Today’s News - Tuesday, April 9, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not be posting the newsletter tomorrow - we'll be back Thursday, April 11.

●  Shaw ends with some serious questions (but no answers) re: BIG and MIT's Oceanix City, a "man-made ecosystem" of modular islands that "would be prefabricated onshore."

●  A proposal "calls for Amsterdaming most of Lower Manhattan" to "give more space to throngs of tourists and other pedestrians with new designs" and "bring motorists to a crawl" - congestion in the area "has reached a crisis."

●  Moore x 2: He ponders the "kissing roofs" of Heatherwick's Coal Drops Yard shopping center and Ingels' Amager Bakke power plant with a ski slope on top, and wonders: "Why does great architecture have to be fun? I oppose a culture that invests little in the dignity and beauty of everyday places - streets, schools - but finds billions in its back pocket for corporate spectacle."

●  On a brighter note, he cheers Jestico + Whiles and Julian Harrap's renovation of Soane's Pitzhanger Manor: "For the first time in two centuries you can get a sense of what he intended. You can feel the great man's ego, but you can also appreciate the rooms it made, which are never less than intriguing - they mesmerize."

●  Foster's controversial Tulip tower is approved, following "a 152-page report that concluded it had the potential to become an 'architectural icon' for London."

●  Snøhetta's design for the Shanghai Grand Opera House includes a spiral staircase roof, reminiscent of its Oslo Opera House - both feature "a publicly accessible roof that slopes down to meet the waterfront."

●  Toshiko Mori's elementary school in rural Senegal "expands education in a historically illiterate pocket of the world."

●  ODA transforms a decrepit 1898 warehouse on the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park into office space with a crystalline façade inspired by the building's sugary past as a sugar refinery.

●  Gendall reports that Christo will wrap the Arc de Triomphe in recyclable blue fabric next year, to coincide with "Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Paris" at the Centre Pompidou.

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Rick Fedrizzi: Building Abundance #3: Abundance in Architecture Starts with Abundance in Human Health: Buildings can and must become our greatest asset when it comes to human sustainability.

Lamenting the Govan/Zumthor LACMA plan (the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is voting today):

●  Giovannini x 2: He takes a seriously deep dive (that Govan wanted to squelch) into what he calls LACMA's "suicide by architecture" with surprising results of a spatial audit: The "geometrically self-involved fantasy fails its most basic responsibility as architecture: it doesn't work - a flawed, even reckless, project with many malodorous questions."

●  He parses "Zumthor's incredibly shrinking plan," and the Environmental Impact Report that reveals the project "represents a 105,108-square-foot reduction of overall space - perhaps the most counterproductive project undertaken by any museum in America."

●  Hall Kaplan joins "the chorus of critics" of "the clearly over-whelmed Govan and over-his-head architect, Zumthor" and their $1 billion "mistake - the structure is ugly and awkward. Time for the County Supervisors to bring this farce of a design process to a screeching halt."

The Shed, Hudson Yards, and then some:

●  Wainwright calls The Shed "New York's quilted Chanel handbag on wheels - the one redeeming feature of Hudson Yards - the one truly public element inspired by Cedric Price's Fun Palace. The dream of a brave future of movable, transformable architecture, it seems, remains best observed in 1960s drawings."

●  Davidson says The Shed "stays half-true to its radical roots - Price's Fun Palace has borne a kind of mutant fruit - you can feel the architects' struggle to get the balance right" with "a building that allows for anything and dictates nothing."

●  Bellafant calls The Shed "an arts center for the rest of us in a playground for the 1% - an attempt at making amends for all the greed and ostentation embodied in the $23 billion playpen in which it has been sunk."

●  Hughes offers a fascinating, in-depth comparison between Hudson Yards and Battery Park City: "At first blush, the cities-within-a-city on the western edge of Manhattan would seem kindred spirits. But vibes have changed - they represent very different theories about development."

Of kids and design education:

●  Enggass has a great Q&A with educator Anne Taylor re: "how design education can transform our schools": "We've helped invent a new role for architects - to unlock design education as a new pedagogy. Interdisciplinary design training of architects can be appropriately adapted to serve learners PK-12 and beyond."

●  Dickinson talks to Vicky Chan of Avoid Obvious Architects and Architecture for Children about the value of teaching architecture in grade school: "Few students will become architects, but architecture may be able teach them more about real-life problem-solving than geometric proofs."

●  A great report on middle and high schoolers' music video about gentrification as part the Hip Hop Architecture Camp in Washington, DC (rap included!).

●  The new Educational Center Lab housed in FLW's B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois, "provides students exposure to science, technology, engineering, art/architecture and math."


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