Today’s News - Thursday, December 21, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE #1: Take heart: today is the Winter Solstice - days will be getting longer (yay)! Today also marks the last ArchNewsNow newsletter of 2017 - we'll be back January 2 or 3, 2018. Our 15th year ends with a bang: two ANN feature must-reads by Crosbie and Weinstein (and a slew of other great stuff!). From our interweb house to yours, we wish everyone a Very Happy Merry Everything!
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● ANN feature: Weinstein offers one of his best Best Architecture & Design Books of the Year: "This year's best reading subverts shopworn stylistic and historic categories."
● ANN feature: Crosbie walks into Hariri Pontarini's "chrysalis of crystal": "When I visited the Bahá'í Temple of South America, I was not prepared for the power of this transcendent space - a work of architecture for the ages" (with his own fab photos to prove it!).
● Hawthorne warns that "we're on the doorstep of an era when dramatic disasters threaten to become routine," and "urban-planning chickens are coming home to roost in service of Disaster, the new patron saint of our increasingly vulnerable metropolitan regions."
● Kimmelman & Haner visit Jakarta that "is sinking so fast, it could end up underwater" very soon because of a "tsunami of human-made troubles. Hydrologists say the city has only a decade to halt its sinking" + How climate change is challenging Mexico City, China; Rotterdam, and Houston.
● Pearman parses (more positively than others) KieranTimberlake's new U.S. Embassy in London: it "will be the only architecturally sober building [in Nine Elms], surrounded by a crowd of demonstrative drunks."
● An engaging profile of Cézanne Charles, curator of America's first "City of Design" - Detroit: "she is working to prove that design can drive inclusive growth."
● Cook takes an in-depth look at Charles and Ray Eames, "who shaped the way we live. She sprinkled stardust on his designs. Without her playful input, his creations would have seemed austere."
● Rhodes looks at the relationship between race and architecture in American film, from "Gone with the Wind" to "To Kill a Mockingbird," an essay adapted from his book "Spectacle of Property: The House in American Film."
● Stratigakos takes a deep dive into why "moviemakers love architects - as long as they are white men. There are fewer women playing architects today than in the 1990s. This matters if we care about the broader invisibility of women architects in popular culture" ("archimoms" included).
● One we couldn't resist to end the year on a giggle-inducing note: The 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards (the laughing dormouse stole our hearts!).
A Who's Who of critics and their takes on the best architecture of 2017.
● Lange & Lamster, "the Luke and Leia of architectural criticism," bring us 2017 in architecture: "The good, the bad, and the pink" (including the Architecture That Should Have No Architects Award, and One More Step Toward Irrelevance Award).
● Lange ponders Apple Park: "the most-hyped building of 2017" but "the one that got away," because "so far, Apple has let in journalists only to ooh and aah, not to pick or contextualize."
● Hawthorne's take on "a tough year, marked by a return to basic, even stoic architecture after a couple decades of flamboyant form-making. All the same there was no shortage of highlights" (most discouraging: Apple "continues to refuse to open to even a single architecture critic").
● Kamin's pick of the best "in a remarkable year" in Chicago includes the Apple Store, Unity Temple, and the 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennial.
● Glancey makes his pick of "the year's most brilliant new architecture" (few surprises here).
● Hume's Project of the Year goes to Google's Quayside, a 12-acre "experimental community planned 'from the Internet up.' Not often does a Toronto development project make headlines around the world," and two honorable mentions to Mississauga and Vaughan.
● Plitt's pick of NYC's best new architecture of 2017: "It's hard not to feel slightly underwhelmed. Still, there were some projects worth celebrating," including "Best reason to actually go to Penn Station," and The "oh my God, finally!" award (links at bottom to round-ups including Weirdest Proposals, 10 biggest preservation battles, and more).
● The Off- Broadway "Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses" is "a confused new rock musical" built on "a rickety foundation": if it took Caro "more than 1,200 pages to unspool" Moses' life in "The Power Broker," and Goldberger 5,000 words writing his obituary, "it is probably ill advised to take a mere 90 minutes to tell his tale."
● "Repositioning Paolo Soleri: The City Is Nature," on view in Scottsdale, "comprehensively summarizes the breadth of his art, architecture and design"; the curator "selects her highlights and explains their significance."
● At NYC's CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture, "Five Artists + Architecture" offers "five distinct and inspired points of view that illustrate the dynamic relationship between art and architecture."
● Wills finds that Farrell and Furman's "Revisiting Postmodernism" has "less to say about the current revival of the movement, but with its present-at-the-creation insight, it's a worthy primer about this enigmatic period of architecture."
● Zohn zooms in on Mayne's (et al.) "100 Buildings" and Fisher & Harby's "Robert Venturi's Rome" - two "very giftable tomes" that include some "already-beloved structures, and bring to our attention some others that, despite their excellence, are still under the radar."
● Koush's "Constructing Houston's Future: The Architecture of Arthur Evan Jones and Lloyd Morgan Jones" will give "anyone not immediately familiar with their work an 'a-ha' moment at a list of some of their most prominent buildings."
● An excerpt from Scharmen's "Space Settlements" offers a fascinating look at "NASA's bold space habitats inspired a generation of designers."
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ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Best Architecture & Design Books of 2017: The Underside Keeps Turning: This year's best reading subverts shopworn stylistic and historic categories. -- WORKac; Wang Shu, Le Corbusier; Zaha Hadid; LOT-EK; Bauhaus; etc.- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Michael J. Crosbie: Chrysalis of Crystal: The award-winning Bahá'í Temple of South America, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, proffers a new kind of sacred space: When I visited the temple...I was not prepared for the power of this transcendent space...a work of architecture for the ages. [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Christopher Hawthorne: For American cities, flood, fire and volatility are quickly becoming the new normal: Thanks to the combination of climate change and several decades of American overconfidence about planning and land use, we're on the doorstep of an era when dramatic disaster...threaten to become routine...urban-planning chickens coming home to roost...in service of Disaster, new patron saint of our increasingly vulnerable metropolitan regions.- Los Angeles Times
Michael Kimmelman & Josh Haner: Jakarta Is Sinking So Fast, It Could End Up Underwater: A tsunami of human-made troubles in the Indonesian capital poses an imminent threat to the city’s survival. And it has to deal with mounting threats from climate change: The main cause: Jakartans are digging illegal wells... About 40%of Jakarta now lies below sea level...Hydrologists say the city has only a decade to halt its sinking. + Changing Climate, Changing Cities: How climate change is challenging Mexico City, China; Rotterdam, and Houston- New York Times
Hugh Pearman: U.S. Embassy in London by KieranTimberlake: ...the fulcrum of London’s largest current regeneration area, Nine Elms...will be the only architecturally sober building here, surrounded by a crowd of demonstrative drunks. Luckily it is saved from glassy blandness by its distinctive sunshading jacket...as its new landscape matures...the project’s main urbanistic achievement should become apparent: to blend maximum security with the Anglo-American tradition of mansions set in gardens. -- Gensler [images]- Architectural Record
Curating America’s First “City of Design”: “Deindustrializing cities [and] the people who’ve been there,” Cézanne Charles says. “They have the way to think about policies and systems that a lot of other art and design industries don’t. It’s about responsibility, not just license and permission"...she is working to prove that design can drive inclusive growth...As a curator and artist, Charles works with experiences as much as two-dimensional mediums, finding art in the urban fabric of daily life and the spaces in which people engage with one another. -- Creative Many Michigan; Laavu Studios; Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3); Mitch Cope/Gina Reichert/Power House Productions- Next City (formerly Next American City)
William Cook: Charles and Ray Eames: The couple who shaped the way we live: ...two of the most influential designers of the 20th Century. Cook looks at how the pair worked together to create designs that still inspire today: She had a sharp eye for detail, he had a head full of big ideas. She sprinkled stardust on his designs...Without her playful input, his creations would have seemed austere...Their mantras work just as well for any area of creativity: notice the ordinary; preserve the ephemeral; don’t delegate understanding; explain it to a child. "Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design" at the Vitra Design Museum thru February 25, 2018 [images]- BBC Designed
John David Rhodes: Prop and Property: The house in American cinema, from the plantation to Chavez Ravine: In purchasing a movie ticket we pay for the right to occupy a space in order to gaze up at a space we can never occupy. This is the story cinema has been mutely telling all along... [ essay adapted from Rhodes' book "Spectacle of Property: The House in American Film"]- Places Journal
Despina Stratigakos: Hollywood Architects: Moviemakers love architects. As long as they are white men: In Hollywood, ‘architect’ signifies a male type who is ‘sensitive but not girly'...For most of its history Hollywood depicted women and people of color as architects only when looking for misplaced or oddball characters who were waging inner battles...There are fewer women playing architects...today than in the 1990s. This matters if we care about the broader invisibility of women architects in popular culture.- Places Journal
The 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards: this year’s funny winners include a laughing dormouse, a shocked seal, bears caught in the act, a fox using a golf course as his personal toilet [images]- Guardian (UK)
Mark Lamster & Alexandra Lange: 2017 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the pink: the ups and downs, triumphs, and tragedies of the year in design: Call It a Comeback Award; Fake It ‘Til Ya Make It Award; Architecture That Should Have No Architects Award; One More Step Toward Irrelevance Award; etc. and Farewells. -- Jean Nouvel; SO-IL; WorkAC; Rice Design Alliance Cite Magazine; Brooks + Scarpa; MVRDV; Sidewalk Labs; Bruner Cott; OverUnder; Herzog & de Meuron; I.M. Pei; Kevin Roche; Kate Orff; Damon Rich; Rahul Mehrotra; Anne Tyng- Curbed
Alexandra Lange: The one that got away: An architecture critic reflects on Apple Park, the most-hyped building of 2017: If I were allowed to visit Apple Park, the first thing I would do is take off my shoes...But so far, Apple has let in journalists only to ooh and aah, not to pick or contextualize... the obvious critique...It is retrograde. It is anti-urban. It is greenwashed...a series of appraisals that the construction of the real object has done nothing to overturn. -- Paul Goldberger; Christopher Hawthorne; Mimi ZeigerFoster + Partners; OLIN [images]- Curbed
Christopher Hawthorne: Best architecture in 2017: In a tough year, plenty of highlights: It was marked by a return to basic, even stoic architecture after a couple decades of flamboyant form-making. It was a year - above all - in which crises like homelessness and climate change seemed...depressingly, to get a firm sense of their true scale. All the same there was no shortage of highlights. -- "Columbus"; "Make New History": The second Chicago Architecture Biennial; "City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965" by Kelly Lytle Hernandez; Herzog & de Meuron; "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America" by Richard Rothstein; Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA; Vincent Scully; Gunnar Birkerts- Los Angeles Times
Blair Kamin: Best architecture of 2017: Apple Store, Unity Temple and the Biennial in a remarkable year: ...a gutsy slope-bottomed office tower along the Chicago River delivered a notable exception to the banality of Chicago’s high-rise building boom...Can a factory be beautiful? Yes, if it’s the Trumpf Smart Factory... -- Sharon Johnston/Mark Lee/Johnston Marklee; Frank Lloyd Wright; Harboe Architects; Goettsch Partners/Magnusson Klemencic Associates; Foster + Partners; Barkow Leibinger; Stantec; KPMB Architects; Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture/Charcoalblue; Maurice Cox; Ed Uhlir; Vincent Scully; etc. [images]- Chicago Tribune
Jonathan Glancey: The best buildings of 2017: From the Lego House to a spectacular public library...the year’s most brilliant new architecture. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Studio Ko; dRMM; 6a architects; Jean Nouvel; Zaha Hadid Architects; MVRDV; Herzog & de Meuron [images]- BBC Designed
Christopher Hume’s Project of the Year: Google’s Quayside: Not often does a Toronto development project make headlines around the world...the 12-acre slice of our urban future that will be built on the east waterfront...the experimental community will be planned “from the Internet up"...2017 has been an annus mirabilis in the suburbs...Mississauga and Vaughan are...two honourable mentions... -- Sidewalk Labs; CORE Architects; Diamond Schmitt Architects; Claude Cormier; Grimshaw Architects; Adamson Associates [images]- Toronto Storeys
Amy Plitt: NYC’s best new architecture of 2017, from Cornell Tech to American Copper Buildings: It’s hard not to feel slightly underwhelmed...Still, there were some projects worth celebrating: Fun to watch rise award; Busiest starchitect award; Best reason to actually go to Penn Station; The “oh my God, finally!” award. -- Beyer Blinder Belle; Marvel Architects; S9 Architecture; Studio V; SHoP Architects; Zaha Hadid Architects; homas Heatherwick; Weiss/Manfredi; Morphosis; Handel Architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Herzog & de Meuron; INC Architecture & Design- Curbed New York
"Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses": Musical With a Rickety Foundation: Robert A. Caro needed more than 1,200 pages to unspool the story of Robert Moses’s life and career in...“The Power Broker"...when Moses died, Paul Goldberger spent upward of 5,000 words writing his obituary...So it is probably ill advised that Peter Galperin and Daniel Scot Kadin take a mere 90 minutes to tell his tale in their confused new rock musical...Its inertness is not the fault of the five-person cast...closes January 7, 2018- New York Times
"Repositioning Paolo Soleri: The City Is Nature" at SMoCA celebrates the architect's visionary ideas and legacy: ...comprehensively summarises the breadth of Soleri's art, architecture and design - from fantastical organic bridges and visionary cities of the future, to bronze bells and posters...Curator Claire Carter selects her highlights and explains their significance. -- Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art thru January 28, 2018 [images]- Dezeen
"Five Artists + Architecture": an exhibition of five distinct and inspired points of view that illustrate the dynamic relationship between art and architecture. CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture, New York City, thru February 16, 2018 -- Daniel Hauben; Irma Ostroff; David Judelson; Alan Feigenberg; Albert Vecerka/ESTO- CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture
Eric Wills: Postmodernism: Present at the Creation: "Revisiting Postmodernism" by Terry Farrell and Adam Nathaniel Furman explores the rise (and return) of this divisive period of architecture: The book...constitutes two distinct perspectives...has less to say about the current revival of the movement, but with its present-at-the-creation insight and ample photography, it's a worthy primer about this enigmatic period of architecture.- Architect Magazine
Patricia Zohn: Contemporary architects take the time to look back in two rewarding tomes: It’s not often that well-known architects thoroughly engaged in their own contemporary practices have - or take - the time to look back at the work of their elders...these two, very giftable tomes reach out beyond the generations to some iconic, already-beloved structures, and bring to our attention some others that despite their excellence are still under the radar. "100 Buildings" by Thom Mayne, Eui-Sung Yi, and Val Warke; "Robert Venturi's Rome" by Fred Fisher & Stephen Harby- CultureZhon
The architect who made Houston modern with the Astrodome, Allen Center and Greenway Plaza: "Constructing Houston's Future: The Architecture of Arthur Evan Jones and Lloyd Morgan Jones" by Ben Koush: Anyone not immediately familiar with Jones' name or the firm's work will have an "a-ha" moment at a list of some of their most prominent buildings. -- Lloyd & Morgan [images]- Houston Chronicle
Fred Scharmen: NASA’s bold space habitats inspired a generation of designers: These speculations strike a compromised balance between the displacing conditions in space...and the excitement inherent in exploring and making new worlds. The speculative contemporary architecture of the 1960s and ’70s...is put to use to show that space is for you. [excerpt from Scharmen's "Space Settlements"] -- Don Davis; Rick Guidic [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
ANN feature: Christian Bjone: Drama in Architecture: Three Books that Defy Expectations: These choices are all well off the beaten path but enjoyable in the views of the road least taken. -- “World Film Locations”; "The Drama of Space: Spatial Sequences and Compositions in Architecture" by Holger Kleine; "The House that PINTEREST Built" by Diane Keaton- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Time for Jazzing Up Architectural Imagination? A monumental catalogue of a great exhibition architects need more than they may know - hurry to Cleveland if you missed it in Manhattan. Explore "The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s."- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Fred A. Bernstein: Arthur Cotton Moore: Bold Citizen-Architect: Some of the ideas seem impractical. Others would be ruinously expensive. Still others are sensible and ought to be considered, or at least admired for their audacity. A sampling from Moore's new book, "Our Nation's Capital: Pro Bono Publico Ideas." [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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