Today’s News - Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Farewells to Phil Freelon (sure to be more)
● Welton "has lost a highly respected friend, and the world an articulate voice for architecture and the African American community. Phil Freelon was a kind, generous and patient man whose work transcended his own God-given talents."
● Sisson says Freelon was "one of the most influential black architects of his generation. His practice has long prioritized design meant to embrace and elevate community" - his approach as a juror for Curbed's 2017 Groundbreakers: "...great design should be enjoyed by everyday people in the public realm."
● Campbell-Dollaghan remembers Freelon as "a visionary architect who championed diversity - and designed some of the most influential American architecture of the 21st century" + Budds' profile of Freelon, Co.Design's 2017 Architect of the Year: "America's Humanitarian Architect."
In other news:
● ANN feature: Salingaros: "Signs versus Symptoms": A Reply to the Open Letter from British Architecture Students Calling for Curriculum Change: Asking for radical reforms in architectural education, this courageous appeal could help this latest effort be taken seriously, and not simply dismissed, as previous cries for reform have been.
● Ravenscroft parses Schumacher's take-down of architecture education - it's "in crisis and detached from the profession": "The paradigm we are looking for is parametricism" (as if we expected anything else from him - miles of comments, of course).
● AE7 's Ortman bemoans "the physical qualities of design" being "watered down because we no longer have to draw a chair or bathtub, but can simply download them - educators and design professionals alike must task ourselves to adjust our curriculums and processes so that they include the study of craftsmanship and constructability."
● Wainwright delves into what's behind the global "epidemic" to "build cities from scratch - each branded as the ultimate techno-eco-utopia - futuristic and climate-inappropriate - all of which follow the cookie-cutter approach of car-based, hi-tech hubs, rarely planned with existing populations in mind" (Bad Consultant designed one - check out the "Cities from Scratch" series!).
● Muldoon-Smith & Greenhalgh explain why "the world's aging architecture is a $217 trillion risk: The cost of making buildings more energy efficient can seem staggering - until you look at the cost of not retrofitting them."
● The Rockefeller Foundation may be disbanding its 100 Resilient Cities, but it is launching a new climate and resilience initiative to support the work of chief resilience officers and members of the 100RC network.
● Block parses the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission's "Creating space for beauty" report that urges "UK councils to reject 'ugly' housing schemes": "We need to deliver beauty for everyone, not just the wealthy."
● Wainwright cheers Assemble's "spellbinding" Granby Winter Garden, and tells the "intoxicating David-and-Goliath tale" about transforming "abandoned houses into beautiful, permanently affordable homes. Easy as that, hugs and teary eyes all round" - sort of ("barbecue-smoked ceramic doorknobs and colorful tiles" included).
● Betsky on the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station: "Sometimes a good building that I nevertheless probably shouldn't like just bowls me over. Rarely in recent years have I seen a project with more expressive power" - though "one has to ask if it helps perpetuate social and economic injustices," this is "a romantic building that captures the ability of architecture to express an optimism" (with a park on top!).
● Davidson cheers SHoP's Staten Island outlet mall that "intends to defy the retail apocalypse with bargains and lively architecture" by reconciling "a collection of generic, inward-facing stores with a never-ending street party" (ditto South Street Seaport, "though to clunkier effect").
● Studio O+A's Alexander, after designing offices for decades, explains what she got wrong, and "questions the cushy, amenity-laden offices that her design firm helped pioneer. The way forward is to introduce a little friction into the workplace."
● Chakrabarti heads west to lead UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design - and a west coast PAU office; Modi will hold down the fort in the NYC office.
● One we couldn't resist: Handler hangs out with a bunch of "av geeks" at the TWA Hotel's rooftop pool that "has become an aviation nerd's paradise. JFK may be a Lynchian nightmare for almost all of us, but for just enough people to fit on one tiny rooftop, it's the most heavenly place in the world" (a hoot of a read!).
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Obituary by Michael J. Welton: Master Architect Philip Freelon (1952-2019): A+A has lost a highly respected friend, and the world an articulate voice for architecture and the African American community. Phil Freelon was a kind, generous and patient man whose work transcended his own God-given talents...His booming voice and sharp insights will be sorely missed. A family friend shared his official obituary... -- J. Max Bond; David Adjaye; SmithGroup- Architects and Artisans
Patrick Sisson: Phil Freelon, architect of National Museum of African-American History and Culture, dies: The acclaimed Durham, NC-based architect leaves behind a remarkable roster of cultural works and a legacy of mentorship: ... one of the most influential black architects of his generation...His practice has long prioritized design meant to embrace and elevate community...When he served as a juror for Curbed’s Groundbreakers in 2017...he said he looked for “high-impact projects that were delivered within modest budgets - great design should be enjoyed by everyday people in the public realm.”- Curbed
Obituary by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan: Remembering Phil Freelon, a visionary architect who championed diversity: Freelon, 66, worked tirelessly to make architecture more diverse and inclusive - and designed some of the most influential American architecture of the 21st century.: It’s hard to top President Obama’s tribute to Freelon’s African American history museum...a long list of smaller architectural and urban-scale projects that he sought to imbue with the thoughtfulness and dignity not often afforded to public projects + Diana Budds on Co.Design’s Architect of the Year (2017): America’s Humanitarian Architect -- The Freelon Group; Perkins+Will- Fast Company / Co.Design
ANN feature: Nikos A. Salingaros: "Signs versus Symptoms": A Reply to the Open Letter from British Architecture Students Calling for Curriculum Change: Asking for radical reforms in architectural education, this courageous appeal could help this latest effort be taken seriously, and not simply dismissed, as previous cries for reform have been.- ArchNewsNow.com
Tom Ravenscroft: Architecture education is in crisis and detached from the profession, says Patrik Schumacher: ...claiming that many teachers use their positions to promote their own agendas. As a result of architecture schools teaching "without any curriculum", students graduate with a portfolio that "might not include a single design that could meet minimal standards expected from a contemporary competition entry"...he criticised architecture for being taught like art..."The paradigm we are looking for is parametricism..." -- Zaha Hadid Architects- Dezeen
Jeff Ortman/AE7: Restoring the Physical Nature of Design: Architects and designers are losing touch with the tactile qualities of their art, an essential connection to building: Has our relationship with the physical qualities of design been watered down because we no longer have to draw a chair or bathtub, but can simply download them, thereby losing the intimacy of working out the details ourselves? ...educators and design professionals alike must task ourselves to adjust our curriculums and processes so that they include the study of craftsmanship and constructability...understanding how something is physically built...is the underlying foundation all successful designers share.- Common Edge
Oliver Wainwright: 'The next era of human progress': what lies behind the global new cities epidemic? The urge to build cities from scratch is not new - but this time they are being conceived by private multinational corporations as gilt-edged tax-exempt gated communities: ...the bristling glass towers of these new urban enclaves are the inverted mineshafts of today - complete with equally damaging side effects...all of which follow the cookie-cutter approach of car-based, hi-tech hubs, rarely planned with existing populations in mind.- Guardian (UK)
Kevin Muldoon-Smith & Paul Michael Greenhalgh: The world’s aging architecture is a $217 trillion risk: The cost of making buildings more energy efficient can seem staggering - until you look at the cost of not retrofitting them: It’s even reasonable to expect benefits to the economy from the growing building retrofit industry...Adapting existing buildings and constructing new developments that are not reliant on fossil fuels - though perhaps costlier in the short term - can create a more resilient, and therefore valuable, asset in the longer term.- Fast Company / Co.Design
Rockefeller Foundation launches new climate and resilience initiative: ...initially committing $8 million, which will support the work of chief resilience officers and members of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, which is disbanding this month...will be led by Elizabeth Yee...Cities that participated in 100RC but haven't yet achieved their goals...are expected to be supported during the transition...- Smart Cities Dive
India Block: UK Building Better Building Beautiful Commission urges planners to "say no to ugliness”: ...has urged UK councils to reject "ugly" housing schemes and prioritise low car developments in its latest report...."Creating space for beauty"...urges councils...to involve local communities at an earlier stage of the design process...places an emphasis on developing brownfield sites and focusing on beauty no matter where building takes place..."We need to deliver beauty for everyone, not just the wealthy." -- Nicholas Boys Smith; Roger Scruton- Dezeen
Oliver Wainwright: 'Five years to do 10 chuffing houses!' - meet the guerrilla gardeners of Granby: Why is there a full-size tree inside this once-abandoned Liverpool terrace? Step inside Granby Winter Garden, the latest transformation from Turner prize winning architects Assemble: ...an intoxicating David-and-Goliath tale...to transform abandoned houses into beautiful, permanently affordable homes. Easy as that, hugs and teary eyes all round...The reality wasn’t quite so simple...frustrations and fury have paid off. ..created a spellbinding space, where evocative traces of the former houses mingle with their crisp new insertions- Guardian (UK)
Aaron Betsky: The Dragon Rears its Head: Why he loves the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station by Andrew Bromberg at Aedas: Sometimes a good building that I nevertheless probably shouldn’t like for all kinds of reasons just bowls me over...Rarely in recent years have I seen a project with more expressive power...It evokes the excitement of travel...Even in the rain, [it] seemed to be continually in motion...There is a more serious question...one has to ask if the project helps perpetuate social and economic injustices...But this is a romantic building that captures the ability of architecture to express an optimism...- Architect Magazine
Justin Davidson: A Staten Island Outlet Mall Intends to Defy the Retail Apocalypse: With bargains and lively architecture: ...New York’s newest shopping destination, Empire Outlets...Its chief appeal is the location, a vineyard-like set of terraces stepping up from the Staten Island Ferry terminal....With quiet sleight of hand, SHoP Architects have managed to reconcile a collection of generic, inward-facing stores with a never-ending street party...at the South Street Seaport, SHoP again fuses indoors and out, though to clunkier effect.- New York Magazine
Verda Alexander/Studio O+A: I’ve been designing offices for decades. Here’s what I got wrong: She questions the cushy, amenity-laden offices that her interior design firm helped pioneer. The way forward...is to introduce a little friction into the workplace: I’ve been trying to pinpoint the moment it all went wrong...the moment it all got crazy...the beginning of the 24/7 office...when amenity spaces took off...one thought nags: Do these spaces really help us get our work done? I am proposing a workplace that is a little less comfortable and a little more challenging... -- Primo Orpilla- Fast Company / Co.Design
PAU's Vishaan Chakrabarti to lead UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design: He will expand Practice for Architecture and Urbanism to include a west coast office...Ruchika Modi will lead the New York office, where the firm is engaged in a variety of urban scaled projects, including the development of a master plan for the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard site in Queens...Renee Chow, chair of Berkeley's architecture department, will serve as acting dean [until July 1, 2020].- Archinect
Rachel Handler: After a Splashy Launch, JFK’s TWA Hotel Has Become an Aviation Nerd’s Paradise: On the runway with the “av geeks": On the eighth-floor pool deck...the energy up here is different - harmonic, joyful. For the poolgoers...the airport is not a grim means to an end, and the hotel is not a chic destination that just happens to be next to the airport. For them, the airport is the point...JFK may be a Lynchian nightmare for almost all of us, but for just enough people to fit on one tiny rooftop, it’s the most heavenly place in the world. -- Eero Saarinen- New York Magazine
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