Today’s News - Thursday, July 20, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days; we'll be back Tuesday, July 25.
● ANN is pleased to announce the launch of "From the Treetops," a new series by Dreyfuss + Blackford's Silva (from one of the most tree-populated cities in the world); first up: "Sacramento is on the cusp of something big, building the city's economy around innovation and creativity. But innovation is only worthwhile if put to use."
● Ijeh is left underwhelmed and baffled by RIBA's 2017 Stirling Prize shortlist that "makes for an oddly pallid affair. Sadly great architecture is a commodity in short supply this year."
● RIBA's president, on the other hand, says the shortlist shows the "profession at top of its game" + judges' citations + lots and lots of pix - you be the judge.
● A San Francisco public library presents plans to "homeless-proof" its grounds with "defensive architecture" - King calls the proposal "yet another result of the tension of the balancing act between an open door and safe usage."
● If 20 of Ban's prototyped shelters for a refugee settlement in Kenya work out, another 19,980 will be built.
● Kamin gives us some skinny on a possible future for Kahn's "Point Counterpoint II": Chicago's missed opportunity could be a win for Kingston, N.Y.: "Wherever it lands, the most important thing is that Kahn's "music boat" survive and thrive."
● Early 19th-century (and beautiful) Afro-Brazilian architecture in Lagos is already lost or crumbling - or losing out to bulldozers.
● On a not much brighter note, the Avant-Garde Museum in Moscow commemorates the city's "neglected Soviet-era buildings as the government earmarks Constructivist buildings for demolition."
● Big plans in store for Philly's 30th Street Station; the proposal is open for public comment until July 26.
● Big plans for Memphis's Big Muddy with Studio Gang's vision "to re-link the city's downtown to the underutilized waterfront."
● Melbourne's Southbank art precinct is set to get six acres of new, green public space.
● A double-header at NYC's Center for Architecture: In "5x5 Participatory Provocations," 25 firms from all over have created models responding to themes like immigration, surveillance, and globalization (only 2 are sited in the city).
● "Kaneji Domoto at Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonia," also at the Center, explores his architecture in Pleasantville, NY, and includes materials "gathered from never-before-seen private archives."
● "Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical" at the Met Breuer explores his "extremely productive - and provocative - career."
● Martin finds "efficient beauty" in "The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945," an "engrossing exhibition" now at Tokyo's National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT).
● Kafka x 2: London Design Museum's "California: Designing Freedom" is a "generally well-rounded and entertaining exhibition," but "verges on too much [smiley face], with not quite enough [thinking face] (we can't do emojis here).
● He has a great Q&A with Minton re: "Big Capital: Who Is London For?" - a "comprehensive and eloquent analysis of London's housing crisis," and, post-Grenfell, "the role architects and activists will play in making better, safer cities for all."
● Pedersen queries Goldhagen re: "Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives" ("nothing less than a meticulously constructed argument for completely rethinking our way of looking at architecture"), and the state of architectural education.
● Kolson Hurley's (also great) Q&A with Goldhagen re: her book and "why so much architecture and urban design falls short of human needs."
● Byrnes's (also great) Q&A with Bozikovic re: "Toronto Architecture: A City Guide," and "his city's architectural ambitions since 1989."
● Davidson gives us a sip of his take on NYC as a "liquid city" with a waterfront walking tour: "Cities like New York rush toward the embrace of rising waters, confident that an ancient, if troubled love affair isn't over yet" (adapted from "Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York").
● Roke's "Mobitecture: Architecture on the Move" shows "madcap" mobile architecture can be fun, and also allows architects to quickly respond to challenging social issues.
● Gray pulls "political musings" from Frampton's "Wright's Writings: Reflections on Culture and Politics, 1894-1959" that chillingly portended today's political climate: "Our worst enemy now is this craven fear managed by conscienceless politicians."
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ANN feature: Jason A. Silva: From the Treetops #1: Sacramento: Unheralded City of the Future? Sacramento is on the cusp of something big, building the city's economy around innovation and creativity. But innovation is only worthwhile if put to use. -- Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
2017 Stirling Prize shortlist: Ike Ijeh's verdict: Once again, this year’s shortlist is a strangely underwhelming one...this year’s run-down still makes for an oddly pallid affair, as remarkable for what it does include as for what it doesn’t...Thankfully things improve with the three smaller nominees...Sadly, great architecture is a commodity in short supply in this year’s sterile shortlist. -- Reiach & Hall/Michael Laird Architects; RSHP/Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; dRMM; Baynes and Mitchell Architects; Groupwork/Amin Taha [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Stirling Prize shortlist shows "profession at top of its game": RIBA president Jane Duncan said: “This year’s shortlist typifies everything that is special about UK architecture" + Judges’ citations -- Groupwork/Amin Taha Architects; Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; Baynes and Mitchell Architects; Reiach & Hall Architects/Michael Laird Architects; dRMM; 6a architects [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
New design aims to ‘homeless-proof' San Francisco library: Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library...Landscape Architecture plan aimed at making the grounds safer. But critics say the designs are actually meant to push away the homeless with...so-called “defensive architecture” elements...John King calls the design proposal yet another result of the tension of urban living and the balancing act between an open door and safe usage. [link to images]- KTVU (California)
Shigeru Ban will design 20,000 shelters for a Kenyan refugee settlement: After visiting the Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement in Kenya...he has signed an agreement with UN-HABITAT...design will be prototyped on 20 shelters before expansion throughout the settlement.- The Architect's Newspaper
Blair Kamin: With push from Yo-Yo Ma, floating concert hall may end up in N.Y.: ...the chance to buy...Louis Kahn's "Point Counterpoint II"...came and went with the closing of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition in 2015...Officials and activists in...Kingston, N.Y...to discuss the possibility of transporting the vessel there...Wherever it lands, the most important thing is that Kahn's "music boat" survive and thrive.- Chicago Tribune
Lagos' Afro-Brazilian architecture faces down the bulldozers: The Brazilian quarter in Lagos is disappearing...The most pertinent ruin...is that of Iloja Bar...was the center of the community's social scene. It was recognized as a national monument. But in 2016 was bulldozed down, and is now just rubble. -- Peju Fatuyi [images]- CNN Africa
New space commemorates Moscow’s neglected Soviet-era buildings: Russian non-profit museum opens as government earmarks Constructivist buildings for demolition: ...the Avant-Garde Museum occupies a room in Na Shabolovke Gallery...located in the Khavsko-Shabolovsky housing complex built in the late 1920s by the rationalist Asnova (Association of New Architects). [images]- The Art Newspaper (UK)
Philadelphians: How should architects revamp 30th Street Station? ...plans for an integrated civic space surrounding [the station]...designed to decongest the area around the station and reinvigorate a historic railway, connecting it to other developments in the comprehensive plan and the adjacent Schuylkill River. -- FXFOWLE, !melk, and Arup; SHoP Architects; West 8 [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
The Big Muddy: Studio Gang envisions the future of Memphis’s Mississippi riverfront: ...a broad framework spanning six miles...designed to re-link the city’s downtown to the underutilized waterfront...to be a starting point for much larger changes for the city. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
City of Melbourne unveils $35-million plan for six acres of new public space: Draft images for...“greening” of inner-Melbourne have been revealed....10 key actions...include new urban design primed for flood mitigation; upgraded public transport...improved biodiversity...a “critical neighbourhood space” for Southbank art precinct...- Architecture & Design (Australia)
NYC’s dystopian future rendered in new Center for Architecture exhibit: What would the city look like without the existing zoning laws in place? In "5x5 Participatory Provocations," 25 American architecture firms were asked to create...models responding to themes like immigration, surveillance, globalization...While half of the selected firms are from New York City, only two chose to locate their proposals within the city. -- Julia van den Hout/Original Copy; Kyle May; Kevin Erickson [images]- Curbed New York
Center for Architecture [NYC] Celebrates the Life and Works of Domoto: "Kaneji Domoto at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia" explores his architecture in Pleasantville, New York's Usonia Historic District...was an opportunity to translate Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision into low-cost construction...includes [materials] gathered from never-before-seen private archives; thru August 26 -- Lynnette Widder/aardvarchitecture; Studio Joseph [images]- Architect Magazine
Met Breuer exhibit will explore Ettore Sottsass’s decades of works: "Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical" is a retrospective of Sottsass’s extremely productive - and provocative - career...perhaps best known for his work with Memphis...exemplified postmodern 1980s design; thru October 8 [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Colin Martin: Efficient beauty: "The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945": ...an exciting new touring exhibition that examines 70 years of house design in Japan since World War 2...an engrossing exhibition...curators emphasise how Japanese architects consistently critiqued social and economic changes...and designed innovative domestic solutions for the Japanese population’s changing lifestyles. National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT), Tokyo, thru October 29- ArchitectureNow (Architecture New Zealand)
George Kafka: London Design Museum’s “California” Shines Bright, Makes Few Waves: "California: Designing Freedom" explores the global ubiquity of Californian design and ideas in everyday life - but rarely dives deep: ...generally well-rounded and entertaining exhibition verges on too much [smiley face], with not quite enough [thinking face]; thru October 17 -- Justin McGuirk; Brendan McGetrick- Metropolis Magazine
George Kafka: This Must Be a Turning Point: Anna Minton on Housing Post-Grenfell: "Big Capital: Who Is London For?"...comprehensive and eloquent analysis of London’s housing crisis...has taken on an even greater significance...Q&A re: about London post-Grenfell and the role architects and activists will play in making better, safer cities for all.- Metropolis Magazine
Martin C. Pedersen: Sarah Williams Goldhagen on How the Brain Works and What It Means for Architecture: "Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives" is nothing less than a meticulously constructed argument for completely rethinking our way of looking at architecture...Q&A re: the book, the science, and the state of architectural education.- Common Edge
Amanda Kolson Hurley: This Is Your Brain on Architecture: In "Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives," Sarah Williams Goldhagen presents scientific evidence for why some buildings delight us and others - too many of them - disappoint: ...magisterial new book...Q&A re: why so much architecture and urban design falls short of human needs.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Mark Byrnes: Updating Toronto's Architecture Bible: Q&A with Alex Bozikovic, architecture critic and co-author of a guide to the city’s expansive building stock: ...discusses his city’s architectural ambitions since 1989 and how a new generation of Torontonians view the buildings that remain from past decades. -- Patricia McHugh; "Toronto Architecture: A City Guide"- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Justin Davidson: Liquid city: A New York waterfront walking tour: It's easy to forget...that New York City is made mostly of water...Greenery has sprung up in areas that once lay dank and useless, creating not just zones of leisure but buffers that...help cope with the effects of climate change...Cities like New York rush toward the embrace of rising waters, confident that an ancient, if troubled love affair isn't over yet. (adapted from "Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York") [images]- CNN
Madcap mobile architecture, a mirror reflecting bigger social issues: "Mobitecture: Architecture on the Move" by Rebecca Roke shows small, portable projects can both be fun and tackle larger design challenges: ...while may of these creations are whimsical and fun, perhaps more importantly...often allow architects to quickly respond to the social issues challenging contemporary society. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Audrey Gray: Frank Lloyd Wright on American Democracy’s Potential for “Mobocracy”: "Wright's Writings: Reflections on Culture and Politics, 1894–1959," edited by Kenneth Frampton, collects Wright's prolific writings, including various political musings on the potential for Americans to lose their freedoms: ...wrote compellingly about democracy, its challenges, and the need for its constant maintenance and revitalization. Here’s a taste of his thoughts on the subject.- Metropolis Magazine
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