Today’s News - Tuesday, November 28, 2017
● Kamin pays tribute to Ed Uhlir, gone much too soon: "the low-key architect who played an essential, behind-the-scenes role in bringing to life the high-wattage visual spectacle of Chicago's Millennium Park" (his "wry sense of humor" made our hard-hat tour of the park one of our faves).
● Museum woes: Buffalo's Albright-Knox "may scrap original expansion plan to radically alter a beloved building by Gordon Bunshaft" (no images of new concept - yet).
● The controversial SANAA/Architectus expansion plans for the Sydney Modern gallery "is likely to spark furious debate about loss of open space" - despite a positive EIS, "a number of prominent architects are marshalling against it."
● Also from Down Under, the Australian Institute of Architects "has refused to endorse the first stage of the competition to design the Adelaide Contemporary art gallery because entrants were identified."
● Sayer parses the V&A's plan for a fragment of the Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens: "do we really want to experience failed architecture in a museum?" (Hatherley calls the move "salvaging from tragedy to create a working-class theme park").
● Brussat uses Hawthorne and Saffron's reviews of RAMSA's Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia as a jumping-off point for a (not-unexpected) rebuttal to their "twisting the meaning of the American Revolution to fit the modernist narrative."
● A round-up of "5 must-read reviews" of SmithGroupJJR's Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC ("Some moments border on cheesy; others are strikingly sober," says Artnet's Wecker).
● A National League of Cities' report "cautions" that "cities must focus on equity when innovating" - or face "a growing social and economic divide that could de-stabilize cities."
● Tiwari targets "urban disconnect": "A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way - there's one simple rule: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people (San Francisco's King Street is "a case study in connectivity").
● Hosey ponders San Diego's "identity crisis. Where's the 'there' here?" (it "demands ingenuity from architects to respect the city fabric while reaching intelligently and elegantly for the sky").
● Sussman & Ward track "three unexpected findings" in their "game-changing eye-tracking studies that reveal how we actually see architecture" (are those traditionalists we hear applauding?).
● Mortice considers Apple's new Foster-designed Chicago store: it "has plenty of civic ambitions, but doesn't quite live up to them. The reality is less than convincing."
● A fascinating look at how tech giants "are competing for Israeli talent and their "brash can-do-it-all attitude and chutzpah" by revolutionizing how office buildings are designed and built in Israel ("greener and more user-friendly").
Of parklands and cityscapes scrutinized, altered, dreamt of - and just plain fun!
● Sweet reports that the Feds are reviewing the impact of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's Jackson Park that "will strengthen the hand of local and national organizations wanting to manage the changes."
● Columbus, Ohio, may see "backlash" from other cities that didn't win Smart City Challenge grants after it cut four projects and added a new one: "the altered proposal is not quite what the city originally submitted to win the $40 million grant."
● Charlottesville withdraws its original RFP to redesign its recently renamed parks, and will issue a new one: "Expert designers are careful not to presume a vision for the parks. The key, they insist, is the process."
● Will it or won't it: could the WWI Memorial be moved from Pershing Park to the National Mall? (either way, it all still sounds very iffy).
● On a brighter note: Melbourne is getting a new 17-kilometre linear park underneath a new elevated rail line (dogs welcome).
● Ohio State University invites some big guns to help re-imagine the connection between the university and the city's center (only at the "dreaming stage" - for now).
● A look at Noguchi's playful playscapes, many unbuilt, that are still inspiring major public spaces today.
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Obituary by Blair Kamin: Ed Uhlir, architect who was key to Chicago's Millennium Park, 73: ...the low-key architect who played an essential, behind-the-scenes role in bringing to life the high-wattage visual spectacle of Millennium Park...Uhlir was tall and quiet, and had a measured voice and a wry sense of humor that helped him put up with - and navigate his way around - bureaucratic hurdles. -- Anish Kapoor; Jaume Plensa; Frank Gehry- Chicago Tribune
Albright-Knox may scrap original expansion plan, build elsewhere on site: After facing pressure from preservationists over plans to radically alter a beloved building by Gordon Bunshaft...alternative concept "much less invasive" than the one that raised the ire...[museum] declined to share any images of the second concept. -- Preservation Studios; PBDW Architects- Buffalo News
NSW Art Gallery reveals plans for controversial expansion in bid for more visitors: Plan to move [Sydney Modern] gallery north towards the harbour is likely to spark furious debate about loss of open space: The environmental impact statement (EIS)...argues the new plans, by SANAA and Architectus, will qualitatively improve public space...achieved by building within a disused navy fuel bunker...[and] building over the Cahill expressway...a number of prominent architects and citizens are marshalling against it...They argue the government has failed to consider other options...- Guardian (UK)
Adelaide Contemporary design comp fails Architects Institute test: The Australian Institute of Architects has refused to endorse the first stage of the competition to design the Adelaide Contemporary art gallery: ...because entrants were identified...prevented designs from being assessed exclusively on merit...appeared that the Government was looking for a “big-name architect” and that the process could not be called a true “design competition” if entrants were identified.- InDaily (Australia)
Jason Sayer: Publicity Stunt? “Working-Class Theme Park?” Questions Loom for the V&A’s Three-Story Robin Hood Gardens Fragment: ...preserving a three-story chunk of the Peter and Alison Smithson-designed housing project: ...do we really want to experience failed architecture in a museum? What will one gain...For Owen Hatherley...“this sounds like people salvaging from tragedy to create a working-class theme park"...But the real tragedy is the estate’s displaced residents. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
David Brussat: Museum of National Identity: Christopher Hawthorne [review of] Philadelpia’s Museum of the American Revolution, by Robert A.M. Stern Architects...cries out for rebuttal...Twisting the meaning of the American Revolution to fit the modernist narrative fits into a long tradition among modernists...Tradition is as important as change...Tension between them is natural. Modern architecture is part of a deconstructivist program to deny that reality...by introducing new meanings to words...and enforcing new mandates in the language of architecture. -- Inga Saffron- Architecture Here and There
5 must-read reviews of the Museum of the Bible: ...see what critics had to say about Washington, D.C.’s newest, most religious museum by SmithGroupJJR: “Some moments border on cheesy; others are strikingly sober" - Menachem Wecker/Artnet; “When it comes to the literal truth of the Bible, things can get slippery" - Philip Kennicott/Washington Post; "the way [the] founders have routinely disregarded basic principles of academic inquiry should make would-be visitors very, very cautious" - Tara Isabella Burton/Vox; Elizabeth Flock/PBS NewsHour; Candida Moss/Joel S. Baden/Politico- Curbed DC (Washington, DC)
Report: Cities must focus on equity when innovating: The report from the National League of Cities..."The Future of Equity in Cities" cautions that widening gaps between the rich and the poor, and among races, is creating a growing social and economic divide that could de-stabilize cities...addresses the topics of economic development, infrastructure and public safety to identify upcoming equity challenges and opportunities for cities.- Smart Cities Dive
Reena Tiwari: A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way: When it comes to planning better cities for the future there’s one simple rule: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people...many of us are living in a state of “urban disconnect”...we suffer the consequences; How to diagnose connectivity; A case study in connectivity: King Street, San Francisco [images]- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Lance Hosey: Time to retool San Diego’s skyline? San Diego has an identity crisis. On the one hand, real estate is booming...On the other hand, new development generally is exacerbating a problem....Apartment buildings and condos...architectural cookie cutters...the urban equivalent of the McMansion. Even our best buildings aren’t much better...Where’s the “there” here? It wasn’t always this way...[The city's] roughly square urban grid demands ingenuity from architects to respect the city fabric while reaching intelligently and elegantly for the sky. The benefits are clear.- San Diego Union-Tribune
Ann Sussman & Janice M. Ward: Game-Changing Eye-Tracking Studies Reveal How We Actually See Architecture: What happens when you apply a biometric measure like eye-tracking to architecture? More than we expected...after running four pilot-studies...we think these technologies stand to revolutionize our understanding of how architecture impacts people and, in a first, allow us to predict human responses...three unexpected findings: [images]- Common Edge
Zach Mortice: Does Apple’s New Chicago Store Have Something to Say About the Future of Cities? ...new flagship has plenty of civic ambitions, but doesn't quite live up to them: The reality is less than convincing...has an intensely unresolved relationship with the public realm. It capitalizes on its singular urban setting, but then blocks views of it with a giant TV screen. It adds quality public space, but also hews a bit too close to urban-scale product placement with its laptop roof. -- Foster + Partners [images]- Metropolis Magazine
As buildings evolve in Startup Nation, architects create space for work and play: Offices designed for Israel's tech industry are growing greener and more user-friendly: [Tech giants]...are competing for Israeli talent...the brash Israeli can-do-it-all attitude and chutzpah, but they also infuse the local tech ecosystem with...a new approach...starting to revolutionize how office buildings are being built and designed. -- Avner Yashar/Yashar Architects; Mendi Rotbard/Moshe Tzur Architects & Town Planners; Spencer de Grey/Foster + Partners; Setter Architects [images]- Times of Israel
Lynn Sweet: Feds launch review of Obama Presidential Center impact on Jackson Park: ...new phase...will strengthen the hand of local and national organizations wanting to manage the changes...to study potential impacts on the historic park - and most important - what to do to minimize and mitigate any adverse impact. -- Charles Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation/TCLF; Frederick Law Olmsted/Calvert Vaux (1871)- Chicago Sun-Times
Columbus, Ohio, alters plans for Smart City Challenge grant money: ...four projects have now been cut from the grant...added a new project to the $40 million grant, which is aimed to increase transportation help for prenatal doctor visits...for pregnant women on Medicaid with a goal of decreasing the city's infant mortality rate...the altered proposal is not quite what the city originally submitted to win the grant money - which may result in backlash from one of the other 77 cities that submitted proposals- Smart Cities Dive
Park design experts start from the ground up: ...following their decision to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from park grounds, Charlottesville...issued a Request for Proposals to redesign the recently renamed Emancipation and Justice parks. That RFP was withdrawn...to issue a new RFP under a two-phased approach...Expert designers...are careful not to presume a vision for the parks. The key, they insist, is the process. -- VMDO Architects; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects; Elizabeth Meyer; Bushman Dreyfus Architects- C-Ville (Charlottesville, VA)
Is D.C.’s WWI Memorial moving to the National Mall? ...the World War I Centennial Commission hosted a symbolic groundbreaking for the WWI Memorial in Pershing Park...As of now, the memorial is the early stages of design development, and it hasn’t gotten final approvals...Nor have any building permits been issued...Whatever site is selected, [it] still faces a stringent and lengthy approvals process moving forward. -- M. Paul Friedberg; GWWO Architects/Sabin Howard/Joseph Weishaar [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Linear park to fill in space under new Melbourne ‘sky rail’: ...a 17-kilometre walking and cycling path occupying the space underneath a new elevated rail line...will involve the planting of more than 30,000 new trees and shrubs...dog parks, a basketball court, picnic areas, nature play areas and "parkour areas”...proposal signified a change in the prominence given to design in the delivery of the controversial level crossing removal project. -- Cox Architecture; Aspect Studios [images]- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Beaches, bikes and bridges: Ohio State engages expert teams to re-imagine Olentangy River Corridor: Design charrette concludes with visionary look at the connection from the university to city’s center: .None of the projects is ready to go beyond the dreaming stages. The charrette was the kind of thought experiment... -- NBBJ; TLS Landscape Architecture/MKSK; West 8/REALM [link to images]- Ohio State University Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture
Isamu Noguchi’s Playful Designs Dot The California Landscape: Most of Isamu Noguchi's playscapes remained undeveloped in his lifetime. But today, major public spaces are taking their cue from the iconic designer: ...his decades-long career defied classification...his parks and playscapes are meant to be touched, and are designed for inventive interaction. -- Richard Dattner; M. Paul Friedberg; Egon Möller-Nielsen; Fletcher Studio; James Corner Field Operations [images]- KCET.org (California)
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