Today’s News - Tuesday, August 13, 2019
● Kamin explores what Chicago can expect when Maurice Cox departs Detroit to become the Windy City's next planning commissioner: "An eye for design, an emphasis on equity, and maybe, spats with aldermen" ("I think you're in for a very interesting ride with Maurice," sayeth Gallagher).
● The $7.5 billion Bleutech Park Las Vegas will be "a mixed-use mini-city" (workforce housing included) that "aims to redefine the smart city" using lots of technological bells and whistles, such as AI, AR, IoT, self-healing concrete, etc.
● Q&A with smart cities research specialist John Harlow re: "how to prioritize people over tech when planning smart cities. Deploying innovations is difficult, but community involvement can be key to efficiency."
● Sidewalk Labs "is leading the way" in using mass timber for its smart city in Toronto - "but the smart material faces major obstacles. What's stopping mass timber?"
● Speaking of mass timber: Rice University's Jesús Vassallo's "Tall Timber" mass timber construction project wins the Shepley Bulfinch Award.
● Peters parses start-up Geoship's bioceramic fireproof, hurricane-proof geodesic domes and their "long list of advantages" that could make them post-climate change houses of the future; Zappos wants some near its Las Vegas HQ to give to the homeless.
● Betsky at his biting best re: Hudson Yards: "It all turns out to be mirrors, with the Vessel and Shed as the smoke, that hide the soulless waste of space and material" (ouch!).
● Grabar & Kotob ponder: "Can any school be massacre-proof? How are architects responding to an era of active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks?"
● Brownell, on a brighter note, cheers the result of this year's China Building Center/UED magazine's design competition that is restoring the dilapidated village of Xiamutang with design interventions that "disrupt traditional models of historic preservation. Equally transformative is the social change that the village's makeover has brought about."
● Chris Downey gets a "60 Minutes" moment: "What he has done in the 10 years since losing his sight, as a person, and as an architect, can only be described as a different kind of vision."
● A good news/bad news kind of day for Mid-century Modernism: Indiana University's Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design is getting a new building inspired by a never-built 1952 Mies van der Rohe design being "brought to life by the architectural firm of Thomas Phifer and Partners."
● Rinaldi explains why it's a good idea to head to Denver at the end of the week for the city's new Modernism Week: "Hidden midcentury-modern neighborhoods aren't so hidden anymore."
● Meanwhile in Minnesota, FLW Jr.'s 1965 Birdwing is biting the dust, and "its park-like 12-acre estate, Birdsong, will be carved into lots for 13 single-family luxury homes" called Bird Song ("the house is so-so at best").
● Architects Advocate signs on for the Global Climate Strike on September 20 - everyone is "encouraged to disrupt business as usual."
● Across the Big Pond, RIBA and the UK Green Building Council are urging architects to join the Global Climate Strike on September 20.
● Fisher & Hopkins explain "why Bennetts Associates is joining the Global Climate Strike. There are many business reasons. Above all - it is simply the right thing to do."
● The Cultural Landscape Foundation will be launching a new international biennial landscape architecture prize that comes with a $100,000 purse.
● Nine finalists from around the world take home the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture "presented to individuals and organizations who have promoted, encouraged, advocated, or influenced the advancement of architecture in the Middle East."
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Blair Kamin: What to expect from Chicago’s next planning commissioner: An eye for design, an emphasis on equity, and maybe, spats with aldermen: In nominating Detroit’s Maurice Cox to be Chicago’s next planning commissioner, the mayor has tapped a figure of national reputation whose skill set could help her make good on her promise to spread the wealth...to struggling areas of the South and West Sides...[he] is credited with making creative plans for Detroit’s beaten-down neighborhoods...Said John Gallagher [Detroit Free Press]: “I think you’re in for a very interesting ride with Maurice.”- Chicago Tribune
Las Vegas’ $7.5B Project Aims to Redefine the Smart City: Bleutech Park Las Vegas...a mixed-use mini-city with net-zero buildings that will feature renewable energy, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, Internet of Things, robotics, autonomous transportation and self-healing concrete structures...On a much smaller scale, Spokane, Wash., is also getting a net-zero-energy project. -- KME Architects- Commercial Property Executive
How to prioritize people over tech when planning smart cities: Deploying innovations is difficult, but community involvement can be key to efficiency, says smart cities research specialist John Harlow.: He wants cities to move away from the mentality of, "Let’s build technologies and then put them places." Instead...city leaders should ask: "What do people need in this place, and how do we help them? Any [data sets] that you are worried about opening, consider whether you want that data in the first place, because that's the data that if you get hacked..."- Smart Cities Dive
Sidewalk Labs is building a smart city entirely of mass timber. What could go wrong? North America is on the cusp of a mass timber revolution, and...Waterfront Toronto project is leading the way. But the smart material faces major obstacles: ...called Quayside, with 10 mixed-use building up to 35 stories. The plan is audacious...According to The Climate Trust, a piece of land with no building on it has a higher carbon footprint than a piece of land with a CLT building...What's stopping mass timber? -- Kaiser Group and Path Architecture- Smart Cities Dive
Rice University's Jesús Vassallo's mass timber construction project wins Shepley Bulfinch Award: His most recent project, titled "Tall Timber," focuses on mass timber construction systems for housing developments.- Archinect
Adele Peters: Are these fireproof, hurricane-proof geodesic domes the post-climate change house of the future? Geoship is touting the bioceramic geodesic dome as the home of the future - and getting help on the rollout from Zappos, which wants to build some near its headquarters to give to the homeless: ...startup...has plans to produce both backyard cottages and full communities...material can be used again because the bioceramic acts like a glue and bonds to itself...“Essentially, it’s like Legos going together,” says...Morgan Bierschenk.- Fast Company
Aaron Betsky: What bothers many people is the sense of an alien culture: The outrage over New York's Hudson Yards is not really about ugly glass towers or bad urbanism - although it features both - but an unspoken disquiet that foreign ideas have overtaken a chunk of Manhattan: [It] is not only ugly, it is also a tremendous waste of space that could be open and useful...it all turns out to be mirrors, with the Vessel and Shed as the smoke, that hide the soulless waste of space and material... -- Thomas Heatherwick; Diller Scofidio + Renfro- Dezeen
Henry Grabar: Can Any School Be Massacre-Proof? It has become architects’ responsibility to keep students safe at school: He asks: How are architects responding to an era of active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks? Q&A with Jenine Kotob/Hord Coplan Macht- Slate podcast
Blaine Brownell: Revitalizing the Chinese Countryside: The results of a national design competition aimed at restoring the village of Xiamutang: China Building Center inaugurated the International Colleges and Universities Construction Competition in 2016...in a collaboration with Urban Environment Design (UED) magazine, has selected one village each year for design-build proposals focused on rural development...design interventions disrupt traditional models of historic preservation. Equally transformative is the social change that the village's makeover has brought about.- Architect Magazine
Architect goes blind, says he's actually gotten better at his job: A social worker tried to tell him about "career alternatives" after he lost his sight, but Chris Downey wasn't about to stop being an architect: ...what he has done in the 10 years since losing his sight, as a person, and as an architect, can only be described as a different kind of vision: "...the creative process is an intellectual process. It's how you think, so I just needed new tools." -- Lesley Stahl- CBS News 60 Minutes
Indiana University Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design: to construct building inspired by original 1952 Mies van der Rohe design: ...originally planned for the IU Bloomington campus...original Mies design...was largely forgotten until Sidney Eskenazi...mentioned his knowledge of the design. After extensive research, plans and documentation for the building were uncovered...project will be brought to life by the architectural firm of Thomas Phifer and Partners...- New at IU Bloomington (Indiana University)
Ray Mark Rinaldi: Denver’s hidden midcentury-modern neighborhoods aren’t so hidden anymore: You can tour these stunning architectural beauties during Denver’s new Modernism Week, August 16-25: “‘Flyover town,’ ‘cowtown,’ ‘little, podunk Denver"...None of that matches the reality of Denver’s architectural history, which was often cutting-edge in its time...It’s just that a lot of these buildings are hard to find.- Denver Post
Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr. house in Minnetonka to be razed to make way for luxury homes: ...Birdwing, a large modernist house built in 1965...its parklike 12-acre estate, Birdsong, will be carved into lots for 13 single-family luxury homes...Lloyd Wright’s work and reputation were eclipsed by his...father. And Birdwing is not considered a significant example of his work..."the house is so-so at best"...development is called Bird Song... -- Bobak Ha’Eri/Docomomo MN- Minneapolis Star Tribune
Architects sign on for the Global Climate Strike: The public outreach initiative, Architects Advocate, is following the lead...[strike] will occur on Friday, September 20, just ahead of a UN emergency climate summit...everyone - sports-stars, actors, architects - are encouraged to disrupt business as usual...Both individuals and firms may pledge to support #StandWithGreta. -- Greta Thunberg- The Architect's Newspaper
Climate strike backed by RIBA president and UK Green Building Council: Ben Derbyshire has joined the UKGBC in urging architects to join planned industrial action on 20 September...the UK government has still to recognise the climate emergency... -- Bennetts Associates; Chetwoods; Mole Architects; John Gilbert Architects- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Peter Fisher & Ben Hopkins: Why Bennetts Associates is joining the Global Climate Strike on 20 September: [They] explain why the profession should follow the example of climate change activist Greta Thunberg: Above all...it is simply the right thing to do...There are many business reasons for acting on climate change, too.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
The Cultural Landscape Foundation to Launch an International Landscape Architecture Prize: ...will be awarded every other year, beginning in 2021. The Prize carries with it a monetary award of $100,000 and two years of public engagement activities...- The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)
Nine finalists selected for the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture: The Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year 2019: Established in 2014 as part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award program...award is presented to individuals and organizations who have promoted, encouraged, advocated, or influenced the advancement of architecture in the Middle East between 2016-19. -- Ali Jaffar Al Lawati; Arabesque; Benaa Habitat; Eric Broug; Syrbanism; Taghlib Abdulhadi Al Waily; International Journal of Islamic Architecture; Waleed Arafa/Dar Arafa Architecture; World Monuments Fund Britain- Archinect
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