Today’s News - Thursday, June 27, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: In honor of the 4th of July next Thursday, we're declaring it Independence Week, and taking a much-needed break. We'll be back Tuesday, July 9.
● Sisson parses "Foot Traffic Ahead," a new report that "finds walkable urbanism isn't just sustainable and enjoyable, but more profitable" - and "has harsh words for cities (and states) that aren't adapting to the market demand."
● Mortice reports on an ongoing plan in Detroit, by landscape architects Spackman Mossop Michaels, that "weaves together refurbished single-family homes" in a neighborhood "atomized by vacancy and foreclosure" with "a network of productive and amenity landscapes - a unique model for Detroit - or anywhere else."
● Lobo reports on Groupe Rousseau Lefebvre's transformation of a 1960s elevated expressway in Montreal into Parc Bonaventure - "now blooming with rich vegetation punctuated by public exercise equipment, playgrounds, and public art" (and architectural follies).
● Bernstein cheers OMA's first public building in NYC: The expansion of SANAA's 2007 New Museum "is so fully resolved that it seems like it couldn't have been imagined any other way - a work of architecture of almost preternatural beauty."
● The Architecture Lobby gets behind the Green New Deal, and calls on architects to "look beyond design and at the bigger picture by becoming activists in the industry for smart and equitable collaborations that benefit all."
● Edelson reports that the Crosstown Concourse in Memphis wins the Gold Medal (and $50,000) in the 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, which "honors outstanding projects that improve the social, economic, and ecological vitality of American cities."
● An impressive list 2019 nominees for UNESCO World Heritage Sites: "There's one US-based nomination: the 20th century architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright."
● Ulam reports from the 2019 Venice Art Biennale: "The only thing holding an otherwise disparate show together is the focus on the ills of our time. 'May You Live in Interesting Times' is intended to be aggressive and disturbing."
● Souter's focus is on how "rising tides and climate change color the Venice Biennale. Artistic allusions to rising waters can be found across the Biennale - they strike home with a particular power given the ongoing destruction of the natural world."
● Farago waxes poetic (and political) re: "Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx" at the NYBG: "The sun-starved among us have all summer to immerse ourselves in a Shangri-La that will thrill anyone caught in the concrete jungle. I had moments when I felt irresponsible for being so happy" (he loves "that Brazil," but knows "it doesn't exist").
● Welton parses "Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion" at Richmond, Virginia's Valentine Museum, "the culmination of a conceptual competition that generated 70 responses from national and international artists, planners, designers and architects" about what to do with now politically incorrect monuments.
● Virginia Tech's Solar Decathlon Middle East-winning FutureHAUS, which "combines minimalism with 'The Jetsons,'" has "set up shop in Alexandria's Potomac Yard neighborhood to be near the grounds of VT's forthcoming Innovation Campus" (just don't call it part of the tiny home movement).
● Stinson brings us eyefuls of the soon-to-be-touring Bicycle Architecture Biennale, and the "compelling projects" from around the world that "present case studies that demonstrate how designing with cyclists in mind often leads to more livable cities in general" (bike path across a lake in Belgium by Lens°ass Architecten - wow!).
● Perched along the Broadway Mall in Manhattan are "10 oversized birds, whose real-life counterparts are threatened by climate change" - made from "old floorboards and shipping pallets to fashion a flotilla of colorful fowl."
● Landon is made almost homesick by Locktov's "Dream of Venice in Black and White": "No one else inhabits their city the way the Venetians do theirs - the book investigates this lived Venice - a coherent, and very intimate, portrait of the city and its people."
● Brussat (of course) cheers Dalrymple's take-down of modern architecture in his reviews of Curl's "Making Dystopia": "At the risk of stoking pity for the modernist dystopians, readers familiar with modernism's terrible legacy see only justice in his running up the score, and can only long for his next onslaught."
● Kamin cheers Goldberger's "insightful new book": "Ballpark: Baseball in the American City" is "a serious yet accessible examination of ballparks past and present, filled with sharp aesthetic judgments and flavored with piquant details, revealing America's attitudes toward its cities, for better and for worse."
● Lowry found himself waxing nostalgic over Goldberger's "Ballpark": "Ballparks are one of the few public aspects of American life that have gotten more beautiful rather than less. I'm one of millions who appreciate, and have benefited from, the return to beauty so ably chronicled in this book."
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Patrick Sisson: Why building walkable cities is the key to economic success: New report Foot Traffic Ahead finds walkable urbanism isn’t just sustainable and enjoyable, but more profitable: The bottom line? Walkable urban places, what the report calls WalkUPs, demand roughly 75% higher rent over the metro average...[report] has harsh words for cities (and states...) that aren’t adapting to the market demand for walkable urbanism. ..A better understanding of building such neighborhoods and developments, while keeping housing affordable and accessible, will be a deciding factor in how sustained this shift will be.- Curbed
Zach Mortice: In Detroit, Empty Lots Become Parks, Helping to Rebuild Lost Social Equity: An ongoing plan by landscape architects Spackman Mossop Michaels is tying together the neighborhood of Fitzgerald, which has been atomized by vacancy and foreclosure: ...weaves together refurbished single-family homes within a network of productive and amenity landscapes centered on an axial greenway....a unique model for Detroit - or anywhere else... [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Rita Lobo: A Public Park in Montreal Aims to Right the Wrongs of Past Development Schemes: The city and local firm Groupe Rousseau Lefebvre turned a 1960s expressway into [Parc Bonaventure] "a prestigious, functional, and user-friendly gateway to downtown": Where the elevated expressway once stood is now blooming with rich vegetation punctuated by public exercise equipment, playgrounds, and public art [and architectural follies]. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Fred A. Bernstein: The New Museum's Expansion by OMA Will Transform the NYC Institution: The $63 million extension - designed by Shohei Shigematsu of the Dutch firm long led by Rem Koolhaas - is so fully resolved that it seems like it couldn’t have been imagined any other way: ...a work of architecture of almost preternatural beauty...If the SANAA building is a stack of boxes, the extension...is tapered and tailored... -- Cooper Robertson [images]- Architectural Digest
Sydney Franklin: The Architecture Lobby issues official statement on the Green New Deal: ...the sweeping piece of potential legislation that’s aiming to transform the U.S. economy and help combat climate change and economic inequality...architects must look beyond design and at the bigger picture by becoming activists in the industry for smart and equitable collaborations that benefit all...must also refuse to work with clients, manufacturers, or any company whose values “do not support a transformative redistribution of power.”- The Architect's Newspaper
Zachary Edelson: Gold and Silver Medalists Announced for 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: The biennial award program honors outstanding projects that improve the social, economic, and ecological vitality of American cities: Bruner Foundation named Crosstown Concourse in Memphis as the Gold Medal winner...receives $50,000 “for the benefit of the project”; Silver Medalists will each receive $10,000. -- Looney Ricks Kiss; DIALOG; Spatial Affairs Bureau [images]- Metropolis Magazine
These are the 2019 nominees for UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites: ...separated into different categories - from natural properties such as Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park to cultural sites such as Babylon in Iraq and mixed sites, which combine natural and cultural elements, such as Paraty in Brazil. There's one US-based nomination: the 20th century architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.- CNN Travel
Alex Ulam: The 2019 Venice Art Biennale asks us to ponder our “interesting times”: Political chaos is spreading, and climate change is upon us...[curator] Ralph Rugoff’s revolutionary agenda is conspicuous for an art exhibition...[in] the Arsenale...almost every other artwork appears to be about poverty, sexism, environmental degradation, racism, or political violence...the only thing holding an otherwise disparate show together is the focus on the ills of our time..."May You Live in Interesting Times" is intended to be aggressive and disturbing. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Anna Souter: Rising Tides and Climate Change Color the Venice Biennale This Year: Artistic allusions to rising waters can be found across the Venice Biennale...they strike home with a particular power given the ongoing destruction of the natural world: Acqua alta: high water. It’s something Venetians have learned to live with...Concerns about the dangers of rising sea levels have also percolated through the various collateral Biennale events... [images]- Hyperallergic
Jason Farago: Roberto Burle Marx and His Leafy Vision of the Tropics: The New York Botanical Garden has opened its largest ever show, devoted to the Brazilian landscape architect: ...the sun-starved among us have all summer to immerse ourselves in a...Shangri-La. “Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx”...offers an exuberant gust of tropical modernism that will thrill anyone caught in the concrete jungle...a fragrant, enchantingly lush garden...The timing of this beautiful show seems both apt and awkward. Apt, since the climate crisis has spurred a renewed interest among young architects in landscape design...Awkward, since...these days, the Brazilian government is not especially friendly to plants...Walking through the show’s profuse expanses of flowering plants...I had moments when I felt irresponsible for being so happy...I love that Brazil...I know it doesn’t exist. thru September 29 -- Raymond Jungles- New York Times
J. Michael Welton: Discussing Richmond’s Monument Avenue: Now that a newly renamed Arthur Ashe Boulevard bisects Monument Avenue precisely where a bronze, three-story-tall statue of Stonewall Jackson is mounted on an outsized “Little Sorrel,” tongues are wagging around the nation...local discussions actually are taking place. Leading the charge is Richmond’s Valentine Museum...“Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion”...the culmination of a conceptual competition that generated 70 responses from national and international artists, planners, designers and architects. thru December 1 -- Camden Whitehead- Architects and Artisans
Take a peek inside Virginia Tech's solar-powered FutureHaus, now on display in Alexandria: ...FutureHaus...won first place in the Solar Decathlon Middle East...900-square-foot house is designed with customization in mind...set up shop in Alexandria's Potomac Yard neighborhood to be near the grounds of VT's forthcoming Innovation Campus...With a look that combines minimalism with "The Jetsons," it has features that could prove popular. thru August 11 [images]- Washington Business Journal
Liz Stinson: Bicycle Architecture Biennale celebrates bike-friendly urban design: 15 compelling projects from nine countries around the world: Curated by Dutch studio Next Architects...to not just showcase clever solutions, but also present case studies that demonstrate how designing with cyclists in mind often leads to more livable cities in general...on a global tour of “major architectural and citymaking events” [in Oslo, Rome and Gent, with several others in planning].- Curbed
Broadway is for the birds this summer thanks to this artist: You won’t need binoculars to spot these birds. Along the Broadway Mall, from 64th to 157th streets, are 10 oversized birds, whose real-life counterparts are threatened by climate change. Working with the NYC Audubon Society...Nicolas Holiber used lumber from old floorboards and shipping pallets to fashion a flotilla of colorful fowl. thru January 2020 [images]- New York Post
Robert Landon: Inhabit the City Delicately: "Dream of Venice in Black and White": In a place where at any one time, half or more of its residents are transients, those who live in Venice all year round for their whole lives make it a real city: No one else inhabits their city the way the Venetians do theirs....book of photographs edited by JoAnn Locktov and with a lovely and sensitive introduction by Tiziano Scarpa, investigates this lived Venice...a coherent, and very intimate, portrait of the city and its people.- ytali. (Tribunale di Venezia)
David Brussat: Theodore Dalrymple: Curl’s ‘Dystopia’: ...British prison doctor, psychiatrist and social critic, has written several reviews of James Stevens Curl’s "Making Dystopia"...Each...seems intended to outdo its predecessors in their damnation of modern architecture. Modern architecture cannot, it would seem, be pummeled more severely, even by the good doctor; yet, at the risk of stoking pity for the modernist dystopians, readers familiar with modernism’s terrible legacy see only justice in Dalrymple’s running up the score, and can only long for his next onslaught.- Architecture Here and There
Blair Kamin: These fields of dreams aren’t in Iowa cornfields: ...Paul Goldberger’s insightful new book...“Ballpark: Baseball in the American City" isn’t a romantic paean to the ballparks of yore. Nor is it one of those wonky, statistic-filled surveys of baseball’s fields of dreams. It is, rather, a serious yet accessible examination of ballparks past and present, filled with sharp aesthetic judgments and flavored with piquant details...holds up a telling mirror, revealing America’s attitudes toward its cities, for better and for worse...His absorbing, illuminating account enriches our understanding of baseball parks as well as the games they shape, the cities they inhabit and the emotions they stir.- Chicago Tribune
Rich Lowry: How Baseball Stadiums Became Beautiful Again: "Ballpark: Baseball in the American City" by Paul Goldberger: For him, the ballpark is the garden in the city, the rus in urbe, a sports combination of the Jeffersonian agrarian tradition and the Hamiltonian emphasis on cities and industry...Ballparks are one of the few public aspects of American life...that have gotten more beautiful rather than less. [He] argues, correctly, that despite our association of baseball with rural America...the game is more connected to the city...I’m one of millions who appreciate, and have benefited from, the return to beauty so ably chronicled in this book.- National Review
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