Today’s News - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: As ye olde truism goes - moving is one of the three most stressful things in life. And so it was...apologies for not posting the newsletter last week, but moving mode was more complicated than we expected. So now there's a lot of catching up to do!

●  Giovannini delves into the machinations behind the approval process for Zumthor's LACMA redesign: "People opposed to the new plan never stood a chance. The public was being rolled."

●  Art historian Allen, on the other hand, says LACMA "has always been dysfunctional," and "it's time to do something fresh" - the new building "will be beautiful, distinctive, and a destination. It's tranquil, even mystical."

●  The Affirmation Arts gallery "faces demolition as part of a Hudson Yards park and roadway expansion" (what could be "the most expensive in NYC history"), but the owner is trying to save it "by giving his building to the city on the condition it remain intact as a cultural center."

●  Griffiths responds to "the uproar over unpaid internships in architecture," and ponders what the relationship is between ethics and aesthetics, admitting that even "FAT made occasional, short-term use of unpaid interns. We were seduced by a masochistic form of practice, fetishized within architectural culture."

●  Zeiger ponders whether female leadership at top architecture schools "is the new normal - a critical question: Will female leadership bring more equity to the field? The short answers are 'I hope so' and 'I don't know.'"

●  Gamolina went to Cleveland and came back with "two excellent Q&As" with Madison and Tanebe for Madame Architect: "The interviews are quite candid - two fascinating profiles of accomplished professionals."

●  A look at how Diller, Sejima, and Boeri "came to design fashion for Prada - their designs are as different as they are visionary."

●  Kamin offers a rundown on endangered buildings in the Chicago-area making the 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois list: "Landmarks Illinois cited the political headwinds it faces in trying to save the sites from being wrecked."

●  Small calls out how Weese "helped Milwaukee envision its urbanist future. Celebrating his big-picture thinking, and the wide-ranging and ambitious projects could well inspire a new era of respect for the city's historic uniqueness and optimism about our future promise."

●  Contigiani's once glamorous, now long-empty 1973 "upside-down pyramid" hotel in Tunis (said to have inspired "Star Wards" Sandcrawler) faces demolition - architect and activist Sami Aloulou has sounded the alarm.

●  A great series of stories offers "a guide to Philly modernism" and "the architects and structures that shaped Philadelphia - and the fate of their legacy."

●  One we couldn't resist: Byrnes brings us eyefuls of Treeby's "small tissue-box replicas of threatened and razed modern architecture" that "mix cuteness with contemplation and mourning."

●  Brussat cheers a lecture tour by James Stevens Curl (of "Making Dystopia" fame) to Washington, D.C, New Orleans, Denver, and Boston - starting this Friday (following the fete for his ICAA Ross Award).

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Andrew Pressman: "Design Thinking: A Guide to Creative Problem Solving for Everyone": Three vignettes excerpted from his recently published book, which focuses on how design thinking is applied to real-life challenges.

Plus de larmes pour Notre Dame, quatrième partie:

●  Betsky considers how faithful we should be "to the 19th-century version of the cathedral. The bigger discussion is about what should be reconstructed. The trick would be to figure out what is essential, and then find a way to realize those ideas and forms without directly copying the copy that was there."

●  Bergdoll says "a whirlwind of views" and "ridiculous arguments are being advanced - the idea to remove Viollet-le-Duc from the very monument protection he helped craft seems not only wrong but cruel. And what of the flurry of designs published of late, as though the solution could be found in Photoshop? Architects are rushing in like ambulance chasers."

●  Stroik: "So why not allow contemporary architects to try their own hand at building a spire" - because Viollet-le-Duc's was a "masterpiece," and "because most contemporary architects couldn't design Gothic to save their life."

●  Cramer: "Over the course of eight centuries, the cathedral has been expanded, altered, ornamented, pillaged, adapted, restored, and renovated. Will Notre Dame be the same as it was before the fire? No. But it can be as meaningful as it was."

●  Bandarin, former director of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, explains why "Notre Dame should be rebuilt as it was. Does this exclude a contemporary 'architectural gesture'? No. The 'contemporaneity' will lie in its construction techniques and monitoring technologies, rather than the visible forms of the building."

●  Brussat, along with almost 1,200 international architects, conservationists and historians, thinks Macron's wish that Notre Dame be restored in time for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris "drastically underestimates the time required to do the job responsibly," and might be an attempt "to grease the skids for a proposal that could shorten the time-line by substituting a quickie modernist clip-on, paint-by-numbers renovation scheme."

●  One we couldn't resist: A "rooftop colony of bees" and three hives "were found to have survived" the fire. "Another victory - some of the artwork inside the cathedral suffered less damage than anticipated."

Winners all (and lots of 'em!):

●  Franklin profiles the six emerging firms that won the 2019 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, themed "Just," which "explores architectural action within the discipline."

●  Winners of the 2019 Design that Educates Award emphasize "the role of architecture in solving social and environmental problems."

●  Winners of the 3rd Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition for a Peace Pavilion in Sedhiou, Senegal, offer thoughtful proposals for "a memorial to the victims of the African wars and an educational space to promote the culture of peace."

●  Winners of the 2019 AIA COTE Top 10 Awards range "from a zoo education center, to university lab buildings, to a waste transfer station, to a famed New York cathedral - as well as a university building in Canada and a high school in Kenya."

●  The AIA 2019 Housing Awards recognize 12 projects as the best in housing design.

●  The 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award goes to three 1960s social housing buildings (530 apartments) after their demolition had been ruled out.

●  Eyefuls of the 3 winners and 27 honorable mentions in the eVolo 2019 Skyscraper Competition (way, way out-there thinking, as always).

●  The Graham Foundation's 2019 architectural research grant winners are "projects that ranged from exhibits on suburban housing stock to research on the effects of MTV on postmodern space."


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