Today’s News - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

●  Google commits to a $1 billion, 3-prong plan to add 20,000 new homes over the next 10 years "to address the San Francisco Bay Area's crippling housing affordability crisis."

●  Hume makes the case for more "missing middle housing" in Toronto - though he sees hope in a proposed redevelopment of a former industrial site "designed to be an element of something larger, a living neighborhood as well as a city."

●  Anderson puts the spotlight on 3 creative placemaking programs in Chicago, Somerville, Massachusetts, and Denver fighting gentrification by raising a "tide" that "lifts all community boats" - building community networks and helping "artists and residents lay down economic roots": "We're investing in human infrastructure."

●  Davidson delves into "dueling ideas" of what should be done with "10 hulking oil-and-gas tanks" in a new park in Brooklyn - an "inventive, exciting and bold" plan that reuses the tanks faces opposition: "Tension between erasure and commemoration keeps coming up as New York gradually converts its once forbidding industrial shoreline into a green and pleasant buffer."

●  O'Sullivan parses Paris's plan to plant "urban forests - a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage. Given how charming the designs appear, this seems unlikely to be controversial."

●  Wainwright Ishigami's Serpentine Pavilion 2019, "squatting on the lawn like a moody crow - feels rather lost in translation, the compromised product of a sharp clash of cultures" - it's "a striking object, but it could have been so much better."

●  Anderton x 2: She talks to the mayor of Santa Monica, CA, about plans to turn the soon-to-be-defunct Santa Monica Airport into a park, and whether it's "the best and highest use for the 227-acre site. Housing advocates argue that this is a misplaced goal."

●  She talks to Craig Hodgetts of Mithun/Hodgetts + Fung, Gensler's Terence Young, and Seleta Reynolds of L.A. DOT re: Uber Air skyports: "Hodgetts says he drank the Uber Air Kool Aid."

●  Grabar spends some time on the Mississippi River with some serious river captains - they all ponder when it will "come for New Orleans - hell is high water."

●  Speaking of rising water: the Van Alen Institute & the City of North Miami announce the Keeping Current: Repetitive Loss Properties finalists in the design competition to reimagine public uses of the city's "current and future portfolio of flood-prone vacant lots."

●  Kennicott visits the TWA Hotel and the "magnificently restored" 1962 TWA terminal - "one of the great buildings of the last century" - Saarinen "proved the power of a poetic modernism, full of whimsy and romance" that "asserts a truth far deeper than its original purpose: If man can build miraculous buildings, he can remake the world itself into something more equal, more fair, and more decent."

●  Kamin reports that John Ronan has been selected to design a new visitor center for Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio that "would require the demolition of a neighboring house" not designed by Wright, and reducing the footprint of a house where Wright's mother lived.

●  Block brings us eyefuls of Ron Arad's twisting ToHA tower in Tel Aviv that will include restaurants, two terraces, and a perimeter walkway on the roof, and views of the sky from a 100-metre-high "atrium void that runs through the building" (and LEED Platinum to boot!).

●  In Germany's Rems Valley, the 46-foot-tall "elegant, curved" Urbach Tower is "the first example of a 'self-shaping' wood construction process - it is already a landmark in Remstal and will be on view permanently."

●  Schwab is quite taken by Oppenheim Architecture's "gorgeous beach resort" in Aqaba, Jordan, that "appears to disappear in the desert sand" (it is also "the centerpiece of a knowledge exchange program, with the architects teaching local workers the shotcrete building technique" - cool!). - HGA's new SleepIQ LABS for Sleep Number in a Jose high-rise "combines design insight with engineering ingenuity" to create "a vibrant space that is all about a good night's sleep."

●  Vigo's report on Grohe's recent The Wave of the Future talks in Frankfurt, and "parametric architecture's embrace of new technology": "From the parametric designs coming out of London to those emerging from India's architecture studios, it is essential that AI be carefully employed while not resulting in the loss of architectural identity" (Schumacher weighed in, of course).

●  Zaha's "fluid magic" makes its debut Down Under at the Denfair trade show in Melbourne, June 20-22: "Dramatically compelling, they're domesticated versions of Hadid's buildings."


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