Today’s News - Wednesday, October 3, 2018
● ANN feature: Julie D. Taylor: Venice in Three Parts - Part 2: There are three distinct types of displays at this year's Biennale: immersive experiences, artistic expressions, and marketing efforts. Guess which are most satisfying?
● Josh Stephens' eloquent tribute to Venturi: "He made the world safe not only for ornament but also for variety," and "advocated for joy. Funny that joy even needs advocates, but it does. He knew that Modernism is not joyful."
● Moore pays tribute to Venturi and Scott Brown, wonders when she will "get the respect she deserves," and thinks their "best buildings were joyful and skilful + Cheers for Haworth Tompkins's "clever redesign" of the Bristol Old Vic.
● Hume at his pessimistic best: "Toronto is becoming a bore," and "has turned into a kind of Groundhog Day. Doesn't anything here ever change? What it needs is something that will lift it out of its funk - a grand project" like the Rail Deck Park - which was "met with finger-wagging, head-shaking and no end of tut-tutting" ("a glorified dog poop park" included).
● Betsky delves into "how monolithic apartment buildings are smothering cities. Mediocrity reigns in too much architecture. Building a city out and up is not bad. Bad buildings that replicate their own banality block after block are."
● Some of Sydney's "leading urban designers have called for a rethink on high-rise residential developments with warnings" that they "risk making us sick" - and call "for public support of 'gentle urbanism.'"
● Flavelle parses a new angle in the climate debate, and "how to adapt to the end of the world": "As the U.S. stumbles through a second consecutive season of record hurricanes and fires, more academics are approaching questions once reserved for doomsday cults. There are even more pessimistic takes" (oh joy).
● Wainwright ends our pessimistic streak with kudos for London's elevated and "forgotten 'pedways' being reincarnated in a more imaginative form than ever" (with fascinating history of the pedway's evolution).
● The Met Breuer will host the Frick Collection during its "controversial overhaul. It is unclear what will happen after the Frick moves out" because plans for Chipperfield's extension of the Met on 5th Avenue have been revived.
● Betsky ponders what should happen with the Met Breuer: Cancel the Frick's "generic and bland" addition, "leave the mansion as it is, and move the whole operation into the Breuer building" or perhaps the Cooper Hewitt should take over the Breuer building.
● Green cheers Phifer's new Pavilions and PWP's landscape at the Glenstone Museum in Maryland: The "the building is not only a portal to the art, it's an entry into a whole other landscape" (we'll be posting our take one of these days soon).
● Zilliacus at ArcSpace parses Kuma's V&A Dundee, "built in hopes of regenerating a post-industrial city. Whether or not this is a formula that actually works is debatable. Museum-supporters are hopeful" that it "may be enough to unite certain critics and supporters."
● Roux talks to OMA's Ellen van Loon (who's speaking at the Frieze fair in London on Friday): The "risk-taking Dutch architect: may be under the radar," but "the only woman among the studio's eight other partners is more interested in grand public commissions than having her name over the door" - her "innate sense of openness allows her to think freely, particularly as a woman in a male-dominated profession."
● Morshed brings us the fascinating history of a partnership between the USAID and Texas A&M University in the 1960s that resulted in the Department of Architecture building at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology: "Creating a new academic program was nothing short of a momentous achievement. Professional architectural education in this country could not have begun at a more enlightening space," designed by Vrooman (who served as first dean) and others.
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ANN feature: Julie D. Taylor: Venice in Three Parts - Part 2: There are three distinct types of displays at this year's La Biennale di Venezia: immersive experiences, artistic expressions, and marketing efforts. Guess which are most satisfying? [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Josh Stephens: The Clarity of Robert Venturi: He was not an urbanist as such. But in rejecting modernism and bringing honesty to discussions about aesthetics, [he] deserves a debt of gratitude from planners and other architects alike: Contemporary planners can find fellowship with Venturi...He made the world safe not only for ornament but also for variety...hallmarks of great cities...Most importantly, Venturi advocated for joy. Funny that joy even needs advocates, but it does. He knew that Modernism is not joyful. But I don’t think he prescribed what is joyful. -- Denise Scott Brown;Steve Izenour; VSBA- PLANetizen
Rowan Moore: Bristol Old Vic; Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown: Haworth Tompkins’s clever redesign...makes a virtue of its past and injects some drama into the foyer. And when will Denise Scott Brown get the respect she deserves? ...their books and buildings challenged what had become the ossified habits of the modern movement and paved the way for what became post-modernism. This is true. It’s also true that almost every significant architect working since owes something to them...[their] best buildings...were joyful and skilful. -- Peter Moro (1970s) [images]- Observer (UK)
Christopher Hume: Is Toronto Missing Out On Its Moment Of Greatness? ...[it] is becoming a bore. Bogged down in endless debates about affordability, housing, transit, bike lanes...public life...has turned into a kind of Groundhog Day...Doesn’t anything here ever change? Can’t we at least find something new to gripe about? What Toronto needs is something that will lift it out of its funk...indifference and self-loathing...also needs a grand project...pondered a potentially transformative project, Rail Deck Park...met with finger-wagging, head-shaking and no end of tut-tutting..."a glorified dog poop park"... [images]- Toronto Storeys
Aaron Betsky: The Plague of Pancake Development: how monolithic apartment buildings are smothering cities: Mediocrity reigns in too much architecture...a combination of building regulations, NIMBYism, and the theories of New Urbanism...has led to the kind of wastelands of badly built, beige blocks...We have to find a way to break through planning by default and NIMBY-istic flattening to allow a variety of uses, sizes, heights, and appearances to flourish in our cities...Building a city out and up is not bad. Bad buildings that replicate their own banality block after block are.- Architect Magazine
Sydney's high-rise towers risk making us sick: Some of Sydney's leading urban designers have called for a rethink on high-rise residential developments with warnings that long, dark corridors, balconies too windy to sit on and apartments with no cross-ventilation are damaging people's health and wellbeing...12th annual Sydney Architecture Festival...aims to applaud the best projects, admit the worst excesses, promise better and educate the public on best practice...called for public support of "gentle urbanism"... -- Benjamin Driver/Laura Harding/Hill Thalis Architecture; Andrew Nimmo/Australian Institute of Architects; Fox Johnston; Popov Bass architects; Tzannes [images]- Sydney Morning Herald
Christopher Flavelle: New Climate Debate: How to Adapt to the End of the World: Researchers are thinking about social collapse and how to prepare for it: ...as the U.S. stumbles through a second consecutive season of record hurricanes and fires, more academics are approaching questions once reserved for doomsday cults...advocating for a series of changes - in infrastructure, agriculture and land-use management, international relations, and our expectations about life...Propelling the movement are signs that the problem is worsening at an accelerating rate...There are even more pessimistic takes.- Bloomberg/BusinessWeek
Oliver Wainwright: Walkways in the sky: the return of London's forgotten 'pedways': They were planned after the second world war to whisk people above car-choked streets in the financial district, but remained unpopular and half-built. Now, pedestrian walkways are being reimagined for a 21st-century city: The ultimate City-wide plan will never be realised, but, more than 50 years from its conception, these segments of pedway are being reincarnated in a more imaginative form than ever. -- Make Architects; Wilkinson Eyre [images]- Guardian Cities (UK)
The Met Breuer building to host Frick Collection during renovation: New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art intends to vacate its Marcel Breuer-designed building, giving the Frick a home during its controversial overhaul, and revive its plans for David Chipperfield's extension to its Fifth Avenue location...It is unclear what will happen...after the Frick moves out. -- Selldorf Architects- Dezeen
Aaron Betsky: The Frick Goes Breuer: After a second life showcasing the modern art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the old Whitney will become the Frick Collection's temporary home. But, then what? The only problem is that their move to the airy environs the concrete bastion affords will last for only a few years, after which the collections will return to...the stuffy salons...This is not to say that [it] is an altogether inappropriate place to see art...However, the new addition...will be generic and bland...compromised...by the concessions to neighbors, zoning, and taste it must make to fit into its site...Why not leave the Frick mansion as it is, and move the whole operation into the Breuer building? The answer is two-fold. -- Carrère and Hastings; Annabelle Selldorf/Selldorf Architects [images]- Architect Magazine
Jared Green: Glenstone Museum Slows You Down: As you get out of the car park...you embark on a 10-minute journey...Walking the path becomes an act of meditation, but also a journey of discovery as you come across surreal bits of hyper-nature. After a few minutes the new pavilions...emerge into view...only when you are most attuned to your environment can you really take in the post-World War II artworks in [the] monumental new concrete pavilions...But the building is not only a portal to the art, it’s an entry into a whole other landscape: a water garden...The entire landscape has prepared you for the moment.-- Thomas Phifer and Partners; Adam Greenspan/PWP Landscape Architecture [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Ariana Zilliacus: V&A Dundee: ...“the jewel in the crown” of a 30-year long development plan to transform Dundee’s waterfront...built in hopes of regenerating a post-industrial city...Whether or not this is a formula that actually works is debatable. Museum-supporters are hopeful...exteriors and interiors of the building...may be enough to unite certain critics and supporters, given the architecture’s roots in Scotland’s natural and cultural history. -- Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Kengo Kuma and Associates; PiM.studio Architects; James F Stephen Architects [images]- ArcSpace
Caroline Roux: At Art Fair, New Attention for a Risk-Taking Dutch Architect: Ellen van Loon may be under the radar, but she’s building some of the world’s major public projects: If you haven’t heard of [her], it is probably because she is a partner at...Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), whose founder is the decidedly more famous Rem Koolhaas. But van Loon, the only woman among the studio’s eight other partners, is more interested in grand public commissions than having her name over the door...[her] innate sense of openness that allows her to think freely, particularly as a woman in a male-dominated profession. [images]- New York Times
Adnan Morshed: A Symbol of Architectural Education in Bangladesh: ...the Department of Architecture building, designed by Richard Edwin Vrooman [in the 1960s], at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)...The mission was to train local architects, filling the void of architectural design expertise warranted by the burgeoning building industry...Creating a new academic program was nothing short of a momentous achievement...Professional architectural education in this country could not have begun at a more enlightening space. -- James C Walden, Jr; Samuel T Lanford; Daniel C Dunham; Jack R Yardley; Mohammed Saber Jafar [images]- The Daily Star (Bangladesh)
ANN feature: Julie D. Taylor: Venice in Three Parts - Part 1: As a first-timer to La Biennale di Venezia, I was awed, delighted, and enchanted at the spectacle of architecture in so many expressions.- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN Feature: INSIGHT: Deborah Fritz & Rebecca McDuffie: Essentials to Repurposing & Reinvigorating Old, Outdated, or Abandoned Campus Buildings: Some see repurposing existing buildings as limiting and lackluster compared to new construction, but magic can happen when the essence, character, and value of an existing building is re-imagined as flexible and sustainable for future use.- ArchNewsNow.com
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