Today’s News - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE: We're heading to our Internet-less digs this afternoon - with high hopes the cable guy will appease the technology gods...if it doesn't work, you'll know why the newsletter is absent tomorrow/Thursday (fingers crossed and lighting candles to those pesky gods!).
Meanwhile: Breaking News! Word is that 2018 Vincent Scully Prize goes to Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Robert Campbell of the Boston Globe - two of the best! (No news reports posted before we posted.)
● Hewitt pens a portrait of Venturi as both a mentor and an "architectural legend": "For young architects, Bob and Denise were as important to the culture as television personalities. They were attractive, witty, and hip. He lived during a challenging period, accepting all of its problems and contradictions with good humor and grace" (a lovely read).
● O'Sullivan parses Scotland's high hopes for Kuma's V&A Dundee: "It's not yet entirely clear to what extent the plan to replicate the Bilbao Effect will work. Certainly, the museum itself is impressive," but "the kind of jobs provided by a visitor influx would mainly be low-paid and insecure, and might do little to meaningfully improve the city's economy."
● Bennes comes, more or less, to the same conclusion: Kuma's V&A Dundee "is striking without being spectacular. Despite the inevitable comparisons to the Guggenheim Bilbao - it remains to be seen whether Dundee can capitalize both locally and internationally on the interest" it sparks.
● Kafka considers whether Stanton Williams' revamp of London's Royal Opera House will become a public amenity: It "is betting big on audience engagement" - but "it retains an air of formality that may prevent it from becoming an intimate or comfortable place for non-ticket holders to hang out."
● Walker and Lange consider "lessons from the 1984 Olympics," and what LA 2028 could do for Los Angeles - "the city faces even greater challenges around housing and displacement. Can LA make the 2028 Games work for all Angelenos?"
● Hess makes the case for preserving Pereira's Los Angeles Times building: "What would be lost? One of L.A.'s most vivid symbols commemorating its ambitious rise from provincial outpost to global metropolis."
● Moore cheers Hackney for "investing in some of the best council housing ever built" with the Colville estate by Chipperfield and Karakusevic Carson - "by cross-subsidizing, talking to residents, and the promise of good design, an often vague concept."
● Agbo, "an African Modernist, reflects on the state of Nigeria's post-Colonial Classicism - the 1990s saw a curious resurgence in classical architecture - albeit as caricature. I would rather classicists and modernists engage in open bare-knuckle street fights than the current yawning indifference that has resulted in the current patchwork of anomalies and absurdities."
● Pinto & Badawy offer Brasília as an example of what not to do in building a new Egyptian capital city from scratch: "There's a real risk that the new city will replicate the historical trend of spatial segregation."
● Sisson reports on Amazon's investment in Plant Prefab, a "prefab startup focused on smart home tech" and sustainable construction (with the likes of Kappe, KieranTimberlake, and Behar in its portfolio).
● Diaz x 2: He brings us MVRDV's two buildings in a South Korean entertainment complex that "look like mutant 3D models come to life. By the looks of it, the studio had way too much fun" designing them - "the facades are straight out of a Salvador Dalí painting - a surrealist's wonderland."
● He then offers us images of "the ghostly remains of a failed techno-utopia - secret cities of the former Soviet Union" in "a stunning photography series by Russian visual artist Danila Tkachenko" - the "sites of long forgotten scientific triumphs and defeats have a post-human quality."
● Taubman's Massey explores how architects can "build the equitable discipline we deserve," and his school's efforts to create "a human-centered redesign of architectural education that promotes equitable access to learning and professional opportunity."
● On a more depressing note, just-released study by the Building Research Association of New Zealand finds a "toxic macho and bullying culture" to be the main cause the construction industry's high suicide rate (similar findings in Australia - though there were some "encouraging stories").
● Washington, DC, honors a pioneering African-American architect by renaming a street Paul Devrouax Way - "Devrouax+Purnell made its mark as the first African-American-owned firm to design a building in downtown DC.," and went on to design a number of "landmark DC projects."
● Eyefuls of the American Planning Association's 2018 Great Places in America designees recognizing 15 Great Neighborhoods, Streets, and Public Spaces - vote for "People's Choice" (great presentation).
● The Graham Foundation grants $600,000 to "help fund 53 projects by architecture, history, art, and publishing organizations."
● The Architects Foundation announces the 2018 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarships for "emerging professionals at early stages in their careers."
● Call for entries: 2018 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards (international; professional and student categories).
● Call for entries: Calling All Storytellers: Blank Space 6th Annual Fairy Tales Competition (one of our faves!).
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Mark Alan Hewitt: Robert Venturi and the Difficult Whole: Some thoughts on the passing of an architectural legend: Between 1965 and 1985 he and...Denise Scott Brown changed the way all architects look at buildings, cities, and landscapes...For young architects, Bob and Denise were as important to the culture as television personalities. They were attractive, witty, and hip...Buildings could express humor, ambivalence, suavity, frivolity - indeed any emotion...We would not have the Congress for the New Urbanism without Venturi’s bold leadership...He lived during a challenging period, accepting all of its problems and contradictions with good humor and grace.- Common Edge
Feargus O'Sullivan: Scotland Tries for the Bilbao Effect at the New V&A Dundee: A sparkling new museum on the waterfront opens with high hopes of putting an underexposed city on the map. Will it succeed? ...it’s not yet entirely clear to what extent Dundee’s plan to replicate the Bilbao Effect will work. Certainly, the [museum] itself is impressive...although [it] has passed its critical appraisal with flying colors, the new buildings surrounding it...have been damned as cheap eyesores...the kind of jobs provided by a visitor influx would mainly be low-paid and insecure, and might do little to meaningfully improve the city’s economy. -- Kengo Kuma [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Crystal Bennes: Kengo Kuma’s Shiplike V&A Dundee Lands in Scotland: The futuristic, concrete-clad outpost of the London-based design museum is part of a larger effort to attract tourists to Dundee's burgeoning waterfront: Despite the inevitable comparisons [to] the Guggenheim Bilbao, Kuma’s building...is striking without being spectacular...In a city that seems utterly committed to culture-led regeneration, it remains to be seen whether Dundee can capitalize both locally and internationally on the interest sparked by the arrival of the V&A. -- Maurizio Mucciola; ZMMA; Charles Rennie Mackintosh [images]- Metropolis Magazine
George Kafka: Can London’s Revamped Royal Opera House Become a Public Amenity? The famed cultural institution...is betting big on audience engagement: ...a disjunction between the institution’s aim to draw in a wider public and its lack of much to offer that public...it retains an air of formality...that may prevent it from becoming an intimate or comfortable place for non-ticket holders...to hang out. The responsibility for this will thus fall on the public program...with promises of free performances... -- Stanton Williams [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Alissa Walker and Alexandra Lange: Lessons from the 1984 Olympics: What could LA 2028 do for Los Angeles? Designers envision the look and legacy of the 2028 Summer Olympics In 1984, Los Angeles did the impossible: It used the Olympics to virtually eliminate traffic - and turn a profit. Now the city faces even greater challenges around housing and displacement. Can LA make the 2028 Games work for all Angelenos?- Curbed Los Angeles
Alan Hess: It’s time to recognize William Pereira’s Los Angeles Times building: the time has come to appreciate Late Modernism in Los Angeles...The current proposal...would delete a key chapter from the city’s collective memory...What would be lost? One of Los Angeles’s most vivid symbols commemorating its ambitious rise from provincial outpost to global metropolis...while Onni’s proposal...would preserve the beginning of that story (Gordon Kaufmann’s widely beloved Art Deco masterpiece) it would sacrifice the payoff - Pereira’s wing...It is time to leave behind outdated opinions of the Late Modern style... [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Rowan Moore: Council housing: how Hackney has raised the game: Not everyone will be fans, but by cross-subsidising, talking to residents and valuing good design, the east London borough is investing in some of the best council housing ever built: There is a twist: the new towers contain flats for private sale...in order to fund the rebuilding of lower blocks of homes for council tenants. The building type considered intolerable for the latter now attracts premium prices for private buyers...Central to these projects is the promise of good design, an often vague concept...it’s the shared spaces between buildings that make the difference between the kind of dumb brick boxes that are now the routine...and the creation of enjoyable and sociable places to live. -- David Chipperfield Architects; Karakusevic Carson Architects; Architects for Social Housing [images]- Observer (UK)
Mathias Agbo, Jr.: An African Modernist Reflects on the State of Nigeria’s Post-Colonial Classicism: The schism between contemporary architects and traditionalists isn’t quite as fraught on this continent: ...massive construction in Abuja in the 1990s saw a curious resurgence in classical architecture - albeit as caricature...And yet, in its kitschy absurdity, this aesthetic almost constitutes an architectural style all its own, a sort of Nigerian neo Classicism, stripped of its dignified roots and almost cartoonish in its awkward dimensions...I would rather classicists and modernists engaged in open bare-knuckle street fights than the current yawning indifference that has resulted in the current patchwork of anomalies and absurdities.- Common Edge
Nuno Pinto & Aya Badawy: Egypt is building a new capital city from scratch - here’s how to avoid inequality and segregation: Brasília was designed to be a just and inclusive city, but it still failed. Can Egypt's new capital avoid the same mistakes? ...joins more than 30 countries or regional states, which have relocated their seats of power to new cities designed from scratch...Although the plans include affordable housing, average prices are beyond the reach of an average public worker...There’s a real risk that the new city will replicate the historical trend of spatial segregation... -- Lúcio Costa [images]- The Conversation (UK)
Patrick Sisson: Amazon invests in prefab startup focused on smart home tech: Could this investment in California-based Plant Prefab be a new avenue for Alexa expansion? Plant Prefab claims to be the first home factory in the nation focused on sustainable construction...many of its homes are LEED certified...has partnered with some of the industry’s leading architects and designers, including Ray Kappe, KieranTimberlake, and Yves Behar...was spun out of LivingHomes...- Curbed
Jesus Diaz: These buildings look like mutant 3D models come to life: Nothing is what it seems in MVRDV’s latest project: By the looks of it, [the] Dutch architecture studio had way too much fun designing these buildings in an entertainment complex known as The Imprint, near South Korea’s largest airport. The facades are straight out of a Salvador Dalí painting...brief called for two buildings, neither of which needed any windows whatsoever: a large indoor theme park and a dance club...a surrealist’s wonderland. [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Jesus Diaz: See the ghostly remains of a failed techno-utopia: These secret cities of the former Soviet Union point to a “perfect technocratic future that never happened": “Restricted Areas” is a stunning photography series by Russian visual artist Danila Tkachenko...he decided to shoot in the winter, when the cities would be completely empty of cars and people...The resulting photographs have a post-human quality... sites of long forgotten scientific triumphs and defeats... [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Jonathan Massey: How can architects build the equitable discipline we deserve? ...our discipline is marked by gaps in participation and advancement by gender and ethnicity...What will make the field more accessible - and more compelling - to a diversity of talent? ...University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning [is] embarking on a human-centered redesign of architectural education...academic innovation that promotes equitable access to learning and professional opportunity...an Equity Innovation initiative...we believe we can meet the needs and priorities of a more diverse community of future architects.- The Architect's Newspaper
Construction industry's 'toxic' masculine culture blamed for high suicide rate: The New Zealand Construction Industry has the highest percentage of suicide for employed men of any industry, according to just-released research by the Building Research Association of New Zealand...Macho and bullying culture was the main reason...also cited intolerance of different people on the work site as main contributors to poor mental health...research in Australia indicated construction workers were six times more likely to die by suicide than in a workplace accident...There were also encouraging stories...- Stuff (New Zealand)
Washington, DC, honors pioneering African-American architect with street renaming: 'Paul Devrouax Way' celebrates legacy that includes designing Pepco HQ, Reeves Center: ...Devrouax+Purnell made its mark as the first African-American-owned firm to design a building in downtown DC...Other landmark DC projects...included the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Studio Theatre, the African American Civil War Memorial, and design refinements to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.- The DC Line (Washington, DC)
American Planning Association Recognizes the 2018 Great Places in America Designees: ..annual list recognizes 15 Great Neighborhoods, Streets and Public Spaces; vote for “People’s Choice” October 1-12- American Planning Association (APA)
The Graham Foundation Announces $600,000 in Grants: ...will help fund 53 projects by architecture, history, art, and publishing organizations. -- Architectural Heritage Center, Portland, OR; Serpentine Pavilion; MIT Future Heritage Lab; Center for Architecture, New York; Chicago Architecture Center; Southern California Institute of Architecture/SCI-Arc; etc.- Architect Magazine
Architects Foundation announces 2018 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship recipients: ...recognizes the significant contributions of emerging professionals at early stages in their careers and helps defray the costs associated with the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).- AECCafé.com
Call for entries: 2018 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards (international; professional and student categories); deadline: October 31- Senior Housing News
Call for entries: Calling All Storytellers: Blank Space 6th Annual Fairy Tales Competition: cash prizes; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): September 28; regular registration deadline: December 6 (submissions due January 4, 2019)- Blank Space
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