Today’s News - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're heading to our Internet-less digs this afternoon - with high hopes the cable guy will appease the technology gods...if it doesn't work, you'll know why the newsletter is absent tomorrow/Thursday (fingers crossed and lighting candles to those pesky gods!).

Meanwhile: Breaking News! Word is that 2018 Vincent Scully Prize goes to Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Robert Campbell of the Boston Globe - two of the best! (No news reports posted before we posted.)

●  Hewitt pens a portrait of Venturi as both a mentor and an "architectural legend": "For young architects, Bob and Denise were as important to the culture as television personalities. They were attractive, witty, and hip. He lived during a challenging period, accepting all of its problems and contradictions with good humor and grace" (a lovely read).

●  O'Sullivan parses Scotland's high hopes for Kuma's V&A Dundee: "It's not yet entirely clear to what extent the plan to replicate the Bilbao Effect will work. Certainly, the museum itself is impressive," but "the kind of jobs provided by a visitor influx would mainly be low-paid and insecure, and might do little to meaningfully improve the city's economy."

●  Bennes comes, more or less, to the same conclusion: Kuma's V&A Dundee "is striking without being spectacular. Despite the inevitable comparisons to the Guggenheim Bilbao - it remains to be seen whether Dundee can capitalize both locally and internationally on the interest" it sparks.

●  Kafka considers whether Stanton Williams' revamp of London's Royal Opera House will become a public amenity: It "is betting big on audience engagement" - but "it retains an air of formality that may prevent it from becoming an intimate or comfortable place for non-ticket holders to hang out."

●  Walker and Lange consider "lessons from the 1984 Olympics," and what LA 2028 could do for Los Angeles - "the city faces even greater challenges around housing and displacement. Can LA make the 2028 Games work for all Angelenos?"

●  Hess makes the case for preserving Pereira's Los Angeles Times building: "What would be lost? One of L.A.'s most vivid symbols commemorating its ambitious rise from provincial outpost to global metropolis."

●  Moore cheers Hackney for "investing in some of the best council housing ever built" with the Colville estate by Chipperfield and Karakusevic Carson - "by cross-subsidizing, talking to residents, and the promise of good design, an often vague concept."

●  Agbo, "an African Modernist, reflects on the state of Nigeria's post-Colonial Classicism - the 1990s saw a curious resurgence in classical architecture - albeit as caricature. I would rather classicists and modernists engage in open bare-knuckle street fights than the current yawning indifference that has resulted in the current patchwork of anomalies and absurdities."

●  Pinto & Badawy offer Brasília as an example of what not to do in building a new Egyptian capital city from scratch: "There's a real risk that the new city will replicate the historical trend of spatial segregation."

●  Sisson reports on Amazon's investment in Plant Prefab, a "prefab startup focused on smart home tech" and sustainable construction (with the likes of Kappe, KieranTimberlake, and Behar in its portfolio).

●  Diaz x 2: He brings us MVRDV's two buildings in a South Korean entertainment complex that "look like mutant 3D models come to life. By the looks of it, the studio had way too much fun" designing them - "the facades are straight out of a Salvador Dalí painting - a surrealist's wonderland."

●  He then offers us images of "the ghostly remains of a failed techno-utopia - secret cities of the former Soviet Union" in "a stunning photography series by Russian visual artist Danila Tkachenko" - the "sites of long forgotten scientific triumphs and defeats have a post-human quality."

●  Taubman's Massey explores how architects can "build the equitable discipline we deserve," and his school's efforts to create "a human-centered redesign of architectural education that promotes equitable access to learning and professional opportunity."

●  On a more depressing note, just-released study by the Building Research Association of New Zealand finds a "toxic macho and bullying culture" to be the main cause the construction industry's high suicide rate (similar findings in Australia - though there were some "encouraging stories").

Winners all:

●  Washington, DC, honors a pioneering African-American architect by renaming a street Paul Devrouax Way - "Devrouax+Purnell made its mark as the first African-American-owned firm to design a building in downtown DC.," and went on to design a number of "landmark DC projects."

●  Eyefuls of the American Planning Association's 2018 Great Places in America designees recognizing 15 Great Neighborhoods, Streets, and Public Spaces - vote for "People's Choice" (great presentation).

●  The Graham Foundation grants $600,000 to "help fund 53 projects by architecture, history, art, and publishing organizations."

●  The Architects Foundation announces the 2018 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarships for "emerging professionals at early stages in their careers."


●  Call for entries: 2018 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards (international; professional and student categories).

●  Call for entries: Calling All Storytellers: Blank Space 6th Annual Fairy Tales Competition (one of our faves!).


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