Today’s News - Thursday, January 30, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, February 4. (February 2: Happy Groundhog Day!)
● Saffron gives (mostly) thumbs-up to BLT's renovation of Kling & Chung's 1974 Centre Square, Philadelphia's "biggest, baddest Brutalist complex. While some changes are stunningly awful" (a DuBuffet sculpture treated like "a potted plant"), "the renovation still offers useful lessons for others trying to adapt Brutalist buildings to modern tastes."
● Micallef makes the case for why Toronto's 1974 Sheraton Centre "is modernism worth preserving - like any building nearing 50 years old, it could use additional updates [to] this sleek beast," then "give it proper heritage protection."
● Green's Q&A with Meg Calkins, a founding member of the Sustainable SITES Initiative, re: "how much progress have we made towards achieving sustainable landscapes, the major gaps, and what emerging material technologies she is most excited about."
● After 28 years at Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Julie Smith-Clementi and Frank Clementi launch their own firm: "The pair agreed that establishing an independent studio was the best way to reconnect with their craft."
● The new tech start-up Higharc "seeks to do away with 'expensive, architect-designed plans that take forever to produce.'"
● ICYMI: ANN feature: INSIGHT: Gensler's Shah & client ELA Advertising's Filip talk about how architects and designers are creating spaces that promote company culture and go well beyond the physical design of a space.
● Call for Expressions of Interest/EOI: Harry Butler Institute Environmental Education Centre 2-Stage International Design Competition; Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.
● Call for entries (deadline extended - no fee!): Urban Confluence Silicon Valley international open ideas competition for activating the most critical urban park in San Jose and Silicon Valley ($150,000 stipends for 3 finalists!).
● Call for entries: ASLA 2020 Professional & Student Awards (international) for innovative landscape architecture projects.
● Call for entries: Benchmark 2020 International Design Competition: "challenge and transform the idea of the 'common' bench and create landmarks along Winnipeg's trail systems" (registration fee: $25 CDN).
● Kimmelman cheers "Housing Density" at NYC's Skyscraper Museum that is "timely and thought-provoking - many people think 'density' means crowded neighborhoods and greedy developers," but this show "tells a different story:"
● Davidson cheers "Fringe Cities" at NYC's Center for Architecture that "documents the mid-century misfire of urban renewal - it is studiously dispassionate but also charged with rage. MASS tries valiantly to end this demoralizing show on a note of optimism, spotlighting the work of tireless activists and grassroots organizers."
● "Sea Change: Flood Resilient Architecture for the 21st Century" at Roca London Gallery "showcases projects - proposed and realized - by leading architects in the field of flood resilient architecture."
● Weinstein cheers Krieger's "City on a Hill: Urban Idealism in America from the Puritans to the Present" that is "carefully argued and cinematically sweeping - an invigorating study, rich in the history of ideas about what American urban settlements might have been and still may become."
● Caldwell's Q&A with "Ezra Stoller" author Serraino re: "how Stoller photographed modernity": "The image makers have an ethical role in what they photograph, and Stoller was an extremely ethical photographer. He had almost a moral sense" about his work.
● Sieira parses Colomina's "X-Ray Architecture": "It's a debunking of modernist myths [and] a feminist critique - her work brings us to the modern canon through novel approaches that make us see it anew."
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Inga Saffron: The ‘Clothespin’ is liberated. Now can Centre Square’s renovations make us love Brutalist design? Philadelphia’s biggest, baddest Brutalist complex has always been too big to fail...new owner...wrapping up the latest effort to take the brutal out of the Brutalist design. While the results are far from perfect, and some changes are stunningly awful, the renovation still offers useful lessons for others trying to adapt Brutalist buildings to modern tastes. -- Vincent Kling & Eric Chung (1974); BLT Architects; Ground Reconsidered- Philadelphia Inquirer
Shawn Micallef: Toronto’s mid-century Sheraton Centre is modernism worth preserving: ...an old-school mother ship that goes deep into the earth and high in the sky...meant as a companion to new city hall...Any city that is sincere about its commitment to mitigating climate change would strongly resist tearing down buildings...Respectful renovation, not tear downs, is the only moral choice at this scale...Still, like any building nearing 50 years old, it could use additional updates...All of it can be fixed...The prefab concrete looks as good as it did when it opened. Correct the sidewalk level of this sleek beast, give it proper heritage protection. -- Viljo Revell; John B. Parkin Associates (1974); J. Austin Floyd Landscape Architect- Toronto Star
Jared Green: Interview with Meg Calkins: The Case for Sustainable Landscape Materials: ...department head and professor of landscape architecture at North Carolina State University...a founding member of the Sustainable SITES Initiative: how much progress have we made towards achieving sustainable landscapes? "In general, we have made strong progress"...Where are the major gaps? "Product manufacturers do not provide information...habitat and cultural impacts of raw material extraction are often an out of sight out of mind issue...balancing carbon onsite is a critical aim..."- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Shane Reiner-Roth: Julie Smith-Clementi and Frank Clementi launch independent design firm Smith-Clementi: ...[formerly] of...Rios Clementi Hale Studios have announced that they will be stepping out into their own...“Its like starting at the beginning again"...original firm was established in 1985...and has since “tried to preserve a small office culture,” said Frank. “But as it grew, it had to satisfy big office expectations.” The pair agreed that establishing an independent studio was the best way to reconnect with their craft- The Architect's Newspaper
A new start-up wants to use AI and algorithms to replace "expensive, architect-designed" homes: Higharc's system is "faster than existing best-in-class design software...algorithms...continuously determining crucial details that typically take hours of manual effort." -- Finch 3D- Archinect
Call for Expressions of Interest/EOI: Harry Butler Institute Environmental Education Centre Design Competition (international); Murdoch University, Perth: Stage 2 competitors will be paid an honorarium; teams must be ledby an Australian architect and must include at least one architect registered in Western Australia; registration deadline: February 24- Bustler
Call for entries (deadline extended - no fee!): Urban Confluence Silicon Valley international open ideas competition (professional & student): A New Iconic Landmark for Silicon Valley: ideas for activating the most critical urban park in the City of San Jose´ and Silicon Valley; 3 finalists (individuals or teams) will each receive a stipend of $150,000 to refine their proposals; deadline: April 3- Urban Confluence Silicon Valley
Call for Entries: ASLA 2020 Professional & Student Awards (international): honor the best and most innovative landscape architecture projects from around the globe; new award category: Urban Design; Professional Awards deadline: February 21; Student Awards deadline: May 4- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Call for entries: Benchmark 2020 Design Competition (international): challenge and transform the idea of the ‘common’ bench and create landmarks along Winnipeg’s trail systems; registration deadline: February 6 (submissions due February 20)- Storefront Manitoba/StorefrontMB / Winnipeg Trails Association
Michael Kimmelman: Everything You Think You Know About Housing Is Probably Wrong: In cities, many people think “density” means crowded neighborhoods and greedy developers, but a new show at the Skyscraper Museum tells a different story: “Housing Density,” a timely and thought-provoking show...Density is not one size fits all. Urbanism isn’t a mere kit of parts...some of the community pushback...derives from a lack of collaborative planning and architecture...Solving what ails American cities requires urbanists and activists to acknowledge that not all real-estate development is automatically bad. It demands rethinking some anti-densifying rules and regulations. And it will depend on a shared understanding of what density actually means. “Housing Density” is not a bad place to start. -- Nicholas Dagen Bloom; Matthias Altwicker/Studio A+H- New York Times
Justin Davidson: Slum Clearance Tore Down More Than Temements: “Fringe Cities" at the Center for Architecture documents the mid-century misfire of urban renewal: ...focuses on smaller, frailer places...Curated by the idealistic nonprofit firm MASS Design Group...exhibit is studiously dispassionate but also charged with rage...traces the march of insane rationalism...MASS tries valiantly to end this demoralizing show on a note of optimism, spotlighting the work of tireless activists and grassroots organizers who are laboring to put their cities back together...- New York Magazine
"Sea Change: Flood Resilient Architecture for the 21st Century": ...showcases projects - proposed and realised - by leading architects around the world in the field of flood resilient architecture. Solutions include: developing floating buildings; improving flood barriers and turning them into recreational space; and elevating a range of public and private buildings. Roca London Gallery, thru May 16 -- Marlies Rohmer Architects; KCAP; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Zaha Hadid Architects; SLA- Roca London Gallery
Norman Weinstein: "City on a Hill: Urban Idealism in America from the Puritans to the Present": Alex Krieger's focus is on how our nation’s thinkers have reacted positively and negatively to utopian city visions...carefully argued and cinematically sweeping history...In a field crowded with detailed histories of this kind, the book stands out as an invigorating study, rich in the history of ideas about what American urban settlements might have been and still may become.- Architectural Record
Kenneth Caldwell: A Space of Perceptual Stillness: How Ezra Stoller Photographed Modernity: Pierluigi Serraino, author of the new volume "Ezra Stoller," shares insight into the legendary photographer’s work: "[Writing the book] made clear to how paramount the role of photography is in establishing the iconicity of the building...The image makers have an ethical role in what they photograph, and Stoller was an extremely ethical photographer. He had almost a moral sense, like Mies had about his own architecture...he would be very cautious about using people, which is the total opposite of what Julius Shulman was doing...- Metropolis Magazine
Maria Sieira: "X-Ray Architecture" asks us to reimagine building materiality: Wilhelm Röntgen called his accidental discovery “X” rays because he didn’t know what they were...The discovery coincided with the beginning of Modern architecture, and Beatriz Colomina uses the chronological alignment to theorize how this new way of seeing could be used to reread the modern canon; Loos, Mies, Neutra...Le Corbusier, all make an appearance...It’s a debunking of modernist myths...It’s also a feminist critique...[her] work brings us to the modern canon through novel approaches that make us see it anew.- The Architect's Newspaper
Shane Reiner-Roth: "Lair" puts a spotlight on the homes of famous movie villains: Chad Oppenheim [and] Andrea Gollin...shine a spotlight on the homes...that lurk in the shadows to draw an undeniable connection between low morale and high design..."Lair: Radical Homes and Hideouts of Movie Villains" pries open 15 of the most diabolical abode...exquisitely illustrated by Carlos Fueyo...About a third of the 15 lairs are owned by various Bond villains...The sensuous architecture of...John Lautner makes more than a few cameos...- The Architect's Newspaper
ANN feature: INSIGHT: Incorporating Form, Function & Culture: Designing for Commercial Office Success: Commercial interior design looks beyond form and function. Architects and designers are creating spaces that promote company culture and go well beyond the physical design of a space. By Jaimelynn Shah, Assoc. AIA, CID, LEED AP, Gensler, and Andre Filip, CEO, ELA Advertising- ArchNewsNow.com
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