Today’s News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's News is a bit shorter than usual. Your devoted curator of news is battling the flu, and words on the screen started turning into parametric parabolas (is that even a thing - or maybe we mean iambic pentameter?). If we miss posting tomorrow, you'll know why...
● Kamin x 2: He pays tribute to Wilbert Hasbrouck, the preservation architect (also of Prairie Avenue Bookshop fame) who renovated or restored notable projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and others, and "sometimes rankled preservationists when he testified against saving historic structures."
● He parses a TOD project in Wilmette (14 miles north of Chicago): "The intentions were good (they always are)," but "there's much more to a successful TOD than proximity to a train station."
● Could the U.S. Congress get any more dysfunctional? Apparently, yes: "House votes to roll back Americans with Disabilities Act protections - written to cut off overly litigious law firms" (with any luck, it won't pass the Senate, but we're not holding our breath).
● Lange takes a long look at the future of malls - the good ones have much in common with the great ones of the past (but where are the benches for weary?).
● Taylor-Foster ponders McAslan's Msheireb Museums in Qatar: "The debate about what architecture can and should say about national identity and heritage is ratcheting up" with a project that is at the "forefront architectural preservation and place-making."
● Rumor has it (from "a person familiar with the matter") that Gehry and Calatrava could be in the mix to design towers for Hudson Yards Phase 2: "Let the speculation begin."
● Sussman susses out why people shun Boston City Hall by using eye-tracking: "It was astonishing for us to 'see' how difficult it was for people to actually 'fixate' on any part of the building."
● There's a "hiccup" at Apple's shiny, new, Foster-designed HQ in Cupertino: "employees keep smacking into the glass walls - some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass," but they "were removed because they detracted from the building's design" (ouches be damned!).
● Saval pens a fascinating profile of Kengo Kuma, "the most famous Japanese architect Americans have never heard of": "he wants to 'erase' his trade, to create a 'defeated architecture' - he often makes demagogic statements on behalf of his own brand of architectural modesty."
● Martin's Q&A with Richard Rogers re: cities, Manhattan, modern architecture, and his new book: "I would say that now New York is no longer cutting-edge."
● Who doesn't like a little bit of eye candy every now and then: Serbian photographer Nikola Olic's "inventive compositions" presents urban landscapes "in a new light" (very cool).
● For the architect who needs a new toy: "BLOKOSHKA: A Modernist Architectural Matryoshka" is "a playful tour" of former Eastern Bloc concrete modernist estates via pre-cut, pre-folded nesting blocks.
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Obituary by Blair Kamin: Wilbert Hasbrouck, preservation architect and co-owner of Prairie Avenue Bookshop, 86: During a career of more than 40 years, he renovated or restored such buildings as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, one of the architect’s most opulent commissions; the Manhattan Building, a muscular 1891 skyscraper by William Le Baron Jenney; and the jewel-like Peoples Savings Bank in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by Louis Sullivan...sometimes rankled preservationists when he testified against saving historic structures. He supported the 1984 demolition of the Chicago and North Western railroad station, for example, which was replaced by the 42-story, Helmut Jahn-designed Citigroup Center. “I still take grief for that"...- Chicago Tribune
Blair Kamin: Suburban transit-oriented development a fine idea, but Wilmette project fails to live up to suburb's high standard: ...hardly anyone would raise a ruckus about a five-story building. But in Wilmette...five stories is a big deal - and, in this case, a big disappointment. The intentions were good (they always are)...there’s much more to a successful TOD than proximity to a train station...Sophisticated design quality matters if these buildings are to...encourage more TODs...Wilmette’s is an object lesson in getting the planning right but the architecture wrong. -- Schwarz Lewis Design Group- Chicago Tribune
Lowering the Bar: House votes to roll back Americans with Disabilities Act protections: The ADA Education and Reform Act was ostensibly written to cut off overly litigious law firms who were pursuing ADA lawsuits for cash without even visiting properties, but disability advocates warned that it would shift the burden of proof to the disabled...It’s unclear whether H.R. 620 will be able to pass through the deadlocked Senate.- The Architect's Newspaper
Alexandra Lange: Malls and the future of American retail: Bad customer experience is out of fashion, not bricks and mortar: Renzo Piano isn’t the only capital-A architect working on the American mall...When Victor Gruen was working on the Northland Center ...the future of shopping, and the future of suburbia, were tasks that occupied the best architectural minds in America...Although born of the suburbs, the mall today is being reabsorbed by the city... -- SHoP Architects; Santiago Calatrava; Welton Becket; Lawrence Halprin; John Bolles; E.G. Hamilton; Richard Myrick; CallisonRTKL; Lee Weintraub [images]- Curbed
James Taylor-Foster: Qatar’s Msheireb Museums Pioneer a New Kind of Middle Eastern Cultural Architecture: Designed by John McAslan + Partners...[at the] forefront architectural preservation and place-making: Attitudes and aspirations are changing around the Persian Gulf...The debate about what architecture can and should say about national identity and heritage is ratcheting up...collection of museums...which repurposes four historic buildings...part of a vast scheme to rehabilitate 110 buildings in Doha’s historic core...master planned by Allies and Morrison. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Could Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava be designing Hudson Yards towers? Let the speculation begin: A gaggle of noteworthy architects are due to put their stamp on the Hudson Yards megaproject, but if the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, two bona fide starchitects may be joining their ranks...it’s fair to assume that [the] second phase will have some big-name buzz attached... -- David Childs/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Foster + Partners; Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF); Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group; Thomas Heatherwick- Curbed New York
Ann Sussman: If You Want To ‘See’ Why People Shun Boston City Hall - Eye Track it! ...why does Boston’s Government Center fail from a public perspective? ...because the building and surrounding spaces don’t provide the fixation points in the first 3-5 seconds...It was astonishing for us to ‘see’ how difficult it was for people to actually...‘fixate’ on any part of the building...a next question would be, what kind of architecture draws the eye in pre-attentive processing? That’s critical to understand if we want to design people-friendly places! [images]- The Genetics of Design
Employees at Apple's New Headquarters Keep Crashing Into the Glass Walls: The centerpiece...a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic...There’s been one hiccup...employees keep smacking into the glass...Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design... -- Norman Foster/Foster + Partners- Fortune magazine
Nikil Saval: Kengo Kuma’s Architecture of the Future: Rejecting flashy forms in favor of buildings in harmony with their environment, the architect - poised to become world famous for his stadium for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo - is trying to reinvent his entire trade: ... now poised to achieve international renown, despite having built comparatively little abroad, and having repeatedly written that he wants to “erase” his trade, to create a “defeated architecture"...a constant source of paradoxes and ironies, often makes demagogic statements on behalf of his own brand of architectural modesty. “I want to change the definition of architecture"...in a way, he already has. [images]- New York Times
Olivia Martin: Richard Rogers talks cities, Manhattan, and modern architecture...and his infamous sense of color: "I would say that now New York...is no longer cutting-edge...My book ["A Place for All People: Life, Architecture and the Fair Society"] is partly about inequality. In fact I suppose it’s a key piece of it and we are going through an amazingly unequal time...Another issue I talk about is sustainability. In architecture, it’s about loose fit, long life.- The Architect's Newspaper
Urban landscapes reimagined - in pictures: For Serbian photographer Nikola Olic, the built environment is a canvas for his inventive compositions. Using only a single camera and minimal Photoshopping, he creates abstract images that present the metropolis in a new light. [images]- Observer (UK)
Zupagrafika Presents "BLOKOSHKA: A Modernist Architectural Matryoshka": Inspired by the former Eastern Bloc concrete modernist estates, [it] is a playful tour inside the "sleeping districts" of Moscow, plattenbau constructions of East Berlin, Warsaw estates...and the panelak blocks in Prague...a set of 4 pre-cut and pre-folded nesting blocks to open in half and place inside of one another. [images]- ArchDaily
ANN feature: Guy Geier: Nuts + Bolts #16: What's in a Name? Branding can be a bit of a foreign concept to established (and even to newer) architecture firms. Here are some central takeaways from a firm rebranding itself after 40 years in practice.- ArchNewsNow.com
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