Today’s News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017
● Marshall ponders the "collapse of London's Garden Bridge dream," and considers how best to "emulate Manhattan's High Line": "Done wrong, High Lines could become the latest in a long list of urban design failures."
● Meanwhile, London's mayor is "very angry" that "more than £46 million of public money has effectively been squandered" on the now-never-to-be-built Garden Bridge across the Thames (Boris Johnson is none too pleased).
● The Garden Bridge Trust's Davies thinks the "mayor has let many people down" over the "ambitious, beautiful, free to use" bridge, "yet I still hope that one day the Garden Bridge will happen."
● Five years after the Christchurch quake, the architects and planners of the city's rebuild blueprint "stand by their plan," even though only three of the numerous anchor projects are completed (perhaps "the blueprint team could have asked for more time") + Anchor projects progress report.
● Florida's building codes, "once hailed as the gold standard other states should emulate, are under assault" by the state Building Commission "dominated by home builders and contractors," and a new law that "untethers Florida's code from ICC standards" (Hurricane season? Climate change? Aw pshaw).
● A look at who could be blamed when building materials fail: just about anyone associated with a project - "for the architect, it's all about documentation" (especially when it comes to value engineering).
● Kotkin & Cox "expose America's great mass transit hoax": it's time to "jettison the quasi-religious affection for rail transit" and "wasting billions of dollars to serve an urban theology popular among planners, speculators and engineering firms."
● Meanwhile, we'll find out later today what's in Trump's infrastructure executive order - "details of just how that plan would be executed have been slow in coming."
● Kimmelman is quite taken by DS+R/Rockwell's Shed at NYC's Hudson Yards: "this faintly quaint, eloquently designed contraption" is "more aesthetic and functional than the clunky, pointless climbing gym" by Heatherwick, "the gifted but unreliable British showman."
● EC3's (very cool) collection of lightweight Quonset huts dubbed True North Detroit is a "live-work prefab development for the city's growing creative class" (with more planned).
● It looks like Gehry's $1-billion Grand Avenue project in Los Angeles, in the works for over a decade, might see shovels hit the dirt next year.
● Some Apple employees "are reportedly unhappy with workspaces" in the new Foster-designed $5 billion campus - they "want the cubicles and old offices they left behind."
● Loew parses Columbus, Indiana, "the Midwest town that designs above its weight," and new initiatives that "may cultivate its reputation for years to come."
● A rather brutal day for Brutalism: Vartanian is aghast at a recent photo of the "hideous blue building" now attached to Rudolph's Orange County Government Center: it "looks like a tacky condo - or maybe a tiny IKEA store" - it is "a special type of building that makes you want to scream."
● Not all are pleased with Parry's plans to replace an "outstanding" Brutalist parking garage in London: it "has a distinctive geometric motif, placing it at the 'lighter' end of the Brutalist spectrum" (but doesn't "compare well with 'more striking buildings in the Pop Art movement'" - oh really?).
● It will cost about half-a-mil to turn San Francisco's Vaillancourt Fountain (the "fountain everyone hates") back on: "Apparently, restoring the gratuitous geyser to working order is not so simple as turning a tap."
● Desmarais makes the case for why the "cockeyed concrete tangle" that is the Vaillancourt Fountain ("Temko insisted must have been 'deposited by a concrete dog with square intestines'") "deserves respect - and water."
● A round-up of 41 buildings that might just be "the world's ugliest. Fans of Brutalism, be warned: you might disagree with some of our choices."
● On a much brighter note: Canadian Architect's second annual round-up of Canada's top emerging talent (great presentations).
● Artsy talks to Kalman and Al-Sabouni about the future of Aleppo, and "Future Aleppo," a Syrian boy's hand-built a model of what his hometown might look like after the civil war - there's only a few more days to see it in Los Angeles.
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Colin Marshall: Want to join New York's High Line crowd? Don't listen to Joanna Lumley: With the collapse of London’s Garden Bridge dream, the pitfalls of urban renewal projects are more apparent than ever. So how do you emulate Manhattan’s High Line without sparking gentrification or turning your city into Disney World? -- Joshua David; Robert Hammond; Thomas Heatherwick; Winy Maas/MVRDV; James Corner Field Operations- Guardian (UK)
'Very angry': Sadiq Khan hits back at Garden Bridge Trust: London’s mayor has criticised Transport for London’s procurement process [and] the loss of millions of pounds after the £200 million [project] was officially scrapped: ...more than £46 million of public money...has effectively been squandered on the unbuilt link across the Thames.-- Thomas Heatherwick/ Heatherwick Studio; Arup- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Mervyn Davies/Garden Bridge Trust: The Mayor has let many people down over the Garden Bridge: Ambitious beautiful, free to use and open all year, [it] would have been a new kind of public space in the city: a spectacular public garden providing unique ways to experience the city and the Thames. -- Thomas Heatherwick; Arup; Dan Pearson- Evening Standard (UK)
Five years on, architects of Christchurch rebuild blueprint stand by their plan: They would not revisit any aspect of it...According to the original timeline, every anchor project...should have been finished by March...Three projects are complete...lots of projects could have been better with public consultation + Anchor projects progress report. -- Peter Marshall/Warren and Mahoney; Garth Falconer; Barnaby Bennett [images]- Stuff (New Zealand)
As Hurricane Andrew memories fade, Florida weakens building codes: The intense Category 5 hurricane...was so catastrophic that it led to sweeping changes...building codes once hailed as the gold standard other states should emulate are under assault...alarm bells went up all over the state capital...passed a new law that untethers Florida's code from International Code Council (ICC) standards...- USA Today
When building materials fail, who's to blame? ...designers, contractors, manufacturers and supply houses associated with a project could be found liable: For the architect, it’s all about documentation...when it comes to value engineering...the architect should include their objections to any changes in the project file.- Construction Dive
Joel Kotkin & Wendell Cox: Will Donald Trump Expose America’s Great Mass Transit Hoax? Despite the vast sums spent by the federal government...since 1970, most mass transit systems fail to meet the needs of commuters...we need to jettison the quasi-religious affection for rail transit...The current trend of wasting billions of dollars to serve a urban theology may be popular among planners, speculators and engineering firms. It hasn’t been particularly helpful to the people who need to get...from one place to another.- The Daily Beast
Trump to sign infrastructure executive order today: ...covering the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects...More details on the content of the order are expected this afternoon...details of just how that plan would be executed have been slow in coming.- Construction Dive
Michael Kimmelman: Have You Seen This? ...the Shed, an art and performance space that will become the latest spectacle along New York’s High Line...In its scale, this faintly quaint, eloquently designed contraption aspires to conjure up the spirit of those 19th-century exemplars of elegant engineering...becomes a kind of kinetic sculpture, more aesthetic and functional than the clunky, pointless climbing gym...from Thomas Heatherwick...It is also more inspiring. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfrop; Rockwell Group [images, video]- New York Times
A live-work prefab development for Detroit’s growing creative class: ...True North Detroit, a half-acre live-work community...nine lightweight prefabricated Quonset huts...Far from the massive developments happening in the city’s downtown, projects like [this] attempt to add to the city in more elegant way. As such, [it] is the first of an iterative plan...to build on another seven acres in the neighborhood. -- Edwin Chan/EC3 [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Surprise: Grand Avenue Project Files for Construction Permits: Long-awaited Frank Gehry-designed project scheduled to break ground in 2018: ...$1-billion mixed-use complex across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall...The latest iteration...which has been proposed for well over a decade, calls for the construction of two high-rise buildings...replacing an infamous "tinker-toy" parking structure. [images]- Urbanize LA (Los Angeles, California)
Rumor Has It: Some Apple employees are reportedly unhappy with workspaces in the new $5 billion Apple Campus: ...some employees reportedly want the cubicles and old offices they left behind...It is doubtful that Apple anticipated this response...but this conflict continues the ongoing discussion surrounding collaborative and progressive workspaces. -- Foster + Partners- The Architect's Newspaper
Karen Loew: The Midwest Town That Designs Above Its Weight: "Columbus" stars a cast of stunning mid-century buildings across the small Indiana city...New initiatives may cultivate its reputation for years to come: Columbus is a growing workshop for those who may fashion the next generation of public space. -- T. Kelly Wilson/3HG+; Eero Saarinen; I.M. Pei; Harry Weese; Kevin Roche; Deborah Berke- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Hrag Vartanian: How to Destroy a Brutalist Masterpiece Without Demolishing It: The newly renovated Orange County Government Center is a special type of building that makes you want to scream: ...looks like a tacky condo...or maybe it looked like a tiny IKEA store; either way, just no...hideous blue building...standing in the way of a much better building. I guess we can just look at this and meditate on the state of the world. Let’s just be thankful buildings can’t tweet. -- Paul Rudolph; Clark Patterson Lee [images]- Hyperallergic
Eric Parry hotel to replace 'outstanding' Brutalist car park: Westminster City Council approves proposals to demolish 1970s landmark for 206-room development: ...car park...has a distinctive geometric motif, placing it at the “lighter” end of the Brutalist spectrum. It was denied listed status...it did not compare well with “more striking and slightly earlier commercial buildings in the Pop Art movement.” -- Michael Blampied and Partners [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
It will cost $500K to turn on Embarcadero fountain everyone hates: The city shut down Vaillancourt Fountain to conserve water during the drought: Many people probably don’t even know the name of this circa 1971 construction...but everybody recognizes it. For better or for worse, it’s one of San Francisco’s most visible pieces of public art...Apparently, restoring the gratuitous geyser to working order is not so simple as turning a tap. -- Armand Vaillancourt [images]- Curbed San Francisco
Charles Desmarais: Vaillancourt Fountain deserves respect - and water: ...that cockeyed concrete tangle...on the edge of Justin Herman Plaza. The one that...Allan Temko insisted must have been “deposited by a concrete dog with square intestines"...sprawling, lifeless skeleton in its current dry state...We are the heirs to a memorial that, encountered as it was designed to be, animates a moment in art and history that cannot be re-created. -- Armand Vaillancourt; Lawrence Halprin (1971) [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Are these the world's ugliest buildings? Architectural eyesores in Britain, America and beyond. Fans of Brutalism, be warned: you might disagree with some of our choices. [images]- Telegraph (UK)
Emerging Talent: Our second annual round-up of Canada's top emerging designers: Launching a design firm is, in itself, a design exercise. -- 1×1 architecture; Acre Architects; Atelier rzlbd; Chad Manley Practice in Landscape and Building Arts; est architecture; Office OU; PARKA Architecture & Design; PARTISANS; PLOTNONPLOT; Ply Architecture; RHAD Architects; Sixteen Degree Studio; SPECTACLE Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism; Studio North [images]- Canadian Architect
DnA/Avishay Artsy: Future Aleppo and The Battle for Home: A Syrian boy hand-built a model of what his hometown might look like after the country’s civil war, and now “Future Aleppo” is on display in Los Angeles; Skirball Cultural Center thru August 20 -- Mohammed Qutaish; Alex Kalman/Mmuseumm; Marwa Al-Sabouni [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Nuts + Bolts #15: From Adversary to Partner: Managing Relationships in Construction Projects: Three core practices to help keep the peace while keeping a project moving forward. By Lisa Anders, LEED AP- ArchNewsNow.com
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