Today’s News - Tuesday, June 28, 2016
• We could have filled today's (the week's) newsletter with architects' and pundits' jeers (and some cheers) for Brexit; we chose the AJ's round-up of such, instead.
• Kamin minces no words about how Lucas's "intransigence" resulted in his reaping the "bitter fruits of arrogance" in the failure of his Chicago museum plans: "that bizarre design was never right for the lakefront. It was an icon wannabe - a preening object."
• Bernstein on Calatrava's WTC transit hub, "a crowd-pleaser the likes of which New York hasn't seen in generations": "The Oculus is a large bauble on a very frail finger. But the city wanted a bauble."
• Dickinson disagrees with critics of Yale's two new (very expensive!) Stern-designed residence halls: "it's not the cost that caused controversy. It was the fact that they reproduce reproductions" - he considers them "a remarkable effort."
• Princeton University rejects the gift of three Graves properties, so Kean University, "home of the nascent Michael Graves College for architecture and design," gets them - for $20.
• Murphy offers a most engaging take on why "we might just be seeing the beginning of brutalist aesthetics entering the mainstream again": in a world of cheap construction, "the thickness and roughness of brutalism is catnip."
• Smart parses Sony's plans to replace its flagship store in Tokyo with a temporary park: "Is this an attempt to modernize the brand - or just another nail in the coffin for Tokyo's postwar architecture?"
• Word is that the Waldorf Astoria will be mostly luxury condos soon (we wonder if we will still be able to make dates to meet under the glorious clock).
• Gallagher reports on plans for Little Caesars HQ in Detroit that "orders up a 'pizza-slice' façade."
• Hawthorne takes us on a ride down L.A.'s new Skyslide - 70 stories up: he's not "in a hurry to try it again. But it was an architectural experience of a kind I don't think I've ever had. Bouncy-house urbanism is on the rise."
• Wainwright wends his way down the "178m corkscrew thrill-ride" now attached to London's ArcelorMittal Orbit (Kapoor's "zombie pylon"), which "has finally given this knotted steel monster a use."
• Birnbaum reports on NYC's Parks Without Borders Summit: "park porosity, connectivity, and accessibility are being raised across the country. The top down dictates are being replaced by bottom up, community oriented decisions."
• Welton cheers Duke University's decision to go for "smart landscape architecture" for "a pristine environmental gem" of a pond instead of just a hole in the ground filled with water.
• Pedersen ponders the importance of hand drawing: "It's impossible to know exactly what we've lost in the transition from hand to mouse. But it feels like something essential, something almost primal, is slipping away."
• Corrected link: on Thursday, we ran a Q&A with Judith Dupré re: her new book "One World Trade Center: A Biography of the Building" - with the wrong link; correct link here, and apologies for the error.
• Winners all (w/great presentations): CTBUH 2016 Tall Building Awards + Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize MCHAP 2014/15 finalists + USC American Academy in China's "Napavilions" winners for "perfect snoozing spots" in China's Jade Valley Vineyard.
• Call for entries registration deadline reminder: Iceland Trekking Cabins International Architecture Competition.
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The AJ on Brexit: 10 predictions + What will Brexit mean for architectural education? + 'A sad day': European architects voice opinions on Brexit + Simon Allford: Why architects need to keep calm and carry on + Will Brexit stop UK architects winning work in Europe? + etc.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Lucas reaps bitter fruits of arrogance as Chicago museum plan collapses: Some will say that the loss of this $743 million museum is a blow to Chicago's economy. That's true, but the pain could have been averted if Lucas had dropped his intransigence and accepted a site west of Lake Shore Drive...that bizarre design...was never right for the lakefront. It was an icon wannabe...It would have been a preening object - a product of the same arrogance as Lucas' telling silence. By Blair Kamin -- Ma Yansong- Chicago Tribune
New York story: Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center transit hub: ...a crowd-pleaser the likes of which New York hasn't seen in generations...largely an empty room...The Oculus, in other words, is a large bauble on a very frail finger. But the city wanted a bauble...Even [his] fans wonder what real transit improvements $4bn could have bought. Calatrava may be right that nobody will remember the cost of his station. But they may well wonder what might have been, even as they stare up in amazement. By Fred A. Bernstein [images]- DesignCurial / Blueprint Magazine (UK)
Yale's Edifice Complex: University Is Building A Modern History For Its Future: When the two residence halls open...they will have cost more than $1,000 per square foot...faithful reproductions of James Gamble Rogers design...it's not the cost that caused controversy...It was the fact that [they] reproduce reproductions...Whether Yale is extending a tradition to admit more worthy students or to solidify an image in a world obsessed with branded bankability - or both - the new Yale colleges are a remarkable effort. By Duo Dickinson -- Robert A.M. Stern Architects [image]- Hartford Courant (Connecticut)
Michael Graves’s Residence, Rejected by Princeton, Set for Sale to Kean University: ...home of the nascent Michael Graves College for architecture and design...to purchase three of Graves’s properties...including his residence and studio, the Warehouse - for $20...he donated the properties to Princeton University, his neighbor and longtime employer. But Princeton rejected the gift.- New York Times
#BRUTALISM: The brute is back - on television, on social media, in coffee-table books, even in new buildings. But can we ever recapture the movement’s original spirit? In a world where architecture is mostly wafer-thin curtain walls or brick slips, the thickness and roughness of brutalism is catnip...we might just be seeing the beginning of brutalist aesthetics entering the mainstream again. By Douglas Murphy -- GPY Arquitectos; Fernando Menis; Grafton Architects [images]- Icon (UK)
Tokyo's 50-year itch: why is Sony knocking down its flagship building? As the 2020 Olympics approach, Sony is demolishing its flagship store to create a temporary park. Is this an attempt to modernise the Japanese electronics brand - or just another nail in the coffin for Tokyo’s postwar architecture? ...for now residents will get to enjoy open space in a retail area, which is a rare treat in Tokyo. By Richard Smart -- Yoshinobu Ashihara (1966)- Guardian (UK)
Waldorf Astoria to be mostly converted into luxury apartments starting next year: ...plans to convert up to 1,100 of the hotel’s 1,413 rooms into private apartments and sell them as condominiums. The other 300-500 rooms will also be upgraded but will remain in use by the hotel.- The Architect's Newspaper
Little Caesars HQ orders up a 'pizza-slice' facade: Little Caesars Global Resource Center...will feature a unique façade made up of glass sections shaped like pizza slices to honor its signature product...represents a portion of the $1.2-billion Ilitch-directed District Detroit taking shape with the new Little Caesars Arena under construction as the centerpiece. By John Gallagher -- SmithGroupJJR [images]- Detroit Free Press
Ride the U.S. Bank Tower's glass Skyslide with 70 floors of nothingness below you: The ride won’t exactly be a threat to Six Flags. Nor would I say I’m in a hurry to try it again. But it was an architectural experience...of a kind I don’t think I’ve ever had...owners of aging all-office high-rises...looking for ways to produce new revenue - and...redefine those towers in the popular imagination...Bouncy-house urbanism is on the rise. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Henry Cobb (1989); Gensler [images, video]- Los Angeles Times
Into Orbit: my dizzying drop down the world's biggest slide: Carsten Höller has turned Anish Kapoor’s ‘zombie pylon’ into a 178m corkscrew thrill-ride: ...ArcelorMittal Orbit was conceived as a money-making machine...Instead it has cost the taxpayer £10,000 a week...the most useless totem pole of mayoral hubris...£3m slide has finally given this knotted steel monster a use. By Oliver Wainwright -- Cecil Balmond- Guardian (UK)
Urban Parks: From Dumping Grounds to Centers of Energy: ...Parks Without Borders Summit...issues of park porosity, connectivity, and accessibility are being raised across the country...The top down dictates...are being replaced by bottom up, community oriented decisions... By Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation -- James Corner Field Operations; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Piet Oudolf; Michael Van Valkenburgh; West 8; Laurie Olin; Rios Clementi Hale; Hargreaves Associates; Sasaki Associates; SWA Group; Lawrence Halprin; The Office of James Burnett; dlandstudio [images]- Huffington Post
Duke Pond in Durham: Function in disaster, finish in style: ...new, 6-acre pond was scooped out of 12 wooded acres on Duke University’s campus...initially envisioned as nothing more than a large hole in the ground...using the pond’s water translates into a potential savings of about $400,000 a year...a leisurely ramble around the pond’s loop offers the opportunity to discover how smart landscape architecture...can create a place as comforting as it is useful. By J. Michael Welton -- Mark Hough; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects [images]- News & Observer (North Carolina)
Drawing Should Still Matter to Architects and Designers: ...younger architects and designers continue to draw...What I don’t think post-computer designers do...is draw continually through the process. It was never their primary problem solving tool...It’s also impossible to know exactly what we’ve lost in the transition from hand to mouse. But it feels like something essential, something almost primal, is slipping away. By Martin C. Pedersen- Common Edge
CORRECTED LINK: Inside the new One World Trade Center: Judith Dupré says the new WTC “represents one of the most complex collaborations in human history"..."One World Trade Center: A Biography of the Building," recaps the 12 years the building was being developed. (Q&A) By Kai Ryssdal- Marketplace.org
CTBUH Names 2016 Tall Building Award Recipients + Urban Habitat Award + 10 Year Award + Performance Award -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group/SLCE Architects; Gensler/Tongji Architectural Design (Group); Ateliers Jean Nouvel/Takis Sophocleous Architects; Orange Architects/CBA Group; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Foster + Partners/Adamson Associates; C.Y. Lee & Partners Architects/Planners [images]- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize Announces MCHAP 2014/15 Finalists: ... recognizing the best built works of architecture in the Americas... -- Angelo Bucci/SPBR arquitetos; Grafton Architects; Llosa Cortegana arquitectos; Alberto Kalach; Michael Maltzan Architecture; SANAA; Patkau Architects/Kearns Mancini Architects [images]- Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
7 “Napavilions” to Provide Perfect Snoozing Spots in China's Jade Valley Vineyard: Entrants had to design prefabricated wood structures with the sole function of providing space for guests to nap in. -- University of Southern California American Academy in China (AAC); Qingyun Ma; Hajime Yoshida Architecture; Estudio ESSE; Ida&Billy Architects; Architect Andrea Falcon (aaf); Arbab & Associates architects; Lawrence Scarpa; Gary Paige; Scott Uriu; Geoffrey von Oeyen; Noreen Liu (NODE), and Tiantian Xu (DnA) [images]- ArchDaily
Call for entries: Iceland Trekking Cabins International Architecture Competition: create clever and inventive designs for a cabin that can be duplicated in all sorts of terrain; cash prizes; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): June 29; final registration: July 27 (submissions due August 17)- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert)
ANN Feature: More Heart and Soul than Ever Before: 15th Venice Architecture Biennale "Reporting from the Front": Architecture alone cannot change the world, but the issues that populate this year's Biennale, as curated by Alejandro Aravena, explore how we are all responsible for making an effort. By Johannes M.P. Knoops, FAAR, Assoc. AIA [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Clare Design: The Library at the Dock, Melbourne, Australia: ...a warm and welcome addition to Melbourne's Docklands precinct. A cross between a library and a community center, it brings some much needed civic life and vitality to this new part of the city...a building that prioritizes the interior experience, and as such is cozy, comfortable and welcoming. By Jennifer McMaster [images]
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