Today’s News - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for not posting the newsletter last week without notice - circumstances beyond our control and all that jazz...

●  Bernstein pens a thoughtful tribute to structural engineer Robert Silman: "He wasn't an architect, but he had as much impact on the built environment as any architect of his generation."

●  TCLF pays tribute to landscape architect Richard Haag: "He will be remembered for several projects that remain as icons - and for the personal generosity he showed as a teacher and mentor" (with links to a 2014 video & written reflections by colleagues and friends).

●  Dumb and dumber (and outright scary!): The EPA "is now allowing asbestos back into manufacturing," and "will no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments" (We're doomed! We're doomed!).

●  On a greener note: The Philippines is building a new city "designed specifically to withstand natural calamities - a 'back-up' city, from where government offices can still function should capital Manila succumb to a natural disaster."

●  Moore ponders whether skyscrapers will "sink to new depths in British cities": Everyone "tends to agree that tall buildings can be intrinsically fine things. What matters is that they are well designed and in the right place - this bland statement becomes an increasingly threadbare banner under which planning battles are fought."

●  King, on a brighter note, cheers San Francisco's new, "imposing" transit center being "ready to roll at last. The aim is to give bus travel a cachet. The notion of a larger public - public transit and public spaces and large-scale public investment - is being celebrated, not scorned" (opens to the public on Sunday!).

●  A look at "why so many of Chicago's tallest buildings are located Downtown, why the earliest skyscrapers were built there in the first place, and whether we might expect any changes to the city's skyline anytime soon."

●  Baca talks to 7 local architects, planners, and experts about what they would do to fix Cleveland.

●  A number of architects were asked to design homeless shelters on a $1-million budget that would be "pleasing enough to help the shelter plan overcome" neighborhood NIMBYs - "opposition highlights the importance of good design up front."

●  Safdie's Medal of Honor museum in South Carolina faces more hurdles: Mount Pleasant officials may want the museum, but "clearly don't want the same thing as the project's architect and museum officials."

●  McGuigan parses the toll bad immigration policies will take on the profession: "At this strange moment in our history, when the government seems to be closing the door on many new immigrants and foreign visitors from certain countries, architecture can only suffer" - and salutes immigrant architects (add to the list!).

It's a good news/bad news day for preservation:

●  An unlikely group of Syrian refugees in Jordan are learning restoration stonemasonry, led by a World Monuments Fund master stonemason, so they can rebuild their own cities "one chisel blow at a time" - "It's a flea bite, but it's a beginning."

●  Johnson & Burgee's AT&T Building is now "officially New York City's youngest landmark; sayeth the developers of the much-maligned Snøhetta redesign: "We have stepped away from the design renderings that were made public a few months ago."

●  Daunt is haunted by the disappearance of many of Australia's modern church buildings, which "coincided with architects' experiments with modern materials and innovative shapes and forms - can there be a future for these unassuming post-war modern buildings that were once the beating hearts of Australia's urban and suburban communities?"

●  Cairns makes a case for why Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art "should be left to rest in peace" because "it is not possible to recreate. With immense sadness, I say it is time to let go of the building, to remember it fondly."

●  Morgan makes the case for why Raymond Loewy's "snazzy" Apex department store in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, "that once anchored hopes of urban revival, is apparently just an expendable piece of our heritage. Yet it was a spectacular, even magical place when it opened nearly half a century ago. Imagine if it were restored, given new life."

●  Venturi Scott Brown's 1979 Abrams House in Pittsburgh "suffers" the beginnings of a "secret demolition" (at this point, only the interior - preservationists are "working to mount an individual landmark nomination" before it's totally too late (great pix!).

●  Five notable architecture professors and historians answer the question: What's one American structure you wish had been saved?

Ending on a lighter note: Winners all!

●  Eyefuls of "The Clearing," SWA Group's winning design for the Sandy Hook Elementary School memorial in Newtown, Connecticut.

●  Holl wins the University College Dublin's Future Campus Competition (scroll down for link to images).

●  Eyefuls of the seven winners of the 2018 AIA/AAH Healthcare Design Awards (great presentation).


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