Today’s News - Friday, September 16, 2011
• King and Hawthorne weigh in on DS+R's plans for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive: it proves that in "economically skittish times, a cultural institution can scale back its dreams without settling for mediocrity" + the plans are "canny, sleekly attractive and conceptually overstuffed all at once" - will DS+R finally prove they can "turn smart conceptual ideas into really affecting built space"?
• Boddy says the best design won the Royal Alberta Museum competition (that doesn't mean it's a winning design).
• Gibson finds the 9/11 Memorial "never coalesces into a convincing, engaging whole," but that's not all Arad's fault: "Good luck coming up with an original idea now that the bureaucratic meat grinder has pulverized any opportunity for individualistic expression."
• Iovine x 2: she considers the WTC site's "tumultuous decade": perhaps what's been "built so far is compromised" and the "designs may not be spectacular visions of 21st century architecture, but they are strong enough to carry the weight all the city, not to mention tourists...will bring to bear on it over time." (+ an amazing timeline).
• She takes a spin with Nouvel on Jane's Carousel: "The man in black...seems just the right man to insinuate something as delicate as a life-size interactive music box into a setting as tough as the Brooklyn waterfront."
• A London-based firm "aspires to develop a new architectural language based on what indigenous, British Islamic architecture should be."
• MIT's first "1K House" prototype is built in China - it came in at a bit more than $1,000, but still...
• A Supreme Court Justice (and serious architecture buff) and Hadid join the Pritzker jury (oh to be a fly on the wall!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Plan to spend some time with Fast Co.'s "The United States of Design" issue!
• Rose offers his picks from the London Design Festival: "there's more to the capital's design event than chairs."
• 72 Hour Urban Action kicks off its 2012 Long Island City Architecture Festival with a planning session starting at MoMA P.S.1 tomorrow.
• Jacobs gives (mostly) thumbs-up to MoMA's "Talk to Me": "while wonderfully timely...I don't think the speculative work on display is so far ahead of the curve" - but it's definitely worth seeing.
• Kamin goes "beyond the corncobs" at the Bertrand Goldberg exhibition in Chicago: "like its subject," the show "is daringly unconventional" (great pix).
• Welton wanders the Tigerman exhibition at Yale: "Diplomacy, obviously, is not his forte" - but that's a good thing.
• Simpson allows herself to be to be educated in (if a little confused by) Tigerman's "odd, fantastical, kind of creepy genius."
• Q&A with Gehry re: his Hong Kong exhibition and his first mark on the city's skyline: "Architecture is a tool that city agencies can use effectively for many urban woes."
• Hadid's product designs strut their stuff in Philadelphia.
• Brussat advises, "Bring your tin-foil hat" to "Building Expectation: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future," a "vast and compelling exhibit" in Providence.
• Leigh cheers Semes taking on the bias against tradition in "The Future of the Past."
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Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [BAM/PFA] plan: The relatively modest new home proposed...isn't short on ambition...If the project goes forward, it will show something else: In our economically skittish times, a cultural institution can scale back its dreams without settling for mediocrity. By John King -- Toyo Ito; EHDD; Diller Scofidio + Renfro [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
First look at Diller Scofidio + Renfro's plans for BAM/PFA: The plans are classic DS+R...canny, sleekly attractive and conceptually overstuffed all at once...The real question is whether this project will prove to be the one where DS+R shows a clear ability to turn smart conceptual ideas into really affecting built space. Too many...have lost something crucial in moving from schematic to completed form; they are often thick with ideas but rather thin emotionally. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Mario Ciampi (1970); Toyo Ito [images]- Los Angeles Times
Design 'tries too hard,' critic says: ...images of the new downtown Royal Alberta Museum almost look like several buildings instead of one, says Trevor Boddy...But the best design won, he said, one that looks much further developed than the others. -- Ledcor; Donna Clare/Dialog; Michael Lundholm- Edmonton Journal (Canada)
A Memorial We Want to Love: A memorial should distill the essence of the event in compelling symbolic form...Sadly, while "Reflecting Absence"...possesses some of these qualities, in the end it never coalesces into a convincing, engaging whole...But [its] failure isn't entirely Arad's fault...Good luck coming up with an original idea now that the bureaucratic meat grinder has pulverized any opportunity for individualistic expression. By Eric Gibson -- Michael Arad- Wall Street Journal
Editorial> We Made It: The World Trade Center site begins a new chapter following a tumultuous decade: ...designs may not be spectacular visions of 21st century architecture, but they are strong enough to carry the weight all the city, not to mention tourists, will bring to bear on it over time. And sheer durability may be the best that any architecture can offer in the long run. By Julie V. Iovine -- Philip Nobel; Snøhetta; Aedes (formerly Davis Brody Bond) [link to timeline]- The Architect's Newspaper
Taking a Spin With Jean Nouvel: The man in black designing a Merry-Go-Round...seems just the right man to insinuate something as delicate as a life-size interactive music box into a setting as tough as the Brooklyn waterfront..."a little tender but not too cute..." By Julie V. Iovine -- Jane Walentas [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Modernist Islamic Architecture: Toward preserving a migrant past: MakeSpace Architects is a London-based firm...aspires to develop a new architectural language based on what indigenous, British Islamic architecture, in their eyes, should be...currently developing projects in east London, Leicester and Gillingham.- Arab News
A true bargain house: First prototype built from MIT’s effort to construct houses for $1,000 each: ...“1K House” project prototype, called Pinwheel House...has been constructed in Mianyang, in Sichuan Province, China...focused on affordable housing for areas hit by natural disasters...turned out to be more costly, at $5,925, but is still very inexpensive in relative terms. -- Ying chee Chui; Yung Ho Chang/Atelier FCJZ; Tsushima Design Studio; Muji; Vanke [images]- MIT News
Supreme Court Justice Breyer named to Pritzker Architecture Prize jury; Zaha Hadid also joins panel. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
The United States of Design: Mister Moggridge Has Mad Ambition + Design for America's Students Want To Change The World + The New Masters + more -- Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Teddy Cruz; Jake Barton/Local Projects; Bill Moggridge [images]- Fast Company
Hungry for design? Take a seat at the London Design Festival: From bizarre banquets to a Lego greenhouse, there's more to the capital's design event than chairs. Here are some highlights. By Steve Rose -- Marcel Wanders; John Pawson; AL_A/Amanda Levete Architects; 100% Design; etc. [links]- Guardian (UK)
'Iron Chef' of architecture bringing designers from around globe to L.I.C. competition: ...to plan and build 10 projects over three days as part of the innovative Long Island City Architecture Festival next September...Queens groups partnering with the festival are hosting public events tomorrow to bring together interested parties for planning workshops... -- Flux Factory; 72 Hour Urban Action- NY Daily News
Endless Talk: "Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects" explores the great flow of information traveling between physical places and electronic ones...while wonderfully timely...I don’t think the speculative work on display at MoMA is so far ahead of the curve. By Karrie Jacobs- Metropolis Magazine
Beyond the corncobs: New Chicago Art Institute exhibition explores Marina City architect's full body of work, including early flashes of innovation manifested in his signature towers...“Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention“...like its subject, is daringly unconventional...his body of ideas, most notably his belief that architecture should act in the service of inviting people to form communities, remain as relevant as ever. By Blair Kamin -- John Ronan [images]- Chicago Tribune
Stanley Tigerman: The Retrospective: Diplomacy, obviously, is not [his] forte. His strengths lie in attempting to use architecture to solve problems - whether social or cultural - and to get to the heart of a design challenge to discover a kernel of truth that can be developed with an ironic twist. And as the Yale exhibit "Ceci n’est pas une rêverie" demonstrates, he's been quite good at that for a half-century now. By J. Michael Welton [images, links]- Huffington Post
‘Reverie’ pretty as a dream (and as sensical): When I first saw the huge sign that reads “‘Ceci n’est pas une reverie’ [This isn’t a dream]: The Architecture of Stanley Tigerman”...I thought, “French architecture! Tres cool!”...the odd, fantastical, kind of creepy genius of Stanley Tigerman...the visceral, visual appeal of his creations...trumped any confusion caused by the accompanying text. By Chantel Simpson [images]- Yale Daily News
Frank Gehry: The legendary architect gives us a glimpse into his wildly creative mind before he makes his mark on the Hong Kong skyline..."Outside the Box" exhibition...at Hong Kong’s ArtisTree to coincide with the announcement of his first residential development in Asia...Opus Hong Kong..."Architecture is a tool that city agencies can use effectively for many urban woes."- Time Out Hong Kong
"Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion": For this exhibition — the first in the United States to feature her product designs — [she] has created a sculptural environment for a selection of furniture, decorative art, jewelry, and footwear that she has designed in recent years.- Philadelphia Museum of Art
The history of the future: "Building Expectation: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future" in Providence...frames a critique of the futures conceived by inhabitants of the past - and of their assumption that the future will improve upon the past...vast and compelling exhibit...Prepare to luxuriate in other people's visions of hope (and of despair, and of humor). Bring your tin-foil hat. By David Brussat -- Le Corbusier; Philip Johnson; Duany Plater-Zyberk/DPZ [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
The Bias Against Tradition: Steven W. Semes's "The Future of the Past" contrasts traditional and modernist principles of architecture and urbanism; rebuts the modernist dogma that confines traditional styles to the past; and compares different architectural approaches to building in historic settings. By Catesby Leigh -- Marcel Breuer; Norman Foster; Joseph Urban; Michael Graves; McKim, Mead and White; Polshek Partnership; Eero Saarinen; Joseph Younger; John Blatteau- Wall Street Journal
Exhibition: LIVING, Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark
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