Today’s News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy 1st Day of Spring! As we batten down the hatches for Big Blow #4: 12-18 inches forecast in our neck of the woods - yikes! If we don't post tomorrow, it will be because we didn't light enough candles to the weather gods.
● Malhotra pens a wonderful profile of Pritzker-winner Doshi, "the architect who shaped Ahmedabad - and not only through his buildings," with input from his peers, students, and fans, and the controversy around a Benninger-designed building on the CEPT campus.
● Hall Kaplan cheers Doshi's Pritzker win: "How refreshing - hopefully might just help edge architecture back to its noble calling of designing spaces and places for human endeavor."
● Giovannini cheers Hadid's "desert think tank" in Riyadh, that combines "architectural beauty and sustainability - she changed direction, becoming an architect she had never quite been, creating a design she had never quite done" (and sadly, never got to see).
● Gehry's plans for L.A.'s Grand Avenue get even grander with plans to design the Colburn School extension and concert hall that will "create connective tissue between Colburn, The Grand, and Disney Hall with busy pedestrian corridors" (images expected in about 6-8 months).
● Assemblage's master plan for the Greenwich Design District in southeast London is set to start: nine firms are designing16 buildings for creative industries, education facilities, and retail.
● Lewis pens an eloquent ode to "background buildings": "a background building can do more than its urban duty if a talented architect and a supportive developer strive for design excellence - let's take more notice of background buildings exhibiting architectural excellence."
● With 67 commercial buildings "verified as net energy in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, and another 415 in construction or in the evaluation process," a new study shows zero-energy buildings are on a "rapid rise," in part, because of technology.
● "Tucked behind a house for the wealthy" in Texas, "perhaps lies some hope for the significantly less so" with a small "proof-of-concept" 3D-printed home that took 48 hours to build (lots of coverage and images elsewhere, but more details - and pessimistic comments - here).
● Mortice's Q&A with 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial artistic director Yesomi Umolu: "This is not just a curatorial project; it's a civic project as well."
● Kleinschmidt has Common Edge's Pedersen on the other side of a Q&A with a lively chat re: authentic public engagement, Saarinen, and more: "There's a restlessness within the architecture world. We're now at a point of crisis, especially in our coastal cities, but I'm hopeful. I see glimmers that it can be different."
● Woodman bemoans the decline of publishers for serious books on architecture: "The trajectory of architectural history has been influenced by the written word to an incalculable extent. It is a contribution to architectural discourse that needs defending and nurturing, now more than ever."
● U.S. "design talent triumphs" in the 2018 MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Awards, "scooping one third of all prizes."
● Call for entries: 2018 Sweets College Scholarship for current or incoming students at U.S. or Canadian universities; the 2017 winner is Lais Weba of Virginia Tech.
Of critics and controversy:
● Lubell bemoans Hawthorne leaving the L.A. Times: "It goes without saying that the L.A. Times absolutely must name a new full-time architecture critic. Along with landscape architecture and urban design, it is a public profession. It is for the public, not despite them. We need to empower more informed voices to keep it that way" (Kimmelman "is M.I.A.," and the New Yorker never replaced Goldberger).
● Walker talks to bunches of critics about who should replace Hawthorne: "Probably a woman."
● Pedersen's great Q&A Hawthorne, L.A.'s new Chief Design Officer: He "possesses an elegant set of social skills that will make him an effective advocate for design in the public realm."
● LaBarre hears from critics Goldberger, Heintz, Pedersen, and Helfand, who weigh in on whether to - or how to - boycott a building: "The question hangs over countless buildings now that architecture's #MeToo moment has arrived" (there's a link to LaBarre's exclusive with the anonymous founder of "Shitty Architecture Men": "False reporting is not something I'm concerned with" - not a good sign; we couldn't find an actual website for the crowd-sourced "spreadsheet" of misbehavior).
● Kamin and Ross Barney reflect on "#MeToo's humbling one of architecture's top figures": "While the field has changed for the better - some things remain the same, including architects' habit of working together, deep into the night. That can be a double-edged sword."
● Brussat ponders the same issue: "Classical architects were probably just as arrogant. But preventing dastardly behavior must not be allowed to throttle innocent behavior. Romance often germinates in the work environment - innocent flirtation mustn't be punished for the deeds of the sexually irresponsible" 9and he's fine with Betsky's admiration of Kahn).
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Ashish Malhotra: City of Doshi: The Architect Who Shaped Ahmedabad: Balkrishna Doshi, this year’s winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, has left a deep imprint on Gujarat’s biggest city - and not only through his buildings: ...[his] legacy extends far beyond the physical structures he’s built, into the relationships, community, and understanding of place he’s formed alongside them...Through the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Doshi was able to attract global thinkers and foster future generations of architects...while cementing Ahmedabad’s status as a center for architecture. -- Le Corbusier; Louis Kahn; Riyaz Tayyibji; Vastu Shilpa Consultants; Christopher Benninger- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Sam Hall Kaplan: Award Shifts from Star Architecture to Social Concerns: ...the Pritzker Prize recently elbowed its way into the news, no small feat in these Trumpian dominated days...may be an indication that the profession is shifting away from the recent obnoxious obsession with celebrity architecture to more socially responsible concerns...How refreshing...hopefully might just help edge architecture back to its noble calling of designing spaces and places for human endeavor. -- Balkrishna Doshi- City Observed
Joseph Giovannini: Zaha Hadid’s Desert Think Tank: Environmental Beauty and Efficiency: The sprawling, $1 billion showcase in Saudi Arabia was inspired by the geometries found in honeycombs and soap bubbles...King Abdullah Petroleum and Research Center...She never saw one of the most singular designs of her career...In Riyadh...she changed direction, becoming an architect she had never quite been, creating a design she had never quite done. Architectural beauty and sustainability were not mutually exclusive. Like her building, she adapted. -- DaeWha Kang [images]- New York Times
Frank Gehry tapped to design Colburn School extension and concert hall in downtown L.A.: ...including a 1,100-seat concert hall that will further expand the Grand Avenue arts corridor in downtown Los Angeles...[He] has long sought to build a thriving artistic core for the city, with sketches and studies for a Grand Avenue corridor dating to the late 1980s and early '90s...The goal will be to create connective tissue between Colburn, The Grand and Disney Hall...with busy pedestrian corridors helping to activate the city blocks. -- Yasuhisa Toyota; Michael Ferguson/TheatreDNA- Los Angeles Times
Assemblage’s Greenwich Design District set to start on site: Work is set to get underway within weeks on the Assemblage-masterplanned Design District in south-east London: The cluster of 16 buildings, put together by nine practices, will be built over the next two years...for creative industries...education facilities and some retail areas. -- Mole Architects; Adam Khan Architects; 6a Architects; David Kohn Architects; Architecture 00; SelgasCano; Barozzi/Veiga; Schulze+Grassov [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Roger K. Lewis: With the right design, even ‘background’ buildings can stand out: For every newsworthy foreground building, countless unheralded “background” buildings are designed and constructed...Many are forgettable, but some merit appreciation and recognition for design excellence, even as background buildings...Encompassing mixed-use destinations activating streetscapes...a background building can do more than its urban duty if a talented architect and a supportive...developer strive for design excellence...Background building facades don’t have to be blah...let’s take more notice of background buildings exhibiting architectural excellence.- Washington Post
Zero-energy buildings see big boost: 67 commercial buildings were verified as net energy in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, with another 415 in construction or in the evaluation process...study attributes the rapid rise, in part, to technology such as solar panels, efficient heat pumps, radiant cooling systems and techniques that improve building envelopes. -- Studio Ma; New Buildings Institute; International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Living Building Challenge; USGBC; Canada Green Building Council- Construction Dive
3D-printed homes turn sludge into shelter: In Texas, tucked behind a house for the wealthy, perhaps lies some hope for the significantly less so: It's a proof-of-concept built by Icon, a construction firm, and New Story, a non-profit that sets up housing in the developing world. The 650-square feet (60 sq m) dwelling required about $10,000 (£7,000) of concrete, and took 48 hours. Eventually the goal is to bring the cost down significantly by using a mixture of economies of scale - buy concrete in bulk - and improvements to the 3D-printing machine. The goal build time is between 12 and 24 hours. [images]- BBC News
Zach Mortice: Interview with Yesomi Umolu: The 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial artistic director plans a biennial that’s a “Civic Project": ...a biennial that, no matter the theme, is expansive across the breadth of Chicago’s rich architectural traditions, and the world stage this biennial is growing into..."This is not just a curatorial project; it’s a civic project as well."- Architectural Record
John Kleinschmidt: Martin C. Pedersen on Common Edge, Authentic Public Engagement, and the Magic of Eero Saarinen: A lively talk with an editor at pulp: "There are lessons from the past we can pull in and use in new ways with new materials that would make for a more humane architecture...There’s a restlessness within the architecture world...We’re now at a point of crisis, especially in our coastal cities, but I’m hopeful. Not for the current political climate...I see glimmers that it can be different."- Common Edge
Ellis Woodman: Serious books on architecture struggle to find a publisher: There is more appetite for focused architectural writing than UK publishers understand: The trajectory of architectural history has been influenced by the written word to an incalculable extent...In the last century alone, books by Loos, Le Corbusier, Rossi, Venturi and Koolhaas proved absolutely instrumental in defining its path. It is a contribution to architectural discourse that needs defending and nurturing, now more than ever.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Awards 2018 Winners: USA design talent triumphs in international awards with practices scooping one third of all prizes: ...a total of 33 winning and commended projects... -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF)/Adamson Associates; Paul Lukez Architecture; SO – IL + Laisne´ Roussel; White Arkitekter; EAA - Emre Arolat Architecture; HPP Architekten; John Wardle Architects; Arab Engineering Bureau; Aedas; Latitud/Amigos de Parques del Rio [images]- e-architect (UK)
Call for entries: 2018 Sweets College Scholarship; Question: What is your favorite building on a college campus from a design aspect and why? Must be a current or incoming student at a university in the U.S. or Canada; 2017 winner is Lais Weba/Virginia Tech; deadline: December 31- Sweets / Dodge Data & Analytics
Sam Lubell: Another one bites the dust? Why we need architecture critics more than ever: Until Christopher Hawthorne is replaced...our country will have still fewer regular architectural critics...half of the nation’s 10 largest cities have no critic...It goes without saying that the L.A. Times absolutely must name a new full-time architecture critic...Along with landscape architecture and urban design, it is a public profession. It is for the public, not despite them. We need to empower more informed voices to keep it that way.- The Architect's Newspaper
Alissa Walker: Who should be the next ‘Los Angeles Times’ architecture critic? Probably a woman: ...the number of full-time local architecture critic positions has dwindled...at a time when cities are booming...Christopher Hawthorne broadened the focus of the traditional architecture beat to write about issues like transportation planning and housing policy, a trend evocative of architecture criticism in general... -- Frances Anderton; John King; Blair Kamin; Allison Arieff; Mark Lamster; Alexandra Lange; Karrie Jacobs; Carolina A. Miranda; etc.- Curbed Los Angeles
Martin C. Pedersen: Q&A: Why Christopher Hawthorne Left the Los Angeles Times For a Job at City Hall: A talk with the city’s new Chief Design Officer: [He] possesses an elegant set of social skills that will make him an effective advocate for design in the public realm..."The job was attractive to me for three related reasons...3) the mayor’s extended second term means there is time to really think about and work on some comprehensive plans for how that new architecture, open space and infrastructure will be designed...it will be an experiment, something that we create from scratch...my priority will be the civic realm..."- Common Edge
Suzanne LaBarre: How Do You Boycott A Building? Four architecture critics weigh in: You can refuse to watch Woody Allen films...but you can’t exactly ignore a permanent edifice. The question hangs over countless buildings now that architecture’s #MeToo moment has arrived... -- Paul Goldberger; Molly Heintz; Martin C. Pedersen; Jessica Helfand- Fast Company / Co.Design
Blair Kamin: Carol Ross Barney reflects as #MeToo movement hits architecture: ...has now hit the architecture field...With #MeToo’s humbling one of architecture’s top figures, I had to wonder: Is there anything about the field that creates a uniquely toxic variation on the theme of powerful older men hitting on attractive young women? While the field has changed for the better, with women like Barney and...Jeanne Gang running their own firms, some things remain the same, including architects’ habit of working together, deep into the night...That can be a double-edged sword.- Chicago Tribune
David Brussat: Still allowed to like Meier? No doubt the classical firms of a century ago and beyond were as dominated by men as are today’s. Classical architects were probably just as arrogant...But preventing dastardly behavior...must not be allowed to throttle innocent behavior. Romance often germinates in the work environment...innocent flirtation mustn’t be punished for the deeds of the sexually irresponsible....in the end we must judge an architect’s work by his buildings...I may deplore Aaron Betsky’s admiration for Louis Kahn but I will defend to the death his right to that admiration, whatever he said about bricks.- Architecture Here and There
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