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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ANN feature: Obituary by Fred A. Bernstein: I.M. Pei, 1917 - 2019: Pei was as urbane as his best buildings: ...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.”- ArchNewsNow.com
Paul Goldberger: I.M. Pei, Master Architect Whose Buildings Dazzled the World, 102: ...a committed modernist...represented a careful balance of the cutting edge and the conservative...his particular brand of modernism...sometimes seemed to be a throwback, at least when compared with the latest architectural trends. This hardly bothered him...a cultivated man whose understated manner and easy charm masked an intense, competitive ambition... -- I. M. Pei & Associates; I. M. Pei & Partners; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners- New York Times
James S. Russell: In Their Words: Remembering I.M. Pei: The Modernist master left his mark on generations, from Renzo Piano and Norman Foster to David Adjaye and Billie Tsien: ... recollections of colleagues, erstwhile competitors and friends on Pei's enduring legacy. -- David Childs/SOM; Guy Nordenson; Calvin Tsao/Tsao & McKown- New York Times
Blair Kamin: Remembering I.M. Pei: His spectacular buildings, his personal charm, and his Chicago slip-up: ...[he] brought high-end modernism to the masses... invariably described as charming, diplomatic, and elegant...also fiercely determined...He also could be marvelously self-deprecating...Pei’s best designs...were as elegant and as quietly forceful as the man himself.- Chicago Tribune
Amanda Kolson Hurley, Kriston Capps, Mark Byrnes & David Dudley: How I. M. Pei Shaped the Modern City: Pei designed iconic modern buildings on prominent sites around the world. Here are some that have delighted and confounded CityLab staff over the years.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Mark Byrnes: What I.M. Pei Had Planned for Oklahoma City: The late architect and planner had some very big ideas for Oklahoma City in the 1960s. But the final result wasn’t exactly what he had in mind: As seen in the 1964 promotional film, "A Tale of Two Cities," Pei gave the Urban Action Foundation...the city of tomorrow that they wanted...knocking stuff down was the easy part... flattening 40% of the existing downtown (530 buildings!) in anticipation of new concrete-and-glass towers.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Book Review on the Day of a Book Launch Party for nARCHITECTS: "Buildings and Almost Buildings - nARCHITECTS" by Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang wryly showcases their journey to create "near buildings."- ArchNewsNow.com
Richard Florida: The Beauty Premium: How Urban Beauty Affects Cities’ Economic Growth: A study [by two urban economists] finds that the more beautiful a city is, the more successful it is at attracting jobs and new residents, including highly educated and affluent ones: ...previous studies have found a connection between economic and population growth and urban amenities...But this study takes a much closer look at the effects of beauty itself...City beauty is not an effect of size...The more inclusive city is a more beautiful city. -- Gerald A. Carlino/Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Albert Saiz/Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Justin Davidson: LACMA Is Leaping Over Wilshire Boulevard, and Los Angeles Isn’t Sure Whether to Come Along: A plan that's either bold or gimmicky: Every once in a while, a work of architecture triggers a shift in the way a city thinks of itself. Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Hall did that for L.A...I suspect Peter Zumthor’s LACMA will do it again...[It] is staking its claim to the cityscape with a design 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. -- William Pereira; Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer; Michael Govan; Renzo Piano- New York Magazine
John King: UC Berkeley project shows danger of letting private builders call shots: ...glum renderings that depict a dark slab of faculty housing atop 170 parking spaces...show what can happen when government relies on the private sector to fulfill what should be public obligations. The result is not pretty...Upper Hearst deserves a C- at best...Goldman School expansion would offer a brash though intriguing counterpoint to what’s already there. The housing would be a long bleak modern box. -- Solomon Cordwell Buenz- San Francisco Chronicle
Sydney Franklin: National Landing: Amazon reveals first rendering of its HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia: ...will include two new energy-efficient office buildings with room for community space and neighborhood retail...Spanning 2.1 million square feet...placed within Crystal City’s new mixed-use redevelopment zone...will include 50,000 square feet of shops, restaurants, and an eventual daycare center, as well as green outdoor terraces. -- ZGF Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
Henrik Schoenefeldt: Glass skyscrapers: a great environmental folly that could have been avoided: ...one thing is clear: 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...The reality is that the obvious shortcomings of glass buildings rarely received the attention they warranted.- The Conversation
Jonathan Schifman: A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline: How a rivalry and a dangerous feat of engineering brought a city to the clouds: ...on October 23, 1929, a crew of construction workers...was going to raise and rivet a steel needle weighing 54,000 pounds - the finishing touch [on] the Chrysler Building...Four miles south, another skyscraper was rising...40 Wall Street...The press soon caught wind of the race...Which would rise faster? Which would rise higher? -- William Van Alen; H. Craig Severance- Popular Mechanics
Professor rethinks living spaces for refugee camps: Rana Abudayyeh, Robin Klehr Avia [at] University of Tennessee's College of Architecture and Design, asks how architects respond to shifting perspectives of space, particularly for displaced people, in this age of hyperconnectivity...the connectivity of the modern world means that to a camp resident their shelter can be a place that is both Syria and Jordan. "This has significant implications for architecture"...has conceptualized a new design for temporary shelters...that allow the residents a measure of spatial authorship based on their unique needs.- Phys.org
London’s best new buildings: 47 London buildings have been awarded 2019 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Awards [2019 RIBA London Awards].- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Guelda Voien: These 7 Proposals to Redesign Notre-Dame de Paris Are Meant to Start a Debate: With new plans coming in each week, AD boils down the designs that likely won’t be selected, but certainly will add much to the conversation: Frank Matero: "the best restoration is that which is invisible.” More than half the French agree with him, with only one quarter in favor of contemporary architectural embellishment. -- Julio Rufián Andújar/POA Estudio; Alexandre Fantozzi; Nicolas Abdelkader/Studio NAB; Ulf Mejergren Architects; Mathieu Lehanneur; Dakis Panayiotou/Kiss the Architect [images]- Architectural Digest
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Best Bauhaus Books to Peruse During the Bauhaus Centenary: New publications offer invaluable biographical insights and contemporary global responses.- ArchNewsNow.com
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