Today’s News - Monday, February 23, 2015
• Heathcote hails Gehry's "remarkable new building" for the University of Technology, Sydney that uses "an unsettling and uncertain language with which to express the ethos of a school that prides itself on disruption through design."
• Kamin minces no words about what he thinks of proposals to usurp Olmsted-designed Chicago public park land for the Obama Presidential Library.
• Wilkinson offers a British take on the history of presidential libraries: their "auto-memorialization has been institutionalized": "The question of what these buildings are actually for is another one entirely" ("mausoleum effect" is one).
• Kennicott is none too pleased with Washington, DC's decision to end its support for the widely-supported Institute for Contemporary Expression in the historic Franklin School: "The decision to scuttle the city's arrangement with ICE remains opaque. This kind of fiasco is all too familiar to longtime observers of the city's cultural scene."
• Kolson Hurley reports on the groundbreaking for DC's new Museum of the Bible in a former 1920s refrigeration warehouse: if Gehry had been asked "to represent the parting of the Red Sea in billows of metal and glass, it might have been the least controversial thing about the project."
• Herzog visits the H&deM-designed M+ museum building site in Hong Kong: "To some, the minimalist inverted T-shape is an elegant urban statement. To others, it appears disappointingly understated" - but for him, "a museum should never be about the architect."
• Williams wanders Siza's "new trophy offices" for a chemical plant in China: "With his artist's eye, Siza has created a stunning work of elegant simplicity. But as a piece of architecture," it is "surprisingly typical of Chinese renderings where commissioned designs are always surrounded by nothingness."
• Slessor sees something very different: "Siza exports his oeuvre to China in a predictable triumph of style over content. For all its undoubted qualities as a piece of architecture, you get the nagging sense of Brand Siza hitting China with an exquisitely minimal thud."
• Bernstein's Q&A with Davis Brody Bond's Krebs re: the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and his response to criticism about two contentious projects for NYU and the Frick Collection.
• Thompson delves deep into what the secret is behind the "miracle of Minneapolis": "No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well" by using "fiscal equalization" never before "tried at the metropolitan level."
• DePillis delves into "how a prep school math teacher has exploded the debate over affordable housing in San Francisco" that is pitting two camps with the same goals against each other, "which blocks progress toward policies that might make a dent."
• Sturgis cheers an initiative in India that has kids mapping slums that is "sparking urban planning changes" and fostering a new generation "with a keen awareness of disparity - who are eager to correct it."
• Eyefuls of the competition winning design (from Argentina) and runners-up (from Turkey, France, and The Netherlands) for the Bamiyan Cultural Centre in Afghanistan.
• Eyefuls of the 74 schemes vying for new Nine Elms pedestrian bridge over the Thames (from wild to tame, thrilling to mundane).
• A very amusing take on the "12 most ridiculous designs" for the Nine Elms bridge: "Helpful tip for architects: you can't just draw squares on a photo and call it a design" (also in the bunch: "nightmarish"; "fairylights"; and "one with the... thing").
• Winners of the Tygron Student Contest, which "challenged next generation planners to build their own game."
• AdWeek parses AIA's venture into TV advertising with a "Look Up" theme that hopes to "humanize" a "revered but misunderstood job" (nicely done ad, but we didn't quite get the message - but maybe it's just us).
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Frank Gehry building redefines urban campus: University of Technology, Sydney...campus has emerged as a rich architectural landscape woven into the fabric of a rapidly changing neighbourhood...At its heart sits a remarkable new building...weaves together local architectural archetypes to create an unsettling and uncertain language with which to express the ethos of a school that prides itself on disruption through design. By Edwin Heathcote -- Frank Gehry [images]- Financial Times (UK)
Plan for Obama library in Chicago must respect Frederick Law Olmsted parks: Maybe it's time to erect temporary, "proceed with caution" signs at the entrances to Chicago's Jackson and Washington parks. The signs would be directed not at drivers, but at President Barack and Michelle Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Barack Obama Foundation. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
Monument to myself: Presidential libraries in the USA: As the competition to host Barack Obama’s presidential library hots up, we look back over the history of this very American institution: Since the Second World War...process of auto-memorialisation has been institutionalised...The question of what these buildings are actually for is another one entirely...the promise of a ‘mausoleum effect’ on the local economy has sometimes been invoked in order to persuade donors and recalcitrant neighbours. By Tom Wilkinson- Architectural Review (UK)
A setback for D.C. arts and culture, years in the making: The creative community’s desire to see Franklin School become a venue encounters another roadblock...it won’t happen unless the city reverses course...to end an agreement with the Institute for Contemporary Expression...The decision to scuttle the city’s arrangement with ICE remains opaque...This kind of fiasco is all too familiar to longtime observers of the city’s cultural scene... By Philip Kennicott- Washington Post
Hobby Lobby Owners Break Ground on Bible Museum: ...adapt and renovate a former 1920s refrigeration warehouse...If the founders of the incipient Museum of the Bible had asked Frank Gehry to represent the parting of the Red Sea in billows of metal and glass, it might have been the least controversial thing about the project...two blocks south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. By Amanda Kolson Hurley -- SmithGroup JJR; PRD Group; BRC Imagination Arts; C&G Partners; Jonathan Martin Creative [images]- Architectural Record
M+ architects wanted to design a building worthy of the art inside: ...faced a tough challenge - make it blend in with the skyline and worthy of the diverse works it will house: To some, the minimalist inverted T-shape...is an elegant urban statement. To others, perhaps expecting an architectural spectacle...it appears disappointingly understated...to Jacques Herzog...the debate is a natural part of the urban development process...a museum should never be about the architect. -- Aric Chen; Herzog & de Meuron [images]- South China Morning Post
Chemical Plant Offices in Huai'an City, China by Álvaro Siza: Set against a tough industrial landscape...new trophy offices...disdain context through surreal abstraction: With his artist’s eye, Siza has created a stunning work of elegant simplicity...But as a piece of architecture...surprisingly typical of Chinese renderings where commissioned designs are always surrounded by nothingness. More than that, it leaves you with the sense that it is a beautiful design with a hole at its centre. By By Austin Williams [images]- Architectural Review (UK)
Editorial: Architects don’t invent, they transform: On Siza, from Portugal to China: ...considering his most recent project [Chemical Plant Offices in Huai'an City] in which, like many others before him, Siza exports his oeuvre to China in a predictable triumph of style over content...For all its undoubted qualities as a piece of architecture, you get the nagging sense of Brand Siza hitting China with an exquisitely minimal thud. By Catherine Slessor- Architectural Review (UK)
Newsmaker: Carl Krebs: ...a Davis Brody Bond partner who devoted more than 10 years to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum: ...two other high-profile projects: a 900,000-square-foot mixed-use building for New York University, with design partner KieranTimberlake...and a 42,000-square-foot addition to the Frick Collection...Were you stung by the criticism? By Fred A. Bernstein- Architectural Record
The Miracle of Minneapolis: No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well. What’s its secret? The answers appear to involve a highly unusual approach to regional governance...encourages high-income communities to share not only their tax revenues but also their real estate with the lower and middle classes...Never before had such a plan - known as “fiscal equalization” - been tried at the metropolitan level. By Derek Thompson- The Atlantic
How a prep school math teacher has exploded the debate over affordable housing in San Francisco: Rents...are soaring. Is it just a matter of building more housing? San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation’s grass-roots approach might be uncommon, but its ideology actually isn’t...ultimately, people with the same goal disagree fundamentally on how to achieve it, which blocks progress toward policies that might make a dent... By Lydia DePillis- Washington Post
Kids in India Are Sparking Urban Planning Changes by Mapping Slums: A new project aims to give young Indians a voice in the city-development process: ...this is serious work, as the long-term health of India's slums may depend on these maps...children can pinpoint community needs that go unnoticed by adults. By Sam Sturgis -- Humara Bachpan [images]
generation coming to the fore with a keen awareness of disparity—who are eager to correct it.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
UNESCO Reveals Winning Scheme For The Bamiyan Cultural Centre In Afghanistan: An Argentina-based team, lead by , were selected from 1,070 design entries from 117 countries. -- Carlos Nahuel Recabarren/Manuel Alberto Martínez Catalán/Franco Morero; Ahmet Balkan/Emre Bozatli (Turkey); Noel Dominguez/Zoe Salvaire/Agathe Culot/Anna Kampmann/Alexandre Ferron (France); Costas Nicolaou/Constantinos Marcou (Cyprus); Graham Baldwin/Alessandra Covini (Netherlands) [images]- ArchDaily
Revealed: all 74 schemes vying for new Nine Elms bridge: The anonymous designs for the £40 million pedestrian and cyclist crossing went on show today...Entrants cannot yet be named under EU procurement rules but include a mix of ‘world renowned architects’ and ‘up-and-coming practices’... [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
The 12 most ridiculous designs for the new Battersea bridge: Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge competition: Helpful tip for architects: you can't just draw squares on a photo and call it a design...one like a nightmarish Escher painting...one with all the fairylights...one inspired by Windows Media Player visualisations...one that's a scribble...one with the... thing... [images]- CityMetric (UK)
Winners of the “Tygron Student Contest” announced: ...designed to combine the power of education and Serious Gaming...challenged next generation planners to build their own game using Tygron 3D technology... -- Kushan Dave and Nicolas Grefenstette (Cornell University); Ibtisam Ali, Jack Ashton, Rowan Visser and Xiao Wu (Windesheim University, Flevoland, Netherlands) [images, links]- Tygron
Tired of Toiling in Obscurity, Architects Start Advertising Their Profession on TV: A revered but misunderstood job...in response to the paucity of public knowledge about the profession, the AIA decided to do something it's never done in its 157 years: advertise..."It humanizes the architect"..."Look Up" theme is a subtle but evident tap on the shoulder for countless Americans who troop down the sidewalk with their eyes trained on their smart phones. [link to ad]- Adweek
Nuts + Bolts #11: CAPitalizing on Culture Change: How candor, authenticity, and provocation (CAP) can create a firm culture that drives thoughtful, positive, and creative change. By James Crispino, AIA- ArchNewsNow
-- "Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1985-2013" by Peter Zumthor, Thomas Durisch: gorgeous five-volume Leviathan of a book set...
-- What's New on the Bookshelves? "HOT TO COLD: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation" by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; "Sigurd Lewerentz, Architect"; "Tokyo Void: Possibilities in Absence"; "Silent Form: E2A Architects"; "The Architecture of the Welfare State: CF Møller Architects"
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