Today’s News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019
● Plitt & Bindelglass update the progress at the World Trade Center on the 18th anniversary of 9/11: "Though it's been a long road back for Lower Manhattan, the nearly two decades since the attacks have been transformative."
● Jacobs revisits the High Line 10 years after it opened and "inspired both a movement and a backlash": "Aspects that felt overdesigned now struck me as generous - there's a sincerity to it, an honest desire to respond to the needs of the public - an open-air museum of the present moment."
● Kamin visits a small town in Michigan that is redesigning its high school "to prevent shootings. The level of care that has gone into the defensive design measures is impressive," but "projects like this may put too much faith in, and too heavy a burden on, architects, tasking them with solving problems that are really the responsibility of the president and Congress."
● O'Sullivan delves into why Nouvel et al. are right about being "outraged" by plans for "a shopping-mall-like extension to Paris's 19th-century Gare du Nord - overall, drawing a mustache on the 'Mona Lisa' this is not. Here's the real problem - the station is prioritizing footfall for stores over speed and ease for travelers."
● Surico's great Q&A with CultureHouse's Aaron Greiner re: how the Boston non-profit is taking "a tactical urbanist approach" to transform empty storefronts into pop-up "social infrastructure," bringing "more life (and business) to the surrounding area. Early signs have been promising - he hopes to one day see a CultureHouse in every American downtown."
● Bozikovic x 2: He explores "why public places like libraries and parks are critical for bringing people together - and even saving lives" - according to sociologist Eric Klinenberg, "social infrastructure tied to hard infrastructure" is "critical to our collective future."
● He says "it's time to redesign Toronto's deadly streets," and visits "a pilot project that shows the way - if Toronto's leaders have the guts to make it happen. Changing a street doesn't take much," but "progress has been much too slow."
● Bliss reports on a new study that proves "the life-saving benefits of Barcelona's car-free 'Superblocks' - a citywide plan to limit cars and capture nearly 70% of street space for bikes and pedestrians could save 667 lives per year" ("global cities eyeing the Catalonian capital's progress").
● The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust says it will "no longer pursue" a John Ronan-designed visitor center that called for moving or demolishing one adjacent home and altering another after the Oak Park historic preservation committee rejected it.
● The Art Institute of Chicago taps Barozzi and Veiga "to craft a long-term plan that could drastically change the design of the iconic Michigan Avenue museum" (plans hopefully ready in the next 18 months).
● Gadanho presents "five meta-reviews and some footnotes on the (im)pertinence of architectural criticism - the critic recalls why her profession was made obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century" (a hoot!).
● One we couldn't resist (having nothing to do with architecture - there be dragons!): The "frozen dragon of the north wind," the name of this newly discovered gigantic flying reptile" with "a wingspan up to 32.8 feet" might evoke familiar imagery if you're a 'Game of Thrones' fan" (we're not, but this is cool!).
ICYMI: ANN feature: Miguel Baltierra: Report from the 2019 North American Passive House Network Conference: Of particular value were presentations by Passive House practitioners, developers, and city agencies who have advanced PH implementation in their own practices and businesses - and in public policy.
(Almost) winners all:
● Fairs explains why an interiors project shortlisted for Dezeen Awards was disqualified after "an eagle-eyed commenter" called out "'subtle cues' that images are fake" (the firm admitted it).
● One brighter notes: Harrouk reports that SLA and BiecherArchitectes have won the competition to transform a 3,7-hectare railway site into a socially sustainable urban development in Paris by "preserving the industrial heritage" while creating "nature-based public spaces and carbon-neutral architecture" for 1,000 new residents that "prioritizes pedestrians and bicycles and encourages urban farming."
● Three winners take home the ArchDaily & Strelka Awards 2019 that "celebrate emerging architects and new ideas that transform the contemporary city."
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Amy Plitt & Evan Bindelglass: The status of the World Trade Center complex, 18 years later: On the 18th anniversary of 9/11, check in on the progress at the WTC: Though it’s been a long road back for Lower Manhattan, the nearly two decades since the attacks have been transformative... has become the centerpiece of a booming Lower Manhattan + photo tour. -- David Childs/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Norm,an Foster; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Groups; Richard Rogers/Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; Fumihiko Maki/Maki & Associates; REX; Santiago Calatrava- Curbed New York
Karrie Jacobs: The High Line at 10: Manhattan's elevated walkway inspired both a movement and a backlash. A decade later, she revisits the project and discovers a surprising truth: ...long after I’d written it off as a place that isn’t really for New Yorkers, I rediscovered it...Clearly [it] has become a pedestrian parkway for locals...Aspects...that felt overdesigned a decade ago...now struck me as generous...there’s a sincerity to it, an honest desire to respond to the needs of the public...The messiness of the flora...has lessened its self-consciousness...an open-air museum of the present moment. -- Nelson Byrd Woltz; James Corner Field Operations; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Piet Oudolf; Robert Hammond; Joshua David; Zaha Hadid; Neil Denarii; Della Valle Bernheimer; Studio Gang; Heatherwick Studio; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group- Architect Magazine
Blair Kamin: A small town in the heartland redesigned its school to prevent shootings. But architecture can’t ensure kids’ safety: [Fruitport High School, Michigan]...Curving hallways are supposed to disrupt a shooter’s line of sight. Students and teachers could hide from a shooter behind protruding walls...it’s still deeply troubling that this story is unfolding in a sleepy little township...The level of care that has gone into the defensive design measures is impressive, but I’m skeptical that all of them will work as advertised...And there are broader, politically fraught issues to dissect...Projects like this may put too much faith in, and too heavy a burden on, architects, tasking them with solving problems that are really the responsibility of the president and Congress. -- Matt Slagle/TowerPinkster- Chicago Tribune
Feargus O'Sullivan: Why a Train Station Addition Has Parisians Outraged: The plan for a shopping-mall-like extension to the city’s 19th-century Gare du Nord is "inacceptable," a group of 19 architects say: ...overall, drawing a mustache on the “Mona Lisa” this is not. Here’s the real problem...Currently, rail passengers can enter the station and go directly onto a train...If the development goes ahead, however, passengers will be re-routed...accessing the platforms through the mall...the station is prioritizing footfall for stores over speed and ease for travelers. -- Jean Nouvel- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
John Surico: From Dead Store to Pop-Up ‘Social Infrastructure’: A Boston nonprofit called CultureHouse is demonstrating how empty storefronts can be transformed into instant “social infrastructure": ...a tactical urbanist approach: physically occupying vacant storefronts and turning them into pop-up public places...Agreements with property managers rely on the premise that the non-commercial activation of idle stores will draw more life (and business) to the surrounding area. Early signs have been promising. Q&A with Aaron Greiner re: what this model could look like in more disadvantaged urban centers, and why he hopes to one day see a CultureHouse in every American downtown.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Alex Bozikovic: Why public places like libraries and parks are critical for bringing people together - and even saving lives: And this, according to the American sociologist Eric Klinenberg, makes it “social infrastructure,” critical to our collective future...But social infrastructure is tied to hard infrastructure - such as flood protection, building retrofits and transit - which is critical to dealing with the effects of climate change...But there are other problems to solve. -- Eric Klinenberg/"Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life"; "Heat Wave"; Rebuild by Design- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Alex Bozikovic: It’s time to redesign Toronto’s deadly streets. A pilot project shows the way: ...if Toronto’s leaders have the guts to make it happen...Changing a street doesn’t take much. When I visited in rush hour...volunteers had painted a new bike lane and set up rows of planter boxes that divided it from the car traffic. The wide swath of Danforth now had an extra swath of pedestrian space; cafe tables and benches were going in. It was nice...so-called Vision Zero campaign...The progress has been much too slow. -- Amanda O’Rourke/8 80 Cities; Better Block Foundation- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Laura Bliss: The Life-Saving Benefits of Barcelona’s Car-Free ‘Superblocks’: A new study estimates that a citywide plan to limit cars and capture nearly 70% of street space for bikes and pedestrians could save 667 lives per year: ...officials installed a “superblock” in the working-class neighborhood of Poblenou in 2016, it was fiercely controversial...residents appreciated the nearly doubled amount of space that they now had to walk, play, and socialize. The resistance soon faded, and five more superblocks have since been implemented...envisions creating 503...New York City and Paris are just two of the global cities eyeing the Catalonian capital’s progress...-- Environment International- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust to ‘reconsider’ visitor center plan after historic commission rejects it: Oak Park historic preservation committee unanimously denied the Trust’s proposed plan to change historic buildings...plan called for moving or demolishing one home adjacent to the Wright Home and Studio and altering another...[Trust] would no longer pursue the project. -- John Ronan Architects- Chicago Tribune
Art Institute of Chicago retains acclaimed architects to plan future of museum: Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga have been brainstorming since the Art Institute hired them in the summer of 2017: ...working to craft a long-term plan that could drastically change the design of the iconic Michigan Avenue museum...the museum hopes to be ready to share its long-term plans within the next 18 months. -- Estudio Barozzi Veiga; Renzo Piano- Chicago Sun-Times
Pedro Gadanho: Five Meta-Reviews and Some Footnotes on the (Im)Pertinence of Architectural Criticism: ...the critic recalls why her profession was made obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Do we really need motives and arguments? As Paul Goldberger stated, “nobody tears down a building if the architecture critic doesn’t like it.” With a sigh, the critic turns her attention onto the next building.- e-flux
'Frozen dragon of the north wind' was one of the largest animals to ever fly: If you're a "Game of Thrones" fan, the name of this newly discovered giant flying reptile might evoke familiar imagery...No, it's not actually a dragon and there's no evidence to support that it ever breathed blue fire like Viserion...But this gigantic flying reptile had a wingspan up to 32.8 feet.- CNN
Marcus Fairs: Interior shortlisted for Dezeen Awards disqualified after commenter spots "subtle cues" that images are fake: ...an eagle-eyed commenter noticed that the images submitted were computer renders rather than photos...Singapore studio 0932 Design Consultants, was shortlisted for Apartment interior of the year...[firm] admitted that it had submitted computer-generated imagery (CGI)...said it had completed the design work in 2018 but had not been involved in the delivery of the project...won the People's Vote in the Large Apartment of the Year category at Frame Awards 2019...- Dezeen
Christele Harrouk: Old Central Railway Transformed into Socially Sustainable Urban Development in Paris: SLA and BiecherArchitectes have won the international competition to develop the former location of the Ordener-Poissonniers’ railway...preserving the industrial heritage...and conceiving a mixed-use ecosystem neighborhood [with] nature-based public spaces and carbon-neutral architecture...a mix of social, intermediate and private housing for 1,000 new residents...prioritizes pedestrians and bicycles and encourages urban farming.- ArchDaily
ArchDaily & Strelka Awards 2019: ...celebrates emerging architects and new ideas that transform the contemporary city. -- Maxim Calujac; SYNDICATE Architects; Khmaladze Architects Reveal as Grand Prize Winner of the ArchDaily & Strelka Awards: ...the Coffee Production Plant in Tbilisi- ArchDaily
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