Today’s News - Tuesday, August 20, 2019
● Leigh lays into the GSA's Design Excellence principles that will warm every classicist's heart: "GSA officials seldom talk about the architectural evocation of "dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability" [Moynihan] in modern U.S. courthouses ("mutant ship's hull"; "partially deconstructed Rubik's Cube"; "Borg Cube") - but "a resolutely countercultural community of classical architects has emerged - Uncle Sam needs to put these classicists to work."
● Lam x 2: She reports on Lambert appeal to Simon Fraser University to not demolish its 1965 Erickson/Massey women's residence, and includes Lambert's letter: "Must Canada continue to disregard its great works?"
● Lam's take on the "showdown" over a new addition to Ottawa's historic Château Laurier: "Something has clearly gone wrong. It's difficult, at this point, to fathom a happy ending to this saga."
● Developer Ruddy, on the other hand, explains why "there are good reasons to support the proposed Château Laurier addition" - it "will actually integrate this iconic landmark into the fabric of downtown life. But the final version as approved by City Council remains the object of puzzling controversy."
● Lubell parses Morphosis's Korean American National Museum, soon to rise on a former parking lot in Koreatown in L.A., with the "most prominent move" being "'grafting' a garden and terrace on top of the building. Whether melting pot or salad bowl proves the best metaphor for the museum, the presence of so many people of Korean descent on the Morphosis team was a plus for the museum's board."
● Jerusalem approves Knesset expansion plans that "include unique provisions to preserve the original, 'architecturally unique' building, taking into account its 'national and historical importance.'"
● A look at AI's effect on the profession: "Will this eventually lead to clients and organizations simply reverting to a computer for master plans and construction? Researchers at Oxford suggest that the essential value of architect as professionals who can understand and evaluate a problem and synthesize unique and insightful solutions will likely remain unchallenged" (whew!).
● Apple teams with the New Museum using an AR tool to bring "[AR]T Walk" to city streets in six cities - "but some fear a tech takeover of public space," though it "could be a boon to city life, aiding navigation, traffic flow, tourism and emergency response...Either way, it is set to stay."
● Bacchi parses a study that finds "park life boosts morale as much as Christmas - important implications for city planners and health officials."
● Fixsen cheers Black Females in Architecture, "the social network the design profession needs - grassroots organizations such as BFA serve to reach a different audience than the internal diversity committees set up within large membership-based organizations such as the AIA or RIBA."
● Calatrava claimed "that tourists dragging wheeled luggage was 'incorrect use'" of his "futuristic bridge" in Venice, but the court "found that he should have foreseen the problems" that arose - and he's fined $86,000 "for building a bridge that - oops - can't handle tourists."
● FLW makes the airwaves of VOA with William Richards & Susan Piedmont-Palladino on his buildings making the UNESCO World Heritage Sites listing - "it is unusual for the work of a single architect to be placed on the list. 'I think Wright's work was unique because he was unique,'" sayeth Richards.
● Two we couldn't resist: Pacheco on the "Hobbit Revival dormitory headed to Berkeley" that "has a few people scratching their heads" (John King tweets: "sprouting what I hereby dub #Hobbitetecture").
● Doezema on Gins and Arakawa "whimsical take on cheating death" through architecture - their 2005 9-unit apartment building in a Tokyo suburb is "a multicolored jumble of stacked cubes, spheres and tubes - a defiant statement in an otherwise drab landscape" (and their "part fun house, part obstacle course, the four-acre park"!).
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Catesby Leigh: Why America Needs Classical Architecture: The design of federal buildings should be guided by the traditional principles that produced our greatest civic landmarks: GSA officials seldom talk about the architectural evocation of “dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability” [“Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture” by Daniel Patrick Moynihan]...GSA’s [Design Excellence] principles...should be rewritten...A U.S. courthouse should embody the architectural wisdom of the ages, not ephemeral notions of “contemporary justice"...A resolutely countercultural community of classical architects has emerged...however, our classicists face overwhelming indifference, if not outright opposition...Uncle Sam needs to put these classicists to work... -- David Insinga; Richard Meier; Thom Mayne; William Rawn Associates; Mies van der Rohe; Thomas Phifer- City Journal/The Manhattan Institute
Elsa Lam: Phyllis Lambert urges SFU to reconsider demolition of Erickson/Massey women’s residence: As part of its plans to expand student housing on campus, Simon Fraser University is planning to demolish Madge Hogarth House , one of the original buildings on the Burnaby Mountain campus masterplanned by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey... Lambert’s letter..."Must Canada continue to disregard its great works?"- Canadian Architect
Elsa Lam: Editorial: Château Laurier Showdown: Overall, the proposed building is not a masterwork, but neither does it seem deserving of the epithets of “monstrosity,” “carbuncle,” and worse that have been levelled at it. And yet, we have now reached a crisis point, where vitriol abounds, and lawsuits threaten. Something has clearly gone wrong...Perhaps a different approach to the design process would have been helpful...It’s difficult, at this point, to fathom a happy ending to this saga. -- architectsAlliance; ERA Architects- Canadian Architect
John Ruddy: There are good reasons to support the proposed Château Laurier addition: Far from blocking the building, the proposed extension will actually integrate this iconic landmark into the fabric of downtown life. Here's how: Though it has been lost in the debate, the addition would improve public access to the château...I completely respect the right that opponents and critics have to their opinions...But after five iterations of design...the final version as approved by City Council remains the object of puzzling controversy. -- Peter Clewes; Trinity Development Group- Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
Sam Lubell: Korean American National Museum design calls for a lush rooftop garden and a sense of mystery: ...its future Los Angeles home...by Morphosis Architects... most prominent move is “grafting” a garden and terrace on top of the building...will echo the thrusting mountains of Korea, while...providing much-needed greenery and open space on a block that is dominated by strip malls and mega developments...Whether melting pot or salad bowl proves the best metaphor for the museum, the presence of so many people of Korean descent on the Morphosis team was a plus for the museum’s board... -- Eui-Sung Yi; DSK Landscape Architects- Los Angeles Times
Jerusalem municipality approves Knesset expansion plans: ...plan will include unique provisions to preserve the original, “architecturally unique” Knesset building, taking into account its “national and historical importance.” Provisions will primarily concern maintaining the visibility of the original structure... -- Nahum Meltzer; B. Pelleg Architects and Town Planners- Jerusalem Post
Artificial Intelligence might soon take over architecture and design: According to...McKinsey, AI will benefit automation and businesses but will change work activities of landscapers, designers and welders: Will this eventually lead to clients and organisations simply reverting to a computer for masterplans and construction? Researchers at Oxford suggest that...the essential value of architect as professionals who can understand and evaluate a problem and synthesise unique and insightful solutions will likely remain unchallenged.- Architectural Digest India
Apple takes art to city streets to augment reality: AR tool, active in six cities, superimposes digital images on landmarks but some fear a tech takeover of public space: Apple says ...'[AR]T Walk' is a fun way to bring art to the people...sounds exciting, but does it make sense and is it safe?"...AR could be a boon to city life, aiding navigation, traffic flow, tourism and emergency response...Either way, it is set to stay. -- Robert Stone/University of Birmingham; Jennifer Morrissey /Dentons Smart Cities & Communities Think Tank- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Umberto Bacchi: Park life boosts morale as much as Christmas, survey shows: Trees in cities are already credited with cooling and cleaning the air, along with absorbing planet-warming gases...researchers from the University of Vermont found they also cause happiness...findings had important implications for city planners and health officials...many cities are already looking at trees as a way to tackle climate change and pollution... -- Donna Hume/C40 cities network- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Anna Fixsen: Black Females in Architecture Is the IRL Social Network the Design Profession Needs: The group, which is now entering its second year, is a growing new resource for black women designers throughout the U.K. and beyond: ...today consists of 200 members and counting...Millennial-facing grassroots organizations such as BFA serve to reach a different audience than the internal diversity committees set up within large membership-based organizations such as the AIA or RIBA. -- Selasi Setufe; Alisha Morenike Fisher; Neba Sere; Akua Danso; Danei Cesario- Architectural Digest
Venice Has Fined Santiago Calatrava $86,000 [€78,000] for Building a Bridge That - Oops - Can’t Handle Tourists: [He] argued that tourists dragging wheeled luggage was "incorrect use" of his glass-and-steel bridge over the Grand Canal: ...high-maintenance bridge near Venice’s train station...[Court] found that he should have foreseen the problems that arose with his futuristic bridge, given the number of tourists arriving in the city every day.- artnet News
A Thinker Who Redefined US Architecture Receives International Honor: Recently, “The 20th Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright” was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites...it is unusual for the work of a single architect to be placed on the list. “I think Wright's work was unique because he was unique,” said architectural historian William Richards. -- Susan Piedmont-Palladino/Virginia Tech Washington Alexandria Architectural Center- Voice of America (VOA)
Antonio Pacheco: Hobbit Revival dormitory headed to Berkeley: ...has a few people scratching their heads. The beguiling, 254-bed student housing project, known as the Enclave...If you look only at the top three or four floors of the peculiar seven-story complex, it might be hard to notice anything out-of-hand...lower levels, however, are something else entirely. -- Kirk E. Peterson & Associates; LCA Architects- Archinect
Marie Doezema: Could Architecture Help You Live Forever? For a pair of avant-garde artists, eternal life wasn’t just a dream - it was a possibility. As long, that is, as you were committed to an uncomfortable existence: Madeline Gins and...Shusaku Arakawa...1960s New York conceptual artists and amateur architects...had a...whimsical, take on cheating death: The pair purported to believe that their structures could actually allow their inhabitants eternal life....Living too comfortably was catastrophic to the human condition, they argued...Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka - In Memory of Helen Keller, a nine-unit apartment building in a suburb...of Tokyo, completed in 2005...a multicolored jumble of stacked cubes, spheres and tubes...a defiant statement in an otherwise drab landscape... Site of Reversible Destiny Park...completed in 1995. Part fun house, part obstacle course, the four-acre park...- New York Times Style Magazine
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