Today’s News - Monday, March 15, 2010
• ArcSpace brings us Kuma's "green glass box" in Beijing.
• Did Utzon do some "unconscious borrowing" from Bartning's 1922 Star Church for the Sydney Opera House?
• Moore surveys Pitt's Make It Right project: "is it just a celebrity ego trip or a true regeneration?"
• Clinical care inside former shipping containers for underserved areas of the developing world (hoping Haiti is the next stop).
• Ouroussoff finds nary a misstep in Nouvel's 100 11th Ave. in Manhattan: it's "a sly commentary on the conflict between public and private realms," and "demonstrates what a major talent can accomplish when he focuses his mind on a small corner of the city."
• Lifson is lifted by the experience of walking through Maki's "magnificent" MIT Media Lab: it's "exquisite" and offers "a new definition of what's 'cool' in modern architecture." (great pix, too)
• Saffron sings high praise for a "voluptuous" new row house in Philadelphia that "bends all those right-angle rules" at just the right angles.
• Big plans for a Libeskind and a Safdie on Boston's Greenway not so big anymore.
• Big plans for Seattle Center seem a bit "light on the vision thing": they're "not quite ready for prime time."
• On an even darker note, a plan for a Chihuly museum "is in keeping with Seattle Center's glorious tradition of schlock."
• Ikea thinks big with an "airport-sized" development in Moscow (lots of culture included).
• Good news/bad news on the preservation front: restoration of Kahn's 1955 Trenton Bath House is (finally!) underway.
• A. Quincy Jones barn in L.A. to be restored "using a very light touch."
• China plans to restore an Art Deco gem of a movie theater in Nanjing.
• Gallagher cheers the last-minute saving of Yamasaki archives, but warns that without diligence more of Michigan's architectural history will be lost.
• Litt re: Cleveland Clinic's razing of a historic school building, prompting debate about preservation and highlighting "a curious anomaly in city planning regulations."
• An architect decries the possible demolition of a house in Cincinnati: "Tearing down a culturally significant historic building is usually a bad idea" (especially when done by a foundation with a "mission of encouraging conservation").
• Hume x 2: cheers for a new waterfront park that doubles as a water treatment facility; and watch out Toronto - woonerfs are coming to town to give precedence to pedestrians: "the most remarkable aspect of the project is that it's happening at all."
• Archial Group rebrands its overseas business as Alsop Sparch (try saying that fast three times).
• Scott Brown offers an eloquent essay: What good is language to an architect?
• Call for entries/EOI for a visitor security screening facility for Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh.
• Happy(?) Ides of March!
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Kengo Kuma & Associates: The Opposite House, Beijing, China
Oh, my god! Look familiar? To the naked eye the Sydney Opera House looks eerily similar to the design of the 1922 Sternkirche [Star Church] by Otto Bartning...One can argue that there is a fine line between plagiarism, influence, "unconsciousness borrowing" and so on. But that Utzon was never known to have mentioned Bartning is troubling. By Phillippe Mora [image]- Sydney Morning Herald
Brad the builder in New Orleans: After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt called in the world's top architects for his acclaimed Make It Right project. The plan was to build green homes to replace those destroyed...Now the first houses are up and inhabited...so is it just a celebrity ego trip or a true regeneration? By Rowan Moore -- Frank Gehry; GRAFT; Williams Architects; Morphosis; MVRDV; Shigeru Ban; David Adjaye; Elemental; Constructs LLC; KieranTimberlake- Observer (UK)
Clinical Care, Industrial Setting: ...Anshen + Allen...working with Containers to Clinics (C2C)...developing a prototype portable health clinic constructed from industrial shipping containers...to deliver routine preventive care to underserved areas of the developing world. (Right now, it’s working to deploy its first prototype in Haiti.) [images, video]- Metropolis Magazine
At the Corner of Grit and Glamour: Jean Nouvel’s new residential tower in Chelsea conjures a downtown New York we once loved and can now barely remember...rough-edged sex appeal may actually overshadow what’s best about the project...a sly commentary on the conflict between public and private realms that is an inevitable byproduct of gentrification. By Nicolai Ouroussoff [images]- New York Times
Maki makes magnificent Media Lab at MIT: ...so exquisite that after you leave and come back to your senses, you realize you have returned to earth...a new definition of what's "cool" in modern architecture...will go a long way to reconciling the general public with what contemporary architecture can be...it inspires the soul, the mind and the imagination. By Edward Lifson -- Leers Weinzapfel [images]- Hello Beautiful! (Chicago)
Pretty curves all in a row: A voluptuous new Northern Liberties rowhouse salutes its round-cornered forebears - and bends all those right-angle rules...Split Level House is an anomaly in tradition-loving Philadelphia. Cities dearly need such aberrations. They help remind us of the qualities that we value in our city, as well as the ones we wouldn't mind changing once in a while. By Inga Saffron -- QB3 [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Another jewel lost in Greenway crown: Financing trouble ends plans for $80m New Center for Arts and Culture...Boston Museum project had Moshe Safde design a building...Now all of those plans have been abandoned. -- Daniel Libeskind [image]- Boston Globe
The new Seattle Center: light on the vision thing: The new master plan for the signature park near the center of the city creates more open space and adds some good amenities...The plan is not quite ready for prime time. -- SRG Partnership [images, links]- Crosscut (Seattle)
Throwing stones at Chihuly's glass house? ...plan is in keeping with Seattle Center's glorious tradition of schlock. A Chihuly art museum represents an attempt to move to a slightly higher level of schlock and hustle, another Center tradition. By Knute Berger -- Owen Richards Architects [images, links]- Crosscut (Seattle)
Ikea adds culture to shopping experience: Contemporary artists create sculptures for Moscow’s mega retail park...planning multi-million pound commissions by major contemporary artists...as part of an “airport-sized” Moscow-based development due to open in 2012. The works are part of a plan to roll out mixed-use spaces across Ikea sites... -- Simon Dance Design- The Art Newspaper (UK)
Louis Kahn Takes a Bath: Restoration work underway on famed Trenton Bath House. In the war to preserve our midcentury architectural heritage, another battle has been won...The road to restoration has been long and full of potholes...the pool will open on Memorial Day, as it has done for the past 55 years. -- Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects; Susan Solomon; Lydia Soo [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Century City Pastoral: A. Quincy Jones barn saved by Annenberg Foundation: ...turned a Century City building inspired by New England farm architecture into his home in 1965..."We’re using a very light touch" -- Frederick Fisher; Chora Foundation; Lauren Bon/Metabolic Studio [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Renowned Nanjing cinema to be renovated: ...Dahua Cinema, built in trademark 1930s architecture, turns 74 this year...local government published a renovation plan this month... -- Yang Tingbao (1934); Zhou Qi [video]- CCTV/China Central Television
Records of famed Troy architect Yamasaki get a last-minute reprieve: ...much of Michigan's architectural history exists in a more perilous state or has been lost...need to think about a central library or archive system for storing and protecting it. Like the historic buildings themselves that face the wrecking ball, once lost, this archival history will be gone forever. By John Gallagher -- Eero Saarinen; Eliel Saarinen- Detroit Free Press
Cleveland Clinic's razing of former Hathaway Brown School without hearing prompts debate about preservation: ...highlighted a curious anomaly in city planning regulations...The gap in city review authority over demolitions in the Clinic zone has gone largely unnoticed. By Steven Litt- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Op-Ed: Demolishing Gamble House a mistake: Tearing down a culturally significant historic building is usually a bad idea...There is also a broader and less obvious basis to its significance, one that connects it to Greenacres Foundation's mission of encouraging conservation and appreciation of nature. By Paul Muller/Muller Architects -- Andrew Jackson Downing; Calvert Vaux [image]- Cincinnati Enquirer
New waterfront park does double duty: When is a park not just a park? When it's also a water treatment facility...Sherbourne Park - its temporary name - will illustrate so dramatically...infrastructure won't just make the area inhabitable, it will itself be inhabitable. This notion of using design to transform a public utility into a public amenity has never made more sense than now. By Christopher Hume -- Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg; Teeple Architects; Michael Van Valkenburgh [image]- Toronto Star
Woonerf: It's Dutch for smart city-building: The really big news in Toronto right now is that woonerfs are coming to town...streets designed for cars and people, but with precedence given to the latter...the most remarkable aspect of the project is that it's happening at all. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Archial Group rebrands international arm: Architect's overseas business to be renamed Alsop Sparch: ...will incorporate the Alsop Architects studio based in London and Sparch’s network of studios in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.- Building (UK)
From Words to Buildings: What good is language to an architect?: How do you learn and teach architectural writing? I tell young architects that building an argument is like building a building....there must be a logic and pattern to the development of ideas. By Denise Scott Brown- The Pennsylvania Gazette (University of Pennsylvania)
Call for entries: Expression of Interest/EOI: design team services for a visitor security screening facility (of approximately 250m2 to 300m2) and associated areas at the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood, Edinburgh; deadline: April 22- Scottish Parliament
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