Today’s News - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not be posting the newsletter tomorrow - we'll be touring the new (very cool!) TWA Hotel at JFK, but we will be back Thursday, May 23.

A sad news day re: Pei:

●  ANN feature: Bernstein: "Pei was as urbane as his best buildings," and "designed scores of widely admired - and a few not-so-widely admired - buildings during his 70-year career. 'If there's one thing I know I didn't do wrong, it's the Louvre.'"

●  Goldberger: "A committed modernist - Pei represented a careful balance of the cutting edge and the conservative" that "sometimes seemed to be a throwback. This hardly bothered him" - his "understated manner and easy charm masked an intense, competitive ambition."

●  Russell rounds up "recollections of colleagues, erstwhile competitors and friends on Pei's enduring legacy," including Piano, Foster, Adjaye, Tsien, Childs, Nordenson; and Tsao.

●  Kamin remembers Pei: He "brought high-end modernism to the masses. Pei's best designs were as elegant and as quietly forceful as the man himself" (and recalls "his Chicago slip-up").

●  Kolson Hurley, Capps, Byrnes & Dudley parse some of Pei's buildings "that have delighted and confounded them over the years."

●  Byrnes parses Pei's 1964 plan for Oklahoma City: He "had some very big ideas. But the final result wasn't exactly what he had in mind."

In other news:

●  ANN feature: Weinstein reviews Bunge and Hoang's "Buildings and Almost Buildings - nARCHITECTS" that "wryly showcases their journey to create 'near buildings'" on the day of their book launch party at nARCHITECTS-designed A/D/O in Brooklyn.

●  Florida analyzes the "Beauty Premium," a new study that finds "urban beauty is a powerful tool for economic growth and urban resurgence, but with it comes gentrification and displacement" (fascinating!).

●  Davidson ponders Zumthor's LACMA's plan that's "simultaneously understated and bold, provocative and deeply serious. The final product will balance between the poetry of the institution's budget and the temptations of off-the-shelf shopping-mall details."

●  King bemoans a UC Berkeley project that "shows the danger of letting private builders call shots. The result is not pretty" ("glum renderings" of "a long bleak modern box" included).

●  Franklin brings us the first (and only, for now) rendering of ZGF's design for the 2.1 million-square-foot Amazon HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia, that includes "room for community space and neighborhood retail."

●  Schoenefeldt's research exposes the wastefulness of glass skyscrapers - "if architects had paid more attention to the difficulties of building with glass, the great environmental damage wrought by modern glass skyscrapers could have been avoided."

●  Schifman, meanwhile, brings us the fascinating tale of how the rivalry between one-time friends Van Alen and Severance "changed the New York skyline" with the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. "Which would rise faster? Which would rise higher?"

●  UT professor Abudayyeh, a licensed architect in Jordan, is rethinking "living spaces for refugee camps" with "a new design for temporary shelters that allows the residents a measure of spatial authorship based on their unique needs."

●  47 London buildings win the 2019 RIBA London Awards (great presentation!).

●  AD "boils down" 7 proposals for Notre-Dame (new ones to us) - "the designs that likely won't be selected, but certainly will add much to the conversation."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Best Bauhaus Books to Peruse during the Bauhaus Centenary: New publications offer invaluable biographical insights and contemporary global responses.


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