Today’s News - Thursday, February 20, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, February 25.
● ANN feature: Bloszies brings back Left Coast Reflections with #6: Charrette: The word has evolved and taken on a new meaning - one that belies its origins. Some Beaux-Arts terms have retained their original meanings - "atelier" is often used as a pretentious substitute for office.
● Blander considers the driverless city, and whether it's "a road to nowhere," and presents speculative plans by SWA, Sorkin, Ratti, Gensler, Snøhetta and others - "some are rather fanciful, others demonstrate a more measured response."
● Holland considers whether "the wooden skyscraper revolution" has finally arrived with "a growing body of evidence that timber can provide a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel - there remain very practical barriers: building regulations."
● Bozikovic cheers Provencher_Roy's renovation of Taillibert's Montreal Olympic Tower that has sat empty for 30 years, now repurposed as a workplace for 1,300 - "Taillibert's sinuous architecture captures the big dreams of mid-century in concrete."
● We are sad to learn that, "after nearly a decade of planning," the Lowline, "an ambitious project to transform a disused trolley terminal" in NYC "into a subterranean park is dead."
● One we couldn't resist: Walker, Plitt & Spivack map "New York City's best places to cry in public" (IKEA Brooklyn is a hoot!).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Design Workshop's MacRae & Ficht consider three trends they see shaping landscape architecture.
● Kimmelman and Koolhaas talk about "Countryside, The Future" at the Guggenheim: Some might "find it exhilarating or shambolic" - the "huge, text-heavy show may invite charges of slumming by a world-famous architect who, it is said, often gives off the imperious, slightly impatient impression that he has something better to do."
● Shaw re: "Countryside: The Future": The familiar layouts and fonts make the exhibition seem more like the work of a signature architect or firm, not a global coalition. No, but seriously, folks, go see the show!"
● Michaelsen catches up with Koolhaas in Milan for a Q&A that is both insightful - and strange: he "hardly lifted his eyes for two hours. Instead, he drew labyrinths, roman numbers" ("This is a typical tabloid question, but I'll still give you an answer.")
● Zeiba x 2: Q&A with Eyal Weizman re: "Forensic Architecture: True to Scale," opening today at the Museum of Art and Design in Miami, "changes of the past decade, the power of technology, and the importance of forensics in a 'post-truth' era."
● He reports that Weizman was preparing to fly to Miami, but "received an email from the U.S. Embassy informing him that his visa had been revoked - an 'algorithm' had identified him as a security threat" (huh???) + Weizman's full statement that will be read at the opening tonight.
● 10 (stunning) highlights from The Morgan Library & Museum's "Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect. Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France" - from "otherworldly sphere temples to impossibly complex dairy barns" (self-portraits are wild!).
● Bierig: Kelbaugh's "The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation" - the "book's sprawling attempts - each well-intentioned if inadequate - provide one indication of the immense complexity of the problems we face."
● Bell delves into Owen Hopkins' "Postmodern Architecture: Less is a Bore": "PoMo was declared flippant and frivolous. Yet many ignored the critics and persisted" - the book "shows us why we should be grateful that they did" (PoMo's "giddy eclectism shines through").
● C. Davidson re: "The Museum Is Not Enough" by Canadian Centre for Architecture: "If the first-person voice is atypical for an institution, so is the introspective narrative. Is the need for relevance the reason for this introspective book?"
● Anderton talks to Libeskind, "a bubbly, optimistic and entertaining soul," about "Edge of Order": "While his book is part-memoir and part-overview of his work, it's also a cheerful, highly readable call to readers to tap into their inner architect."
● Eyefuls from "Container Atlas" that "establishes itself as a sound authority on the typology by providing a clear 'how to' guide, as well as being a beautifully illustrated addition to any booklover's collection."
● Morgan cheers "Williams College: The Campus Guide" that is "more than a tour of the distinguished liberal arts college. This biography is told as a family epic: A complicated life, full of intrigue, might-have-beens, and triumphs."
● Noe cheers British photographer Wiper's "Unintended Beauty" that reveals "his capacity for capturing the almost terrifyingly organized beauty" of industrial spaces - "the accidental aesthetics, sublime complexities and rich details of our machines."
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ANN feature: Charles F. Bloszies: Left Coast Reflections #6: Charrette: The word "charrette" has evolved and taken on a new meaning - one that belies its origins. In 19th-century Paris, charrettes were not at all collaborative. Some Beaux-Arts terms are still used in architectural parlance, and many have retained their original meanings - "atelier" is often used as a pretentious substitute for office.- ArchNewsNow.com
Akiva Blander: In the Driverless City, How Will Our Streets Be Used? A glut of speculative plans reimagine the future streetscape. But is it a road to nowhere? Urban design and architecture firms like SWA are racing to conceive new...schemes that imagine a near future oblivious to the needs of the private car...The changes associated with driverless cars also touch on issues of privacy. As with other features of the smart city, AVs rely on the massive collection and trafficking of personal data...Here we present several speculative plans...some are rather fanciful...others demonstrate a more measured response to specific contexts and challenges. -- Kinder Baumgardner/SWA; Michael Sorkin/Terreform; Carlo Ratti Associati; AnnaLisa Meyboom; Gensler; Snøhetta and Plomp; HOK- Metropolis Magazine
Oscar Holland: Has the wooden skyscraper revolution finally arrived? Surrounded by farmland and with a population of under 10,000 people, the Norwegian town of Brumunddal might seem like an unlikely setting for a record-breaking high-rise...the 280-foot-tall Mjøstårnet tower became the world's tallest timber building when it opened last year. The 18-story structure...has added to a growing body of evidence that timber can provide a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel...thanks to...cross-laminated timber, or CLT...A slew of new timber high-rises is set to break ground or open in 2020...there remain very practical barriers to the realization of such projects: building regulations. -- Øystein Elgsaas/Voll Arkitekter; Shigeru Ban; Acton Ostry Architects; Michael Green Architecture; Sidewalk Labs; PLP Architecture; White Arkitekter- CNN Style
Alex Bozikovic: Provencher_Roy Renovates Roger Taillibert's Montreal Olympic Tower: In 1976, Montreal hosted the Summer Olympics, and the games left a wild architectural legacy. The showpiece was the main stadium...Empty for 30 years...has now been repurposed as the workplace for 1,300 employees of the...financial institution Desjardins...pays tribute to Taillibert’s sinuous architecture...This thoughtful use of the tower is part of the resurgence of the Olympic site, which was troubled from the start...it captures the big dreams of midcentury in concrete...in an ordinary workday, such architectural drama can’t help but lift the spirit a bit higher. -- Richard Noël; Claude Provenche- Architectural Record
The Lowline, billed as the world’s first underground park, is no more: After nearly a decade of planning, an ambitious project to transform a disused trolley terminal on the Lower East Side into a subterranean park is dead... struggled to secure steady funding for the pricey project...estimated to cost at least $80 million... -- Signe Nielsen/MNLA- Curbed New York
By Ameena Walker, Amy Plitt & Caroline Spivack: New York City’s best places to cry in public, mapped: Because sometimes life comes at you fast: ...it’s okay to weep in public. (There’s even a website, NYC Crying Guide)...from the Staten Island Ferry to the fancy bathrooms in Bryant Park.- Curbed New York
Michael Kimmelman: Why Rem Koolhaas Brought a Tractor to the Guggenheim: The architect...turns a spotlight on the countryside in a sprawling new exhibition about the other 98% of the world: We’ll see how "Countryside, The Future"...is received...whether museumgoers find it exhilarating or shambolic...It looks to be a huge, text-heavy, dizzying affair...the sort of show that may invite charges of slumming by a world-famous architect who, it is said, often gives off the imperious, slightly impatient impression that he has something better to do...the hope [is] that...whatever criticism it provokes, ignites debate, gets people to think about developments and places that demand attention because city and country, urban and rural, are ultimately not separate issues. -- Office for Metropolitan Architecture; OMA; Samir Bantal/AMO; Troy Conrad Therrien; Niklas Maak; Irma Boom; Petra Blaisse- New York Times
Matt Shaw: Rem Koolhaas sets a global non-urban agenda with "Countryside: The Future" at the Guggenheim: Rem is not the first person to do research on the rural. But he has the resources (5 partner schools and AMO), the storytelling ability, and the platform (an entire museum in NYC) to reorient the conversation...this broad survey of the rural...operates politically in a context where the countryside, and those who live in it are a marginalized group, at least culturally...the familiar layouts and fonts make the exhibition seem more like the work of a signature architect or firm, not a global coalition. No, but seriously, folks, go see the show! thru August 14- The Architect's Newspaper
Sven Michaelsen: Town vs. Country with Rem Koolhaas: His Love For Public Pools and Why the Countryside Is the Future of the World: ...[he] hardly lifted his eyes for two hours. Instead, he drew labyrinths, roman numbers...: Bernard Arnault, Francois Pinault or Miuccia Prada are the Medicis of our time. "Stop! I am not in the mood to contribute to simplifying caricatures"...What are the frustrations and audacities of working for a fashion empire like Prada? "We have collaboratively realized...bold and experimental projects. It would be absurd to tell you something negative..."Countryside: Future of the World": "the countryside has been changing more rapidly and more radically than cities...architects focus 90% of their attention on city planning and related issues. The exhibition at the Guggenheim is supposed to help change this."- Ssense
Drew Zeiba: AN talks to Eyal Weizman about tech in truth-telling ahead of Forensic Architecture’s first U.S. survey: ...has garnered a significant reputation...for their work reconstructing violent events... using architectural tools and emerging technologies..."Forensic Architecture: True to Scale" [opens today] at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College. Q&A re: changes of the past decade, the power of technology, and the importance of forensics in a “post-truth” era. thru September 27- The Architect's Newspaper
Drew Zeiba: Eyal Weizman barred from U.S. ahead of Forensic Architecture retrospective: ...opens its first major U.S. exhibition today at Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design. However, as the collective’s [London-based] founder, Weizman was preparing to fly to Miami...received an email from the U.S. Embassy informing him that his visa had been revoked and he would not be allowed to travel to the United States...an “algorithm” had identified him as a security threat...full statement, which will be read by his partner professor Ines Weizman at the MOAD tonight, and was sent to AN by Weizman via email.- The Architect's Newspaper
10 Highlights from The Morgan Library & Museum’s "Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect. Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France": From otherworldly sphere temples to impossibly complex dairy barns, Leque envisioned unconventional buildings and interiors, transferring them onto paper with mathematical precision and poetic craftsmanship...vivid imagination that defied engineering and architectural limits. Predating Surrealism in his utilization of subliminal visual cues -and therefore misunderstood by his peers... thru May 10- Interior Design magazine
Aleksandr Bierig: "The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation" by Douglas Kelbaugh: Fixing, to fix...is a striking word and concept within architecture, planning, and design...architect, planner, and former dean...argues that cities are a frontline in the “war” against climate change...he reviews current research...then passes over scores of strategies that would provide respite...The book’s sprawling attempts - each well-intentioned if inadequate - provide one indication of the immense complexity of the problems we face...It is hard to fix the problem when the problem is itself so fixed.- Architectural Record
Jonathan Bell: Delve into the drama of Postmodern architecture: "Postmodern Architecture: Less is a Bore" by historian and curator Owen Hopkins...delves into the drama and thought behind architecture’s postmodernism movement through case studies and a catalogue of examples from across the globe: ...at the end of the 1970s and 80s, the sputtering indignation of the modernist establishment was heard loud and clear. PoMo was declared flippant and frivolous...Yet many ignored the critics and persisted... [book] shows us why we should be grateful that they did...[PoMo's] giddy eclectism shines through.- Wallpaper*
Cynthia Davidson: "The Museum Is Not Enough" by Canadian Centre for Architecture: Not enough for what? ...new questions being imposed on architecture today...are not easily shown in a museum context. So what is the architecture museum’s role? If the first-person voice is atypical for an institution, so is the introspective narrative...This “personification” of the institution suggests new ways of thinking of the museum as an actor rather than a place for archives and exhibitions...CCA has always surpassed the usual expectations...Is the need for relevance the reason for this introspective book? ...new thinking and new actions are required on all fronts. -- Mirko Zardini; Giovanna Borasi; Phyllis Lambert; Mark Wigley; Kieran Long; Kalle Lasn- Architectural Record
DnA/Frances Anderton: Daniel Libeskind is at the "Edge of Order": For him, architecture...offers a means to navigate “between authoritarianism and chaos"...For someone who spends a lot of time and intellect giving shape to collective trauma, he is a bubbly, optimistic and entertaining soul...While his book is part-memoir and part-overview of his work, it’s also a cheerful, highly readable call to readers to tap into their inner architect...He shares fascinating insights, like “why an architect needs to be like a camel in the desert” and the importance of not working for dictators.- KCRW (Los Angeles)
"Container Atlas" charts the evolution of shipping container architecture: ...second edition, documenting the innovative ways containers have been used in the past decade...from container offices to off-grid cabins, to the more experimental designs, readers are taken on an inspiring journey through a wide variety of precedents...also serves as a practical manual for professionals and laypeople...establishes itself as a sound authority on the typology by providing a clear ‘how to’ guide, as well as being a beautifully illustrated addition to any booklovers collection. -- Han Slawik; Julia Bergmann Matthias Buchmeier; Sonja Tinney- designboom
William Morgan: "Williams College: The Campus Guide" unearths hidden New England gems: ...more than a tour of the distinguished liberal arts college...It is rather a scholarly history and informed analysis of the school’s buildings and their role in shaping the visual identity of a hitherto architecturally undocumented place...What makes [it] exceptional is that the authors and the photographer [Eugene J. Johnson, Michael J. Lewis, Ralph Lieberman] are respected architectural historians with decades of teaching experience at Williams....This biography...is told as a family epic: A complicated life, full of intrigue, might-have-beens, and triumphs.- The Architect's Newspaper
Rain Noe: Alastair Philip Wiper's "Unintended Beauty" Photo Book of Industrial Spaces: Fascinated with the intersection of industry, science and architecture, British photographer has visited his share of factories and industrial facilities...photos revealing his capacity for capturing the almost terrifyingly organized beauty of them...new book documenting the best of them...the accidental aesthetics, sublime complexities and rich details of our machines- Core77
ANN feature: INSIGHT: Jim MacRae & Jason Ficht: 2020 Trends in Landscape Architecture: Three trends we anticipate growing this year: addressing air quality as part of climate change; cultural and ecological inequities; and converting antiquated roadways into green infrastructure systems.- ArchNewsNow.com
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