Today’s News - Tuesday, January 23, 2018
● Kamin responds to Birnbaum's opposition to the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago's Jackson Park: "plans won't destroy Olmsted's park - they should be improved, not rejected - the proposed museum tower needs to become less bulky and more elegant. But that is no reason to throw out an opportunity."
● Birnbaum offers a point-by-point riposte to Kamin's riposte: Kamin's column "is grossly misleading and misrepresentative of TCLF's position."
● Hawthorne bemoans the AIA not giving out a Twenty-Five Year Award, "the most consistently surprising and meaningful award in architecture - the jury ought to have tried harder" - coming up with his own list 25 potential winners "wasn't that difficult."
● Campbell-Dollaghan wonders if architecture is "ashamed of Postmodernism" with the AIA not naming a Twenty-Five Year Award winner: "Postmodernism still gets stuck in architecture's craw. Should we really try to forget an entire era, however flawed?"
● Frearson parses 10 buildings picked by the Postmodern Society's Furman that "represent a new age of postmodernism" ("a pile of Dutch townhouses" included).
● Robinson considers Houston's post-Harvey future: the city "must begin to do things differently if we want a better future. What is the best city that Houston can be? If not a city on a hill, at least one that is above the floodplain."
● Tondo revisits Italy's "bold plan" to build entirely new towns following the devastating 1968 earthquake in Sicily that created "an urban disaster of a different kind," with one town "built according to a strange late-60s design aesthetic" - and now a ghost town.
● Upwork's Kasriel explains why "we should be trying to reverse our obsession with luring large corporate offices toward increasingly dense central business districts," and explore "alternatives to a 1950s-style work-here-live-there paradigm" (are you listening, Amazon?).
● Anzilotti ponders whether we can "create a new kind of downtown" in abandoned suburban office parks; Saarinen's historic Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, hopes to by creating a "'metroburb' - the question is: What's a downtown without a city?"
● Wainwright x 2: he's quite taken by the "wonky desks, giant fig trees, and mindfulness classes" in London's Second Home by SelgasCano, "styled with a retro sci-fi air - as if Barbarella has opened a garden center. Who knew insulation could be so much fun?"
● He minces no words about Boris Johnson's "preposterous plan for a 22-mile bridge" across the English Channel to France: "No doubt his go-to designer for overpriced public baubles has already rustled up a design" (think Heatherwick), or possibly "iconic bridge tsar" Calatrava, to add "a touch of ageing celebrity sparkle."
● Alan Dunlop has a better (and less expensive) idea: build a "Celtic bridge" between Scotland and Northern Ireland that he says "would boost both economies and help the post-Brexit border issue" (some skeptics weigh in).
● Stephens cheers the Complete Streets movement: "The possibilities are endless - there is a virtuous cycle in the relationship between well designed, functional streets and well designed, attractive neighborhoods" (some impressive statistics!).
● Davidson delves into what city streets could become with "a new set of decisions and designs, not just a let's-see-how-it-all-works-out attitude. The street of the future should look nothing like today's" (and offers a few basic principles).
● Speaking of city streets, Murphy offers up some of "the outrageous highway schemes left as roads to nowhere" - NYC had the Moses/Jacobs conflict - who knew there were similar challenges in Glasgow, Cape Town, Sydney, Warsaw, and elsewhere (some scary-looking stuff)!
● Eisenberg sits in on the New Jersey regionals of DiscoverE's Future City "Age-Friendly City" competition for middle school kids, and parses the top three winners: "Most ideas were high-tech; it was an engineering competition, after all. But some were very low-tech" (best of all - the kids understood they were designing their own future).
● On a more adult note: eyefuls of the 2017 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards Winners.
● Eyefuls of 24 examples of North Korea's eclectic architecture - everyone knows the 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, but there's so much more (the pink and blue Baby Home and Orphanage - wow!).
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Blair Kamin: Obama center plans won't destroy Olmsted's park - they should be improved, not rejected: As debate heats up over the wisdom of putting the Obama Presidential Center in historic Jackson Park, opponents are painting...a land grab...would blight a park...Destroy Olmsted’s legacy? Please...plans would improve a scruffy landscape...Granted, the proposed museum tower needs to become less bulky and more elegant. But that is no reason to throw out an opportunity...I would have preferred...a parcel on the edge of nearby Washington Park...But that didn’t happen... -- Frederick Law Olmsted; Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation/TCLF; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects- Chicago Tribune
Charles A. Birnbaum: Obama Presidential Center Rhetoric Heats Up: Deliberate or not, the implication of the [Kamin] column’s introduction is that TCLF is one of the “opponents painting the project as a self-indulgent statement.” This is grossly misleading and misrepresentative of TCLF’s position. Here, again, is TCLF’s position... -- The Cultural Landscape Foundation; Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., and Calvert Vaux- The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)
Christopher Hawthorne: Architecture is facing its own award-season controversy: ...the American Institute of Architects would not be giving out a Twenty-Five Year Award for 2018...the most consistently surprising and meaningful award in architecture...it pulls a work of architecture from the shadows of inattention...the jury ought to have tried harder...Could I come up...with 25 buildings that might have deserved the award this year? It took me a few days...but in the end finding 25 wasn't that difficult.- Los Angeles Times
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan: Is Architecture Ashamed Of Postmodernism? Pomo is still left out of the canon. Why? Architecture is in a constant state of near-neurotic obsession over its past. So...when the American Institute of Architects decided not to name a winner for its annual Twenty-Five Year Award...It’s worth taking a look at the award’s past winners...postmodernism still gets stuck in architecture’s craw...Should we really try to forget an entire era, however flawed? Can we find value in design that doesn’t fit neatly into the model laid out by the greats?- Fast Company / Co.Design
Amy Frearson: 10 buildings that represent a new age of postmodernism: The age of postmodern architecture is far from over, according to designer Adam Nathaniel Furman. To prove it, he has picked out 10 examples, including a pile of Dutch townhouses and a skyscraper modelled on a clock tower. -- Postmodern Society; FAT/Grayson Perry; WAM Architecten; CY Lee; Adnan Saffarini; Short & Associates; Soeters Van Eldonk; Peter Barber Architects; ARM/Ashton Raggatt McDougall; MVRDV- Dezeen
David W. Robinson: Designing Houston for the post-Harvey future: ...Hurricane Harvey was a true game-changer...we need to think long-term about how to make our region more resilient for the next storm. I am encouraged by the conversations happening at the community level as well as at the city...One point has resonated throughout these discussions: Houston must begin to do things differently if we want a better future...What is the best city that Houston can be? If not a city on a hill, at least one that is above the floodplain.- Houston Chronicle
Lorenzo Tondo: 50 years since Sicily's earthquake, an urban disaster of a different kind: When a quake devastated Sicily in 1968, a bold plan was hatched - to build entirely new towns and move the inhabitants. But what looked futuristic on paper would herald a new decay: Italian government...hired well-known architects...Poggioreale Nuova...was built according to a strange late-60s design aesthetic...has become a ghost town...many settlements were bled dry. -- Franco Purini; Paolo Portoghesi [images]- Guardian (UK)
Stephane Kasriel/Upwork: Cities Are Killing The Future Of Work (And The American Dream): In its new-headquarters search, Amazon seems hell-bent on accelerating the rapid urbanization of work. We should be trying to reverse it: ...our obsession with luring large corporate offices toward increasingly dense central business districts has strained American life as we know it...Technological advances...and the proliferation of coworking spaces...combined with rise of the knowledge economy offer alternatives to a 1950s-style work-here-live-there paradigm.- Fast Company
Eillie Anzilotti: Can We Create A New Kind Of Downtown In Abandoned Suburban Offices? Inside the historic old Bell Labs building in Holmdel, New Jersey, a developer is creating a “metroburb”- a self-contained, indoor Main Street that will house stores, a food hall, and tech company offices. The question is: What’s a downtown without a city? For all intents and purposes, Bell Works is a destination, not a downtown. -- Eero Saarinen; Paola Zamudio, head of the studio NPZ Style + Décor [images]- Next Avenue / Twin Cities PBS
Oliver Wainwright: Wonky desks, giant fig trees and mindfulness classes: is this the office of the future? Second Home is reinventing office life. Is yours next? Step inside its world of vintage chairs, froth insulation and zig-zagging walkways: ...styled with a retro sci-fi air. It looks as if Barbarella has opened a garden centre...Who knew insulation could be so much fun? -- José Selgas/Lucía Cano/SelgasCano [images]- Guardian (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Could a Channel bridge be as bold and beautiful as these marvels? From the ‘writhing sea monster’ in Qatar to the magic carpet ride above the clouds in France, there is no shortage of inspiration for magnificent long-span bridges. What could architects create for Boris Johnson’s proposed Channel link? ...his preposterous plan for a 22-mile bridge...No doubt his go-to designer for overpriced public baubles, Thomas Heatherwick, has already rustled up a design...Or might...Norman Foster, already be working on a scheme? Another likely candidate...iconic bridge tsar, Santiago Calatrava.- Guardian (UK)
Top architect insists Scotland - Northern Ireland bridge 'is feasible': ...would create a "Celtic powerhouse." A week after Boris Johnson proposed a bridge across the English Channel, Alan Dunlop says the potential link would be a better prospect..."Celtic bridge"...would boost both economies and help the post-Brexit border issue.- BBC
Josh Stephens: Creating Complete Streets: Movement aims to make roadways safer: In many ways, it is easier to describe what a complete street isn’t than what it is...The possibilities are endless for cities that want to save lives and choose to view their streets as more than just thoroughfares...there is a virtuous cycle in the relationship between well designed, functional streets and well designed, attractive neighborhoods. -- Emiko Atherton/Barbara McCann/National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC); Christopher Leinberger; Smart Growth America- InTransition Magazine
Justin Davidson: What Is a City Street? And What Will It Become? Fewer cars, some of them driverless, and more space for everything else: It is a complex but archaic machine - improvised, mistreated, and endlessly patched up. It needs an overhaul, and it needs one now...requires a new set of decisions and designs, not just a let’s-see-how-it-all-works-out attitude. The street of the future should look nothing like today’s...We should start with a few basic principles:- New York Magazine
Douglas Murphy: Unbuilt cities: the outrageous highway schemes left as roads to nowhere: The postwar passion for highway construction saw cities around the world carved up in the name of progress. But as communities fought back many schemes were abandoned - their half-built traces showing what might have been. -- Robert Moses; Jane Jacobs; Paul Rudolph [images]- Guardian (UK)
Richard Eisenberg: How Kids Would Make Age-Friendly Cities: At the New Jersey regionals of the Future City 'Age-Friendly City' competition, middle school students offered practical and fanciful ideas to age better: ...project-based learning experience from DiscoverE, a volunteer movement aiming “to inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators.Most ideas were high-tech; it was an engineering competition, after all. But some were very low-tech. --Next Avenue- Forbes
2017 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards Winners: ...nine projects were selected...for their unique approaches to senior living design. -- Marks Thomas/Woda Group; AG Architecture/AMAI, Spellman Brady & Co.; Ankrom Moisan Architects; Richard Beard Architects (former principal at BAR Architects)/SWA Group/BAMO Inc.; RLPS Architects/RLPS Interiors; CallisonRTKL/Goebel Design Group; Gawron Turgeon Architects [images]- Senior Housing News
North Korea's eclectic architecture [24 images]- Reuters
ANN feature: Charles F. Bloszies: Left Coast Reflections #4: Iceberg Architecture: A London cabbie asked if we had heard of the "iceberg houses." We should keep our pencils above grade most of the time. And we should support theories that preserve real icebergs before they trickle away completely. [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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