Today’s News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018
● Portland, Oregon, "just did the nearly impossible - a peek at what can happen when housing advocates outnumber housing opponents" (a model for other cities).
● Chandran explains why atArchitecture's winning design in the Building Trust International competition for Phnom Penh factory worker homes is a model for other cities "struggling to meet surging demand" for low-cost housing.
● Kolson Hurley parses a new approach to treating dementia: "nostalgiavilles" that "trade in an intangible good: memories," and "why a 'memory town' is coming to your local strip mall" - a model town near San Diego "is set to be replicated around the U.S." ("It's not what advocates of retrofitting the suburbs may have had in mind").
● Schwab parses Work & Co's "ultimate anti-open office" in Portland, Oregon, that "is proof that not all open plan offices are miserable hellholes" ("no sad desk lunches allowed" - and nary a ping-pong table in sight).
● Wainwright gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Stanton Williams' makeover of London's Royal Opera House: "its warren of interior wonders" was once off limits to non-ticket holders - until now - "high culture's icy palace lets the people in for a drink" (though some elements are a bit "generic," the "new ladies' loos are a dizzying sight to behold").
● RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) opens a $50 million, 90,000-square-foot Manhattan flagship a block from the High Line and the Whitney Museum, complete with a rooftop restaurant and outdoor terrace, "to prove brick-and-mortar retailing is not dead."
● Louise Nevelson's 1977 "masterwork" chapel in Saint Peter's Church in midtown Manhattan is about to close for a much-needed (and deserved) restoration - it "remains key public space in a neighborhood where Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POPS) have been allowed to evolve" into anything but.
● A snapshot of the 12 shortlisted projects vying for this year's WAF award in the 'Education - Future Project' category; they "have the potential to redefine how students learn."
● TPS taps blind architect Chris Downey to help design the new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired: "I didn't see the value of a blind architect when I first got into it. Now I have no doubt that I have more value without sight than I had as a sighted architect."
● Crosbie x 2: He gets "an optimist's take" from Imdat As re: Artificial Intelligence and how it "might change design and practice as we now know it - would that be such a bad thing?" (his current research on AI's impact on architectural design and practice is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense).
● In a blast from ANN's past: Crosbie talks to Imdat about crowdsourcing design, and "why the criticism that sites like his Arcbazar.com are taking jobs away from architects doesn't wash."
● Dickinson takes a deep dive into the current state of architectural criticism: He's optimistic about "how a wave of new voices" and digital formats are "changing the way we talk, think and write about buildings - the few remaining print magazines will, finally, become beloved footnotes" (sigh).
● Two we couldn't resist (O Canada): Vancouver "has the 'sorriest bus stop' in North America. There was something about Vancouver's abomination that stood out."
● Does Canada have the world's most confusing road sign? "It has to be seen to be believed - it looks like an indecipherable patchwork of various other road signs, mainly because it is."
Whither the weather and climate change:
● Green reports on APA's symposium that gathered urban planners at San Francisco's SPUR to "mobilize for climate action": there's a "need to do a better job of bringing historic preservation allies into the fight," and "climate plans must also take into better account the unintended consequences of good intentions."
● Plautz parses the U.S. Conference of Mayors/Center for Climate and Energy Solutions survey that found "57% of cities plan climate action in the next year: With the Trump administration rolling back several climate measures, cities and states have been stepping up and making climate commitments of their own."
● Penndorf of Perkins+Will explains that Hurricane Florence "shows architecture must address climate The challenges ahead pose intriguing questions that demand both ingenuity and a stubborn commitment to do more."
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Housing Advocates in Portland, Oregon, Just Did the Nearly Impossible: They got a key city board to recommend re-legalizing small duplexes, triplexes and affordability incentives on almost any lot: ...what can happen when housing advocates outnumber housing opponents: It recommended more housing...The vision is simple...a set of policy changes designed to stop the gradual mansionization of Portland by capping the size of new homes, re-legalizing structures that include more than one home inside and - crucially - allowing buildings to get slightly bigger- Sightline Institute (Seattle)
Rina Chandran: Winning design for Phnom Penh factory worker homes, a model for other cities: In Asia, impact investing is especially needed for low-cost housing in booming cities that are struggling to meet surging demand: ...Britain-based Building Trust International...will construct the homes based on the winning entry by India's atArchitecture...The design...is low-rise, using clay bricks and concrete, making it cost effective, and adaptable to any tropical city...- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Amanda Kolson Hurley: Why a ‘Memory Town’ Is Coming to Your Local Strip Mall: Weeks after opening near San Diego, a model town for treating dementia is set to be replicated around the U.S.: ...Town Square - a 9,000-square-foot working replica of a 1950s downtown...trades in an intangible good: memories....already, satellite cities are in the works...Amid a retail meltdown, malls...could morph into escapist domains for the elderly. It’s not what advocates of retrofitting the suburbs may have had in mind, but it’s a logical outcome of the graying of America, and of suburbia in particular. [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Katharine Schwab: This is the ultimate anti-open office: Work & Co’s new Portland, Oregon, office is proof that not all open plan offices are miserable hellholes: Open offices are here to stay, regardless of the science that decries them...Is there such a thing as a less evil open plan? The interior design studio Casework attempted just that...no sad desk lunches allowed. [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Oliver Wainwright: The Royal Opera House opens up: high culture's icy palace lets the people in for a drink: Stanton Williams have carved out new spaces in the Covent Garden building - adding access, views and a reborn Linbury theatre: ...its warren of interior wonders has been off limits to anyone without a ticket...“Open Up” project...to shed its rarefied reputation...all finely detailed and well crafted, but the effect is more like a generic Hilton hotel lobby than an extraordinary destination...In trying not to offend the tastes of regulars, while wanting to appear accessible to new audiences, the architects have found themselves in a limbo of could-be-anywhere design...but the surgical alterations have...made the building a more useful and inviting place for everyone to enjoy.- Guardian (UK)
RH CEO Explains His $50 Million Bet on New Flagship: To prove brick-and-mortar retailing is not dead, Gary Friedman has opened a 90,000-square-foot RH Gallery in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District: ...RH (formerly Restoration Hardware)...took five years to complete...six floors...take the form of curated room spaces, or vignettes...There’s also a demarcated interior design atelier, a rooftop restaurant with outdoor terrace...a block from the High Line Park and the Whitney Museum of American Art...will expand...next year when it opens...the RH Guesthouse... -- Backen, Gillam, and Kroeger [images]- Bloomberg News
Objects Conservation Studio, Kostow Greenwood Architects and others work on $5.7 million Nevelson Chapel restoration: Louise Nevelson’s 1977 masterwork Chapel of the Good Shepherd is now underway...Commissioned by Saint Peter’s Church for midtown Manhattan’s ground-breaking corporate/church/public complex formerly called Citigroup Center (completed, 1977; landmarked, 2017), [it] remains key public space in a neighborhood where Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POPS) have been allowed by the City to evolve into retail or office space since their original designations.- New York Real Estate Journal
School architecture of the future: From a technical school of the future in Denmark to a building that reimagines school architecture in India - the 12 shortlisted designs up for this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) award in the ‘Education - Future Project’ category have the potential to redefine how students learn. -- Architectus; Boogertman + Partners Architects; BVN; CetraRuddy Architecture; fjmt; KANT Arkitekter; KPMB Architects/Stantec Architecture; RTDA Authoring Team; Sanjay Puri Architects; Studio 44 Architects; Warren and Mahoney Architects; Woods Bagot [images]- Teacher magazine / Australian Council for Educational Research/ACER
Blind architect hired to help South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired: TSP reached out to Chris Downey during the request for proposal process, and he has been with the project ever since...He helped improve the geographic shape of walkways to make them more friendly to people who use canes, and developed ideas for using floor materials and acoustics to inform students when they’re about to approach staircases or doorways. “I didn’t see the value of a blind architect when I first got into it,” Downey said. “Now I have no doubt that I have more value without sight than I had as a sighted architect.”- Argus Leader (South Dakota)
Michael J. Crosbie: Doom or Bloom: What Will Artificial Intelligence Mean for Architecture? An optimist’s take on the impact of emerging technology on the future of the profession: I sat down with my University of Hartford colleague Imdat As...an architect with an expertise in digital design...co-founder of Archbazar.com...His current research on AI and its impact on architectural design and practice is funded by the US Department of Defense...[he] talked about how this emerging technology might change design and practice as we now know it - and if so, would that be such a bad thing?- Common Edge
Blast from the past: Michael J. Crosbie: Crowdsourcing Design: The End of Architecture, or a New Beginning? Why the criticism that crowdsourcing design sites like Imdat As's Arcbazar.com are taking jobs away from architects doesn't wash.- ArchNewsNow.com
Duo Dickinson: Architectural Criticism That’s Not Just For Architects: How a wave of new voices is changing the way we talk, think and write about buildings: The joy of instant, real time presentation of unlimited length, universal availability and immediate correction of error, is a fantastic way to communicate...makes the indirect page-bound world of traditional journalism quaintly tactile...the few remaining print magazines will, finally, become beloved footnotes and the burgeoning digital formats of architectural journalism will change architectural criticism far beyond what we see now...evolving into a place of dialogue and reaction rather than the attempts at intellectual analysis of the print era.- Common Edge
It’s Over! Vancouver Has ‘Sorriest Bus Stop’: It’s official! The sorriest bus stop in America is in ... Canada! There was something about Vancouver’s abomination that stood out. Maybe it was the sad guy in the white shirt. Maybe it was the ugly jersey barrier. Maybe it was just the desolation. [image]- Streetsblog.org
Is this road sign in Canada the world's most confusing? It has to be seen to be believed - but it might still leave a driver scratching his or her head...looks like an indecipherable patchwork of various other road signs, mainly because it is...a hotel chain removed its billboard and uncovered the sign beneath. Locals residents worry it could cause collisions...especially since it is located on at a "serious" curve on provincial Highway 103. [image]- BBC News
Jared Green: Urban Planners Mobilize for Climate Action: ...organized by the APA at SPUR in San Francisco, a group of urban planners...discussed what’s needed to mobilize the world’s urban planners to take more effective action on the climate...need to do a better job of bringing historic preservation allies into the fight...associated “heritage professionals” - scientists, planners, architects, landscape architects - haven’t been adequately included...climate plans must also take into better account the unintended consequences of good intentions...the multiple social and environments benefits of climate action and maintaining a “laser focus on equity” are key. -- Robert Kelew/UN-Habitat; Jeff Soule/American Planning Association (APA); SPUR; Planners for Climate Action; Andrew Potts/ICOMOS; Michael Boswell; Sandy Mendler/Mithun; Nancy Somerville/ASLA- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Jason Plautz: Survey: 57% of cities plan climate action in next year: With the Trump administration rolling back several climate measures...cities and states have been stepping up and making climate commitments of their own...60% have launched or expanded a climate policy in the last 12 months...95% said they had experienced an impact of climate change, from drought to wildfires to extreme storms.- Smart Cities Dive
Jon Penndorf/Perkins+Will: Hurricane Florence shows architecture must address climate: ...evidence of climate change isn’t found in major disasters alone...As a society, we have the opportunity and ability to take steps now to mitigate risks from weather extremes. We must design and plan with resilience in mind. To do that requires buy-in from civic leaders, policymakers, property owners, urban planners, architects, interior designers, engineers and others...Our built environment should embody hope and security...The challenges ahead pose intriguing questions that demand both ingenuity and a stubborn commitment to do more.- Washington Business Journal
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