Today’s News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017
● We are so saddened by the news that we've lost Hilary Ballon much, much too soon; we could always rely on her wisdom re: "cities and the intersection of architecture, politics, and social life."
● Heathcote identifies one cause of London's Grenfell Tower fire: "He says 'prettification' was at least partly to blame."
● Volner takes a long (and most excellent) look at "the legacy and lessons" of the "uninspired vertical bunker" that was Grenfell Tower: "The story of high-rise social housing after World War II is littered with travesties," but today's designers and builders are "not repeating the mistakes of the past."
● 13 cities (so far) are defying Trump by posting "deleted climate change information and research from the EPA's website that was notoriously scrubbed" (Bravo, we say!).
● Eyefuls of new "dramatic proposals" by 7 teams to "reconfigure a several-mile stretch of the concrete-lined Los Angeles River."
● San Francisco has big plans to develop Treasure Island into "a major cultural destination - akin to Governors Island in New York."
● Kimmelman visits Rotterdam in the "waterlogged Netherlands," where climate change is seen as "an opportunity," and Maeslantkering, giant surge barrier, is "an object of surpassing beauty, one of modern Europe's lesser-known marvels."
● Winstead parses Kimmelman's "Changing Climate, Changing Cities" series.
● Capps ponders whether drones, algorithms, and automation could lead to a boom - or bust - for landscape architects.
● Hawthorne ponders the world of inequality and privilege from the 92nd floor of Viñoly's 432 Park: the "design is ruthlessly simple - concentrated wealth rendered in Spartan terms," but "in purely architectural terms," it's "the kind of high-rise even an acrophobe could love."
● Saffron, on the other hand, cheers a new Philly high-rise that offers "a lesson in combining style and public spirit" - with "a bit of design swagger."
● Cipriani wins our most-eloquent-passage-of-the-day with her review of Mass MoCA's latest addition is an "epic stage," where "marble sculptures rest beautifully on rippled, creaking pine, weathered to a smoky espresso" - and music becomes her muse.
● Betsky: revisits the Clyfford Still Museum and the Nelson-Atkins "to see how successful they have been" - it was "worth every dime and every ounce of work it took to get them to be this good."
● Waite gives us a sneak-peek at Kéré's 2017 Serpentine Pavilion (opening this Friday), and a great Q&A with Obrist and Peel: "We fell for his natural storytelling powers."
● Meanwhile, OMA unveils its design for Melbourne's MPavilion 2017 that "puts a twist on ancient amphitheaters" - it's "a theater for ideas" (fab images and animations!).
● Seven impressive teams in the running to design the Ross Pavilion in Edinburgh's West Princes Street Gardens (great presentation).
● Shaw questions whether architecture is having "a crisis of ideas. Why would we want to 'hang' a skyscraper from an asteroid, and why are we taking this proposal seriously?" (we couldn't agree more - fake news strikes again!).
● A good reason to be in Prague this week: reSITE 2017 In/visibleCity focuses on "how the invisible shapes the visible in a city" with "a special emphasis on female architects and leaders" (the other invisibles?).
● A good reason to then head to L.A.: Dwell on Design 2017, with an impressive, new featured speaker series.
● One we couldn't resist: here we go - again: a Georgia architect sues SOM for stealing 1WTC design.
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Obituary: Hilary Ballon, 61: ...taught at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, was also the deputy vice chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi...Her academic research focused on cities and the intersection of architecture, politics, and social life...- The Architect's Newspaper
Desire to make London's Grenfell Tower 'prettier' likely escalated the blaze: ..Edwin Heathcote has already identified one cause: He says "prettification" was at least partly to blame...wrapping the building in an aluminum cladding so that it would blend in better with the luxury towers nearby. Experts say it was that cladding that turned the building into a tinder box...- PRI / Public Radio International
Ian Volner: The Legacy and Lessons of Grenfell Tower: Public housing has evolved radically since the 1970s: The story of high-rise social housing after World War II is littered with travesties...To varying degrees, social-housing blocks...are the godchildren of Le Corbusier...advocates should take heart: Designers and builders really have learned the lessons of the first generation of social housing...Largely out of the public eye, housing for the urban poor has been coming along quite nicely, thank you, and it is not repeating the mistakes of the past.- The Atlantic
13 U.S. Cities Defy Trump by Posting Deleted Climate Data: ...have banded together to post deleted climate change information and research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website that was notoriously scrubbed...Chicago became the first city...now other mayors are following in Rahm Emanuel's footsteps by creating their city's own "Climate Change is Real" website.- EcoWatch
New L.A. River restoration renderings revealed by Mia Lehrer, AECOM, Gruen Associates and others
dramatic proposals aim to reconfigure a several-mile stretch of the concrete-lined river...Each of the seven teams was given a separate segment of the river to reconfigure...meant to focus on increasing pedestrian connectivity to the river while also “embracing bold, world-class design.” -- Chee Salette; WSP; CH2M; Tetra Tech [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
San Francisco to Develop Treasure Island as Major Cultural Site: The 405-acre site will be the city's largest development of open space since Golden Gate Park in 1871...arts officials remain committed to developing the island as a major cultural destination...akin to Governors Island in New York...- New York Times
Michael Kimmelman: The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching: In the waterlogged Netherlands, climate change is considered neither a hypothetical nor a drag on the economy. Instead, it’s an opportunity....pioneering a singular way forward...Rotterdam has reinvented itself as a capital of enterprise and environmental ingenuity. -- Henk Ovink; Wim Quist [images]- New York Times
Ed Winstead: Climate Change as a Design Problem: In his “Changing Climate, Changing Cities” series, Michael Kimmelman shows how metropolises, and residents, are preparing for the future: ...the questions now are...what exactly the effects of climate change will be and how best we can mitigate them. He decided to explore those topics through the design and architecture...attempting, along the way, to capture a bit of the cultures behind them as well.- New York Times
Kriston Capps: Will Drones Lead to a Boom in Landscape Architecture? And could a golden era for urban design lead to the automation of landscape architects? ...your pocket LandscapeBot is still a ways off. Today, the problem isn’t competition: Not enough people are taking up landscape architecture as a profession. -- American Society of Landscape Architects/ASLA; SWA Group; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; PFS Studio; Public Work; Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects; THK Associates- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Christopher Hawthorne: How New York's rising trend of 'supertall' towers looks from the 92nd floor: 432 Park...design is ruthlessly simple... It is concentrated wealth rendered in Spartan terms...What the building says about inequality and the privileges of the one-tenth-of-the-one-percent shouldn’t be ignored. But neither should its significant appeal in purely architectural terms...the kind of high-rise even an acrophobe could love. -- Rafael Viñoly; Kelly Behun [images]- Los Angeles Times
Inga Saffron: A lesson in combining style and public spirit in a Philadelphia high-rise: With its careful design and deference to the streetscape, the Bridge...helps create a sense of place on a difficult corner...design exudes something rarely seen in Philadelphia: a bit of design swagger...a model of how a commercial development can also be a good public citizen. -- Peter Gluck/Gluck+ [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Christine Cipriani: Mass MoCA’s Latest Addition Gives Transformative Re-Use an Epic Stage: Building 6 may be epic in scale, but it's the architects' sensitivity to material and program that deserves your attention: ...two kinds of artistry have been overlooked: the attention to detail brought to this spectacular industrial building fabric, and the ways in which it supports...dynamic performing-arts program. -- Jason Forney/Bruner/Cott & Associates [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Aaron Betsky: Cresting a Cultural Wave: With a furious decade of museum expansions and renovations winding down, he stops by two of the most prominent examples...to see how successful they have been: Effective architecture such as this is refined and expensive, and worth every dime and every ounce of work it took to get them to be this good. -- Brad Cloepfil/Allied Works Architecture/Clyfford Still Museum, Denver; Steven Holl Architects/Nelson-Atkins Museum [images]- Architect Magazine
Richard Waite: Wraps taken off Diébédo Francis Kéré’s 2017 Serpentine Pavilion: A first look at the pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens + This year’s pavilion explained: Q&As with pavilion commissioners Hans Ulrich Obrist and Yana Peel: "We fell for his natural storytelling powers and his strong focus on community." [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
MPavilion 2017: OMA puts a twist on ancient amphitheaters with rotating grandstand design: ...blurring the roles of audience and performer...static and dynamic elements that allow for multiple configurations and unexpected programming..."a theater for ideas with Melbourne as its backdrop."
-- Naomi Milgrom Foundation; Rem Koolhaas; David Gianotten/Office for Metropolitan Architecture [images, video]- designboom
Seven teams compete to design new Edinburgh landmark: ...vying to win the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition and revitalise West Princes Street Gardens. -- Adjaye Associates; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Flanagan Lawrence; Page \ Park Architects/West 8; Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter; wHY/GRAS/Groves-Raines Architects/Arup/Studio Yann Kersalé/O Street/Stuco/Creative Concern/Noel Kingsbury/Atelier Ten/Lawrence Barth; William Matthews Associates/Sou Fujimoto Architects [images]- Ross Development Trust / City of Edinburgh Council / Malcolm Reading Consultants
Matt Shaw: Does architecture have a crisis of ideas? Why would we want to “hang” a skyscraper from an asteroid, and why are we taking this proposal seriously? The conflation of possibility and wild speculation harms the media’s credibility and creates the architectural equivalent of fake news...Where are the radical ideas that might spark our imagination...Where are the good ideas, and how can we help to get them into the discussion?- The Architect's Newspaper
reSITE 2017: In/visibleCity: focus on how the invisible shapes the visible in a city...a special emphasis on female architects and leaders to reflect the impacts of women on the future cities; June 22 - 23, Prague, Czech Republic- reSITE
Dwell on Design 2017, Los Angeles, June 23 - 25: ...brings together the brightest people, latest products, and curated content in modern design; new featured speaker series includes David Adjaye, Bruce Mau, etc.- Dwell magazine
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill sued over alleged theft of One World Trade Center design: This isn’t the first time that the firm has been accused of stealing designs for the Freedom Tower: ...alleging that [SOM's] design...is too similar to a design that he created in 1999 as a graduate student at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology. -- Jeehon Park/Qube Architecture [images]- Curbed New York
ANN feature: Michael J. Crosbie: Sitting Down with Kevin Roche: "I learned everything I know about architecture from Eero": "The most important thing one can achieve in any building is to get people to communicate with each other. That's really essential to our lives. We are not just individuals, we are part of a community."- ArchNewsNow.com
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