Today’s News - Thursday, March 23, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, March 28.
• ANN feature: Q&A with NK Architects' Semke re: Passive House architecture being "a potential game changer for buildings' role in the clean energy transition."
• Adler parses how Trump's budget proposal will impact architects when it comes to housing, transportation, arts, and urbanism: "the real cause for alarm" is not that popular programs might be "zeroed out; rather, it's the president's vision to do so."
• Even major businesses "set to benefit from Trump's plan to loosen environmental regulations are worried about losing access to EPA data."
• Hawthorne says every time he "struggled to understand" what a "tiny firm" was trying to say about vying for Trump's wall, "I sank further into the muck" of "rhetorical quicksand" that lays bare "blind spots and half-baked philosophy" that suggests the "ill-advised project can be redeemed."
• Not much to do with architecture, but the small border town of Los Ebanos, TX, seems to be the first to receive "notices of land condemnation for Trump's border wall - surveying and planning work has already been done" (never mind there's treaty covering floodplain protection).
• Saffron cheers on Philly's "middle neighborhoods" that may not be trendy, but "they're not blighted messes, either" - they're "poised somewhere between success and failure," and one middle-nabe's effort "is particularly instructive."
• Robathan has a rather interesting visit with Zumthor re: projects and "the role of emotions in his work": "I love buildings. I want to make buildings which have the capacity to be loved, that's all" (just don't interrupt him).
• Meanwhile, Zumthor may have thrown a "curve ball" - and "spilled the beans" to Goldberger "about a radical overhaul of his scheme" for LACMA: "The undulating form is not undulating any more."
• Philip Johnson's "deceptively unassuming" little glass house on Manhattan's East 52nd Street is an "unspoiled minimalist gem" that "doesn't give up its secrets easily" (fab photos by Dean Kaufman!).
• Salingaros on the state of architecture: "Although he is often frustrated by architects, he hasn't given up on them."
• Wolf Prix on "how architecture competitions are damaging the industry": "Only the stupid architects are doing it."
• Call for entries: Harvey Milk Plaza International Design Competition for a fitting tribute to Milk and LGBT civil rights.
• Weekend diversions:
• "Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths, 1852-2017" at the National Building Museum reflects a time "when we thought mental illness could be cured with architecture."
• A good time to be in London: Baillieu re: "the battle for No 1 Poultry": "Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square" at RIBA "has some fascinating insights into ambition, fashion and politics."
• Buxton "thoroughly recommends" the Design Museum's "Imagine Moscow": it's "architecture on steroids."
• Wainwright hails "The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945" at the Barbican that "shows how the private house has inspired some of Japan's most extraordinary architecture."
• "The Japanese House" offers "extraordinary examples" of "some of the most ground-breaking architectural projects of the last 70 years" (fab photos!).
• Kennicott cheers Lesser's "beautifully and engagingly" written "You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn": "while she doesn't let him off the hook, she doesn't indict him either. The results are refreshing."
• Wolfe's "Seeing the Better City" is "a how-to guide on maintaining a photographic diary," with "case studies of projects that make use of community photography to inform civic debates."
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ANN feature: Passive House is not so Passive Anymore: Q&A with Zack Semke, NK Architects: Passive House architecture sits squarely in the realm of information technology and science-based innovation. That is a potential game changer for buildings' role in the clean energy transition.- ArchNewsNow
Ben Adler: How Trump’s Budget Impacts Architects: ...programs at risk cover a wide array of issues, including housing, transportation, arts, and urbanism...the real cause for alarm is not the unlikely chance that popular programs...will actually be zeroed out; rather, it’s the president’s vision to do so. -- Community Development Block Grants; HUD affordable housing & smart growth-friendly programs; Energy Star; National Endowment for the Arts/NEA- Architectural Record
The financial benefits of the EPA data Trump doesn't want you to know about: Making the Environmental Protection Agency data easily accessible to the private sector plays a significant role in many billion-dollar industries...that tackle some of the biggest health and environmental problems...“It’s a lot easier to not fund science so you don’t have the data in the first place.”- Guardian (UK)
Christopher Hawthorne: For architects, Trump's wall reveals as much as it promises to close off: ...attention focused on a tiny firm called JuneJuly...the architects decided they needed to do a little damage control. "Dear Christopher"...What followed...six paragraphs of rhetorical quicksand...There is something in the architectural temperament that suggests...that ill-advised projects can be redeemed...- Los Angeles Times
Texans Receive First Notices of Land Condemnation for Trump’s Border Wall: The government offered $2,900 for 1.2 acres near the Rio Grande: Los Ebanos appears to be a prime target...The surveying and planning work has already been done...binational organization tasked with managing the U.S.-Mexico water treaty, capitulated...and agreed to a wall in the floodplain.- Texas Observer
Inga Saffron: The death and life of Philadelphia's 'middle neighborhoods': ...they’re not blighted messes, either...poised somewhere between success and failure. ...Philadelphians tend to obsess over gentrification, but the decline of middle neighborhoods is the far bigger challenge...The story of how Tacony is tackling its issues is particularly instructive. -- Paul C. Brophy [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Interview: Peter Zumthor the Swiss architect talks to Magali Robathan about LACMA, the Fondation Beyeler museum and the role of emotions in his work: "I like to take my time...I love buildings...I want to make buildings which have the capacity to be loved, that’s all."- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
Zumthor at LACMA: Throwing a Curve Ball? ...[he] may have just spilled the beans about a radical overhaul of his scheme for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art...“The undulating form is not undulating any more"...also mentioned (twice) “one big tower going to the sky” - which would be a major new element...The museum is denying any grand transformation... -- Paul Goldberger- Architectural Record
A Secret, Little Glass Home in the Heart of New York: Deceptively unassuming, Philip Johnson's 1950 Rockefeller Guest House is an unspoiled minimalist gem: ...the unadorned brick-and-glass facade...doesn’t give up its secrets easily...a monument to ego, money and establishment, not to mention a place that lacked any conventional domestic comforts...a living piece of history, hiding in plain sight. [images]- New York Times T Magazine
Nikos A. Salingaros: Calling for an Architecture That Connects Us to Our Bodies: Salingaros on the state of architecture, the need for a new set of tools, and a radically different approach to design education: Although he is often frustrated by architects, he hasn’t given up on them...- Common Edge
Coop Himmelb(l)au's Wolf Prix on how architecture competitions are damaging the industry: ...[he] has slammed design competitions, arguing they “diminish the value of our thinking...Only the stupid architects are doing it...I don’t want to work for nothing...And anonymous competition contributions are making architects slaves to money."- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
Call for entries: Harvey Milk Plaza International Design Competition: reimagine the space in San Francisco as a fitting tribute to Milk and LGBT civil rights; cash prizes; May 31- Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza / AIA San Francisco / Center for Architecture + Design
When we thought mental illness could be cured with architecture: The abandoned buildings of St. Elizabeths capture the development - and dismantling - of America’s mental health care system, according to “Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths, 1852-2017" at the National Building Museum. [images]- Washington Post
Amanda Baillieu: The battle for No 1 Poultry: a history: "Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square" RIBA exhibition on the development of the No 1 Poultry site in London has some fascinating insights into ambition, fashion and politics....we rarely get to hear about the interrelationships between clients, media and politicians, between those who thwart or promote architects’ designs...- BD/Building Design (UK)
Pamela Buxton: Architecture on steroids: The Design Museum...showing heroic but mostly unbuilt Soviet architecture of the 1920s and 30s: ...put in rich context by an array of engaging exhibits...I’d thoroughly recommend "Imagine Moscow: architecture, propaganda, revolution" for the creative way it explores the context of these fascinating architectural visions. [images]- RIBA Journal (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Home is where the art is: the visionary architects who shaped Japan: A tiny teahouse perched high atop tree trunks, a facade that’s shaped like a face ..."The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945" at the Barbican shows how the private house has inspired some of Japan’s most extraordinary architecture.- Guardian (UK)
Barbican presents "The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945": ...some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design...features over 40 architects, ranging from 20th-century masters...to exciting figures little known outside of Japan...and young rising stars...Presenting some of the most ground-breaking architectural projects of the last 70 years... [images]- Creative Boom (UK)
Philip Kennicott: Louis Kahn: Extraordinary architect, complex family man: "You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn" by Wendy Lesser: ...while she doesn’t let Kahn off the hook, she doesn’t indict him either. The results are refreshing...The writing tends to the lyrical rather than the analytical...detailed and sympathetic reporting gives a much better sense of the individuals involved...She writes beautifully and engagingly. -- Anne Tyng; Harriet Pattison- Washington Post
"Seeing the Better City: How to Explore, Observe, and Improve Urban Space" by Charles Wolfe: The first job of the book, a how-to guide on maintaining a photographic diary...what role do photographs play in improving cities? ...offers several case studies of projects that make use of community photography to inform civic debates. [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
ANN feature: Endangered Species: Q&A with "The Gargoyle Hunters" author John Freeman Gill: The novel "is informed by both my emotional connection to the lost city, and by everything I learned about architectural history and historic preservation as a journalist."- ArchNewsNow
Amanda Levete/AL_A Architects: MAAT Museum, Lisbon, Portugal: Along the Tagus River edge...sits the serpentine structure...Coinciding with a tourist boom that is lapping the shores of Lisbon, the 38,000m2 campus embodies the desire to open up an international dialogue towards Lisbon's creative scene. -- Aires Mateus e Associados; Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
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