Today’s News - Wednesday, February 17, 2021
● Sam Lubell & State of Place's Mariela Alfonzo delve into "how to 'Build Back Better,' but better. An infrastructure plan won't be enough to fix the inequities built into our neighborhoods, homes, and public spaces - we need to employ a holistic process, replacing our outdated, piecemeal approach to spatial justice via three pillars: cooperation, technology, and community."
● Nate Berg cheers developers in Tampa, Florida, creating a 56-acre "community that mimics walkable neighborhoods" like Barcelona's Las Ramblas" - the "project is an anomaly in Tampa, with its emphasis on pedestrian-oriented urbanism and high-quality design" (an impressive design team) .
● Welton cheers Camp North End in one of Charlotte, North Carolina's lowest-income communities where 4 young Black architects "soon will see their designs come to life" - the 73-acre development "is nothing if not ambitious."
● Wainwright hopes Stockton-on-Tees' bold "proposition for the post-retail age" - to bulldoze a basically dying shopping center and replace it with a riverside park - will inspire other "embattled council leaders across the country."
● Narayan & Dineen delve into how the "Bay Area's malls-to-housing dreams" are being waylaid by the pandemic- "the plan to resuscitate dying shopping malls is itself on life support."
● Carey L. Biron reports on how 3D-printed homes offer "hope" for both affordable and post-disaster housing. "The technology can build cheap, climate-resilient structures in a fraction of the time of traditional construction - with some projects producing a home in 24 hours of printing time for just a few thousand dollars."
● William Morgan doesn't take issue with the design of a 9-story apartment building in - it's just the "wrong building in the wrong place" - overpowering "everything around it. When will Providence stop rewarding developers who are eradicating our history and townscape?"
● Samuel & Terrefe bemoan Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, treating its "valued, urban heritage is an afterthought - conserving it appears to be at best an afterthought, and at worst an inconvenience."
● Jane Margolies reports on the continuing fight to save the Weyerhaeuser corporate campus - now "caught up in controversy over plans to build massive warehouses" - it "would turn a historic, iconic property into an industrial zone" (Peter Walker calls the campus "an endangered species").
● Edward Gunts reports on a campaign "to protect a cherished Raymond Hood lobby in Manhattan's McGraw-Hill building." Grunewald: "The intact 1931 lobby is an astonishing polychromatic Emerald City extravaganza" (sign the petition!).
● Zach Mortice explains why "architecture critics have a duty to interrogate inequality in the built environment - criticism finds its highest calling when it's interrogating how the built environment codifies and perpetuates bone-crushing inequities."
● Marcus Fairs talks to USModernist's George Smart re: why he considers Bjarke Ingels "this century's Frank Lloyd Wright" - the Danish architect's Via 57 West in Manhattan is the only 21st-century project on the list he put together for Dezeen of his 10 favorite modernist buildings in North America.
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Mariela Alfonzo/State of Place & Sam Lubell: How to Build Back Better, but Better: An infrastructure plan won’t be enough to fix the inequities built into our neighborhoods, homes, and public spaces: ...remedying these injustices...could be a major driver of our economic rebound...the spatial equity recovery...that could create jobs, seed economic opportunities, drive productivity, and dramatically cut costs related to health, crime, and more...now is the perfect moment to take this step...it will require ramping up spending - especially in underserved places...we need to employ a holistic process, replacing our outdated, piecemeal approach to spatial justice via three pillars: cooperation, technology, and community.- Slate
Nate Berg: Why one city in car-obsessed Florida is prioritizing pedestrians: Developers in Tampa have designed a community that mimics walkable neighborhoods such as Barcelona’s Las Ramblas: More than 5 million square feet of development is underway across 56 acres...The centerpiece is the 45-foot-wide section on Water Street based on the Dutch...woonerf...allows cars but prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists...more than half of the project’s road space is dedicated to pedestrians...project is an anomaly in Tampa, with its emphasis on pedestrian-oriented urbanism and high-quality design. -- Gensler; CookFox; Morris Adjmi; Elkus Manfredi; Reed Hilderbrand; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)- Fast Company
J. Michael Welton: In Charlotte, a Competition for Black Architects: On a site where Black factory workers once manned a Ford assembly line...four young African American architecture students soon will see their designs come to life...be part of a 73-acre development with an industrial past and a promising future, in one of Charlotte’s lowest-income communities...Camp North End, is nothing if not ambitious. -- S9 Architecture; BB+M Architecture; Alliance Architecture; Redline Architects; D3 Studio; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects; Marcus Thomas/KEi Architects; Melanie Reddrick/Little Diversified Architectural Consulting; Aleah Pullen/Apogee Consulting Group; Hasheem Halim/Saturn Atelier- Architects + Artisans
Oliver Wainwright: Bulldoze the high street and build a giant park: What do you do when Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and New Look are all gone? Knock down the shopping centre [Castlegate] and replace it with a riverside oasis. Could the ‘visionary’ plan of Stockton-on-Tees spark a revolution? ...while some towns scramble to convert empty department stores into flats, or fill vacant shops with community pop-ups and urban farms, Stockton Council has come up with an altogether bolder proposition for the post-retail age...demolish half the high street and replace it with a riverside park... three times the size of Trafalgar Square...embattled council leaders across the country...would do well to look at Stockton, quietly leading the way. -- John Poulson; Ryder Architecture- Guardian (UK)
Shwanika Narayan & J.K. Dineen: Bay Area's malls-to-housing dreams held up by pandemic: ...the plan to resuscitate...dying shopping malls is itself on life support, the victim of plummeting apartment rents and uncertainty around everything from entertainment to office work to brick-and-mortar shopping...While some are still moving forward, others are halting or rethinking projects...Other uses for malls have come up...Built to be close to population centers and highways, mall sites are in theory well-situated to become e-commerce hubs...But rezoning entire malls for warehousing and distribution will be difficult...- San Francisco Chronicle
Carey L. Biron: 3D-printed homes build hope for U.S. affordable housing: The technology can build cheap, climate-resilient structures in a fraction of the time of traditional construction: Large-scale 3D printing is gaining steam around the world...with some projects producing a home in 24 hours of printing time for just a few thousand dollars...ICON built its first homes in an anti-homelessness "village" in Austin, Texas...Community First! Village, is currently expanding to offer homes to about 500 individuals...has also attracted interest from the U.S. military...3D-printed structures hold significant prospects for post-disaster missions- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
William Morgan: Providence’s New Apartments: Wrong Building, Wrong Place: The student apartment block proposed for...the Jewelry District...is an inappropriate and over-scaled turkey...100-foot-tall glass and steel box is not of itself a bad design...but it is hardly anything exceptional... the block...is home to a number of historical buildings...It doesn't take an urban designer or an astute city watcher to realize that a [9-story] tower with 95 apartments will overpower everything around it, physically, visually, and psychologically...When will Providence stop rewarding developers who are eradicating our history and townscape? -- Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects- GoLocalProv.com (Providence, Rhode Island)
Seble Samuel & Biruk Terrefe: Can Addis Ababa stop its architectural gems being hidden under high-rises? While Ethiopia’s ancient sites are valued, urban heritage is an afterthought in a city forced to expand ever upwards: Demolition and reconstruction are now the most common sights along [its] unrecognisably altered skeleton skyline...conserving urban heritage appears to be at best an afterthought, and at worst an inconvenience...The bulldozing has sparked outcry from some of the city’s most prominent architects and planners...a fresh look at city development is desperately needed, one that designs and builds not on top of, but among layers of the past. -- Fasil Giorghis; Medhanie Teklemariam- Guardian (UK)
Jane Margolies: A Fight to Save a Corporate Campus Intertwined With Nature: The Weyerhaeuser site near Seattle, praised for its balance of building and landscape, is at the center of a battle between conservationists and a developer: ...caught up in controversy over plans to build massive warehouses...new owner says are necessary to pay for restoration of the headquarters building and maintenance of the grounds....[warehouses] “would turn a historic, iconic property into an industrial zone"...because the campus is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, preservation officials are participating in the review to help find ways to avoid or minimize “adverse effects.” -- Edward Charles Bassett; Peter Walker; The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)- New York Times
Edward Gunts: Lobby-ists: Preservationists launch effort to protect a cherished Raymond Hood lobby in Manhattan’s McGraw-Hill building: ...Art Deco Society of New York launched a petition drive... to urge the preservation commission to add the lobby to its list of interior landmarks...Theodore Grunewald: “The intact 1931 lobby...is an astonishing polychromatic Emerald City extravaganza"...Acknowledging that they don’t have authority to weigh in on the lobby, the comission nevertheless urged the team to be sensitive with it. -- MdeAS Architects; Higgins Quasebarth & Partners- The Architect's Newspaper
Zach Mortice: What We Talk About When We Talk About Architecture: Op-ed: Architecture critics have a duty to interrogate inequality in the built environment: ...criticism finds its highest calling when it’s interrogating...how the built environment codifies and perpetuates...bone-crushing inequities...placing greater emphasis to building sectors starved of capital...critics need to pay special attention to designers who actively push on the individuals and institutions that commission architecture. Architects don’t have a great track record as policy thinkers, but targeted criticism can give them a few clues in the right direction. -- Blair Kamin; Michael Sorkin; Architecture Lobby; Anjulie Rao; Kate Wagner; Elizabeth A. Blasius; Marianela D’Aprile- The Architect's Newspaper
Marcus Fairs: Bjarke Ingels is "this century's Frank Lloyd Wright" says USModernist director: ...ranks alongside 20th-century greats such as [FLW], Eero Saarinen and John Lautner, according to George Smart...[He] ranked the Danish architect's Via 57 West project in Manhattan as one of his 10 favourite modernist buildings in North America...All the other buildings on the list, which Smart put together for Dezeen, were built in the last century. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group- Dezeen
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