Today’s News - Wednesday, August 9, 2017
● Katz & Nowak parse how U.S. cities "are terrible at managing their public assets," and a new book "promoting a third alternative - public ownership that relies on professional, private-sector management" (see Davidson's take on NYC's public-private partnership pilot program for public housing - click "Yesterday's News").
● Swope reports on a gathering in NYC of 80 chief resilience officers - "they're part of a pop-up global community that views itself as a movement."
● Scruggs' Q&A with TU Delft's Roberto Rocco re: a new initiative to figure out how to teach the New Urban Agenda - "new teaching points might be in order."
● Hume considers "why Toronto remains an underachiever" - it "may be the most important city in Canada. But that hasn't stopped its tendency to self-destruct" (millennials to the rescue?).
● DeWolf, meanwhile, cheers Montreal's transformation by architects "changing the face of the city with a series of truly creative projects - without the lavish budgets, starchitects, or international fanfare."
● Not everyone is pleased with Disney's Val d'Europe, a "pseudo-Paris near Paris" complete with "a cluster of imitation belle époque housing blocks surrounding a giant shopping center": "a privatized space run by a multinational corporation" is "the death of the public city."
● Despite warnings that it could lose its UNESCO World Heritage site status, Liverpool "green-lights more towers" (oh joy).
● On a brighter note, Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens sports a new theatrical pavilion that is "more air than material - the architecture successfully cedes its identity to the surrounding elements."
● SOM wins bid to master-plan Sri Lanka's 2.9 billion square-foot (yes, that's a "b") Port City Colombo that will "establish the city as a cultural center for commerce and tourism in South Asia."
● We cheer the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (finally) designating the Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Catalog Room as interior landmarks (now, only 11 more rooms to go!).
● Brussat was blown away by the Nave of Yale's Sterling Memorial Library when it was "covered with the grime and soot of the ages," and (finally) cheers Helpern's meticulous restoration and "cagey ability" for disguise.
● A round-up of the 9 "most audacious museum designs," from 1892 to 2016, that were never built, but "let you delve into alternative histories."
● Menking tries to pry info from the U.S. State Department re: why no curator has yet been named for the U.S. pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale pavilion: "it seems gears are in motion," but "the clock is ticking."
● Yours for $15 million: a private island and two Frank Lloyd Wright-attributed houses, accessible only by boat or aircraft (helipad included - we'll take it!).
● Sisson x 2 from the "The Modernist Next Door" series: Goff's "eccentric" and "otherworldly creations" (definitely click through to 1951 Life magazine feature!).
● He profiles Arthur T. Brown, Tucson's "humble" desert modernist whose simple structures were "filled with pioneering - and sadly underappreciated - examples of environmentally aware architecture."
Two we couldn't resist:
● The "new push to send astronauts to Mars" has given "new urgency" to the architectural challenge to keep "Martians and noon-dwellers sane - reminders of home will be necessary."
● A look at the "darker side" of the total solar eclipse on August 21: "Visitors to some small cities are expected to equal half of entire state populations" (Massive traffic jams! "Prepare to use old-school means of communication!" We're doomed!).
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Bruce Katz & Jeremy Nowak: The Untapped Wealth of American Cities: Compared to counterparts overseas, cities in the U.S. are terrible at managing their public assets: The left fetishizes government; the right fetishizes markets. The battle between these two sides poses a false choice...There is a better way, teased out in detail..."The Public Wealth of Cities" by Dag Detter and Stefan Folster...promoting a third alternative...public ownership that relies on professional, private-sector management.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Christopher Swope: Transition time for chief resilience officers: Now, there are more than 80 “CROs” around the world - and the number is growing...their roles are already changing in some cities even as they just begin taking root in others...four goals for what comes next for cities and CROs in the [Rockefeller Foundation’s] 100 Resilient Cities network...they’re part of a pop-up global community that views itself as a movement.- Citiscope.org
Gregory Scruggs: How do you teach the New Urban Agenda? A new initiative at TU Delft seeks to figure out what’s most relevant for students: With the ranks of university urbanism, planning, architecture and design programmes swelling...new teaching points might be in order. Q&A with Roberto Rocco/Department of Urbanism at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. -- Urban Thinkers Campus- Citiscope.org
Christopher Hume: Why Toronto remains an underachiever - and why it won't last: Toronto may be the most important city in Canada...But that hasn’t stopped its tendency to self-destruct...millennials...will be the ones who take this city to the next level...They expect more from the city. They just need the power to get it.- Toronto Star
Christopher DeWolf: Montreal - Getting creative: Montreal’s transformation isn’t about lavish budgets or iconic projects. Instead architects are changing the face of the city with a series of truly creative projects: A vast yet understated investment in cultural institutions and tourist infrastructure is taking place...without the lavish budgets, starchitects or international fanfare. -- Lapointe Magne & associés; Diamond Schmitt Architects; Provencher Roy; Lemay; Ædifica; Atelier TAG; Henri Cleinge [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
We’ll always have Val d’Europe: Disney has built a pseudo-Paris near Paris: The world’s greatest simulacrum company finally outdoes itself: the company’s most ambitious faux Paris is...down the road...a cluster of imitation belle époque housing blocks...surrounding a giant shopping centre...not everyone is pleased...a privatised space run by a multinational corporation. It is“the death of the public city”. -- Brian Shea; Hacène Belmessous/“The New French Happiness, or The World According to Disney”- The Economist (UK)
Liverpool green-lights more towers: ...approved the construction of 31-storey and 15-storey residential blocks a short distance from the historic Pier Head area just weeks after a warning that its UNESCO World Heritage site status was under threat. -- Brock Carmichael Architects; Hodder & Partners; Falconer Chester Hall Architects [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
A lens in the landscape: the Royal Botanic Gardens’ new architectural centrepiece: The theatricality of the Calyx’s presence is a perfect fit for its form...More air than material, the architecture successfully cedes its identity to the surrounding elements. -- PTW Architects; McGregor Coxall Landscape Architects [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
SOM Wins Port City Colombo Master Plan International Design Competition: The 2.9 billion square-foot development will be completed in 2041: ...establish the city as a cultural center for commerce and tourism in South Asia...project exhibited a sincere consideration of the ecological and cultural environment of Sri Lanka. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Grant Associates [images]- Architect Magazine
New York Public Library Rose Main Reading Room [and Bill Blass Catalog Room] Gets Interior Landmarks Designation: ...campaign sprang from the fierce controversy surrounding Foster + Partners 2012 plan...Already, some groups are planning to renew their requests for designation of the 11 rooms ignored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s recent action. -- Carrère & Hastings (1911); Mecanoo; Beyer Blinder Belle- Architectural Record
David Brussat: The old new Nave at Yale: The Nave of Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library...was meticulously restored by Helpern Architects in 2014...I visited in 2010 ...Although covered with the grime and soot of the ages, it blew me away then...Helpern’s cagey ability to disguise utilitarian features...within the nooks and crannies of detailed embellishment. [images]- Architecture Here and There
From a Guadalajara Guggenheim to Liverpool’s ‘Cloud’: The 9 Most Audacious Museum Designs That Were Never Built: These never-built museum designs let you delve into alternative histories, parallel presents, and speculative futures. -- Myefski Architects (2016); Franklin Webster Smith (1892); Rem Koolhaas/OMA (2000); Enrique Norten/TEN Arquitectos (2005); Zaha Hadid (2008); Ahrends, Burton, and Koralek (1982); Frank Gehry (1984); Oscar Niemeyer (1955); Will Alsop (2003) [images]- artnet News
William Menking: The U.S. currently has no curator for its Venice Biennale pavilion - and the clock is ticking: The announcement...typically happens a full two years before the event...The 2018 Biennale will open on May 26, 2018, and there hasn’t been any word on who’s been selected...we contacted the State Department...it seems gears are in motion but a decision has not yet been “formalized.”- The Architect's Newspaper
A Private Island and Two Frank Lloyd Wright–Attributed Houses Hit the Market: Accessible only by boat or aircraft, the 11-acre Petra Island, along with a guest house [Chahroudi Cottage] designed and built by the late architect as well as a residence inspired by his design, is on the market for $15 million. -- Thomas A. Heinz [images]- Architect Magazine
Patrick Sisson: Bruce Goff: Organic architecture and folk art fantasies: A self-taught designer, Goff generated eccentric, exciting works beyond categorization: On first glance, his otherworldly creations - made from a grab bag of materials including goose feathers, walls of coal, dime-store ashtrays...made it hard to look away. [images]- Curbed
Patrick Sisson: Arthur T. Brown: Tucson’s desert modernist: The humble architect’s stripped-down style presaged passive solar design: ...he rarely let manmade ornamentation get in the way, crafting simple structures finely attuned to the rhythms of the sun and seasons...also filled with pioneering - and sadly underappreciated - examples of environmentally aware architecture. [images]- Curbed
How Space-Based Design Will Keep Martians and Moon-Dwellers Sane: Reminders of home will be necessary: Architects and designers have been contemplating how we will live in alien environments for a while now; but the new push to send astronauts to Mars has lent this question new urgency. -- Jessie Andjelic/Spectacle Bureau of Architecture and Urbanism; Brian Boigon/Interopera [images]- Motherboard
The Darker Side of This Summer's Total Solar Eclipse: Visitors to some small cities are expected to equal half of entire state populations: ...12 states along the path of totality are expected to be inundated with visitors....Here are some of the biggest contingencies cities and visitors should be prepared for: Prepare to use old-school means of communication.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
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