Today’s News - Thursday, July 10, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're on our summer schedule now, and not posting on Fridays and Mondays. We'll be back Tuesday, July 15.
• Lynn Richards offers an in-depth look at 10 steps "for creative reinvention" to "rescale" suburbs into "vibrant, walkable, thriving places built for people" (with some prime examples).
• Hume calls for flexibility and adaptability: "A growing city like Toronto prospers only when it has the capacity to reinvent itself quickly and constantly" - wanting things to stay the same is not an option anymore.
• Florida crunches the numbers to find out which are the U.S.'s leading design cities, and comes up with some surprising results when it comes to architects: "Seattle tops the list" (NYC is only 10th, and L.A. is 20th!).
• Hawthorne reports that, beyond Zumthor's "relentlessly horizontal" museum design, LACMA has a towering plan for a hotel and condo skyscraper (that could also house Gehry's archives, and possibly the A+D Museum).
• Kamin and Harris report that a Chinese developer has high hopes to build Chicago's 3rd-tallest skyscraper, "but it is easier to announce a supertall tower than build one"; adding to the intrigue is a did-she-or-didn't-she question: is the design by Gang (rendering is certainly intriguing).
• Wainwright gives (mostly) thumbs-up to RSH+P's British Museum's extension: "What Foster did for front-of-house amid great fanfare, Rogers has done for the back, almost in secret" (and "the staff can barely conceal their excitement about their new toys").
• Foges is entranced by the "gravity-defying form" of Odile Decq's GL Events HQ in Lyon, France: "The building slips easily between two identities, the somber and the sensuous."
• Cincinnati's Urban Design Review Board, on the other hand, is "less than enthusiastic" about the design of GE's planned HQ on a high-profile spot near the city's riverfront: "If I peel off the GE sign, it could be anybody else"; but, sayeth the company: "GE is not willing to pay for an iconic building."
• Q&A with the Serpentine's Radic re: his "boulder-strewn winery" south of Santiago, Chile - and why he's into rocks.
• Weekend diversions:
• Wainwright, Woodman, McGrath, and Ferro all weigh in with thoughtful takes on Louis Kahn ("the man who spoke to bricks") and the retrospective at London's Design Museum - all well worth reading + Otobo's walk-through of Four Freedoms Park.
• Capps and Green manage to survive the BIG Maze at the National Building Museum: "Chalk it up as a supposedly fun thing I'll never do again" (though "mazes are the ultimate babysitters") + For those who aren't fans of enclosed spaces, "gird yourself for an anxiety-riddled time" ('til you find yourself at the exit); though Silverstein has a grand time, as does Kolson Hurley.
• Down Under, "Hot Modernism: Building Modern Queensland 1945-75" reveals the period's architectural community as "a hotbed of ideas which continue to resonate with people now" + It was "a time that can be best described as 'hot' - hot in design, hot in color, and hot in debate."
• At NYC's Skyscraper Museum, "Times Square, 1984" shows a time when its future "was in limbo - caught between a series of false starts at clean-slate urban renewal - and an emerging philosophy of urbanism that favored history, preservationist values, electric signs and semiotics, and delirious diversity."
• Larman is totally taken by Wilkinson's "Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made" that is "challenging, witty and authoritative" and "takes the reader on wild and unexpected tangents. It's rare to encounter an accessible book of this intellectual density."
• Green cheers Beatley's "Blue Urbanism": "Too many cities don't understand their connections to oceans."
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Putting People First: 10 Steps Toward Pedestrian-Friendly Suburbs: Many suburban areas...are showing signs of deterioration...These landscapes have come to epitomize sprawl...But they also hold enormous opportunities for creative reinvention. A number of communities...are rescaling their suburbs into vibrant, walkable places built for people...thriving social hubs. By Lynn Richards [link to pdf with images]- Land Lines / Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Flexibility is forever when building the city of tomorrow: A growing city like Toronto prospers only when it has the capacity to reinvent itself quickly and constantly. Adaptability...implies a willingness to experiment and take chances...we have been slow to incorporate flexibility as a principle in new construction as well as planning. What’s needed are generic spaces, contemporary versions of the endlessly reusable 19th century warehouse...leave the choice up to future generations. They will thank us... By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
America's Leading Design Cities: Architects are the highest paid group of designers...But, when looking in terms of concentration, the nation’s leading clusters for architects may not be what you think. Seattle tops the list...followed by San Francisco...Denver, Washington, Boston, Raleigh, Portland, and St. Louis...had higher LQs [location quotient] for employee architects than New York, which came in 10th, and Los Angeles, which came in 20th. By Richard Florida [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
LACMA, Metro discussing new museum tower on Wilshire Boulevard: ...ambitious proposal for a skyscraper...having a hotel and condominiums. It would also contain LACMA galleries, including a new architecture and design wing and, potentially, Frank Gehry's archives...would offer a dramatic vertical complement to the relentlessly horizontal LACMA gallery building by Peter Zumthor...not ruling out the possibility that the A+D Museum could itself find space in the tower... By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Chinese tycoon plans stake in 3rd-tallest Chicago skyscraper: New 89-story tower would overshadow the Aon Center: But it is easier to announce a supertall tower than build one...speculation that Jeanne Gang is the tower's architect, but her firm declined to comment. If Gang has the job, it would reverse the trend of Chicago exporting its architectural strength in skyscrapers to China. By Melissa Harris and Blair Kamin -- Studio Gang Architects [image]- Chicago Tribune
British Museum's £135m extension for care and collection of world treasures: Light-filled building brings exhibitions and conservation together for first time in space the size of 14 Olympic pools: What Foster did for front-of-house amid great fanfare, Rogers has done for the back, almost in secret...something of an iceberg...the complex is 70% hidden below ground. By Oliver Wainwright -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners- Guardian (UK)
A Steely Gaze: GL Events Headquarters: Studio Odile Decq draws from Lyon’s industrial context to project the waterfront’s new identity: With its decorative envelope and gravity-defying form, [it] might at first glance appear to share the exhibitionist tendencies of its newer neighbors...the zesty Orange Cube by Jakob + MacFarlane and the Musée des Confluences by Coop Himmelb(l)au, but a closer look reveals a building attuned to its setting...The building slips easily between two identities, the somber and the sensuous. By Chris Foges [slide show]- Architectural Record
Design of GE building at The Banks disappoints Cincinnati's Urban Design Review Board had no argument about the economic impact General Electric Co. will have in the city...less than enthusiastic about the design of the $90 million building to be located in a high-profile spot near Cincinnati's riverfront..."If I peel off the GE sign, it could be anybody else"..."GE is not willing to pay for an iconic building"... -- Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio [image]- Cincinnati Enquirer
Smiljan Radic: A Rock Star Among Architects: Fresh from opening his Serpentine Pavilion, the Chilean architect discusses another new project [VIK winery]: a boulder-strewn winery south of Santiago. [images]- New York Times
Dead man building: is Louis Kahn's posthumous New York project his best? Four decades after his death, New Yorkers are flocking to Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. Was it all inspired by a masonic symbol on the back of a dollar bill? ...a composition of elemental simplicity but with immense spatial power..."Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture" is at the Design Museum, London. By Oliver Wainwright- Guardian (UK)
The man who spoke to bricks: King of the castle: Louis Kahn, subject of a major retrospective at the Design Museum in London, understood bricks like few others: ...somehow amid the chaos of his personal arrangements, he succeeded in realising some of the most magisterially assured works of architecture of the 20th century...if Kahn’s way with words often proved hard work, the buildings he designed speak with a startling clarity. By Ellis Woodman- Telegraph (UK)
Turning up the volume on Louis Kahn's legacy: Whether this exhibition captures the unmeasurable qualities of architecture that we all instantaneously understand...is not even debatable: it can’t. Only the buildings themselves can do that. What it does do for a new generation of architects is provide an excellent introduction into the sometimes enigmatic ideas and work of Leiser-itze Shmulowsky who became Louis I. Kahn. By Paul McGrath- BD/Building Design (UK)
The Evolving Genius Of Louis Kahn: ...the ultimate architect's architect. A new retrospective at the Design Museum in London aims to expose his legacy - still a work in progress - to a broader audience...Many of his buildings...were completed posthumously, and it may yet be too soon to evaluate his full legacy. By Shaunacy Ferro [images]- Fast Company
"Four Freedoms Park with Louis Khan/Franklin D.Roosevelt" by Oheri Otobo at GreatSpaces: Behind the story of the film and how you can watch it.- World Architecture
Why Every City Needs a Labyrinth: Bjarke Ingels Group built a giant maze in Washington, D.C. Cities everywhere should get one: ...it was with some hesitation that I stepped into the BIG Maze...at D.C.'s National Building Museum, a summer folly designed by the always-entertaining Danish architecture firm...Chalk it up as a supposedly fun thing I'll never do again...you could do worse when it comes to free entertainment for kids: Mazes are the ultimate babysitters. By Kriston Capps- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Learn How to Survive D.C.’s New 3D BIG Maze (or Have Fun Exploring): For those who are big fans of getting lost in tight, enclosed spaces, this experience will be a true joy. For those who don’t, gird yourself for an anxiety-riddled time, relieved only by the sight of the laughing security guard at the exit...“we didn’t know whether this would be fun or not...We don’t write the script. We create the set." By Jared Green and Yoshi Silverstein -- Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
BIG's "BIG Maze" at the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.: The vast Great Hall...is as tricky to program as it is impressive to behold...What better way to emphasize the building’s colossal scale than to insert another, roofless structure inside it? By Amanda Kolson Hurley -- Bjarke Ingels Group [slide show]- Architectural Record
Brisbane's history of modernist architecture: "Hot Modernism: Building Modern Queensland 1945-75" at the State Library of Queensland aims to reveal the bubbling well of creativity that flourished in the middle of last century...a rich period...with an emphasis on clean lines, minimalist design...and a preoccupation with how people would live in the future. “The architectural community was a hotbed of ideas which continue to resonate with people now"... -- James Birrell; Karl Langer; BVN Architects; Wilson Architects [images]- Brisbane Times (Australia)
Queensland Hot Modernism on show: State Library architecture series "Hot Modernism: building modern Queensland 1945–75": "It was an exciting period, and a time that can be best described as ‘hot’ — hot in design, hot in colour, and hot in debate.” [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
"TIMES SQUARE, 1984: The Postmodern Moment": ...today it's bright and crowded...30 years ago, the future of Times Square was in limbo - caught between a series of false starts at clean-slate urban renewal by the City and State and an emerging philosophy of urbanism that favored history, preservationist values, electric signs and semiotics, and delirious diversity. [images]- The Skyscraper Museum (NYC)
"Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made" - an eclectic and controversial appraisal of architecture: Tom Wilkinson's study of 10 remarkable buildings and what they say about society is challenging, witty and authoritative...takes the reader on wild and unexpected tangents...It's rare to encounter an accessible book of this intellectual density... By Alexander Larman- Observer (UK)
"Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections between Cities and Oceans": Timothy Beatley...has done it again...expands his purview beyond the “green urbanism” of "Biophilic Cities" to the vast oceans...points to a few examples of local governments that have taken the lead...most cities can go much further than they are now, creating “blue belts,” to protect ocean spaces in the same way cities create designated “green belts” on land...Too many cities don’t understand their connections to oceans. By Jared Green- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
10 Things to See in Berlin: Berlin has many things - but above all, it has history. Layer upon layer of history. In fact, no other city has the 20th century's European history encased in its urban fabric like the German capital. -- Gehry Partners; David Chipperfield Architects; Daniel Libeskind; Dominique Perrault; Sergei Tchoban & Sergei Kuznetsov; Eisenman Architects; OMA; Snøhetta; Aldo Rossi; Richard Rogers Partnership (Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners) [images]
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