Today’s News - Wednesday, May 9, 2018
● O'Sullivan delves into France's €5 billion ($6.1 billion) plan to revamp 222 small city cores "to undo the damage of urban sprawl - many are in a bad state through a string of mistakes that will seem eerily familiar to North Americans" (an international competition for architects to launch for "new templates for how a revitalized medium-sized city might look").
● Pacheco ponders whether Christopher Hawthorne has "what it takes to plan for L.A.'s future" as the city's new chief design officer. "Would a designer be better equipped for the job? I think so."
● Schwab joins BIG's Ingels and WeWork's Neumann on the roof of Manhattan's Lord & Taylor (soon to be WeWork's HQ) to talk about the architect's new role as the co-working/living/education company's first "chief architect": Ingels "lends star power to Neumann's ambition to remake cities in WeWork's image."
● Finch points out "thumping gaps" in Schumacher's "unpopular" housing manifesto: "We tried ditching standards and counting on private house-builders before, and it became a race to the bottom - he tries to convince us of the validity of his views by stating some truths, then throwing in an enormous falsehood or non sequitur which we are supposed to regard as just another fact."
● Meanwhile, LOHA is working on "a collection of novel" and "eye-catching" affordable housing projects in L.A.
● Wainwright x 2: He parses the new Cube Haus initiative to "disrupt the housing market" with pre-fab, modular homes designed by notable architects (including Adjaye) "that can be adapted to fit awkward infill sites and backland plots" (cool idea, though we question their concept of "reasonable prices").
● He cheers the renovation of Kew Gardens' 1898 Temperate House, "the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world": the result of the "mammoth undertaking is suitably breathtaking - a triumph of iron and glass [that] now feels more like the architecture, rather than the plants, is the star of the show" (mention of goats included & link to in-depth history).
● The Obama Presidential Center faces its first (of many) hurdles next week when the Chicago Plan Commission votes thumbs-up - or thumbs-down: residents of the lower-income neighborhood fear gentrification, and "some environmentalists and historians are unhappy with plans to swoop in and take over a national historic place."
● The Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is ready for its close-up, and will celebrate its 60th anniversary with "Canada Builds/Rebuilds a Pavilion in Venice" (opening May 26) that "offers an unprecedented study of the building's important modern architecture" (with link to Adele Weder's great "Venice Redux").
● Martin offers a sneak-peek of Snarkitecture's "Fun House" mini-retrospective for the National Building Museum's Summer Block Party (opening July 4), which includes a full-size house with 11 rooms, and a front- and backyard (and lots of white).
● Fujiki, a young, NYC-based architect, explains why "architecture's crisis is deeper than #MeToo - we must expand how architecture is evaluated and rethink how it is taught. Those of us who love architecture must refuse to say yes to its unhealthy and degrading demands."
● Betsky also tackles how students should be evaluated: "Architecture schools need to do a better job defining how their students should be evaluated - attempts to apply standards from science or the humanities to architecture are flawed because they weigh publication over building or just designing, discourage experimentation and speculation, and favor emerging 'sciences.'"
● The National Endowment for the Arts names urban planner and acting director Jen Hughes to replace Schupbach as Director of Design and Creative Placemaking; she "will also manage leadership initiatives that include the Mayors' Institute on City Design and the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design."
Winners (and almost winners) all:
● Cheers to the Cooper Hewitt's 10 (impressive!) winners of its 2018 National Design Awards.
● There are 9 buildings in the running to be named for AJ100 Building of the Year.
Three we couldn't resist (having to do - or maybe nothing to do - with architecture):
● Kanye West launches Yeezy Home, and is looking for talented architects and designers "who want to make the world better," and plans to develop a 300-acre property in L.A.: "Yeah, we're going to develop cities."
● Mock considers Kanye West's plan "to develop cities. Don't let him do this": He "believes that his love for all people is all the evidence that's needed for people to trust his development vision - a personality trait of the worst kind of developer."
● Definitely nothing to do with architecture, but how could we resist! JetBlue "will deliver NYC pizzas to L.A. for $15 or less" between today and Friday. "No joke. Get 'em while they're hot, people."
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Feargus O'Sullivan: France Plans an Extreme Makeover for Struggling Small Cities: Action Coeur de Ville aims to undo the damage of urban sprawl in more than 200 city centers across the country:
launching a vast €5 billion ($6.1 billion) plan...to revamp 222 city cores...with new stores, offices, co-working spaces, and renovated housing...many French city cores are in a bad state...through a string of mistakes that will seem eerily familiar to North Americans...an international competition for architects and designers will be launched, to provide new templates for how a revitalized medium-sized city might look. -- Oliver Razemon/"Comment La France a Tué Ses Villes" (“How France Killed Its Towns”)- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Antonio Pacheco: Does Christopher Hawthorne have what it takes to plan for L.A.’s future?: ...architecture critic...to become the new chief design officer for the City of Los Angeles...[His] new role...centers squarely on the question of what function design should play...elevating the public’s engagement with civic architecture is a worthwhile pursuit...Would a designer be better equipped for the job? I think so...it appears the former critic has already acquiesced to the exclusionary mediocrity that already defines so much of the city’s built fabric. Does [he] have what it takes to stand up to his politically timid boss?- The Architect's Newspaper
Katharine Schwab: Bjarke Ingels Will Redesign Lord & Taylor’s Flagship in New York Into WeWork’s New HQ: ...he will be WeWork’s first “chief architect”...[he] is also working...on the design of its first school, dubbed WeGrow...plans to build up WeWork’s internal design capacity and look outward to other design companies to collaborate with in the future...By hiring a chief architect...Adam Neumann lends star power to his ambition to remake cities in WeWork’s image. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group- Fast Company / Co.Design
Paul Finch: Why Patrik Schumacher is wrong about housing: We tried ditching standards and counting on private housebuilders before, and it became a race to the bottom: I admire [him] as an architect and I applaud his bravery in sticking to his guns in respect of unpopular arguments he has espoused...However, I have never found his propositions about housing provision very convincing...Like all polemicists, he tries to convince us of the validity of his views by stating some truths, then throwing in an enormous falsehood or non sequitur which we are supposed to regard as just another fact.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
LOHA advances eye-catching affordable housing schemes in Los Angeles: Lorcan O’ Herlihy Architects is busy at work on a collection of novel, forthcoming affordable housing projects...Isla de Los Angeles project...is perhaps the most daring...a stepped and articulated structure made up of stacked and repurposed shipping containers...MLK1101 supportive housing complex...geared toward military veterans who have formerly experienced homelessness currently under construction. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Oliver Wainwright: Build your own Adjaye: starchitects design catalogue homes: Want a home designed by a top architect on an affordable budget? Entrepreneurs Cube Haus may be moving in on your neighbourhood, with the help of David Adjaye and more: ...planning to “disrupt the housing market” and offer “high-design homes at reasonable prices” with a range of off-the-peg, modular designs by well-known architects...a range of models that can be adapted to fit awkward infill sites and backland plots... -- Adjaye Associates; Skene Catling de la Peña; Carl Turner Architects; Faye Toogood [images]- Guardian (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Temperate House, Kew Gardens - king of greenhouses sees the light again: The spruced-up Decimus Burton masterpiece ....doesn’t just have new glass and paint...the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world [reopens] after a £41m, five-year renovation...a mammoth undertaking, and the result is suitably breathtaking...it now feels more like the architecture, rather than the plants, is the star of the show...triumph of iron and glass is fully visible for the first time in a generation. -- Donald Insall Associates [images]- Guardian (UK)
Obama Presidential Center about to hit its first hurdle: ...the Chicago Plan Commission meets [on May 17] to consider the $500 million...facility that has drawn opposition from local activists...will conclude a year of community meetings between the Obama Foundation and residents of the lower-income neighborhood who have worried the project will gentrify the historically black area and force out lifelong residents...What initially started out as a library has morphed into a 20-acre private "center," and some environmentalists and historians are unhappy with the Foundation's plans to swoop in and take over a national historic place. -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects- Washington Examiner
Restored Canada Pavilion to open at Venice Biennale on May 26: To commemorate its restoration and the 60th anniversary..."Canada Builds/Rebuilds a Pavilion in Venice" explores the key moments of the life of the Pavilion across six decades and offers an unprecedented study of the building’s important modern architecture...National Film Board of Canada...producing a series...as a record of the restoration, documenting the history of the Canada Pavilion. -- Enrico Peressutti/BBPR (1957); Alberico Barbiano di Belgiojoso/BBPR (Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressutti, Rogers);Troels Bruun/M+B Studio; Gordon Filewych/onebadant; Cornelia Hahn Oberlander; Enns Gauthier Landscape Architects [with link to Adele Weder's great "Venice Redux"]- Canadian Architect
Olivia Martin: Snarkitecture makes a Fun-House mini-retrospective for the National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party: ...a full-size house in the firm's signature white-on-white-on-white...offering a stark contrast to the museum's neoclassical interior...also designed the 2015 Summer Block Party; BEACH, which covered the 10,000-square-foot Great Hall in white plastic balls...a full-size..."Fun House"...11 different rooms, a front yard, and a backyard invite visitors to explore and play. July 4 - September 3 [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Miles Fujiki: Architecture’s crisis is deeper than #MeToo: Architecture has been grappling with its own #MeToo moment...underscores existing challenges...the field is almost completely white, overwhelmingly male, and shrinking...we must expand how architecture is evaluated and rethink how it is taught...Those of us who love architecture...must refuse to say yes to its unhealthy and degrading demands. Architecture has never been more important to the world’s realities.- The Architect's Newspaper
Aaron Betsky: Teach Your Children Well ... but What Does that Mean? Architecture schools need to do a better job defining how their students should be evaluated: I do not think that the sole criterion for student work should be whether or not it can be constructed...attempts to apply standards from science or the humanities to architecture are flawed because they weigh publication over building or just designing, discourage experimentation and speculation, and favor emerging “sciences,” such as evidence-based design, that as of now are too vague and unsupported to deserve that designation.- Architect Magazine
National Endowment for the Arts Selects Jen Hughes as Director of Design and Creative Placemaking: Hughes will also manage leadership initiatives that include the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design...Prior to her work at the NEA, she was an urban planner for the District of Columbia [Washington, DC]...[and] was recognized by Impact Design Hub’s 40 under 40, honoring innovative leaders working at the intersection of design and public good...replaces Jason Schupbach who stepped down as director...in June 2017.- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Cooper Hewitt Announces the Winners of its 2018 National Design Awards: Neri Oxman, Weiss/Manfredi, and Oppenheim Architecture + Design are among this year's honorees.: ...recognizes outstanding individuals and firms in 10 categories. -- Gail Anderson/Lifetime Achievement; Anne Whiston Spirn/Design Mind; Design for America/Corporate & Institutional Achievement; WEISS/MANFREDI/Architecture Design; Civilization/Communication Design; Christina Kim/Fashion Design; Neri Oxman/Interaction Design; Oppenheim Architecture + Design/Interior Design; Mikyoung Kim Design/Landscape Architecture; Blu Dot,/Product Design [images]- Architect Magazine
AJ100 Building of the Year shortlist revealed: ...9 buildings in the running... winner will be announced June 13... -- Foster + Partners; Hawkins\Brown; Zaha Hadid Architects; AHMM/Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Page\Park Architects; SimpsonHaugh and Partners; Sheppard Robson; Reiach and Hall Architects [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Yeezy Home: Kanye West launches “Yeezy Architecture” studio, visits SCI-Arc: ...rapper solicited the talent of aspiring designers, calling for “architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better"...has a long history of associating himself and collaborating with architects and designers...the rapper recently purchased a 300-acre property in Los Angeles that West intends on developing himself...“Yeah, we’re going to develop cities.” -- OMA; Axel Vervoordt; Family; John Pawson- The Architect's Newspaper
Brentin Mock: The Miseducation of Kanye West: [He] wants to develop cities. Don’t let him do this: ...300-acre property...“I’m going to be one of the biggest real estate developers of all time, like what Howard Hughes is to aircraft and what Henry Ford was to cars"...he can’t be managed...a person who can’t be managed doesn’t want to be held accountable...believes that his love for all people is all the evidence that’s needed for people to trust his development vision...a personality trait of the worst kind of developer...To develop a community or a city, you have to know something about the forces that undeveloped it.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
JetBlue will deliver N.Y.C. pizzas to L.A. for $15 or less: No joke...between Wednesday, May 9, and Friday, May 11, it will deliver 350 pizzas from Patsy’s Pizzeria of East Harlem to “select areas in L.A...price includes everything from the flight, to the delivery tip and taxes...Get ’em while they’re hot, people.- Fast Company
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