Today’s News - Friday, October 4, 2013
• Kimmelman considers the importance of local libraries that could serve as shelters from the next storm: "Places that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes. Invest in one, and you aid the other."
• Hawthorne offers up an FAQ "in the spirit of clearing up at least some of that mystery" about what's going on with L.A.'s Grand Avenue redevelopment efforts, Gehry, et al.
• Lubell cheers 10 years of Gehry's "dazzling" Disney Hall, but even though it "has become an international icon, in many ways it represents what's still wrong with L.A.'s approach to building and planning."
• Kats reports that Pei's 1982 Sunning Plaza in Hong Kong "overlooking a rare open piazza" faces the wrecking ball as it "awaits conversion into - you guessed it - luxury offices and shops."
• Brussat, fearing the worst, is pleasantly surprised by the design for a "pleasantly modest addition" to the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
• Pogrebin is cheered by a once-itinerant Brooklyn arts group finding a new, permanent home in a formerly forlorn historic theater.
• Plans are afoot to launch a new - and affordable - architecture school in London (with an interesting mix of comments).
• Montreal's Pierrefonds Public Library picks the winning team for its renovation and expansion.
• Practices from Spain, Belgium, and the U.K. land on the YAYA 2013 shortlist.
• Fast Co's 2013 Innovation By Design Awards go to "a particularly diverse group" of nine.
• One we couldn't resist: an "ambitious publicity stunt" has a full-size submarine (complete with sailors and "baffled firefighters") breaking through a cobblestone street in the heart of Milan (a must-see!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Sydney's Hyde Park South has been transformed into a maze of mirrors that is "completely sublime" and "surreal - provided you don't run into your own reflection" (great pix!).
• Zieger finds "something rather cheery" about "Never Built: Los Angeles": it "is not a lament, per se, but rather a celebration of speculative possibilities and a challenge to the present status quo."
• Also in L.A., a Spanish architect "investigates the informal architecture" of the city's sprawl.
• Houston investigates the complexities of its own sprawl with an exhibition called "Sprawl."
• Davidson finds "festive gloom" in new books on the "sickly suburbs": Gallagher's "'The End of the Suburbs' paints an especially grim picture," while Chakrabarti's "A Country of Cities" is "a persuasive, elegantly argued, and charmingly illustrated polemic."
• Weller revels in Banham's 1971 "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies" that "intentionally avoids the pomp and ceremony of academic writing and as such is a pleasure to read."
• Kamin cheers an FLW apprentice finally getting his due in "a fine new" biography, "The Architecture of Barry Byrne: Taking the Prairie School to Europe."
• Merkel is a bit less impressed with "The Gateway Arch: A Biography," Campbell's "curious tribute" - he "clearly despises Saarinen"; he "softens his reservations...toward the end but remains ambivalent about whether it should have been built."
• Eyefuls of Kerns' "Nightwatch" that offers "vivid nightscapes of abandoned American roadside spots" (amazing!).
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Next Time, Libraries Could Be Our Shelters From the Storm: Places that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes. Health and safety go hand in hand with lively urban spaces. Invest in one, and you aid the other. By Michael Kimmelman- New York Times
Frank Gehry, Grand Avenue and the future of Bunker Hill: ... much remains uncertain. And much of the long history of Grand Avenue redevelopment efforts remains opaque to many Angelenos. In the spirit of clearing up at least some of that mystery, here's an FAQ on the state of the project. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Gensler; Robert A.M. Stern- Los Angeles Times
Editorial> Disney Hall and the Character of LA: After a decade, Frank Gehry's Disney Music Hall symbolizes Los Angeles' strengths and weaknesses: ...dazzling building has become an international icon...But in many ways it represents what’s still wrong with LA’s approach to building and planning...There are many other buildings...with similar dichotomies between architectural splendor and urban misfortune. By Sam Lubell- The Architect's Newspaper
I.M. Pei’s Sunning Plaza, An “Urban Oasis” in Hong Kong, Set for Demolition: The 1982 edifice, overlooking a rare open piazza in the hyperdense Causeway Bay neighborhood, awaits conversion into — you guessed it — luxury offices and shops. By Anna Kats [image]- Artinfo
Addition (shudder!?) for New Bedford Whaling Museum: ...pleasantly modest addition in a traditional style that will fit right into the historic streetscapes... By David Brussat -- Mount Vernon Group Architects [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Brooklyn Arts Group to Reopen in the Former Strand Theater: After a major renovation, fueled in part by $41 million in New York City funds, BRIC Arts will reopen an expanded facility... BRIC House...also includes a renovated home for UrbanGlass... By Robin Pogrebin -- Leeser Architecture [images]- New York Times
New architecture school to offer cut-price part II: London School of Architecture (LSA) will offer low fees and salaried placements: ...to create a network of around 25 practices to provide 12-month, salaried placements for first-years who will be linked into research clusters, or to run second-year thesis groups. -- Will Hunter/Architectural Review; Alternative Routes for Architecture (ARFA)- BD/Building Design (UK)
Chevalier Morales architectes and DMA architectes Win Architectural Competition for the Renovation and Expansion of the Pierrefonds Public Library (Montreal, Quebec). [images]- City of Montreal / Ville de Montréal
YAYA 2013 shortlist revealed: Practices from Spain, Belgium and the UK make the cut...for the Autodesk 2013 Young Architect of the Year Award. -- HAT Projects; RCKa; Studio Weave; Josep Camps & Olga Felip Arquitecturia; Ono Architectuur [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
The Winners Of Our 2013 Innovation By Design Awards: 1,200 submissions. 54 finalists. 9 winners: ...a particularly diverse group that includes students and startups, old media and new technologies, all connected through the common thread of innovative design. -- TYIN tegnestue Architects [images]- Fast Company
Submarine breaks the surface of a Milan Street... in a clever marketing stunt that left bystanders completely baffled: ...an insurance group based in Italy, had come to the street early in the morning to construct the fake submarine. [images, video]- Daily Mail (UK)
These 324 Mirrors Create Amazing, Endlessly New Views of Sydney: It’s completely sublime: Hyde Park South has been transformed into a maze of mirrors this month. The result is surreal and beautiful, provided you don’t run into your own reflection. The field of 81 mirrored posts...installed by New Zealand firm Out of the Dark and is part of the Sydney’s Art & About [images]- The Atlantic Cities
What If? For an exhibition about architectural projects that never broke ground, there’s something rather cheery about "Never Built: Los Angeles"...For the curators “what if” is not a lament, per se, but rather a celebration of speculative possibilities and a challenge to the present status quo. By Mimi Zieger -- Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Finding the Urban in Sprawl: Spanish architect Andrés Jaque Finds the Urbanism in L.A. Sprawl: "Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool" investigates the informal architecture of sprawl in Los Angeles—and how it connects the city with the rest of the world in an exhibit for REDCAT gallery in L.A. -- Office for Political Innovation [images]- Architect Magazine
"Sprawl": Exhibition in Houston Addresses Complexities of Urban Landscape: With its soaring expressways and seemingly endless geography, little defines Houston in the public consciousness more than urban sprawl...features 16 emerging and mid-career artists whose works deal with the urban landscape. [images]- Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
How Do You Fix Long Island? Those sickly suburbs: Two new books are full of diagnoses but short on real-world cures: A literature of festive gloom has sprung up..."The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving" by Leigh Gallagher...paints an especially grim picture..."A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America" by Vishaan Chakrabarti...an apostle of hyperdensity...a persuasive, elegantly argued, and charmingly illustrated polemic... By Justin Davidson- New York Magazine
Book review: "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies" by Reyner Banham: First published in 1971...provides both a history of Los Angeles and a chequered survey of its hitherto largely ignored Modern and Postmodern architectural virtues...a pleasure to read...what he recognised and loved was the fact that what really drives high-octane cities...is a compelling but ultimately unattainable vision of the good life. By Richard Weller- Australian Design Review
Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice cast his influence over Chicago suburbs: Barry Byrne's designs diverged from master but still embraced organic way of building...he's long been obscured by the master's shadow. He gets his due, though, in a fine new biography, "The Architecture of Barry Byrne: Taking the Prairie School to Europe" by Vincent Michael. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
The Price of Monumentality: "The Gateway Arch: A Biography" by Tracy Campbell...a curious tribute to Eero Saarinen's soaring monument in St. Louis...Campbell clearly despises Saarinen, whom he calls “arrogant'...softens his reservations about the arch toward the end but remains ambivalent about whether it should have been built. By Jayne Merkel- Architectural Record
Americana by moonlight: "Nightwatch": Noel Kerns uses a technique called light painting to create vivid nightscapes of abandoned American roadside spots, from drive-ins to motels. His photographs combine long exposures of moonlight with spots of artificial coloured light. [slide show]- Guardian (UK)
-- Kengo Kuma & Associates: ...works with elements of Japanese tradition to create human friendly architecture for the 21st century.
-- Zaha Hadid Architects: Serpentine Sackler Gallery
-- Snøhetta/craig Dykers/Kjetil Trædal Thorsen: ...has become one of the most discussed and sought-after practices today, due to their radical rethinking of the relationship between building and landscape
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