Today’s News - Tuesday, March 3, 2020

It's a Pritzker Prize kind of day!

●  Wainwright cheers Grafton's Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara winning the 2020 Pritzker Prize: "Their work is an apt reflection of architecture's current mood. The choice is a welcome decision, but it looks rather like playing catch-up."

●  Holland hails the "Irish duo's win" that "marks rare victory for women in the 'Nobel of architecture' - the jury recognized that architecture remains a 'male-dominated profession'" - Farrell and McNamara "were awarded the 2020 RIBA Gold Medal, another major architecture award that has faced criticism for its dearth of female winners."

In other news:

●  Mattern mulls "questions about what it means to 'participate' in civic design" on a visit to Sidewalk Toronto's "experimental work space" - is it just "engagement theater"? "Beware folksy exercises in collaborative design that create a semblance of public process while ultimately endorsing a predetermined outcome."

●  McGuigan follows up on the "fallout from a disastrous" proposed executive order that would make classical architecture "the preferred and default style - we have seen the politicization of architecture to an extent that few of us imagined possible - objections came from some surprising corners."

●  Betsky x 2: "The LACMA debacle keeps getting worse. What was previously just a bad design has become, in my humble opinion, even uglier. Govan claims that it would be too expensive and impractical to renovate and expand - yet how could such an approach cost more than a billion dollars?"

●  He offers a "defense of Bjarke Ingels" and his "PR problem - a large part of the problem is his personality - the hipster Howard Roark. He does not deserve to be the lightning rod for problems that are systemic."

●  Giacobbe delves into "how conservationist designers are reacting to climate change. The unbuilt world is ground zero for the unfolding crisis" - one approach "entails thinking about rural areas even when designing urban ones."

●  Maditla profiles Mariam Kamara and her sustainable design practice Atelier Masomi that "is masterminding a sustainable future for Niger," and how her 2018 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative program with mentor Adjaye "allowed her to realize her dream."

●  Alter cheers a "prefab dream - KieranTimberlake and Lake|Flato team up with Bensonwood to offer OpenHomes" to make "green, modern prefab designed by talented (and usually expensive) architects available, accessible and affordable."

●  Boston is about to get a net-zero, CLT apartment complex: Generate's plans for Model-C have been certified by PassivHaus, and will be "one of the least energy-intensive buildings in America."

●  Morgan bemoans the design of a new hotel planned for Newport, Rhode Island, that "is neither iconic nor sophisticated - doesn't a national architectural treasure house like Newport deserve better than just competent value engineering?"

●  Winners of the Rethinking The Future Awards 2020 for excellence in Architecture and Design dealing with the contemporary global challenges span more than 50 categories.

Coronavirus impact - or not:

●  The Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 will proceed as scheduled, kicking off on May 23 with "114 participants from 46 countries - a notable increase from the 71 participants in 2018."

●  A deep dive into how the impacts of the Coronavirus "could have a ripple effect on the U.S. construction industry - from labor shortages and tariffs to an upcoming presidential election - the worst part is not knowing how long the crisis will continue."

●  Financial institutions want "to pour more money into multifamily," but "rising construction costs, and the potential pandemic going global" increasing those costs could hurt - along with "local regulations that aim to take on the affordable housing crisis but actually present impediments for developers."

●  China "races to boost major project construction amid the epidemic," with "a string of regions" rolling out "lists of major projects to be constructed or that are currently under construction" (300 in Beijing; 152 in Shanghai; 980 in Henan Province).

An FLW kind of day

●  A new petition aims to save the School of Architecture at Taliesin (over 7,800 signatories as of this posting).

●  Plans to relocate Frank Lloyd Wright's 1913 Booth Cottage to a park in the Wright-designed Ravine Bluffs subdivision in in Glencoe, Illinois, "has drawn criticism from some of the park's neighbors" who have concerns about parking, flooding, and congestion.

●  Nayeri, on a brighter note, reports that the FLW-designed Pittsburgh office for Fallingwater client Kaufmann is being restored and will go on view at the new V&A East London branch opening in 2023.


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