Today’s News - Tuesday, April 24, 2018
● Lange makes the case for ending the "architect profile" and "perpetuating the myth of the lone genius - a fiction: that one man (or Zaha) does it all. Whither the boring architect who just likes to work? What about a more soft-spoken collaborator? Great architecture can be made by those who fail to charm."
● Jolliffe ponders why "the best thing the Venice Biennale could do is leave Venice - tourism is slowly choking the last of the life left" in the city - "leaving a city-shaped heritage theme park - should architects be complicit in contributing to the decline of this architectural jewel of a city?"
● Quito x 2: She uses eVolo's Skyscraper Competition as the jumping-off point to ponder the value of "architecture fiction": "writing about these conjectural designs as if they were actual proposals is propagating misinformation. When taken out of context, fictional buildings are essentially a form of fake news, or clickbait at the very least."
● She's less than enthralled with Adjaye's new Spyscape museum in NYC that "perfectly captures how boring espionage has become," including "an altar to the museum's martyr: Edward Snowden - its true hero is an IT guy" (that it "feels like a slick, heavily branded video arcade" is "hardly the architect's fault").
● Bucknell takes a deep and thoughtful dive into why Snøhetta's "A House to Die In," a "luminescent, UFO-like living sculpture," is "Norway's most controversial" and "buzzed-about building, and why the controversy cuts so deep into Norwegian culture" (even though the third iteration is smaller, and "once inward-facing delights are now extroverted").
● Saffron x 2: The first 1/4-mile leg of Philadelphia's Reading Viaduct Rail Park is almost ready for its close-up, but the challenges facing completing the 3-mile (mostly) elevated park "go beyond money. What the park will need most as it forges ahead are the dreamers who can keep its vision alive."
● She considers the possible sad fate of yet another "ornate" and "distinctive" Philadelphia church facing the wrecking ball to make way for an apartment building: "It is more than dazzling architecture that makes Christ Memorial stand out."
● The sad tale of KieranTimberlake's "blighted Make It Right home to be demolished after standing vacant, half-repaired for two years": The NYT "called the development 'Brad Pitt's Gifts to New Orleans.' But this house tells a different story" (H/T to Brussat/Architecture Here and There).
● Meyer, on a brighter note, tours Sugimoto's Enoura Observatory, which he designed for his Odawara Art Foundation: "a visit is not so much about seeing his photos, but about his latest ambition of becoming an architect - and landscape architect. He displays a lot of talent" (with Ulf's own photos to prove it).
● Stathaki talks to Frida Escobedo about her 2018 Serpentine Pavilion: "A courtyard design that unites Britain and Mexico via a journey through space and time; an emerging Mexican architect; the youngest ever participant, and indeed only the second female one, after Zaha Hadid; there are many reasons to sit up and take notice."
● The Royal College of Art's Myerson explains why he believes that data and "real-time real estate" are "the key to understanding tomorrow's workplace design - the workplace is no longer a dumb container for work. It is intelligent and predictive" - and "will become part of a bigger community space."
● Speaking of technology, Christensen explains how he uses "architectural biometrics," similar to facial recognition, on buildings "to unlock architectural secrets" of late 19th-century railway stations across Canada and the Ottoman Empire to find the "figurative fingerprints" left by the on-site construction supervisors, engineers, and workers.
● Garfield parses a one-bedroom house prototype designed by WATG being built on a Chattanooga campus using Branch Technology's 3D-printing robots (Branch Tech is also developing methods for constructing habitats on Mars for NASA).
● Diaz delves into what went into making Laarman's 3D-printed steel bridge to span an Amsterdam canal - "a process that seemed as simple as wheeling the printer to the edge of the canal and hitting 'print.' It wasn't actually that easy."
● Call for entries: Rethinking The Future Global Architecture and Design Awards 2018 (early-bird registration deadline looms!).
Winners (and hopefuls) all!
● DS+R and Liz Diller make Time Magazine's TIME 100 annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
● An impressive list of winners make BD's Architect of the Year 2018: Carmody Groarke "crowned" with top honors; Young Architect of the Year Award is "scooped" by Clancy Moore.
● Also on the other side of the Big Pond: 6 emerging practices are shortlisted for the 2019 Dulwich Pavilion outside John Soane's Dulwich Picture Gallery: "We're living is such chaotic, confusing times; what's astonishing is the confidence and optimism this generation is showing in making sense and giving form to the future," sayeth Dyckhoff (no images - yet).
● Must-reads and a must-see take home the Society of Architectural Historians' 2018 SAH Publication Awards and the SAH Award for Film and Video.
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Alexandra Lange: The end of the architect profile: It’s time to stop perpetuating the myth of the lone genius: ...a fiction: that one man (or Zaha) does it all...The template is the same as that of the celebrity profile...This model of coverage has already begun to fragment...Whither the boring architect who just likes to work? What about a more soft-spoken collaborator? Great architecture can be made by those who fail to charm.- Curbed
Eleanor Jolliffe: Probably the best thing the Venice Biennale could do is leave Venice: The architectural profession needs to face up to some uncomfortable questions: Tourists...outnumber residents by 140:1...a Catch-22 situation. Its magnificent, slowly decaying architecture and infrastructure needs massive investment which its tsunami of tourism does allow...However, tourism is slowly choking the last of the life left in Venice, robbing it of its soul and leaving a city-shaped heritage theme park...should architects be complicit in contributing to the decline of this architectural jewel of a city?- BD/Building Design (UK)
Anne Quito: “Architecture Fiction” is the Design World's Clickbait: Why do architects celebrate impossible structures? Is there any practical use...Architects argue that these fictions are necessary for real-world development...useful in much the same way as literary fiction is: to fuel our imagination...in some cases, these seemingly implausible “what ifs” actually shape the built world...But writing about these conjectural designs as if they were actual proposals is propagating misinformation. When taken out of context, fictional buildings are essentially a form of fake news, or clickbait at the very least. [images]- Quartz
Anne Quito: A New Spy Museum Perfectly Captures How Boring Espionage Has Become: ...spying today has become, well, banal...In attempting to highlight all the high-tech marvels 21st-century snooping has introduced, Spyscape in New York City...exposes surveillance’s screen-based drudgery...aspires to give visitors a taste of what it takes to be an intelligence operative...As it turns out, it’s pretty boring...surveillance room...the emotional climax of the entire museum - contains an altar to Spyscape’s martyr: Edward Snowden...[its] true hero is an IT guy...[It] feels like a slick, heavily branded video arcade...But perhaps that’s hardly the architect’s fault. -- David Adjaye [images]- Quartz
Alice Bucknell: Inside the Design of Norway’s Most Controversial Building: Snøhetta’s “A House to Die In” has become one of the most buzzed-about architectural proposals in recent years...why the controversy cuts so deep into Norwegian culture: The brainchild of Norway’s enfant terrible artist Bjarne Melgaard, the proposal...is a luminescent, UFO-like living sculpture that doubles as a studio and home...has been met with opposition... “as a desecration of holy ground because of its connection to Edvard Munch"...third and current redesign is a considerably shrunken permutation...many of the proposed building’s once inward-facing delights are now extroverted...Today, the proposed project once again finds itself up against the heritage council. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Inga Saffron: The First Piece of Philadelphia's Reading Viaduct Rail Park Opens in June. Then What?: It took more than six years and cost $10.3 million to build the park’s first quarter mile...master plan calls for a three-mile trail...will have to raise vast sums of money...well over $100 million...challenges go beyond money...They’re looking into the possibility of simply paving an asphalt path down the middle and opening it to the public. And why not? Its wildness is a big part of its allure...What the Rail Park will need most as it forges ahead are the dreamers who can keep its vision alive. -- Studio Bryan Hanes- Philadelphia Inquirer
Inga Saffron: Another ornate Philadelphia church faces the wrecking ball: Philadelphia, which has been experiencing a wave of church demolitions, could lose its one of its largest and most distinctive sanctuaries if...apartment developer goes ahead with a plan to raze a 19th-century church...has long been a neighborhood beacon...It is more than dazzling architecture that makes Christ Memorial stand out...it would be the largest church demolition in the city since...2013. -- Isaac Pursell, of Pursell & Fry (1888) [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Blighted Make It Right home to be demolished after standing vacant, half-repaired for two years: ...Foundation wants to demolish the building [in the Lower 9th Ward] just seven years after it was built...The New York Times called the development “Brad Pitt’s Gifts to New Orleans.” But this house tells a different story...Make It Right...provided warranties...and arrangements were made for repairs...Two years later, the property is a half-finished construction site...It’s unclear what will happen to the site after the home is torn down. -- KieranTimberlake; John C. Williams Architects- The Lens (New Orleans)
Ulf Meyer: Hiroshi Sugimoto: Enoura Observatory: ...new "museum"...sits atop a hill and allows for great panoramic views...to the shimmering waters of Sagami Bay...[visitors] can spend no more then two hours...The art experience begins with a long list of "Dos and Don'ts...seemingly the new norm in Japan's more exciting art spaces...a visit...is not so much about seeing Sugimoto’s photos...but about his latest ambition of becoming an architect - and landscape architect. He displays a lot of talent...his buildings have elegant details...his strong sense of composition helps all ingredients of the observatory...to interact well with their natural surroundings. -- Tomoyuki Sakakida/New Material Research Laboratory [images]- World-Architects.com
Ellie Stathaki: Frida Escobedo discusses her design for the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion: A courtyard design that unites Britain and Mexico via a journey through space and time; an emerging Mexican architect; the youngest ever participant, and indeed only the second female one, after Zaha Hadid; there are many reasons to sit up and take notice..."It is about encounter - encounters with other people, but also with yourself." [images]- Wallpaper*
Jeremy Myerson: Data Is the Key to Understanding Tomorrow’s Workplace Design: the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art says he believes the hyperbole around transformational change in the workplace: ...soon [architects and designers] will have much more dynamic big data...to allow them to map organizational networks over physical office landscapes...“landscape” is going to be a big theme in 2018. The idea of it is more holistic...Biophilic design will be big...real-time real estate...the workplace is no longer a dumb container for work. It is intelligent and predictive...will become part of a bigger community space, not a hermetically sealed box.- Metropolis Magazine
Peter Christensen: I run ‘facial recognition’ on buildings to unlock architectural secrets: ...revealing previously hidden elements of history...“architectural biometrics"...In the late 19th century, railway stations were built across Canada and the Ottoman Empire...a centralized team of architects...designing dozens of similar-looking buildings...construction supervisors...had to do their best to reconcile the official blueprints with what was possible on the ground...engineers and workers...left their figurative fingerprints...laser scanners to take detailed 3-D measurements...revealed the hands of the builders, highlighting the geographic and multicultural influences that shaped the resulting buildings. [images]- The Conversation US
Leanna Garfield: In under six months, a robot can produce this home for as little as $300,000: ...Branch Technology uses 3D-printing robots...will build a prototype of its first home, designed by WATG, this year in Chattanooga, Tennessee...machines will print the walls, roof, and interior architectural elements of the 1,0000-square-foot model...larger goal is to push the boundaries of 3D printing in construction...Curve Appeal...will feature a bedroom, bathroom, and living room. [images]- Business Insider
Jesus Diaz: This Bridge Is The Product Of 6 Straight Months Of 3D Printing: ...4.5 tons of steel, and 684 miles of metal cable went into the making of the first 3D-printed steel bridge: Four years ago, the designer Joris Laarman had a crazy idea for a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam...using a robotic arm and 3D printer - a process that seemed as simple as wheeling the printer to the edge of the canal and hitting “print.” It wasn’t actually that easy...the next step is to test its load capacity before installing it... -- MX3D [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Call for entries: Rethinking The Future Global Architecture and Design Awards 2018; 40+ categories, 3 winners in each; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): April 30 (submissions due June 30)- Re-thinking The Future (RTF)
Elizabeth Diller Named to Time Magazine's TIME 100: ...its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world...Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), which is led by four partners: Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro, and Benjamin Gilmartin is the only design firm to be featured...Architects who have received the honor in past years include David Adjaye and Bjarke Ingels.- Architectural Record
Carmody Groarke crowned BD's Architect of the Year 2018: Young Architect of the Year Award was scooped by Clancy Moore. -- Studio Bark; what if: projects; Levitt Bernstein; Piercy & Company; Cottrell and Vermeulen; Sheppard Robson; Universal Design Studio; Haworth Tompkins; pH+; Tsuruta Architects; Soda; Group Ginger- BD/Building Design (UK)
Emerging practices shortlisted for 2019 Dulwich Pavilion: ...six teams shortlisted in the second design contest for a temporary events pavilion outside John Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery: ...juror Tom Dyckhoff said: "We’re living is such chaotic, confusing times; what’s astonishing is the confidence and optimism this generation is showing in making sense and giving form to the future." -- Casswell Bank Architects; PUP Architects; e10 studio; FleaFollyArchitects; Pricegore/Yinka Ilori; Projects Office- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2018 SAH Publication Awards and the SAH Award for Film and Video: Kathryn E. O’Rourke: "Modern Architecture in Mexico City: History, Representation, and the Shaping of a Capital"; Mrinalini Rajagopalan: "Building Histories: The Archival and Affective Lives of Five Monuments in Modern Delhi"; Nina Stritzler-Levine and Timo Riekko: "Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World" (exhibition catalogue); John North Hopkins: "The Genesis of Roman Architecture"; Peter Rosen: "Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future" (film)- Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)
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