Today’s News - Tuesday, June 26, 2018
● Journalist and novelist Kevin Baker pens a scathing lament (obit?) about "a once great city," a.k.a. New York, which is "in imminent danger of becoming something it has never been before: unremarkable - the world's largest gated community" (a fascinating/depressing read, perhaps a bit over the top, but do check it out!).
● Evans makes the case that "if developers really want to build communities, they need to stop trying to control everything." So, architects, "instead of holding your next presentation in your meeting room or at the client's office, book the local pub and explain why: it's about being part of a community."
● Kamin has a few issues with the just-released "utterly underwhelming design for a vertical expansion" of Chicago's Union Station that "would bring to the forlorn but grand train station all the grandeur of a Holiday Inn" - despite "some good design strokes - it's just banal."
● Betsky parses the Vatican's "follies for pilgrims to the Venice Biennale": the 10 chapel/follies "are both experiments in architecture and expressions of faith"; one should have won Golden Lion for best project (along with the "most bombastic," the "most ethereal" - and his own fab photos).
● Moore lunches with Eva Franch i Gilabert, the AA's incoming "force of nature - an incredible cloud of energy, intelligence and sociability without it always being clear where it all goes - the effects could be felt in the world of architecture for decades."
● Five Boston-area architects, landscape architects, and activists offer their recipes for "food as a neighborhood planning tool, including urban beekeeping, beer urbanism, and land trusts as a way to slow the march of gentrification."
● Budds parses NCARB's preliminary data from its 2018 "By The Numbers" report: "Diversity in architecture is improving - sort of. The diversity pipeline remains a challenge for the industry as a whole."
● Keane reports on the Voices of Plurality flash mob at AIA 2018 Convention, inspired by the Biennale's flash mob in Venice: "'Clearly, architecture has a recognition and inclusion crisis. Fortunately, we have a power team.' A power team is right."
● One we couldn't resist: Kapoor sues the National Rifle Association for using "The Bean" in a promotional video: "I am disgusted to see my work - in truth the sculpture of the people of Chicago - used by the NRA to promote their vile message" (miles of comments ensue).
The Mac: To rebuild the Glasgow School of Art - or not:
● Cramer: "It hopefully goes without saying that it should be restored, or even re-created - I find it hard not to appreciate ensembles rebuilt from nothing. No, it won't be the same, but it'll be better than nothing at all."
● Flatman: "Rebuild the Mac, but why stop there - the world is full of widely recognized historic landmarks that have been rebuilt after being totally obliterated. The option to repair and even recreate what was lost should be a standard part of the urban repair toolbox."
● Røstvik uses rebuilding a smaller project in Norway as an example of the challenges/questions raised about rebuilding the Mac: "The main question we should ask is: how will 'history' in the clearer light of the future view our decisions today? A decision to demolish is final. It is forever. It will be too late for regrets."
● Brussat ponders some "predictably cockamamie calls to demolish rather than rebuild" the Mac, and shares a response "by architect Jeremy Fass that is especially inspired."
● Hopkirk reports on Dunlop's outspoken take: "Don't rebuild the Mac: We need to accept it's gone - while there's a debate to be had over" over replication, "my view is that replication is something they do in China, not here - there are young architects capable of producing something just as outstanding."
Winners (and disappointment):
● An "outstanding women-led collaborative effort" by six firms wins the International Making Cities Livable Honor Award For Excellence in Designing Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods with VeloCity: Oxford to Cambridge Regional Corridor, "a visionary conceptual plan" that "offers an exemplary model for future development that, because of its small scale approach, is inherently deliverable."
● Wilson parses the 49(!) RIBA National Award 2018 winners: "There are some seriously high-quality buildings that restore your faith in the power of architecture - but an unflattering reflection of present-day society's priorities can also be seen in the weighting and omissions of the selections" (and his 2018 Stirling Prize pick).
● On a darker note, Northern Irish architects "slam RIBA over National Awards snub" and "the 'disappointing' omission of Northern Irish projects" after 12 won RIBA Regional Awards; there was "also a complete absence of schemes from the East Midlands regions."
● On a brighter note: eyefuls of the 2018 RIBA National Award winners (great presentation).
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Kevin Baker: The Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence: I have never seen what is going on now: the systematic, wholesale transformation of New York into a reserve of the obscenely wealthy and the barely here - a place increasingly devoid of the idiosyncrasy...in imminent danger of becoming something it has never been before: unremarkable...the world’s largest gated community, with a few cupcake shops here and there...boring...happening in every affluent American city...tax-free universities have been among the most shameless offenders. -- Fumihiko Maki; Renzo Piano- Harper’s Magazine
Martyn Evans: If developers really want to build communities they need to stop trying to control everything: The most successful places are messy ecosystems that have evolved over time. Brand new developments will only begin to mimic them when the landowners let go: What we are creating now are 21st-century versions of landed estates...So, what role for architects in this debate? Architects know how to tell stories. Instead of holding your next presentation in your meeting room or at the client’s office, book the local pub and explain why: it’s about being part of a community.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Blair Kamin: Union Station plans on the wrong track: Daniel Burnham’s ghost and his much-quoted exhortation to “make no little plans” haunt the...utterly underwhelming design for a vertical expansion...these plans are little - very little...The trouble is a planned apartment addition that would plunk a squat modernist box atop the existing structure’s neo-classical pedestal...would bring to the forlorn but grand train station all the grandeur of a Holiday Inn...Despite the architects’ best efforts, it’s as though one era of architecture had been piled, willy-nilly, atop another...It’s just banal...There are, to be sure, some good design strokes here...But [it] does not inspire confidence...the Burnham legacy deserves better... -- Solomon Cordwell Buenz [images]- Chicago Tribune
Aaron Betsky: You Gotta Have Faith: The Catholic Church constructs follies for pilgrims to the Venice Architecture Biennale: ...follies have been places for architectural experimentation...the design of religious structures has been one of the discipline’s central tasks. Now these two have come together in the design of 10 chapels...Erected as the Vatican’s first “country pavilion”...[they] are both experiments in architecture and expressions of faith...follies were original structures without a function - and pagan in nature...They open up the possibility of a moment of spiritual escape...modern pagan chapels. -- Gunnar Asplund (1920); Eduardo Souto de Moura; Smiljan Radic; Terunobu Fujimori; Norman Foster; Andrew Berman; Flores & Prats; Javier Corvalán; Carla Juaçaba [images]- Architect Magazine
Rowan Moore: Architectural Association awaits its ‘Spanish tornado’: ...Eva Franch i Gilabert, takes up her post on 1 July. Is it ready for this ‘force of nature’ with radical ideas?: The AA is an architecture school like no other...a hothouse...a laboratory, finishing school, club and catwalk wherein genius and absurdity are nurtured, a never-ending carnival of creativity, pretension, inspiration, ambition and debate...Yet it has never had a leader like [her]...an incredible cloud of energy, intelligence and sociability without it always being clear where it all goes...Her willingness to embrace the technical and the procedural will come in handy at the AA...the effects could be felt in the world of architecture for decades. -- Storefront for Art and Architecture- Observer (UK)
Assemble the ingredients: Boston-area architects and activists offer five short essays about food as a neighborhood planning tool, including urban beekeeping, restaurants as community catalysts, beer urbanism, and land trusts as a way to slow the march of gentrification. -- Glynn Lloyd; David Nagahiro/; Elena Saporta; ASLA; Tom Rudick; Anna Cawrse, ASLA/Sasaki; Savinien Caracostea- ArchitectureBoston (Boston Society of Architects/BSA)
Diana Budds: Diversity in architecture is improving - sort of: New NCARB data shows more nonwhite members of the profession, but attrition rates remain high: ...released preliminary data from its 2018 edition of “By The Numbers"...shows incremental improvement in racial diversity and the representation of women. 45%...identify as nonwhite...While that statistic is encouraging, nonwhite architecture professionals are 25% more likely to stop pursuing licensure...While the rate of women achieving licensure is still low, the rate of women leaving the profession or deciding not to pursue a license is also decreasing...The diversity pipeline remains a challenge for the industry as a whole... [link to report]- Curbed
Architects Gather for the Voices of Plurality Flash Mob at AIA 2018 Convention: ...to call attention to issues of equality, equity, and inclusivity in the architecture profession..."Clearly, architecture has a recognition and inclusion crisis. Fortunately, we have a power team"...A power team is right..."we needed to do something like this...to get some attention to the fact that we women are upset.” -- Caroline James/Voices for Women Architects; Rosa Sheng/SmithGroupJJR; Beverly Willis/Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation; A.L. Hu/Solomonoff Architecture Studio; Julia Murphy/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM; Pascale Sablan/S9 Architecture; Roberta Washington/Roberta Washington Architects; Gisue Hariri/Mojgan Hariri/Hariri & Hariri Architecture; Emily Grandstaff-Rice/Arrowstreet; Zhanina Boyadzhieva/Girl Uninterrupted/Leers Weinzapfel Associates; Jessica Sheridan- Architect Magazine
Anish Kapoor sues NRA for using ‘The Bean’ in promotional video: The creator of Millennium Park landmark ["Cloud Gate"] asked the organization to remove his work: ...filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association for copyright infringement after the organization’s refusal to remove an image of the work from a promotional video ["The Clenched Fist of Truth"]..."I am disgusted to see my work - in truth the sculpture of the people of Chicago - used by the NRA to promote their vile message.”- Curbed Chicago
Ned Cramer: What Will Happen to the Glasgow School of Art? A second fire in four years has left the Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece a smoldering shell. The battle over the building's future is just beginning: ...the destruction is all but total, leaving the building a smoldering shell of dubious structural viability...a consensus to rebuild is emerging...It hopefully goes without saying that [it] should be restored, or even re-created...The approach may irk someone who puts a premium on authenticity, but I find it hard not to appreciate ensembles rebuilt from nothing...No, it won’t be the same, but it’ll be better than nothing at all. -- Giuseppe Valadier; Hans Döllgast; David Chipperfield; Julian Harrap; Venturi and Rauch- Architect Magazine
Ben Flatman: Rebuild the Mac, but why stop there? Mackintosh’s devastated art school is not the only significant building in Glasgow that should be rebuilt: The hostility to creating replicas...has its origins in modernist dogmas around “honesty” and “integrity” in materials and structure. The 1964 Venice Charter...prohibited reconstruction based on “conjecture”...But the assumptions...are outdated...the world is full of widely recognised historic landmarks that have been rebuilt after being totally obliterated...the most striking recent example of this approach has been the “critical reconstruction” of Berlin...The option to repair and even recreate what was lost should be a standard part of the urban repair toolbox. -- Hans Stimmann- BD/Building Design (UK)
Harald Røstvik: A philosopher's contribution to the Mac debate: The chance for young architects to learn about Mackintosh’s technical innovations is one argument for rebuilding the Mac: The main question we should ask is: how will “history” in the clearer light of the future view our decisions today? A decision to demolish is final. It is forever. It will be too late for regrets...The Mac building can - if rebuilt and used as an example - shake us out of the deep sleep we have fallen into when it comes to environmental design and can initiate important discussions. -- Charles Rennie Mackintosh- BD/Building Design (UK)
David Brussat: Bulldoze or rebuild Mack? A horrific second fire in four years at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art...has elicited predictably cockamamie calls to demolish rather than to again rebuild the Scotsman’s masterpiece...a flood of reaction from the TradArch list...Here is one by architect Jeremy Fass that is especially inspired.- Architecture Here and There
Elizabeth Hopkirk: "Don’t rebuild the Mac: We need to accept it’s gone": Alan Dunlop calls for design contest for entirely new building: "It would be replication and while there’s a debate to be had over that, my view is that replication is something they do in China, not here...Mackintosh was in his late 20s when he did the first element of design for the Mac and there are young architects capable of producing something just as outstanding.”- BD/Building Design (UK)
International Making Cities Livable / IMCL Honor Award For Excellence in Designing Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods: VeloCity: Oxford to Cambridge Regional Corridor: ...a visionary conceptual plan...to sustainably accommodate one million new homes...soundly rejects auto-dependent sprawl in favor of bike and pedestrian networks...inspirational project offers an exemplary model for future development that, because of its small scale approach, is inherently deliverable. -- Jennifer Ross/Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design; Sarah Featherstone/Featherstone Young; Kay Hughes/Khaa; Petra Marko/Marko and Placemakers; Annalie Riches/Mikhail Riches; Judith Syke/Expedition Engineering [images]- International Making Cities Livable (IMCL)
Rob Wilson: RIBA National Award 2018: even more London-heavy than usual: He analyses this year’s 49 winners: Awards are more a reflection of where architecture - and the society that produced it - was five or more years past, when the buildings were commissioned...There are some seriously high-quality buildings...that restore your faith in the power of architecture as both an art and a key part of civil life...But an unflattering reflection of present-day society’s priorities can also be seen in the weighting and omissions of the selections...one refreshing trend is the increasing importance, provision and generosity of in-between and shared spaces... [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Northern Irish architects slam RIBA over National Awards snub: The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) has criticised...the ‘disappointing’ omission of Northern Irish projects...In the RIBA Regional Awards, 12 Northern Irish projects were selected - six times the number of the previous year - but none of the schemes made it through to the national level...also a complete absence of schemes from the East Midlands regions - which had seven Regional Award winners...RIBA spokesperson said..."after much deliberation the jury felt that none met the level achieved by other projects."- The Architects' Journal (UK)
RIBA National Award winners 2018: ...given to buildings across the UK recognised as significant contributions to architecture. [images]- RIBA / Royal Institute of British Architects
Nuts + Bolts #18: Brad Feinknopf: More Than Meets the Eye: The Value of Architectural Photography: When you have a great project with equally great photography, the possibilities - and the pay-offs - can be endless.- ArchNewsNow.com
Charles F. Bloszies: Left Coast Reflections #5: San Francisco's Tilting Tower: Is the Millennium Tower likely to fall over? In a word: NO: Bedrock, in San Francisco anyway, is over-rated.- ArchNewsNow.com
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