Today’s News - Wednesday, February 24, 2016
• Dunlap on Calatrava's "selfie magnet" (a.k.a. WTC Transit Hub), set for a soft opening soon: "It is breathtaking from the inside - luminous, intricate, uplifting and tranquil. Photos of it resemble idealized architectural renderings."
• Wainwright's take on this year's Serpentine Pavilion + four is not so rosy: the "dinky structures" will be good "as tabletop centerpieces for sponsors' parties. Each one feels like a sketch of a pavilion that could have been" ("tangle of rubber bands floating above some benches" - ouch!).
• Eyefuls of all the Serpentine pavilions - make up your own mind.
• Kamin delves into questions raised by redevelopment plans for a Chicago public housing complex: "The pictures were pretty. The mood was not."
• Abello sees hope for the too-often overlooked ground-floor uses in affordable housing developments with the Design Trust's release of design guidelines that include "a tool to demonstrate hypothetical return on investment of building ground-floor commercial space with good design."
• Bingler makes the case for co-design: "creators and users collaborating is happening elsewhere. Why couldn't this work for architecture? Otherwise, how will we know when we've got it right?" (and no, it wouldn't be "taunting the ghost of Howard Roark").
• The cost and design (by BIG) of a new Bronx police station are raising eyebrows: aside from having approved (and paid for) the original Karlsberger/Gorlin design, the new version "resembles something out of 'Robocop.'"
• Michigan introduces new bills that would radically affect historic preservation of buildings and neighborhoods: "It's a continuation of the mindless drive to roll back government even when it's doing good. It's a solution in search of a problem."
• Hadid at her Zaha best on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs: "I'm judged more harshly because I am a woman" (+ her play list - an interesting mix).
• A great Q&A with Caro re: just about everything (including Robert Moses): "he largely shies away from commenting on New York City in 2016, except when we gaze out the window of his office. 'You know, these buildings are disgusting.'"
• Eyefuls of Mecanoo's winning design for the Tainan Public Library in Taiwan.
• Eyefuls of four proposals to un-pave a Miami Dade College parking lot and replace it with a paradise of towers, hotels - and lots of culture.
• Aravena on his Venice Biennale theme: "These issues require professional quality not professional charity."
• Detroit Resists has a few issues with the Biennale's U.S. Pavilion: "what the project description refers to as 'the power of architecture' might serve as simply another name for architecture's political indifference - who and what benefits from an idealization of 'The Architectural Imagination' in Detroit at a time when architecture is being violently re-imagined by austerity politics."
• A complete list of "Reporting from the Front" participants: "the event will witness an infusion of youth never seen before with 33 of the featured architects being under 40 - a first for the Biennale."
• Rybczynski revisits Foster's Sainsbury Centre: it "still manages to look visionary," and "remains one of the architect's best works" that "represents a built chronicle of his evolution as a designer" over his four-decades-long involvement.
• Cheers to Decq for winning the Jane Drew Prize, and Peyton-Jones being awarded the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize!
• Five winning landscape design teams "will display their verdant creations" at the 2016 Festival at Les Jardins de Métis/Redford Gardens in Quebec.
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Oculus, Centerpiece of Transit Hub and Selfie Magnet, Is Set to Open: After a 12-year gestation, Santiago Calatrava’s phoenix at the World Trade Center is ready to soar. Or, at least, to hatch...Say this about the Oculus: It is breathtaking from the inside - luminous, intricate, uplifting and tranquil. Photos of it resemble idealized architectural renderings. By David W. Dunlap -- Santiago Calatrava [images]- New York Times
Serpentine pavilion 'unzipped': first look at Bjarke Ingels' design: ...a sculptural space ‘like a mountain of ice cubes’...complemented by four radical summer houses: It is a feeling of missed opportunity that sadly hangs over the whole endeavour. Together, these dinky structures...promise to do little more than provide a brief diversion for wandering park-goers - or act as tabletop centrepieces for sponsors’ parties. Each one feels like a sketch of a pavilion that could have been... By Oliver Wainwright -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Kunlé Adeyemi/NLÉ; Barkow Leibinger; Asif Khan; Yona Friedman [images]- Guardian (UK)
First images of Serpentine Pavilions released: ...this summer’s pavilion and four summer houses. It is the first time the gallery has commissioned more than one architect to work on its annual series. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ; Barkow Leibinger; Yona Friedman; Asif Khan [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Redevelopment of public housing complex raises questions: The pictures were pretty. The mood was not...does "mixed-income" really mean mixing the poor out of desirable locations? Does it advance gentrification at the expense of the people it's supposed to help? The future of the Lathrop Homes offers unsettling answers. By Blair Kamin -- Hubert Burnham; Vernon Watson; Thomas Tallmadge; Jens Jensen (1938); bKL Architecture; Michael Van Valkenburgh [images]- Chicago Tribune
New Design Guide Offers Advice to Affordable Housing Developers: “Laying the Groundwork: Design Guidelines for Retail and Other Ground-Floor Uses in Mixed-Use Affordable Housing Developments”...The biggest challenge...will be winning over the developer community...Cost is a big concern...Design Trust for Public Space also released a tool to demonstrate hypothetical return on investment of building ground-floor commercial space with good design. By Oscar Perry Abello- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Cab Drivers: The Ultimate Architecture Critics: I know the thought of ceding artistic control is like taunting the ghost of Howard Roark...But the idea of co-design, of creators and users collaborating, is happening elsewhere. Why couldn’t this work for architecture? ...voices worth listening to. Otherwise, how will we know when we’ve got it right? By Steven Bingler- Common Edge
NYC spent almost $1M on unused design for new Bronx police station, goes with 'bunker' instead: ...current design consists of a stack of concrete blocks that resemble something out of “Robocop"...Renderings of the design depict a huge, intimidating, gunmetal-gray fortress...Gorllin said: “I think it’s a waste of money and time from every angle.” -- Karlsberger Architecture; Alexander Gorlin Architects; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- NY Daily News
Michigan's primary tool for preserving historic buildings and neighborhoods could disappear: Bills...were introduced...would, at every stage, loosen restrictions on building owners. The effect on historic districts could be significant..."It's a continuation of the mindless drive to roll back government even when it's doing good. It's a solution in search of a problem."- Model D (Detroit)
Zaha Hadid: ‘I’m judged more harshly because I am a woman’: ...said that being a woman, a foreigner and doing different work has made it difficult for her in architecture: Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs...the first female architect to appear...she said: ‘I don’t like tough times but I seem to get them all the time. It’s a triple whammy..."- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Robert Caro Wonders What New York Is Going To Become: ...why the decisions Robert Moses made are still gridlocking New York, and what he misses most about being a newspaper reporter...he largely shies away from commenting on New York City in 2016, except when we gaze out the window of his office..."You know, these buildings are disgusting." By Christopher Robbins- Gothamist (NYC)
Rational Elegance: Mecanoo Wins Design Competition for Tainan Public Library in Taiwan: ...focused on the translation of values to materiality. -- MAYU Architects+ [images]- Architizer
First look: details of the proposals for Miami Dade College’s downtown site: Bids contain condo towers as high as 80 stories, hotels with up to 300 rooms, office space, retail and restaurants: ...in addition to Miami Dade College cultural venues. -- Oppenheim Architecture; Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Assoc.; Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés architectes; Arquitectonica; Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects Chartered [images]- The Real Deal (Florida)
Alejandro Aravena: 'Architects do not have a moral duty to do good': ‘We are just average architects - but we don’t want to use our skills in safe places,’ says Venice Biennale director: But any decent professional would want to test their skills in difficult environments, he added...“These issues require professional quality not professional charity.” -- Elemental- BD/Building Design (UK)
Detroit Resists Statement on the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale: We thank the curators and architects involved...for their interest in Detroit. We understand the ambition...what the project description refers to as “the power of architecture” might serve as simply another name for architecture’s political indifference...We wonder who and what benefits from an idealization of “The Architectural Imagination” in Detroit at a time when architecture is being violently re-imagined by austerity politics.- Detroit Resists
Here’s every participant working on the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 - "Reporting from the Front": ...62 national pavilions...event will also witness an infusion of youth never seen before with 33 of the featured architects being under 40 - a first for the Biennale. -- Alejandro Aravena- The Architect's Newspaper
Biography of a Building: Norman Foster's evolution as an architect can be viewed through the lens of a single project: the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts: ...still manages to look visionary...it remains one of the architect’s best works...represents a built chronicle of Foster’s evolution as a designer. Two years ago, the architect was called back to refurbish the building once again, adding another chapter to his four-decades-long involvement. By Witold Rybczynski -- Foster Associates; Foster + Partners [images]- Architect Magazine
Odile Decq and Julia Peyton-Jones recognised by Women in Architecture Awards: Decq has won the Jane Drew Prize and Peyton-Jones has been awarded the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize...- Architectural Review (UK)
Winning designs announced for 2016 International Garden Festival in Canada: Five landscape design teams...from Canada, the United States, France and Switzerland will display their verdant creations at the Festival at Les Jardins de Métis/Redford Gardens in Quebec.... -- Craig Chapple; Romy Brosseau/Rosemarie Faille-Faubert/Émilie Gagné-Loranger; Coache Lacaille Paysagistes; SRCW; Christian Poules [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
INSIGHT: The Case for Permanent Infrastructure: Water mains burst, gas mains explode, drinking water is poisoned by lead, bridges collapse, roads break down, vehicles collide, and trains derail. Are these the systems we want? What would be required, and when will we respond to this compelling need for change? By Peter Gisolfi- ArchNewsNow.com
ELEMENTAL/Alejandro Aravena: Quinta Monroy, Iquique, Chile: ...a social housing project...The site had been illegally occupied by 97 families since the 1960's, who they rehoused on the same site...'half-a-house'... [images]
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