Today’s News - Thursday, March 28, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, April 2 (and a heads-up that we won't be posting next Wednesday - we'll be at a morning preview of DS+R/Rockwell Group's Shed at Hudson Yards!).

●  Kamin x 2: He raises questions about how Studio Gang's team won the O'Hare airport expansion competition - "born in the darkness of the Chicago Way. The city's absence of openness stinks to 35,000 feet" (it came in third in online survey, "well behind" Calatrava and Foster, though the design "does some creative rule-breaking."

●  On a (much!) brighter note, he hails Gunny Harboe's "meticulous restoration" of the Robie House: FLW's "masterpiece is again a full-fledged architectural symphony - a dynamic, asymmetric composition that at once seems to hug the earth and fly into space."

●  J. Stephens visited Snøhetta's King Abdulaziz Center (a.k.a. "Ithra," meaning "enrichment") in Saudi Arabia: It is "a rollicking multiuse complex that is as aesthetically impressive as it is ethically unsettling - the kingdom's first attempt at a tourist attraction represents a true test of architecture's ability to promote social change."

●  Wainwright x 2: "Flying saucers have landed" at Nouvel's "eye-popping" National Museum of Qatar, "an astonishing creation" - but is it "too extravagant to fill?" (the final gallery "is yet to be filled. The human costs of the country's insatiable ambitions would be a worthy subject").

●  He cheers Feilden Fowles's "heroic concrete amid cows and sheep" at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park's Weston "monolithic slab" of a visitor center, "where the presence of a glazed doorframe is the one telltale sign that this is not another piece of land art, but a habitable building. And an exquisitely made one at that."

●  Moore gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Marks Barfield's mosque in Cambridge, "a beautiful, approachable and eco-friendly new place of worship. It doesn't entirely hang together," but "in the end - it is beautifully built, and bravely and intelligently conceived."

●  Saffron x 2: She bemoans Philly's Delaware waterfront filling up with townhouses that do "little to further the goal of creating a walkable, mixed-use riverfront neighborhood" - without changes to the zoning code, "the riverfront is in danger of turning into a long, endless suburb."

●  On a (much) brighter note - and very different scale, she hails Coscia Moos' "little building that defies Philadelphia's street grid - the diminutive newcomer" is "a delightful surprise thanks to its assertive attitude and appealing sculptural form - what an amenity space!"

●  Welton cheers architects bringing "thoughtful design, innovation to developers' residential projects" in Raleigh, NC: "What do architects bring to these projects that a developer doesn't? They often reweave a city's urban fabric for the better" - and two new projects by Raleigh Architecture Company and David Baker "are harbingers of collaborations to come."

●  Blander's great Q&A with Jonathan Marvel of Resilient Power Puerto Rico re: "the initiative's work and what it aims to accomplish": "Electricity is the source of survival. Without power you really do come to a halt as a society."

●  Bailey's Q&A with Adjaye, who says architects should "stop building McMansions - the behemoths are irresponsible. The project of the 21st century is design with a conscience. The right alchemy can make a disempowered group feel empowered."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Downtown is for People: We are pleased to present an excerpt from Deborah Talbot's newly released "Who the Hell is Jane Jacobs? And what are her theories all about?"


●  Call for entries: City of Sydney Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge: six participants to receive $20,000 each to further develop their ideas.

●  Call for entries: Hudson Yards is "looking for a new name for Heatherwick's The Vessel, its polarizing Instagram sensation. The call for suggestions could backfire."

Weekend diversions:

●  "Flat Lands & Massive Things - From NL to NYC & Beyond: Archi-Tectonics/Winka Dubbeldam & Justin Korhammer, New York" at Berlin's Aedes Architecture Forum offers "insight into the methodology and creative cogitations that made the office one of the leading teams in the field of research and innovative building design."

●  Welton is quite taken by "HOOPS" at the National Building Museum, with photographs by Bill Bamberger "depicting empty basketball courts from around the world. But wait a minute: Empty basketball courts for a building museum exhibition?" It's "about the spaces in between. Besides, his photographs are gorgeous art, in and of themselves" (with images to prove it!).

●  Chambers on "Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain," the show (about to close), and Daybelge and Englund's new book "celebrating the remarkable story of the cultural and social significance" of the "groundbreaking" Isokon Building.


●  The Angry Architect asks architects to "stop using the word 'sustainability' until you know what it means," and spend some time with "Vitamin Green" that presents 100 projects "considered truly sustainable works of architecture," and "brings a sharp new relevance to the perennial buzzword of our profession."

●  Reiner-Roth cheers Kallipoliti's meticulously researched "The Architecture of Closed Worlds" that presents "37 fearless moments of modern history" ("Megalomaniacs abound and loom large).

●  Smart of USModernist has cocktails and a conversation with Suckle and Singer, authors of "Cocktails and Conversations: Dialogues in Architectural Design," along with Moo and Cecchini "(inventor of the Cosmopolitan!), master bartenders behind all the cocktail creations."

●  Favermann reviews "a provocative trio of volumes on architecture and landscape architecture" by Dümpelmann, Lamster, and Suckle & Singer: "In very different ways and on very different topics, they assuage notions that architecture/design books are formidable reads."


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