Today’s News - Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Will Alsop has died - a sad day for architecture. A character. A talent. A disruptor if ever there was one. We met once, on the sidewalk outside some yawn-inducing event in NYC. I needed a smoke - he was already on his third. The conversation was totally hilarious, off the wall - a joyful moment. We've read dozens of obits and tributes, and offer a handful of what we think are the most meaningful:
● Wainwright x 2: He pens a thoughtful (and amusing) tribute, telling the tale of a recent "smoky, boozy, extraordinary afternoon" spent at Alsop's studio, a "mind-boggling cabinet of curiosities" (includes link to pix of the studio - "mind-boggling" indeed!).
● He is just as eloquent in penning a straight-on (but hardly dry) biographical obituary for Alsop: "To his critics, he was a reckless pied piper. To his fans he was a mischievous breath of fresh air" in "a profession that was all too beige."
● Finch recalls several of his encounters with Alsop, who "made a difference by remaining fiercely independent. With Cedric gone, then Zaha, and now Will, the brightest lights of my life as an architectural journalist are being snuffed out, too early." + Will Hurst: "Battle of Wills: writing about Alsop could be a hazardous exercise" + Simon Allford on Alsop.
● Alsop in his own words: "Why Will has no Grace," a reprint of his 2004 essay, "just after his Fourth Grace had been canned by Liverpool council. It shows him at his fiery best" + Links to tributes and more.
● Across the Big Pond, Bozikovic considers Alsop, the "crazy-brilliant creator of playful structures who brought a sense of color, literally and figuratively, to his profession" - his Sharp Centre for OCAD University - "built quickly and cheaply - quickly redefined the art school it housed and, along the way, Toronto," as did his two recent, "remarkable" subway stations.
● Hume weighs in on Alsop, "the bad boy of British architecture," and his "special relationship with Toronto." His Sharp Centre for Design "raised Toronto's international profile and managed to make a cold city seem cool. For him, every project was an excuse for play."
● A round-up of tributes from by notable names to Alsop's "true free spirit" and "a lover of prodding hornets' nests."
In other news:
● Campbell-Dollaghan parses NYC's new - and free - report, "Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing," a "quietly ambitious project to give everyone - from citizens to politicians - the language to talk about and advocate for good design - it's a useful resource for any city struggling with its own housing crisis."
● J. Stephens returns to Honolulu after many years, and bemoans that it has become "a poster child for American auto-centric urbanism. If you're going to pave over paradise, at least do it well. Honolulu looks like Houston with volcanoes."
● Bozikovic minces no words about what he thinks of the proposal to stick "a 44-storey stack of condos - clumsily designed, awkwardly detailed - on top of" Toronto's "solidly built and beautifully detailed" 1958 Bank of Canada building: "Leave it alone."
● Wallis takes us on deep dive into "the new 'green' architecture" by architects who "are designing structures that would put the mythic Hanging Gardens of Babylon to shame."
● Diaz waxes almost poetic about Snøhetta's "stunningly beautiful" planetarium and visitor center in Norway: "There's an otherworldly quality to some of Snøhetta's work that makes me suspect some of its designers aren't of this world, either."
● The World Monuments Fund pledges $1 million to support disaster response and restoration efforts at the earthquake-struck Monte Albán Archaeological Site in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Stellar winners and shortlists abound:
● Eyefuls of the six international teams shortlisted to design South Australia's Adelaide Contemporary art gallery (great presentation - stellar, indeed!).
● Eyefuls of the RIBA Awards for International Excellence 2018, which includes 20 new buildings in 16 countries + RIBA International Emerging Architect 2018 (also great presentation).
● Litt cheers the 3 "strong choices" shortlisted to design the Cleveland Public Library's MLK Branch, but the one that rejects the idea of apartments overhead is best (lots of pix).
● The South African Institute of Architects announces the winners of the 2018 Corobrik SAIA Architectural Awards - two memorials, an office building, and two homes.
● Winners of the International A' Design Award & Competition 2018 announced - over 1,900(!) in 99(!) different design disciplines.
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Oliver Wainwright: Will Alsop, 70: 'His joyously surreal creations broke the laws of physics': Shortly before he became ill, the famously wacky architect let us into his mind-boggling studio for a final interview. Our writer recalls that smoky, boozy, extraordinary afternoon – and assesses his legacy: [He] spent his career conjuring bold, cartoonish visions, all designed to bring a little surreal joy into the world....[his] chief legacy...making the cities he worked in happier places to be.- Guardian (UK)
Obituary by Oliver Wainwright: Will Alsop: Maverick architect whose bold visions included Peckham Library, winner of the 2000 Stirling prize: To his critics, Alsop was a reckless pied piper, duping desperate mayors of struggling cities into commissioning madcap schemes they could never hope to build. To his fans he was a mischievous breath of fresh air, injecting a welcome dose of colour and energy into a profession that was all too beige.- Guardian (UK)
Paul Finch: Will Alsop - an independent voice who will be sorely missed: ...made a difference by remaining fiercely independent throughout his career...This independence stood him in good stead in respect of the brilliance of his design ideas and the ability to think laterally in ways that duller minds dismissed as whimsy...With Cedric gone, then Zaha, and now Will, the brightest lights of my life as an architectural journalist are being snuffed out, too early. Let’s hold on to who we’ve got, celebrate and reward talent while we still have it... + Will Hurst: Battle of Wills: writing about Alsop could be a hazardous exercise + Simon Allford on Alsop- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Will Alsop: He never stopped fighting for what he believed in...we reprint this piece by Alsop from 2004, just after his Fourth Grace had been canned by Liverpool council. It shows him at his fiery best: "Why Will has no Grace: If the axing of my Fourth Grace has taught me anything, it’s that politicians may demand iconic architecture but they actually want safe designs with no financial risk attached." + Links to tributes and more- BD/Building Design (UK)
Alex Bozikovic: Will Alsop: A crazy-brilliant creator of playful structures: was known equally as a bon vivant and as an architect who brought a sense of colour, literally and figuratively, to his profession. He also made an important mark on Toronto with OCAD University’s Sharp Centre, which is among the most distinctive buildings in the country...built quickly and cheaply...and quickly redefined the art school it housed and, along the way, Toronto...two subway stations...form part of an ill-advised expansion; but they are remarkable. [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Christopher Hume: Will Alsop, 70: British architect’s ‘flying tabletop’ changed Toronto: ...the bad boy of British architecture, had a special relationship with Toronto: ...Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design...raised eyebrows around the world. It also raised [the city's] international profile and managed to make a cold city seem cool...With [the Stirling Prize] in hand, he set out to remake architecture and the planet...[he] never failed to bring a smile to the viewer’s face...For him, every project was an excuse for play. -- Mirko Zardini/Canadian Centre for Architecture/CCA- Toronto Star
Architecture industry pays tribute to "true free spirit" Will Alsop: Emotional tributes have been pouring in for the late British architect..."a lover of prodding hornets nests"... -- Alexander Larman; Sam Jacobs; Charles Holland [FAT]; Ben Derbyshire/RIBA; Hugh Pearman; Kate Goodwin/Royal Academy of Arts; Oliver Wainwright; Amanda Baillieu/Archiboo; Paul Goldberger; Tom Dyckhoff; Stephen Pimbley/Spark Architects; Marcos Rosello/aLL Design- Dezeen
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan: What Makes Housing Great? Here’s New York City’s Guide: Anyone can use the city’s new guide to affordable housing–and eventually, it could go global: ...a quietly ambitious project from NYC’s Public Design Commission is working to give everyone - from citizens to politicians - the language to talk about and advocate for good design...published a free document called "Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing"...96-page report is a kind of reference guide to great housing across the city...it’s a useful resource for any city struggling with its own housing crisis. -- Karen Kubey- Fast Company / Co.Design
Josh Stephens: Reconsidering Paradise: How Honolulu Became a Poster Child for American Autocentric Urbanism: If you’re going to pave over paradise, at least do it well: I’ve never pegged Le Corbusier for much of a beach guy, but he would have loved Honolulu...Times have changed in many other American cities, which are unearthing their historic cores and attempting to create more human-scale neighborhoods. But not so much in Honolulu...I would have thought that a city on an island would embrace efficiency, creating dense, lively places...Instead, Honolulu looks like Houston with volcanoes.- Common Edge
Alex Bozikovic: Leave Toronto’s old Bank of Canada building alone: Imagine a building designed by an award-winning local architect. More than half a century old, it’s solidly built and beautifully detailed...Now imagine sticking a 44-storey stack of condos - clumsily designed, awkwardly detailed - on top of that. A terrible idea, right? Yet this is exactly what’s at stake with a new development application... -- Marani & Morris (1958); IBI Group; Goldsmith Borgal [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Stephen Wallis: Are They Buildings or Gardens? The New ‘Green’ Architecture: Buildings are sprouting greenery...not just living walls or rooftop meadows but whole façades draped with plants and terraces overflowing with vegetation: ...architects...are designing structures that would put the mythic Hanging Gardens of Babylon to shame...an extension of the decades-old movement promoting environmentally sensitive, sustainable, and socially conscious architecture... -- Thomas Heatherwick; Kengo Kuma; Jean Nouvel; MVRDV; Mun Summ Wong/Richard Hassell/WOHA; Vo Trong Nghia; Vincent Callebaut; Patrick Blanc; Piet Oudolf; Stefano Boeri- The Daily Beast
Jesus Diaz: Norway Is Building The Most Beautiful Planetarium I’ve Ever Seen: Bonus: You can spend the night: There’s an otherworldly quality to some of [Snøhetta's work] that makes me suspect some of its designers aren’t of this world, either...its stunningly beautiful planetarium and visitor center for the Solobservtoriet...It’s almost as if the structure’s metallic surface...is bubbling up from the Earth’s core...The rest of the complex is made up of seven “planets” that orbit around this central sun. Each is an independent cabin [sphere]...creates the illusion that some of these buildings have just landed, and others are emerging from the ground to meet them. [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
More Than $1 Million Awarded for Mexico's Earthquake-struck Monte Albán: World Monuments Fund ...to support disaster response and restoration efforts at Monte Albán Archaeological Site in Oaxaca... The site was included on the 2018 World Monuments Watch...WMF will launch a partnership with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to address the long-term stability of Monte Albán... [images]- World Monuments Fund/WMF
Adelaide Contemporary design proposals unveiled as six star teams compete for the chance to design a new South Australia landmark: 107 teams applied from five continents... -- Adjaye Associates/BVN; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group/JPE Design Studio; David Chipperfield Architects/SJB Architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Woods Bagot; HASSELL/SO-IL; Khai Liew/Office of Ryue Nishizawa/Durbach Block Jaggers [images]- Malcolm Reading Consultants / Government of South Australia
RIBA Awards for International Excellence 2018: 20 new buildings in 16 countries + RIBA International Emerging Architect 2018. -- Patkau Architects; LegoRogers (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners & Legorreta + Legorreta); Barozzi Veiga; John Wardle Architects; O'Donnell + Tuomey/M-Teampannon Kft; FOMTERV-PALATIUM-UVATERV Consortium; Kimmel Eshkolot Architects/Kalush Chechick Architects; Stanton Williams; Kraaijvanger Architects; EAA - Emre Arolat Architecture; Renzo Piano Building Workshop & Betaplan; Palinda Kannangara Architects; Hiroyuki Ito Architects; AleaOlea architecture & landscape; Nikken Sekkei; Allford Hall Monaghan Morris/AHMM; Boeri Studio; Foster + Partners; Gustavo Utrabo/Pedro Duschenes/Aleph Zero [images]- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Steven Litt: MASS design for new MLK branch, rejecting idea of apartments overhead, is best of 3 proposals: ...a spirited design competition for a new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch that resulted in three strong choices...MASS team is asking the library and Midwest Development Partners to reconsider whether apartments should surmount a library that would symbolically function as a memorial to one of America's pivotal leaders on civil rights. That's a very good question to raise now. -- LAND Studio; MASS Design Group/LDA Architects; SO-IL/Jonathan Kurtz ; Bialosky Architects/Vines Architecture [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Winners: 2018 Corobrik SAIA Architectural Awards [South African Institute of Architects]: ...five buildings and structures received top honours. -- Malan Vorster Architecture (home); Lewis Levin Architects (Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre); Koop Design (home); Paragon Architects (SASOL Place); The Creative Axis Architects/Mayat Hart Architects (The Delville Wood Memorial, France) [images]- VISI magazine (South Africa)
International A’ Design Award & Competition 2018 Winners Announced: ...the best designs of 2017 - 2018 in all design disciplines. Over 1900 winners...coming from 100 countries and 99 different design disciplines. [images + links to gallery and interviews]- DesignCurial (UK)
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