Today’s News - Thursday, May 4, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday are no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 9.
● We are so pleased to bring you the preface to Shane O'Toole's "One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture": "Historians always place great weight on contemporary accounts - a work of architecture is not complete until it has been written about."
● Kamin offers his preliminary take on Tod Williams Billie Tsien's preliminary design for Obama's presidential library: it's "a promising, populist start" with "assorted urban delights - but the architecture isn't yet persuasive."
● Bozikovic is a bit more upbeat re: no-drama Obama's library: "The architecture works hard not to be pushy - and yet it will cut a dramatic figure. It says: This is change you can believe in."
● Sweet says the Obama Center design "reflects the Obamas. Splashy. Tasteful. Sleek. Modern. In a part of the city that one day will be called Obamaland."
● Grant Associates, along with WilkinsonEyre and Atelier Ten, wins the competition for the 41-hectare Tianjin Sino-Singapore Friendship Park for "the world's largest eco city in northern China."
● Leers Weinzapfel completes UMass Amherst's new Design Building, "the first academic building in the U.S. to use CLT as its primary structure."
● AIA Upjohn Research Initiative awards 5 projects a total of $100K in grants for projects "ranging from lighting for occupant well-being to walls made of trash."
● Call for entries: Urban SOS 2017: hOUR City international student competition to strengthen connections between cities and their surrounding regions.
● Wainwright gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "Citizen Jane": it "brings home the enduring relevance of her ideas," yet "the pantomime goody-baddy narrative has become drastically oversimplified, a problem that this film does little to address."
● One we couldn't resist: Walker wonders "who should star in a Jane Jacobs biopic?" (Plimpton, Bacon & Cumberbatch, anyone?)
● "Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music" at the Getty in L.A. explores connections between Scharoun's Berlin Philharmonic and Gehry's Disney Hall: "both were pivotal in fostering a strong resonance between architecture and the city."
● Gendall talks to Kapoor about "Descension," an "endless whirlpool" embedded into Brooklyn Bridge Park: "It's a bit like watching a fire - it's always changing."
● Budds cheers "The New Inflatable Moment" at Boston's BSA Space: "inflatable architecture has grown up, cut its hair, and moved from an artistic pie-in-the sky pursuit to something more practical and applied" (fab pix!).
● Pearman praises O'Toole's "One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture": it is "delightfully different from just about any other architecture book."
● Cuozzo forgives Davidson's "embrace of bike lanes" because his "Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York" lends "nuance, texture and historical perspective to my impression that NYC has never been so appealing or life-affirming as it is today."
● Moore gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Dyckhoff's "The Age of Spectacle": "His tone is jaunty, anecdotal, engaging, sometimes personal" (though sometimes "he can be too much of a mall rat with his material)."
● He hails Saumarez Smith's "East London": his "tour of the East End is enjoyable but unashamedly whimsical. If you want social realism - look elsewhere."
● Landscape architect Kullmann has a few issues with "Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook": "It's a beautiful, insightful book, but its sense of gravity is all wrong."
● Shulman's "Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity" traces the company's "affair with design - calling it a coffee or cocktail table book would do little service to his research."
● Kuehn's "Architects' Graves: A Serendipitous Guide" uncovers "the often surprisingly humble" final resting places of some notable names.
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ANN feature: Shane O'Toole: Preface to "One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture": It is a truism to say that journalism is the first draft of history. Historians always place great weight on contemporary accounts...a work of architecture is not complete until it has been written about.- ArchNewsNow.com
Blair Kamin: Obama Center design: A promising, populist start: ...a campuslike cluster surrounded by dramatically sculpted parkland and assorted urban delights...a good start on urban planning, but the architecture isn't yet persuasive...He wants a forward-looking building...Nice rhetoric, but it's not yet supported by the architectural reality...Even so, this is a promising beginning. -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; Design Architects (IDEA); Michael Van Valkenburgh [images]- Chicago Tribune
Alex Bozikovic: The Obamas' presidential library design sets the tone for a new chapter in Chicago: ...and it comes with a bit of drama...The architecture...works hard not to be pushy...and yet it will cut a dramatic figure...would assertively mark their presence and signal that this part of its city is getting a new chapter. It says: This is change you can believe in. -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien; Dina Griffin/Interactive Design Architects (IDEA); Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Lynn Sweet: Obama Center design is splashy with welcoming streetscape: The buildings reflect the Obamas. Splashy. Tasteful. Sleek. Modern. And certainly not a display of the architect’s vanity. It is architecture that relates to the adventurous buildings spawned in the last decade on the University of Chicago campus...In a part of the city that one day will be called Obamaland. -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien; Dina Griffin/Interactive Design Architects (IDEA)- Chicago Sun-Times
Grant Associates wins design competition for 41-hectare Tianjin Sino-Singapore Friendship Park: ...part of the world's largest eco city in northern China...will be the most high-profile public park within the 3,000 hectare city...also intended as an all-season, international tourist destination. -- WilkinsonEyre Architects; Atelier Ten [images]- Horticulture Week (UK)
UMass Amherst completes cross-laminated timber building: ...Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the first academic building in the U.S. to use CLT as its primary structure...emphasizes the unification of the university’s departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and the Building and Construction Technology program into one singular facility. -- Leers Weinzapfel Associates; Stephen Stimpson Associates [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
AIA awards 5 research projects $100K in grant funding: Five teams of architects, designers and researchers studying topics ranging from lighting for occupant well-being to walls made of trash...In its 10th year, the Upjohn Research Initiative funds applied research projects in design and construction.- Construction Dive
Call for entries: Urban SOS 2017: hOUR City international student competition: rethink housing, transportation, and economic development to strengthen connections between cities and their surrounding regions; no fee; cash prizes; deadline: July 17- Van Alen Institute /AECOM / 100 Resilient Cities
Oliver Wainwright: Street fighter: how Jane Jacobs saved New York from Bulldozer Bob: "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City"...brings home the enduring relevance of her ideas...the pantomime goody-baddy narrative has become drastically oversimplified, a problem that this film does little to address. Yes, Robert Moses was a bullying megalomaniac, but he also built 658 playgrounds, 10 giant public swimming pools...Neither should Jacobs’ theories and her influence on contemporary “good practice” go totally unquestioned.- Guardian (UK)
Alissa Walker: Who should star in a Jane Jacobs biopic? With a new documentary out, we got thinking: What would a celebrity-studded Jane Jacobs movie look like? ...with so many actual Hollywood connections - who would, naturally, play their own relatives... -- Jane Jacobs/Martha Plimpton; Robert Moses/Jeffrey Tambor; Edmund Bacon/Kevin Bacon; James Rouse/Edward Norton; William “Holly” Whyte/Benedict Cumberbatch; etc.- Curbed
"Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music": Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Berlin and Los Angeles sister-city partnership, the exhibition explores connections between Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic (1960–1963) and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (1999–2003)...both were pivotal in fostering a strong resonance between architecture and the city. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, thru July 30 [images]- Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles)
John Gendall: Anish Kapoor Explains His Latest Installation of an Endless Whirlpool: On the banks of the East River, and in the shade of the Brooklyn Bridge..."Descension," a circular pool of constantly spiraling water, embedded into the lawn of Brooklyn Bridge Park...“It’s a bit like watching a fire - it’s always changing"; thru September 10 [images]- Architectural Digest
Diana Budds: Today’s Architects Are Obsessed With Inflatable Design - Here’s Why: Inflatable architecture...is back: "The New Inflatable Moment"...at BSA Space, home of the Boston Society of Architects...trace design’s fascination with blow-ups all the way back to 1783...inflatable architecture has grown up, cut its hair, and moved from an artistic pie-in-the sky pursuit to something more practical and applied. [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Hugh Pearman: Boom, bust and Irish criticism: Shane O’Toole captivates with this collection of his writings from the tempestuous time of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ and subsequent crash: "One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture"...is delightfully different from just about any other architecture book. -- Group 91- RIBA Journal (UK)
Steve Cuozzo: New York City has never been better than it is today: ...an enthralling new book makes clear that I’m not alone in my home-town infatuation. “Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York” by Justin Davidson lends nuance, texture and historical perspective to my impression that New York City has never been so appealing or life-affirming as it is today.- New York Post
Rowan Moore: "The Age of Spectacle: Adventures in Architecture and the 21st-Century City" by Tom Dyckhoff: ...looks at the impetus behind the modern era’s frantic desire to erect eye-catching buildings...no one has quite done what he does...which is to tell its story clearly and plainly...His tone is jaunty, anecdotal, engaging, sometimes personal...although a self-declared optimist, he leads himself to the pessimistic conclusion that the future will probably hold more of the same.- Observer (UK)
Rowan Moore: "East London" - a journey through a smartphone lens: Charles Saumarez Smith’s ‘connoisseur’s’ tour of the East End is enjoyable but unashamedly whimsical: If you want social realism or deep analysis of the complexities of gentrification, look elsewhere. Instead we have a book palpably good-natured and benign...Making no claims to change the world, it just wants to enjoy it. [images]- Observer (UK)
Karl Kullmann: Hong Kong, Grounded: Photographing the zones of contact between the multilevel metropolis and the mountain: "Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook" by Adam Frampton, Jonathan D. Solomon, and Clara Wong...they draw a city that has radically abrogated its relationship with the ground plane. It’s a beautiful, insightful book, but its sense of gravity is all wrong...the ground is everywhere.- Places Journal
Cuba Libre: A new book explores Bacardi’s use of architecture going back to the 1800s: Allan Shulman’s "Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity" traces the beverage empire’s affair with design...calling it a coffee or cocktail table book would do little service to his research, which is thorough...The design coverage is comprehensive, yet succinct. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
A Guide to Architects Past: Henry H. Kuehn's "Architects' Graves: A Serendipitous Guide" explores the often surprisingly humble sites that are the final resting places for some renowned architects...While he was expecting to find glorious monuments...[he] was surprised to discover modest plots of remembrance and that many architects chose to be cremated... [images]- Architect Magazine
ANN feature: 2017 AIA Architecture Firm Award Winners: An Interview with Bill Leddy, Marsha Maytum, and Richard Stacy of LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects: "Our track record of pushing to make a difference shows that a small firm can make a difference." - Marsha Maytum [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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