Today’s News - Tuesday, May 8, 2018
● King makes the case for Washington D.C.'s flat skyline: He sees "this feature as one of the city's defining physical traits - in a good way, not bad - the rigid status quo prods architects to make the best of a confining situation"; though some efforts "are earnest but incompetent. Some have an air of desperation. Some ooze cynicism" (now we know why we haven't seen his byline for a spell - he's currently a Mellon Fellow in urban landscape studies at Dumbarton Oaks in D.C.!).
● The fascinating tale of how Station F, a former railway shed, has "transformed Paris into the start-up capital of France" (the "start-up nation") as an incubator for 3,000 entrepreneurs and businesses (including Facebook, L'Oréal, and Microsoft - co-living coming soon!).
● Move over, Hudson Yards: Chakrabarti's PAU is tapped to lead an impressive team (Ratti is the project's "futurist"!) to transform a 180-acre active rail yard in western Queens, NY, into the Sunnyside Yard development - all while keeping the trains running.
● Bernstein, meanwhile, continues his Immigrant Stories series with a great profile of Chakrabarti, the "India-born architect and urban theorist" who is "one of the world's most imaginative thinkers on how architecture can be used to improve cities."
● Wells delves into how Copenhagen, "one of the most diverse cities in Europe," is grappling with "constructing diversity from the ground up" as it builds new neighborhoods - from the ground up.
● Glancey at his most eloquent tells the fascinating tale of how Rockefeller Center, "a soaring symbol of optimism in the dark days of the 1930s," came about: It "remains a model of modern urban planning - an unscarred architectural mountain range set among the cavernous ravines and gullies of Midtown's streets and avenues."
● Flynn considers whether open source architecture is for everyone: "Proponents say it could solve the global housing crisis. The reality is a little more complicated."
● Tunkey explores "the genius, heart, and humility" of Pritzker-winner B.V. Doshi by talking with the Indian architect's former student and employee, and now friend, Jitendra Vaidya: his "work is not obviously sexy - it's not 'Instagramable'" - more importantly, it is "an antidote for much of what afflicts contemporary academic and professional architecture."
● A look at "the rise of 'risky' playground design" that includes deliberately-placed "exposed nails and steep drops": the Brits "are embracing the idea that purposeful risky play promotes resilience and builds more self-reliant young people - children learn what to fear and not to fear" - and it's coming to U.S. (with link to detailed NYT story).
● SOM and James Corner Field Operations, the master-plan team behind Cornell Tech's Roosevelt Island campus, are crossing the Hudson and teaming up again for Princeton University's Lake Campus Master Plan project.
● Kamin reports on Calatrava's Chicago comeback - "on a much smaller scale" - a red, riverfront sculpture: "Although it will be far shorter than the proposed Chicago Spire, it will have a twist of its own."
● Schwab parses a "remarkable new study" that "documents the experiences of women in an open office designed by men": open-plan spaces are "subtly sexist."
● A good reason to head to Ottawa, Canada, next week: 55th International Making Cities Livable Conference: "Designing Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods."
● A good reason to head to Kaliningrad, Russia, next week: Strelka Institute/Government of the Russian Federation's Living Environment: All About Housing Forum (an impressive line-up of speakers).
● A good reason to plan to be in the U.A.E. next year: the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial, with a look at what the Triennial means for the Middle East.
Winners & Deadlines for future winners:
● Bozikovic cheers the 12 winners of RAIC's 2018 Governor-General's Medal.
● Call for entries: Public Toilets Revolution in Suichang, China - Top 5 will be built (no fee and cash prizes - but registration deadline looms!).
● Call for entries & applications: "Human Impact on Landscape and Living Spaces" Young Photographer Award 2018 | Residency in Austria 2019 (no fee - must between 20 and 35).
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John King: The Case for D.C.'s Flat Skyline: Some Washingtonians complain that the city’s height limit has resulted in lookalike, boxy buildings. But creativity can emerge from constraint: ...flat-topped skyline...drives many urbanists crazy. But after several months in Washington, I’ve come to see this feature as one of the city’s defining physical traits - in a good way, not bad. Call it the virtue of architectural monotony...An awkward yet oddly endearing terrain where, absolutely, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts...the rigid status quo prods architects to make the best of a confining situation...Some are earnest but incompetent. Some have an air of desperation...Some ooze cynicism...this would also be the case if heights hadn’t been capped since 1910. -- Kevin Roche; Florance Eichbaum Esocoff King; Gensler; Robert A.M. Stern Architects [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
How Station F Transformed Paris Into the Start-Up Capital of France: Facebook, L'Oréal, and Microsoft have all moved into Europe's newest and hottest start-up hub, which is causing a surge in the real-estate value of Paris's 13th arrondissement: ...a space that has transformed a former railway shed into a start-up incubator for 3,000 entrepreneurs and businesses...Due to the Brexit effect, startups are looking to stay within the European Union for more opportunities, just as France is gaining steam as a "start-up nation"...introducing a new co-living space for entrepreneurs...launching in 2019. -- Wilmotte & Associés [images]- Architectural Digest
PAU confirmed as Sunnyside Yard master planner: Vishaan Chakrabarti’s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism will be leading the master planning team...for the future of the 180-acre active rail yard [in western Queens]...Regular check-ins with the community will also be scheduled...will involve decking over an extensive portion of the rail yard while keeping [the] trains running below...with the potential to build out up to 24,000 residential units, 19 schools, and 52 acres of parkland... -- Sam Schwartz Engineering; Nelson Byrd Woltz; Carlo Ratti Associati- The Architect's Newspaper
Fred A. Bernstein: Immigrant Stories: Vishaan Chakrabarti Sees the Future in Old Cities: The India-born architect and urban theorist credits his immigrant background with helping him become an expert in "reading culture": [He] one of the world’s most imaginative thinkers on how architecture can be used to improve cities...he’s much more interested in urban sites, where history informs design decisions...says that being “a dark-skinned immigrant in the architecture world” has downsides...the profession still suffers from a lack of racial diversity, especially among those in positions of authority. -- Practice for Architecture and Urbanism/PAU; SHoP Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM [images]- Architectural Digest
Benjamin Wells: Constructing Diversity: ...how do we plan for districts that are not yet built...How do we fit our plans to a population that is yet to be defined? ...Copenhagen is grappling with these questions as it builds large new districts...in Nordhavn the city is attempting to find the balance between a controlled and a market-oriented form of development...it is the issue of house-type variation that dominates this debate...perhaps architects and urban planners can be more proactive in designing diversity from the outset...For architects, it demands new strategies for integrating housing into a public realm that encourages and fosters social diversity. -- COBE, SLETH, Polyform (now WERK and Sangberg Architects); Rambøll; entasis; GHB Landskabsarkitekter; Niras A/S; Trafikplan; Hall McKnight [images]- ArcSpace
Jonathan Glancey: Building Rockefeller Center - and a legacy: A soaring symbol of optimism in the dark days of the 1930s: [It] emerged from the...Wall Street Crash...to shape what is perhaps...the most ambitious of all 20th-century city-centre developments...Raymond Hood's refined aesthetic balancing the elegantly theatrical...with commonsense practicality...A city within a city, it remains a model of modern urban planning, a munificent civic adventure paid for entirely by private enterprise...an unscarred architectural mountain range set among the cavernous ravines and gullies of Midtown’s streets and avenues... -- Associated Architects; Reinhard & Hofmeister; Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray; Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux; Wallace Harrison [images]- Christie’s
Katherine Flynn: Open Source for Everyone? Proponents of open source architecture say it could solve the global housing crisis. The reality is a little more complicated: ...a “citizen-centered design movement”...the idea isn’t entirely new. People have been thinking about ways to take the power of design from the hands of architects and design professionals for as long as those professions have existed...has the potential to radically disrupt the relationship between architects, developers, and consumers while at the same time addressing the housing crisis... -- Alejandro Aravena/Elemental; Matthew Claudel/Carlo Ratti; Alastair Parvin/Nick Ierodiaconou/WikiHouse- Architect Magazine
Michael Tunkey: The Genius, Heart and Humility of Indian Architect B.V. Doshi: ...Doshi is fundamentally different from recent [Pritzker Prize] winners. ...[his] work is not obviously sexy...It’s not fashionable or current...it’s difficult to capture with a camera - it’s not “Instagramable"...an antidote for much of what afflicts contemporary academic and professional architecture...an almost spiritual leader within architecture...I understood why Jitendra’s "Unified Theory of Doshi" is so vitally relevant to architecture today. -- Jitendra Vaidya- Common Edge
Inside the Rise of “Risky” Playground Design: Child recreation areas with exposed nails and steep drops - placed deliberately - have caught on in the U.K. and are coming to America: Educators in Britain are embracing the idea that purposeful risky play promotes resilience and builds more self-reliant young people. As a result, public playspaces there are being redesigned or newly built to actively present that risk...something that might sound alarms for some parents here in the litigious U.S...Public playgrounds and parks are ground zero for designed risk: “That’s where children learn what to fear and not to fear." -- Cheri Ruane/Weston & Sampson/Boston Society of Landscape Architects; Studio Ludo; play:groundNYC [images]- Architectural Digest
Architects, planners selected for Lake Campus Master Plan project at Princeton University: ..aims to transform University lands south of Lake Carnegie into a vibrant, mixed-use community that includes academic partnerships with external collaborators in an expanded innovation ecosystem. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); James Corner Field Operations- Princeton University News
Blair Kamin: Architect of defunct-Chicago Spire to design riverfront sculpture: [Santiago Calatrava] will get a chance to leave his mark on Chicago, but on a much smaller scale...a riverfront sculpture that will stand in the outdoor plaza of the River Point office building...Although it will be far shorter than the proposed Spire...the red piece of sculpture will have a twist of its own...a coiled metal spiral that will frame views of the Chicago River and will itself be framed by the mirrored parabolic arch...- Chicago Tribune
Katharine Schwab: The Subtle Sexism Of Your Open Plan Office: A remarkable new study documents the experiences of women in an open office designed by men: There are many reasons to hate open offices: They’re loud, prone to thieves, and, most of all, lack any kind of privacy. But a new research paper reveals yet another knock against them: They’re subtly sexist...For Wendy, the design of the office, despite the architects’ intention of promoting freedom of movement, actually inhibited it...all the designers of the workspace were men. Would the design have been different if there were any women on the team?- Fast Company / Co.Design
55th International Making Cities Livable Conference: Designing Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods, Ottawa, Canada, May 14-18, 2018- International Making Cities Livable (IMCL)
Living Environment: All About Housing Forum, Kaliningrad, Russia, May 18-19: More than 700 developers, architects, economists, and urban planniers from around the world will gather at the Baltic Sea to discuss modern housing trends and challenges, including: What defines modern, quality, safe and affordable housing? What should be done to ensure sustainable innovative urban planning?- Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design / Government of the Russian Federation
What the New Sharjah Architecture Triennial Means for the Middle East: The inaugural event will take place in 2019: The majority of conversations about the urban growth not only in the U.A.E., but also the entire Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia region (MENASA), usually reflects the past-future dichotomy, bringing into question historic preservation versus modernization. While this is an important discussion to have, the triennial will seek to expand these dialogues.- Architectural Digest
Alex Bozikovic: 2018 Governor-General’s Medals award the best new buildings in the country: Beautiful design can show up in a hospital, in a park, and even under an expressway. That’s the message of the [awards], which recognize the Canada’s best projects. -- -- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC); Canada Council for the Arts; Patkau Architects; gh3; Hariri Pontarini Architects; Saucier+Perrotte Architectes/HCMA; Office of mcfarlane biggar architects + designers (omb - formerly mcfarlane green biggar Architecture + Design); Kearns Mancini Architects; hevalier Morales Architectes; Atelier TAG/Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architectes; 5468796 Architecture; Omar Gandhi Architect/Design Base 8; MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Call for entries: Public Toilets Revolution in Suichang, Zhejiang Province, China - Top 5 will be built: design a 15-30-square-meter, eco-friendly public toilet for the tea plantation; open to professionals and students; no fee; cash prizes; registration deadline: May 15 (submissions due May 30)- Suichang People’s Government / Young Bird Plan / LeLiving
Call for entries/applications: "Human Impact on Landscape and Living Spaces" Young Photographer Award 2018 | Residency in Austria 2019; entrants/applicants must be between 20 and 35; no fee; deadline: July 15- ORTE Architekturnetzwerk Niederösterreich [Architecture Network of Lower Austria] / Federal Province of Lower Austria
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