Today’s News - Tuesday, November 14, 2017
● Lambert pens a most eloquent tribute to Dan Hanganu: "In contrast to the weak, mealy-mouthed or too-clever-by-half developer projects, his buildings accomplish something all too rare: they heighten the quality of the surrounding buildings and spaces."
● Weder's also eloquent words re: the "rule-breaking" Hanganu: "Few architects have enriched the country with such distinctive exuberance - he sought a counterpoint to what he saw as the formulaic rigidity of conventional modern architecture."
● Bless the Freedom of Information Act! Records show Trump's Texas border wall "would tear through three wildlife areas and put more homes and other structures in jeopardy than previously known - battles over the wall could be even more contentious."
● Kimmelman finds lessons from Hurricane Harvey "is America's tale. The hard truth is that climate change will increasingly require moving - not just rebuilding - entire neighborhoods, reshaping cities, even abandoning coastlines."
● Houston unveils its post-Harvey downtown master plan that "has tried to shift away from car-dominated urban planning."
● Davidson casts "a skeptical eye" on Snøhetta's plan for Johnson's AT&T Building: "Now it's the Norma Desmond of skyscrapers, built for another era but hoping for a glorious third act. Maybe architecture's Norma Desmond needs to age with extravagance."
● Hawthorne tackled the "misguided" plan for the AT&T Building last week; this time he tackles Jahn's 1985 Thompson Center in Chicago: "It can be tough to take threats to these buildings seriously in large part because [they] never seemed to take themselves seriously. Their energy was cheeky and adolescent - sometimes brilliantly so."
● O'Sullivan considers the V&A turning "a chunk" of the Robin Hood Gardens into an exhibit: "Given the estate's name and the profile of London museum-goers, it's hard not to notice the irony: The building is being taken from the poor and given to the rich" (it "isn't historic preservation. It's taxidermy").
● Critical responses to the V&A's acquisition of Robin Hood Gardens, though the Smithsons' son "said he was touched by the museum's acquisition."
● The original architect of San Francisco's Harvey Milk Plaza "responds to criticism of his work and concerns over new plaza. Not everyone is thrilled with the upcoming redesign."
● Roux turns the news day a bit brighter with her take on touring the Louvre Abu Dhabi with Nouvel: "it's hard not to be thrilled by what Nouvel has achieved - a town of its own making, with something of the air of a rediscovered village" (Nouvel has "never been one to shy away from a bit of bling").
● Your must-see of the day: EarthCam's time-lapse video of the Louvre Abu Dhabi - 70,000 hours of footage of "the entire construction process from start to finish in less than 3 minutes" (watch full-screen - breathtaking!).
● de Lange parses Heatherwick's Zeitz MOCAA and "how branding and architecture reinforce culture" - the design "is as poetic as its purpose and message," and "an important case study in support of the dialogue between graphic design and architecture."
● King parses San Francisco's Salesforce Tower: it won't open for months, but "the building's impact on the city's physical and social landscape already is profound" (fab images and infographics!).
● Clarke tours Foster's Bloomberg HQ in London: it is "a thing of beauty and a feat of sustainability - flashy it is not - touring this building is an education in considerate, cutting-edge construction."
● Bill Gates buys 25,000 acres in Arizona to build to build a "smart city."
● Remember "seasteading" and lofty plans for building floating cities that faded away? Well, it's back: French Polynesia agreed to let the Seasteading Institute begin building a floating city in its waters.
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Phyllis Lambert: Dan Hanganu: An Appreciation: [His architecture] has a strong and authentic presence. In contrast to the weak, mealy-mouthed or too-clever-by-half developer projects, or the business-as-usual institutional structures, his buildings enhance the City of Montreal...accomplish something all too rare: they heighten the quality of the surrounding buildings and spaces...The understanding of architecture as a cultural phenomenon is implicit in [his] work at all levels. [images]- Canadian Architect
Obituary by Adele Weder: Dan Hanganu, 78, was a rule-breaking creator of Quebec landmarks: Few architects have enriched the country with such distinctive exuberance...Deeply influenced by his early life and training in Romania, [he] sought a counterpoint to what he saw as the formulaic rigidity of conventional modern architecture.- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Records Show Where Trump Plans to Build Texas Border Wall: ...would tear through three wildlife areas...and put more homes and other structures in jeopardy than previously known...a rating system...to rank the difficulty of building each segment, based on the topography and the legal difficulty of taking over the land...battles over the border wall could be even more contentious as the Trump administration targets an increasing number of landowners and protected wildlife habitats.- Texas Observer
Michael Kimmelman: Lessons From Hurricane Harvey: Houston’s Struggle Is America’s Tale: America has bent the land to its will...Unfortunately, nature always gets the last word...Sprawl is only part of the story...Harvey has led even some pro-development enthusiasts to rethink the city and its surroundings...The hard truth...is that climate change will increasingly require moving - not just rebuilding - entire neighborhoods, reshaping cities, even abandoning coastlines.- New York Times
Houston unveils post-Harvey downtown master plan: ...a spiritual successor to Houston’s 2012 Downtown Living Initiative...planners, designers and city officials have also turned their focus towards disaster mitigation. Besides increasing the amount of green space in the district, the proposal has set aside land for detention areas and has tried to shift away from car-dominated urban planning. -- Sasaki; Asakura Robinson; HKS Architects; Harris Kornberg Architects [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Justin Davidson: Casting a Skeptical Eye on the AT&T Building Remake: Ripping off a lot of the granite skin is not the answer to the problems afflicting 550 Madison Avenue: Widely mocked and grudgingly admired, the emblematic tower...declared that a corporate high-rise could be outlandish, even divalike...Now it’s the Norma Desmond of skyscrapers, built for another era but hoping for a glorious third act...Craig Dykers’s strategy for injecting amiability...is a mixture of fine and potentially tragic...I am provisionally unpersuaded...Maybe architecture’s Norma Desmond needs to age with extravagance. -- Philip Johnson; Ada Louise Huxtable; Paul Goldberger; Gwathmey Siegel & Associates; Snøhetta- New York Magazine
Christopher Hawthorne: Postmodern architecture at risk, Part 2: The saga shifts to Chicago: Last week I tried to raise some alarm bells about a misguided new plan from Snøhetta to remake Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s 1984 AT&T Building in New York...Helmut Jahn’s 1985 Thompson Center faces an even bigger threat...It can be tough to take threats to these buildings seriously in large part because the buildings never seemed to take themselves seriously...They were trying to topple architecture’s conventional wisdom...Their energy was cheeky and adolescent - sometimes brilliantly so...Jahn’s design...uses exuberance and playfulness in service of high ideals.- Los Angeles Times
Feargus O'Sullivan: A Duplex of London's Public Housing Will Become a Museum Exhibit: The Victoria and Albert Museum will conserve a chunk of the Robin Hood Gardens estate...will be presented for aesthetic enjoyment after having been safely gelded of its social purpose. Given the estate’s name and the general social profile of London museum-goers, it’s hard not to notice the irony: The building is being taken from the poor and given to the rich...Conserving a building’s skin while destroying its heart isn’t historic preservation. It’s taxidermy. -- Alison and Peter Smithson (1972)- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Critics round on V&A’s acquisition of Robin Hood Gardens section: ...saying that the V&A should have intervened earlier and backed a 2008 Building Design (BD) magazine-led campaign to list the estate...Simon Smithson...son of the estate’s architects...said he was touched by the museum’s acquisition...Croft still praised the institute for preserving a piece of the estate. -- Alison and Peter Smithson; Liza Fior/muf; Amanda Baillieu/Archiboo; Catherine Croft/The Twentieth Century Society- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Architect of original Harvey Milk Plaza responds to criticism of his work and concerns over new plaza: Not everyone is thrilled with the upcoming redesign: ...Howard Grant...replied to our critique about the old plaza, as well as offering his concerns over the new design. [He] graciously allowed us to publish his thoughts. -- Perkins Eastman [images]- Curbed San Francisco
Caroline Roux: Inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi with architect Jean Nouvel: It cost millions, glitters in the sunlight and has its own island. Roux...sees the world in a new light: ...it’s hard not to be thrilled by what Nouvel has achieved...a town of its own making, with something of the air of a rediscovered village...Nouvel [has] never been one to shy away from a bit of bling...- Telegraph (UK)
EarthCam’s New Time-Lapse for Louvre Abu Dhabi: Watch the 97,000 square meter museum area come to life...from November 2009 to November 2017...70,000 hours of archived footage...curating the imagery of the entire construction process from start to finish in less than 3 minutes. -- Jean Nouvel [video]- EarthCam
Shane de Lange: Zeitz MOCAA - how branding & architecture reinforce culture: Africa is commonly misconceived as poverty-stricken and filled with strife, void of any coherent cultural sphere...the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa challenges this somewhat bigoted perspective...debunks such misconceptions...the approach to design in this building is as poetic as its purpose and message...an important case study in support of the dialogue between graphic design and architecture... -- Heatherwick Studio; M&C Saatchi Abel [images by Iwan Baan]- MarkLives.com (South Africa)
John King: Symbol of a New San Francisco: Soaring Salesforce Tower reflects a changing city: It is the nature of some buildings...to loom even larger as symbols than they do in real life...[it] won’t open for months...the building’s impact on [the city's] physical and social landscape already is profound...eye-popping novelties and numbers aren’t nearly as important as the long-term question of how the tower will settle into the landscape, once the shock of the new fades away. -- Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Laura Clarke: Is Lord Foster's new creation the ultimate office building? ...new building in London for Bloomberg is a thing of beauty and a feat of sustainability: ...flashy it is not...it is remarkably unassuming...But touring this building is an education in considerate, cutting-edge construction...BREEAM...awarded it a 98.5 % sustainability score, the highest of any major office development in the world...savings were achieved through exceptional innovation...a template for the future...More than anything, this is a building for people and for productivity. -- Michael Jones/Kate Murphy/Chris Tott/Foster + Partners [images]- BBC Designed
Bill Gates buys big chunk of land in Arizona to build 'smart city': ...about 45 minutes west of downtown Phoenix...proposed community, made up of close to 25,000 acres of land, is called Belmont...3,800 acres will go towards office, commercial and retail space...470 acres will be used for public schools. Plus, there's room for 80,000 residential units...there's no word on when construction will start.- KPNX-TV (Phoenix, Arizona)
Floating Cities, No Longer Science Fiction: There are now companies, academics, architects and a government working together on a prototype by 2020: ...so-called “seasteading” has in recent years matured from pure fantasy into something approaching reality...can seem not just practical, but downright appealing...French Polynesia agreed to let the Seasteading Institute begin testing in its waters...the first floating buildings - the nucleus of a city - might be inhabitable in just a few years. -- Joe Quirk/Patri Friedman/Seasteading Institute; Blue Frontiers- New York Times
ANN Feature: Stormy Weather: Landscape Design Responses for a Changing Climate: As designers and engineers move forward to adapt communities to changing weather patterns, providing flood protection while integrating social and ecological benefits will generate value and multi-functional infrastructure. By Steve Albert, PE, CFM, Josiah Cain, ASLA, Prentiss Darden, MLA, and Jim Remlin, PE, LEED AP/Sherwood Design Engineers- ArchNewsNow.com
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