Today’s News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017
● We lose Albert Speer Jr., who "did not want to be compared to his father," and "aimed to make cities sustainable - fewer cars, shorter routes and vivid inner cities were always his goals."
● Wainwright (and others) bring us our eye-candy for the day - Heatherwick's Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa: its "guts certainly have the jaw-dropping, selfie-friendly wow factor" via "an awesome act of architectural mutilation - in one of his most audacious party tricks to date" (though the hotel portion - not so much: "a vision of gaudy opulence," like a show "of more money than taste").
● Heatherwick takes CNN on a tour of the Zeitz MOCAA via video and fab photos by Iwan Baan.
● He also gives AD a tour of the Zeitz MOCAA, "the heartbeat of the revitalized V&A Waterfront District": "It was part deconstruction, part archaeology" - and geodesic windows are "the closest he gets to the 'shiny object' stigma" (with more Baan beauties).
● Lloyd & Trembath bring us back to the realities of our hurricane- and monsoon-ravaged world: it's time to put politics aside and "get serious about adaptation - a push to invest in infrastructure, planning, and other safety measures to reduce our vulnerability should be a no-brainer to liberals and conservatives alike."
● Newkirk explains why the only way to protect a coastal metropolis "is to rethink it entirely": cities should be "using the fullness of human ingenuity not to trample the earth and replace natural with the artificial, but to engineer both nature and the city in a way that emphasizes their codependence."
● Hosey, amidst some scary statistics and more frightening renderings, strikes a hopeful note for Washington, DC's efforts to adapt to climate change, and how the city's newly appointed Chief Resilience Officer "hopes to create a new model of development that doesn't just survive flooding - it prospers in it."
● Goodman reports on ASLA's newly-launched climate panel that will result in comprehensive public-policy recommendations, with the hopes that policymakers will "look to innovative urban design as they select infrastructure investments to make communities more resilient."
● Two NYC neighborhoods severely affected by Hurricane Sandy get the "go-ahead for two new (and very different) rezoning plans": as the city "watches Houston and Miami begin the process of recovering from Harvey and Irma, it's clear that the need to build resilient cities is more urgent than ever."
● Ferriss minces no words when it comes to the word "resilience": it "has become the term of choice in a political atmosphere where climate change is the truth-that-shall-not-be-named": the problem is "resilience allows the wealthiest among us to give themselves a pat on the back."
● Sitz parses how architects in Texas and Florida are beginning assessment and rebuilding efforts, focusing on rebuilding and resiliency, and raising "familiar questions about land use and zoning, urbanization and sprawl, climate change, sea-level rise, and resilient design."
● Alofsin offers "four initiatives for architects post-Harvey" with a call to action: "After a summer of toxic politics and depressing social conflict, the challenge of Hurricane Harvey may provide a glimmer of the altruism we desperately need."
● Schwab parses a new study by the research institution Silent Spring, which "found dozens of harmful chemicals in newly renovated, LEED-certified low-income public housing in Boston" (maybe Google's green materials database Portico will catch on?).
● Grabar bemoans companies like Apple building "town squares because somebody has to provide the functions abandoned by the retreating public sphere - if we had not designed a society so friendly to the interests of corporations and their executives, we might still be able to provide those things ourselves."
● Budds ponders "the end of the High Line era" and "benefactor-led boutique urbanism": "This isn't to say ambitious designs are dead - only that this unilateral avenue to achieving them is fading away."
● An impressive group of architects and designers are taking on Tampa's (long over-due) $3 billion makeover with Water Street Tampa, a 53-acre mega development that will double the city's downtown footprint.
● Bentley parses three new developments that "could reshape Harvard Square - some local activists fear, for the worse" ("the most contentious property is also its smallest").
● Jeanne Gang takes home the 2017 Marcus Prize: $100,000 purse goes to support a design studio that could result in anything from research for publication to a built project.
● Zhang Ke is the first Chinese architect to win the Alvar Aalto Medal: "China is witnessing a culture revival, and what is needed the most is the respect of history and the urban environment."
● It's "a doozy of a shortlist" now vying to create an "Image Maker" landscape for Philly's airport (a doozy, indeed!).
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Obituary: Albert Speer Jr., famed architect and son of top Nazi, 83: His father...was the infamous chief architect behind Adolf Hitler's monumental ambitions. The son aimed to make cities sustainable: He did not want to be compared to his father, the prominent Nazi architect...[He] popularized the contemporary German architectonic style in China, but also in Saudi Arabia, Libya or Nepal, where he was able to realize his vision of an "ideal city"...Fewer cars, shorter routes and vivid inner cities were always Speer's goals. [images]- Deutsche Welle (Germany)
Oliver Wainwright: Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town: grain silo reborn as Africa's answer to Tate Modern: Thomas Heatherwick pulls off an awesome act of architectural mutilation - just don’t mention the luxury hotel upstairs: ...Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art’s guts certainly have the jaw-dropping, selfie-friendly wow factor...In one of his most audacious party tricks to date...a powerful piece of constructed archaeology...cultural anchor for...the V&A Waterfront’s “silo district”...now cluttered around the elegant concrete tower in a discordant symphony of competing cladding systems. -- VDMMA [images]- Guardian (UK)
Thomas Heatherwick transforms a South African grain silo into a striking new museum: Heatherwick takes CNN Style on a tour of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). [images by Iwan Baan + video]- CNN Style
Thomas Heatherwick Gives AD a Tour of the Zeitz MOCAA: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town...once a grain silo...marks a lot of firsts...the heartbeat of the revitalized V&A Waterfront District..."It was part deconstruction, part archaeology"...the closest Heatherwick gets to the “shiny object” stigma is a series of geodesic windows...Those, too, though, have their roots in the building’s past. -- Mat Cash/Heatherwick Studio [images by Iwan Baan]- Architectural Digest
Jason Lloyd & Alex Trembath: The Most Important Thing We Can Do to Prepare for Weather Extremes: Politics aside, it’s time to get serious about adaptation: ...we need to be honest about the problem...inadequate or unenforced land-use laws, imperfect evacuation procedures, and other lax planning often exacerbate the magnitude of Mother Nature’s destruction...A push to invest in infrastructure, planning, and other safety measures to reduce our vulnerability...should be a no-brainer to liberals and conservatives alike.- Slate
Vann R. Newkirk II: How To Build Hurricane-Proof Cities: In the age of climate change, the only way to protect the American coastal metropolis is to rethink it entirely: ...city planners and other officials have so far been able to ignore any kind of meaningful reckoning with nature...cities will have to be built in a way that goes against what appears to be their nature, using the fullness of human ingenuity not to trample the earth and replace natural with the artificial, but to engineer both nature and the city in a way that emphasizes their codependence.- The Atlantic
Lance Hosey: Washington Under Water: How will the capital city adapt to climate change? While designers’ visions for adapting to climate change aren’t always thoughtful...the best of them are brilliant...Climate Ready DC...report contains 77 action items...Kevin Bush, the city’s newly appointed Chief Resilience Officer...hopes to create a new model of development that doesn’t just survive flooding - it prospers in it. How does he plan to accomplish this? “Check back with me in a year.”- Huffington Post
Jennifer Goodman: Landscape Architects Launch Climate Panel: In the wake of two devastating hurricanes, the multidisciplinary group will meet this week to address resilient design strategies: American Society of Landscape Architects...to make comprehensive public-policy recommendations...ASLA will urge policymakers to look to innovative urban design as they select infrastructure investments to make communities more resilient...- Builder magazine
A tale of two flood zones: NYC nabes rezoned for new building and buy-outs: [Far Rockaway and Staten Island] heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy received City Council go-ahead for two new (and very different) rezoning plans...As New York approaches the 5th anniversary of Sandy and watches Houston and Miami begin the process of recovering from Harvey and Irma, it’s clear that the need to build resilient cities is more urgent than ever.- The Architect's Newspaper
Lucy Ferriss: I Am Not Resilient: ..."resilience" has become the term of choice in a political atmosphere where climate change is the truth-that-shall-not-be-named. Resilience is also a moral quality. By calling the response to a changing environment resilience, we can easily adopt a pattern of blaming the victim...Resilience, in other words, is the privilege of wealthy countries and communities that can afford to build sea walls, relocate industries, filter water, [etc.]...Resilience allows the wealthiest among us to give themselves a pat on the back.- The Chronicle of Higher Education
Miriam Sitz: Reeling from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Architects Focus on Rebuilding and Resiliency: Architects in Texas and Florida begin assessment and rebuilding efforts...The aftermath of the hurricanes has raised familiar questions about land use and zoning, urbanization and sprawl, climate change and sea-level rise, and, in the architecture community, resilient design. -- Catherine Callaway/Kirksey; Cheryl H. Jacobs/AIA Miami; Reinaldo Borges/Borges + Associates Architects; Ron Witte/WW Architects- Architectural Record
Op-Ed: Anthony Alofsin, FAIA: Four initiatives for architects post-Harvey: A call to action: Architects can and do have a direct advocacy impact at the levels of state, county, and city governments. We need to raise the questions that should be on the dockets when public entities confront rebuilding...After a summer of toxic politics and depressing social conflict, the challenge of Hurricane Harvey may provide a glimmer of the altruism we desperately need.- The Architect's Newspaper
Katharine Schwab: Are “Green” Buildings Killing Us? They might be energy efficient, but that doesn’t mean they’re free of toxic chemicals: ...nonprofit research institution Silent Spring...found dozens of harmful chemicals in newly renovated, LEED-certified low-income public housing in Boston...the study is proof that the building industry needs to dramatically shift how it thinks about health as an element of sustainability...so-called “green” public housing is even more harmful because it was specifically built for low-income people, who may not have the wherewithal to move.- Fast Company / Co.Design
Henry Grabar: Apple Is Building “Town Squares” Now, Because Somebody Has To: A store is not a town square...companies increasingly provide the functions abandoned by the retreating public sphere...If we didn’t have an Apple plaza, where would we sit? On the other hand, if we had not designed a society so friendly to the interests of corporations and their executives, we might still be able to provide those things ourselves.- Slate
Diana Budds: The End Of The High Line Era: ...billionaire-backed public spaces are on the outs: ...the end of an era of benefactor-led boutique urbanism...Pier 55 and the Garden Bridge riffed on the High Line model of public-private partnerships to build parks...The gentrification wrought by the High Line contributed to the criticism that the Garden Bridge and Pier 55 were designed by and for the affluent...This isn’t to say ambitious designs are dead - only that this unilateral avenue to achieving them is fading away. -- Thomas Heatherwick- Fast Company / Co.Design
Water Street: Downtown Tampa's $3 Billion Makeover Into A Modern Metropolis (Assisted By Bill Gates): ...getting an overdue waterfront district facelift...mega development...downtown footprint will double...53-acre mixed-use redevelopment will cover 9 million square feet in 18 distinct buildings...will create 3,500 new residential apartment and condominium units; 630 hotel rooms; an iconic cultural arts pavilion...new retail and cultural spaces; and...office space... -- CookFox Architects; Morris Adjmi Architects; Olson Kundig; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF); Gensler; Alfonso Architects; Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates (NBWW); Pickard Chilton; Baker Barrios; HOK; Roman & Williams; Cecconi Simone; Champalimaud [images]- Forbes
Chris Bentley: These three new developments could reshape Harvard Square: ...some local activists fear, for the worse...Perhaps the most contentious property...is also its smallest...has become a stand-in for a broader debate about the character of the neighborhood...Harvard Square Subway Kiosk was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, but its future remains unclear. -- Paulo Martins Barata/Luís Teixeira/Promontorio; Elizabeth Whittaker/Merge Architects [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Jeanne Gang announced as 2017 Marcus Prize Recipient: ...$100,000 reward goes to support a design studio led by the recipient at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning...studios have produced everything from large bodies of research for publication to a permanent park pavilion in Milwaukee. -- Studio Gang- The Architect's Newspaper
Chinese architect Zhang Ke wins 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal: The medalist impressed the jury with his sustainable architecture...In a time of political unrest worldwide, the medal should be dedicated to humanism in architecture..."China is witnessing a culture revival, and what is needed the most is the respect of history and the urban environment." -- ZAO/standardarchitecture- Xinhua News (China)
James Corner Field Operations, OLIN, West 8 among finalists to redesign Philly airport landscape: Five out of 23 design firms made the final cut: ...competition to redesign 130 acres of land around the airport - and it’s a doozy of a list...to create an “Image Maker” landscape... -- Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; Phyto Studio- Curbed Philadelphia
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