Today’s News - Tuesday, August 2, 2016
• ArcSpace rounds up some projects that prove good things can happen "when Art and Architecture collide."
• The Pritzker's Thorne warns "of the harm it would cause" if Brexit doesn't "protect portability of qualifications" for architects.
• Future Cities Project issues a challenge in the aftermath of Brexit: "The question is: do we see it as a moment of crisis or of opportunity? We choose the latter."
• Bate sees hopeful signs in diversity benefiting architecture in Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni's approach to rebuilding her home city of Homs "using the principles of inclusiveness" that exemplify "the unique problem-solving our industry can offer."
• Wainwright had us laughing out loud with his roundup of "Ozymandian mayor" Boris Johnson's "biggest design blunders" that left London "strewn with the wreckage of his own self-promotion, a city littered with forlorn relics of his botched backroom deals."
• Gregory pens an in-depth (and must-read!) telling of the rather strange saga of Barragán's archive, "the bizarre conditions of its custodianship," and how the architect's ashes became a 2.02-carat diamond.
• Walker is quite taken by (and not happy about) the Barragán archive tale of being hidden away in a Swiss bunker for more than 20 years: "the overprotective treatment of his work might actually be responsible for destroying it."
• Lubell reports on all the ways Rio's Olympic venues hope to avoid being white elephants by being rebuilt and repurposed. "That's the plan, anyway."
• Betsky bemoans the current state of civic architecture, but remains optimistic that small-scale, "precise, nimble interventions" will fit "the tenor of the times" (until we're ready to think big again).
• Karaim is a bit concerned about Columbus, Indiana's collection of Modernist masterpieces: it "has one of the most celebrated concentrations of midcentury architecture in the country. But without any preservation laws, can the city protect that legacy?"
• Gunts gravely reports that officials have approved demolition of Virginia's only Breuer building because it isn't a designated landmark, and "its significance was not noted" in the proposed plan for a residential development (though preservationists tried).
• Morgan x 2: he cheers a Brown University "architectural gem" that "typified the optimism, idealism, and craziness of the 1960s," but needs some TLC to fully appreciate "what a groundbreaking design it is."
• But he gives two thumbs-down to a "drab" and "lumpen garage" in Providence, RI, where even the "effort to hide its true and utterly banal appearance" is only "lipstick on a pig."
• On a brighter note, the Getty Foundation 2016 Keeping It Modern Grants include the "first projects by female architects, the first project in Africa, and Soviet Modernist buildings."
• Another park-filled day: Birnbaum looks at the "good-news/bad-news" of the Obama Library choosing Jackson Park: "The people of Chicago were presented with a false choice: surrender land - or lose the library."
• Ulam digs deep into what makes a golf course built over an underground water filtration plant in a Bronx park so controversial, even though its "carefully crafted illusions worthy of an Olmsted design - the project is still an extremely sore subject."
• O'Sullivan reports that Paris is seriously considering a 32-kilometer version of the High Line: "in auditing its underused spaces - and consulting the public on how best to use them - Paris is proving that even historic cities can find ways to reinvent themselves."
• Welton cheers as a "piece of urban renewal" on Tampa's riverfront is about to "bite the dust" and 23 derelict acres are about "to be replaced by a new vision from skilled and talented landscape architects."
• Litt lauds the Akron Art Museum's "great new garden that raises the ante on a gray downtown," and challenges the city "to do better, think bigger."
• It looks like Sydney is getting serious about parklets after "last year's trial provided evidence of increased business activity," and "some clever design techniques" will bypass bureaucratic burdens: "The design has outsmarted the system."
• Call for entries (deadline extended!): RFP: 2030 Curriculum Project.
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When Architecture Meets Art: Some say Architecture is the mother of all arts while others say that it is just the slowest. But what happens when Art and Architecture collide? -- Grayson Perry/FAT Architecture; Herzog & de Meuron/Ai Weiwei; Henning Larsen Architects/Olafur Eliasson; HASSELL/Ned Kahn; Peter Zumthor/Louise Bourgeois; Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA/Rei Naito [images]
Pritzker chief: ‘Don’t let Brexit hit soul of architecture’: Martha Thorne urges government to protect portability of qualifications...warned of the harm it would cause if Brits were deterred from studying abroad because European qualifications were not recognised in the UK.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Pledges for a new narrative: We are a group of architects, designers, planners, artists and creatives brought together in the aftermath of the European referendum. BREXIT has created profound uncertainty...The question is: do we see it as a moment of crisis or of opportunity? We choose the latter...This is NOT a manifesto, but a challenge. It is an open call to engage in forming a new way of understanding what we do, and why we do it. -- Austin Williams- Future Cities Project (U.K.)
Diversity In Architecture Benefits Us All: Marwa Al-Sabouni, an architect from Homs, Syria...reinforced the value of integrating diverse points of view in planning, architecture and design...argument for rebuilding her home city using the principles of inclusiveness exemplifies the unique problem-solving our industry can offer... By Lisa Bate/B+H Architects- Huffington Post
Bikes, buses and bridges: Boris Johnson’s 9 biggest design blunders: As plans for the Garden Bridge teeter, behold Boris’s most public design disasters, from Thomas Heatherwick’s mobile sweatbox to an Olympic white elephant: ...an Ozymandian mayor who left the capital strewn with the wreckage of his own self-promotion, a city littered with forlorn relics of his botched backroom deals. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
The Architect Who Became a Diamond: A conceptual artist devises an ingenious plan for negotiating access to a hidden archive: ...the inaccessibility of Luis Barragán’s archive and the bizarre conditions of its custodianship have become almost as much of a preoccupation as his buildings...Jill Magid had arranged to introduce Barragán’s family to their carbonized relative...The story of Barragán’s archive has both enraged and fascinated Mexico City’s intelligentsia for years. By Alice Gregory- New Yorker
Why is the work of Mexico’s most famous architect hidden in Switzerland? Since 1994, the archives of Luis Barragán have been locked in a Swiss bunker: Shouldn’t the archives of this incredibly influential architect be available to the public? ...the overprotective treatment of [his] work might actually be responsible for destroying it. By Alissa Walker- Curbed
After the Games, Rio’s Stadiums Won’t Rot - They’ll Transform: Venues will become schools, pools, and other community venues after the Games...with structures that can be removed, rebuilt, and repurposed...“nomadic architecture"...“It’s based around not leaving white elephants"...That’s the plan, anyway. By Sam Lubell -- AECOM- Wired
Small-Scale Civic Architecture of Today: Until we can once again believe in our collective destiny, the foreseeable future of American civic architecture is in precise, nimble interventions: I realize this is overly optimistic...Perhaps civic architecture can be temporary...would seem to fit within the tenor of the times...one part of our civic infrastructure that is improving almost everywhere: public space...The question is how to activate all these small moments of hope. By Aaron Betsky- Metropolis Magazine
Is Columbus's Modernist Legacy at Risk? Columbus, Ind., has one of the most celebrated concentrations of midcentury architecture in the country. But without any preservation laws, can the city protect that legacy? ...“I don’t think this community is ready for a preservation ordinance, but I think by organizing people we can do the same thing"... By Reed Karaim -- Eliel Saarinen; Gunnar Birkerts; I.M. Pei; Kevin Roche; Harry Weese; Eero Saarinen; Dan Kiley; Alexander Girard; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Leers Weinzapfel Associates; Fisher and Spillman; Carlos Jiménez; Ralph Johnson/Perkins+Will [images]- Architect Magazine
Demolition approved for Virginia’s only Marcel Breuer building: ...American Press Institute (API) building...can be demolished to make way for a residential development...county officials said [it] is not protected by any landmark status, that its significance was not noted when planners prepared a plan for higher density development in the area, and that the county has no funds to save it. By Edward Gunts [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Architectural Triumph on Thayer Street: Officially called New Pembroke Dormitories, the architectural gem...After decades of Williamsburg-wannabe Georgian-style dormitories, as well as some milquetoast Modernism, this complex marked an innovative approach that typified...the optimism, idealism, and craziness of the 1960s...needs some long-deferred maintenance, which would enhance appreciation of...what a groundbreaking design it is. By William Morgan -- Donlyn Lyndon/ MLTW Architects [images]- GoLocalProv (Rhode Island)
A Drab New Garage Challenges Providence’s Claim of Creativity: ...the cacophonous placement of the lumpen garage next to the handsome Georgian Revival temple of industry borders on the obscene...To be fair, a series of screens are to be attached to the garage façade in an effort to hide its true and utterly banal appearance. Lipstick on a pig...We should demand better. By William Morgan -- Spagnola, Gisness & Associates; Herzog & de Meuron; Moskow Linn Architects [images]- GoLocalProv (Rhode Island)
Getty Foundation 2016 Keeping It Modern Grants That Span the Globe: ...9 grantees include the initiative’s first projects by female architects, the first project in Africa, and Soviet Modernist buildings. -- Eileen Gray; Lina Bo Bardi; Nickson and Borys; Wallace Harrison; Eladio Dieste; Gevorg Kochar/Mikael Mazmanyan; Frederick Gibbard; Gautam Sarabhai; Andrija Mutnjakovic [images]- Getty Foundation
The Obama Library Is Going in Jackson Park - What That Means: This is a good-news/bad-news result...The people of Chicago...were presented with a false choice: surrender land in one of the two historic parks, or lose the library...Has the time come to refine how we measure the value of historic parks...when will the public demand that open space be left open? By Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation- Huffington Post
Driving Concern: The new Mosholu golf driving range is part of a controversial water filtration plant project built at the edge of the bucolic Van Cortlandt Park: ...[in] the Bronx in New York City...carefully crafted illusions worthy of an Olmsted design...neighborhood has been denied access to a stretch of parkland...for more than a decade...from one of the largest construction projects in the city...there are still clouds of uncertainty. By Alex Ulam -- Grimshaw Architects; Ken Smith Workshop [images]- Landscape Architecture Magazine
A High Line for Paris, Only More So: The transformation of the Petite Ceinture will ultimately become the city’s biggest-ever railway conversion project...a 32–kilometer strip of unbuilt land stretching though some of its most popular neighborhoods...in auditing its underused spaces - and consulting the public on how best to use them - Paris is proving that even historic cities can find ways to reinvent themselves. By Feargus O'Sullivan- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Transforming the Riverfront in Tampa: 23 derelict acres perched along several hundred feet of the Hillsborough River...are about to see a $35 million makeover...Riverside Park...Thankfully, another piece of urban renewal will now bite the dust - to be replaced by a new vision from skilled and talented landscape architects. By J. Michael Welton -- Civitas; W Architecture and Landscape Architecture [images]- Architects + Artisans
The Akron Art Museum's great new garden raises the ante on a gray downtown: ...offers an implicit critique of the drab parking lots and one-way thoroughfares that flank it. It effectively challenges Akron to do better, think bigger...the garden seems to anticipate the ways in which a more beautiful city might grow up around it. By Steven Litt -- Olin [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
What’s a parklet and how can it boost business? A Sydney collective is raising funds for a moveable piece of green infrastructure...last year’s trial...provided evidence of increased business activity...new iteration of the parklet will also employ some clever design techniques...to bypass the bureaucratic burden of the trial...“The design has outsmarted the system"... By Cameron Jewell -- ASA - Alexander Symes Architect- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Call for entries (deadline extended!): Request for Proposals/RFP: 2030 Curriculum Project: seeking innovative teaching and curricular proposals that integrate/mainstream lessons in energy use, emissions, and resiliency in new ways and in nontraditional areas; deadline: August 15- Architecture 2030
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