Today’s News - Thursday, October 3, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, October 8.
● de Graaf considers measuring happiness with architecture: "At long last, an elusive subject like architecture can be held accountable: good architecture makes people happy, bad architecture does not," but "how does one logically correlate happiness (or a lack thereof) to the features of a building?"
● Wainwright cheers Grafton Architects' 2020 RIBA Gold Medal: For Farrell and McNamara, "place is more important than personality, and making good buildings a higher priority than theory, rhetoric or appearing in magazines. In a world of lightweight frames and clip-on cladding systems, this is solid architecture that is built to last."
● Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Chicago's Lincoln Common that "could have been an urban design disaster," but "by tapping the modernists at SOM and the traditionalists at Antunovich Associates it looks like it grew up over time" - though it still has "a long way to go before it fulfills its promise and becomes the vital common ground its name implies."
● Emre Arolat's 5-star Museum Hotel in Antakya, Turkey, combines modern architecture with ancient Antiochian mosaics and ruins in "a rare and ideal compromise between private ambitions and public interests, between business priorities and access for all."
● The Society of Architectural Historians releases the newly designed SAH Archipedia, the "open-access online encyclopedia that tells the history of the U.S. through peer-reviewed histories, photographs, and maps for over 20,000 structures and places."
● Mafi brings us "The Best Weapon," Snøhetta's peace monument at the United Nations HQ in NYC, inspired by the Nelson Mandela quote: "The best weapon is to sit down and talk" (until October 15 - its permanent home will be Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded).
● A round-up of "11 must-attend Archtober events" in NYC, according to four industry pros.
● Only a week left to catch Singapore's 13th annual Archifest that "celebrates 'Craft' in architecture" by posing the question: "Where would we locate craft within the realm of architectural production or construction in an age where expediency and efficiency are privileged?"
● To "help audiences engage with the future of their cities and challenge the way architects and city planners communicate with the public, the 7th Oslo Architecture Triennale consists essentially of theater and fiction."
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Weinstein: "Simon Unwin envisions children in their playful place-making defining architecture's essence in 'Children as Place-makers.'"
● ICYMI: 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.
● Wainwright considers "why Britain booted out the Bauhaus": RIBA Gallery's "Beyond Bauhaus: Modernism in Britain 1933-66" is "an illuminating show that not only documents the little-known output (built and unbuilt) of the Bauhaus on these shores, but also traces the evolution of Britain's own homegrown brand of modernity."
● Kafka cheers the Royal Academy of Arts' "What Is Radical Today? 40 Positions on Architecture," in which a who's who of "protagonists of the 1960s" to today "show what being radical means to them" with a single image on A3 paper in "a light-hearted stroll through pressing ideas."
● For "Drawing Attention: The Digital Culture of Contemporary Architectural Drawings" at Roca London Gallery, CMU's Ficca, RISD's Kelper, and Harvard GSD's La "have curated a diverse and surprising collection of some 70 contemporary drawings from established and emerging practitioners around the globe."
● Keats delights in "Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World," a comprehensive retrospective that's taken over Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris that "shows how she broke the glass ceiling in architecture - and co-invented Modernist design" (sounds terrific!).
● D'Arcy finds "Taiwan embraces 'weird' building boom with NYC's RUR Architects at the helm," in "Building Beyond Place: RUR Engages Taiwan's Architectural Cosmopolitanism," which "tells at least two stories," on view in NYC (only through October 17).
● Chicago's Ando-designed Wrightwood 659 "is a fitting location" for "Ando: Museums & Galleries," which includes models "constructed by a team of students and instructors from Chicago's three architecture schools."
● Goldhagen minces no words re: "Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright": With "florid prose" and "breathless descriptions," the book "would be simply forgettable if Hendrickson weren't perpetuating a romantic mythology of artistic genius that is at once tiresome, simplistic, long past its expiration date and wrong" (ouch!).
● Sisson, on the other hand, finds Hendrickson's "Plagued by Fire" offers "storytelling befitting the self-mythologizing architecture icon" in a "pitch-perfect" and "towering new biography" (though it "grows a bit tiresome after hundreds of pages of analysis, research," etc.).
● Tarmy hails Bradbury's "Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses" that charts "the reason behind Mid-century Modern's global success - he stumbled across a few unlikely bastions of modernism" along the way (with a mile of examples).
● One we couldn't resist: Welton's take on Roberts' "Mr. Waffles Explains Design" in which a once-shelter cat finds himself "in a home full of iconic furniture. The idea is to increase awareness of design. Besides, a jet-black cat grabs anyone's attention" - this "could be a book for cat lovers, but it's for design aficionados too."
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Reinier de Graaf: In the age of big data, everything is quantifiable, even happiness: Measuring people's happiness with architecture is a step towards trying to control them: At long last, an elusive subject like architecture can be held accountable: good architecture makes people happy, bad architecture does not...the problem starts as soon as one tries to establish an objective base for such an evaluation...How does one logically correlate happiness (or a lack thereof) to the features of a building? And, perhaps most importantly, what is the validity of happiness as a criterion, for architecture, or anything else for that matter? -- Office for Metropolitan Architecture/OMA/AMO.- Dezeen
Oliver Wainwright: Grafton Architects wins 2020 RIBA Gold Medal, UK's highest honour: The Dublin cooperative, known for brutalist buildings that create generous open spaces, is only the second women-led practice to win the prize: It says a lot about the duo that their practice is named not after themselves, but the street in which they set up their office. For Grafton, place is more important than personality, and making good buildings a higher priority than theory, rhetoric or appearing in magazines...If Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara don’t fit the usual celebrity architect mould, their buildings also feel of another era...In a world of lightweight frames and clip-on cladding systems, this is solid architecture that is built to last.- Guardian (UK)
Blair Kamin: The Lincoln Common district emerges in Lincoln Park - more city-friendly than the hospital it replaced, but still not a vital urban hub: Because of its sheer size and height, the nearly complete...development...could have been an urban design disaster...[it] is shaping up as a promising case study in how to build big in a fine-grained city neighborhood. But naturally, there’s a caveat...what’s been built to date effectively mixes the tall with the short and the old with the new. There’s even some affordable housing...by tapping the modernists at SOM and the traditionalists at Antunovich Associates...it looks like it grew up over time...doesn’t overwhelm...towers look at home here, not as if they dropped in from Mars...still have a long way to go before [it] fulfills its promise and becomes the vital common ground its name implies. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill- Chicago Tribune
New Turkish hotel combines modern architecture, Roman mosaics: Ancient Antiochian mosaics and ruins are securely housed and on display inside a luxury hotel-museum in Antakya: Museum Hotel...a rare and ideal compromise between private ambitions and public interests, between business priorities and access for all...Once the mosaics were discovered, the first design for the hotel...had to be thrown out...Emre Arolat was asked to...come up with ideas...The design he produced was highly original and expensive...The [hotel]...is hybrid in nature...directly managed by the ministry of Culture and Tourism...Construction...proceeded slowly, with archaeologists, architects and engineers working side by side.- Al-Monitor
SAH Archipedia: A newly designed, open-access...online encyclopedia that tells the history of the U.S. through its structures and places, is now freely available to the public...brings peer-reviewed scholarship to a worldwide audience of researchers, students, teachers, preservation advocates, cultural tourists and others...contains histories, photographs and maps for over 20,000 structures and places...- Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)
Nick Mafi: Snøhetta Creates Peace Monument at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City: The structure, which is the arc of a circle, acts as a bench meant to pull two parties closer together with the goal of a conversation: "The Best Weapon"...sits on a slightly elevated platform...there's a quote from Nelson Mandela that reads, "The best weapon is to sit down and talk"...[at] U.N. headquarters through October 15...will be transferred to...its permanent location near the Oslo City Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.- Architectural Digest
11 Must-Attend Archtober Events, According to the Pros: Four industry talents share what to see and do during New York’s monthlong festival of architecture. -- Center for Architecture; David Sprouls/New York School of Interior Design; Carla Swickerath/Studio Libeskind; Andre Kikoski; Samantha Josaphat/National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)- Architectural Digest
Singapore's 13th annual Archifest celebrates "Craft" in architecture: Archifest 2019...the Singapore Architectural Festival...organized by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA)...poses the question..."where would we locate [craft] within the realm of architectural production or construction in an age where expediency and efficiency are privileged?" thru October 9- Archinect
The 7th Edition of the Oslo Architecture Triennale Kicks Off: Under the title "Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth," the festival is questioning the damage caused to the environment by the constant economic growth...more than 100 events...examining the architecture of degrowth...to help audiences engage with the future of their cities and challenge the way architects and city planners communicate with the public, the program consists essentially of theatre and fiction. thru November 24 -- Interrobang architecture and engineering- ArchDaily
Oliver Wainwright: Auf wiedersehen, Walter! Why Britain booted out the Bauhaus: The hard lines and sharp corners of the architectural evangelists were too much for 1930s Britain - which Walter Gropius called a ‘land of fog and emotional nightmares’. Here’s what the UK could have looked like: "Beyond Bauhaus: Modernism in Britain 1933-66"...curators have done their best to suggest that the Bauhäuslers had a good time here...an illuminating show that not only documents the little-known output (built and unbuilt) of the Bauhaus three on these shores, but also traces the evolution of Britain’s own homegrown brand of modernity. RIBA Architecture Gallery, London, thru February 1, 2020 -- Marcel Breuer- Guardian (UK)
George Kafka: London Exhibition Interrogates the “Radical” in Radical Architecture: At the Royal Academy of Arts, scores of architects...show what being radical means to them: "What Is Radical Today? 40 Positions on Architecture"...a light-hearted stroll through pressing ideas, each of which is presented as equal...a strikingly simple brief to 40 contemporary practitioners, asking them to respond to the exhibition’s titular question with a single image on A3 paper. thru November 7 -- Denise Scott Brown; Peter Cook; Patrik Schumacher; Andrea Branzi; Francis Kéré; Maria Smith; Céline Baumann; Jack Self; Kate McIntosh; Maria Smith; Sam Jacob; OFFICE KGDVS; Alberte Lauridsen- Metropolis Magazine
"Drawing Attention: The Digital Culture of Contemporary Architectural Drawings": Jeremy Ficca (Carnegie Mellon University), Amy Kelper (Rhode Island School of Design) and Grace La (Harvard GSD) have curated a diverse and surprising collection of some 70 contemporary drawings from established and emerging practitioners around the globe. Roca London Gallery, thru January 11, 2020- Roca London Gallery
Jonathon Keats: "Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World" Shows How [She] Broke The Glass Ceiling In Architecture - And Co-Invented Modernist Design - In The 1920s: At the age of 24, [she] was not only confident of her talent, but also certain that old-fashioned inequalities would be eradicated by Modernist design. The stunning results of her commitment to social progress through aesthetics...in a comprehensive retrospective...in Paris...She worked hard to lower costs and expand access to beauty and comfort...Late in her life [she] was dissatisfied with the consequences...leading to “loss of the very qualities people have come to enjoy” because overproduction was burying them under landfill. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, thru February 24, 2020 -- Le Corbusier- Forbes
David D'Arcy: Taiwan Embraces ‘Weird’ Building Boom With NYC’s RUR Architects at the Helm: ...“Building Beyond Place: RUR Engages Taiwan’s Architectural Cosmopolitanism"...tells at least two stories - there are the architectural elements that can stand alone as sculpture or graphic design, and then there is the adventure of RUR as an American firm designing a new identity, in China’s shadow, for Taiwan...seems more hospitable to innovative architecture today than its giant neighbor. TAAC Tribeca / E. Tay Gallery, , NYC, thru October 17 -- Jesse Reiser; Nanako Umemoto; Deborah Reiser- Observer (New York City)
Explore Tadao Ando’s famous museums and gallery designs at Wrightwood 659 exhibit: In connection with the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial..."Ando: Museums & Galleries"...Also to be displayed: models...constructed by a team of students and instructors from Chicago’s three architecture schools...Wrightwood 659 is a fitting location...Ando converted the four-story, 1920s apartment building for the art space... thru December 14- Curbed Chicago
Sarah Williams Goldhagen: Architecture’s Most Irredeemable Cad: "Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright" by Paul Hendrickson: About Wright’s architecture, [he] offers little insight, none of it original...confesses that his is a hunt for Wright’s “humanity"...Let’s get one thing straight. Wright was a cad. Even fervent champions of his architecture acknowledge that. Prudently, Hendrickson concedes the point...He tilts at this windmill...with an earnestness at once lavish and puzzling...florid prose...Breathless descriptions...would be simply forgettable if [he] weren’t perpetuating a romantic mythology of artistic genius that is at once tiresome, simplistic, long past its expiration date and wrong.- New York Times
Patrick Sisson: New Frank Lloyd Wright bio looks beyond ego, seeking architect’s ’humanity’: Paul Hendrickson’s "Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright" offers storytelling befitting the self-mythologizing architecture icon: ...a towering new biography...nearly 600-page tome...is pitch-perfect. Hendrickson...unearthed a trove of new details...can seem showy...grows a bit tiresome after hundreds of pages of analysis, research...His search for more details often ends in spit-fire lists of provocative, unanswerable questions...For those versed in the details and debates...[book] offers more fuel, more secrets...more details to entertain and obsess over.- Curbed
James Tarmy: The Reason Behind Midcentury Modern’s Global Success: "Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses" by Dominic Bradbury charts the rise - and permanence - of mid-century modern architecture: In his research...he stumbled across a few unlikely bastions of modernism...the architecture’s resilience and ubiquity allowed it to prosper with slight modifications around the globe.- Bloomberg News
J. Michael Welton: Mr. Waffles Explains Design: Mr. Waffles, once a shelter cat, has won the design lottery. Adopted by Lisa Roberts’ son, he became his mother’s ward...Luckily, he took up residence in a home full of iconic furniture...His star ascended when Roberts...first took his picture...The idea is to increase awareness of design...Besides, a jet-black cat grabs anyone’s attention..."Mr. Waffles Explains Design" could be a book for cat lovers, but it’s for design aficionados too.- Architects + Artisans
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Who Isn't a Born Architect? Simon Unwin envisions children in their playful place-making defining architecture's essence in "Children as Place-makers."- ArchNewsNow.com
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.- ArchNewsNow.com
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