Today’s News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019

●  ANN feature: Maxinne Rhea Leighton: What is a Sage? Climate Week and the Design Profession: This is not about fighting climate change. This is about standing with the planet, our communities, our youth. .

●  A report on the recent Architecture of Emergency climate summit in London: "Architects should give up concrete say experts" (with link to video of summit).

●  The RAIC calls on "Canadian architectural and design firms to commit to combating the climate crisis by signing a new Canadian Architects Declare pledge" (with a very long title).

●  Conklin reports on the continuing international controversy re: the proposed elevated cable car system in Jerusalem: "The criticisms go far deeper than just the unimaginatively modern glass-and-steel aesthetics. The new transit system would fundamentally alter the visual experience of the ancient city."

●  Saffron is disappointed that, after five years of planning, $420 million in construction, and the usual hefty public subsidies," the makeover of Philly's "leviathan" Fashion District shopping mall "is really just a better version of its old self" (and "what's up with that bathroom tile on the exterior?").

●  Betsky gives the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics HQ "a silver medal for Olympic architecture" for bringing "the world's largest steel mill back to life - an astonishing display of how industrial remains can be reclaimed" and "turns what remains of the past into objects of aesthetic pleasure" - the new buildings - not so much (his own fab photos).

●  The preliminary designs for Johns Hopkins University's Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, by Renzo Piano and Ayers Saint Gross, "draws mixed feedback" from some on Baltimore's design panel who fear it "might hinder the very connection between the campus community and the city that designers seek to foster" - it "could come across as an impervious 'building on a hill.'"

●  Walker takes issue with Kamin's take on paid-for press junkets: "Architectural criticism has a problem but it's not press trips - to insinuate that other journalists somehow can't be 'trusted' because they don't have the same level of access is a troubling."

●  Turning to brighter news: Chandran reports on Pakistan's "ambitious plan to build 5 million affordable homes within 5 years" - designed by student architects and "using common lands - wasteland or grazing land - and unused public lands."

●  Davidson explains why Holl's Hunters Point Library "was too expensive," but "worth it": "Lovely, late, and overpriced" - but "the result is a work of civic pride, the kind that one generation builds for the next. New York needs more buildings that honor their public mission as well as this library does."

●  Gonchar cheers the completed portion of Gehry's master plan that "reopens long-forgotten spaces" in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: He "describes his role akin to that of an archaeologist. 'We didn't create a new master plan. We've recreated an existing one.'"

●  Salisbury cheers Gehry's "jaw-dropping new entrance" for the Philadelphia Museum of Art - "the original architects had created a building with 'elegant bones that needed to be reawakened.'"

●  BIG's aluminum-clad The Twist art gallery bridges the river dividing Kistefos sculpture park in Norway: "The statement twist at its centre is designed to reconcile the different heights of the river banks, and in turn creates a distinctive sculptural aesthetic" (fab photos).

●  The Washington Monument's new screening center by Beyer Blinder Belle and FXCollaborative's screening center for the Statue of Liberty illustrate how architects are "designing permanent spaces to make those extra minutes spent in security purgatory more enjoyable - or at least, inoffensive."

●  Welton is wow'd by Nelson Byrd Woltz's garden at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts: It "may seem whimsical, but the design, ecology and sustainability are serious business - a thought-provoking outdoor space, collaborating with a powerful urban museum."

●  Ray Kappe "takes us down memory lane and gives us a glimpse of what it was like to be founding-director of SCI-Arc and challenges he faced in his career as a modern master."

Winners all:

●  Ensamble Studio to receive the 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award for its "major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture" - its bold work "explores the powerful combination of placemaking, functionality, refinement and beauty, in both urban and rural areas."

●  Gerfen & Risen parse the winners of Architect mag's 2019 Studio Prize - 6 studios "that represent the some of the best investigations in design education - each of which exemplifies design's capacity to improve society" (great presentations)

●  Buffalo, New York, picks the winner of its Skyway corridor competition that will make "12 acres available for development in downtown and Canalside" (and cheers for the finalists).


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