Today’s News - Friday, May 16, 2014
• Pearson rather poetically parses the 9/11 Memorial Museum: "the design team has allowed the place to feel very much alive, a remarkable feat for an institution dedicated to remembering an event that began with destruction."
• The best 2½ minutes you could spend today: EarthCam's stunning time-lapse film of 10 years of construction at Ground Zero.
• Cramer weighs in on the RIBA/IAUA/UIA debate: "Individuals and groups of individuals make bad choices, but that's no reason to condemn an entire community."
• Hostetler explains why it's "not easy to shift the barge called conventional development towards a greener path" - and offers a possible "win-win" solution.
• Saffron is disheartened that Philly's "Children's Hospital garage megaproject brushes off neighbors - the institutional Goliath ran circles around the David-sized neighborhood groups trying to shape it into a more urban development."
• A report looks into what went wrong at RSH+P's Oxley Woods in Milton Keynes, an award-winning project that was to be a model of prefab affordable housing.
• Hurst says: "It is clearly vital that architects and developers fully learn and discuss the lessons of pioneering schemes like Oxley Woods (and takes serious issue with RIBA's attitude re: having awarded the project a Manser Medal).
• Schumacher cheers Shields returning to the Milwaukee Art Museum project, "but with reservations," penning an eloquent obituary for the soon-to-be-erased Kahler building (Kahler himself weighs in with sadness).
• Issues facing women in architecture continue to come to the fore in the U.S., U.K., and Australia: Q+A with Sheng: "The chairperson of The Missing 32% Project wants to know why so few leaders in architecture are women."
• Burns tackles the question for women architects in Australia and the evolution of the Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice.
• On a brighter note, the "number of women architects working in Britain's top 100 firms has made a surprise leap."
• Weekend diversions:
• Kamin cheers "the new and winningly named Chicago Architecture Foundation exhibition, 'Chicago: City of Big Data'" and its "provocative premise that data, like bricks and mortar, has become a design material."
• Heidenry on the "provocative" exhibition "Northern Liberties: From World's Workshop to Hipster Mecca and the People in Between" in Philly: "While celebratory, the show is inevitably cautionary and appropriately concerned with the potential of history lost."
• Also in Philly, there's an amazing exhibition one can only see from a train (great pix!).
• Filler finds much to like in the Met's "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" - despite DS+R's "stygian black-on-black installation" that make some outfits "virtually indecipherable."
• Q&A with the curator of an exhibition celebrating the founder of the DAM (German Architecture Museum) and "Pomo's chronicler" Heinrich Klotz.
• Betsky has been arguing that "the suburb is not inherently bad" - now he has "some solid footing" with Stern's "Paradise Planned."
• Webb weighs in on Phillips's "L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s-1980s": "The perspective is invaluable - as social history and as a spur for another tide of talent to ameliorate the mediocrity."
• Morgan finds the hefty 500-page tome "The Buildings of Vermont" a "delight," showing "a rich architectural heritage that is more than red barns, white churches, and Norman Rockwell villages."
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The Rising: National September 11 Memorial Museum: A museum devoted to a traumatic event provides space for soaring emotions as it descends to bedrock...the design team has allowed the place to feel very much alive, a remarkable feat for an institution dedicated to remembering an event that began with destruction. By Clifford A. Pearson -- Snøhetta; Davis Brody Bond; Thinc Design; Local Projects [images]- Architectural Record
EarthCam Commemorates the Opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum with Ten Year Time-Lapse Movie: A small, dedicated team has worked tirelessly to keep the cameras up and running for 4,617 days... and counting. All of the images and the original camera have been donated to the museum. Witness 10 years of construction in two and a half minutes.- EarthCam
Ethics, Geopolitics, and Architecture: Should architects be held accountable for the politics of their clients or their country? The Royal Institute of British Architects seems to think so...Individuals and groups of individuals make bad choices, but that’s no reason to condemn an entire community. By Ned Cramer -- RIBA; Israeli Association of United Architects/IAUA; International Union of Architects/UIA- Architect Magazine
Why Are Developers Against Green? Often, we see battles in courts with one side winning and the other losing. Why is it so difficult to find a middle ground? It is not easy to shift the barge called conventional development towards a greener path...major barriers exist...Perhaps a "win-win" solution exists if communication lines are opened. By Mark Hostetler- Huffington Post
Children's Hospital garage megaproject brushes off neighbors: ...a disheartening reminder of how little progress actually has been made since the any-development-is-good-development days...the institutional Goliath ran circles around the David-sized neighborhood groups trying to shape it into a more urban development. By Inga Saffron -- Pelli Clarke Pelli; Ballinger [image]- Philadelphia Inquirer
What went wrong at Oxley Woods? Report for Taylor Wimpey shows ongoing technical defects affecting landmark factory-built housing scheme in Milton Keynes...Design for Manufacture contest...was supposed to be major housebuilders’ answer to the problems of providing low-cost, sustainable homes for the masses through the use of ‘modern methods of construction’ (MMC)...what could such serious post-construction issues mean for the future of factory-built homes? -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Why can't we discuss MMC [methods of construction] when things go wrong? It is clearly vital that architects and developers fully learn and discuss the lessons of pioneering schemes like Oxley Woods...How can an industry innovate if it refuses to learn from its mistakes? RIBA appears to think defending its own prize-giving record is more important than learning lessons about an approach that could help its own members tackle the UK’s housing crisis. By Will Hurst -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Latest Milwaukee Art Museum atrium design an eloquent statement: In a surprising twist, the museum wooed back Jim Shields...The situation is so much improved that I am willing to support the museum's direction — but with reservations, as I believe the better choice would be to restore the 1975 Kahler addition...First, if for no other reason than to properly witness its passing, I want to note that Shields' atrium will forever erase the design ideas of David Kahler... By Mary Louise Schumacher [images]- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Q+A: Rosa Sheng: The chairperson of The Missing 32% Project wants to know why so few leaders in architecture are women...where did the women architecture students go? -- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson- Architect Magazine
Where are all the women architects? For a long time architectural researchers assumed the undersupply of women architects was a classic 'pipeline' issue...became increasingly skeptical that a larger pipeline was the remedy...wanted to identify new mechanisms to retain and promote women and inaugurate real gender equity change...Many women and male architects stepped forward to offer practical tools...a set of 11 guides based on this advice. The Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice... By Karen Burns/University of Melbourne- Women's Agenda (Australia)
Number of women architects working in Britain’s top 100 firms on the rise: ...has made a surprise leap...increased from 25% in 2013 to 28% in 2014 – a 3% rise. The hike is even more marked among the top 10 firms...AJ100 firms with highest ratio of female to male architects.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Chicago, 'big data' focus of CAF exhibition: For sheer visual pleasure, it's hard to beat a spectacularly lit model of downtown that forms the centerpiece of the new and winningly named Chicago Architecture Foundation exhibition, "Chicago: City of Big Data"...provocative premise that data, like bricks and mortar, has become a design material...But like all tools, it's only as good as the eyes and minds of the people using it. By Blair Kamin [images]- Chicago Tribune
Gentrification Tales: Rachel Heidenry on the provocative Philadelphia History Museum exhibition, "Northern Liberties: From World's Workshop to Hipster Mecca and the People in Between"...Today, Northern Liberties is the icon of gentrification...While celebratory, the show is inevitably cautionary and appropriately concerned with the potential of history lost. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Philadelphia's Newest Art Venue: The Amtrak Corridor: A series of murals asks rail commuters to "think about this space that they hurdle through every day.": Katharina Grosse has used bright colors to transform seven sites between downtown's 30th Street Station and North Philadelphia Station. Using the train as a central vehicle, "psychylustro" is meant to be seen in motion. [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Engineering Elegance: ...the stygian black-on-black installation by Diller Scofidio + Renfro...is so dark that several black and deep-gray outfits are virtually indecipherable...despite the Met’s less than ideal presentation, few visitors will exit “Charles James: Beyond Fashion" without a deep respect for the master builder of modern fashion. By Martin Filler- New York Review of Books
Klotz's Last Tapes: Pomo's Chronicler on Show at the DAM/Deutsches Architekturmuseum: ...founder of DAM in Frankfurt, documented his visits to architects like Rem Koolhaas, Philip Johnson and Aldo Rossi...With this material now on exhibition "MISSION: POSTMODERN – Heinrich Klotz and the Wunderkammer DAM," Florian Heilmeyer talked to DAM curator Oliver Elser, on why Klotz is a key protagonist of Postmodernism. [images]- Uncube magazine (Germany)
The Status of the Suburbs: "Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City" by Robert A.M. Stern...The suburb is not inherently bad. I have been arguing this for a while, but now I have some solid footing. It is, in fact, a thousand page-long historical survey on the history of the “garden suburb"...Perhaps somebody will absorb all of Paradise Planned and figure out how to get the planned suburb right. They should then build a monument to Stern's team in the town square... By Aaron Betsky- Architect Magazine
Adventurous Los Angeles: Michael Webb weighs in on "L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s-1980s" by Stephen Phillips: ...constitute an oral history of a turbulent and creative era...Excitement was in the air, and it is fascinating to hear how these ten architects saw their contribution, then and now...The perspective...is invaluable—as social history and as a spur for another tide of talent to ameliorate the mediocrity.- The Architect's Newspaper
Around New England: An Architectural Journey Through Vermont: ...if this hefty 500-page tome accomplishes anything, it is to show that there is a rich architectural heritage that is more than red barns, white churches, and Norman Rockwell villages..."The Buildings of Vermont" by Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson...recent-most volume in an on-going series inspired by Pevsner and sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians...book is a delight. By William Morgan- Boston Globe
Steven Holl Architects: Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, UK: Holl is not hiding behind Mackintosh, but lets his work supplement it self-confidently and in a clearly contemporary style...a new, shiny piece of Glas(s)gow. By Ulf Meyer
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