Today’s News - Thursday, November 19, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow will be a no-newsletter day. We'll be back Monday, November 23.
• ANN Feature: Millard really floors it in a most thoughtful, in-depth review of Newman and Kenworthy's "The End of Automobile Dependence," a "tightly packed yet readable marvel of comprehensiveness" that comes up "with surprising grounds for optimism - provided planners get certain critical decisions right."
• Kimmelman is more optimistic than he thought he'd be about Pei Cobb Freed's 7 Bryant Park in Manhattan "that makes the case for why architecture matters - too many mediocre commercial projects get a pass in this city, making developers money while shortchanging the rest of us. This one could have been another one of those buildings."
• Shaw reports on a most lively debate between Speaks, Diaz Alonso, Andraos, and Steele re: Schumacher's blistering critique of the Chicago Architecture Biennial: "I don't know Patrik and I don't really care. The fact that he wrote this rant reassures me and confirms for me the fact that the Biennial is fantastic!" (and maybe he's just bummed he wasn't invited?).
• Cramer has high hopes the Chicago Biennial will "reach audiences beyond the cultural cognoscenti. There's blessedly little blobmeistering or theoretical posturing. That's a plus."
• Lang Ho cheers the Chicago Biennial: "The show isn't about big names or big projects - it's about big ideas."
• Heathcote revisits "the gloriously absurd secular chapel" that is "A House for Essex," which "demonstrates how ornament can be assimilated into design" - and he ponders whether it can heal or confirms the "schism at the heart of modern architecture - ornament and morality."
• MVRDV wins a competition to transform a 1983 "eyesore" of a mall in Taiwan into an urban lagoon - a swimming pool and elevated walkways included.
• An impressive shortlist of six now vying for LSE's £100m Paul Marshall Building includes three women-led firms.
• Brooks uses the WAF winners as examples of why "the future of architecture isn't as sci-fi as we might think - it's the problem-solving behind a design that blows our minds."
• Cheers to the winners of the Kaplan Fund's inaugural J.M.K. Innovation Prize for Dynamic Social-Sector Visionaries!
• Weekend diversions:
• King cheers the "wickedly far-fetched notion" in the premise of "The Monster-Builder," a comedy that "pokes a hole in the ego of the modern 'starchitect' - a fun variation on a theme tackled ponderously of late by would-be starchitect slayers from both ends of the cultural spectrum."
• Hatherley on the 2002 film "Children's Games, Heygate Estate": it "revisits the utopian spirit in which the estate was conceived, and questions the ongoing obsession with 'demonology and determinism' in architecture and town planning."
• The "introspective" short film "Mixed Plate Hawaii" wins the AIA Look Up Film Challenge People's Choice Award (we can see why).
• Hawthorne hails "Matter, Light and Form: Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom" at the WUHO Gallery in Hollywood: it is "a lean and sneakily ambitious show. It has a good deal more to say about photography and design history than it lets on" (great pix!).
• Madsen brings us eyefuls of the "Wonder" exhibition at the newly-opened Renwick Gallery in DC, and the "sensitive installations" that acknowledge that "the most valuable object in our collection is the building itself."
• LeFevre cheers Brownell and Swackhamer's "Hypernatural," which presents "a seemingly otherworldly future radically outside of today's status quo. There may be hope for us after all."
• Newman tackles "Thomas Heatherwick: Making" that is "equal parts show stopper and doorstop. The book, like the rest of Heatherwick's output, is ambitious and memorable, though thoroughly overwhelming and imperfect. Perhaps that's the point."
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Book Review: "The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities Are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning" by Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy: In a tightly packed yet readable marvel of comprehensiveness, Australian transportation scholars crunch the numbers on density and mode choices and come up with surprising grounds for optimism - provided planners get certain critical decisions right. By Bill Millard- ArchNewsNow.com
7 Bryant Park Embraces Its Place in the City: This 30-story building is not just another spec office tower, but a work that makes the case for why architecture matters: ...an elegant, sculptural...too many mediocre commercial projects get a pass in this city, making developers money while shortchanging the rest of us. This one by Hines, Szeto and Cobb could have been another one of those buildings. For being otherwise, they and it deserve a shout out.By Michael Kimmelman -- Yvonne Szeto/Harry Cobb/Pei Cobb Freed & Partners [images]- New York Times
Debating Patrik Schumacher's Chicago Architecture Biennial Criticism: Architects and deans Michael Speaks, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Amale Andraos, and Brett Steele, respond to Schumacher...
"I don't know Patrik and I don't really care. The fact that he wrote this rant reassures me and confirms for me the fact that the Biennial is fantastic!...Perhaps it is the beginning of a conversation that people like Patrik aren't a part of." By Matt Shaw- The Architect's Newspaper
Editorial: The Little Biennial that Could: To be a complete success, the Chicago Architecture Biennial should reach audiences beyond the cultural cognoscenti: There’s social justice...economic opportunity...community-building...and even...formal beauty...There’s blessedly little blobmeistering or theoretical posturing...That’s a plus, because the biennial’s ability to reach broad audiences will be a decisive measure of its success.... By Ned Cramer -- Sarah Herda; Joseph Grima; Studio Gang; Tatiana Bilbao; Studio [D] Tale; Andreas Angelidakis- Architect Magazine
The Big Ideas Behind the Chicago Biennial: ...the show isn't about big names and projects but rather an expansive vision of architecture: ...a conscientious effort to create not simply another tourism-motivated architecture mega-event, but a sturdy foundation for a new institution that will benefit the city...while spotlighting some of the world’s leading talents and new directions for the field...The show isn’t about big names or big projects...it’s about big ideas. By Cathy Lang Ho -- Sarah Herda; Joseph Grima [images]- Architect Magazine
Architecture explained - with the help of Grayson Perry’s shrine: ‘A House for Essex’ demonstrates how ornament can be assimilated into design: There has been a schism at the heart of modern architecture...centres around perhaps the biggest and most skirted-around issues in the theory and practice...ornament and morality. Wandering around the gloriously absurd secular chapel...I wondered whether we are finally beginning to come to terms with that split...or whether this curious little building...actually just confirms the depth of the divide. By Edwin Heathcote -- Charles Holland- Financial Times (UK)
MVRDV Wins Competition to Design an Urban Lagoon in Taiwan: ...plans include a makeover for a public mall in downtown Tainan which includes a public swimming pool and elevated walkways...to transform the China-Town Mall, built in 1983...now stands as an eyesore... -- The Urban Collaborative; LLJ Architects [images]- Architect Magazine
AJ exclusive: three women-led firms make shortlist for £100m LSE job: Six leading architects are vying for the London School of Economics new £100 million Paul Marshall Building at 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. -- AL_A; David Chipperfield Architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Penoyre & Prasad; Grafton Architects; Herzog & de Meuron Architects; Niall McLaughlin Architects/Scott Brownrigg- The Architects' Journal (UK)
The Future Of Architecture Isn't As Sci-Fi As We Might Think: But it is sustainable, pays homage to the past, and accommodates for underrepresented communities: ...architects working on the borderline between the real and the impossible...attempting to solve today's problems...The results can be physically fantastical, but most often, it's the problem-solving behind a design that blows our minds. By Katherine Brooks -- World Architecture Festival; Ole Scheeren; Multiply Architects; SPARK; Nakayama Architects;1+1>2 International Architecture JSC;a21 Studio; Turenscape; People's Architecture Office; Studio Arthur Casas/Atelier Marko; Mangera Yvars Architects; Grimshaw; Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects;DinellJohansson; ACXT; BIG;etc. [images]- Huffington Post
J.M. Kaplan Fund Announces 2015 Winners of First J.M.K. Innovation Prize for Dynamic Social-Sector Visionaries: ...supports and promotes 10 U.S.-based social entrepreneurs addressing America's most pressing needs through social-sector innovation. -- Bay2Tray; Behold! New Lebanon [New York]; Growing Veterans; Land Art Generator Initiative/LAGI; Reclaim Appalachia; etc.- J.M. Kaplan Fund
Play pokes a hole in the ego of the modern ‘starchitect’: Pity the poor celebrity architect, who these days cannot catch a break...That wickedly far-fetched notion is the premise of “The Monster-Builder,” a comedy by Amy Freed...Her lampoon taps into every suspicion of every over-hyped artiste...the sense that today’s world is being sold a bill of goods by design professionals who pontificate as if only they can see tomorrow...a fun variation on a theme tackled ponderously of late by would-be starchitect slayers from both ends of the cultural spectrum. By John King -- Peter Buchanan; Kevin Williamson- San Francisco Chronicle
Counting Broken Windows: Owen Hatherley responds to the film "Children’s Games, Heygate Estate" (2002) by Mark Lewis...examines the post-war rationale behind the Heygate’s ‘streets in the sky’ design, revisits the utopian spirit in which the estate was conceived, and questions the ongoing obsession with ‘demonology and determinism’ in architecture and town planning.- White Screen (The White Review/Film and Video Umbrella)
Short film on Hawaii architecture wins national AIA People's Choice Award: "Mixed Plate Hawaii"...by Kaoru Lovett, Graham Hart, and Ronald Ribao, won the American Institute of Architects Look Up Film Challenge...The introspective short film is a highlight reel of Hawaii architecture, ancient to modern...a crash course in Hawaii's unqiue built environment...- Pacific Business News
In Wayne Thom's revelatory show, a generation of L.A. buildings gets needed attention: "Matter, Light and Form: Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom" is a lean and sneakily ambitious show. It has a good deal more to say about photography and design history...than it lets on...corporate architecture of the 1970s and 1980s is getting a fresh look from historians, critics and young architects. It's good news that the photographer who understood it better than any other is getting one too. WUHO Gallery in Hollywood. By Christopher Hawthorne [images]- Los Angeles Times
Renwick Gallery Reopens with "Wonder" Exhibition: ...opens after a two-year renovation...nine contemporary artists whose sensitive installations, one in each room of the museum, reflect curator Nicholas Bell's acknowledgment that..."The most valuable object in our collection is the building itself"...draw inspiration from the specific galleries in which they reside. By Deane Madsen -- James Renwick (1858); Westlake Reed Leskosky [images]- Architect Magazine
Not Born This Way: In "Hypernatural: Architecture’s New Relationship with Nature" by Blaine Brownell and Marc Swackhamer, architects explore the built environment's evolving relationship with nature: The word “innovative” does not begin to describe the environments and spaces presented in...42 case studies...organized into seven beautifully illustrated chapters...present a seemingly otherworldly future radically outside of today’s status quo. There may be hope for us after all. By Camille LeFevre- The Architect's Newspaper
Heroic Heatherwick? A new monograph showcases nearly 140 projects of British designer and architect..."Thomas Heatherwick: Making"...is both thrilling and exhaustive, equal parts show stopper and doorstop...The book, like the rest of Heatherwick’s output, is ambitious and memorable, though thoroughly overwhelming and imperfect. Perhaps that’s the point. By Brian Newman- The Architect's Newspaper
Hurricane Sandy Victims Return to Resilient, Sustainable, Affordable Homes on Raritan Bay in New Jersey: The Rebuilding Union Beach demonstration project returns 14 families to new homes, and launches an online Project Guide for other communities needing to rebuild in the wake of a natural disaster. By Scott Lauer [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Estudio Barozzi Veiga: Szczecin Philharmonic Hall, Szczecin, Poland: ...won the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award...the first time that a project from behind the former iron curtain wins the prize. By Kirsten Kiser [images]
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