Today’s News - Thursday, October 12, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: A very stuffed news day! But you'll have lots of time to take it all in. Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, October 17.
● ANN feature: Apurva Bose Dutta introduces us to her new book, "Architectural Voices of India: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos," and highlights some of the thoughtful voices she encountered.
● Indian architect Sriprakash ponders "an enormous push" for affordable housing, but factors like the environment, climate, and the community "don't feature much in India's Smart Cities plan to create 100 hi-tech urban hubs that activists say will force tens of thousands of people from their slum homes."
● Hume minces no words about how "the mind boggles at the short-sightedness" of a proposal to hand over a chunk of Toronto's waterfront to the movie industry: "the ingredients for urban excellence are all there. Alas - intelligence is conspicuous in its absence."
● O'Sullivan lights up over the pilot research project "City Lights, Nighttime Design" in Cartagena, Colombia, that offers "some fascinating answers" to what street lighting can do for a neighborhood to "help boost a combined sense of pride and security."
● Walliss offers a critical (and rather amusing) take on Koolhaas and Gianotten's lecture in Melbourne: "As a general rule, it is always dangerous to explain the characteristics of a country to its own audience - this played out rather painfully."
● Brussat bemoans that, while "Modernists have no problem staking their claims for the truth of their stylistic conceits, both the new urbanists and even the advocates of new traditional architecture often mix too much self-doubt into their support for the architecture of beauty."
● Anderton's great Q&A with the "plucky advocate for women architects" Beverly Willis re: "the profession (and its insularity), her changing views of urban planning, and her mission to put a spotlight on women in the profession" (and receiving a well-deserved AIACC lifetime achievement award at the Monterey Design Conference this weekend!).
● Eyefuls of the four finalists in The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition.
● Call for entries: Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge (international).
● Call for entries: Open International Contest for Standard Housing and Residential Development in Russia (note: window must be opened wide for Register/Login button at top right).
● Call for entries: Designs for Cartasia 2018 International Paper Biennial in Lucca, Italy.
● Call for entries: New Centre of Borovets International Architectural Competition for "The Golden Triangle" in Bulgaria's mountain resort.
● ArchiFlix Architecture and Design Film Festival rolls into Melbourne, starting today.
● The Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans #1: Walking through someone else's dream, kicks off tomorrow.
● Keegan considers the 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennial to be "more focused" than the first, "but still there's further to go"; perhaps the next round should "look further back in history than a 2009 slogan from Ed Ruscha."
● Hong hails Ai Weiwei's "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" with its more than 300 pieces across NYC's five boroughs: "Some of the works might be easy to miss. But others are unmistakable and grandiose."
● Moore is quite taken by Pezo, von Ellrichshausen, and Varini's "A Hall for Hull" that "has handsomeness and presence," and Furman's "The Roman Singularity," a "candy-colored miniature cityscape" that may be small, but "is more potent than many more sprawling shows."
● Furman, meanwhile, issues a manifesto about a "the town hall as democratic monument - we can create buildings that embody us, our collective dreams, and our sense of communal identity."
● Byrnes delves into the fascinating saga of Burr's "Body/Building," and the "complicated second life" of Breuer's gutted Brutalist icon in New Haven, Connecticut.
● Goldberger parses Goldhagen's "Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives," a "long and thorough treatise": her descriptions "are gems of fresh perception and clear expression. She can be stern, but she is not cynical."
● Petrus parses Sagalyn's "Power at Ground Zero," a "story of cutthroat politics, of the tension between tragedy and opportunity, personalities, egos, and ambitions - a solid work of contemporary history, consistently lucid and sharp."
● Roberts reads Doctoroff's "Greater Than Ever: New York's Big Comeback," in which the former city official "justifies both his own evangelical means and visionary ends in reshaping" the post-9/11 city.
● Blumgart is fairly convinced by Mayne's "Slums: The History of a Global Injustice" and the urban historian's conviction that it's high time to retire the word "slum."
● de Graaf's "Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession" is an "original and even occasionally hilarious book about losing ideals and finding them again," and "deftly shows that architecture cannot be better or more pure than the flawed humans who make it."
● Minutillo's Q&A with de Graaf re: "Four Walls and a Roof," a "blunt" book that "takes an idiosyncratic look at architectural history and dissects contemporary practice - from the quotidian (and sometimes comic) frustrations to the occasional triumphs and memorable failures."
● Cheng cheers Watson's "The Poisoned Chalice: Peter Hall and the Sydney Opera House," a "carefully researched study into the often misunderstood story of an architect that history had unkindly cast aside" (Utzon as a "wronged genius" is a "myth").
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ANN feature: Apurva Bose Dutta: "Architectural Voices of India: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos": The architectural journalist talks about how and why her first book came together, and highlights some of the thoughtful voices she encountered.- ArchNewsNow.com
Forget mansions, modest homes needed amid land pressures, Indian architect says: While affordable housing is getting an enormous push in India...it is a concept that must be embraced by all builders...Reciprocal Design Index...that factors in the environment, climate and the community...Those factors don’t feature much in India’s Smart Cities plan to create 100 hi-tech urban hubs that activists say will force tens of thousands of people from their slum homes. -- Sheila Sriprakash/Shilpa Architects- Thomson Reuters Foundation
Christopher Hume: Proposal to hand over a chunk of Port Lands to movie industry is short-sighted: Sometimes you have to wonder about Toronto. Has the city ever been so poorly run, so deeply confused and conflicted, or so badly led that it is now its own worst enemy? ...the ingredients for urban excellence are all there...Alas...intelligence is conspicuous in its absence...The mind boggles...“We were promised a spectacular mixed-use waterfront...To privilege a single industry...is not why we spent $1.25 billion.” -- Tony Coombes; Ken Greenberg; John Wilson/Waterfront for All- Toronto Star
Feargus O'Sullivan: Building Community Through Better Street Lights: A new film highlights a pioneering lighting project in historic Cartagena, Colombia: What can lighting do for a community? For some fascinating answers...pilot research project..."City Lights, Nightime Design"...providing a snapshot of a neighborhood...trying to negotiate a period of dramatic change without losing its soul...If local people are engaged in devising how light is used, this can help boost a combined sense of pride and security that emboldens people to use their neighborhood more fully. -- Arup; Plane-Site; Leni Schwendinger; Smart Everyday Nighttime Design [video]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Jillian Walliss: The Antipodean limits of a manifesto: OMA and the Australian countryside: Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten presented their new research direction...there were limitations in their definitions and assumptions...and led to naive propositions: One got the sense from Koolhaas that he was not all that interested in Australia, and it was left to Gianotten...As a general rule, it is always dangerous to explain the characteristics of a country to its own audience...this played out rather painfully...- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
David Brussat: Monument vs. Fabric: The difficulty of admitting deep error: ...not all new urbanists are in lockstep about the importance of beauty...Modernists have no problem staking their claims for the truth of their stylistic conceits, but both the new urbanists and even the advocates of new traditional architecture often mix too much self-doubt into their support for the architecture of beauty...We cannot just surgically remove modern architecture,..but by reviving beauty as a vital factor in architecture, urbanism and city-building, we can make a start. -- Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA); Congress of the New Urbanism (CNU); Daniel Solomon; Leon Krier; Andres Duany- Traditional Building magazine
DNA/Frances Anderton: Beverly Willis, plucky advocate for women architects, to be honored [at] Monterey Design Conference: at 89...to receive a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC). Her confidence and resilience comes from an adventure-filled life that included...running her own firm at a time when the profession was predominantly male...Q&A re: her thoughts on the profession (and its insularity), her changing views of urban planning, and her mission to put a spotlight on women in the profession. -- Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation/BWAF [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
National Infrastructure Commission reveals gallery of final design concepts for The Cambridge to Oxford Connection: Ideas Competition: Finalists focused on integrating infrastructure and development to create sustainable and liveable places appropriate to the corridor. Public invited to comment on the teams’ visions. -- Barton Willmore/Momentum; Fletcher Priest Architects/Bradley Murphy Design/Peter Brett Associates; Mae/Oneworks/Planit/AKT II/Tyréns/Max Fordham; Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design/Mikhail Riches/Featherstone Young/Marko and Placemakers/Expedition Engineering/Khaa [images]- Malcolm Reading Consultants / National Infrastructure Commission
Call for entries: Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge (international); cash prizes; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): November 3 (submissions due February 9, 2018)- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert) / Sydney Build Expo
Call for entries: Open International Contest for Standard Housing and Residential Development Concept Design: develop four housing projects for one of three urban settings; cash prizes; deadline: December 25 [window must be opened wide for Register/Login button at top right]- Russian Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities / National Institute for Housing Development / Strelka KB
Call for entries: Designs for Cartasia 2018 International Paper Biennial, Lucca, Italy, July-September 2018: "Chaos and Silence": using paper (and its derivatives) to deal with worldwide emergencies such as housing, energy, water, food, hygiene, childcare, the elderly, people with disabilities; deadline: February 14, 2018 (deadline for outdoor art: December 14; deadline for indoor art: February 14, 2018)- Cartasia
Call for entries: "New Centre of Borovets" International Architectural Competition: for conceptual design of the territory “The Golden Triangle” in the mountain resort Borovets, Samokov Municipality, Bulgaria; no fee; cash prizes; deadline: January 10, 2018- Samokov Municipality / Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria / Union of Architects in Bulgaria / Union of Urbanists in Bulgaria / Urbanistas
ArchiFlix Architecture and Design Film Festival rolls into Melbourne, October 12-15: ...12 films feature a range of documentaries on the careers and practice of some of the most prominent architects to work in Australia, including Harry Seidler and Glenn Murcutt. The work of international architects, Jørn Utzon, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry are also explored.- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans #1: Walking through someone else's dream: heir to the ArchiLab, an intersecting vision from over 40 contemporary architects...tell us how they envision walking in our dreams and fears; Orléans, France, October 13, 2017 - April 1, 2018- FRAC Centre (Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain de la Région, Orléans, France)
Edward Keegan: A More Focused Chicago Architecture Biennial: This second iteration of the design-centric, city-wide exhibition learns important lessons from the first, but still there's further to go: “Make New History”...some of the most striking work, like "Vertical City," is a bit less pedantic and somewhat more accessible to the general public...The history that’s on display...may be real, but it’s awfully shortsighted...Perhaps it’s time for the next round of artistic directors to look further back in history than a 2009 slogan from Ed Ruscha. -- Sharon Johnston/Mark Lee/Johnston/Marklee [images]- Architect Magazine
Sukjong Hong: Caged city: Ai Weiwei’s fences take on borders and belonging in NYC exhibit: In "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"...the artist and activist takes on the security fence as a medium for urban intervention, with New York City as his canvas. Some of the works might be easy to miss...But others...are unmistakable and grandiose...spans the five boroughs...comprised of more than 300 pieces...an opportunity to utilize the existing infrastructure of New York City as a scaffolding for public art. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Rowan Moore: A Hall for Hull; The Roman Singularity - modern classics: Trinity Square, Hull; Sir John Soane’s Museum, London: A handsome installation outside Hull Minster and a candy-coloured miniature cityscape both use the language of ancient forms to say something new: "A Hall for Hull" has handsomeness and presence...also a bit aloof...“Aloof” is not what you would call "The Roman Singularity"...installation is small...But...it is more potent than many more sprawling shows. -- Mauricio Pezo/Sofia von Ellrichshausen/Felice Varini; Adam Nathaniel Furman [images]- Observer (UK)
Adam Nathaniel Furman: The town hall as democratic monument: a manifesto: We are living through what is perceived to be one of our democracy’s most intense crises in generations, which means it is in fact the perfect moment to build monuments to its rebirth. In crisis lies the greatest opportunity for reinvention...It is time for the town hall as a democratic monument: architectural plurality in compositional unity. Architecture can be eloquent...we can create buildings that embody us, our collective dreams, and our sense of communal identity. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Mark Byrnes: A Complicated Second Life for a Brutalist Icon: 15 years after IKEA demolished part of it for a parking lot, a Marcel Breuer-designed office building in New Haven has become a stage for art: Spread out over the first floor of Breuer’s gutted local icon, Tom Burr's "Body/Building"...uses his show to get into the story of the building’s partial demolition...“I was thinking about the building as an entity that was built, loved, cared for, neglected, abandoned, and amputated"; Bortolami Gallery “Artist/City" thru November 11- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Paul Goldberger: A Shimmery Cube: What is the science behind how we experience architecture? ..."Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives"...long and thorough treatise...Sarah Williams Goldhagen...wants to help us understand that comfort doesn’t always correlate with what’s conventional...the priority she places on visual and psychological comfort should not be confused with an acceptance of the everyday or banal...descriptions of being in front of actual works of architecture...are gems of fresh perception and clear expression...She can be stern, but she is not cynical.- The Nation
Stephen Petrus: Between Tragedy and Opportunity: Lynne B. Sagalyn’s “Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan”: ...navigates through the thicket of conflicting visions, competing interests, and shifting alliances and delivers an authoritative account of the saga...This is the story of cutthroat politics, of the tension between tragedy and opportunity, of the ways the urban landscape reflects power. Personalities, egos, and ambitions...a solid work of contemporary history...consistently lucid and sharp. -- Studio Daniel Libeskind; Michael Arad; Peter Walker- Los Angeles Review of Books
Sam Roberts: Is New York ‘Greater Than Ever’? Yes, a Former Official Argues: Daniel L. Doctoroff was behind many of the visionary strategic plans that he now writes helped revive the city after the 2001 terror attack...In “Greater Than Ever: New York’s Big Comeback,” he justifies both his own evangelical means and visionary ends in reshaping the city at the beginning of the 21st...he waited nearly a decade after leaving City Hall to write this book so that he might observe the fruits of his strategies ripen. His title speaks to the bountiful harvest since.- New York Times
Jake Blumgart: Should We Retire the Word 'Slum'? In a new book, an urban historian argues that the term distorts the policies meant to help poor neighborhoods: "Slums: The History of a Global Injustice" [by] Alan Mayne...argument is delivered with great heapings of detail, recitations of centuries of policy in Britain, Australia, India, and the United States, and data on the millions displaced in anti-slum campaigns..."slum deceits have been perpetuated by well-intentioned people seeking to do good." -- WHYY PlanPhilly- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
When architectural idealism meets reality: "Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession" by Reinier de Graaf shows what happens when ambitious plans encounter the buzzsaw of politics and greed: ...known in professional circles for his bleakly humorous lectures...His first book...is thus something of a revelation...original and even occasionally hilarious book about losing ideals and finding them again...deftly shows that architecture cannot be better or more pure than the flawed humans who make it. -- Rem Koolhaas; Office of Metropolitan Architecture/OMA- The Economist (UK)
Josephine Minutillo: Interview with Reinier de Graaf on "Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession": The OMA partner discusses his blunt new book of essays: ...takes an idiosyncratic look at architectural history and dissects contemporary practice - from the quotidian (and sometimes comic) frustrations to the occasional triumphs and memorable failures.- Architectural Record
Linda Cheng: "The Poisoned Chalice: Peter Hall and the Sydney Opera House": Architectural historian Anne Watson's new book is a carefully researched study into the often misunderstood story...of an architect that history had unkindly cast aside...the enduring narrative of Jørn Utzon as a “wronged genius” is a “myth” and only part of the story.- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
ANN feature: Richard N. Swett, FAIA: Memo to: The Next Generation of Architects. Re: What would I have done differently if I had known then what I know now? Leaders with the skills and sensibilities of an architect are needed now more than ever. I call it Leadership by Design.- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: rise Inaugurates "rise in the city" in New York City on October 25: The non-profit is hosting an art-filled fundraiser, auctioning 100 works of art by architects, designers, and artists for the organization's inaugural project: expanding and upgrading of an orphanage in Lesotho, Africa.- ArchNewsNow.com
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