Today’s News - Wednesday, March 14, 2018
● Walker's great Q&A with Hawthorne, L.A.'s first chief design officer, re: why he wanted to work for the mayor, "how the city's sidewalks will be in many ways the heart of his focus, why he sees the 2028 Olympics as a "nearly perfect" time frame for getting things done," and what the LA Times should consider when picking his successor.
● Betsky on why "saving the big bland box" (a.k.a. Union Carbide Building) "might not be such a bad idea" - but not for the "spurious" reasons that it "was designed by a woman or that it is a great piece of architecture" (it's not).
● Dismantling has begun on the façade of the 1982 Portland Building: "What got built wasn't the original design intent," says Burke of Michael Graves Architecture & Design, who consulted on DLR Group's project. "It was a cheap version" (critics remain unconvinced).
● Saffron bemoans the sad fate of Philly's Mercantile Library, a 1953 "modernist landmark that defied every convention of library design," now covered in plywood and graffiti: "Despite its horrendous condition, it is too important to write off" - it "should be a good candidate for renovation and reuse."
● A call to landmark Suuronen's 1965 prefabricated Futuro House (a.k.a. UFO house), "currently housed on a go-kart track" in a Melbourne suburb.
● A look at how some cities that lost out on Amazon HQ2 are planning to reuse their bid materials for future projects: "The impetus to continue with projects already in the pipeline might be the most tangible legacy of an unsuccessful HQ2 bid."
● A depressing report: "Global construction waste will almost double to 2.2. billion tons by 2025": "'reduce, reuse, and recycle' policies are necessary to control construction waste, but insufficient resources, slim profit margins, policy apathy, and lack of education on the issues are keeping that from happening."
● Meanwhile, cities like Boston and Baltimore "look to 'zero waste' plans and material bans to reach sustainability goals - cities of all sizes can do it."
● Sharma parses Pritzker-winner Doshi's low-cost housing project Aranya, "one of the wonders of India - a housing project that actually works. It's time for today's architects and planners to take a step back and listen to Doshi."
● The photo op at today's groundbreaking for the Lucas Museum will star George Lucas - along with Ma Yansong's newest model and renderings, which include "landscaping for the museum's 11 acres, formerly asphalt parking lots."
● Fazzare talks to Sugimoto re: "his transformative design" for the lobby of Bunshaft's 1974 Hirshhorn Museum, "his unexpected work as an architect, and what goes wrong when starchitects design for art."
● Sitz outlines the seven "Dimensions of Citizenship" projects commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale: each team is "grappling with questions of belonging, sovereignty, and ecology as they investigate how citizenship is represented at different scales."
● The V&A is bringing its rescued segment of the Smithsons' Robin Hood Gardens to the Venice Biennale - a "street in the sky" included.
● Mortice marvels at the makeover of The Gateway Arch in St. Louis that no longer stands "in splendid isolation": cheers for MVVA, Cooper Robertson, et al. for finding "ways to amplify the arch's appeal through the neighborly connection of park to street to river" - and it being "the largest public-private partnership investment in a U.S. National Park ever."
● The teenage design-researchers of the Yes Loitering project offer "a creative, positive vision for Youth-Affirming Public Spaces: Yes Sitting, Yes Skating, Yes Music."
Meier's #MeToo moment (we are saddened to have to cover this):
● Pogrebin talks to five women who have accused Meier of sexual harassment - he's taking a six-month leave from his firm: "I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions. While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior."
● AIA responds to the allegations: "Sexual harassment is not only illegal, it flies in the face of our values and ethics," says AIA president Carl Elefante.
● Cornell's Kleinman "severs ties" with Meier: "We will decline his new gift to name the chair of the Department of Architecture."
● Hagberg Fisher, who has dealt with her own painful sexual harassment case against UC Berkeley, offers her own wish-list for stopping sexual harassment in design: "Some of us have been wondering when #MeToo would hit architecture and design. The time appears to be now - there are very specific - and very actionable - measures that we can take."
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Alissa Walker: Why L.A.’s public design matters: An interview with Christopher Hawthorne, the city’s first chief design officer: The Los Angeles Times architecture critic explains his move to City Hall: Q&A re: why he wanted to work for Mayor Eric Garcetti, how the city’s sidewalks will be in many ways the heart of his focus, and why he sees the 2028 Olympics as a “nearly perfect” time frame for getting things done: [And what] the LA Times should consider when picking your successor.- Curbed Los Angeles
Aaron Betsky: Saving the Big Bland Box Might Not Be Such a Bad Idea: He agrees that we should save the Union Carbide Building, but not because it is an example of great architecture: The main reasons...used to argue for its preservation from demolition by...JPMorgan Chase - namely that it was designed by a woman (Natalie de Blois) and that it is a great piece of architecture - are both spurious. The only good reason to save this particularly banal box...an inexcusable waste of resources. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- Architect Magazine
Serious Alterations to Portland Building by Michael Graves Begin in Oregon: Dismantling has begun on the facade of the...the 1982 Postmodern civic structure...“What got built wasn’t the original design intent,” says Patrick Burke, a principal at Michael Graves Architecture & Design who consulted on DLR Group’s project. “It was a cheap version"...While...the new facade will closely mirror the original, critics fear that the upgrades will alter the building. They have instead proposed patching up the facade... [images]- Architectural Record
Inga Saffron: How did a modernist landmark end up covered in plywood and graffiti? Cast your imagination back to 1953...In Philadelphia...Sydney E. Martin borrowed the modernists’ ideas to create a branch library that defied every convention of library design...borrowed its moves from modern retailing...a diaphanous glass jewel box...The Mercantile Library still stands...Despite its horrendous condition, [it] is too important to write off...should be a good candidate for renovation and reuse. -- Martin, Stewart & Noble [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Call to heritage list prefabricated UFO house: ...designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen...the Futuro House, currently housed on a go-kart track in the outer-northern Melbourne suburb of South Morang, was nominated for inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register...designed...in 1965 as...a concept for a ski house that would be easy to construct on uneven terrain. Manufacturer Polykem produced a series of houses made of prefabricated fiberglass...there are roughly 60 of the capsules still in existence. [images]- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Amazon HQ2 'losers' use bid process as learning experience: Some cities already plan to reuse bid materials, while many agree that the bidding process alone set them up well for future competitions: ...details of unsuccessful bids have started to trickle out, along with promises to make use of those bids for future projects...The impetus to continue with projects already in the pipeline might be the most tangible legacy of an unsuccessful HQ2 bid.- Smart Cities Dive
Report: Global construction waste will almost double to 2.2. billion tons by 2025: According to the study, "reduce, reuse and recycle" policies are necessary to control the amount of construction waste, but insufficient resources, lack of standardization, slim profit margins, policy apathy and lack of education on the issues are keeping that from happening.- Construction Dive
Cities look to 'zero waste' plans, material bans to reach sustainability goals: ...cities of all sizes can do it by first assessing their unique resources and strengths. Energy is far from the only factor cities consider...waste streams, and whether or not to ban controversial items like foam and single-use plastic bags, are another.- Smart Cities Dive
Mihir Sharma: Poor Need Homes, Not Monuments: Pritzker Prize Winner Balkrishna Doshi's vision should be heeded across the developing world: ...he is best known for Aranya, a low-cost housing project in the central Indian city of Indore...one of the wonders of India: a housing project that actually works...essentially imitates the slums that dot Indian cities...except with infrastructure and more open space to make it more liveable...It's time for today's architects and planners to take a step back and listen to Doshi.- Bloomberg View
Deborah Vankin: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art: New renderings released ahead of Wednesday groundbreaking: ...the photo op will include not only filmmaker George Lucas but also the newest model of his forthcoming building...will show landscaping for the museum’s 11 acres, formerly asphalt parking lots. -- Ma Yansong/MAD Architects [images]- Los Angeles Times
Elizabeth Fazzare: Hiroshi Sugimoto on His Transformative Design for the Hirshhorn Museum: The artist talks historic inspiration, process, and his work as an architect...for the lobby of Gordon Bunshaft’s 1974 building: Q&A re: his unexpected work as an architect and what goes wrong when starchitects design for art..."I have a lot of thoughts about those starchitects. They never think about the artist...don’t give me too many jobs as an architect. I’m an artist with a hobby as an architect." -- New Material Research Laboratory [images]- Architectural Digest
Miriam Sitz: U.S. Pavilion Announces Seven “Dimensions of Citizenship” Projects for Venice Biennale: ...seven architecture and design teams to each explore a specific aspect of the Pavilion’s theme, grappling with questions of belonging, sovereignty, and ecology as they investigate how citizenship is represented at different scales. -- Niall Atkinson; Ann Lui/Future Firm; Mimi Zeiger; Iker Gil/MAS Studio; Amanda Williams/Andres L. Hernandez/Shani Crowe; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Kate Orff/SCAPE; Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman; Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Laura Kurgan/Robert Gerard Pietrusko; Keller Easterling; El Hadi Jazairy/Rania Ghosn/Design Earth [images]- Architectural Record
Stefanie Waldek: The V&A Museum Will Recreate a Demolished Social Housing Complex for the 2018 Venice Biennale: ...a collaboration with artist Do Ho Suh and firms ARUP and Muf Architecture/Art on “Robin Hood Gardens: A Ruin in Reverse”: Visitors will be able to stand on a reconstruction of the Smithsons’ “street in the sky"... -- Alison and Peter Smithson [images]- Architectural Digest
Zach Mortice: The Gateway Arch, a Global Icon, Reconnects to St. Louis: ...once stood in splendid isolation: ...landscape architects at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) have found ways to amplify the arch’s appeal through the neighborly connection of park to street to river...$380 million...makes the refreshed Jefferson National Expansion Memorial...the largest public-private partnership investment in a U.S. National Park ever...58% of the cost...came from private donors... -- Eero Saarinen; Dan Kiley; Cooper Robertson; James Carpenter Design Associates; Trivers Associates. [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Yes Loitering: Yes Sitting, Yes Skating, Yes Music: Where can teenagers hang out and be safe in public? For the teenage design-researchers of the Yes Loitering project, justice for youth means public spaces where they can “hang out and be themselves” without fear of reprisal...they offer a diagnosis of the problem, and proposals that marry broad principles of access and inclusion with hyper-specific demands. The result is a creative, positive vision...Our Ideas for Youth-Affirming Public Spaces -- Chat Travieso- Urban Omnibus / The Architectural League of New York
Robin Pogrebin: 5 Women Accuse Richard Meier of Sexual Harassment: Five women told The Times that Mr. Meier sexually harassed them. In response, he announced a six-month leave as founder and managing partner of his firm: “I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions. While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior. I am leaving the company in the hands of a dedicated and outstanding senior management team."- New York Times
AIA Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Richard Meier: "Sexual harassment is not only illegal, it flies in the face of our values and ethics,” says AIA president Carl Elefante.- Architect Magazine
Cornell severs ties with Richard Meier following harassment claims: In an open letter...architecture dean Kent Kleinman described Meier's behaviour as "unacceptable" and said he would review all previous donations from the architect..."We will decline his new gift to name the chair of the Department of Architecture" [Richard Meier Chair of the Department of Architecture]...- Dezeen
Eva Hagberg Fisher: How To Stop Sexual Harassment In Design Right Now: A wishlist: Some of us have been wondering when #MeToo would hit architecture and design. The time appears to be now...there are very specific - and very actionable - measures that we can take to protect architectural and design workers from mistreatment. Here is my wishlist.- Fast Company / Co.Design
ANN feature: Jason A. Silva: From the Treetops #3: Is Art Redefining the Architecture of Sacramento? Temporary, multi-disciplinary arts projects are transforming the proverbial "white cube" gallery town by elevating the discourse around what art can be and the potential spaces it could occupy. [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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