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Today’s News - Tuesday, September 22, 2020

●  Kate Wagner's letter to a young architect: The structures of contemporary architectural practice insulate it from criticism both within and from critics like myself - there is always an opportunity for subversion and activism. I'm here to tell you, future architect, that you never, ever have to accept things the way they are. In fact, it is your duty to change them.

●  Emily Vaughn talks to 5 experts (not all architects) re: "redesigning the office for the next 100-year flu (yes, it's coming). What all these changes have in common is that they'll happen only if the public continues to prioritize indoor health after the acute crisis of the pandemic has passed."

●  Carolina A. Miranda considers the "unusual design" of Second Home's Hollywood co-working space to be a preview of the post-pandemic future of offices: 60 SelgasCano-designed studios "look like a hallucinogenic cluster of toadstools" set "in a lush garden that was once a vast parking lot" - it also saved a 1963 Paul R. Williams building that had been "marketed as a tear-down" (great read!).

●  Carolyn Fortuna considers proposals by Duany, Plater-Zyberk & KPF's Kassem that indicate the world is "approaching green architecture all wrong - architectural resilience has mostly centered on bouncing back and/or developing emergency responses. The mission for today's architects is to re-engineer a more historic architectural durability and environmental sensitivity alongside an unpredictable and increasingly unforgiving climate."

●  Kimmelman cheers WXY and West 8's proposal for a climate center on Governors Island: "This kind of development is just what New York needs now" - for the moment it's "an aspirational plan" and "rosy advertisements for hypothetical construction - the island is, in fact, an ideal Petri dish and laboratory for climate adaptation" - and is being seriously considered.

●  Chicago approves a John Ronan-designed, 88,000-square-foot Brighton Park HQ and 17 acres of play space: "Some commissioners lauded a 'transformational' investment in the South Side neighborhood while others cautioned about the risk of gentrification."

●  The Durst Organization is tapped for $2.2B Penn's Landing riverfront redevelopment in Philadelphia (with 6 Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed high-rises) - bringing "an end the bid by Philadelphia 76ers owners to build a new arena that would have involved considerable public subsidies."

●  Nate Berg parses recent research that looked into why "most pedestrian malls failed" - out of 125 in the U.S., only 43 are still in existence - "the survivors have lessons to teach" about how to revitalize urban downtowns.

●  Snøhetta beats Studio Gang & Henning Larsen in the competition to design the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota: "Craig Dykers said the design is heavily inspired by the terrain of the Badlands and aims to respect the ecological environment of the site" (the final design may be "slightly different" after conversations with stakeholders).

●  WIP Collaborative's "Restorative Ground" wins the Care for Hudson Square competition that invited NYC-based M/WBE firms (Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises) "to reactivate the public realm with a site-specific installation."

●  Ravenscroft reports on Heatherwick Studio's 20-story Singapore residential tower - with balconies galore that "have expressive, shell-like forms that act as giant planters - overflowing with plants."

●  India Block reports on Koichi Takada Architects' 30-story, plant-covered Urban Forest housing high rise in Brisbane that will include 392 homes and a "stepped façade with 1,000 trees and 20,000 plants - over 250 species native to Queensland."

●  Diana Budds offers a "cautionary tale" from Chengdu, China, where the plant-filled balconies of an 8-tower housing development have caused an infestation of mosquitoes that is so bad, "fewer than a dozen families have moved in." Daryl Beyers: "They didn't think about the maintenance."

●  A do-over (wrong link in last Thursday's newsletter): Gibson reports that Abraham Thomas, former director of London's Sir John Soane's Museum, has been named architecture and design curator for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC; he's also had curatorial roles at the Smithsonian and the V&A, and initiated programs at MIT, LSE, AA, etc.

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Turan Duda & Jeffrey Paine: Design's Impact on Mental Health on Campus: Designing for mental health requires architects to prioritize the student experience by providing privacy, community, and comfort in their built environments.

Winners all:

●  Docomomo US Modernism in America Advocacy Award goes to Willert Park Courts - "the first housing complex for African Americans in Buffalo, NY. The site is a testament to both government-sanctioned racism and segregation as well as an early triumph in the long fight against these policies" (tho' the housing authority "continues to the neglect the property and block the National Register nomination").

●  2020 AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards go to Landon Bone Baker Architects and SMR Architects for projects in Chicago and Seattle.

●  SOM, Patkau Architects, John Ronan Architects, and Perkins + Will take home the 2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Award for libraries in Long Beach, California, Edmonton, Canada, and Chicago.

●  Domino Park by James Corner Field Operations, SHoP Architects (with Vishaan Chakrabarti), etc. & Trojan Park by Lamar Johnson Collaborative (formerly Forum Studio), etc. win 2020 ULI Urban Open Space Awards.


  


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