Today’s News - Wednesday, October 10, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: The RIBA Stirling Prize 2018 winner is about to be announced in London - but we must post now (rats!).
● Walker wins most depressing/scary/hopeful headline of the week (decade?): "Cities have 15 months left to slow climate change, says new report: Dramatic action is required by 2020"; the hopeful part: "27 cities are proving it's possible."
● Editors at Curbed and Eater examine "developments unique to six American cities - what they have in common is a distinctly American problem": reconciling "economic growth with neighborhoods that are equitable for all. If you build it, will they come? If they come, who will have to leave?
● Brooke weighs in on whether there really is a shortage of land in Hong Kong: "Not if what there is already were utilized smartly" - policy measures must be put in place "that are in the best interest of the general public and the long term prosperity" of the city.
● Moore explores a sticky question: "Is far-right ideology twisting the concept of 'heritage' in German architecture? Two restoration projects are raising fears that the idea of 'tradition' is being hijacked - the defense of the political neutrality of architecture is wearing thin" (a fascinating read!).
● Kapur parses Poland's "faded" Brutalist architecture, now "being given a second look, and a new life - there's a fresh appetite for an aesthetic that, in its idealized form at least, emphasizes austerity and egalitarianism."
● In Lebanon, Niemeyer's unfinished Tripoli International Fair (landscaped by Burle Marx) may become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
● Controversy continues to swirl around the planned dismantling of VSBA's addition to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego so it can expand: "The museum will have more money for the galleries if they listen and keep the old entrance," sayeth Scott Brown.
● Menking mulls the Venice Architecture Biennale as it "turns away from the digital - it fails to recognize the degree to which contemporary urban space is a result of digital technology and computation" (and technologists "are apoplectic" about "postmodernism's reemergence").
● Wainwright weighs in on how Ferris wheels "became the ultimate must-have city accessory. But these great circles in the sky don't always go to plan" (in China, one completed but unopened is "looming on the skyline like an abandoned Dyson fan").
● Capps is quite taken by Phifer's "enchanting expansion" of the Glenstone Museum in Maryland: The new Pavilions building "provides a sublime viewing experience" in a "sylvan backdrop - a forested meadow to make art sing."
● Ai Weiwei's first U.S. building "is an artful block of concrete" in Los Angeles for the United Talent Agency (which represents him): "In a very meta relationship, he transformed a former diamond tooling factory into the agency's new exhibition space."
● TCLF continues its efforts to save Clermont Lee's 1950s Savannah garden that Girl Scouts USA wants to change (at least they "hope to hire a female landscape architect").
● Dickinson tackles PR and architecture: Design for the client, not the image: "It is hard to resist the ego stroke of your image on another's page - but that result often pollutes the profession."
● One we couldn't resist: Kenya's first African Chief Architect reveals that, in the 1960s, he "was inspired by a donkey's penis in designing" the Kenyatta International Conference Centre" (we kid you not).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Taylor's Venice in Three Parts: As a first-timer to La Biennale di Venezia; There are immersive experiences, artistic expressions, and marketing efforts. Guess which are most satisfying; There are treasures and treats to be found beyond the confines of the Giardini.
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Alissa Walker: Cities have 15 months left to slow climate change, says new report: Dramatic action is required by 2020 - yet 27 cities are proving it’s possible: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report calls for nothing less than a complete overhaul of the world economy, which its 132 authors agree is scientifically possible - but, for the U.S. particularly, politically unlikely...Emissions worldwide will need to peak by 2020...while the challenge sounds insurmountable, it’s not impossible - in 27 cities, including nine in the U.S., emissions have already peaked...The real problem now is transportation- Curbed
Can money create a neighborhood? Across the country, developers are building megaplexes meant to attract eager shoppers and savvy diners. Curbed and Eater editors weigh in on the community effects: ...we examine ongoing developments unique to six American cities: Detroit, Austin, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York...what [they] have in common is a distinctly American problem: how we, the people, reconcile our desire for economic growth with neighborhoods that are equitable for all their constituents. If you build it, will they come? If they come, who will have to leave?- Curbed
Nicholas Brooke: Shortage of land in Hong Kong? Not if what there is already were utilised smartly: the government’s Task Force on Land Supply put forward 18 proposed short to long term land supply possibilities together with several conceptual options...Government will need to be realistic regarding their need to provide (albeit not necessarily pay) for the new infrastructure required to open up access to the land bank sites while the developers will have to be willing to incorporate new standards of affordable housing within their projects in order for this approach to be acceptable to society at large.- South China Morning Post
Rowan Moore: Is far-right ideology twisting the concept of 'heritage' in German architecture? Two restoration projects are raising fears that the idea of ‘tradition’ is being hijacked: ...the Garrison church plan is an example of what [Stephan Trüby] claims is now a disturbing pattern...the new Old Town in Frankfurt now stands...an uncanny simulacrum of buildings that stood there before the war, the haphazard growth of centuries replicated in one go...the defence of the political neutrality of architecture is wearing thin. -- Léon Krier [images]- Observer (UK)
Akash Kapur: Can Poland’s Faded Brutalist Architecture Be Redeemed? Long derided as relics of an oppressive regime, the country’s Communist-era buildings are being given a second look, and a new life: Once, these buildings had promised a new future...By the 1990s...the sheen had vanished from the ideology and the buildings, too...recently, Brutalism has undergone a remarkable rehabilitation...there’s also a fresh appetite for an aesthetic that, in its idealized form at least, emphasizes austerity and egalitarianism. [images]- New York Times T Magazine
Oscar Niemeyer's Unfinished Architecture in Lebanon May Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The unfinished Tripoli International Fair...which began in the early 1960s, was scheduled for completion in 1966 or, in the worst case, 1967, but a succession of setbacks led to an unfinished design...The garden...is by another master of Brazilian modernism, landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx... the project was meant to symbolize cultural and social advancement... [images]- ArchDaily
A Feud Erupts Over the Architectural Fate of a Beloved Art Museum in San Diego: Preservationists oppose changing a postmodern architect’s legacy while the institution argues for smarter long-term planning: A controversy is swirling around the planned expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in tony La Jolla...Denise Scott Brown...tells AD, “The museum will have more money for the galleries if they listen and keep the old entrance"...As of now, the museum refuses to budge. -- Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates/VSBA; Selldorf Architects; Izzy Kornblatt [images]- Architectural Digest
William Menking: The Venice Architecture Biennale turns away from the digital: The most cogent critique of "Freespace"...is that it fails to recognize the degree to which contemporary urban space is a result of digital technology and computation...This direction infuriated those who believe that only a focus on digital production is an authentic summary of today’s architecture...This digital versus demand...is not just a generational divide but represents a profound difference between an architecture grounded in an expression of the digital and one that primarily seeks to respond to site, program, function, and reception. -- Yvonne Farrell/Shelley McNamara/Grafton Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
Oliver Wainwright: Star turns: how the big wheel became the ultimate must-have city accessory: Newcastle is the latest city to unveil plans for a giant Ferris wheel, dubbed the ‘Whey Aye’. But these great circles in the sky don’t always go to plan: Last month, New York City pulled funding from the proposed Staten Island wheel...Or spare a thought for the people of Changzhou, southern China, who were promised the world’s biggest spoke-less wheel...completed in 2013, but remains unopened, looming on the skyline like an abandoned Dyson fan. [images]- Guardian (UK)
Kriston Capps: The New Glenstone is a Contemporary Art Retreat in the Wilds of Montgomery County [Potomac, Maryland]: The long-introverted museum has made a successful first pass at extroversion with its enchanting expansion: ...the new Pavilions building is a temple to contemporary expression...provides a sublime viewing experience...assembling elements of light, shadow, space, and most importantly, retreat. [It] may also be the most reluctant museum in America. ..the museum’s sylvan backdrop - a forested meadow to make art sing...The vision driving [its]s expansion is principled, noble, maybe even transcendental...It’s easier to say what Glenstone isn’t than what it is. -- Thomas Phifer and Partners; Adam Greenspan/PWP Landscape Architecture [images]- Washington City Paper (Washington, DC )
Liz Stinson: Ai Weiwei’s first U.S. building is an artful block of concrete: A blank canvas for art: ...a new space in Los Angeles for the United Talent Agency, an entertainment company that also happens to represent the artist. In a very meta relationship, Weiwei transformed a former diamond tooling factory into the agency’s new exhibition space called the UTA Artist Space. [images]- Curbed
Juliette Gordon Low family hopes to help Girl Scouts save Savannah garden: ..designed by landscape architect Clermont Lee in the 1950s...plans to update the garden, which were met with criticism and fear that Lee’s design and legacy would be lost. At that time The Cultural Landscape Foundation designated the garden a Landslide nationally significant, threatened landscape, and those plans were later abandoned...TCLF...commissioned the most recent plans...garden...poised to undergo changes, but it’s unclear exactly what those changes will be...GSUSA leaders...hope to hire a female landscape architect. -- Tunnell & Tunnell Landscape Architecture- Savannah Morning News (Georgia)
Duo Dickinson: They Try to Publish ... And Thus They Perish: Do not design for the image. Design for your clients...Not for the award. Not for the article. Not for your peers...It is hard to resist the ego stroke of your image on another’s page - but that result often pollutes the profession.- EntreArchitect
2018 AIA Film Challenge Winners Selected: Winning films to be screened at Architecture & Design Film Festival [NYC] and Chicago Ideas event. [links to 4 winners]- AECCafé.com
I designed KICC to look like a donkey’s penis: Kenya's first African Chief Architect David Mutiso has revealed how he was inspired by a donkey's erect penis in designing the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in 1968...he worked closely with Norwegian architect Karl Henrik Nøstvik... [image]- Nairobi News (Kenya)
ANN feature: Julie D. Taylor: Venice in Three Parts - Part 3: There are treasures and treats to be found beyond the confines of the Giardini della Biennale. [images + links to Parts 1 and 2]- ArchNewsNow.com
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