British housing style you've almost certainly never heard of...[He] has not had his name attached to what may prove to be one of his most enduring contributions to the city. By Etan Smallman- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Architects want more high-rise buildings in Lagos: ...there is a need to rethink real estate development through investment in high density high-rise buildings...[said] indigenous architects had to reengineer their approach to the practice of architecture to be in line with the new wave sweeping across the world...construction industry remained the most bastardised sector and urged government at all levels to revamp the sector. -- Nigerian Institute of Architects- Punch (Nigeria)
How Copenhagen rejected 1960s modernist 'utopia': While concrete was being poured across Europe’s cities, Denmark’s capital found itself at a crossroads...it laid the foundations for its contemporary reputation as one of the world’s most “liveable” cities – an urban model so desirable that copying its outcomes even has its own verb: “to Copenhagenise”. By Athlyn Cathcart-Keays and Tim Warin -- Søren Elle; Jan Gehl/Gehl Architects [images]- Guardian (UK)
What Would Jane Jacobs Do? Why the question remains so vital today: A new generation of mayors, city leaders and community organizations have started to revitalize city centers...may require revolutionary action instead of a merely evolutionary course...many communities are effectively fighting to keep streets exactly the way that Robert Moses left them. By Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
This Transportation Engineer Won’t Give Up on Moving New York City: With legislation based on his ideas introduced last month, “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz’s plan to combat the very thing he’s nicknamed for is inching closer to reality...“He just loves the city in a Jane Jacobs sense"...The man himself is at once deeply optimistic and deeply pessimistic. By Molly McArdle- Next City (formerly Next American City)
How Miami Became a Trendsetter in Design: As the design palette in South Florida evolves, so too do the designers, architects, and trendsetters...Adios, flamingos! You couldn’t count the cranes east of I95 if you tried, but these aren’t your father’s buildings. By Marcelle Sussman Fischler -- Charlotte Dunagan; Adriana Hoyos; Max Strang Architecture; Michael Wolk; Zaha Hadid; Herzog & De Meuron; Arquitectonica; OMA/Rem Koolhaas; Renzo Piano; Cesar Pelli; Britto Design Studio [images]- Ocean Drive magazine (Florida)
Exclusive: Phyllis Lambert responds to the planned auction of the Four Seasons Restaurant furniture and décor: ...the client and driving force behind the restaurant, sent us an open letter to Aby Rosen: My plea is to keep in place the furniture designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, and therefore to maintain the authenticity of two of the world’s greatest rooms.- The Architect's Newspaper
From Bauhaus to Zaha: An Appreciation: The 20th Century’s most influential architects were all men. But the 21st Century’s most influential architect is a woman...Zaha Hadid...opened the doors to structures that will shape the way our cities look for decades...while opening the doors to those traditionally barred from the profession’s upper echelons. By Garo Gumusyan- Huffington Post
Could airborne cable car boost Chicago tourism? "The Skyline"...could become a tourism centerpiece...".Where's our Eiffel Tower? Where's our Big Ben?"...would be an attraction in the winter as well as the summer and alleviate the tourist frustration of conveniently getting to Navy Pier, the river and Michigan Avenue. -- Marks Barfield Architects; Davis Brody Bond [images]- Chicago Tribune
Hudson Yards sculpture to cost $200M and be like ‘Eiffel Tower’: The Thomas Heatherwick sculpture that will grace the public plaza...has been shrouded in secrecy...poised to occupy a plaza "bigger than Trafalgar Square."- Capital New York
A bridge too far? 11 spectacular new bridges that break the mold + The most anticipated buildings of 2016 -- Bridges: Thomas Heatherwick; Zaha Hadid Architects; NEXT Architects; Ljusarkitektur; Cox Architecture; COBE Architects/DISSING+WEITLING/COWI; Rafael Viñoly Architects; BCQ arquitectura barcelona; Olafur Eliasson; Haim Dotan Architects; BYSTRUP; Buildings: Foster + Partners; Jean Nouvel; Santiago Calatrava; Vincent Callebaut; OMA; Fernando Romero/FR-EE; Herzog & de Meuron; David Adjaye; Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) [images]- CNN
150 Weird Words Defined: Your Guide to the Language of Architecture: Cantilever: Gravity-defying overhang favored by students and architects with infinite budgets. Enfilade: Rooms in a straight line, with a pretentious name. Parametric: A method of designing by computers, so you don’t have to. By Rory Stott- ArchDaily
ANN feature: SFMOMA and Us: How Botta and Snøhetta each captured something about who we are - as dueling outlooks on our relationship to the world. By Geoffrey Scott Gainer [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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