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:'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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