Today’s News - Monday, November 20, 2017
● Betsky makes the case for preserving Johnson Burgee's AT&T Building: "It will not be torn down, but it will be emasculated - reborn as another home for 1%ers"; there is a "logic, both socially and aesthetically" to Snøhetta's design. "So why does it seem to be so wrong?" (he also finds some similarities in the firm's SFMOMA makeover).
● King, meanwhile, parses the Oakland A's pick to design its new ballpark that includes HOK and Snøhetta: the "initial emphasis will be on a more abstract question of how a ballpark can be a good neighbor" and "an integral part of the surrounding urban landscapes."
● Hawthorne says, "Yes, please" to "boring architecture - work that is spare, solid and unhurried. It's unruffled. The only thing it tries hard to do is not to try hard" (he names his faves).
● Middleton calls for "collective action" to make sure architects "get a proper salary - we don't charge enough to be financially successful and socially responsible to our staff" (putting "lipstick on the gorilla" included).
● Ridley, AIA Atlanta president, considers the multiple problems being raised re: design copyright, and who owns what when it comes to "computing coding used in the software to create drawings" in the age of BIM.
● Saffron ponders whether Philly really needs a law mandating affordable housing - developers of all stripes are concerned, and "inclusionary housing programs" in other cities "haven't proved all that effective."
● Gehry tapped to transform a 1960s bank building into a new home for the New Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Center (no pix - yet).
● A look at how "design elements inside and outside of schools have changed," post-Sandy Hook - "the communal approach to design has changed the most by including school safety personnel, local law enforcement and first responders to inform the design process."
● DS+R and Jenkins-Peer tapped to "update, modernize and re-envision" Charlotte, NC's Discovery Place Science Museum (a 2010 renovation left things "confusing, with multiple elevators and lobbies that don't connect").
● Foster's gigantic, supposedly uber-green new airport in Mexico, built on a sinking lake bed, may be repeating "age-old mistakes - the much-heralded environmental protection effort is still so devoid of detail, critics say, that it raises questions of credibility and actually obscures the risk of flooding."
● On a more sparkly note: eyefuls of "giant, glittering structures of Hainan's architectural 'arms race'": it may be called "the Hawaii of China," but it isn't natural beauty that's catching the eye of visitors."
● Some very cool news! The Cooper Hewitt's massive archive is now online - "200,000 objects in one place = endless design inspiration."
● More very cool news! Cards Against Humanity creators "purchase U.S. land to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible" for Trump's border wall to get built (ya gotta watch the video!).
The diversity-in-design dilemma/debate:
● Fairs x 2: he crunches the numbers using public data on 100 of the largest international practices for a survey that "reveals 'quite shocking' lack of gender diversity at senior levels."
● He talks to five prominent female British architects for "their views on what's gone wrong and how it can be changed" (a mix of disappointment and optimism).
● A look at diversity programs that some Georgia architects are undertaking to initiate change: "Architecture has always been a white male profession" - "It's the elephant in the room."
● Massachusetts launches a statewide campaign that "encourages women to join construction industry," for too long "overwhelmingly dominated by men."
● Winners of the major categories in the 2017 World Architecture Festival Awards, with links to miles of all the winners.
● CPG Consultants' hospital in Singapore wins first ever Stephen Kellert Biophilic Design Award from the Living Future Institute.
● A stellar team wins the British Council for Offices/BCO NextGen award for their vision for "the office of 2035" in "a typical Victorian terrace in London for an energy company" (a meditation garden included).
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Aaron Betsky: Save the AT&T Building: Fight the power by preserving its icons: One of the strangest and strongest skyscrapers in New York is under threat. It will not be torn down, but it will be emasculated...reborn as another home for one-percenters...The result looks dreadful in the renderings - but...does have a logic to it, both socially and aesthetically...So why does it seem to be so wrong? ...we should leave the AT&T Building...a reminder that good architecture can and sometimes should do the wrong things. -- Philip Johnson; Snøhetta- Architect Magazine
John King: Oakland A’s pick design team for proposed new ballpark: ... initial emphasis will be on a more abstract question of how a ballpark can be a good neighbor on a site that jostles several distinct communities...new ballpark would be an integral part of the surrounding urban landscapes... -- HOK; Snøhetta; Sasaki; Studio T Square- San Francisco Chronicle
Christopher Hawthorne: Boring architecture? Yes, please: ...the most important emerging strain in contemporary architecture...an approach that rejects the hyperactive form-making...in favor of work that is spare, solid and unhurried...As a result, it sometimes looks ancient or even primordial. It never looks futuristic...Its overriding characteristic is a sort of stillness...it probably sounds boring...architects should embrace the boring charge...It’s unruffled. The only thing it tries hard to do is not to try hard. -- Mauricio Pezo/Sofía von Ellrichshausen/Pezo von Ellrichshausen; Aires Mateus; Christ & Gantenbein; Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen; Sharon Johnston/Mark Lee,/Johnston Marklee; Productora; Go Hasegawa; MOS; SO-IL- Los Angeles Times
Mark Middleton/Grimshaw: What does it take for architects to get a proper salary? Lawyers, doctors and train drivers are paid more than architects. Collective action is needed to redress the balance: I am perturbed that pay debates...focused upon part 1 salaries and not the profession as a whole...but there’s a bigger problem...we don’t charge enough...We give away our creativity for free, manage change badly and we don’t think twice about cutting each other’s throats to get a commission...current fee levels make it increasingly difficult to be financially successful and socially responsible to our staff.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Theresa Ridley: Who owns what? An emerging challenge for owners, designers: Many developers and property owners assume that they own the drawings and plans for their projects. They would be mistaken...More and more often owners, especially public owners, are now demanding that the architect sign over the copyright of the design as a contractual condition of getting the project...A broad interpretation could also be applied to the computing coding used in the software to create these drawings. This causes multiple problems.- Atlanta Business Chronicle
Inga Saffron: Does Philadelphia need a law mandating affordable housing? ...pitch to Amazon made affordability one of the city’s selling points. If Philadelphia is such a bargain, why would the city need to mandate inclusionary housing? ...just because [the city] is a bargain in comparison with its peer cities...doesn’t mean housing is cheap for people who live here...developers specializing in affordable housing...voiced concerns...biggest concern is that the bill will backfire and actually reduce the amount of affordable housing being produced...inclusionary housing programs haven’t proved all that effective.- Philadelphia Inquirer
Frank Gehry to Design a New Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Center for Los Angeles Philharmonic: ...will be [YOLA] program’s first commissioned building dedicated to its purpose alone...will transform a 17,000-square-foot building...originally built in the 1960s as a bank - into an administration hub...with teaching spaces for 500 students...- Architectural Record
New SCASD [State College Area School District] schools are designed to protect against gun violence: Design elements inside and outside of schools have changed...but the communal approach to design...has changed the most. Prior to Sandy Hook, architects would mainly integrate with administrators...now [they] are including...school safety personnel, local law enforcement and first responders...The engagement with non-school officials coupled with design elements that focus on protection...inform the design process. -- Jeff Straub/Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates; Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design/CPTED- Centre Daily Times (State College, Pennsylvania)
This $700,000 plan will try to sort out a Charlotte museum’s future: ...to update, modernize and re-envision the Discovery Place Science Museum: ...[museum] wrapped up a $31.6 million renovation in 2010...[But] the buildings are still confusing, with multiple elevators and lobbies that don’t connect. -- Jenkins-Peer Architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro- Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)
As Mexico Builds Green Airport of the Future, Age-Old Mistakes Loom: An enormous new airport...will be a “global reference” for sustainability, the government vows. Others worry environmental errors of the past are being repeated: ...soon after construction started...government appeared to turn its back on part of that promise, ceding land designated on project maps for conservation to local officials for development...the much-heralded environmental protection effort is still so devoid of detail, critics say, that it raises questions of credibility and actually obscures the risk of flooding. -- Norman Foster/Foster + Partners- New York Times
The giant, glittering structures of Hainan's architectural 'arms race': It's the island paradise in southern China referred to by people across the country as "the Hawaii of China." But it isn't Hainan's natural beauty that's catching the eye of visitors to the island's major cities of Sanya and Haikou in recent years. Spectacular new hotels and entertainment complexes are springing up everywhere..."The market has been an arms race to develop the next most interesting or extreme project." -- Scott Myklebust/M CO Design; Ma Yansong/MAD architects; Chris Bosse/LAVA Architecture; Mike Stewart/YWS Design & Architecture; Diller Scofidio + Renfro [images]- CNN
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s Massive Archive Is Now Online: 200,000 objects in one place = endless design inspiration: ...objects chronicling more than 30 centuries of design history have made the jump from 91st Street onto the internet...90% of its extensive collection has been digitized and uploaded for easy online browsing...Now there’s no excuse not to brush up on your design history.- Architectural Digest
Cards Against Humanity Creators Purchase U.S. Land to Hinder Borderwall Construction: The company behind the irreverent game promises to “to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built": ...launched a holiday promotional campaign to "save America."- Architect Magazine
Marcus Fairs: Survey of top architecture firms reveals "quite shocking" lack of gender diversity at senior levels: ...women occupy just 10% of the highest-ranking jobs at the world's leading architecture firms, while 16 firms have no women at all in senior positions. Percentage of women decreases steadily at each ascending tier of management...Across all senior and middle management tiers in all 100 companies, women hold 18% of positions.- Dezeen
Marcus Fairs: Female architects respond to gender survey: "It's getting better but far too slowly": ...five prominent female architects from the UK gave us their views on what's gone wrong and how it can be changed...all agreed that firms that do not strive to improve their gender balance will increasingly be viewed as out of touch and will lose out commercially. -- Sadie Morgan/dRMM; Angela Brady/Brady Mallalieu Architects; Dara Huang/Design Haus Liberty; Amanda Levete/AL_A- Dezeen
Georgia architects initiate change with diversity programs: Architecture has always been a white male profession...“It’s the elephant in the room...we’ve got to talk about it more"...If women have a difficult time advancing in architecture, it’s particularly difficult for minorities...Organizations like NOMA and Equity in Architecture have made getting members into schools...a critical part of increasing the flow of minority students into programs. -- Theresa Ridley Architecture; Sophia Tarkhan/Cooper Carry; Equity by Design; Ann Rogers/Perkins+Will; Anne-Michael Sustman/Nicole Seekely/Smith Dalia Architects; Marc Johnson/HOK Atlanta; National Organization of Minority Architects/NOMA Project Pipeline- Atlanta Business Chronicle
Statewide [Massachusetts] campaign encourages women to join construction industry: Launched by the Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity, the “Build a Life That Works” campaign seeks to address an issue that has long plagued an industry overwhelmingly dominated by men. The goal is to increase the number of women in the building trades to 20% by 2020.- Boston Globe
Guangming Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Project Wins World Architecture Festival World Building of the Year 2017: Winners of the year's Future Project, Landscape, Small Project, Iran Special Prize and Best Use of Colour awards were also announced. -- Chinese University of Hong Kong/Kunming University of Science and Technology; Marc Koehler Architects; Allen Jack+Cottier Architects/NH Architecture; Eriksson Furunes + Leandro V. Locsin Partners + Jago Boase; Turenscape; New Wave Architecture; Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects; etc. [images]- ArchDaily
Living Future Institute Announces Biophilic Design Award at Greenbuild 2017: ...Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore...winner of first ever Stephen Kellert Biophilic Design award...features rainforest-like landscaping both inside and outside the building...also announced [a] biophilic design map...an open source database including projects from around the world that incorporate the tenets of biophilia. -- Ong Chin-Po/CPG Consultants; Design Alliance Architects; Gensler; COOKFOX- Architectural Record
British Council for Offices/BCO NextGen reveals winning vision for ‘the office of 2035’: ...88mph’s concept - ‘The Dynamo’ - reimagines a typical Victorian terrace in London as the headquarters for a major energy company...preserves the existing façades...reconfigurable interior space and a rooftop garden...a performance space and a meditation garden. -- Annabel Koeck/Grimshaw; Jennifer Barnes/Futurecity; Laura Hannigan/AKTII; Amelia Maxwell/Lendlease [link to images]- Malcolm Reading Consultants / British Council for Offices
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