Today’s News - Tuesday, November 26, 2013
• Kimmelman gets a first-hand look at Rio's struggle to re-invent itself: "cable cars and cultural attractions...make good illustrations for Olympic brochures - even if they aren't necessarily what residents need most. Winning community support takes time. Rio is in a hurry" (a fab read!).
• Horton takes issue with a global culture "saturated with the trope and sculptural drama of the high-rise while the real problems remain down on the street. Tallness should be judged in accordance with how it influences culture on the ground."
• Hawthorne cheers the return of Gehry and his revised vision for L.A.'s Grand Avenue that is "simpler and more efficient" than his original with an "energetic and unfussy aesthetic" - now it's up to city and county officials whether it will come to be.
• Hume x 2: he fears the "usual planner piffle" by Toronto's "poor, timid souls" could put the kibosh on the Mirvish/Gehry triple-tower plan for King Street that would be "one of the few examples of great architecture in this city of built-form mediocrity."
• He sees many lessons for Toronto in Boston's Big Dig: even though it didn't "go far enough, few are looking back" - it "introduced an element of civility to their city that wouldn't have been possible before."
• Moore dons a hard hat and takes us on a marvelous journey through Crossrail tunnels, "Britain's biggest archaeological dig" that is "an urban and a cultural event" below- and above-ground (massive tunnel-boring machines named for Queens included - a must-read!).
• Gormley (the sculptor) makes the case for why "bulldozing Southbank Centre would be better than the planned revamp - it is not of high architectural quality. The true choice is either to demolish the existing buildings to make way for something better," or respect what's there with "sensitive improvement."
• Davidson cheers Williams and Tsien's "stealth architecture" in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, and WORKac's Edible Schoolyard that "ekes out every bit of light and elegance from a spare budget and a tight space."
• Lamster finds the Kimbell's Piano Pavilion to be "deferential to a fault" - it is "a polite but not particularly engaged companion to the hallowed" Kahn museum: "Indeed, the two buildings hardly speak to each other."
• Gallagher reports that downtown Detroit has high hopes for some SHoP magic to come to the former Hudson's Department Store site.
• Thom is tapped by the University of Chicago to design a new center in Hong Kong on a heritage site "that requires sensitivity to the area's cultural past" (no images yet).
• North Philly gets a mixed-income, mixed-use transit-oriented development by WRT that "demonstrates that green design is for everyone" (LEED ND Platinum, no less!).
• A new British study "reveals what affects the productivity of employees in architecture practices - and the results ain't pretty."
• Pedersen pays tribute to architecture patron Peter B. Lewis: patrons' "gifts come with string attached. But sometimes, when the patron and architect click, when a Peter Lewis meets a Frank Gehry, history is made" (link to Litt's extended obit).
• One we couldn't resist: Goldberger gives us an (amusing) insider's take on the Bono/Ives/Newson star-studded design auction to benefit Project (RED) (a set of Apple ear buds brought $380,000; the piano reached a cool $1.6 million!).
• Call for entries: AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects + COTE Top Ten Plus Award.
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A Divided Rio de Janeiro, Overreaching for the World: Spurred by...the World Cup next year and the Summer Olympics in 2016 — local officials are struggling to reinvent this onetime third-world city...cable cars and cultural attractions, the standard tool kit for city face-lifts today, make good illustrations for Olympic brochures...even if they aren’t necessarily what residents...need most. Winning community support takes time. Collaboration is slow. Rio is in a hurry. By Michael Kimmelman -- Santiago Calatrava; Christian de Portzamparc- New York Times
What Goes Up Does Not Come Down: ...grasping for tallness is a simplistic go-to, while the real problems remain down on the street...And yet cities of the world continue to privilege tall towers...whatever the design, culture is so saturated with the trope and sculptural drama of the highrise that it seems meaningless to valorize them anymore...Tallness should be judged in accordance with how it influences culture on the ground. By Guy Horton- ArchDaily
Frank Gehry's Grand vision to go before project committee: ...Grand Avenue...complex across from Walt Disney Concert Hall will be submitted Monday...design is significantly more exuberant and suggestive of L.A. culture than designs by Gensler and Robert A.M. Stern Architects...simpler and more efficient than Gehry's original scheme...To a fascinating degree it is precisely his energetic and unfussy aesthetic...that makes these new urban connections possible. By Christopher Hawthorne [images]- Los Angeles Times
Frank Gehry’s game-changing design challenges Toronto’s rigidity: The most celebrated Canadian-born architect hopes to change Toronto: Will planners let him? ...would be...one of the few examples of great architecture in this city of built-form mediocrity...Most of the city’s objections are the usual planner piffle about sunlight, wind and height, which scares the hell out these poor, timid souls. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Toronto could learn from Boston’s Big Dig: Though the most expensive highway-removal project ever undertaken in the U.S. doesn't go far enough, few are looking back: ...Rose Kennedy Greenway is interesting as an example of what this city might do were it to take down the Gardiner Expressway...has introduced an element of civility to their city that wouldn’t have been possible before the Big Dig. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Crossrail: Britain's biggest archaeological dig will transform London: Crossrail is not just about engineering: artists, designers and archaeologists are all involved in the £15bn new railway...an urban and a cultural event, as well as engineering. As the amazing tunnel-boring machines approach halfway, Rowan Moore dons his hard hat and goes below [slide show]- Observer (UK)
Sculpting a new South Bank: Built in 1951, the Southbank Centre is an architectural landmark...why bulldozing the site would be better than the planned revamp...it is not of high architectural quality...The true choice is either to demolish the existing buildings to make way for something better, or to respect the...halls as cultural instruments, needing sensitive improvement...Great architecture rarely comes from accretion. By Antony Gormley [images]- Guardian (UK)
They Work So You Don’t Have To: A lot of thought goes into making a great place for play: Lakeside is a work of stealth architecture...the architects do honor to the original design of Prospect Park by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux...in a far less bucolic part of Brooklyn, Dan Wood and Amale Andraos...have eked out every bit of light and elegance from a spare budget and a tight space...Edible Schoolyard... By Justin Davidson -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien; WORKac- New York Magazine
Renzo Piano’s Kimbell Art Museum expansion is generous to a fault: The new building is a polite but not particularly engaged companion to the hallowed Louis Kahn structure in Fort Worth...concerns that his building has destroyed Kahn’s vision can be safely put to rest. Indeed, the two buildings hardly speak to each other...It is deferential to a fault. By Mark Lamster [slide show]- Dallas Morning News
Dan Gilbert hires architect for Hudson's site design: Rock Ventures...hired SHoP Architects...to lead the design process for the two-acre site of the former Hudson’s Department Store in downtown Detroit...will partner with Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates... By John Gallagher- Detroit Free Press
Bing Thom Architects selected for University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong: ...the new home for the Chicago Booth Asia Executive MBA Program...The heritage site originally was a military encampment for the British Army in the 1940s, then later was a detention center—a juxtaposition of history and memory that requires sensitivity to the area’s cultural past.- University of Chicago
Both Sides of the Tracks: A transit-oriented development demonstrates that green design is for everyone: ...Paseo Verde, a mixed-income, mixed-use complex in North Philadelphia...has already earned LEED ND Platinum...nonprofit Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) collaborated with the Jonathan Rose Companies, one of the developers behind Via Verde... By Joann Gonchar -- Wallace Roberts & Todd/WRT [slide show]- GreenSource Magazine
Architects are less motivated than the average employee: A new iOpener Institute study reveals what affects the productivity of employees in architecture practices - and the results ain’t pretty: Employee happiness is not a ‘nice-to-have’, it is essential for the industry to strengthen and continue its recovery.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Obituary: Peter B. Lewis, 80, Philanthropist and Patron of Architecture: Architecture patrons...are by definition strong, willful, opinionated, stubborn...The attributes that make them successful enough to underwrite architecture on a grand scale are exactly what makes them capable of both magic and mayhem. Their gifts come with string attached. But sometimes, when the patron and architect click, when a Peter Lewis meets a Frank Gehry, history is made. By Martin C. Pedersen [link to Steven Litt obit]- Metropolis Magazine
Noblesse Objet: Inside Bono and Jony Ives’ Star-Studded Charity Design Auction: ...Jonathan Ive has inherited the position of Creative Genius As Hyper-Cool Celebrity from Steve Jobs...teamed up with his good friend Marc Newson...to produce an auction of what they considered great objects of design to benefit Project (RED), the charity...to benefit victims of AIDS in Africa. By Paul Goldberger- Vanity Fair
Call for entries: American Institute of Architects/AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects + COTE Top Ten Plus Award; open to architects licensed in the U.S.; deadline: January 24, 2014- Architect Magazine
It is always Friday afternoon in Dealey Plaza: An urban setting seared into the national consciousness. By Michael J. Crosbie- ArchNewsNow
-- Asymptote Architecture: ARC River Culture Pavilion, Daegu, South Korea
-- Dominique Perrault: his place-making effort sprouts from sets of actions that indicate links between conceptual thinking and material manipulation...
-- Hotels: The NoMad, New York City -- Schickel & Ditmars (1903); Jacques Garcia; Stonehill & Taylor
-- Alberto Campo Baeza: Offices for the Castilla León Government in Zamora, Castilla y León, Spain
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