Today’s News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018
● Piano wants to help rebuild the Morandi Bridge in his home town of Genoa: "While it was too early to talk about the design of a new bridge, he said, 'One thing for sure is that it must be beautiful - not in the sense of cosmetics but in conveying a message of truth and pride.'"
● Grabar visits Houston on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey: "Human construction now decides where the floods go - an astounding 85% of voters approved a $2.5 billion bond issue to fight flooding - a testament to how deep an impression the storm has left."
● Mortice reports on a Think Tank discussion in Chicago that explored how "landscape may be architects' best tool for tackling inequality."
● Shaver looks into how landscape architects are "building on decades of working to separate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles" when designing streetscapes to "thwart a terrorist attack" while keeping "public spaces feeling open."
● A lot of Londoners are none too pleased with the "creeping privatization" of public spaces by bigger and more frequent festivals and events, which "highlights the pressure councils are under to generate income under austerity - financial gain being prioritized over community benefit."
● Murray ponders what cities would look like "if they were designed by mothers" or pensioners or teenagers, instead of by "overwhelmingly male and pale" architects. "Architecture's lack of diversity shows in environments created by people who never need step-free access or to take a bus."
● Bambury cheers this summer's RAIC Festival of Architecture in Saint John, New Brunswick, but "one event stands out - the official launch of the Atlantic chapter of Building Equality in Architecture" that looks "to move beyond past grievances and focus our efforts on the present and the future."
● A "vast new city" could rise on L.A.'s northern edges: Backers say the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch could be "a solution for the region's housing crunch"; planners and environmentalists argue otherwise (a 4-1 vote moved the project forward - now headed to a final vote).
● ArcSpace brings us Wells' report on BIG's foray into designing a Virgin Hyperloop One system in the UAE: "Radical innovation requires radical collaboration."
● Diaz reports on Dubai's new mandate for "all new buildings be 25% 3D printed by 2025 - the aspiration is wildly ambitious - if not laughably so. The question is whether this is doable at all."
● Brussat cheers the "dynamic duo" of Salingaros and Mehaffy receiving the 2018 Clem Labine Award: "Nikos and Michael, keep on pushing! You are bringing many others along with you" (with link to great, in-depth profile of the duo's "championing the art and science of beautiful places" by Ruhling in Traditional Building magazine).
Culture, culture everywhere!
● Lamster considers MASS Design Group's National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama: "The single greatest work of 21st century American architecture will break your heart - possessed of a sense of fearsome awe" - and his thoughtful take on its environs.
● Kennicott considers Phifer's soon-to-open Pavilions for the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland: "This museum doesn't want Instagram or crowds. It is self-consciously a museum built in the spirit of the nascent 'slow art' movement."
● Wainwright x 2: He explores the "ethereal underworld" of the Amos Rex art museum, Helsinki's "colossal new art bunker," where "bulging white mounds rear up out of the ground" - a "curious landscape of humps and funnels" that "signals the vast subterranean space beneath a former bus station parking lot."
● He cheers Assemble's Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art - "a glowing DIY labyrinth. It was a risk to put this gallery in the hands of a radical architecture collective - but it has paid off," transforming "the boiler house and laundry rooms of a Victorian bath house into a beguiling new gallery complex."
● Moore x 2: He cheers Featherstone Young's Ty Pawb, or "People's House," in Wales: A covered market in Wrexham now includes a new exhibition and performance space - "it is welcoming, animated, open, unpretentious and multifarious, while also calm and dignified. If this can't bring art and everyday life together, I don't know what will."
● His take on RSHP's Macallan distillery and visitor center that offers "whisky and spectacle galore - a suitably subtle blend of hi-tech and theater" (and pipes - "rarely can the practice have had so much license to have so much fun with them").
● One we couldn't resist: Diaz parses Burning Man: the "installations are especially crazy this year - at the center of this New Age spectacle, there's the Man himself" - the effigy will go up in flames today (you can link to the official live stream!).
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I will help rebuild Genoa bridge after hometown tragedy, says Renzo Piano: Shard’s architect calls for unity and cooperation after calamity in his home town: “I’m also a senator for life [in the Italian parliament] and so it is one of my duties to respond to such a disaster in some way"...While it was too early to talk about the design of a new bridge, he said, any future structure must be a statement of “real pride and values. One thing for sure is that it must be beautiful - not in the sense of cosmetics but in conveying a message of truth and pride." -- Morandi Bridge- Observer (UK)
Henry Grabar: And the Waters Will Prevail: What if Houston’s survival depends not just on withstanding a flood, but on giving in to it? Unprecedented storms have brought three straight years of biblical floods, culminating in Harvey...Human construction now decides where the floods go...Did the city build its way into cataclysm? On August 25 - the one-year anniversary of Harvey’s landfall - an astounding 85% of Harris County voters approved a $2.5 billion bond issue to fight flooding...The support is a testament to how deep an impression the storm has left...confidence in local water guardians is not high.- Slate
Zach Mortice: Landscape May Be Architects’ Best Tool for Tackling Inequality: ...Ross Barney Architects hosted a Think Tank discussion...a conversation on how design can soften the edges of inequality couldn’t be more at home than in Chicago...“Designing Cities for Equity and Justice"...The notion of landscape as a locus of community across socio-economic borders is even more pointed at Lathrop Homes, a 1930s public housing project that’s being repurposed into mixed-income housing... -- Susan S. Szenasy; Jens Jensen; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates- Metropolis Magazine
Katherine Shaver: Why your favorite bench might be there to thwart a terrorist attack: ...designed to make the sidewalk more pleasant while creating obstacles to stop an attacking vehicle...Landscape architects say they’re building on decades of working to separate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles...They’re also tapping into a long-held sense that bollards are ugly...Some designers say they’re worried that attacks-by-vehicle are getting more than their due share of attention and money...risks should be balanced against the need to keep public spaces feeling open. -- Robb Berg/Design Workshop; Leonard Hopper/Weintraub Diaz Landscape Architects; Richard Roark/OLIN [images]- washington po
London's parks accused of 'creeping privatisation' of public spaces: Proliferation of music festivals and other events across capital’s green spaces means disruption and restrictions to access for residents: The trend towards bigger and more frequent festivals in parks highlights the pressure councils are under to generate income under austerity...financial gain was being prioritised over community benefit.- Guardian Cities (UK)
Christine Murray: What would cities look like if they were designed by mothers? Architecture’s lack of diversity shows in environments created by people who never need step-free access or to take a bus: Architects are overwhelmingly male and pale, young and privileged, and there are legitimate concerns about them designing our cities in their image...And if pensioners designed our urban environments? We might have somewhere to sit...If teenagers designed cities, charging your phone would be a human right...Of course, there are spaces that work beautifully...- Guardian (UK)
Jill Bambury: Finding Our Place in the Field: Among the many celebrations and inaugurations at May’s RAIC Festival of Architecture in Saint John, New Brunswick, one event stands out to me as particularly special: the official launch of the Atlantic chapter of Building Equality in Architecture...BEA recognizes the excellence of women professionals, but also our importance as role models...to move beyond past grievances and focus our efforts on the present and the future.- Canadian Architect
Building a vast new city on L.A.'s northern edges: A solution for the region's housing crunch? ...proponents say it's just what buyers need: Tejon Ranch, a 270,000-acre plot...master-planned community...At a time when many planners are urging denser developments in the urban core near transit lines and job centers, Centennial is a throwback to a much more traditional form of development...it may be the last remnant of a bygone era.- Los Angeles Times
Benjamin Wells: Hyper Innovation: The hyperloop concept envisions a mobility infrastructure of unprecedented speed and efficiency, but its realization demands new forms of collaborative innovation. BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group have been working with Virgin Hyperloop One to design a system in the UAE, complete with autonomous pods and city portals: Radical innovation requires radical collaboration. [images]- ArcSpace
Jesus Diaz: Dubai mandates that all new buildings be 25% 3D printed by 2025: The city, which has been criticized for human rights abuses of migrant construction workers, believes the technology could reduce the workforce by 70%: ...and cut building costs by 90%. But given the current experimental state of 3D printing technologies for construction, the aspiration is wildly ambitious - if not laughably so...The question is whether this is doable at all.- Fast Company
David Brussat: Joint prize for dynamic duo: Nikos Salingaros and Michael Mehaffy have received this year’s Clem Labine Award from Traditional Building magazine. Much of my education regarding how science affects architecture and urbanism comes from their research and writing...Nikos and Michael, keep on pushing! You are bringing many others along with you...- Architecture Here and There
Mark Lamster: The single greatest work of 21st century American architecture will break your heart: ...the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice...are both extraordinary, though it is the second that behooves a pilgrimage. To my mind...the most successful memorial design since the 1982 debut of Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial...sublime in the way that the Romantics used that word, meaning not just beautiful, although it is, but possessed of a sense of fearsome awe. -- Equal Justice Initiative; MASS Design Group; Erdy McHenry Architecture/Southern Poverty Law Center [images]- Dallas Morning News
Philip Kennicott: This museum doesn’t want Instagram or crowds. Does that make it elitist? In an art world where attendance has become the key metric, one new facility has been designed to slow down visitors and give them space to contemplate the art...the 230-acre Glenstone Museum compound [in Potomac, MD]...has been designed around visitor experience rather than maximizing the number of visitors...It is self-consciously a museum built in the spirit of the nascent “slow art” movement...204,000-square-foot Pavilions... -- Thomas Phifer and Partners; Adam Greenspan/PWP Landscape Architecture- Washington Post
Oliver Wainwright: Ethereal underworld: exploring Helsinki's colossal new art bunker: In a vast expanse beneath the Finnish capital lies a soaring circus-top culture hub. Will the €50m Amos Rex art museum put the city at the forefront of Europe’s art scene? Bulging white mounds rear up out of the ground...tapering to circular windows that point like cyclopean eyes around the square...This curious landscape of humps and funnels signals the arrival of [the museum]...a vast subterranean space beneath a former bus station parking lot...Beneath the lumpy landscape stretches a gargantuan 2,200 sq m flexible exhibition space... -- Asmo Jaaksi/JKMM [images]- Guardian (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art - a glowing DIY labyrinth: It was a risk to put this gallery in the hands of a Turner-winning radical architecture collective - but it has paid off with a building that merges industrial heft with light-touch craft: ...agricultural shed components might not be the first thing that most architects would reach for...designing a contemporary art gallery in London...an inventive fusion of the industrial and the crafted that runs throughout the project, which has seen the boiler house and laundry rooms of a Victorian bath house...transformed into a beguiling new gallery complex... -- Assemble [images]- Guardian (UK)
Rowan Moore: Ty Pawb - an art gallery that truly is everybody’s house: A covered market in Wrexham [Wales] has welcomed a new exhibition and performance space in an understated revamp that unites art and commerce: The style of the new interventions is workaday going on austere...but lifted by colour, light and care...The outcome is an indoor town square in which the market units...coexist with a gallery...a “baggy space...so that other people can make it their own”...It is welcoming, animated, open, unpretentious and multifarious, while also calm and dignified. If this can’t bring art and everyday life together, I don’t know what will. -- Elfen; Featherstone Young [images]- Observer (UK)
Rowan Moore: Macallan distillery - whisky and spectacle galore, Easter Elchies, Craigellachie, Moray: £140m distillery and visitor centre, by Richard Rogers and co, is a suitably subtle blend of hi-tech and theatre designed to put the beautiful business of whisky production centre stage...a temple of production, or a theatre of process, in which the stars are the miraculous paraphernalia that make whisky...Pipes are another RSHP thing...but rarely can the practice have had so much licence to have so much fun with them...this building is about spectacle. It’s about celebrating beautiful machinery... -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners [images]- Observer (UK)
Jesus Diaz: Burning Man’s installations are especially crazy this year: When does a festival become a large-scale infrastructure project? Black Rock City is now fully armed and operational in the Nevada Desert...at the center of this New Age spectacle, there’s the Man himself - the effigy that names the festival, which will burn to mark its ending...September 4... -- Bjarke Ingels/Jakob Lange; Arthur Mamou-Mani [images + link to official live stream]- Fast Company / Co.Design
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