Today’s News - Thursday, June 11, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Monday, June 15.
• ANN feature: Q&A with SWA's John Wong re: keeping supertalls grounded and connected: tall buildings "are beautiful, sleek structures, truly awe-inspiring, but a lot of a building's long-term economic success is dependent on the integration and beauty at the ground level."
• Betsky begs to differ with all the "hosannas and panegyrics" swirling around Piano's Whitney, but in the end, "what is most remarkable is the way it is a monument not just to this country's visual art, but to the transformation of Manhattan into art: an object to be desired, adored, and consumed."
• Rowland finds much to like about the Whitney: "it is, despite its bulk, a relatively quiet presence - sailing its steady, low-key course."
• Steffen offers a most interesting take on "worldbuilding" and human-centered design: "Limits do not have to mean less. Good designers, engineers, and artists know that constraints can be astonishingly fruitful."
• Teddy Cruz "thinks we've got suburbia all wrong," and offers a new way of developing cities.
• Calatrava defends his record: "I understand and accept criticisms of my work, provided they are done with professional criteria and arguments," but he objects to "using inaccurate or out-of-context information that, repeated enough, becomes truth to some even though it is not."
• Heathcote spends some quality time in Sydney with a candid Gehry (in suit and tie! But in a "laconic mood"): "Unlike the handful of other star names in architecture, he has remained resolutely low-brow in his dialogue. He's the unpretentious, regular Joe, a star who can still josh with the brickies."
• Q&A with Ingels re: 2 WTC: will this be the tallest building you design in New York? "Only time will tell."
• Ramchandani spends some quality time with Adjaye (a taxi ride to Sugar Hill included).
• Foster, Nouvel, and Koolhaas head up the three teams shortlisted to design Perth's WA Museum.
• Davidson cheers the re-opening of the High Bridge, the long-abandoned "bit of 19th-century glory," as a pedestrian and bike bridge connecting Manhattan to the Bronx: "fixing up an obsolete aqueduct and the old footbridge on top has made the city more mobile, and therefore more free." + Details of how it was done (with video).
• A conversation with Sottile at the SCADpad, the micro-community atop an Atlanta parking garage (we saw it - we want one!).
• More details about the Australian Research Council's new prefab research initiative that "has the University of Melbourne's phone lines running hot with inquiries."
• ASLA announces 2015 Honors, with Friedberg, The Office of James Burnett, and Design Trust for Public Space at the top of the list (great presentation).
• Weekend diversions:
• A preview of Design at Large and Design Curio at Design Miami/ Basel 2015, opening next week, whose mission is "to explore innovation and courage in design."
• Wainwright is very bouncy about "The Brutalist Playground" at RIBA, London, where "young architecture radicals Assemble and the artist Simon Terrill are paying tribute - by putting the bounce into brutalism."
• Q&A with Assemble's Halligan re: creating a foam playground for "The Brutalist Playground": "kids of all ages seem to enjoy what we have done here."
• Nobel gives two thumbs-up's to the "thoroughly updated and lavishly published second edition" of Curtis's "Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms": architects - "you'll need to buy this new version of a book that you probably already own and have already read."
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ANN feature: Keeping Supertalls Grounded, Connected: Q&A with SWA's John Wong, FASLA, FAAR: Tall buildings "are beautiful, sleek structures, truly awe-inspiring, but a lot of a building's long-term economic success is dependent on the integration and beauty at the ground level." [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
The Elevated Mediocrity of the New Whitney: The galleries...have been treated with hosannas and panegyrics that made me expect places of pure poetry...I found they are just OK...the circulation is a complete mess...What is most remarkable...is the way it is a monument not just to this country’s visual art, but to the transformation of Manhattan into art: an object to be desired, adored, and consumed...it is indeed a thing of beauty, even if the container of these urban revelations is decidedly not. By Aaron Betsky -- Renzo Piano- Architect Magazine
In the New Whitney: If Renzo Piano seems to be putting up museums everywhere on our planet, the reasons for that success involve more than what emerges from his drawing board...the Whitney makes for a more striking object in the cityscape, but it is, despite its bulk, a relatively quiet presence...will adapt to the changes, sailing its steady, low-key course. By Ingrid D. Rowland- New York Review of Books
Designing for People Who Don’t Yet Exist: "Worldbuilding”...allows us to wind-tunnel the effects of changes that haven’t yet happened...it’s hard to imagine any worthwhile inquiry into the future that doesn’t reckon with the limits we face. We’ve gotten limits all wrong. Limits do not have to mean less...Good designers, engineers, and artists know that constraints can be astonishingly fruitful...human-centered design (HCD)...makes empathy a tool for innovation. By Alex Steffen -- IDEO- Medium
Urban Innovators: How Teddy Cruz is Reimagining the American Dream: He thinks we've got suburbia all wrong...has a new way of developing cities, and he's drawing inspiration from an unlikely place just across the border from his home in San Diego. [video]- Politico
Santiago Calatrava defends his record: Cost overruns and accusations of faulty designs have dogged projects from New York to his native Spain...“I understand and accept criticisms of my work, provided they are done with professional criteria and arguments...Some have tried to use my work for politics, using inaccurate or out-of-context information that, repeated enough, becomes truth to some even though it is not.”- Guardian (UK)
Frank Gehry: Frank as ever: At 85, he has completed one of his finest buildings, the Dr Chau Chak Wing facility in Sydney. In laconic mood, the architect talks candidly about the role of art in his work, the dangers of architectural egotism, and why he used to think Frank Lloyd Wright was a fascist: Unlike the handful of other star names in architecture, he has remained resolutely low-brow in his dialogue...He’s the unpretentious, regular Joe, a star who can still josh with the brickies. By Edwin Heathcote- Icon (UK)
Interview: Bjarke Ingels on New Design for 200 Greenwich Street, aka Two World Trade Center: Despite public outcry following the change from the Norman Foster version...BIG’s innovative and forward-thinking building will truly respond to the human needs of its tenants, while also punctuating the Downtown skyline...will this be the tallest building you design in New York? "Only time will tell." [images]- New York YIMBY
David Adjaye's Design for Living: From the National Mall in Washington to a business school in Moscow, he makes buildings for the world. Ariel Ramchandani trails the man and his work across continents.- The Economist / More Intelligent Life (UK)
Candidates line up to build new WA museum: Three of the world’s most famous architects are competing to design and build the new $428 million WA Museum...all winners of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture - are in the three consortia short-listed to develop the Perth Cultural Centre site. -- Norman Foster/Foster + Partners/Hames Sharley; Ateliers Jean Nouvel/Cameron Chisholm Nicol/Parry and Rosenthal Architects; Rem Koolhaas/OMA/HASSELL- The West Australian
High Bridge Reopens the Bronx to Pedestrian Power: ...an abandoned bit of 19th-century glory that was of no use to anyone...Suddenly, people have a new direction in which to walk, and a new reason to do so...Preserving a tumbledown relic can sometimes look like a fussy exercise in antiquarian aesthetics. But fixing up an obsolete aqueduct and the old footbridge on top...has made the city more mobile, and therefore more free. By Justin Davidson -- Adrian Benepe- New York Magazine
A long-abandoned New York City aqueduct reopens as bike and pedestrian path: ...the newly-revitalized, High Bridge, which stretches 1,450 feet across the Harlem River...Romanesque structure dates back to 1848... [images, video]- The Architect's Newspaper
Checking In with SCAD’s Parking Garage Micro Community: A year since its debut, the modular housing units that comprise the Savannah College of Art and Design’s project continue to occupy the fourth floor of a parking garage at the school’s Atlanta campus. -- Christian Sottile [video]- Architect Magazine
Prefab sector gets a new $4 million research centre: News of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing has the University of Melbourne’s phone lines running hot with inquiries...research will not confine itself to residential buildings alone...- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
American Society of Landscape Architects Announces 2015 Honors: M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA, to receive ASLA Medal, The Office of James Burnett wins Firm Award -- Thomas Balsley; Carl Steinitz; Gregory Long; Design Trust for Public Space; etc. [links to images, info]- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Preview: Design at Large and Design Curio at Design Miami/ Basel 2015: ......will complement the main exhibition with the mission to explore innovation and courage in design. June 16-21, Basel, Switzerland -- André Balazs; Jean Prouvé; Edouard François; Shigeru Ban; Atelier Van Lieshout; etc. [images]- Artinfo
Brutalist playgrounds: 1960s concrete jungle gyms remade in pastel foam: Many postwar housing estates came with knee-skinning concrete slides and uncompromising cold steel climbing frames. Now young architecture radicals Assemble and the artist Simon Terrill are paying tribute – by putting the bounce into brutalism; "The Brutalist Playground" at RIBA, London. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Assemble turns RIBA gallery into 'The Brutalist Playground': ...transformed into a foam playground by Turner-Prize shortlisted Assemble and artist Simon Terrill. Q&A with Assemble’s Joe Halligan: "kids of all ages seem to enjoy what we have done here." [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
"Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms" by William J.R. Curtis.: Architecture today is never nearly so Wrightian, so Gropian, or so Kahnian. And, if it may at times appear glassily, griddily Miesian, we need only remember that Le Corbusier also got there first...thoroughly updated and lavishly published second edition...an historian's task but undertaken with a critic's zeal...concerned with exploring...that “rare capacity”...the ability to turn life into buildings...you'll need to buy this new version of a book that you probably already own and have already read. By Philip Nobel- Architectural Record
Nuts + Bolts #12: The Importance of Mentorship: Debunking Mentoring Myths in the AEC Industry: Mentoring can help anyone make meaningful professional connections, and it should be considered rewarding and an honor for everyone involved. By Donna Maltzan- ArchNewsNow.com
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