Today’s News - Tuesday, November 27, 2018
● Davidson minces no words about what he thinks of Foster's "Tulip": the "London observation tower is Instagram architecture at its emptiest. This kind of vision London can do without - an airborne snow globe" (and "a prodigious spermatozoon").
● Wainwright x 2: He's no fan of Foster's Tulip, either: "His strange proposal for a Mini-Me Gherkin on a stick is a parody of architectural hubris - all of London's whimsies packed into one pointless aerial capsule" (and a "spectacle-hungry trinket").
● He ponders "how the world's leading architects fell under the Instagram spell. Social media-savvy mayors and their city marketers should be careful of the unintended consequences" (though several notable names disagree).
● Mortice considers "the unspoken class divide" that limits design media's "reach and impact" by "drawing from an absolutely miniscule segment of the population that is in no way representative of the whole."
● Moore minces no words about Scruton heading the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission: "His talks are such fusillades of inaccuracy and outdatedness that it's hard to know which errors to correct first - his special cocktail of arrogance and ignorance should also disqualify him" (and his "past remarks on subjects other than architecture" are appalling!).
● Brussat, on the other hand, considers Scruton's "first beauty volley. Naturally, all those who are opposed to beauty in architecture are on the warpath against him" (with link to Scruton's "brilliant" 13-page lecture, "The Fabric of the City").
● Friends of Zaha "have written an open letter denouncing Schumacher for his attempt to legally change who controls her [£70 million] estate - Schumacher has already replied."
● On brighter notes: Michigan State University researchers offer "a new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed": Domicology would have structures designed to be deconstructed "once they reach the end of their usefulness" and "the valuable components repurposed or recycled - the goal is to prevent another blight epidemic like the one we see today in Detroit."
● Zeiger talks L.A. traffic, climate change, and authoritarianism (having to do with the thermostat) with Koolhaas and Shigematsu - oh - and their upcoming Wilshire Boulevard Temple expansion.
● Artsy parses Rem's "first ground-up building in L.A. following several near misses - and the dialogue that'll occur between the 'dignity' of the 1929 synagogue and the 'vitality' of his trapezoidal addition."
Architectural education on the brain:
● Hollander & Sussman make the case for "why architecture education needs to embrace evidence-based design. This approach has been largely dismissed by the architectural education community," but "can no longer be ignored by architectural educators -.we've found students clamor for it."
● Kemper parses the annual Dean's Roundtable in NYC: "The Postmodern revival in schools has architecture deans worried: Are their fears well-placed? If it was once the activists versus the builders" in the 1960s, now it's the activists versus the image makers."
● Horowitz reports on a new school in Rotterdam launched by Dutch activists that "will teach students to think critically about the links between urbanism and migration" and "will offer post-graduate students the chance to effect real change by blurring the lines between critique and practice, as well as research and policy."
● Bernstein is blown away by what he saw at Global Grad Show that gathered 150 projects by students from 100 design schools in 45 countries during Dubai Design Week "in what must be one of the greatest gatherings of innovators ever" (he was one of the judges).
● Glancey cheers the RIBA International Prize for the world's best building: "Spacious and effortlessly gracious new boarding houses" in rural Brazil "are both intelligent architecture and a wake-up call - rigorous in terms of engineering and planning -yet they exude an effortless air of delight and even festivity."
● Wainwright concurs: The world's best building is "a remote Brazilian school made out of wood - a model of light-touch environmental design," with buildings that "have taken on a life of their own."
● A 23-year-old designer wins the £50,000 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cities for our Future competition with his bamboo communal housing units that take four hours to construct and cost £50/square meter that address the Philippines' slum crisis.
● Three projects ranging "from the reimaging of a former asylum to the adaptive reuse of a historic school to the groundbreaking transformation of a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use facility" win NTHP's Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards.
Amazon HQ2 on the brain:
● Davidson says "the company shouldn't be seen as a threat. New Yorkers are welcoming their robot overlords with clenched fists and a nasty snarl. It's important to separate the deal, which stinks, from the long-term effects, which don't. Reneg on the helipad. But let's not flush the baby."
● Russell parses the two HQ2 sites: "Amazon's presence will restore luster to an enclave which had been deemed obsolete" in Virginia. "By contrast, the Queens site is tiny - but rich in urban vibrancy and potential amenities. The prize many cities were willing to do almost anything to get now may face a rough road ahead."
● Chakrabarti explains why "New York City needs Amazon as much as Amazon needs us": The "deal will yield direct economic benefit - many multiples of the incentives offered," and is "not money that would otherwise go to subways and schools."
● Baca, a Washington, D.C.-based urban planner, explains what worries him about Amazon moving next door: "Here are three big takeaways to consider for DC residents who want to think about what this means for the region - and the country more broadly."
● The Washington, D.C. metro area "doesn't have enough affordable housing to meet the needs of its current workforce. While some locals are excited about the promise of new jobs, others dread the strain those jobs will put on local schools, transportation systems and housing supply."
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Justin Davidson: Norman Foster’s London Observation Tower Is Instagram Architecture at Its Emptiest: The Gherkin is getting a sperm-shaped neighbor: ...the Tulip...This kind of vision London can do without...Instead of a bona fide skyscraper, an airborne snowglobe...Still, there’s a certain logic to the idea of running a crow’s nest up to the top of a flagpole. Renting views is big business...strongly suggests that he’s dying to fit out his Gherkin with a prodigious spermatozoon. Maybe that’s a virile globalist’s answer to Brexiters’ insistence that Britain “pull out” of Europe...if there’s one thing London doesn’t need right now, it’s to clutter its skyline with vanities. -- Foster + Partners; 30 St Mary Axe; Rogers Stirk Harbor & Partners [image]- New York Magazine
Oliver Wainwright: Like Norman Foster's Gherkin? Meet his cocktail cornichon: The Tulip, his strange proposal for a Mini-Me Gherkin on a stick, is a parody of architectural hubris: Hemmed in and overshadowed, the mischievous silhouette of 30 St Mary Axe now barely registers on most views of the city...In one of the most extraordinary planning applications the City of London has ever seen...a 12-storey glass bubble erected on top of a concrete stem...all of London’s whimsies packed into one pointless aerial capsule...spectacle-hungry trinket...the accidental spawn of the many vagaries of London’s planning office... -- Foster + Partners- Guardian (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Snapping point: how the world’s leading architects fell under the Instagram spell: ...but is quality being compromised in pursuit of a striking selfie? The idea of “doing it for the ’gram' has moved from the preserve of Like-hungry teens to board meeting discussions and multimillion pound budgets...Social media-savvy mayors and their city marketers should be careful of the unintended consequences...Farshid Moussavi says [it]"can only be good news for designers and architects"...Perhaps we should be thankful...if only because it brought us a vision of Norman, Lord Foster of Thames Bank, floating on a giant inflatable unicorn. -- Maria Lisogorskaya/Assemble; David Tickle/Hassell; Anish Kapoor; Thomas Heatherwick; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Scott Valentine; Sam Jacob- Guardian (UK)
Zach Mortice: The Design Media Needs to Examine Its Own Privilege: The unspoken class divide limits its reach and impact: ...it’s drawing from an absolutely miniscule segment of the population that is in no way representative of the whole...a grim indication that the design media...isn’t opening its door to median Americans often enough...the public needs architectural interpreters (journalists) who can reach beyond cloistered discourse and speak to a broad audience. The best way to do this...would be to make sure you’re recruiting from this broad public. -- Kate Wagner/McMasnion Hell,; Amanda Kolson Hurley/CityLab; Lee Bey; Anjulie Rao/Chicago Architect- Common Edge
Rowan Moore: Would you trust Roger Scruton to design your new home? The conservative philosopher who shares Prince Charles’s views on architecture is surely the worst person to head the government’s new [Building Better, Building Beautiful] commission to improve UK housing: His appointment has been met with alarm on two fronts. The first is his record of past remarks on subjects other than architecture...His talks are such fusillades of inaccuracy and outdatedness that it's hard to know which errors to correct first...The problem is that [he] deals in half-truths and caricatures as well as non-facts...his special cocktail of arrogance and ignorance should also disqualify him from chairing the new commission.- Observer (UK)
David Brussat: Roger Scruton’s first beauty volley: Brilliant lecture by the chairman of the Build Better, Build Beauty Commission...Naturally, all those who are opposed to beauty in architecture are on the warpath against him...He has assured the public (or, more specifically, the modernist design elites) that his role as commission chairman is not to impose classical style on British housing policy, but to invite traditionalists to join in a conversation from which they have long been excluded.- Architecture Here and There
Patrik Schumacher is "attempting to thwart Zaha's last wishes" say Hadid's friends: Friends of the late Zaha Hadid have written an open letter denouncing Schumacher for his attempt to legally change who controls her [£70 million] estate...Schumacher has already replied..."My dear friends, I wish you had given me a chance to explain to you what is going on before you throw your stones"...- Dezeen
Rex Lamore, George H. Berghorn & M.G. Matt Syal: Domicology: A new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed: ...we’re imagining a world where no building has to be demolished. Structures will be designed with the idea that once they reach the end of their usefulness, they can be deconstructed with the valuable components repurposed or recycled...deconstruction is a sustainable approach...can result in up to 95% material reuse and recycling...potentially creating a vibrant reuse market for salvaged materials...the goal is to prevent another blight epidemic like the one we see today in Detroit.- The Conversation
Mimi Zeiger: Rem Koolhaas’ upcoming Wilshire Boulevard Temple expansion will balance openness with security: ...OMA’s first religious structure. Shohei Shigematsu’s scheme is deferential to the Byzantine-Revival synagogue, careful not to nudge too close to the historic building and its magnificent dome...looks at once monolithic and porous...But in the current political climate, one very real challenge was balancing the need for security with the need for openness. -- Office of Metropolitan Architecture/OMA; Gruen Associates; Studio-MLA; Arup- Los Angeles Times
DnA/Avishay Artsy: Rem Koolhaas lands his first LA building: Wilshire Boulevard Temple broke ground on a new events center designed by...OMA...[his] first religious building, and his first ground-up building in LA following several near misses. He tells DnA about his interest in designing a spiritual project, and the dialogue that'll occur between the "dignity" of the 1929 synagogue and the "vitality" of his trapezoidal addition. -- Brenda Levin; Shohei Shigematsu/Office for Metropolitan Architecture; Studio-MLA (Mia Lehrer + Associates) [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Justin B. Hollander & Ann Sussman: Why Architecture Education Needs to Embrace Evidence-Based Design, Now: ...core pedagogical theories remain parked in the past, neglecting recent significant insights the biological sciences have delivered...applied psychology methods can be used to understand how people respond to different designs before a building is built...empowering the architect to make improvements. This research-based design approach has been largely dismissed by the architectural education community...a battery of new biometric tools for uncovering the thoughts, feelings, and emotional responses people have to built conditions. This evidence can no longer be ignored by architectural educators...we've found students clamor for it.- Architectural Digest
Nicolas Kemper: The Postmodern Revival in Schools Has Architecture Deans Worried: Are Their Fears Well-Placed? ...in New York...annual Dean’s Roundtable...orchestrated by the Center for Architecture...“Many schools here have moved to a re-evaluation of Postmodernism, why? We have better things to do"...Postmodernism seemed like a non-sequitur, given our precise moment in history: when California is burning, liberal democracy is in peril, authoritarian impulses are on the rise, and affordable housing remains unaffordable...look at 1960s, the last time architecture students were filled with this much activist energy...today’s deans go to great lengths to show they’re on the side of the activists...naming PoMo the enemy of progressive values...If it was once the activists versus the builders, now it’s the activists versus the image makers. -- Ila Berman/University of Virginia; Toshiko Mori/Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD); Evan Douglis/Rensselaer School of Architecture; Andrea Simitch/Cornell; Joel Sanders/Deborah Berke/Yale; Kevin Hom/New York City College of Technology; Julio Fernandez/CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture; Michael Young/Cooper Union; Robert Shibley/Buffalo- Common Edge
Daniel Horowitz: Dutch activists launch new school for urbanism and migration: A new school in Rotterdam will teach students to think critically about the links between urbanism and migration...the Independent School for the City will offer post-graduate students the chance to...effect real change by blurring the lines between critique and practice, as well as research and policy... -- Michelle Provoost/Crimson Architectural Historians; Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS); DeDependance- The Architect's Newspaper
Fred A. Bernstein: Design Students Address Waste, Immigration, and More in Global Grad Show: The fourth iteration of the Global Grad Show at Dubai Design Week showed innovation across a multitude of issues: ...a new generation of designers whose focus is on solving social and environmental problems...150 projects by students from 100 design schools in 45 countries...Progress Prize...$10,000 meant to help one of the students (over half of whom are female) bring her product to market...Dubai government...brought all 150 designers to Dubai for five days, in what must be one of the greatest gatherings of innovators ever. -- Mirjam de Bruijn; Brendan McGetrick- Architectural Digest
Jonathan Glancey: RIBA International Prize: Rural Brazilian school wins prize for world's best building: ...a pair of school boarding houses (named "Children Village")..."The best new building in the world...needs to wake us out of our everyday stupor to something challenging that teaches us why architecture is still relevant." The spacious and effortlessly gracious new boarding houses of the Canuanã School at Formoso do Araguaia, designed by Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero, exactly meet Diller's criterion. They are both intelligent architecture and a wake-up call...rigorous in terms of engineering and planning...yet they exude an effortless air of delight and even festivity. -- Elizabeth Diller/Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Gloria Cabral/Gabinete de Arquitectura; Peter Clegg/Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Gustavo Utrabo/Pedro Duschenes; Marcelo Rosenbaum [images]- CNN Style
Oliver Wainwright: The world's best building? A remote Brazilian school made out of wood: This year’s Royal Institute of British Architects International Prize goes to the timber and mud-brick Children Village, which doesn’t need air-con even in 45 degree heat: ...a model of light-touch environmental design...the buildings have taken on a life of their own... -- Gustavo Utrabo/Pedro Duschenes/Aleph Zero; Marcelo Rosenbaum [images]- Guardian (UK)
Low-cost 'four-hour' bamboo house wins top prize: A 23-year-old designer has won a top £50,000 ($64,385) prize after creating a low-cost bamboo housing unit to address the Philippines' slum crisis: ...takes just four hours to construct, and at £50 per sq metre: Earl Patrick Forlales...will use the prize money from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cities for our Future competition to start work on his "CUBO" communal housing units...has picked out a plot of land in Manila for the project's first homes... [images]- BBC News
The Best Refurbishment Projects in the USA Recognized by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards: The three schemes range “from the reimaging of a former asylum to the adaptive reuse of a historic school to the groundbreaking transformation of a 1.5 million square foot mixed-use facility.” -- National Trust for Historic Preservation/NTHP; Paul Goldberger; Looney Ricks Kiss & DIALOG; Smith Dalia Architects; Henry Hobson Richardson & Fredrick Law Olmsted; Flynn Battaglia Architects; Deborah Berke Partners; Goody Clancy; Andropogon Associates [images]- ArchDaily
Justin Davidson: Amazon Can’t Monopolize New York City: The company shouldn’t be seen as a threat. Besides, the world’s great urban center of commerce doesn’t tell anyone to get out of town: New Yorkers are welcoming their robot overlords with clenched fists and a nasty snarl....There’s an apocalyptic tone to some of these complaints, a lurking sense that Amazon will scrub away what’s left to love about New York and send it into a death spiral of affluence...It’s important to separate the deal, which stinks, from the long-term effects, which don’t...Reneg on the helipad. But let's not flush the baby.- New York Magazine
James S. Russell: Amazon Chooses Industrial New York City and Suburban Washington for HQ2: In Virginia...will redevelop parts of three areas dominated by suburban-style office buildings...in Arlington and Alexandria...renamed National Landing...Amazon’s presence will restore luster to an enclave...which had been deemed obsolete...By contrast, the [Long Island City] Queens site is tiny, less than 20 acres, but rich in urban vibrancy and potential amenities...The prize many cities were willing to do almost anything to get now may face a rough road ahead.- Architectural Record
Vishaan Chakrabarti: New York City Needs Amazon as Much as Amazon Needs Us: Wall Street has dominated New York’s economy for too long...Amazon’s HQ2 is a huge opportunity to diversify...deal will yield between $12 billion and $27 billion of direct economic benefit, which is many multiples of the incentives offered...the incentives are part of the city and state’s established budget to lure companies here - not money that would otherwise go to subways and schools.- New York Times
Alex Baca: I work in urban planning. Now Amazon’s coming to my city. Here’s what worries me: I live in DC, right next door to Crystal City. I also work for an advocacy organization, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, that fights for a more affordable and accessible region...Amazon, unsurprisingly, has been at the forefront of many of minds in our universe since the HQ2 search was announced...Here are three big takeaways to consider for DC residents who want to think about what this means for the region - and the country more broadly...- Vox.com
D.C. braces for affordable housing crunch when Amazon arrives: The Washington, D.C. metro area doesn't have enough affordable housing to meet the needs of its current workforce, and urban leaders fear 25,000 more workers flooding into the area to work at Amazon's new Arlington headquarters will exacerbate the problem...could push lower-income residents out and worsen the existing economic disparities...While some locals are excited about the promise of new jobs, others dread the strain those jobs will put on local schools, transportation systems and housing supply.- Axios
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