Today’s News - Thursday, October 28, 2010
• Weinstein offers an eloquent ode to a door handle by Hadid (and a challenge to design students).
• Long takes on the resurrection of towering plans in London, but wonders "why do these projects get such stupid names?" Helter Skelter, Walkie-Talkie, Cheesegrater are "jolly, lobotomizing nicknames" as "marketing newspeak that is more interested in shapes and nicknames than in the quality of the city's ancient streets."
• Litt cheers Living Cities' granting $14.75 million to Cleveland to help "jump-starting fresh ideas about how to fight poverty, rebuild urban wastelands and build wealth in poor neighborhoods."
• Tasmania working on a blueprint to halt urban sprawl and ad hoc development by encouraging high-density housing in urban centers.
• Vaclav Havel bemoans the "heedlessness of modern life": "Our cities are being permitted without control to destroy the surrounding landscape...and build in their place some sort of gigantic agglomeration that renders life nondescript...under the banner of international uniformity."
• Tel Aviv's city architect says traffic and wasteful buildings are the city's biggest polluting culprits that must be addressed (how about good public transportation and re-using existing buildings instead of constructing new green buildings).
• Young Moscow architects initiate the "11-47" and "Get Out One Station Earlier, and You'll Know Your City Better" movements to better connect residents to their city.
• Doha may be shaping up as a show piece for starchitectural talent, but one Qatari firm says local talent should not be intimidated.
• Ferrari World Abu Dhabi may be a feat of engineering, but it is really "no more than another triumph of really bad judgment" in one of the driest places on earth?
• A call for developers to make crucial decisions during pre-design and concept design phases: "These initial macro-decisions are so substantial that subsequent remedial ones may not offset the magnitude of early missed opportunities."
• CABE: here today, gone tomorrow, or could it be reborn in a new form - or might the Prince's Foundation take the reins (with promises to not favor only traditional architecture).
• Hawthorne finds the LA Museum of the Holocaust design "conflicted," though it's not all the architect's fault: the "rather apologetic landmark" is more "a sign of the anemic support politicians and the public give to cultural as opposed to developer-driven architecture in this city."
• Farrelly cheers the "small, strange" projects - "the cuties" are the most compelling winners in the Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards - though there's one that "sits at the far other end of the size and quirk spectrum."
• Bevan sees a bigger picture in the AIA awards with a blurring of the lines that creates great architecture as urban landscaping.
• European cities get the "bike bug," but will the bike sharing fad last? + The Copenhagen Wheel creates an e-bike that could be a valuable tool for urban planners.
• Cape Town throws its hat in the ring to be World Design Capital 2014: it has "a strong story to tell of how design is being used to undo how the City was historically designed to divide people."
• We couldn't resist: a fairy tale comes true for Germany's Dragon Castle - "an architectural mishmash" is faithfully restored (amazing slide show).
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A Meditation on the Beauty of Zaha Hadid's Door Handle: Hadid's design issues a challenge: define beauty by lyrically playing with illusion. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Nickname buildings march across London’s skyline: But why do these projects get such stupid names? The jolly, lobotomising nicknames...this trend is the worrying underbelly of all this so-called architectural ambition...We are experiencing the slow death of urban qualities of the city...through marketing newspeak that is more interested in shapes and nicknames than in the quality of the city's ancient streets. By Kieran Long -- KPF; Rafael Vinoly; Rogers Stirk Harbour'- Evening Standard (UK)
Living Cities to award $14.75 million to Cleveland to boost redevelopment effort masterminded by Cleveland Foundation: ...philanthropic competition aimed at jump-starting fresh ideas about how to fight poverty, rebuild urban wastelands and build wealth in poor neighborhoods...The "Cleveland Model"...is attracting national attention. By Steven Litt- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Blueprint to halt urban sprawl: ...high-density housing encouraged in city centres under the most significant blueprint for southern Tasmania in 30 years...The Southern Tasmania Regional Land Use Strategy...aims to stop "ad hoc" development and make better use of infrastructure by providing clear guidelines for growth...higher-density housing allowed better use of resources and infrastructure, therefore saving money.- Mercury News (Australia)
Pride is at center of today's 'atheistic' culture: Vaclav Havel addressed...Forum 2000, a conference on architecture and urbanism, with an extended lament on the heedlessness of modern life...“Our cities are being permitted without control to destroy the surrounding landscape...and build in their place some sort of gigantic agglomeration that renders life nondescript, disrupts the network of natural human communities and under the banner of international uniformity it attacks all individuality, identity, or heterogeneity.”- Crosscut (Seattle)
Yoav David, City Architect of Tel Aviv, Lectures European EUREKA Network About Urban Sustainability: Commuter traffic and wasteful buildings are Tel Aviv’s biggest polluting culprits...Public transportation is a sensitive issue...a problem that needs to be resolved if it is going to improve its urban sustainability...One could ask whether the construction of new “green” buildings is actually an eco-friendly endeavor and whether it may not be more worthwhile to convert existing buildings...- Green Prophet (Middle East)
City Look May Change the Mentality of City-Dwellers: The initiators of the "11-47" movement are the former students of the Moscow Institute of Architecture, who believe that the people’s “attitude...to their native town and to what is happening around it depend on their consciousness”...Another initiative of the young architects...is called “Get Out One Station Earlier, and You’ll Know Your City Better”- Voice of Russia
Doha rising: ...shaping up to be somewhat of a show piece for contemporary architectural talent in the 21st century...Qatari firms could be forgiven for feeling slightly intimidated by the likes of Pei and Nouvel on their turf...But Ibrahim Mohamed Al Jaidah, director of veteran Qatar-based firm Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) feels nothing of the sort.- ConstructionWeekOnline (Dubai, UAE)
Ferrari Theme Park Revs Up Abu Dhabi’s Ecological Demise: ...latest “engineering feat” is no more than another triumph of really bad judgment. The UAE’s global-warming park is embarrassing enough...How does Ferrari World Abu Dhabi contribute to the wellness of one of the driest places on earth? -- Benoy- Green Prophet (Middle East)
Architectural viability can enhance mixed-use projects: The most crucial decisions by developers are made during the pre-design and concept design phases...These initial macro-decisions are so substantial that subsequent remedial ones may not offset the magnitude of early missed opportunities. By Ken Jensen/ArchiViable- Daily Journal of Commerce (Oregon)
‘Phoenix project’: CABE battles to resurrect quango in new form: "The situation is fluid and we are in ongoing talks with the government"...difficult prospects facing the Architecture Centre Network... -- Paul Finch; Anna Liu/Tonkin Liu; Alan Berman/Berman Guedes Stretton; Neil Deely/Metropolitan Workshop; Roger Hawkins/Hawkins\Brown; Scott Lawrie/Will Alsop/RMJM- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Prince's Foundation bids for CABE powers: The Prince of Wales’ architectural charity is weighing up a plan to fill the gap...by carrying out design reviews...Hank Dittmar...said its design review panels would have to reflect all style opinions to fend off accusations that only traditional architecture would get the thumbs-up. -- Will Alsop; Robert Adam- BD/Building Design (UK)
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust: The Hagy Belzberg-designed museum in Pan Pacific Park seems conflicted. Its elegant, rippling shapes don't seem tough enough to hold the horrors within...there is no getting around the fact that it has produced a rather apologetic landmark — not to mention a sign of the anemic support politicians and the public give to cultural as opposed to developer-driven architecture in this city. By Christopher Hawthorne -- K. Dakin Design; Evo Design [slide shows]- Los Angeles Times
From the offbeat to serene, the future has been designed: My favourites among the architecture awards are usually the small, strange ones. The cuties...The Met - the 66-storey winner of the Joern Utzon International Award - sits at the far other end of the size and quirk spectrum. By Elizabeth Farrelly -- James Jones; Donovan Hill; Architectus; Lyons; Justin Mallia; Hassell; Brian Hooper; Thalis/Aspect; Tonkin Zulaikha Greer; FJMT/Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp; Durbach Block- Sydney Morning Herald
Great architecture as urban landscaping: The parks and public spaces in our cities are winning acclaim...blurring of categories has increased...as society and the financing of public infrastructure become ever more complex. It clearly exercised this year's jury for the Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards... By Robert Bevan -- Hassell; Woods Bagot/NH Architecture; FJMT/Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp; Brian Hooper/m3architecture; Tonkin Zulaikha Greer/JMD Design; Thalis Architecture/Urban Projects/Aspect Studios/CAB; Wood Marsh; HBV Architects; Donovan Hill; WOHA; Durbach Block; Maria Gigney- The Australian
European Cities Get the Bike Bug: Call it what you like, Citybike, Vélib or StadtRAD. More than 100 European cities have launched rent-a-bike projects allowing people to use pedal-power to whizz from Point A to Point B. But will the bike sharing fad last?- Der Spiegel (Germany)
The E-Bike and The City: The Copenhagen Wheel can be a valuable urban planning tool. [video]- Metropolis Magazine
Cape Town starts the World Design Capital 2014 bid: ...theme being 'Live Design Transform Life'..."may not have Bilbao's design assets or Dublin's locale, or China's financial resources, but what we do have is a strong story to tell of how design is being used to undo how the City was historically designed to divide people." -- International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID)- Bizcommunity.com (South Africa)
Fairy Tale Comes True for Germany's 'Dragon Castle': Schloss Drachenburg...built in the 1880s, is an architectural mishmash that contains a fake organ, a reproduction of a Louis XIV throne and tacky murals. But it has been faithfully restored in honor of its startling history - and because it represents a romantic yearning for a past that never was. [slide show]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
BIG: 8 House, Copenhagen, Denmark: "... a three-dimensional neighborhood rather than an architectural object." -- Bjarke Ingels Group
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