Today’s News - Friday, February 11, 2011
• Could NYC be the world's next Venice? Not if the powers-that-be have anything to do with it (we hope, anyway).
• Welton looks at how a "who's who" of U.S. architects bringing sustainable lessons learned at home to cities in Vietnam (facing major flooding issues themselves).
• An in-depth (and most interesting) Q&A with Calthorpe re: urbanism in the age of climate change: "The market forces already at work will make urbanism the core of the next generation of growth in America."
• Saffron gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Philly's plans to revamp three public plazas: "The real trick, however, will be to create spaces where people...also want to linger."
• Viñoly's Battersea master plan gets the green light; Simpson and DRMM are tapped to design the first elements.
• ShoP seems to be on a roll: after scoring the massive Hunter's Point affordable housing development, now tapped to design the first apartment building for Atlantic Yards.
• Richard Rogers is confused by Gove who, after promising starchitects would not be designing schools, neglects to mention that the model school he puts forth was designed by...(3 guesses - the first 2 don't count).
• Arup's Vauxhall bus station "ski-jump" canopy may be only six years old, but a proposal is afoot to replace it with a "linear walkway" (linking to new skyscrapers, what else?).
• It's official: CABE merges with Design Council.
• Call for entries: Connections: The Gowanus Lowline open ideas competition for the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY.
• Weekend diversions:
• Flinchum finds "The Vertical Urban Factory" at NYC's Skyscraper Museum "a compact but impressive exhibition" that "makes a case for the relevance and reinstatement of the building type today."
• "Jugaad Urbanism" at NYC's Center for Architecture "shirks high design in favor of 'design by the people, for the people'" + It "explores how the energy of citizens 'making do' can be an inspiration and a catalyst for the worldwide community of architects, designers, and urban planners."
• Along the same lines, a new documentary examines the formerly luxury Grande Hotel in Mozambique, abandoned 50 years ago, is now home to 2,000 - 3,000 people, "like a village within a village...the perfect social housing project," where the "residents are expert improvisers."
• Schumacher says that while the FLW exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum may "lack the missionary zeal of its subject" with "a kind of laidback, general veneration," it's definitely a must-see (best with multiple visits).
• Glancey cheers Chaubin's "CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed" and "the extraordinary stories behind some of Russia's wildest architecture" that tell of the "Soviet capacity for exuberant architecture" showing "an unexpected rebellion against a decaying system" (terrific slide show!).
• Thackara adds "Sustainism" to his lexicon of words he dislikes; likewise the book, that "is rather like a butterfly collection. Many of its specimens are renowned, and some of them are beautiful - but they are also - how to put this delicately? - lifeless."
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Sea Level Rise Could Turn New York Into Venice, Experts Warn: ...the only way to avoid that fate and keep the city dry is to follow the lead of the Dutch and build moveable modern dykes. Either that or retreat from the shoreline..."Compared to other cities, which are only now beginning to wake up to this issue, I think New York City is much further ahead.” [images, links]- WNYC.org
In Vietnam, Design Lessons Learned: ...as counterintuitive as it may seem to those engaged here in the Great Recession, one of their major challenges is to temper pent-up demand - for modern conveniences...with the sustainable lessons...learned in the states..."The challenge is to develop mixed-use policies linking land and transportation, so that they grow in an intelligent way." By J. Michael Welton -- Pelli Clarke Pelli; Sasaki; SOM; HOK; Carlos Zapata Studio [images]- Huffington Post
Interview with Peter Calthorpe, Author of “Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change”: "The problem with the techological approach is that it’s single-minded and it misses out on all the co-benefits that come from good urbanism...The market forces already at work will make urbanism the core of the next generation of growth in America."- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
In play: The soul of the city's center: Three plazas to get a much-needed revival...proposed plaza improvements will almost certainly make it easier to navigate the area around City Hall. The real trick, however, will be to create spaces where people...also want to linger. By Inga Saffron -- Edmund Bacon; Vincent Kling; Olin; KieranTimberlake [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Battersea Power Station architects appointed: Ian Simpson and DRMM are first to be selected as Rafael Viñoly’s Battersea masterplan wins final approval.- BD/Building Design (UK)
SHoP Scores First Apartment Building at Atlantic Yards: ...has been tapped to design B2...this is yet another big project for the budding SHoP. By Matt Chaban- New York Observer
Architects can inspire – look at Mossbourne: I am confused by recent statements from Michael Gove...that "we won't be getting Richard Rogers to design your school"...Yet the previous day he had told BBC..."The truth about free schools is that they will introduce the sort of innovation and dynamism that we've already seen in schools like Mossbourne." He neglected to add that this former failing school...was designed by my practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. By Richard Rogers- Guardian (UK)
Demolition threat to Arup Associates' 'Ski-jump' canopy: ...canopy of Vauxhall bus station in south London could be demolished under proposals to build a new ‘linear walkway’ in the area. Just six years after the £4 million stainless steel shelter opened...part of package of community benefits linked to...proposal to build two 40-storey plus skyscrapers nearby. -- Allies & Morrison [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
It's official: CABE merges with Design Council: From April 1 the combined organisation will provide a “one stop shop” for design support...Paul Finch said: “This very positive move will place architecture at the heart of the economy as a driver for competitive businesses and places."- BD/Building Design (UK)
Call for entries: Connections: The Gowanus Lowline: an open ideas competition for the Gowanus Canal area in Brooklyn, NY; registration deadline: April 1- Gowanus by Design/Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation
Industry Grows Up: "The Vertical Urban Factory," a compact but impressive exhibition at the Skyscraper Museum in New York, examines the subject of the factory in detail and makes a case for the relevance and reinstatement of the building type today...fully integrated with its community... By Russell Flinchum -- Nina Rappaport; Studio Tractor Architects; MGMT Design; Abalos & Herreros Architects; Buckminster Fuller [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
"Jugaad Urbanism": More Than Just Making Do: There is no direct English translation for the Indian word ‘jugaad,’ but the gist of it is to “make do.” But simply “making do” does not aptly describe the clever and resourceful strategies on display...at the Center for Architecture...exhibit shirks high design in favor of “design by the people, for the people.” [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Indian 'jugaad' comes to New York: Americans for the first time are set to experience 'jugaad' - loosely translated as that certain resourcefulness and innovation found in Indian cities..."Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities"...explores how the energy of citizens 'making do' can be an inspiration and a catalyst for the worldwide community of architects, designers, and urban planners.- Times of India
Former luxury hotel home to thousands of squatters: Once one of the most luxurious hotels in southern Africa, the Grande Hotel, in Beira, Mozambique, was abandoned by its original owners five decades ago. It's now home to between 2,000 and 3,000 people...the subject of a movie by Belgian filmmaker Lotte Stoops..."It was like a village within a village...the perfect social housing project."- CNN
"Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century" at the Milwaukee Art Museum: As we watch infrastructure groan...or see Detroit demolish blighted areas to make way for urban farms, [his] beliefs about multiple city centers, community farming, affordable housing, public forests, energy efficiency, the use of local resources and general self reliance, suddenly seem prescient. By Mary Louise Schumacher [images]- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Swansongs of a superpower: Russia's secret architecture: Did this building spell the end of the Soviet empire?...the extraordinary stories behind some of Russia's wildest architecture [in] "CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed" by Frédéric Chaubin...this Soviet capacity for exuberant architecture...show an unexpected rebellion against a decaying system. By Jonathan Glancey -- Oleg Romanov; Mark Khidekel; George Chakhava; El Lissitzky [slide show]- Guardian (UK)
Ultra Modern: I dislike the word “Glocal,” I also dislike the word “Creative,” now a new word has come along to bug me: “Sustainism.” It adorns a new book that celebrates the glocal and the creative. Not a good start...iMichiel Schwarz and Joost Elffers...created the new word as a “replacement for modernism"...I reached the end feeling I had read a contents list, but not the content itself. By John Thackara/Doors of Perception- Design Observer
Morphosis: Giant Interactive Group, Headquarters, Shanghai, China -- SWA Group; TOPO Design Group
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