Today’s News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
● Betsky is pleased that more and more architecture awards are going to projects that make a difference ("It's not enough to be pretty any more"), and cheers the four finalists vying for the MCHAP.emerge prize who "represent directions that architecture should be exploring - producing the kind of results of which we can only dream" (look to South and Central America).
● Kimmelman visits Forensic Architecture in London, which "acts more or less like a detective agency - its investigations [Grenfell Tower fire most recently] are whodunits" resulting in reports that have "annoyed, "frustrated," and "infuriated" politicians and officials around the world (all explored in "Counter Investigations" at the Institute of Contemporary Arts).
● Kamin says "its time to fly the 'W' - not for 'Win,' but for 'Warning,'" as a $3 billion "high-stakes urban design drama plays out" around Wrigley Field: TODs "may sound good in theory," but can be used "as an pretext for bulked-up buildings that are oversized eyesores" that can erase the quirky, human-scaled charm" of neighborhoods.
● Saffron doesn't have high hopes for Philly's preservation reform effort as the task force seems to have "lost its way - unable to agree on the problem that they are supposed to fix" (and a "recent 'white paper' is as weak and colorless as the name suggests").
● K. Jacobs channels Don Quixote with a "crazy" idea for saving SOM's Union Carbide/270 Park Avenue: "Instead of agitating to prevent the destruction of one building, we should be fighting" to save that entire stretch of Park Ave.
● Meanwhile, Halprin's 1983 "urban, indoor Garden of Eden" at the SOM-designed Wells Fargo Center in L.A., demolished last year "without announcement," will "now give way for a new kind of 'amenity-rich' Eden" with a $60 million "amenity plaza" - designed by SOM.
● Puay-peng makes the case for saving Hong Kong's post-war buildings: "the lack of protection points to a gap in our conservation efforts that should be plugged before it's too late - an increasing number are facing a cull."
● O'Connor says "move over Gaudí" - and takes in Bofill's must-see's in "architecture-drenched" Barcelona: While "La Fabrica has the breathtaking charm of that perfect village church, Walden 7 knocks the wind out of you like a Gothic cathedral" (and other projects that encompass "ego and baroque planning" to a "deft and playful mind").
● McNearney considers whether prejudice killed Hadid's 1994 Cardiff Opera House: "Maybe her radical vision was a little daunting for the Welsh. But, really, the only explanation left for her horrendous treatment was prejudice. Many have noted her ethnicity and gender as playing a part in debacle that ensued - the rejection only added to her resolve."
● Tom Jacobs (of Krueck + Sexton), co-founder of Architects Advocate for Action on Climate Change, explains the group's new Catalytic Action Platform to "make it easy for both citizen architects and firms to act. The stakes couldn't be higher because we are on the shore of the climate Rubicon."
● A (great) look at "how floating architecture could help save cities from rising seas - rather than simply building higher seawalls to hold back floodwaters," many architects and urban planners "are turning to floating and amphibious architecture."
● Garfield takes a deep dive into BIG/ONE/Sherwood's plan for the San Francisco Bay Area that includes floating villages - and so much more - to help withstand flooding and rising sea levels.
● Q&A with Yan Chu of Adamson Associates re: how architects can design façades for the age of climate change, which "presents new challenges to building envelopes."
● Zacks spent some serious time in Moscow to report on the "harrowing, sometimes heroic process" of getting Zaryadye Park and other public spaces built where the term "free public space had almost no precedent in the language before a series of convergences brought" them "into being" (great read!).
● Gallagher reports on the team picked for Detroit's 22-acre West Riverfront Park: MVVA, Adjaye, et al. "aim to create a park that appeals to a diverse population, not just a lucky few - the goal is to create 'beauty without the tyranny of elitism.'"
● Even though the winner was named this morning, Mortice's parsing of the four finalists' plans for Detroit's West Riverfront Park is well worth checking out.
● A look at Sydney Park: "From a brickworks site and then a dump yard to the wetlands wonder it is today, its transformation is a case study worthy of emulation."
● McNearney brings us the fascinating tale of Franklin Webster Smith's "grandiose" (and "crazy") plan to redesign D.C.'s National Mall, a 62-acre National Gallery of History and Art: He staked his considerable fortune on it, "it would ultimately be his downfall. He died in 1911, 'living in poverty and obscurity in rural New Hampshire.'"
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Aaron Betsky: Glittering Prizes for Sober Buildings: It’s not enough to be pretty any more. Now you have to make a difference to get the top recognition in architecture: MCHAP.emerge (Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for emerging architecture)...all four finalists represent directions that architecture should be exploring to their fullest potentials...We should look to South and Central America, where decades of tactical urbanism, innovative solutions for building with no money, and a concentration by some of the best architects on how they can make their environment and society better is producing the kind of results of which we can only dream. -- Alejandro Aravena; Balkrishna Doshi; EPArquitectos/Estudio Macías Peredo Arquitectos; David Benjamin/The Living; Aleph Zero/Rosenbaum; Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura [images]- Architect Magazine
Michael Kimmelman: Forensics Helps Widen Architecture’s Mission: Instead of building a house or skyscraper, Forensic Architecture builds cases against human rights violators, scouring for evidence through social media: [It] acts more or less like a detective agency...its investigations are whodunits. Eyal Weizman...founder and resident Columbo...Its reports have annoyed...frustrated...and infuriated... -- Rafi Segal; "Counter Investigations: Forensic Architecture," Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, thru May 13 [images]- New York Times
Blair Kamin: Around Wrigley Field, a high-stakes urban design drama plays out as buildings fall and rise: It’s a classic Chicago contrast of destruction and regeneration...in Cub terminology, its time to fly the “W” - not for “Win,” but for “Warning"...developments...could fuel a new era of growth in already-vibrant Wrigleyville...Or they could scar [its] very heart...and erase its quirky, human-scaled charm...Transit-oriented development...may sound good in theory, but some developers use it as an pretext for bulked-up buildings that are oversized eyesores and dwarf their delicate-scaled neighborhoods. -- Stantec; Solomon Cordwell Buenz- Chicago Tribune
Inga Saffron: Philadelphia's preservation reform effort has lost its way: Of all the sleight-of-hand maneuvers available to modern politicians, nothing requires so little effort, or offers so much in return, as the task force...the group appears to be stuck in neutral...The divide between the ardent preservationists and the pro-development faction is so deep that the members have been unable to agree on the problem that they are supposed to fix...The result of the disarray can be seen in the...recent “white paper"...It is as weak and colorless as the name suggests. [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Karrie Jacobs: A Radical Proposal to Save Union Carbide: ...how we should fight JPMorgan Chase's impending demolition of this Natalie Griffin de Blois-designed skyscraper [270 Park Avenue]: To see this stretch of Park Avenue through the eyes of [Ada Louise Huxtable]...is to visit a version of the city that embodies the optimism and power of the emerging American culture in the postwar decades...I was struck by a crazy idea: Instead of agitating to prevent the destruction of one building...we should be fighting for all of them...maybe best way to counter the dumb mulishness of our current political leaders is with ideas that are big enough to be borderline crazy. -- Gordon Bunshaft; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Emery Roth & Sons; Hugh Stubbins; Justin Davidson; Alexandra Lange; Theodore Prudon/Docomomo; Charles Bagli; Robert A.M. Stern [images]- Architect Magazine
SOM to replace Lawrence Halprin’s only atrium with $60 million amenity plaza: ...new renderings for a forthcoming $60 million renovation of...public plaza and atrium spaces located at the foot of the [SOM-designed] Wells Fargo Center towers in Downtown Los Angeles...Originally designed [in 1983] as an “urban, indoor Garden of Eden”...atrium space was demolished in late 2017 without announcement and will now give way for a new kind of “amenity-rich” Eden..."The entire Los Angeles Open Space Network is at the tipping point.” -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Charles Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation/TCLF [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Ho Puay-peng: Post-war buildings deserve a place in Hong Kong’s architectural history: the lack of protection for the iconic Garden Company headquarters, and many other examples...points to a gap in our conservation efforts that should be plugged before it’s too late: ...Antiquities and Monuments Office dismissed its architecture as functional, hence ordinary...Such misguided remarks...highlight systemic weaknesses in the protection of these precious buildings...an increasing number...are facing a cull. -- National University of Singapore Department of Architecture; Chu Pin [images]- South China Morning Post
William O’Connor: Move Over Gaudí: Inside Barcelona’s Latest Architectural Must-See: ...two of starchitect Ricardo Bofill’s works have become the architecture-drenched city’s must-see spots: It would be hard to imagine that the ego and baroque planning of Abraxas could be the same deft and playful mind behind La Muralla Roja...That willingness to leap from style to style can be seen in his two masterpieces - Walden 7 and La Fabrica...La Fabrica has the breathtaking charm of that perfect village church, Walden 7 knocks the wind out of you like a Gothic cathedral...Since the new millennium...his works have run the gamut from soaring glass and steel works...to fusions of his architectural evolution... [images]- The Daily Beast
Allison McNearney: Did Prejudice Kill This Zaha Hadid Opera House In Wales? In 1994, a still relatively unknown Hadid won a competition to design the new opera house in Cardiff, Wales. But despite coming in first, her design was rejected by locals: Over the course of her career, she fought for a place in an industry that was largely male and largely white, and also stretched the limits of architecture itself...Maybe her radical vision was a little daunting for the Welsh. But, really, the only explanation left for her horrendous treatment was prejudice. Many, including Hadid herself, have noted her ethnicity and gender as playing a part in debacle that ensued...the rejection only added to her resolve.- The Daily Beast
Tom Jacobs: How Architects Can Fight Climate Change During the Midterm Elections: Architects Advocate for Action on Climate Change, an activist network of architects focused on climate change, describes the new tools it's releasing: The stakes couldn’t be higher because we are on the shore of the climate Rubicon...Architects...have a special responsibility - and opportunity - to help...introducing the Catalytic Action Platform to make it easy for both citizen architects and firms to act.- Metropolis Magazine
How floating architecture could help save cities from rising seas: Raftlike homes and buoyant buildings may be a fix for rising sea levels: ...rather than simply building higher seawalls to hold back floodwaters, many builders and urban planners are turning to floating and amphibious architecture - and finding ways to adapt buildings to this new reality..."an excellent adaptation strategy"... -- Elizabeth English/Buoyant Foundation Project; Baca Architects; Illya Azaroff/+LAB Architect; Koen Olthuis/Waterstudio; Barcode Architects; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Seasteading Institute [images]- NBC News
Leanna Garfield: Architects designed these floating villages that would withstand flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area: Instead of fighting the rising tides, a group of architects and urban designers...unveiled a regional design involving floating villages, an elevated park, tide barriers, a fast lane for buses, roads for autonomous electric vehicles, and more for the Bay Area. -- Rebuild By Design: Bay Area Challenge; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group/One Architecture + Urbanism/Sherwood Design Engineers (BIG/ONE/Sherwood Design Engineers) [images]- Business Insider
How can architects design facades for the age of climate change? ...rising tides, heat waves, extreme winds and other climate change-driven conditions present new challenges to building envelopes...AN sat down with Yan Chu of Adamson Associates Architects to discuss what can be done differently..."The passive house strategy is brilliant...a holistic way of thinking of design, and moving forward, it’s the kind of mentality we need to adopt."- The Architect's Newspaper
Stephen Zacks: Soft Power in Moscow: An expansive park at the foot of the Kremlin helped drive a series of revolutionary improvements to the Russian capital: Zaryadye Park is an entertaining landscape...a free public space - a term that Russian architects agree had almost no precedent in the language before a series of convergences brought the park into being...A harrowing, sometimes heroic process...The concept of public space...brought about a paradigm shift that delivered far more than a park...Zaryadye Park and the My Street program reveal a more nuanced view of the workings of Russian government at the level of the municipal bureaucracy. -- Anna Kamyshan/Project Meganom; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Mary Margaret Jones/Hargreaves Associates; Citymakers; Strelka Institute; Strelka KB; Wowhaus; Antoine Grumbach; Wilmotte & Associates; Sergey Kuznetsov/SPEECH; West 8; OKRA; Gillespies; Snøhetta; Djao-Rakitine; Buromoscow [images]- Landscape Architecture Magazine
John Gallagher: Design team picked for Detroit's 22-acre West Riverfront Park to start with a beach and a band shell: ...proposal is viewed as a starting point for further discussion, not a finished product...would reshape the site in significant ways...would aim to create a park that appeals to a diverse population...not just a lucky few...the goal...is to create "beauty without the tyranny of elitism"..."Building a park is the ultimate act of democracy." -- Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; David Adjaye; PEA Inc.; NTH Consultants; Limnotech [images]- Detroit Free Press
Zach Mortice: Re-growing Detroit's Urban Edge: ...the future West Riverfront Park could become the city’s new civic front yard. A design competition hosted by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has collected a short list of plans to fill this need...part of the...larger plan to rejuvenate 5.5 miles of the Detroit Riverfront. -- Gustafson Guthrie Nichol; James Corner Field Operations/nARCHITECTS/Detroit Collaborative Design Center; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates/David Adjaye; Walter Hood/Hood Studio [images]- Landscape Architecture Magazine
Wasteland to wetland: The transformation of Sydney Park: From a brickworks site and then a dump yard to the wetlands wonder it is today, [its] transformation is a case study worthy of emulation: ...multi-award winning water reuse project...As part of rainwater harvesting, stormwater is captured and reused to top up the wetlands, irrigate the 44-hectare park and supply the neighbouring Council depot. -- Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership; Alluvium; Dragonfly Environmental; Turpin + Crawford Studio [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Allison McNearney: Franklin Webster Smith Wanted to Redesign D.C.’s National Mall. It Ruined Him: [He] staked his fortune on the 62-acre plan he called the "National Gallery of History and Art"...New York Times labelled a “stupendous scheme.” It would ultimately be his downfall...The plan was grandiose...[his] crazy plan wasn’t widely derided as crazy; he had the support of business leaders and some politicians. But their interest wasn’t strong enough to actually earn him a green light...He died in 1911, “living in poverty and obscurity in rural New Hampshire"... -- James Renwick [image]- The Daily Beast
ANN feature: Vladimir Belogolovsky: One-on-One: Architecture is an Endless Process for Learning: Interview with Fumihiko Maki: The multi-award-winning architect talks about why he avoids using exposed concrete outside of Japan, why the Metabolist movement didn't quite catch on, and Yoshio Taniguchi's buildings: "He is our Mies van der Rohe." [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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