Today’s News - Tuesday, September 26, 2017
● OMA's de Graaf ponders architecture and climate change: "What is at stake is not so much how to find solutions in our struggle against the elements, but why we are at war with the elements in the first place - perhaps we should abandon the notion that our built environment is permanent" (it's not as radical as it sounds).
● Pskowski, a journalist and researcher based in Mexico City, tells us how the city's architecture center became the headquarters for architects and engineers "looking to help and determine why some buildings suffered more spectacularly than others" (the day "Mexico City: 1985 Earthquake" was set to open).
● Pedersen offers a fascinating Q&A with building researcher Orfield re: why architecture seems to be "afraid of science": "The problem is that science and design don't have a common language" - science is mostly foreign to architects because it's not taught in schools to begin with.
● Florida considers Amazon HQ2, Google, etc., a new study, and "what the new urban anchors owe their cities - the last decade has given rise to a troubling pattern of 'winner-take-all urbanism.'"
● Seattle's Westneat offers a heads-up to "Dear Other North American City" vying for the Amazon HQ2: "Take it from us: With Amazon, you can get too much of a good thing - it's is about to detonate a prosperity bomb in your town" (not a good thing).
● Holder, Schneider & Boone parse the pros and cons for 6 long-shot and likely cities vying for the Amazon HQ2, and which "which cities fit into the Goldilocks Zone."
● Wilson tackles the hurdles of achieving affordable housing for all: it requires "a shift in attitudes from governments, curbing speculation, and embracing advances in construction technology" - it must be seen as "a community investment, rather than a burden."
● O'Sullivan parses a proposed plan to build 2,500 homes on a patch of Copenhagen's "wildlife-rich," boggy grassland that "highlights a flaw in the city's much-praised approach to balancing its books" (it seems there is a happy ending).
● Big plans for a big, "ambitious" mixed-use project adjacent to one of Johannesburg's natural greenbelts: the whole precinct is targeting Green Star certification under the Green Building Council South Africa's new Green Star Sustainable Precincts tool.
Of parks, playfulness, bruised egos, memorials, and highways to heaven (or not):
● de Monchaux offers a cautionary tale about projects like Pier 55, the High Line, and Garden Bridge, and "how parks lose their playfulness when cities rely on private donors" (it all goes back to Washington Square Park, its 1958 rescue, and its 2004 restoration - now it "doesn't do its job as well as it did").
● Bagli and Pogrebin delve deep into Pier 55, "billionaires, bruised egos," and the death of Diller's Grand Project: it "demonstrates some of the dangers of turning over funding of city infrastructure to individuals with deep pockets but, perhaps, thinner skins."
● Meadowcroft, meanwhile, weighs is on the "whole tapestry of mess" surrounding Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial that is "like some sort of over-enthusiastic temple complex for Osiris" (Leigh says we're heading "into the swamp of memorial sprawl").
● Now, only Trump "can save good taste and decency in D.C.," by putting kibosh on Gehry's "impressionistic metal-wrought doodle" ("the president's penchant for petty grievance might come in handy here" - though Betsy DeVos calls it "gorgeous").
● Neafsey considers "why we seem to habitually design memorial landscapes for indelible permanence in the first place - might there be virtue in designing certain memorial landscapes to allow for a degree of fluidity and change?"
● Saffron on Philly's "struggle to figure out what the Benjamin Franklin Parkway should be," and the city (finally) taking on "a study to develop a management strategy" (but "don't expect it to be transformed overnight").
● Brey sees a glimmer of hope in plans for a new 8-acre park to connect Philly to its waterfront "after decades of damage caused by one highway" - but "zooming out a bit, things still look sort of bleak."
● Litt has high hopes for Cleveland's "Thrive 105-93" plan for 7 miles of new streetscapes and public amenities that "could spur redevelopment," but "inevitably raise fears about gentrification" ("integrating higher income newcomers and de-concentrating poverty" would help).
● Bliss doesn't see a lot of bliss about Portland's proposed "grass-capped highway expansion in a gentrifying neighborhood": it's not much more than "a bit of green garnish on an old, bad, idea."
● How did we miss Park(ing) Day this year (gasp!) - definitely worth a look!
● A gracious gift to PennDesign launches an annual $50,000 Student Prize, and a Professional Medal for Excellence for "an under-recognized architect who has changed the course of design history."
● One we couldn't resist (so much for Active Design Guidelines): "Chinese man who was 'too tired' to climb stairs gets private lift" (a.k.a. "dumbest elevator") to his 6th floor flat (without permission).
To subscribe to the free daily newsletter
Reinier de Graaf: How Architecture Should Adapt to Climate Change: Confronted with the fragility of our structures - and the ever-growing power of the elements they face - we start asking questions, search for solutions and, inevitably, turn to architects for answers...What is at stake is not so much how to find solutions in our struggle against the elements, but why we are at war with the elements in the first place...perhaps we should abandon the notion that our built environment is permanent. That idea is a lot less radical than it sounds... -- Office for Metropolitan Architecture /OMA- Time Magazine
Martha Pskowski: A Brigade of Architects and Engineers Rushed to Assess Earthquake Damage in Mexico City: La Casa del Arquitecto became the headquarters for highly skilled urbanists looking to help and determine why some buildings suffered more spectacularly than others. -- El Colegio de Arquitectos- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Martin C. Pedersen: A Top Building Researcher Asks: Why is Architecture Afraid of Science? Steven J. Orfield on why architectural research is so bad...how he would introduce it into the schools, and his work in the field of universal design: "The problem is that science and design don’t have a common language...It’s foreign to them...Neuroscience is an extremely limited, low resolution tool, and architecture is trying to use it for an extremely high-resolution set of problems...eventually it will be an interesting tool..." -- Orfield Laboratories- Common Edge
Richard Florida: What the New Urban Anchors Owe Their Cities: Corporations like Google and Amazon reap the spoils of winner-take-all urbanism. Here’s how they can also bear greater responsibility: ...the last decade has given rise to a troubling pattern of “winner-take-all urbanism”...Our study identifies four key pillars that anchors can and must adopt in the quest for inclusive urban prosperity.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Danny Westneat: Take it from us: With Amazon, you can get too much of a good thing: ...another North American city is salivating to get what some call the greatest economic growth engine in history. Caution: Here it blew some people right out of the city: Dear Other North American City: ...heads up...Amazon is about to detonate a prosperity bomb in your town. It’s the perfect phrase, as it covers both the yin and the yang of what’s about to happen to you.- Seattle Times
Sarah Holder, Benjamin Schneider & Alastair Boone: The Ultimate List of Top Contenders for Amazon's HQ2: We sorted through the longshots and likely contenders so you don’t have to: ...which cities fit into the Goldilocks Zone: not so prosperous that they are experiencing an acute housing crisis, but successful enough to have a deep talent pool and attractive urban leisure scene.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Barry Wilson: Affordable housing for all? Only with a shift in attitudes from governments, including in Hong Kong: ...ensuring adequate housing, as set out in the UN development goals, will require not only greater supply but also curbing speculation, as well as embracing advances in construction technology and new platforms like the sharing economy: ...governments...must see affordable housing provision for all as a community investment, rather than a burden.- South China Morning Post
Feargus O'Sullivan: A Challenge to Copenhagen's Model of Development: A battle over a city park highlights a flaw in the city’s much-praised approach to balancing its books: ...has highlighted some possible flaws in the sustainability of the model [it] uses to develop itself...a rare wild patch...an unlikely plot for the proposed 2,500 homes...last-minute decision to find an alternative site...reveals...When it comes to protecting the environment as a green champion, [the city] is sometimes prepared to put its money where its mouth is.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Green star certification a possibility for Sandton Gate precinct: ...an ambitious mixed-use development...in a connected, green, pedestrian-friendly precinct...targeting a Green Star certification for the whole precinct under the Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA) new Green Star Sustainable Precincts tool... -- Boogertman + Partners; Solid Green- Property Wheel (South Africa ]
Thomas de Monchaux: How Parks Lose Their Playfulness: When cities rely on private donors, we end up with sterile, controlled environments: The quintessential case study is the slow diminishment of Washington Square Park...The greatest success of parks and plazas is not in some efficient, one-to-one mapping of activities to facilities, or in the controlled consumption of culture, but in the ways that, as a matter of policy and design, they encourage the taking of liberties. -- Heatherwick Studio- New York Times
Charles V. Bagli and Robin Pogrebin: Billionaires, Bruised Egos, and the Death of a Grand Project: Barry Diller was about to win the battle for his $250 million arts pier [Pier 55], but then came the ‘petty questions’ from his opponents and he decided to pull the plug: ...ended a six-year saga that had cost $40 million before construction had started in earnest...stalled in the courts by a tiny band of activists...demonstrates some of the dangers of turning over funding of city infrastructure to individuals with deep pockets but, perhaps, thinner skins. -- Thomas Heatherwick- New York Times
Micah Meadowcroft: A Whole Tapestry of Mess: Time is running out to save the Eisenhower Memorial: There is a part of me that would like to be able to laugh about the - legally speaking probably imminent but temporally speaking still a ways off - proposed memorial...like some sort of over-enthusiastic temple complex for Osiris...Catesby Leigh said, "The further away we get from symbolically oriented design the further we stray into the swamp of memorial sprawl. Gehry's design is exhibit A." No joke. -- Frank Gehry; Justin Shubow/National Civic Art Society- Washington Free Beacon
Drunk History: Frank Gehry's proposed Eisenhower monument is an impressionistic metal-wrought doodle of the cliffs of Normandy. Ike would have hated it: Now only Trump, who’ll have to OK the $150 million it will cost to build, can save good taste and decency in D.C.’s monumental core. The president’s penchant for petty grievance might come in handy here...Gehry despises Donald Trump. -- Catesby Leigh; Justin Shubow/National Civic Art Society- The Weekly Standard
Jessica Neafsey: America’s Memorials Can Be Designed to Evolve: Confederate monuments and other long-tolerated symbols of racism are beginning to be expelled from America’s civic landscapes...it is worth a significant pause to consider why we seem to habitually design memorial landscapes for indelible permanence in the first place? ...might there be virtue in designing certain memorial landscapes to allow for a degree of fluidity and change? -- Jay Blue Design- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Inga Saffron: After a century, Philadelphia struggles to figure out what the Benjamin Franklin Parkway should be: Is it [the city's] signature cultural destination? A made-for-television event space? A gorgeous highway...Or a Central Park for all residents to enjoy? Whichever you prefer, the Parkway fails at all of them...The city has finally...embarked on a study to develop a management strategy...don’t expect [it] to be transformed overnight. -- Jacques Gréber (1917); David Brownlee; Harris Steinberg [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Jared Brey: How I-95 broke Philly’s waterfront (and what the city is doing to fix it): Philly is dreaming big and small along the Delaware River after decades of damage caused by one highway: The new eight-acre park...is designed so that even the pedestrian who passes by...will recognize it as a waterfront park...it's easy to get excited about the future of the waterfront. Zooming out a bit, things still look sort of bleak. -- Hargreaves Associates; redsquare; Harris Steinberg- Curbed Philadelphia
Steven Litt: New 'Thrive 105-93' plan shows room for plenty of growth on Cleveland's impoverished East Side: Investing $80 million in new streetscapes and public amenities along seven miles of East 105th...could spur redevelopment...plan is filled with bird's-eye views of bustling future development zones...inevitably raise fears about gentrification...city could accommodate growth while integrating higher income newcomers and de-concentrating poverty. -- AECOM [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Laura Bliss: Portland Prepares for the Freeway Fight of the Century: A grass-capped highway expansion in a gentrifying neighborhood? Sounds familiar: Oregon has joined the growing list of states pushing highway expansion projects on rather disingenuous grounds...Even with a bike path on it, the I-5 will still be an interstate...This battle over a grassy highway covering - a bit of green garnish on an old, bad, idea - will not be the last the U.S. will see.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Here are some of our favorite PARK(ing) Day interventions: ...pocket parklets popped up across the country for Rebar Group‘s 2017 PARK(ing) Day – now a beloved tradition...a charming, temporary form of urban acupuncture expanding public and green space. -- Site Design Group; Hord Coplan Macht; Landscape Architecture Bureau (LAB); AHBE LAB; Weisman Design Group; Daniel Woodroofe Group [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
With $1.25 Million Alumna Gift, PennDesign Launches $50,000 Student Prize and Professional Medal for Architecture: Kanter Tritsch Prize in Energy and Architectural Innovation will be awarded annually...to a second-year student pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at PennDesign...Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design will be awarded annually...to an under-recognized architect who has changed the course of design history...- PennDesign News (University of Pennsylvania School of Design)
Chinese man who was ‘too tired’ to climb stairs gets private lift to sixth floor flat: Family’s ‘dumbest elevator’ prompts complaints from neighbours and investigation by planning authorities.- South China Morning Post
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window.
External news links are not endorsed by ArchNewsNow.com.
Free registration may be required on some sites.
Some pages may expire after a few days.
© 2017 ArchNewsNow.com