Today’s News - Monday, March 11, 2013
• The saddest images we've seen in a long time: Neutra's Gettysburg Cyclorama being demolished.
• The newest edition of SimCity produces Sneedville: "My ill-fated city faced two challenges that are all too familiar for real urban areas."
• De Chant pleads for architects to stop drawing trees on top of skyscrapers because the "fad is fantasy": "Life sucks up there" for "just about everything else except peregrine falcons."
• Kuwabara is disappointed in his profession's failure to design more energy-efficient buildings in Canada: "we are just not taking it that seriously" (and LEED ratings are "ridiculous").
• Hume says "urbanism comes hard everywhere in Canada"; even Calgary's progressive mayor bemoans: "Why do we make it so hard to do good stuff?"
• Litt is a bit more optimistic about Cleveland's "revolution in attitudes toward public space, city streets and walkability" - it "is essential, not a frill."
• Livingston looks at why good architecture matters in Edmonds, just north of Seattle; unfortunately, "what developers and their architects sold to the citizenry was a democratic version of the International/Moderne style(s). What developers basically ignored, and continue to ignore, is context."
• Brussat sees a rendering for a new development "so lovely that I almost wept for joy," so he visits another by the same developer "to see how well that rendering had been transformed into reality - it was more pleasing than the final product."
• Q&A with Kennedy and Kugel re: their "singular and synergistic approach to architecture, infrastructure, and civic space."
• Moore has high hopes for the Southbank Centre revamp that "might just work" so that "not only can the older buildings still breathe, but they can in some ways fulfill their original intentions better than ever."
• Hadid's cultural "megaplex" in China is a "massive urban project of swirly sculptural objects" that "constitutes a strange 'pedestrian-friendly' Martian landscape" (and "home to the largest concentration of Zaha's work on earth").
• What looks like it could be a museum, classroom, or laboratory on a boarding school campus in Connecticut is, in fact, a biomass power plant.
• Badger finds out from Hsiang and Mendis what they plan to do with their $100,000 Latrobe Prize for the "The City of 7 Billion" project: it's "an attempt to involve architects in big-picture questions more often debated by economists and geographers and social scientists."
• Millard digs deep into "the field of materials science in search of the next transformative technology" (some pretty cool stuff - the trick will be to get some high-profile architects to start using...).
• Heathcote waxes poetic about islands of every sort: "the architecture of the island itself reflects with crystal clarity the values of the societies that build them."
• Eyefuls of the Trimo Urban Crash shortlist for the Bike Base competition: Ljubljana, Slovenia, "will get a welcome new addition to the city's built urban mix" (public voting now open).
• Call for entries (deadlines loom!): RFP: Downtown Green Bay Master Plan + Envision 2040: visualize what Orlando will look like in 2040.
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Richard Neutra’s Gettysburg Cyclorama Demolished [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
What SimCity Teaches Us About Real Cities of the Future: Lessons in data overload, short-term thinking, and resilience...My ill-fated city faced two challenges that are all too familiar for real urban areas. First is the difficulty of changing course... By Adam Sneed- Slate
Can We Please Stop Drawing Trees on Top of Skyscrapers? The scientific reasons why the latest architectural drawing fad is fantasy...Life sucks up there...Life for city trees is hard enough on the ground. I can’t imagine what it’s like at 500 feet, where nearly every climate variable is more extreme than at street level. By Tim De Chant- Slate
Canada lagging behind on designing energy-efficient buildings: Bruce Kuwabara called his profession’s failure to design more energy-efficient buildings in Canada one of the great disappointments of his career...called the LEED ratings ridiculous. -- KPMB Architects- The Record (Canada)
Like Toronto, City of Calgary struggles to become more urban: As the western city led by a progressive mayor makes clear, urbanism comes hard everywhere in Canada...“Why do we make it so hard to do good stuff?” Everywhere one looks, planning rules are stuck back in the days of freeways and shopping centres. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Cleveland is slowly becoming a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly town: ...undergoing a revolution in attitudes toward public space, city streets and walkability...the city recognizes that creating attractive public spaces and bike-friendly streets is essential, not a frill. By Steven Litt -- Thomas Balsley Associates; James McKnight/McKnight Associates Landscape Architecture; James Corner Field Operations; Jeff Speck [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Why good architectural design matters: ...cities’ buildings and streetscapes we build for ourselves explains who we are and what we value as citizens...Edmonds wanted to look modern and appear progressive...what developers and their architects sold to the citizenry was a democratic version of the International/Moderne style(s)...What developers basically ignored, and continue to ignore, is context. By Eric Livingston [images]- My Edmonds News (Washington)
Hold Carpionato to its bold proposal: ...development of land in Fox Point that was under Route 195 before it was relocated...illustration was so lovely that I almost wept for joy...I drove down to Chapel View...to see how well that rendering had been transformed into reality...the rendering was more pleasing than the final product. By David Brussat [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Multitasking Infrastructures: A Conversation with Sheila Kennedy and Veit Kugel: ...discuss some recent projects, especially the Soft House and the East 34th Street Ferry Terminal, that reflect a singular and synergistic approach to architecture, infrastructure, and civic space. -- Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA) [images]- Urban Omnibus
Southbank Centre revamp: at last a plan that deserves to succeed: It's taken 25 years, but a bold new vision...which includes a big glass box in the air, might just work...Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have taken that obese brief and arranged it in such a way that not only can the older buildings still breathe, but they can in some ways fulfill their original intentions better than ever. By Rowan Moore [images]- Observer (UK)
Zaha’s Changsha, China, “Megaplex” Is More Zaha Than We Can Handle: Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Center...massive urban project...a grab-bag of swirly sculptural objects...Taken together, they constitute a strange...“pedestrian-friendly” Martian landscape...set to become home to the largest concentration of Zaha’s work on earth. -- Zaha Hadid Architects [images]- Architizer
Hotchkiss Biomass Power Plant: ...rhythmic façade might harbor any number of likely functions, perhaps a museum, classroom, or laboratory. It houses, in fact, gritty infrastructure... -- Centerbrook Architects and Planners [images]- ArchDaily
What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City? Two Yale architects pose the question in an ambitious research project..."The City of 7 Billion"...to study the impact of population growth and resource consumption at the scale of the whole world...an attempt to involve architects in big-picture questions more often debated by economists and geographers and social scientists. By Emily Badger -- Joyce Hsiang/Bimal Mendis/Plan B Architecture & Urbanism [images, video]- The Atlantic Cities
Matters of Substance: Bill Millard plumbs the field of materials science in search of the next transformative technology...“What we need are some high-profile architects to use some of the new material and show its advantages by being part of a high-profile, near-carbon-zero building.” -- Blaine Brownell; Jason O. Vollen/Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE); Jenny E. Sabin/Cecil Balmond/Nonlinear Systems Organization; David Morris/Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Andrew H. Dent/Material ConneXion [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Isle see you in my dreams: From the majesty of Venice to the seclusion of Scandinavia, islands create an idealised sense of the different...their peripheries defined by the sea, they provide a condensed essence of both our dreams and our fears...the architecture of the island itself reflects with crystal clarity the values of the societies that build them. By Edwin Heathcote [images]- Financial Times (UK)
Jury announces Trimo Urban Crash shortlist for Bike Base competition: ...selected 31 projects...Ljubljana, Slovenia, will get a welcome new addition to the city’s built urban mix; public voting runs through March 27 [images]- Trimo Urban Crash (Slovenia)
Call for entries: Request for Proposals/RFP: Downtown Green Bay Master Plan: ...assist with the update of its 1997 Downtown Design Plan; deadline: March 25- City of Green Bay, Wisconsin
Call for entries: Envision 2040: a Green Works Orlando international design competition: visualize what Orlando, the most sustainable City in the southeast, will look like in 2040; registration deadline: March 18- City of Orlando, Florida
Architects Opposing Prisons Gain Support: AIASF and international groups endorse human rights changes to AIA Code of Ethics. By Raphael Sperry, AIA -- Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)- ArchNewsNow
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