Today’s News - Wednesday, October 31, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: Be sure to check out today's special Halloween section!
● Crosbie's Q&A with Burrell, a crime prevention specialist who consults on security and safety of religious spaces, re: "What every designer of sacred places should consider in the wake of the Pittsburgh [and too many other] shootings - a question persists: how does architecture respond?" (includes online resources for safety/security issues).
● Azzouz brings us an insightful look at how Syrian architects "are already working to save their heritage" and "bring communities back together" - even as the war continues; what they need are resources on rebuilding in Arabic, which he is now working on. "Architecture could bring huge positives to a devastated Syrian society."
● Environment analyst Harrabin delves into the battle lines being drawn over the Oxford-Cambridge Arc mega-plan to build up to a million new homes and a new expressway - environmentalists "are angry that the issue has received no formal public consultation, environmental assessment or parliamentary enquiry. 'By the time we are asked for our opinion, there will be little left to discuss but the color of the road signs.'"
● Lamb Hart calls for the profession to get serious about embracing the sciences: "Scientific understanding of how our environments shape human experience has been applied successfully in entertainment, marketing and other professions for decades - why not in architecture? Is it because we're facing the reality that our hard-earned intuitions may be becoming obsolete?"
● Brownell tackles "antifragility" vs. resilient design with "examples of antifragile building materials and systems" that shift the focus "from rebounding to improving and developing strength from distress."
● Ravenscroft takes issue with critics of two recent London projects (one has been served two demolition orders): "Just because a building looks ugly, it doesn't make it a bad building - they deserve to be judged on more than just aesthetics - both have merit as architecture," and "innovation must be encouraged not punished."
● Speaking of ugly: the University of Cincinnati has demolition plans for its 1969 "Godzilla-like concrete behemoth," Crosley Tower - "ugliness aside, any more fixes would just be a Band-Aid, especially because the building has already started to shed concrete."
● Granberry brings us a (great!) update on Dallas's Nasher Sculpture Center/Museum Tower 7-year saga: They are "about to star in a TV series. It's a horror show, really, called 'Engineering Catastrophes'" (Discovery Channel, early November). "The Glare has invaded the Nasher like a virus, spreading its ugly, measleslike spots all over - nothing short of an ingenious fix, a kind of architectural Hail Mary, will end The Glare."
● Betsky x 2: He minces no words about how the University of Lethbridge in Canada "has squandered Arthur Erickson's legacy": "Imagine my disappointment when I arrived - winding my way past the kind of academic buildings that are so mediocre, mundane, and without identity that they make big box retail buildings look good. At least the structure is still there" (he's only slightly kinder to KPM/Stantec's new lab building).
● He mourns the pass of Paul Andreu: It "marks the end of an era when transportation architecture could sweep us up and away - he never received his due for creating places whose use of light, scale, and sequence achieved heights of effectiveness not seen since the baroque. I would gladly walk the length of Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle to find the bathroom."
● Penner pens a most pensive piece about too long unsung Catherine Bauer, "the best known of all the 'housers' in America" (and "once described as a 'handsome blonde with brunette economic ideas'") - followed by Bauer's 1957 "The Dreary Deadlock of Public Housing" (both must reads!).
● Taggart parses the Indian Residential Schools History and Dialogue Centre at the University of British Columbia, designed by Formline's Waugh's (a member of the Fond du Lac Nation of northern Saskatchewan): The architect "brought his own lived experience to the resolution of a building program that is modest in scale, but rich in symbolism."
● No more pop-ups for the young Philadelphia Contemporary - it has tapped Johnston Marklee, with MGA Partners, to design its first permanent home; no location yet; design to be unveiled next year.
● Gehry ruminates on how he got started: "In the early days, they hire you because they know you're struggling, and they think they can get you cheap. In the later days, when you have a name, they just want your name."
It's Halloween (so how could we resist)!
● Lindfield leads us through Gothic architecture's "two distinct periods of glory, with a long time out of favor in between." ("If you want foreboding old buildings that dark lords and werewolves are bound to frequent, look no further than Britain's enviable Gothic architecture").
● Eyefuls of the results of NYC's Center for Architecture Pumpkitecture! "gourd-to-gourd" competition: "Our dreaded, deadly jury selected the winner of the preciously prized Pritzkerpumpkin" and "our purulent, profane public also cast their ballots to nominate the People's Pumpkin."
● Rapp talks to haunted house experts re: "'Darkitecture': The art and psychology of haunted house design - certain Victorian characteristics can reinforce our sense of fear, but any rundown home will do, as long as it's coupled with the visitor's preconceived expectations of what might exist inside."
● There's a survey for that: Realtor.com's annual Haunted Real Estate Report found that "there apparently are haunted houses out there, and millennials are willing to buy them."
● A look at "20 real-life spooky locations that inspired iconic Halloween films - because there are times when binge-watching horror films are just not creepy enough" (scroll - don't click "quick mode" button - it turns into an annoying click-bait slide show).
● A look at Brooklyn's Maniac Pumpkin Carvers' "incredibly detailed, art-historical pumpkins" (amazing!).
● Deadline looms! rise in the city 2018: Call for mentors (no fee; deadline: TODAY!) and sponsors for an international student competition to design affordable housing in the capital of Lesotho, in Southern Africa.
● ANN feature: Weinstein parses "Frederic Church's Olana on the Hudson: Art, Landscape, Architecture" that "combines resplendent photography with essays reflecting architectural myopia."
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Michael J. Crosbie: Protecting Religious Spaces: What Every Designer of Sacred Places Should Consider: In the wake of the Pittsburgh shootings, a question persists: how does architecture respond? Q&A with Benny M. Burrell...a crime prevention specialist...who consults in the realm of security and safety of religious spaces..."It would be best practice for architects to have safety consultants if not law-enforcement professionals on their team...If an architect is trained in CPTED [Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design], that’s even better."- Common Edge
Ammar Azzouz: How Syrian architects can start to rebuild - even in the devastation of war: Amid mass destruction, residents have lost a sense of belonging in the cities they used to know...architects and urban planners can no longer wait for “post-war reconstruction” plans or “peace resolution”. Instead they are already working to save their heritage, preserve their identity, and protect their history from being erased...in a variety of ways...I have spoken to Syrian architects...One of the most common themes was the need for resources - on rebuilding, on bringing communities back together - to be published in Arabic. I am now working on a translation project...will be openly shared in early 2019...Architecture could bring huge positives to a devastated Syrian society. -- Arup- The Conversation
Roger Harrabin: Oxford-Cambridge Arc: Row over central England mega-plan: Up to a million new homes could be built...A new expressway would also shorten journey times from East to West...Government advisers say the developments are needed to safeguard the booming economies of the UK’s science and technology hub. But environmentalists are opposing the expressway, and the scale of the housing development...green campaigners are angry that the issue has received no formal public consultation, environmental assessment or parliamentary enquiry..."By the time we are asked for our opinion, there will be little left to discuss but the colour of the road signs."- BBC News
Robert Lamb Hart: Reinvigorating Architecture With the Sciences: It’s Time To Get On With It: ...scientific understanding of how our environments shape human experience has been accumulating and applied successfully in entertainment, marketing and other professions for decades. But why not in architecture? ...is it because, secure in our personal “design sense,” we’re facing the reality that our hard-earned intuitions may be becoming obsolete? ...the sciences permeate design. The problem is a different one. Today’s research results...are not being translated into the concepts and vocabulary of a design office and client meetings...we have at hand what amounts to a running start, in architectural terms... -- Geoffrey Scott; Kevin Lynch; Charles Moore; Kent Bloomer; Christopher Alexander; Grant Hildebrand; Ann Sussman; Justin Hollander; Steve Orfield; Sarah Williams Goldhagen- Common Edge
Blaine Brownell: Antifragility: One-Upping Resilient Design: Is it possible to design structures that improve under environmental stressors? ...examples of antifragile building materials and systems: Faced with an increasingly volatile climate, architects are in a defensive position...that demands their designs prioritize resiliency, or the ability to limit damage and bounce back from adversity. But what if the focus shifted from rebounding to improving and developing strength from distress? Such an approach will require society to overcome deeply ingrained associations of buildings as static, unchanging objects.- Architect Magazine
Tom Ravenscroft: Just because a building looks ugly, it doesn't make it a bad building: Buildings like Amin Taha's 15 Clerkenwell Close may not be to everyone's taste, but they deserve to be judged on more than just aesthetics: Two buildings in London have been branded ugly. The first is Taha's ...The second is Chris Moore's Passivhaus...But for those that have bothered to look beyond the buildings' looks, it is clear that both have merit as architecture...For architecture to progress, innovation must be encouraged not punished.- Dezeen
Crosley Tower will be demolished ... eventually: University of Cincinnati officials said demolition plans for the concrete behemoth are still five to 10 years away. But Crosley will eventually meet its demise...Renovating [it] would be a horrible compromise...Enquirer archives describe the building as "Godzilla-like"...it's ugly...featured atop a recent list of the ugliest university buildings in America...ugliness aside...any more fixes would just be a Band-Aid, especially because the building has already started to shed concrete. -- A.M. Kinney Associates [image]- Cincinnati Enquirer
Michael Granberry: Museum Tower glare put the Nasher in the hot seat seven years ago. Arts patrons still wonder when we'll see a fix: So, it has come to this. The Nasher Sculpture Center is about to star in a TV series. It's a horror show, really, called "Engineering Catastrophes"...The Glare has invaded the Nasher like a virus, spreading its ugly, measleslike spots all over the walls and casting ominous shadows...has received plenty of attention, none of it pointing to a lasting solution...nothing short of an ingenious fix, a kind of architectural Hail Mary, will end The Glare. -- Renzo Piano; Fulvio Serra/Archiglaze; Peter Walker [images]- Dallas Morning News
Aaron Betsky: No Line on the Horizon: The University of Lethbridge in Canada has squandered Arthur Erickson’s legacy: ...I was quite excited to visit the structure...Imagine my disappointment when I arrived...winding my way past the kind of academic buildings that are so mediocre, mundane, and without identity that they make big box retail buildings look good...At least the structure is still there...I have no doubt that some of the later structures are more user-friendly...however, they have lost in their ability to define and frame the university in place with its own character...A new laboratory building - the Destination Project by KPMB Architects and Stantec...next to the original structure, has a clarity of its own... It is, however, yet another glass-skinned structure the likes of which you could see anywhere.- Architect Magazine
Aaron Betsky: The Death of Airport Expressionism: Paul Andreu’s passing marks the end of an era when transportation architecture could sweep us up and away: ...he never received his due for creating places whose use of light, scale, and sequence, all carried out with few materials and forms, achieved heights of effectiveness not seen since the baroque...Structures designed for other purposes...were awesome in their forms, but lacked the sense of movement that made his airports so exhilarating...I would gladly walk the length of Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle to find the bathroom. [images]- Architect Magazine
Barbara Penner: The (Still) Dreary Deadlock of Public Housing: Catherine Bauer never wavered in her conviction that government had not only the power but also the responsibility to fix the housing system: Starting in the 1930s...and continuing to the 1960s...she was arguably the best known of all the “housers” in America. She was certainly one of the most esteemed...it is a surprise to recall that Bauer, Zelig-like, played a part at formative moments in contemporary architecture too...one of the few women regularly invited to share the stage with the ‘great men’ of architecture...Like Jane Jacobs, [she] never hesitated to take the great men to task. Yet unlike Jacobs...[she] has slid into obscurity for reasons which are not entirely clear.- Places Journal
Jim Taggart: Architectural Reconciliation: In June 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper [made] a formal apology...to survivors of Indian residential schools...gave impetus to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission...in the fall of 2013...University of British Columbia...announced UBC’s commitment to the creation of the Indian Residential Schools History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC), designed by Alfred Waugh of Formline Architecture and opened in April 2018...Waugh is a member of the Fond du Lac Nation of northern Saskatchewan...brought his own lived experience to the resolution of a building program that is modest in scale, but rich in symbolism...With the participation of survivors...[he] made openness and transparency a primary focus of his design. -- PFS Studio [images]- Canadian Architect
Philadelphia Contemporary Hires Johnston Marklee to Design Its First-Ever Space: The final design will be unveiled in 2019...A specific location for it has not been announced. Since  it has utilized a pop-up model, staging events, exhibitions, and installations throughout Philadelphia...Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, will work in association with MGA Partners...- ARTnews
Frank Gehry: How I Got Started: ...Gehry Partners has 160 employees, but he still personally oversees every project: I didn’t go out with any intention to attract any particular kind of job...In the early days, they hire you because they know you’re struggling, and they think they can get you cheap. In the later days, when you have a name, they just want your name.- Fortune magazine
Peter Lindfield: How Gothic Architecture Lost Its Lofty Image: If you want foreboding old buildings that dark lords and werewolves are bound to frequent, look no further than Britain’s enviable Gothic architecture...darkness seems to thrive in these places - the perfect location for a Halloween party if you’re lucky enough to be invited...this style had two distinct periods of glory, with a long time out of favor in between. And it’s not just their tall spires and endless corridors and gargoyles that brought these structures supernatural associations. The dark reputation they gained in their wilderness years helped, too.- The Epoch Times
Buying a Haunted House Is Okay for Some: It also might be that people who have ghosts in their attic also have bats in their belfry: ...there apparently are haunted houses out there, and millennials are willing to buy them. That's according to Realtor.com [in] its annual Haunted Real Estate Report...found that one in three people - especially millennials - were willing to take a chance on a haunted home...Surprisingly, 18% wouldn't require any additional features to choose a haunted home over a non-haunted home.- Builder magazine
Architectural Abominations: Firms Show Their Eeerie Eye for Design at Pumpkitecture: 20 New York City-based firms (and the Center for Architecture home team) went gourd-to-gourd to compete...our dreaded, deadly jury...selected the winner of the preciously prized Pritzkerpumpkin and recognized additional firms with a number of pathetic consolations (honorable mentions). Our purulent, profane public also cast their ballots to nominate the People’s Pumpkin. [images]- Center for Architecture / AIANY (NYC)
Jessica Rapp: 'Darkitecture': The art and psychology of haunted house design: ...certain Victorian characteristics can reinforce our sense of fear, but any rundown home will do, as long as it's coupled with the visitor's preconceived expectations of what might exist inside...The emergence of commercial haunted houses in the 1990s gave rise to new challenges, like adhering to strict safety codes and handling big groups of visitors...- CNN Style
20 Real-Life Spooky Locations That Inspired Iconic Halloween Films: Film fans enjoy finding these locations...because there are times when binge-watching horror films are just not creepy enough. -- Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House: "House on Haunted Hill," (1959); The Dakota, New York City: Roman Polanski's "Rosemary’s Baby" (1968); City of Sierra Madre, California: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) + 10 Haunted Hotels You Can Actually Stay In- TheTravel.com
These Artists Are Carving Incredibly Detailed, Art-Historical Pumpkins: ...to painstakingly replicate Vincent van Gogh’s swirling trees or Salvador Dalí’s melting clocks in the flesh of a pumpkin...something the artists of Brooklyn’s Maniac Pumpkin Carvers have been known to do. Founded by artists Marc Evan and Chris Soria, Maniac is now in its 10th year....their innovative approach to a centuries-old tradition extends far beyond famous artworks... [images]- Artsy
ANN feature: rise in the city 2018: Call for Mentors and Sponsors: Students are already busy working on their submissions for an international competition to design affordable housing in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, in Southern Africa. Now, mentors and sponsors are needed. Mentor deadline: October 31; Sponsor deadline: December 15- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Writing About Architecture As If Only Art Matters: A new coffee table book about Frederic Church's Olana combines resplendent photography with essays reflecting architectural myopia. "Frederic Church’s Olana on the Hudson: Art, Landscape, Architecture," edited by Julia B. Rosenbaum and Karen Zukowski...Larry Lederman’s finely-detailed and exquisitely composed photos...arguably worthy enough to compensate for an architecturally-challenged text.- ArchNewsNow.com
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