Today’s News - Wednesday, June 12, 2019
● A judge gives the go-ahead for the Obama Center to be built in Chicago's Olmsted-designed Jackson Park - the mayor is "in favor of the center and its controversial location, but also pledged to negotiate a community benefits agreement" (Protect Our Parks will appeal).
● Hewitt minces no words: "The claims made by many architects, to justify shape-making, often borders on the specious - using pseudo-functionalist rhetoric to offer empty and often false explanations for their 'signature' buildings. Eventually, high-design buildings became mere sculpture or structure, either third-rate conceptual art or second-rate bridge technology" (ouch!).
● SelgasCano designs a "co-working jungle" for Second Home Hollywood, opening in September, with "inclusivity measures that have the potential to breathe fresh air into the elitist luxury workspace arena" (and "a new architectural trophy - SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, which will be used as an events space").
● Russell explains how developers "game" the system to build super-tall skyscrapers in NYC, leaving the city "facing 'mechanical-void abuse' - empty space that exists only for the purpose of giving billionaires bragging rights" ("New Yorkers have taken umbrage," but they've "found little support among city agencies").
● Berg delves into the fascinating tale of "the Berlin activists who staged a protest at a vacant government building," and ended up leading "one of the most significant real estate developments in Berlin" that could be "a model for bottom-up city-making."
● Wainwright takes us "inside the world's most madcap menagerie" in Belgium, with "Frankenstein fauna and cosmopolitan chickens" - Vanmechelen's eco-park, designed by Botta, "puts the perverse into biodiversity - it looks like some secret facility for developing future species. The reality is not far off."
● Davidson x 2: He cheers Atterbury and Olmsted's 1912 Station Square in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, "perfectly restored" with "an antique, organic look - the architectural equivalent of pre-torn jeans" - and now "the prettiest block in New York."
● He visited the "home-as-lifestyle-laboratory" Eames Case Study house and Lautner's Silvertop in Los Angeles, "and came away excited and reassured that another generation is working to preserve those architectural experiments and keep their improvisational spirit alive - not an easy trick."
● Ketcham offers "a reality check for Sea Ranch," and considers whether "this one-time beacon of Northern California experimentalism" still has lessons for the world - "idealistic practices of the 1960s can now be at odds with sustainable building."
● A look at how, 50 years ago, the Scottish landscape architect Ian McHarg "revolutionized how designers and planners think about ecology" with his book "Design With Nature." Now, UPenn's Weitzman School of Design Is celebrating the milestone with a new book, exhibitions, an international conference - and a new climate and design research center named for him.
● It's about time: Ravenscroft reports that Gaudí's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona "finally gets building permit after 137 years - the basilica is only around 70% complete, with eight of its proposed 18 spires built."
● Kimmelman cheers "The Value of Good Design" at MoMA (it closes June 15!): "If most Americans had little patience for Picasso, everybody needed a decent can opener. Like a Trojan horse, that can opener could sneak modernist ideas through the front door," but much has "inevitably become status symbols for the 1%. Maybe it's time for a new round of 'Good Design' exhibitions."
● Reed Kroloff takes the helm as dean of the IIT College of Architecture - "the school that Mies built has a new leader" (yay, Reed!).
● British architect and professor Harriet Harriss is named dean of Pratt Institute School of Architecture, following Thomas Hanrahan's 22 years at the helm; she joins "a number of women currently heading prestigious architecture schools."
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Bouras talks to Betsky re: experiment and experience at Taliesin - and beyond: Architecture, he says, is everything that is about building or buildings: how we design, represent, and discuss them, what they mean, and how they act in our society.
● Detroit's Midtown Cultural Connections competition taps a team led by Paris-based Agence Ter to shape a Midtown cultural center.
● Three impressive teams, led by Dorte Mandrup, WEISS/MANFREDI, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, are shortlisted in the La Brea Tar Pits master plan competition to renovate and future-proof the 12-acre campus.
● Cheers to Cooper Hewitt as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards Program - and announces 11 winners of the 2019 Awards - "honored for design excellence and innovation."
● Arch Record announces winners of Good Design Is Good Business 2019, who "demonstrate how architecture can benefit a business's bottom line."
● 12 winners take home the AIA 2019 Small Project Awards.
● RAIC announces the 2019 winners for Young Architect, Emerging Architectural Practice, and Architectural Firm awards.
● A spotlight on the affordable housing developments honored with 2019 Gold Nugget Awards (with link to full list of winners - over 50 categories).
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Judge dismisses lawsuit blocking Obama Center construction in Jackson Park: The ruling is a significant victory for the delayed South Side project: The ruling removes a significant hurdle that had prevented the $500 million project from breaking ground on...20 acres of the historic Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Jackson Park...Protect Our Parks says it will appeal the ruling...Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has come out in favor of the center and its controversial location, but also pledged to negotiate a community benefits agreement... -- Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF); Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects- Curbed Chicago
Mark Alan Hewitt: Functionalist Paens for Formalist Buildings: The claims made by many architects, to justify shape-making, often borders on the specious: “An architect is an artisan who thinks he’s an ‘artist’ - and is being replaced by engineers.” How else to explain the bizarre behavior that causes many of the best-known designers to justify their empty formal experiments...using pseudo-functionalist rhetoric? The default position...has been to offer empty and often false explanations for...their “signature” buildings...the backlash...demanded readable English prose...Eventually, high-design buildings became mere sculpture or structure, either third-rate conceptual art or second-rate bridge technology.- Common Edge
SelgasCano designs coworking jungle for Los Angeles: Second Home Hollywood...poised to...compete with other big names like Soho House and WeWork by nature of its cultural programming and wellness focuses. All cultural events will be open to the public...These inclusivity measures have the potential to breathe fresh air into the elitist luxury workspace arena...also bringing a new architectural trophy to its new city - SelgasCano’s 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, which will be used as an events space. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
James S. Russell: How to Game the Zoning Codes to Build Supertall Skyscrapers: ...in a Second Gilded Age with magnates looking to park their millions in Manhattan real estate, developers stop at little to deliver the high-status goods...As a result, New York is facing the “mechanical void” problem...That air becomes extraordinarily valuable when it can boost apartments higher above view-blocking neighbors...New Yorkers have taken umbrage at empty space that exists only for the purpose of giving billionaires bragging rights...Ridiculously tall mechanical spaces...are not the only abusive (though ostensibly legal) tactic developers use to push buildings to ever greater heights...Opponents of bloated buildings have found little support among city agencies -- Snøhetta; Jean Nouvel; Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF)- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Nate Berg: The Accidental Planners: The Berlin activists who staged a protest at a vacant government building didn’t imagine they’d end up leading a €140 million redevelopment project: Now the artists are working directly with public officials, planners, and architects to lead a participatory process that will transform the area around Alexanderplatz...If it works, it will be a model for bottom-up city-making - and a lesson in how outsiders can claim political power...The strategy worked...The activists whose stunt was intended to spur debate would be directly involved in shaping one of the most significant real estate developments in Berlin. -- Raumlabor; Teleinternetcafe; Treibhaus- Places Journal
Oliver Wainwright: Animal crackers: inside the world's most madcap menagerie: With its Frankenstein fauna and cosmopolitan chickens, Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen’s eco-park puts the perverse into biodiversity: ...it looks like some secret facility for developing future species. The reality is not far off. This is Labiomista [in Genk, Belgium]...In a joint venture with the city, he has now built a €22m ecological park and studio complex, designed by...Mario Botta, as a wild playground for his curious creations...few [artists] can boast a collection of tropical birds, llamas, emus, camels, ostriches and alpacas roaming around a 24-hectare park...it is the humble farmyard chicken that holds the most enduring appeal.- Guardian (UK)
Justin Davidson: This Is the Prettiest Block in New York, and It’s Just Been Perfectly Restored: After years of scaffolding and orange cones...Station Square [in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens] has just reopened to pedestrians, renovated and camera-ready...But it is more than a pretty place: It represents an important episode in the story of how New York became modern...when [it] opened in 1912...it was a thoroughly modern, forward-looking place, wrapped in vintage costume...The all-embracing stylistic consistency that made it so attractive also made it a sign of dictatorial intrusiveness...Its innovations in concrete, transit, and urban planning have receded into history, leaving a place that has earned its vintage look...One thing that hasn’t changed...but still a New York rarity: a genuine square. -- Grosvenor Atterbury; Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.- New York Magazine
Justin Davidson: The Restorations of L.A.’s Eames House and Silvertop Were Not Simple Jobs: The innovative materials and methods in the Eames Case Study house and John Lautner’s Silvertop can be a headache as they age: The good life was never meant to last this long...The home-as-lifestyle-laboratory was a specialty of mid-century architects...I recently visited two...and came away excited and reassured that another generation is working to preserve those architectural experiments and...keep their improvisational spirit alive...these two holdovers from an optimistic age offer reassurance: Even an unsentimental city can tend its past as passionately and idealistically as modernists once tinkered with the future. -- Frank Escher Ravi GuneWardena; Barbara Bestor- New York Magazine
Diana Ketcham: A Reality Check for Sea Ranch: Demographic shifts. Climate change. The internet...“We simply can’t build the way we did even 20 years ago": It was an era of now unimaginable optimism, when one believed that architecture and planning could save the world - or at least save the environment...For an exhilarating historical moment...an emerging ecology movement and Modernist architecture found a common purpose...a progressive residential community...can this one-time beacon of Northern California experimentalism still offer lessons to the world? ...idealistic practices of the 1960s can now be at odds with sustainable building. -- Mary Griffin; Al Boeke; Lawrence Halprin; Joseph Esherick; MLTW (Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, William Turnbull, Jr., Richard Whitaker); Norman Millar; Judith Sheine; Buzz Yudell/Moore Ruble Yudell- New York Times
W. Fleming, F. Steiner, W. Whitaker, K. M'Closkey & R. Weller: How Ian McHarg Taught Generations to ‘Design With Nature’: 50 years ago, a Scottish landscape architect revolutionized how designers and planners think about ecology: In theory and practice, no designer has done more to stoke the public imagination or reshape the professions around the environment..."Design With Nature" helped activists translate the energy of the 1960s into a string political victories in the 1970s...At Penn, we are preparing to celebrate this milestone with a new book, a series of associated exhibitions, an international conference (all titled Design With Nature Now), and the public launch of a new climate and design research center bearing McHarg’s name. -- University of Pennsylvania; Wallace, McHarg, Roberts, and Todd (WMRT, now WRT)- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Tom Ravenscroft: Sagrada Familia finally gets building permit after 137 years: ...has been under construction [in Barcelona] since 1882...The UNESCO world heritage site now has an official permit from the local council that will allow the building to be completed...the basilica is only around 70% complete, with eight of its proposed 18 spires built. Once the final 170-metre-high central spire is built, it will be the tallest church in the world... -- Antoni Gaudí- Dezeen
Michael Kimmelman: Celebrating “The Value of Good Design” at MoMA: The Nut Dish and Other Populist Gems: If most Americans had little patience for Picasso, everybody needed a decent can opener: ...three series of exhibitions that the still-young Museum of Modern Art organized across nearly two decades, starting in the late 1930s...Like a Trojan horse, that can opener could sneak modernist ideas through the front door...Classic furnishings from the Modern’s egalitarian exhibitions have inevitably become status symbols for the 1%...Maybe it’s time for a new round of “Good Design” exhibitions. thru June 15- New York Times
Illinois Institute of Technology Names Reed Kroloff as Dean of the IIT College of Architecture: The school that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe built has a new leader...[he] previously served as director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and dean of the Tulane School of Architecture in New Orleans...served as editor-in-chief of Architecture magazine, the predecessor of ARCHITECT. -- jones|kroloff; Casey Jones/Perkins+Will- Architect Magazine
Harriet Harriss named dean of Pratt Institute School of Architecture: ...British architect and professor...will assume her role...on 20 August. She will succeed Thomas Hanrahan, who has served as the dean of Pratt Institute School of Architecture for 22 years...currently leads the post-graduate research programme in architecture and interior design at the Royal College of Art in London...[she] will join a number of women currently heading prestigious architecture schools... -- Design Heroine Architecture (DHA); Suzi Winstanley- Dezeen
Detroit picks team to shape Midtown cultural center: ...Midtown Cultural Connections competition selected a team led by Paris-based Agence Ter, Detroit-based architecture and design studio akoaki, Ann Arbor–based hybrid design firm rootoftwo, and University of Michigan assistant professor and urban planner Harley Etienne...team suggested creating a sort of frame around the ten blocks containing a group of cultural institutions...- The Architect's Newspaper
Three big-name studios shortlisted for La Brea Tar Pits master plan competition: The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) announced...it would be reimagining its 12-acre campus in Hancock Park...three firms will compete to lead a master planning team that will be responsible for renovating and future-proofing the campus. -- Dorte Mandrup/Martha Schwartz Partners/Kontrapunkt/Gruen Associates/Arup; WEISS/MANFREDI/Carole Gee/Michael Bierut/Karin Fong/Imaginary Forces; Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R)/Rana Creek/Walter Hood/Hood Design Studio- The Architect's Newspaper
Cooper Hewitt Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the National Design Awards Program and Announces 2019 Winners: ...honored for design excellence and innovation in 11 categories, including the inaugural Emerging Designer Award..."celebrate how design affects people from all walks of life in everyday and extraordinary ways"... -- Susan Kare/Pinterest; Thomas Phifer/Thomas Phifer and Partners; IwamotoScott Architecture; SCAPE Landscape Architecture; Patricia Moore; MIT D-Lab; Tinker Hatfield; Open Style Lab; etc.- Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (NYC)
Good Design Is Good Business 2019: Record’s 22nd annual program demonstrates how architecture can benefit a business’s bottom line. -- Schiller Projects; BNIM; Architecture Outfit; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; EskewDumezRipple/VergesRome Architects; LSM; LANG Architecture; Marvel Architects- Architectural Record
AIA 2019 Small Project Awards: This year’s theme, "Together we..."...intentionally open-ended to encourage wide interpretation. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Ibanez Shaw Architecture; Fieldwork Design & Architecture; Architecture Building Culture; Debartolo Architects; Clayton & Little Architects; Alterstudio Architecture; Allford Hall Monaghan Morris/AHMM; Alterstudio Architecture; Vladimir Radutny Architects; ColoradoBuildingWorkshop/University of Colorado Denver; Modus Studio/University of Arkansas- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
RAIC announces 2019 winners for Young Architect, Emerging Architectural Practice, and Architectural Firm awards: ...awards will be presented at the RAIC Festival of Architecture in Toronto, taking place October 26-30. -- Ken Borton/5468796; Jessie Andjelic/SPECTACLE Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism; LGA Architectural Partners; UUfie- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
Affordable Housing Developments Honored at 2019 Gold Nugget Awards: Award-winning projects respond to affordability and homeless crisis: The top innovators in planning, design, and development...in over 50 categories, including single-family production, multifamily, affordable, mixed-use, custom homes, commercial, office, renovations, and site planning... -- AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design/Roche + Roche/Design Force; Mogavero Architects; Lahmon Architects/Aylin Inel Interiors; KEPHART/TRIO; Dahlin Group Architecture Planning; PYATOK architecture + urban design/JETT Landscape Architecture & Urban Design/HKIT Architects [with link to full list of winners]- Affordable Housing Finance magazine
ANN feature: Effie Bouras: Aaron Betsky: Experiment and Experience at Taliesin - and Beyond: Architecture, according to Betsky, is everything that is about building or buildings: how we design, represent, and discuss them, what they mean, and how they act in our society.- ArchNewsNow.com
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