Today’s News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018
● Moore's take on Kuma's V&A Dundee: "...behind the powerful exterior not all is sweetness and light. It's a memorable, impressive object," which makes it "headbangingly frustrating that a series of somewhat inexplicable architectural decisions keeps intruding - in striving too hard to announce its artistic attentions, it merely adds noise."
● Gompertz offers a (mostly) more positive take: "Admittedly, V&A Dundee looks like a crushed municipal car park, and is framed by some of the ugliest modern buildings I've ever seen. And yet, it is terrific - Kuma's building is close to being impeccable" ("small niggles aside").
● Jessel reports that a Scottish parliamentary committee will consider whether the Glasgow School of Art should maintain control of the Mac "as criticism mounts over the college's stewardship of the building" (turning it into a Mackintosh museum would be a "disaster," sayeth counter-critic Malcolm Fraser).
● Franklin parses the possibility that Netsch's 1976 Selby Library in Sarasota could be torn down for Sasaki's 53-acre The Bay. "Why is the first step of creating this legacy project destroying a former legacy project?" ponders the vice-mayor (why, indeed?).
● On a brighter note, conservation architect Shikha Jain shares the conservation management plans for Corbu's Chandigarh Museum and Art Gallery and Jeanneret's Gandhi Bhawan, thanks to Getty Foundation "Keeping It Modern" grants.
● Brandes Gratz x 2: She minces no words in her (eloquently) stinging reassessment of John Portman: "To his credit, he was willing to take on the urban challenge when many viewed cities as a lost cause" - but "his buildings were resolutely anti-urban."
● She zeros in on Portman's Renaissance Center, and ponders whether Detroit will "ever fully recover from John - the Portman promise was a mirage, never living up to its promise, its architectural splash obliterating its urban damage."
● On a much brighter note: a fab presentation about Driehaus Prize laureates Marc and Nada Breitman, who are "creating social housing that transforms bland suburbs and forgotten areas into livable, walkable neighborhoods that are as charming as they are functional" (a wonderful 30-minute documentary included!).
● Hewitt begs to differ with the "architecture's critical establishment" when it comes to RAMSA's Murray and Franklin Colleges at Yale - they "are a triumph of placemaking - and among the best campus buildings of the past 50 years - anywhere."
● Morgan hails KieranTimberlake's Engineering Research Center at Brown University as "an absolute stunner - a symbol of environmental stewardship," and "an outstanding piece of contemporary architecture" (alas - images don't convey his sentiment).
● The new, LEED Gold High Tech High School in Secaucus, NJ "provides technically-focused, hands-on learning," and a hydroponic rooftop garden for its culinary kitchen lab - along with water efficient landscaping, geothermal heating, and wind turbines.
● Kroloff profiles 14 female architects - many running their own firms - from New Haven to Senegal and Shanghai, who "are creating an ever-wider range of public buildings that address architecture and urbanism in new and invigorating ways."
● AIA|LA publishes "EDI: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity" best practices guide that "aims to provide a roadmap for how firms of all sizes can begin to transform themselves into more socially just organizations" (link to guide).
● Malo reports that 27 global cities "have reached their emissions milestones, even as their populations and economies grew," but developing world cities "may need more funding to make needed changes."
● North Carolina, "encouraged by home builders and an anti-regulatory zeal," weakened its building codes in 2013 - one can only hope the powers-that-be might reconsider in the disastrous wakes of Hurricane Matthew and Florence.
● Piano confirms that "the Italian government has accepted his invitation to replace the collapsed Ponte Morandi bridge" in Genoa.
● Flatman makes the case that "Oxford's failure to teach architecture is a disaster for architects and the country" - maybe it's time for Oxford to "start its own school of architecture."
● Gerfen (speaking of architecture schools) cheers the six winners of the 2018 Studio Prize, which are among "the best examples of architectural investigation taking place in colleges and universities today - the next wave of architects will be well prepared to help tackle the pressing problems we face."
● Sergei Tchoban wins the 2018 European Prize for Architecture "for his powerful designs and a unique design vision that celebrates the best of modernist buildings."
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Rowan Moore: V&A Dundee - a flawed treasure house on the Tay: You cannot fault the ambition that underpins the V&A’s striking new northern outpost, but behind the powerful exterior not all is sweetness and light: It’s a memorable, impressive object...It has powerful moments...All of which...make it headbangingly frustrating that a series of somewhat inexplicable architectural decisions keeps intruding...Good design, as the contents of the galleries show, is purposeful, or joyous, or practical, or liberating, or any combination of the above. Too much of the new building just gets in the way. It is laborious, to no clear benefit...Too often, in striving too hard to announce its artistic attentions, it merely adds noise. -- Kengo Kuma [images]- Observer (UK)
Will Gompertz: Scotland's first design museum, V&A Dundee: Admittedly, it cost £80.1m, looks like a crushed municipal car park, and is framed by some of the ugliest modern buildings I've ever seen. And yet...[it] is terrific...world class...an instant design classic...Nothing is perfect, but small niggles aside...Kengo Kuma's building is close to being impeccable...a showcase of design at its best...when you go outside. And with your sensibilities at their most aesthetically tuned after an hour or so in the museum you will be appalled by what confronts you. The new railway station-hotel combo is ghastly...plans for more of the same...Oh dear. What a shame. What a missed opportunity. [images]- BBC (UK)
Ella Jessel: Take the Mac away from Glasgow School of Art, MSPs to be told: Questions about whether the [school] should maintain control of the Mac will be raised at a Scottish parliamentary committee, as criticism mounts over the college’s stewardship of the building: ...Malcolm Fraser...described the idea of taking the building away from the school and turning it into a Mackintosh museum as a ‘disaster’. -- Charles Rennie Mackintosh- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Sydney Franklin: Tear Down for What? Selby Library by SOM’s Walter Netsch may be demolished in Sarasota bayfront project: ...could be torn down for Sasaki's waterfront cultural and recreational zone [53-acre The Bay]...zero consideration was given to the fate of the 30,000-square-foot structure despite other historic buildings being saved...“Why is the first step of creating this legacy project destroying a former legacy project?” ...now known as the G.Wiz Science Museum, has been empty for six years... -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1976); Taliesin Associated Architects (1969); Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization; Sarasota Architectural Foundation; Dale Parks/D/Parks Architect [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
‘Preservation of heritage is vital to retain cultural identity of our cities’: The conservation management plan for the Chandigarh Museum and Art Gallery [and Gandhi Bhawan] will be a holistic approach. It will focus on the iconic modern building designed by Le Corbusier around 1962: Conservation architect Shikha Jain, Director, Preservation and Community Design, DRONAH, shares the conservation management plans... -- Pierre Jeanneret; Gandhi Bhawan; SD Sharma; MS Randhawa; Ratna Fabric- Indian Express (Chandigarh)
Roberta Brandes Gratz: A Critical Reassessment of John Portman? No, His Buildings Were Resolutely Anti-Urban: The recent recalibration of the late architect’s legacy is completely misguided: Portman was welcomed by hard pressed cities...For a while, his ideas seemed fresh, when architectural creativity was anything but. To his credit, [he] was willing to take on the urban challenge when many viewed cities...as a lost cause...ostensibly as acts of urban redevelopment...they actually stunted the potential for revival...Contrasting Portman to Quincy Market underscores the anti-urban character of the former...only one led to real revitalization...one embraces the city, the other fears it.- Common Edge
Roberta Brandes Gratz: Will Detroit Ever Fully Recover From John Portman’s Renaissance Center? ...it’s worth going into a bit more detail about these projects, since we seem to have learned so little from their failures...mammoth and ill considered development...effectively vacuumed out what was left of the shaky but existent commercial life...the real uncelebrated story of genuine rebirth in cities across the country - small local projects planting the seeds for authentic revival...Fortunately, not every city fell under the spell of Portman gigantism...the Portman promise was a mirage, never living up to its promise, its architectural splash obliterating its urban damage.- Common Edge
Marc and Nada Breitman: Making Places Durable, Beautiful, and Sustainable: ...how they use their art to celebrate diversity and bring communities together – creating social housing that transforms bland suburbs and forgotten areas into livable, walkable neighborhoods that are as charming as they are functional. 2018 laureates of the Driehaus Prize... [multi-media]- WTTW Chicago / PBS
Mark Alan Hewitt: Contrary to Architecture’s Critical Establishment, Robert A.M. Stern’s Yale Colleges Are a Triumph of Placemaking: The lavish, new dorms were not critical hits, but they will stand the ultimate test: time.: Let me be bold and buck the critical establishment: [They] are the best collegiate dormitories, and among the best campus buildings of the past 50 years - anywhere...They represent the architecture of place over an architecture obsessed with form and fleeting theoretical rhetoric...Murray and Franklin Colleges succeed first as urbanism.- Common Edge
William Morgan: Brown University’s Engineering Research Center is a cutting-edge facility: ...$88-million, 80,000-square-foot laboratory and classroom building, is an absolute stunner. After struggling to find an appropriate architectural voice, the center demonstrates that Brown has finally gotten it very right...The ERC joins three nondescript science buildings from 1962, 1965 and 2001...As a teaching tool, research facility and as a symbol of environmental stewardship, [it] is an outstanding piece of contemporary architecture. -- KieranTimberlake- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
350,000-sf High Tech High School opens in Secaucus, N.J.: ...provides technically-focused, hands-on learning...includes a fabrication lab...tv production studio...Food for the culinary kitchen lab will be grown in a hydroponic rooftop garden. Designed to meet LEED Gold standards, the school features water efficient landscaping, geothermal heating, a green roof, and wind turbines. -- RSC Architects; DMR Architects [images]- Building Design + Construction (BD+C)
Reed Kroloff: Architecture Is No Longer Just a ‘Gentleman’s Profession’: From New Haven to Senegal and Shanghai, female architects - many running their own firms - are invigorating the design of buildings and cities: ...offices led or owned by women are creating an ever-wider range of public buildings that address architecture and urbanism in new and invigorating ways. -- Elizabeth Diller/Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the Rockwell Group; Deborah Berke Partners; Louisa Hutton/Sauerbruch Hutton; Manuelle Gautrand; Amanda Levete/AL_A; Toshiko Mori; Magui Peredo/Estudio Macias Peredo; Rossana Hu/Neri & Hu; Huang Wenjing/Open Architecture; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Zaha Hadid [images]- New York Times
AIA|LA publishes equity, diversity, and inclusivity best practices guide: ...aims to provide a roadmap for how firms of all sizes can begin to transform themselves into more socially just organizations. [link to PDF of guide]- The Architect's Newspaper
Sebastien Malo: Cities from New York to London end growth in climate-changing emissions: 27 cities have reached their emissions milestones, even as their populations and economies grew: The absence of developing world cities from the list suggests they may need more funding to make needed changes...- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
North Carolina Weakened Its Building Codes in 2013: Five years ago, encouraged by home builders and an anti-regulatory zeal, lawmakers...joined other states in weakening building code requirements. It’s a decision they may regret...South Carolina, also under threat from Hurricane Florence, considered similar legislation lengthening the cycle between building code adoption from three years to six, but it did not advance...the shift in North Carolina reflected a push from builders, who argue that new codes make houses more expensive, reducing demand.- Bloomberg News
Renzo Piano confirms he will design Genoa's new bridge but says "it's complicated": ...the Italian government has accepted his invitation to replace the collapsed Ponte Morandi bridge in his hometown...new bridge will need to be delivered quickly, but that a brand new design is important to ensure long life. "It needs to be a mix of many things: practical, pragmatic, social, symbolic and of course poetic"...- Dezeen
Ben Flatman: Oxford’s failure to teach architecture is a disaster for architects and the country: Britain’s leaders are educated at Oxford - where they never meet an architecture student: For decades now, architects have been bemoaning their own waning influence...We often blame the profession itself, and the perceived failings of an ineffectual RIBA. But what if one of the reasons for this professional impotence lay in the peculiarities of Britain’s higher education system and the failure of one of its top universities to teach architecture? Oxford is an anomaly among the world’s leading universities in not treating design or architecture as serious, and essential, academic disciplines.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Katie Gerfen: The Winners of the 2018 Studio Prize: The jury selected six studios from the U.S. and Canada as some of the best examples of architectural investigation taking place in colleges and universities today: ...offers a preview of the ways students may approach design problems in their future careers...The lines of inquiry...suggest that the next wave of architects will be well prepared to help tackle the pressing problems we face. -- The Cooper Union, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture; University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture; University of Michigan, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP); University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design; University of Arizona, College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture [images]- Architect Magazine
Sergei Tchoban Awarded the 2018 European Prize for Architecture: ...presented by the European Centre For Architecture Art Design And Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum...chosen for his powerful designs and a unique design vision that celebrates the best of modernist buildings that are internationally iconic, complex, enigmatic, provocative, and profoundly artistic. [images]- ArchDaily
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