Today’s News - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
• Rose talks to the architects who are transforming disaster zones around the world about what's in store for Haiti.
• Grumpy Vancouverites should be happy with their post-Olympics city.
• Gulf countries are taking lessons from Dubai to heart, "cherry-picking the best of Dubai while avoiding the worst" - practically ensuring continued growth.
• Architecture is of "critical importance" in the "changing social and cultural transitions now going on in the Middle East."
• Kamin tackles suburban sprawl vs. suburban tall: the emergence of infill developments "has turned out to be anything but peaceful."
• Hawthorne laments that L.A Live's new 54-story hotel and condo tower is "a rather deflating sign that the innovation and experimentation" L.A. residential design is know for is having "trouble making the leap to the high-rise."
• Saffron is much more optimistic about plans to refashion an "old working-class, beer-making neighborhood in Philly "into a hipster enclave" (lots of parking, but out of sight).
• A decade of building "a glittering web of arts institutions" designed by starchitects was supposed to transform the U.K.'s cultural landscape - so why are so many of them flops?
• It looks like Ground Zero might be getting a Gehry after all (should we hold our breath?).
• Rawsthorn on H&deM's "elegant, intelligent and gently humorous" color laboratory on Vitra's Weil am Rhein campus.
• King continues to have hope for San Francisco working out the debate about the proper ratio of sunlight to shade in San Francisco's public parks: "the urban design equivalent of trying to count the number of angels on the head of a pin."
• Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles is about to light up, proving lighting is "the latest frontier in urban planning."
• Modernists maul a plan to park cars in front of the Albert Frey-designed Palm Springs City Hall: "Do not trade great architecture for a used car lot."
• A call for Melbourne to stop "gutting the soul and heart" out of the interiors of historic buildings.
• A Japanese team beats out some heavy hitters to win Zurich Airport mixed-use scheme.
• Q&A with Libeskind re: his modern remodeling of the German military museum in Dresden and why architects need to be optimists..."It is a very challenging task to deal with tragedies that cannot be unmade."
• Q&A with Meier re: how he came to build Douglas House in Michigan (great pix!).
• A fascinating treatise re: 1970s film "Death Wish," architecture, and Robert Moses: it "sheds a light on architecture's peculiar connections to violence...as bad guys drop, Paul's buildings grow more vigorous."
• Calls for entries: IDEO/DESIGN21 Living Climate Change Video Challenge; Suburbia Transformed, One Garden at a Time; and a nifty round-up of bunches more.
• Alas, Barbie's new career won't be as an architect: "Computer Engineer (good) and News Anchor (blech)."
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Haiti and the demands of disaster-zone architecture: As the colossal reconstruction effort begins, Steve Rose talks to the architects who are transforming disaster zones around the world. -- Robin Cross/Article 25; Kate Stohr/Cameron Sinclair/Architecture For Humanity; Make It Right; Frank Gehry; David Adjaye; Thom Mayne; Shigeru Ban; John McAslan- Guardian (UK)
What Will Vancouver Look Like When the Winter Games Are Gone? Most Vancouverites remain grumpy about the Winter Olympics...budget was just a fraction of Beijing's...will transform the host city in much subtler, though still significant ways...governing principle..."leave no trace," to create multi-use facilities that quietly integrate into the fabric of city life once the games are gone. [images]- Fast Company
The Lessons of Dubai: "...over the long term, the region has and will show a tremendous amount of growth"...countries in the gulf are...cherry-picking the best of Dubai while avoiding the worst...unelected leaders of the Middle East have been happy to learn from Dubai's successes and failures without having to take such risks themselves.- Time Magazine
Breaking Ground: Architecture informs us about what is happening in our lived environment at a historical moment...Nowhere does the role of architecture have such a critical importance as it does in the changing social and cultural transitions now going on in the Middle East.- NY Arts Magazine
Suburban sprawl, meet suburban tall: New high-rises offer chance for lively, walkable communities...typically built in the heart of historic, transit-oriented downtowns....examples of what planners call “infill development,” filling the gaps in existing suburbs rather than shaping new ones. Yet their emergence has turned out to be anything but peaceful. By Blair Kamin -- The Lakota Group; Laurence Booth/Booth Hansen; Epstein; Helmut Jahn [imges]- Chicago Tribune
The tower at L.A Live: The 54-story hotel and condominium tower...breaks little new ground...a rather deflating sign that the innovation and experimentation that have always animated residential architecture in Los Angeles...may have trouble making the leap to the high-rise... By Christopher Hawthorne -- Gensler; Rios Clementi Hale Studios [image]- Los Angeles Times
Blatstein's new urban plan for Northern Liberties: ...about to push that bohemian district in a tonier direction with the construction of an immense, 21st-century retail-and-residential hive on the former Schmidt's brewery site. By Inga Saffron -- Beyer Blinder Belle; Erdy McHenry Architects [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Why have costly arts projects that were supposed to transform the country's cultural landscape flopped? Ten years on since the great Millennium Lottery rush...instead of a glittering web of arts institutions...we are left with is a series of buildings by "named" architects, many of which are dark, vandalised or...living in the crepuscular world of free comedy nights and amateur dramatics. By Rosie Millard -- David Adjaye; Caruso St John; Nigel Coates; Will Alsop- Independent (UK)
Ground Zero Arts Center gets go ahead: City says WTC site a go...project faces numerous challenges, leaving skeptics questioning whether it will ever be built...LMDC are fighting a rearguard action to shift the center to the Deutsche Bank site... -- Frank Gehry- Crain's New York Business
A Dash of Color at Vitra's Eclectic Site: A new color laboratory [VitraHaus] adds to the design company's allure as a destination...elegant, intelligent and gently humorous...A variety of architects...help it attract about 100,000 visitors to the Weil am Rhein site every year. By Alice Rawsthorn -- Herzog & de Meuron; Grimshaw; Frank Gehry; Tadao Ando; Zaha Hadid; Álvaro Siza; Richard Buckminster Fuller; Jean Prouvé; Jasper Morrison; SANAA [images]- New York Times
Can sunlight group move beyond shadows of past? ...a working group will be formed to ponder the proper ratio of sunlight to shade in San Francisco's public parks - the urban design equivalent of trying to count the number of angels on the head of a pin...This one, though, has a chance to succeed. By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
Illuminating ideas for the Quartier des Spectacles: Creating common identity with lighting for 28 cultural venues with 28,000 seats...lighting was the latest frontier in urban planning, "but we don't know the borders.'' -- Intégral Jean Beaudoin [images]- Montreal Gazette
Modernists: Don't pave art around Palm Springs City Hall to put in parking lot: ...criticizing a recently approved redesign to park cars in front of the Albert Frey-designed building, a Class One-designated historic site...will block sight lines of the mid-century modern public facility...with car grills. [images]- The Desert Sun (Palm Springs)
Op-Ed: Blind eye turned to historic gem's fate: The fad of keeping an exterior, while gutting the soul and heart of the building...is alive and well...if the developers have their way this year, the latest victim of this destruction of our history will be the extraordinary 1930s Equity Trustees Building in the heart of Melbourne's Bourke Street. By Greg Barns -- Oakley & Parkes (1931)- The Age (Australia)
Japanese practice wins competition to design Zurich Airport mixed-use scheme: ...200,000sq m...£547 million project to serve the airport’s 22 million annual passengers, and includes shops and a hotel. -- Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Q&A with Daniel Libeskind: "Dresden's Past Is Not Just a Footnote": ...talks about his modern remodelling of the German military museum...the city's ongoing efforts to rebuild, the temptations of nostalgia and why architects need to be optimists..."It is a very challenging task...to deal with tragedies that cannot be unmade." [slide show]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
Step Into The Douglas House: A look at how Richard Meier came to build The Douglas House in Harbor Springs, a modern masterpiece of residential architecture. Plus, an interview with Meier. [images]- Traverse Magazine (Michigan)
Lethal T-Square: Architecture, Violence, Renewal: "Death Wish" bears revisiting, for it sheds a light on architecture's peculiar connections to violence; it provides a parable of architecture pushed to its extremes...as bad guys drop, Paul's buildings grow more vigorous...like another New York builder, another man of action and practical violence: Robert Moses...the modern architect (or planner) as man of violence, destroyer-creator, is by now a fixture of our culture...- Places Journal
Call for entries: IDEO and DESIGN21’s Living Climate Change Video Challenge: Create a video of no more than 2 minutes in length that depicts how you see climate change impacting or shaping our lives over the next 20 to 30 years; $3,000 grand prize; deadline: May 25, 2010- DESIGN 21: Social Design Network
Call for entries: Suburbia Transformed, One Garden at a Time: Eploring the aesthetics of landscape experience in the age of sustainability; a competition for built residential landscapes; registration deadline: April 9, 2010- James Rose Center for Landscape Architecture Design & Research
Call for entries: Winter Competitions Roundup: Snowed in? You might want to take a crack at one of these design contests now accepting entries.- Metropolis Magazine
Barbie Continues to Turn Her Back on Architecture: ...the iconic doll's new professions are Computer Engineer (good) and News Anchor (blech). [image, links]- UnBeige
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