Today’s News - Thursday, December 5, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, December 10.
● ANN feature: Weinstein's annual round-up of top 10 architecture and design books of 2019 offering historic sweeps, global visions, and heroic quests.
● Darmanie, a Trinidad & Tobago-based urban planning consultant, bemoans the many planners and architects who "see qualities of urbanism and socialization on the public streets as an unfortunate menace standing in the way of their vision. Intentional or unintentional, the effect is the same" - replacing "the urbanism of the city with a vapid nothingness."
● Eyefuls of BIG's The Portico gateway building to Milan's CityLife district (with towers by Hadid, Libeskind, and Isozaki) that includes two low-scale buildings "joined by a giant, curved canopy to provide the district with public space."
● Franklin parses "America's largest mass timber building" at the University of Arkansas, a 202,027-square-foot residential project constructed from CLT, by Leers Weinzapfel, Modus Studio, Mackey Mitchell Architects, and OLIN.
● Get a gander at "untitled," two residential towers in Toronto: "Using parametric design, the sculpted, fluid form of the balconies follows the wave pattern of Pharrell Williams' hit song 'Gust of Wind' - a visual abstraction of music" (hmmmm).
● Kamin reports that "time running out to save a Frank Lloyd Wright cottage in Glencoe" that "could be spared a date with a wrecking crew, but it's unclear if preservationists can put together funds to move it."
● Gendall brings us an "exclusive look" at Berlant's 1968 "The Marriage of New York and Athens" (in storage for 45 years) in enclosures designed by Gehry, "his longtime friend."
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Conners Ladner: Designing Landscapes to Adapt to Hurricane Season: By focusing on cultivating native ecosystems, landscape architects can help to build landscapes that are both more resilient and more authentic to place.
● Martin offers some cool stuff "not to miss" at Aric Chen's inaugural Design Miami 2019 (ends Sunday!).
● Dolick parses the Chicago Architecture Biennial, "a searing critique - exposing and connecting how architects' collective experiments, convictions, and fetishizations are resulting in grave repercussions."
● Wainwright on "Eco-Visionaries" at the Royal Academy, London: "There are some powerful moments, but overall the mood feels less visionary than plaintive - and leaves you with the impression that architects aren't really cut out for the challenge of what lies ahead. Which is a shame" (because they are).
● Giovannini x 2 (from Paris!): "Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World" at Fondation Vuitton is "a generous exhibition" that "spans seven decades - her imagination and career never stayed still. There was life after Le Corbusier."
● He considers a recent week of performances in Corbu's Villa Savoye and "Moderne Maharajah" at the Museum of Decorative Arts "that open up our understanding of a period we thought we knew cold."
● Tatke parses Lyon's celebrations of 150th anniversary of architect and city planner Tony Garnier's birth: "While little known outside of France, he is as closely associated with Lyon as Antoni Gaudí is with Barcelona."
● Welton cheers "Museum Forms: Paul Clemence et Julien Spiewak" in Geneva that pairs Clemence's photographs with Spiewak's works on paper that "establishes a dialog. It's about the perception of space inside and outside international museums."
● "Alan Karchmer: The Architects' Photographer" at the National Building Museum features projects by Calatrava, Ando, SmithGroup, and TEN Arquitectos, and others.
● Boddy considers Lam & Livesey's "Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present" to be "an astonishing achievement - we'll be talking about it for decades - a heroic accomplishment, and its editors and contributors have earned a standing ovation."
● Budds cheers Serraino's "Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modernism" that "offers an unprecedented exploration of what made his images so captivating - he made midcentury architecture sing - he was an evangelist for a movement."
● Prodger finds Hendrickson's "Plagued By Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright" to be "an overheated biography - self-referential, full of what-a-clever-boy-am-I writing, spattered with show-off phrase-making, and achingly self-aware."
● Hewett on "Plagued by Fire": "The real achievement of this painstakingly researched, hugely digressive, wildly overwritten but ultimately moving book is that it persuades us that this vastly gifted but desperately flawed man might actually have been loveable - that is quite something."
● Schmückle von Minckwitz says Kuenzli's "Henry van de Velde: Designing Modernism" is "a snapshot of modern architecture's beginnings. Though still largely unknown, the Belgian-born architect and artist forged ideas that defined 20th-century design."
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ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Top Architecture and Design Books of 2019: 10 books offering historic sweeps, global visions, and heroic quests. -- Friederike Hollander & Nina Wiedemeyer; Austin Williams; Jane Hall; Philip Jodidio; Izabela Cichonska, Karolina Popera, & Kuba Snopek; Don Barasch; Charles Lockwood & Patrick W. Ciccone w/ Jonathan D. Taylor; Rowan Bain; Ben Stevens; Philip Jodidio & Aga Kahn Historic Cities Programme- ArchNewsNow.com
Ryan Darmanie: The destruction and death of our cities: New urbanism...is based on a deep respect for the existing, and the qualities that define urbanism...Architecture is integral and should serve to reinforce urban character and coherence...Many planners and architects...must see these qualities of urbanism and socialisation on the public streets...as abhorrent and corrupting. The existing city must be an unfortunate menace standing in the way of their vision. For it is exactly the existing that their designs eliminate. Intentional or unintentional, the effect is the same...replaces the urbanism of the city with a vapid nothingness... -- Darmanie Planning + Design- Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group reveals visuals of gateway building for Milan's CityLife district: The Portico will mark the entrance to...a district...that has buildings designed by Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Arata Isozaki...Distinguished by its giant sweeping rooftop, [it] will fill the final two plots of the residential and commercial development...on the site of the city's former trade fair grounds...commissioned to design a fourth tower ...instead proposed two small buildings joined by a giant, curved canopy...to provide the district with public space...- Dezeen
Sydney Franklin: America's largest mass timber building opens at the University of Arkansas: ...Adohi Hall is a 202,027-square-foot residential project constructed from cross-laminated timber [CLT]...Leers Weinzapfel Associates led a national design team of heavy hitters for the $79 million project...on a sloping, four-acre site on the Fayetteville campus’s hilly southern end...the large-scale, dual-volume complex snakes around the linear lot ...configured around three courtyards. -- Modus Studio; Mackey Mitchell Architects; OLIN- The Architect's Newspaper
'untitled' residential towers in Toronto are a visual abstraction of a Pharrell Williams song: ...renderings shown here are the result of a multi-stage process...using parametric design, the sculpted, fluid form of the balconies follows the wave pattern of Pharrell’s hit song "Gust of Wind," articulating the building as a visual abstraction of music..."To me, the key elements were water and space." -- IBI Group; U31- designboom
Blair Kamin: With time running out to save a Frank Lloyd Wright cottage in Glencoe, a push is on to move it to another location: ...could be spared a date with a wrecking crew, but it’s unclear if preservationists can put together funds to move...A mandatory 180-day waiting period expired Saturday, leaving the house’s fate uncertain...Glencoe Historical Society envisions using the house for its programs...Preservationists say the cottage is worth saving because it anticipates the so-called Usonian houses...- Chicago Tribune
John Gendall: Exclusive Look at Tony Berlant's Exhibition in Enclosures Designed by Frank Gehry: The French Château la Coste has just completed the installation of sculptor Berlant's exhibition of his historic work "The Marriage of New York and Athens" : ...in 1973, they were exhibited at the Whitney Museum...spent the next 45 years out of view, tucked away in a basement storage facility - until they were acquired by Château la Coste...installed as a triptych in architectural dialogue with his longtime friend [Gehry]...- Architectural Digest
Olivia Martin: What Not to Miss at Design Miami 2019: This year marks the debut of the fair's new director, architecture and design curator Aric Chen. Here, a sneak preview of highlights you won't want to miss.- Town & Country
Paul Dolick: Chicago Architecture Biennial: “&hellipand other such stories"...is a searing critique of architecture’s ongoing entanglement with neoliberal economics, mass-incarceration, and environmental degradation...cast not only as threats to the planet and to our collective well-being, but as professional blind spots in need of critical reassessment...a call to action...Canadian contributors addresses more local but equally problematic realities...exhibits' strengths lie in exposing and connecting how architects’ collective experiments, convictions, and fetishizations are resulting in grave repercussions. -- Adrian Blackwell; Tanya Lukin Linklater; Tiffany Shaw-Collinge- Canadian Architect
Oliver Wainwright: "Eco-Visionaries" - the salt flats will die and the jellyfish shall rise, Royal Academy, London: A mixture of dystopia and daydream, this show lets artists, architects and designers look to the future. It’s bad news for sacred lands and rhinos - but a great time to be a jellyfish: This strange mix of poetry, science and narrative speculation...thought-provoking and frustrating...There are some powerful moments, but overall the mood feels less visionary than plaintive...Much of it feels dated, and leaves you with the impression that architects aren’t really cut out for the challenge of what lies ahead. Which is a shame, because there is a good deal of intelligent, environmentally conscious work happening in both the architecture and design worlds... thru February.23 -- Virgil Abloh; Olafur Eliasson- Guardian (UK)
Joseph Giovannini: Charlotte Perriand, Stepping Out of Corbusier’s Shadow: Did he, or did she, conceive some of the best modernist furniture in a packed career? “Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World" at Fondation Vuitton shows her mastery of design: ...a generous exhibition sprawling across all four floors...spans seven decades of her packed career features meticulously researched recreations of Perriand rooms...She lived her times, and like her own first apartment, with its moving parts, her imagination and career never stayed still. There was life after Le Corbusier. Paris, thru February 24- New York Times
Joseph Giovannini: What Josephine Baker and a Maharajah Teach Us About Design: In Paris, fresh takes on an exotic dancer, the Villa Savoye and a modern patron in Indore reflect multicultural shifts: ...a recent week of performances in Le Corbusier’s famous [villa] and “Moderne Maharajah" at the Museum of Decorative Arts [thru January 12] - open up our understanding of a period we thought we knew cold. Each...sees design through a polarizing cultural lens...Maharajah of Indore ...saw the flowering of modernist furniture and architecture in the 1920s and ’30s through the eyes of westernized Indians...exhibits furnishings that the couple commissioned and collected for the modernist Manik Bagh palace they were building in Indore.- New York Times
Sukhada Tatke: Reviving the Utopian Urban Dreams of Tony Garnier: While little known outside of France, architect and city planner Garnier (1869-1948) is as closely associated with Lyon as Antoni Gaudí is with Barcelona: ...his  theoretical chef d’oeuvre: a utopian plan for an industrial city..."Une Cité Industrielle (An Industrial City)" was a bridge between the utopian socialism of Charles Fourier and the Garden City idea of Ebenezer Howard, on one side, and Modernist city planning on the other...into 2020, the city is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Garnier’s birth...The Tony Garnier Urban Museum has put up an exhibit; the municipal archives has, too...- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
J. Michael Welton: "Museum Forms: Paul Clemence et Julien Spiewak": ...pairing eight of Clemence’s prints on aluminum up with artist Spiewak’s works on paper...establishes a dialog...It’s about the perception of space inside and outside international museums...“My images are mostly exteriors, modern or contemporary structures, and devoid of people.” Spiewak’s, on the other hand, are take in historical museums, inside with a beautifully placed human body part somewhere in the photo. Espace_L Gallery, Geneva, thru December 22- Architects + Artisans
National Building Museum Exhibits Photographer Alan Karchmer's Work: "Alan Karchmer: The Architects' Photographer"...will feature projects by Santiago Calatrava, Tadao Ando, SmithGroup, and TEN Arquitectos, among others. In addition to the architectural prints, the exhibition will include other work by Karchmer. thru October 8, 2020- Architect Magazine
Trevor Boddy: "Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present": an astonishing achievement by editors Elsa Lam, Graham Livesey and their 15 essayists...we’ll be talking about it for decades...it is decidedly, even polemically not a history, in the conventional meaning...one of the key weaknesses of the book is that there are too many buildings included...[book] is a heroic accomplishment, and its editors and contributors have earned a standing ovation.- Canadian Architect
Diana Budds: How photographer Ezra Stoller made the world fall in love with modernism: The self-proclaimed “archaeologist of the contemporary” shaped how we see midcentury architecture: Architects shape buildings, but architectural photographers shape how we perceive them..."Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modernism" by Pierluigi Serraino offers an unprecedented exploration of his archive and what made his images so captivating...never before have so many of them been published in a single tome...[He] made midcentury architecture sing...he was an evangelist for a movement.- Curbed
Michael Prodger: "Plagued By Fire" by Paul Hendrickson - Frank Lloyd Wright, a life of disaster and disarray: Lawless love, brutal murder and extraordinary buildings in an overheated biography: ...[he] never let his work speak for itself, but was determined to make sure everyone else was as convinced of his genius as he was... an egotist of the first water...This is the most mannered book you are likely to read: self-referential, full of what-a-clever-boy-am-I writing, spattered with show-off phrase-making, and achingly self-aware.- Guardian (UK)
Ivan Hewett: The mass murder that changed Frank Lloyd Wright’s life: "Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright": Paul Hendrickson wants to persuade us that behind the braggadocio was a sensitive human being who felt the scars of his tumultuous life...The real achievement of this painstakingly researched, hugely digressive, wildly overwritten but ultimately moving book is that it persuades us that this vastly gifted but desperately flawed man might actually have been loveable. Given the titanic scale of his failings, that is quite something.- Telegraph (UK)
Priska Schmückle von Minckwitz: "Henry van de Velde: Designing Modernism" Offers a Snapshot of Modern Architecture’s Beginnings: Though still largely unknown, the Belgian-born architect and artist forged ideas and places - including the Bauhaus’s predecessor - that defined 20th-century design: ...great figures of modern architecture...all praised [him] as a founder of Modernism...Katherine Kuenzli...has published the first monograph...she chose to cover the entire spectrum of his activities, analyzing them in their philosophical, political, and socio-cultural contexts.- Metropolis Magazine
ANN feature: INSIGHT: Conners Ladner: Designing Landscapes to Adapt to Hurricane Season: By focusing on cultivating native ecosystems, landscape architects can help to build landscapes that are both more resilient and more authentic to place.- ArchNewsNow.com
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