Today’s News - Thursday, May 10, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 15.
● Weder offers "a modest proposal" to make architecture awards more significant: "the architecture is not judged by the primordial experience of walking in and around it, but by flattering photography, drawings and texts" - awards "are in danger of becoming more like photography competitions."
● AJ convenes and impressive panel to discuss "what is going wrong with architectural competitions and the industry's love-hate relationship with the design contest - the competition process has lately experienced a fall from grace."
● di Palma & Robinson pen an epic essay about the "epic struggle" for control of the Los Angeles River: though "the river's future is clouded by a fog of unresolved social, technical, and environmental factors," it is also now "a medium for politically bold projects and creatively subversive civic acts" (great read!).
● Speaking of the L.A. River: Gehry donates $1 million for arts education, via Turnaround Arts: California, to schools in underserved communities abutting the river - matched by an anonymous donor.
● Kamin offers an eloquent personal connection to the news that a former newspaper building in Columbus, Indiana, a 1971 Modernist icon by SOM's Goldsmith, will soon be home to Indiana University's new master of architecture program: it's "a dazzling Miesian pavilion - not intimidatingly opaque - it spoke with resonant clarity and conviction, powerfully symbolizing the transparency of the free press."
● Brown parses some of the 17 postmodern buildings granted listed status by Historic England: "the bold, bright and often witty architectural style is very 1980s and has always divided opinion" (definitely worth clicking on "Listed postmodern buildings - in pictures").
● Zara cheers "a lovely tribute" to 10 of Britain's "lost mid-century gems - the sketches are a delight to look through, even if it is a little depressing" (also a bit sad (and odd) that a design publication doesn't mention the architects).
● LeBlanc, with "Concrete Toronto Map" (ERA Architects) as his guide and camera in hand, takes us on "a brutal trek through Toronto's Brutalist architecture" ("brutal trek" refers to rather brutal weather conditions).
● Students form the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning are heading to Venice to install their award-winning "Alchemy," a rather whimsical and intriguing structure composed of "forgotten and discarded materials such as reclaimed wood from a 150 year-old Cincinnati church, copper scraps, fragments of decorative limestone," and more.
● Call for entries: 8th Building Trust international design competition: "Affordable Housing Design Challenge" for new affordable housing for low-income workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (no fee; $40,000 prize fund).
● Call for entries: Great Kemeri Bog Visitor Center international architecture competition for an iconic entrance to the Kemeri National Park in Latvia (cash prizes).
● Wainwright walks us through the V&A's "The Future Starts Here: 100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow": "Can a robot fold towels? Could your toaster turn against you?" are among the "unsettling questions" in "a thought-provoking probe into where exactly this new generation of smart technology is taking us" ("drunken droids" included).
● Kolson Hurley offers a great Q&A with Martin Moeller, curator of the NBM's "Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project," who "argues that the cities reflected the broader architectural interests of their era, and that their legacy can be felt in postwar suburbs and even Park Avenue skyscrapers."
● "Offsite: Shigeru Ban" at the Vancouver Art Gallery includes a Kobe Paper Log House, constructed under his direction using readily sourced materials.
● The Cooper Hewitt's "Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color" delves into product design, subway wayfinding, industrial standardization, consumer culture, and more (lots of yummy images!).
● Palladio's Basilica in Vicenza, Italy, hosts "David Chipperfield Architects Works 2018," showcasing 15 buildings in an installation designed by master himself.
● Sabatino cheers the "West Coast Modern House Series," penned by a number of notables, that "seeks to raise awareness of an aggressive phenomenon - it is fitting" that this "educational and militant series starts out with a house that has been razed."
● Johnson cheers "Baby's First Eames: From Art Deco to Zaha Hadid," an architecture-themed ABC book that includes "a cat, looking unimpressed" ("Don't be surprised when baby's first word is Marimekko (also for M)".
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Adele Weder: A Modest Proposal for Architecture Awards: ...some awards are rather inconsequential. Others...bring with them a large degree of credibility as well as publicity and prestige. But in most cases, there is one commonality...the architecture is not judged by the primordial experience of walking in and around it, but by flattering photography, drawings and texts...You know that’s not enough...It is precisely because architecture has become such an intensely visual commodity that the walk-through is so important...architectural awards are in danger of becoming more like photography competitions...One solution is to shift the priorities...- Canadian Architect
What is going wrong with architectural competitions? With controversies piling up over how architectural competitions are run, the AJ assembled a panel of experts to discuss the industry’s love-hate relationship with the design contest: From the Thames Garden Bridge fiasco to a recent row over ‘onerous’ terms for a design contest, the competition process has lately experienced a fall from grace...[a] look at wasteful competitions, the UK’s ‘climate of caution’ surrounding procurement, and how the profession might respond. -- Pooja Agrawal/Public Practice; Cezary Bednarski/Studio Bednarski; Laurie Chetwood/Chetwoods; Russell Curtis/RCKa Architects; Kay Hughes/Khaa; Will Hurst/The Architects’ Journal; Walter Menteth/Walter Menteth Architects; Maria Theodorou- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Vittoria di Palma & Alexander Robinson: Willful Waters: Los Angeles and its river have long been enmeshed in an epic struggle for control: ...the idea of the river as a paradise lost, a place of discarded things and marginalized people, has served to ignite a potent landscape imaginary...the river practically redraws itself into a multitude of alternatives, forming an archetypal course for a range of imagined cities...The question of who will benefit from a revitalized river is attracting keen attention...river-adjacent residents fear that improvements will spur rampant gentrification and displacement...the river’s future is clouded by a fog of unresolved social, technical, and environmental factors. -- Lewis MacAdams; Pat Patterson; Frederick Fisher; Mia Lehrer + Associates; Frank Gehry [images]- Places Journal
Frank's Tots: Frank Gehry donates $1 million to Los Angeles River schools for arts education: A leading figure behind the proposed redesign of the Los Angeles River into a mixed-use district with substantial parkland, Gehry will direct his donation towards underserved communities abutting the river just south of Los Angeles...With his donation being matched by an anonymous donor, Turnaround Arts: California’s program will be extended to 10 more schools in the next five years...- The Architect's Newspaper
Blair Kamin: Former newspaper building in Columbus, Indiana, a modernist icon shaped in Chicago, will house architecture program: ...a dazzling Miesian pavilion...invitingly transparent, not intimidatingly opaque...Modernism is often accused of being cool and incomprehensible...Yet at The Republic, it spoke with resonant clarity and conviction, powerfully symbolizing the transparency of the free press...the building will house Indiana University’s new master of architecture program...this will be no ordinary outpost. -- Myron Goldsmith/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM (1971)- Chicago Tribune
Mark Brown: Bristol business park among postmodern gems granted listed status: Historic England protects trading estate in Slough and docklands housing schemes in London: ...17 postmodern buildings - the bold, bright and often witty architectural style...is very 1980s and has always divided opinion... -- Piers Gough/CZWG; John Outram; Venturi Scott Brown; Charles Jencks; Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall (RMJM); Price and Cullen; Jeremy and Fenella Dixon; Green, Lloyd and Adams; MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and Wright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Christopher Zara: The Tragic Disappearance Of Britain’s Modernist Architecture: A lovely tribute to lost mid-century gems: ...have been disappearing at a rapid pace...as developers bulldoze their way through British cities and towns to make way for the proverbial wheels of progress...GoCompare has created a lovely tribute to 10 of these structures...sketches are a delight to look through, even if it is a little depressing... [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Dave LeBlanc: A brutal trek through Toronto’s Brutalist architecture: ...that oft-maligned sub-genre of Modernism that celebrates raw concrete. -- Concrete Toronto Map; John B. Parkin Associates; Viljo Revell; Uno Prii; Wieslaw Wodkiewicz; Fairfield & Dubois; K.R. Cooper; Maxwell Miller [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Cincinnati to Venice: An award-winning installation by University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning students led by Terry Boling...will soon go on display...in an exhibition coinciding with...the Venice Architecture Biennale...“Alchemy" makes use of forgotten and discarded materials such as reclaimed wood from a 150 year-old Cincinnati church, copper scraps, hundreds of handmade tiles rejected by a local tile manufacturer, fragments of decorative limestone... [images]- UC Magazine / University of Cincinnati
Call for entries: 8th Building Trust international design competition: "Affordable Housing Design Challenge": submit an innovative design proposal for new affordable housing for low income workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; no fee; $40,000 prize fund; registration deadline: July 15 (submissions due August 1)- Building Trust International (UK) / UN Development Program (UNDP) / Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone
Call for entries: Great Kemeri Bog Visitor Center international architecture competition for an iconic entrance to the Kemeri National Park in Latvia; cash prizes; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): June 8; final registration deadline: October 12 (submissions due November 8)- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert) / Nature Conservation Agency of Latvia
Oliver Wainwright: Drunken droids and solar-powered shirts: what the smarthome will look like: Can a robot fold towels? Could your toaster turn against you? And will Amazon know when you’re hungry and drone-deliver a Chinese takeaway directly to your mouth? Find out as we step into the home of the future: ...unsettling questions at the heart of "The Future Starts Here: 100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow" at the V&A in London...a thought-provoking probe into where exactly this new generation of smart technology is taking us. thru November 4 -- Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation [images]- Guardian (UK)
Amanda Kolson Hurley: Inside the Secret Cities That Created the Atomic Bomb: The Manhattan Project...worked out of three purpose-built cities in Tennessee, New Mexico, and Washington state: Curator Martin Moeller argues that the cities reflected the broader architectural interests of their era, such as prefabrication, and that their legacy can be felt in postwar suburbs and even Park Avenue skyscrapers... "Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project," National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., thru March 3, 2019 (Q&A) -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
See Shigeru Ban's Kobe Paper Log House at Vancouver Art Gallery's Offsite: ...as part of the “Offsite: Shigeru Ban” exhibition. Under Ban's direction, the Gallery constructed a version of the 15.8 square-meter structure using readily sourced materials...will also feature a large photomural documenting Ban's ongoing design work on global disaster-relief projects, for which he received the 2017 Mother Theresa Award. thru October 8 [images]- Archinect
New Cooper Hewitt Exhibit Takes a Fresh Look at the History of Color: "Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color" delves into product design, subway wayfinding, industrial standardization, consumer culture, and more: ...explores the history and application of color theory through more than 190 objects dating from antiquity to the present day. thru January 13, 2019 [images]- Metropolis Magazine
"David Chipperfield Architects Works 2018": Palladio’s Basilica [Basilica Palladiana] in Vicenza, Italy, will host an exhibition about 15 buildings designed by Chipperfield and his studios in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai...installation designed by the British architect himself... thru September 2 -- Abacoarchitettura [images]- Floornature
Michelangelo Sabatino: West Coast Modern House Series: ...it has become apparent to conscientious architects, planners, and ordinary citizens that the much-touted Vancouverism...has a dark side and a very high price tag. Herein lies the raison d’être of a new monograph series on single-detached houses realized in and around Vancouver from the 1950s to the late 1970s...This educational and militant series seeks to raise awareness of an aggressive phenomenon typified by the 2007 demolition of Graham House (1963) in West Vancouver by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey...It is fitting that the series starts out with a house that has been razed. Chris Macdonald, Sherry McKay, and Leslie Van Duzer; Adele Weder; Richard Cavell; Cornelia Hahn Oberlander; Tony Robins; Matthew Soules; Michael Prokopow- Canadian Architect
Sara Johnson: A Big Gift for Little Architects: Published next month, "Baby's First Eames: From Art Deco to Zaha Hadid" features playful illustrations of modern design: Julie Merberg teamed up with French illustrator Aki to produce an architecture-themed ABC book...Each spread is accompanied by a cat, looking unimpressed. Don’t be surprised when baby’s first word is Marimekko (also for M). [images]- Architect Magazine
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