Today’s News - Wednesday, March 13, 2019
● Misra parses a new UNESCO/World Bank report that shows "investing in cultural cohesion and preservation can help rebuild cities devastated by war or natural disasters," and includes "a roadmap for integrating culture into people-centric and place-centric policies."
● Bower & Price introduce us to their AIR Network initiative that is using "community-centered approaches to tackle air pollution" in a Nairobi slum - "with the community deeply involved, we became a collective, learning. Using creativity is key."
● Phineas Harper explains why "the arms race for cultural dominion has reached new levels of absurdity" and "hubristic energy": "How have our urban priorities become so warped that fire stations, court houses, hospitals, women's refuges, and community centers close down every week, while classical conductors can demand new orchestral venues (DS+R's London Centre for Music) - cash plowed into architectural vanity projects end up depleting the wider cultural life of their boroughs."
● Davidson, on a brighter note, cheers the Museum of the International Baroque in Puebla, Mexico, for choosing Toyo Ito, who has designed "an effortlessly expressive vessel. This is a museum of excess - distilled into a quietly flamboyant design."
● Busta brings us "an inside look at green design" in Singapore: "A major area of emphasis is the greening of its new and existing building stock. A walk through Singapore's downtown business district offers striking evidence of this initiative" (with many of her own fab photos).
● Sitz parses Weiss/Manfredi's recently unveiled plan for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi: The "scheme for a cohesive new campus uses forms, materials, and landscape to link existing historic structures" (including the restoration of Edward Durell Stone's 1958 Chancery Building) "to contemporary ones."
● NYC is trying to figure out what to do with "a crumbling span" of the cantilevered (and infamous) Brooklyn-Queens Expressway: "Transform or tear down? No matter what method is used - one thing is certain: There are no painless solutions."
● Studio Gang's flatiron-shaped hotel on Boston's Kenmore Square "is intelligent and ambitious," and "includes a $15 million investment in public space" that "could become a vibrant example of how the city can maximize the built environment to accommodate growing populations, transportation, and human health."
● Block, meanwhile, talks to Jeanne Gang about change not "happening fast enough for women in architecture - more needs to be done to root out sexism in architecture, and pay equality is the obvious place to start - 'it's a math problem'" (some curious comments: "Wage gap...is fake news" - huh?!!?).
● Toronto-based Bortolotto offers advice for women in architecture: "I have had my fair share of gender-based discrimination. Here are some tips for getting recognized- ensuring our voices are heard on every platform is the spark that starts the flame."
● King reports on a (surprise to us!) merger: Pfau Long, "one of San Francisco's most influential smaller architecture firms," is merging with Perkins+Will - "a situation faced by other design firms" as they - and their founders - age.
● Paletta introduces us to Aluminum City Terrace, "the only multi-tenant housing taken on by Gropius and Breuer in the U.S.," just outside of Pittsburgh that "manages to be equally unique and ordinary," and "remains highly popular to this day - whose abidingly low costs might prove an inspiration to housing reformers today."
● Speaking of Gropius, Alioto's Q&A with the artist behind the 2017 film "Gropius Memory Palace" and "the still-operating Fagus shoe factory in Germany that revolutionized industrial architecture" (screening in April as part of "The Bauhaus and Harvard" show).
● Clarke cheers "An Engineer Imagines": A fascinating study of Irish pioneer Peter Rice offers a faultless account of 'the James Joyce of structural engineering'" - while it might be "a little short of mathematical detail - it sends one out eager to learn more."
● One we couldn't resist (and can't wait to see!): The Edge, atop KPF's 30 Hudson Yards in NYC, will be "tallest outdoor observation deck in Western Hemisphere and the fifth highest in the world" (glass floor included - gulp!).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Winner and Finalists Announced in the "rise in the city" Design Competition for Affordable Housing in Lesotho, Africa.
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Tanvi Misra: The Secret Ingredient of Resilient Cities: Culture: Investing in cultural cohesion and preservation can help rebuild cities devastated by war or natural disasters, says a new UNESCO/World Bank report: Culture...is an overlooked element in rebuilding cities ravaged by disasters, war, and other forms of urban distress...report also contains a roadmap for integrating culture into people-centric and place-centric policies in a way “that accounts for the needs, values and priorities of people.” [link to "Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery (CURE)"]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Cressida Bower & Heather Price: Using art to tackle air pollution: a story from a Nairobi slum: ...community-centred approaches are needed to ensure an understanding of the local context...This will ensure that solutions are culturally relevant, inclusive and...more likely to be effective. This is what we have been doing in Mukuru...we set up the AIR Network...to create a democratic and participatory research project...with the community deeply involved...we became a collective, learning together...Using creativity is key.- The Conversation
Phineas Harper: The arms race for cultural dominion has reached new levels of absurdity: The decision to build the London Centre for Music less than 300 metres away from an existing concert hall is the latest unnecessary example of global high-culture one-upmanship: How have our urban priorities become so warped that fire stations, court houses, hospitals, women's refuges and community centres close down every week, while classical conductors can demand new orchestral venues...why not channel that hubristic energy...cities which plow cash into architectural vanity projects end up depleting the wider cultural life of their boroughs. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Herzog & de Meuron; Jean Nouvel; Mecanoo; Richard Sennet- Dezeen
Justin Davidson: The Museum of the International Baroque Pays Restrained Homage to Over-the-Top Art: A showy but quiet institution to celebrate very unquiet art [in Puebla, Mexico]: ..an ode to a long-lived movement that swept across oceans and bubbled up on Mexico’s high plateau...the museum turned to Toyo Ito...who comes from a part of the world that never absorbed the European assault of religious fervor and decorative raptures: Japan...the commission yielded an effortlessly expressive vessel...This is a museum of excess...Ito distilled all this muchness into a quietly flamboyant design...a smooth-shelled container for a style that gloried in texture, complexity, shadows, and theatrical effects.- New York Magazine
Hallie Busta: Postcard from Singapore: An Inside Look at Green Design in the Tropics: A major area of emphasis for Singapore’s sustainability initiatives, and of perhaps the most interest...is the greening of its new and existing building stock. A walk through Singapore’s downtown business district offers striking evidence of this initiative...through the Green Mark building certification program... -- DP Architects; Toyo Ito & Associates; Studio Milou; Moshe Safdie; Wilkinson Eyre Architects [images]- Architect Magazine
Miriam Sitz: Weiss/Manfredi Unveils Plan for U.S. Embassy in New Delhi: ...scheme for a cohesive new campus on the 28-acre site uses forms, materials, and landscape to link existing historic structures (namely, Edward Durell Stone’s 1958 Chancery Building) to contemporary ones. [images]- Architectural Record
Transform or tear down? The BQE reconstruction, explained: A look at proposals and lofty solutions to reconstruct a crumbling span of the interstate highway: Department of Transportation is in the midst of exploring other options to renovate the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway...No matter what method is used...one thing is certain: There are no painless solutions. -- Marc Wouters Studios; Yetsuh Frank/Building Energy Exchange/NYU- Curbed New York
This Studio Gang Hotel Could Transform Boston's Skyline: ...promises to create a 32,000-square-foot public plaza and improve pedestrian, bicycle, and motorized traffic throughout Kenmore Square: A new proposal...After the developer's initial plan was rejected...is intelligent and ambitious...includes a $15 million investment in public space...could become a vibrant example of how the city can maximize the built environment to accommodate growing populations, transportation, and human health. -- Jeff Speck/Speck & Associates; Reed Hildebrand; Stantec- Architectural Digest
India Block: "Show respect to women in your workforce" says Jeanne Gang: Change isn't happening fast enough for women in architecture...more needs to be done to root out sexism in architecture, and that pay equality is the obvious place to start...said she was "totally shocked" to discover a gender pay gap in her firm...After closing the "small" gap...[she] decided to go public about addressing her own gender pay gap...to help show her peers how easy it is to address the issue head on..."it's a math problem."- Dezeen
Tania Bortolotto: Industry veteran offers advice for women in architecture: As the sole founder and president of Bortolotto, a design and architecture firm in Toronto, I have had my fair share of gender-based discrimination...there are skills that I’ve had to hone on a steep learning curve of condescending comments and awkward conversations...Here are some tips for getting recognized...ensuring our voices are heard on every platform...is the spark that starts the flame.- The Architect's Newspaper
John King: SF architecture firm known for cruise terminal plans merger: One of San Francisco’s most influential smaller architecture firms...is merging with an international firm...Pfau Long Architecture...will move to the Embarcadero offices of the Chicago firm Perkins+Will...Pfau Long is in a situation faced by other design firms.- San Francisco Chronicle
Anthony Paletta: The Dream of the Bauhaus Is Alive Just Outside Pittsburgh: Aluminum City Terrace was a project of the Federal Works Agency and the only multi-tenant housing taken on by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer in the U.S.: ...manages to be equally unique and ordinary...It remains highly popular to this day...a relic of a mostly defunct era of co-operative housing whose abidingly low costs might prove an inspiration to housing reformers today.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Daisy Alioto: Making Sense of a Walter Gropius ‘Memory Palace’: An interview with the artist [Ben Thorp Brown] behind a 2017 film about the still-operating Fagus shoe factory in Germany that revolutionized industrial architecture: "Gropius Memory Palace" shot inside and around Fagus Factory...Traditional craftsmen work alongside machines. This gives the film a layer of political meaning...will be screened on April 12th at Harvard University as part of the university’s special exhibition, The Bauhaus and Harvard.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Donald Clarke: "An Engineer Imagines": A fascinating study of an Irish pioneer: Documentary on Peter Rice offers a faultless account of ‘the James Joyce of structural engineering’: Marcus Robinson’s film...is maybe a little short of mathematical detail, but its treatment of its subject’s life and philosophy cannot be faulted. There can be no greater compliment than to say it sends one out eager to learn more. -- Michael McElhatton; Renzo Piano; Jonathan Glancey- Irish Times
New York to open tallest outdoor observation deck in Western Hemisphere: Named Edge...Standing at more than 1,100 feet...[will be] the fifth highest in the world...extends 65 feet from the 100th floor of the new 30 Hudson Yards tower and includes a glass floor... -- William Pedersen/Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)- CNN Travel
ANN feature: Winner and Finalists Announced in the "rise in the city" Design Competition for Affordable Housing in Lesotho, Africa: The competition brief sought sustainable designs for a home that could be scaled up so that one family could add extensions, or be replicated as row housing. [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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