Today’s News - Thursday, January 7, 2021
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, January 12. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay especially safe.
● Chaseedaw Giles tackles the "aggressive reuse of overlooked structures" by a handful of architects and urban activists "that promises a cure for housing insecurity and excessive greenhouse gas emissions - worth a closer look."
● Borland parses reports and surveys re: how the multifamily industry is prepping for permanent remote work that "shot up" from 11.9% in 2019 to 35% of the total labor market in 2020 - with advice to be "vigilant about reacting too quickly to new trends - as new needs of residents are still emerging."
● Zach Mortice looks into Design Trust Chicago that seeks to "institutionalize the numerous but scattered pro-bono efforts" by "activist designers, placing community, racial equity, and social justice ahead of for-profit, developer-led agendas."
● Louis Kahn's "family speaks out as the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad remains threatened," sending this letter to the IIMA director "imploring him to preserve their father's work."
● Mike Ives delves into the "scramble to save Asia's modernist buildings that officials consider too new, too ugly, or too unimportant to protect from demolition."
● Steven Litt cheers the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame picking the team "to design the expansion of its iconic lakefront building with 'reverence and irreverence'" - PAU, along with DLR, Robert P. Madison, James Corner Field Operations, et al. "are being 'respectful to Pei, but not subservient.'"
● Stephen Zacks' take on MAD Architects' "lush" Gardenhouse complex in Beverly Hills with two living walls that "require energy-intensive mechanical watering systems," becoming "a fiction of symbolic consumption that doesn't actually benefit the environment or society" ("greenwashed symbolism").
● William Morgan's ode to the Post Office that is "helping to keep the country connected during the pandemic." Alas, P.O. architecture "used to serve as a manifestation of national pride. Following World War II, exemplary design was pretty much a thing of the past" - and unlikely to return.
● Remembering those we lost in 2020 - "advocates and academics, vanguards and visionaries, innovators and educators, and those who made their own unique marks on the built environment in ways large and small" (sigh).
● Call for Presentations: 2021 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, November 19-22, in Nashville, Tennessee, with hopes that it will be "an in-person event."
● ICYMI x 2 ANN features: Peter Gisolfi: Consider the Place.
● Trahan Architects & Spackman Mossop Michaels' design for the renewal of Luther George Park in Springdale, Arkansas.
Weekend diversions & Page-turners:
● National Building Museum presents "Documenting Crossroads: Survival and Remembrance Under the Pandemic" - the online exhibition "showcases the second part of Camilo José Vergara's ongoing documentation of urban spaces and people's behavior during the pandemic."
● Jesse Dorris brings us eyefuls of Melbourne's NGV Triennial that "ponders the distant past and a post-pandemic future" with "86 projects by more than 100 creators across some 30 countries" at the National Gallery of Victoria (fab photos!).
● An excerpt from Harriss, Hyde & Marcaccio's "Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice" that "brings together 40 practitioners who are doing just that."
● Mabel O. Wilson's essay from ""Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present" that unfolds "the untold story of how slavery informed the design" of Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia Capitol.
● Charles Holland cheers Darlington's "Fake Heritage: Why We Rebuild Monuments" that "looks at historic reconstructions, copies and invented historical structures."
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Chaseedaw Giles: How Recycling Existing Buildings Could Solve the Urban Housing Crisis: Does the cure for housing insecurity lie in more aggressive reuse of overlooked structures? A growing number of architects and urban activists say 'Yes': ...projects that retrofit livable housing into existing low-carbon shells...worth a closer look. We...came across a handful that promise a cure for housing insecurity and excessive greenhouse gas emissions. -- Shelley HalsteadBlack Women Build-Baltimore (BWBB); Peter Birkholz/Page & Turnbul; Katie Swenson/MASS Design Group; Reggie Turner/Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture- Metropolis Magazine
Kelsi Maree Borland: The Multifamily Industry Preps for Permanent Remote Work: In 2019, work-from-home employees accounted for...11.9% of the total labor market. During the pandemic, that number has shot up to 35%...14% of current apartment units are being reworked to better accommodate work-from-home needs...changes will likely also include new amenities...report recommended being vigilant about reacting too quickly to new trends, since there remains market uncertainty...it advises developers...to make incremental changes to unit mixes and amenities as new needs of residents are still emerging.- GlobeSt.com
Zach Mortice: Design Trust Chicago seeks to address systems beyond structures: ...will coordinate the work of Chicago’s activist designers, placing community, racial equity, and social justice ahead of for-profit, developer-led agendas...it will institutionalize the numerous but scattered pro-bono efforts happening across the city, filling a gap left by the dissolution of Archeworks, the activist design school founded by Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox...its first initiatives will overlap with the next Chicago Architecture Biennial. With a focus on collective and regenerative uses for disused lots... -- Katherine Darnstadt/Latent Design; Elle Ramel/Paola Aguirre/City Open Workshop- The Architect's Newspaper
Louis Kahn family speaks out as the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad remains threatened: Sue Ann Kahn, Alexandra Tyng, and Nathaniel Kahn, sent the following letter to IIMA director Errol D’Souza imploring him to preserve their father’s work: "You attempt to make the case that the dormitories are a lost cause, yet you have already restored one of the dorms (D-15) and have announced intentions to restore three more. This is a contradictory position." -- Somaya & Kalappa Consultants- The Architect's Newspaper
Mike Ives: ‘Box’ or Gem? A Scramble to Save Asia’s Modernist Buildings: Groups across the region are rallying to save buildings that officials consider too new, too ugly or too unimportant to protect from demolition: Many of the structures were municipal buildings that served as downtown hubs of civic life...efforts also reflect an aversion to the generic-looking shopping malls and condominiums that have been replacing Modernist-style buildings across urban Asia... -- K.M. Tseng; Charles Lai; Leandro V. Locsin; Philip Jablon; Pen Sereypagna; Vann Molyvann; Karen Tan/Pocket Projects; Katty Law- New York Times
Steven Litt: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame picks firm to design expansion of its iconic lakefront building with ‘reverence and irreverence’: Should the Rock Hall show tenderness and awe for the original designer...the late, great I.M. Pei? Or should it crank up the volume and strive for something bigger and louder? Nope, neither...PAU’s architects are being “respectful to Pei, but not subservient"...Robert P. Madison, Ohio’s first registered Black architect...collaborated with Pei on the Rock Hall’s original design. DLR Group worked on the recent “Rock Hall 2.0” projects. --Vishaan Chakrabarti/Practice for Architecture and Urbanism; James Corner Field Operations; Cooper Robertson- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Stephen Zacks: A hill with a house on the top: Designed by Beijing-based MAD Architects, the lush Gardenhouse complex in Los Angeles offers 18 units with dedicated parking and personal elevator: ...two [living walls] underline the aspirations and contradictions of expressive greenery...3-story townhomes ...step up to 4- and 5-story condos...around a garden atrium...The living walls require energy-intensive mechanical watering systems...becomes a fiction of symbolic consumption that doesn’t actually benefit the environment or society...greenwashed symbolism... purely market-driven housing for wealthy buyers is probably here for the foreseeable future. As long as that’s the case, they might as well have gorgeous living facades pleasing for people driving past. -- Ma Yansong; Dixon Junliang Lu- Abitare
William Morgan: In Praise of the Post Office: The Post Office is a miracle...the Pandemic has really thrown the importance of the Postal Service into high relief...America depends upon the USPS...Postal workers have been frontline heroes during the pandemic, helping to keep the country connected. The physical P.O. is the embodiment of the miracle...[it] is similar to a public library - a temple of democracy...the architecture...used to serve as manifestations of national pride...Many of the supervising architects were significant designers...Following World War II...Exemplary post office design was pretty much a thing of the past...It seems unlikely that our post offices will again be temples of the commonweal.- GoLocalProv.com (Providence, Rhode Island)
In Memoriam: Remembering those we lost in 2020: ...we lost advocates and academics, vanguards and visionaries, innovators and educators, and those who made their own unique marks on the built environment in ways large and small. -- Michael Sorki; William “Bill” Menking; Elizabeth Sverbeyeff Byron; Christo; Deborah Dietsch; Carol R. Johnson; George Kostritsky/RTKL; Marvin Malecha; Jaquelin Taylor Robertson; Sir Roger Scruton; etc.- The Architect's Newspaper
Call for entries: Call for Presentations: 2021 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, November 19-22, Nashville, TN: While we are obviously keeping an eye on the ongoing pandemic, ASLA is still moving forward with the process of planning an in-person event; deadline: February 24- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
National Building Museum presents "Documenting Crossroads: Survival and Remembrance Under the Pandemic": Online exhibition showcases the second part of Camilo José Vergara’s ongoing documentation of urban spaces and people’s behavior during the pandemic: ...reveals the power of the coronavirus on minority urban neighborhoods in New York City and across the river in New Jersey, especially the ways in which it has altered public space...- National Building Museum / NBM (Washington, DC)
Jesse Dorris: Melbourne’s NGV Triennial Ponders the Distant Past and a Post-Pandemic Future: Artists and designers such as Kengo Kuma, Lee Ufan, and Faye Toogood explore themes of materiality and domesticity in one of the the year's few large-scale art events: National Gallery of Victoria...assembled 86 projects by more than 100 creators across some 30 countries; thru April 18- Metropolis Magazine
Harriet Harriss, Rory Hyde & Roberta Marcaccio: "The great challenges we face do not conform to neat disciplinary silos": The coronavirus pandemic has revealed both a need and a desire for architects to adopt new ways of working, say the authors of "Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice": While we all set out to do good, today we can instead find ourselves asking: "are we the baddies?" Last year invited a radical reevaluation of priorities and revealed a latent desire for new ways of working...looking beyond the arbitrary limits of the profession to address these systemic crises. Our new book...brings together 40 practitioners who are doing just that.- Dezeen
Mabel O. Wilson: Notes on Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Capitol: the untold story of how slavery informed the design of this landmark building: ...needed both to symbolize and to enable the power of “the people” to govern...[He] intended the Neoclassical state capitol to serve as a model for civic architecture...Analyzing Jefferson’s architecture and his writings, together with correspondence from this period, broadens our understanding of the social, economic, cultural, and political context in which the first work of American civic architecture...was conceived and realized. Essay from "Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present," edited by Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II, & Wilson -- Benjamin Henry Latrobe- Architect Magazine
Charles Holland: Making an appearance - architectural copies and cover versions: To speak of fakes in relation to buildings is to talk about a lack of authenticity rather than deliberate deceit...In "Fake Heritage: Why We Rebuild Monuments," John Darlington looks at historic reconstructions, copies and invented historical structures...Palladio’s books...resulted in numerous interpretations...closer to cover versions than copies...Poundbury...is not a reconstruction nor is it a straightforward copy...Conventional art history has it that architecture is...forever staking out a new future...examples detailed here offer an alternative view, one where architecture is equally obsessed with remaking its own past. -- Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Mies van der Rohe; Lilly Reich; Raymond Erith; Léon Krier; Ben Pentreath- Apollo Magazine (UK)
ANN feature: Peter Gisolfi: Consider the Place: The idea of place is a much freer, more far reaching, and potentially more inspiring understanding of setting than one that simply extols the virtues of contextual design.- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Trahan Architects and Spackman Mossop Michaels reveal their design for the renewal of Luther George Park in downtown Springdale, Arkansas: The project is made possible by a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation'sDesign Excellence Program.- ArchNewsNow.com
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