Today’s News - Thursday, August 18, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, August 23.
• Williamson ponders whether the "Olympics' failures" will "spark a new urban paradigm for Rio" and its "greatest psychological and physical sore spot - its favelas" (fascinating read).
• A "village of Quonset huts" is sprouting in a Detroit neighborhood that wouldn't usually attract "top-notch architects" to design a "unique housing project."
• Heathcote hails the "meticulous restoration" of the Yale Center for British Art that is "so fine, it is almost obsessive," and the renovation of the Beinecke Library, "a building as exquisite as the delicate printed volumes it houses."
• Ditmars cheers Surrey, which sits at the suburban edge of Vancouver, for choosing a design for its new municipal operations center that proves "architecture for the mundane business of public works can be far from ordinary."
• Something for our bucket list: "9 of the world's top architectural pilgrimages, from Chandigarh to Fallingwater" (we'll take the Hundertwasser!).
• Harvard Art Museums just launched a new, comprehensive digital archive of one of the largest collections relating to the Bauhaus (stunning - we spent wayyy too much time tooling around the site!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Wainwright gives a halting thumbs-up to Koolhaas fils's film "Rem," which "finds the film-maker racing to keep up with his father" (the star is the back of Rem's head) "and struggling to achieve objectivity" (Olly would also like the "option to mute the elegiac soundtrack").
• Hawthorne sees Roberto Burle Marx "as a mute and minor star" but "a compelling bit player" in the Summer Olympics, and cheers the "dense and appealingly wide-ranging exhibition" at the Jewish Museum in NYC that suggests "if Burle Marx hadn't come along when he did, Brazil might have had to invent him."
• Meanwhile, there are some "wild and wonderful landscape installations" in Quebec's Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens.
• Lam really likes the Siza show at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which pairs his plans for a visitors center with 14th century artifacts from the historic Alhambra: his "carefulness with subtle details elevates the project beyond the ordinary - without pomp, flash or ego."
• McKnight finds much to like in "The Architecture of Francis Kéré" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which "conveys his inventive approach" to building for the underserved (with eyefuls of his atrium installation "Colorscape").
• Jürgen Mayer H. [hearts] Times Square with "XXX" that "lets you lounge at the Crossroads of the World."
• University of Illinois at Chicago shows off its past and future with two shows, including "The Netsch Campus."
• Cramer is quite taken with al-Sabouni's "The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria," written with "the moral fervor of a John Ruskin - albeit a 21st-century, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and female incarnation" (Dubai's skyline is "a shelf of perfume bottle").
• King plunges into Serraino's "The Creative Architect": "the unearthed data is catnip to anyone intrigued by midcentury buildings. What hasn't aged is how so many good architects seem to be gregarious loners angling for success but, deep down, wanting to create what they view as art."
• Xie finds "'The Creative Architect' shines a light on the researchers, subjects, and context. Most fascinating is the insight we get into how the legendary architects viewed themselves and each other" (fab images!).
• Hatherley rounds up a number of tomes that tackle Soviet buildings that have become "part of a strange but popular cult," but don't "just stare at pictures of incredible Soviet ruins when there are books that can tell you what they are and why they're there."
• A great excerpt from Howard's "Architecture's Odd Couple," which "examines the fraught relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson."
• Rosenstock revels in Desimini and Waldheim's "Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary" - a "jewel box for mapheads and plan geeks."
• In an excerpt from "Manual of Section," LTL explores what a section is.
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Will the Olympics' Failures Spark A New Urban Paradigm for Rio? ...exemplifies two opposing visions...Without intending to, the trials and tribulations of the Olympics have demonstrated the path to progressively care for Rio’s greatest...sore spot - its favelas - and have them lead the way in modeling a new approach to city design that is genuinely inclusive and creative. [excerpt from "Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures in Rio de Janeiro"] By Theresa Williamson- Metropolis Magazine
Village of Quonset huts sprouts in Detroit neighborhood: Emerging now on an empty lot is a taste of a unique housing project...not an area that usually attracts top-notch architects...two huts up now...as the “appetizer” to a larger development...a “creative marriage” between Detroit neighborhoods and the formal worlds of architecture and design... -- Edwin Chan/EC3; Studio Detroit [images]- Detroit News
Yale Center for British Art: ‘A meticulous restoration’: This 1977 building has undergone a renovation so fine, it is almost obsessive: ...managed to combine a sense of freshness with a delicate patina that makes the passing of time subtly clear...The Beinecke Library...is being reopened...it is a building as exquisite as the delicate printed volumes it houses... By Edwin Heathcote -- Louis I. Kahn; Pellecchia and Meyers; Knight Architecture; Peter Inskip; Stephen Gee; Gordon Bunshaft/SOM (1963); Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge- Financial Times (UK)
The Works: A municipal operations centre in Surrey shows that architecture for the mundane business of public works can be far from ordinary: ...the city...at the southern suburban edge of Vancouver...is reviving the bid to make public works infrastructure beautiful...a mini-campus...its elegant yet unassuming design goes beyond the purely functional...offering a new civic landmark for the burgeoning community. By Hadani Ditmars -- RDH Architects; Taylor Kurtz Architecture and Design [images]- Canadian Architect
9 of the World’s Top Architectural Pilgrimages, from Chandigarh to Fallingwater -- Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Oscar Niemeyer; Edward James; Le Corbusier; Pierre Jeanneret; Jane B. Drew; Maxwell Fry; Paolo Soleri; Dietrich Otto/Ulrich Müther; Frank Lloyd Wright; Luis Barragán; Kisho Kurokawa [images]- Artsy
"The Bauhaus," a comprehensive new digital resource, launched by the Harvard Art Museums: ...museums hold one of the first and largest collections relating to the Bauhaus. [images]- Harvard Art Museums
"Rem" - jet-setting portrait of world’s most talked-about architect: Globe-trotting documentary by Rem Koolhaas’s son Tomas finds the film-maker racing to keep up with his 71-year-old father and struggling to achieve objectivity...In places, it verges on schmaltzy mysticism...Architecture fans expecting insight into OMA’s working methods...and existential anxieties will be disappointed...The film could have done with a bit more of that detachment - and an option to mute the elegiac soundtrack. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Brazil's modern look: Why Olympic viewers should know the name Roberto Burle Marx: The great Brazilian landscape architect...has emerged as a mute and minor star, a compelling bit player, of these Summer Games...the subject of a dense and appealingly wide-ranging exhibition...at the Jewish Museum in New York...What the exhibition most clearly suggests is that if Burle Marx hadn’t come along when he did, Brazil might have had to invent him. By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Wild and wonderful landscape installations showcased at International Garden Festival in Canada: ...five award-winning garden installations...displayed alongside 22 other creations; in Quebec’s Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens. -- Christian Poules; Craig Chapple; Romy Brosseau/Rosemarie Faille-Faubert/Émilie Gagné-Lorange; SRCW Sean Radford/Chris Wiebe; Coache Lacaille Paysagiste [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
Siza at the Aga Khan Museum: A Toronto exhibition pairs original sketches by Pritzker-prize winner and 14th century artifacts from the historic Alhambra: "Álvaro Siza: Gateway to the Alhambra" centres on his competition-winning design for the Alhambra visitor centre...curation is meant to be evocative, more than pedagogical...carefulness with subtle details elevates the project beyond the ordinary - without pomp, flash or ego...well worth a trip... By Elsa Lam -- Juan Domingo Santos; António Choupina [images]- Canadian Architect
"The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community": ...arguably the most influential African architect of his generation: ...the show conveys his inventive approach to constructing schools, health clinics, and housing in remote, poverty-stricken...A centerpiece of the show is an interactive installation...for an atrium in the museum. Dubbed "Colorscape"; at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. By Jenna McKnight [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Times Square With Love: Jürgen Mayer H.’s “XXX TIMES SQUARE WITH LOVE" Lets You Lounge at the Crossroads of the World: ...urban loungers that will provide the public with the perfect place to rest...Each accommodates four people - one within each leg of the “X”...unveiling on August 24...August 23 Mayer is giving a lecture at the Center for Architecture... [images]- Architizer
Architectural exhibitions show history, future of UIC campus: “Back to the Future: Visualizing the Arts at UIC” shares proposals from...current UIC architecture and design faculty for a performing arts building. “The Netsch Campus: Materializing the Public at UIC” uses early photos, Netsch’s drawings and his words to share his vision of the UIC campus. -- Walter Netsch/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- University of Illinois at Chicago
The Stones of Syria: A young Syrian architect looks to the future of her war-torn homeland: Living amid all of this, Marwa al-Sabouni’s response was to write "The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria"......[she] bemoans the loss of values that once gave coherence to Homs’ historically diverse population...[she] exhibits little confidence in the current standard of architecture in the region...The Dubai skyline she describes as “a shelf of perfume bottles.” By Ned Cramer- Architect Magazine
Long-lost study looks at creativity of architects: ...take a plunge into “The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study" by Pierluigi Serraino...the unearthed data is catnip to anyone intrigued by midcentury buildings - or...by an unfiltered glimpse of professional America at the dawn of “Mad Men"...What hasn’t aged in all this is how so many good architects seem to be gregarious loners angling for success but, deep down, wanting to create what they view as art. By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
This Book Unearths a Midcentury Personality Study on Architectural Giants: "The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study"...Pierluigi Serraino had access to behind-the-scenes information that shines a light on the researchers, subjects, and context...which gives the book a valuable vantage point...Most fascinating of all is the insight we get into how the legendary architects viewed themselves and each other. By Jenny Xie [images]- Dwell
Designing the Soviet Union: Soviet architecture had diverse and ambitious ideas: For the last few years, the best-selling architectural coffee-table books have all shared the same subject: Soviet buildings. They are part of a strange but popular cult...There’s no excuse to just stare at pictures of incredible Soviet ruins when there are books that can tell you what they are and why they’re there. By Owen Hatherley- Jacobin magazine
In "Architecture's Odd Couple," historian Hugh Howard examines the fraught relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson: Ever the class bad boy, [FLW] had executed Johnson’s assignment in his own way...[He] had decided to come along for the ride. (excerpt) [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
From Zaha Hadid’s paintings to Appalachian Trail maps, a new book explores cartography in all its glory: Jill Desimini and Charles Waldheim...invite us to think on the wide range of aesthetic strategies that cartographers use to corral the 3-D world into 2-D..."Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary" - a jewel box for mapheads and plan geeks. By Ariel Rosenstock [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
In Contemporary Architecture, the Section Is the Generator: What is a section? Because the section begins with the visualization of that which will not be directly seen, it remains abstracted from the dominant way of understanding architecture through photographs and renderings. Sections provide a unique form of knowledge, one that...shifts the emphasis from image to performance... [excerpt from "Manual of Section"] By Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Architecture for Fashionistas: When top profiles of both worlds join forces, lines between architecture and advertisement blur...surreal settings are created, and magical spaces occur. -- Frank Gehry/Gehry Partners; Olafur Eliasson; Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Gluckman Mayner Architects; William Russell/Pentagram; Legoretta + Legoretta; Kumiko Inui; Toyo Ito; Peter Marino; Renzo Piano; Jun Aoki [images]
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