Today’s News - Thursday, April 19, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, April 24. Of special note: Sunday is Earth Day 2018, dedicated to reducing plastic litter and pollution. It's also International Dark Sky Week (see "One we couldn't resist," below - very cool). Of interesting note: "blah" and "meh" are Kamin and Keegan's critical takes...
● Kamin weighs in on AS+GG's Tribune Tower in Chicago: "What we get is 96 stories of tasteful blah - tall enough to make jaws drop, but not strong enough to stir the soul" (a little "tinkering and rethinking" by a talented team should help).
● Keegan calls the proposed Tribune Tower "a whole lot of 'meh' - stridently bland and banal; it is different, and yet hardly distinctive - it's not that the design is particularly bad," but "show us what Chicago's architecture can be in the 21st century."
● Much of the design of KPMB/ Public: Architecture + Communication's Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia "reflects the difficult site conditions - 'including a very high water table. In essence, the structure had to perform like a ship."
● Walker has a great Q&A with Allison Arieff re: the changing landscape of design criticism, working with SPUR on solutions for the Bay Area's housing crisis, and more: "What's it like doing research and policy at the frontlines of the city's housing crisis? 'Bleak? Some days it's just devastating.'"
● A very interesting Q&A with MIT's Neri Oxman re: "breaking boundaries in a male-dominated world" - she "has no time for boxes. What's changing to make architecture and design a better atmosphere for women? 'The women.' What needs to change to get women into key positions? 'The men.'"
● One we couldn't resist: A video of what NYC's skies would look with stars if there was no light pollution, part of the International Dark Sky Week, April 15-21.
Winners and shortlists galore!
● Eyefuls of AIA's 2018 COTE Top Ten that are "setting the standard in design and sustainability" by meeting "rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value" (great presentation).
● A team including Fujimoto, Laisné, and Roussel wins the "Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris" competition with a timber-frame "Village Vertical" that will be a new gateway to the city of Rosny-sous-Bois: "While the structure is certainly imposing, the materials and shapes lend it lightness."
● Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura takes home the 2018 MCHAP Prize for Emerging Architecture (MCHAP.emerge) for its reclamation of public space that had been empty for decades in a housing complex in Mexico City (very cool!).
● eVolo 2018 Skyscraper Competition winners include a foldable skyscraper inspired by origami, and a Shinto Shrine/Urban Rice Farming Skyscraper (with links to full descriptions and lots of images).
● Five in the field of architecture are among the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "40 Under 40: People Saving Places."
● Erin Besler of Besler & Sons, and Marcel Sanchez-Prieto of CRO Studio are among the American Academy in Rome's Rome Prize winners.
● An impressive shortlist of 6 in the running to win the University College of Dublin Future Campus International Design Competition (4 from NYC!).
● An impressive shortlist of 5 now vying to design the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada.
Deadlines (and lots of 'em!):
● Call for entries: Displaced: Design for Inclusive Cities international design ideas competition to address "the urgent need to welcome, support, and empower urban immigrants and refugees."
● Request for Qualifications/RFQ: International Urban Design Competition for the Regeneration of Tongyeong Dockyard, South Korea.
● Call for entries: Faith & Form/Interfaith Design International Awards for Religious Art & Architecture.
● Call for entries: 2018 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards honoring outstanding and innovative architectural lighting design.
● Call for entries: Interior Scholarship 2018/2019 - The AIT Scholarship by Sto Foundation (must be enrolled at a European university).
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● Farago cheers "The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930" at NYC's Americas Society that "turns the clock back 100 years on six Latin American capitals," which "were laboratories for experiment and risk long before the International Style learned Spanish and Portuguese - they were already cities of dreams" (great pix!).
● Bennun cheers "America's Cool Modernism: O'Keeffe to Hopper" at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, U.K.: "The most striking thing is the near-absence of the human figure. We see land and cityscapes, structures and objects - the America they show is one that has clearly risen in power and splendor, the colossus of the 20th century" (great images!).
● Minutillo hails "Beauty's Rigor: Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi": "only a few investigations have documented his work in English. Leslie fills out the picture in a consistently engaging manner," and "writes about complex structural elements with incredible ease and clarity while solidly establishing Nervi's place in architectural history."
● "California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Marvin Rand" is a "spectacular" book by Bills, Sam, Serraino: "Rand's interest was the structures themselves, rather than the lifestyle they embodied, and his talent was capturing their essence - his instincts produced pictures that continue to exceed expectations, even today" (fab photos!).
● A gathering of "10 of the world's most unusual buildings" from "Amazing Architecture: A Spotter's Guide" (don't miss the guesthouse in Vietnam: "think of Gaudí and Tolkien dropping acid together" - indeed!).
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Blair Kamin: Tribune Tower plans would energize an old landmark, but don't yet create a new one: Holy architecture, Batman! What are we to make of this Gotham-meets-Gothic mashup? The plans...are an impressive work of urban design and architectural recycling. But the design...doesn’t strike a persuasive balance between respecting one of Chicago’s most distinctive towers and creating a presence all its own...What we get...is 96 stories of tasteful blah - tall enough to make jaws drop, but not strong enough to stir the soul. -- Raymond Hood/John Mead Howells/Howells & Hood (1925); Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill; Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Vinci Hamp Architects- Chicago Tribune
Edward Keegan: A whole lot of 'meh': Proposed Tribune tower: While remarkably tall at 1,422 feet, the design is stridently bland and banal; it is different, and yet hardly distinctive. This is the sort of streamlined mush that Chicago firms...have been proliferating around the world...it's not that the design is particularly bad...But there is nothing to distinguish this building from so many others...Don't bore us with the merely competent - show us what Chicago's architecture can be in the 21st century. -- Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture [images]- Crain's Chicago Business
Wilson School of Design celebrates opening at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s campus in Richmond, B.C.: ...much of the design also reflects the difficult site conditions..."In essence, the structure had to perform like a ship...$36-million, high-tech space...for existing design programs...will also house the university’s product design and technical apparel design programs, which educate students in the development of performance, technical, medical and protective wear. -- KPMB; Public: Architecture + Communication [images]- Canadian Architect
Alissa Walker: Making design criticism matter: A chat with Allison Arieff: The design critic’s work will be honored by AIGA with the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary: Q%A re: the changing landscape of design criticism, what it’s like to work on solutions for the Bay Area’s housing crisis, and why we should plan cities for people - not cars....You’re currently the editorial director at SPUR. What’s it like doing research and policy at the frontlines of the city’s housing crisis? "Bleak? ...Some days it’s just devastating."- Curbed
Neri Oxman: Breaking boundaries in a male-dominated world: ...leads a radical lab at MIT, has no time for boxes...architecture, in particular, has been a male-dominated ecosystem for a long time. How do you navigate this world? On good days with grace, on bad days - by 'being a man'"...What's changing to make architecture and design a better atmosphere for women? "The women." What needs to change to get women into key positions? "The men."- CNN Style
See how NYC’s skies would look with stars if there was no light pollution: ...Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan, of the gorgeous Skyglow Project, created time lapses from the night skies at the Grand Canyon and Death Valley National Park and superimposed those images on the NYC sky. Their new video is part of the International Dark Sky Week (April 15-21) which is a campaign to get communities to turn off their lights. [video]- 6sqft (New York City)
2018 COTE Top Ten: Setting the standard in design and sustainability: Now in their 22nd year, the Awards highlight projects that meet the AIA Committee on the Environment’s rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value. -- Perkins+Will; Lake|Flato/Cooper Carry; Studio Twenty Seven Architecture; Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); DLR Group; Olson Kundig; WRNS Studio; KieranTimberlake [images]- American Institute of Architects (AIA) / Committee on the Environment (COTE)
Sou Fujimoto, Nicolas Laisné and Dimitri Roussel to Build 28,000 sqm "Village Vertical" in Grand Paris: ...a new gateway to the city of Rosny-sous-Bois...the winning proposal for the "Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris" competition...17,000 square meters of housing, including 5,000 square meters of social housing...timber frame, 120 meters in length, with elegant white columns, irregular balconies and glazed facades. While the structure is certainly imposing, the materials and shapes lend it lightness. -- Atelier Georges; La Compagnie de Phalsbourg; REI Habitat [images]- ArchDaily
Reclamation of Public Space in a Mexican Housing Complex Wins 2018 MCHAP Prize for Emerging Architecture [MCHAP.emerge]: Common Unity [in Mexico City]... had an immediate impact on the safety of the area, activating a space that had been empty for decades...This urban design is as much about the resulting public space and the programs that did not exist before as it is about the design of a social process - all in a single project. -- Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura [images]- ArchDaily
eVolo Announces 2018 Skyscraper Competition Winners: ...3 winners and 27 honorable mentions...from a pool of 526 entries. Among this year’s winners are a foldable skyscraper inspired by origami, an urban building for rice farming [Shinto Shrine/Urban Rice Farming Skyscraper], and a prototype for vertical housing in areas damaged by wildfires. -- Damian Granosik/Jakub Kulisa/Piotr Panczyk (Poland); Tony Leung (Hong Kong); Claudio C. Araya Arias (Chile) [images]- ArchDaily
National Trust for Historic Preservation Lists 40 Next Generation Preservationists: These individuals work in architecture, historic preservation, community activism, business development, and more: Among NTHP's "40 Under 40: People Saving Places" are five people who practice in the architecture industry. -- Roy Ingraffia Jr./International Masonry Institute; Nina Mahjoub/Holmes Structures; Mark Stoner II/Ratio Architects; Zulmilena Then/Preserving East New York (PENY)/McCaw Michael Ivanhoe Architect; Sara Zewde/landscape designer; Bryan Lee Jr./Colloqate Design- Architect Magazine
American Academy in Rome Names Rome Prize Winners: Erin Besler of Los Angeles-based Besler & Sons and Marcel Sanchez-Prieto, co-founder of San Diego-based CRO Studio, are the winners in architecture: ...recipients from 928 applicants. [images + complete list]- Architect Magazine
University College of Dublin Future Campus International Design Competition announces masterplan finalists: Of the 98 firms that submitted proposals, 6 have been chosen. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York); John Ronan Architects (Chicago); O’Donnell + Toumey (Dublin); Steven Holl Architects (New York); Studio Libeskind (New York); UN Studio (Amsterdam)- The Architect's Newspaper
5 teams bidding to design Ottawa's new central library: ...will be competing to design the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility. -- Bing Thom Architects [Revery Architecture]/GRC Architects; Diamond Schmitt Architects/KWC Architects; Mecanoo International/NORR Architects; Patkau Architects/MSDL Architects/GRC Architects; Schmidt/hammer/lassen/KPMB Architects/Hobin Architecture- CBC (Canada)
Call for entries: Displaced: Design for Inclusive Cities (international design ideas competition): develop game-changing ideas that apply the power of design thinking to the urgent need to welcome, support and empower urban immigrants and refugees; cash prizes; earlybird submission deadline (save money!): May 15 (submissions due June 12)- Design in Public / AIA Seattle
Call for entries: Request for Qualifications/RFQ: International Urban Design Competition for the Regeneration of Tongyeong Dockyard, South Korea: create an international hub of culture and tourism and reactivate the neighborhood around the former Shina ship-building yard; deadline: May 18- Korea Land and Housing Corporation / Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements
Call for entries: Faith & Form/ID International Awards for Religious Art & Architecture: categories: Categories include New Facilities, Renovation/Restoration, Adaptive Re-Use, Liturgical/Interior Design, Sacred Landscape, Unbuilt, Religious Arts, and Student Work; winners will be published in Faith & Form magazine and exhibited at the 2019 AIA Convention; deadline: June 30- Faith & Form Magazine / Interfaith Design (ID, formerly IFRAA/Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, & Architecture)
Call for entries: 2018 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards (international): honoring outstanding and innovative projects in the field of architectural lighting design; earlybird deadline (save money!): May 18 (submissions due June 1)- Architectural Lighting Magazine
Call for entries: Interior Scholarship 2018/2019 - The AIT Scholarship by Sto Foundation: up to four students of interior architecture, interior design, etc. enrolled at a European university will receive a monthly grant for one year, totalling 24,120 EUR; deadline: June 20- AIT-Dialog / Sto Foundation / Sto Stiftung (Germany)
Jason Farago: How Latin America Was Built, Before Modernism Came Along: “The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930” at the Americas Society [in NYC], is a tale of ambition, nationalism, violence, technical innovation and economic transformation: ...turns the clock back 100 years on six Latin American capitals...These cities, it turns out, were laboratories for experiment and risk long before the International Style learned Spanish and Portuguese...they were already cities of dreams. thru June 30 [images]- New York Times
David Bennun: How America’s modernists played it cool: An exhibition in Oxford takes us back to the birth of precisionism: The Ashmolean museum has undersold...“America’s Cool Modernism: O’Keeffe to Hopper"...The most striking thing...is the near-absence of the human figure. We see land and cityscapes, structures and objects, but people almost never...the America they show is one that has clearly risen in power and splendour, the colossus of the 20th century. thru July 22 -- Paul Strand; Joseph Stella; Paul Kelpe; George Ault; Charles Sheeler; etc. [images]- The Economist / 1843 (UK)
Josephine Minutillo: "Beauty’s Rigor: Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi" by Thomas Leslie: Aside from Ada Louise Huxtable, who would write a short book about Nervi in 1960, only a few investigations have documented his work in English...Leslie fills out the picture in a consistently engaging manner...he also writes about complex structural elements with incredible ease and clarity while solidly establishing Nervi’s place in architectural history, which had faltered following his death in 1979. -- Gio Ponti; Harry Seidler; Marcel Breuer- Architectural Record
How Architectural Photographer Marvin Rand Defined Mid-Century California: A spectacular new book of his photography serves as a visual index of Modernist landmarks: "California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Marvin Rand" by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell, Pierluigi Serraino makes a case for his significant role in defining the mid-century California style...a survey of Modernist landmarks and lesser-known buildings as seen through his singular lens...His interest was the structures themselves, rather than the lifestyle they embodied, and his talent was capturing their essence. ..his instincts produced pictures that continue to exceed expectations, even today. [images]- AnOther Magazine (UK)
10 of the world's most unusual buildings: "Amazing Architecture: A Spotter’s Guide" from Lonely Planet...reveals 120 of the world’s great human constructions, and where to see them...Hang Nga guesthouse, popularly known as the Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam..."think of Gaudí and Tolkien dropping acid together." -- Santiago Calatrava; Oscar Niemeyer; Woha; etc. [images]- Lonely Planet
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