Today’s News - Tuesday, November 24, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've decided to take a (much-needed) extended Thanksgiving Day break. We'll be back Monday, November 30.
• Hosey continues his musings on whether architecture is art: "Do we exist to serve ourselves or everyone else - you know, the people who actually live with our work. True innovation creates tangible value, not just imagery for imagery's sake."
• Beach ponders what looks like the probable gentrification of South London's cultural epicenter: "Peckham possesses two of the characteristics most valuable to property developers: 'authentic culture' and poor people. Where will be left for culture to flourish?"
• Raleigh invites Goldberger to talk about what it takes to be a world-class city: "it needs planning, personality and architects."
• It looks like Copenhagen is putting the brakes on Holl's "controversial sky-high bicycle connection" (one critic calls it "magpie architecture").
• Wainwright considers a new Thames bridge proposal a "no-brainer - a truly public crossing in a place where it is hard to do so, but its planning process must happen out in the open, not behind closed doors."
• Better late to the High Line party than never: eyefuls of BIG's big plans in Manhattan's Meatpacking District (don't plan on being able to afford it).
• Sydney's Circular Quay to get its "vertical village" as 3XN's 49-story high-rise gets a green light.
• Eyefuls of Libeskind's Modern Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, "meant to act as a symbolic gateway between the old and new parts of the city."
• Giants are coming to a city near you: 10-story articulated sculptures and museums to include the "Fee Fi Foo Fum Snack Shack" and products designed by local inventors and artists (we don't know whether to oooh and ahhh - or gasp!).
• A fabulous round-up of articles focusing on sheltering the needy following a disaster.
• Humanitarian architecture: "Architects have to do a lot of unlearning" (competitions and innovation prizes are not necessarily a good thing).
• Hall Kaplan ponders the "mess" that is Malibu and the future of its Legacy Park "in the marrow of this mess."
• Post reports on CTBUH's "stunning comeback from near-collapse" and a new agenda that goes beyond just adding affiliates.
• Weekend diversions:
• Filler cheers "Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk," an "illuminating exhibition" in Pittsburgh that confirms "the unjustly neglected Muller-Munk's rightful place" in the pantheon of design (he designed the Unisphere!).
• In Paris, "Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The Piano Method" shines light on the process behind its buildings.
• Rose gets all round-y at London's Serpentine Gallery with Simon Denny's "Products for Organizing."
• SOFTlab goes psychedelic with its "Nova" pavilion that now "brightens cold New York nights with light."
• Two new tomes take "an unconventional approach to discussing Los Angeles architecture."
• Rybczynski uses Goldberger's Gehry biography as "a reminder of how tricky it can be to capture the life of an architect," and as a jumping-off point to discuss others that succeeded - and failed.
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Toward a Science of Design: What if architecture were inspired more by science than by art? Do we exist to serve ourselves or everyone else - you know, the people who actually live with our work? ...true innovation creates tangible value, not just imagery for imagery's sake. The profession faces extraordinary new challenges and opportunities - if only more of its leaders would lead. By Lance Hosey- Huffington Post
The Struggle to Save Peckham, South London's Cultural Epicenter: Peckham possesses two of the characteristics most valuable to property developers: "authentic culture" and poor people. Like drone pilots...the crosshairs on an architect's digital design program destroy communities via remote control...The cultural scene has come to Peckham because gentrification has pushed it out of everywhere else...Where will be left for culture to flourish? Where are we going to live? By Ben Beach- Vice
If Raleigh wants to be a world-class city, it needs planning, personality and architects: It's a little embarrassing...wearing our "world-class" buttons and boasting a College of Design at N.C. State...So why is there such a "disconnect...between the aspirations...and the reality of our built environment?" In other words, why is so much of the new in Raleigh blah? And, really, does it matter? Yes, it does. -- Robin Abrams; Frank Thompson; Paul Goldberger- Indy Week (North Carolina)
Controversial sky-high bicycle connection attracts criticism: City could be looking at other options: The massive twin tower LM Project ...has come under fire for its plan to transport cyclists...lofty bicycle plans...“magpie architecture”...rumour has it that the city has communicated to the architect Steven Holl to drop the cyclist aspect...the city will apparently find a solution to the problem themselves.- The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
Revealed: the new Thames bridge proposal that's a 'no-brainer': ...an ingenious pedestrian and cycle crossing between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe in London – but its planning process must happen out in the open, not behind closed doors: Unlike the garden bridge...there appears little to object to...a truly public crossing...in a place where it is hard to do so...design may well be a model of elegant engineering, but that doesn’t mean it should leapfrog a democratic process. By Oliver Wainwright -- reForm Architects; Elliott Wood [images]- Guardian (UK)
First Look at 76 11th Avenue, BIG-Designed Towers Coming to Meatpacking: ...nearly 800,000 square feet...split between two buildings...the larger tower’s massing up top will be unprecedented in New York City...The negligence of local government to address the zoning crisis is now pushing design for market-rate projects to absurd (but nevertheless attractive) conclusions using solutions that also make affordable price-points untenable. Still, the project itself will be beneficial... -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- New York YIMBY
3XN’s Sydney stack approved; Circular Quay gets its vertical village: Having already beaten a host of leading international architecture firms...now cleared another hurdle on their way to delivering a massive 200-metre-high...49-story high rise, Quay Quarter Tower will be defined by a series of five shifting glass volumes that are stacked irregularly upon each other... [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Daniel Libeskind designs angular white concrete and glass museum for Lithuanian art: ...Modern Art Center...will occupy a site adjacent to Vilnius' medieval city on a new public piazza. The design is meant to act as a symbolic gateway between the old and new parts of the city... -- Studio Libeskind; Do Architects [images]- Dezeen
Giants are planned for 20 cities worldwide: dan pearlman Markenarchitektur has unveiled plans for a 10-storey articulated sculpture and museum..."The Giant"...will also include the ‘Fee Fi Foo Fum Snack Shack’ and the ironically-named ‘Goliath’s, The World’s Smallest Department Store’...will sell products designed by local inventors and artists. -- The Giant’s Foundation [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
Spotlight on Shelter crisis: Rebuilding after the storm: Can innovations in design, materials or technology make a difference? What can be learned from planning and rebuilding after disaster to secure safe homes for all who need them? + Facts and figures: new trends and enduring challenges + How to make housing affordable for the urban poor + What will it take to meet global housing needs? +++- SciDev.Net
Humanitarian architects work from the ground up: Architects...have to do a lot of unlearning..."in this disaster field, it’s quite crucial that they support what’s going on, that they are not in a dominant role"...the more that architects design shelters for competitions and innovation prizes...the further removed they are from ideas around participatory design. This may go so far that architecture firms compete for the sake of a prize, not with the needs of people in mind. -- Architects Sans Frontiers/Architects without Frontiers- SciDev.Net
A Community Garden as a Central Park for Malibu: Let’s face it, Malibu as the manifestation of a city, a town, a village, or however described, is a mess...in the marrow of this mess is Legacy Park...waiting for a team of consultants to come back with a detailed plan for revitalizing the 17 acre expanse...The challenge is somehow craft it to be local and green, with a smattering of art. By Sam Hall Kaplan -- Hodgetts + Fung; Calvin Abe/AHBE Landscape Architects- City Observed
Tall Building Council Reinvented: In a stunning comeback from near-collapse at the turn of the millennium, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is flourishing....David I. Malott has more on his agenda than adding affiliates. He is encouraging more diversity in the group... By Nadine Post- ENR/Engineering News Record
The Man Who Shaped Tomorrow: ...“Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk,” an illuminating exhibition at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art...confirms the unjustly neglected Muller-Munk’s rightful place in the top tier with his much better known American contemporaries Donald Deskey, Henry Dreyfuss, Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Loewy, and Walter Dorwin Teague...His last major commission was the symbolic centerpiece of the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair - the Unisphere... By Martin Filler [images]- New York Review of Books
Renzo Piano’s Design Method Celebrated in Paris Show: Cité de l'architecture...Instead of being a retrospective, “Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The Piano Method” highlights the collective approach of the firm, by shining light on the process behind its buildings. [images]- Artinfo
The future is round: why modern architecture turned doughnut-shaped: From GCHQ to the Apple campus, huge disc-like buildings are popping up around the world. As artist Simon Denny warns, they betray a world with no corners in which to hide: "Products for Organising"...They’re not really sculptures, more architectural models...tipped on its side, to accentuate the fact they are all circular; at the Serpetine Gallery, London. By Steve Rose [images]- Guardian (UK)
SOFTlab’s “Nova” pavilion brightens cold New York nights with psychadelic light: ...invites passersby into a kaleidoscopic interior to view area landmarks - the Empire State Building, the Flatiron, and the Met Life Tower - on its mirrored surfaces and through its many exposures. When activated by sound, LEDs pulse to intensify the psychedelic visuals. -- Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District; Van Alen Institute [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Guides and Guardian Angels: Heyday Books takes an unconventional approach to discussing Los Angeles architecture: "Under Spring: Voices + Art + Los Angeles" by Jeremy Rosenberg...Fusing art history and urban planning..."LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas" is an anthology of essays and thematic maps...Both titles blend historical information with the latest contemporary developments...Together they offer an in-depth, well-rounded, and timely snapshot of 2015 Los Angeles. By Mike Sonsken- The Architect's Newspaper
The Biographer's Elusive Quest: Paul Goldberger's biography of Frank Gehry is a reminder of how tricky it can be to capture the life of an architect: For the biographer, unravelling “who did what” is a challenging task. There are books that have attempted to disentangle such questions...But a biography doesn’t have space for such lengthy digressions. The temptation is to either simplify or omit. Too often, the architect is presented as the sole creative force...Colorful but inaccurate. By Witold Rybczynski- Architect Magazine
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
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
Ateliers Jean Nouvel: One Central Park, Sydney, Australia: ...a vibrant, living landmark in what was once a derelict brewery site in downtown Sydney. One year on, [it] is a blossoming vertical landscape, helping to redefine Sydney's latest cultural precinct. -- Patrick Blanc; PTW Architects [images]
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