Today’s News - Wednesday, February 13, 2019
● Grabar re: landmarking Trump's buildings: "Are they an important part of the historical record? Should they be preserved? The answer to those questions, I'm sorry to say, is yes" (great read!).
● The U.K.'s housing minister calls on architects to "meet us half way" on Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, and work with him and Scruton "to cajole, propel, and push the developers to allow beauty into their work."
● A battle brews over what will become of Bangkok's "final remaining open space in a city with too few parks," with civic groups claiming "the evictions and redevelopment plans mostly target poor communities" - an increasingly common problem in Asia.
● An ASLA-affiliated coalition releases the 2019 "Dangerous By Design" report that notes "streets have gotten deadlier in the past decade - a result of poor design decisions that discourage walkability" - and offers specific solutions.
● Snøhetta's revamped design for 550 Madison (a.k.a. AT&T, then Sony HQ) gets the go-ahead from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission - "with modifications" that are "not immediately clear."
● Hughes focuses on why accessible housing isn't "more readily available" in NYC - developers' "ability to build apartments for people in wheelchairs is, at best, mixed" (not solely an NYC dilemma).
● Walker wonders what USC is "doing to care for L.A.'s most important architecture," after "news broke last week about the theft of furniture from FLW's Freeman House - the theft went unreported for more than six years," and "the school does not know exactly how many pieces have disappeared."
● Australia shifts gears on plans for Adelaide Contemporary gallery, which was to be designed by DS+R and Woods Bagot, to an alternative - National Gallery for Aboriginal Art and Cultures: "It's not our understanding that the winning design will be discarded."
● Bucknell cheers Foster + Partners' 8-year, $100-million Norton Museum of Art makeover: "Just a few years ago, this glimmering facade was the garish backside of the old museum" - which "has finally returned to its roots."
● Debunking "the myth of code exceptions" when it comes to mass timber designs - "timber structures of today aren't just breaking records - they're doing it without breaking the rules" (especially with The Think Wood Research Library online database available).
● Wachter's great conversation with Phil Freelon: "I've learned that if you build something beautiful, people will respect it - you don't just wake up one morning and the Smithsonian wants you to build a museum. There's 30 years of work that leads up to that."
● Kravitz profiles George Smart, and how the USModernist Library, his "little project, has become possibly the largest online digital archive about residential modernist design in the world."
(Almost) winners all:
● Five (very cool!) finalists in the running for the 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.
● Ditto the five finalists in the running for the EU Mies Award 2019.
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Henry Grabar: Landmark Donald Trump’s Buildings: We’re going to need some props to explain the 45th presidency to our grandchildren: Are Trump’s buildings an important part of the historical record? Should they be preserved? The answer to those questions, I’m sorry to say, is yes...Consider Trump Tower. Certainly, a building where a U.S. president lived for decades would warrant instant status as a National Historic Landmark under normal circumstances...When the bell tolls for Trump Tower, who will make the case? It’s a tough one...it will punish us with a monument to the 45th president, instructive preservation broccoli to Grand Central Terminal’s delicious steak. -- Der Scutt- Slate
Architects should "meet us half way" on Building Better Building Beautiful Commission says UK housing minister: Kit Malthouse...calling on architects to work with him to resist bland, developer-led housing...to push developers to "allow beauty into their work"..."What would be great is to move the conversation away from a confrontation into a collaboration for beauty...I need the architectural profession to join with me and with Roger Scruton to cajole, propel, and push the developers to allow beauty into their work."- Dezeen
Mall or park? In crowded Bangkok, 'last' open space stirs debate: Civic groups say the evictions and redevelopment plans mostly target poor communities who have no formal rights over the land: ...a battle that is increasingly common in Asia...Debates around the Makkasan land...have raged for years as it is the final remaining open space in a city with too few parks. "It is the last big space we have...and our last opportunity to create a big green space for the people. We must not waste it," said Pongkwan Lassus, an architect and designer.- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Landscape Architecture Coalition: We Need More Walkable Streets: A new report from an ASLA/American Society of Landscape Architects-affiliated coalition notes that streets have gotten deadlier in the past decade: Between 2008 and 2017...pedestrian deaths increased by 35.4%...2019 "Dangerous By Design" argues that this is a result of poor design decisions that discourage walkability...The report recommends specific solutions... -- Smart Growth America; National Complete Streets Coalition.- Associations Now
Revamped design for 550 Madison receives Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval: ...given the go-ahead “with modifications”: The messy makeover...is officially cleaned up and back on track...It was not immediately clear what modifications were included in the certificate...Paul Goldberger: "This is what is supposed to happen. It’s an opportunity to show that our greatest buildings are living things and that change can be managed to their benefit." -- Philip Johnson and John Burgee (1984); Snøhetta- The Real Deal (NYC)
C.J. Hughes: Where Luxury Meets Accessibility: Features like open kitchens and spacious bathrooms appeal to nearly everyone. So why isn’t accessible housing more readily available in New York City? Three decades after landmark civil rights legislation...NYC's ability to build apartments for people in wheelchairs is, at best, mixed. Many apartments built since the laws were passed still fall short, and developers...have been ordered by courts to make changes to comply with regulations.- New York Times
Alissa Walker: What is USC doing to care for LA’s most important architecture? News broke last week about the theft of furniture from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Freeman House, raising questions about how the university stewards historic homes: ...theft went unreported for more than six years...amplifying concerns raised by architects and preservationists that the school - which also operates Pasadena’s iconic Gamble House - is mismanaging two of LA’s most innovative homes...the school does not know exactly how many pieces have disappeared. -- Greene and Greene [images]- Curbed Los Angeles
SA gov’t pushes ahead with Adelaide Contemporary alternative: ...pushing forward with its plans for a National Gallery for Aboriginal Art and Cultures...will take the place of the mooted Adelaide Contemporary gallery [by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot]...There have been some indications that the winning design will be incorporated in some way...Art Gallery of South Australia’s Lisa Slade: “It’s not our understanding that the winning design will be discarded." -- Oculus; Right Angle Studio; Macro Plan Dimasi- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Alice Bucknell: Foster + Partners Cultivates Sleek Modernism and a Tropical Landscape at Florida’s Norton Museum of Art: The eight-year, $100-million renovation and expansion...includes a lush landscaping treatment...A colossal banyan tree careens over a six-lane highway in West Palm Beach as if caught in a dance with the razor-thin metal canopy...Just a few years ago, this glimmering facade was the garish backside of the old museum...has finally returned to its roots... -- Marion Sims Wyeth (1941) [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Mass Timber: Shattering the Myth of Code Exceptions: ...new innovations in structural timber design have inspired a range of boundary-pushing plans for the age-old material...The timber structures of today aren't just breaking records - they're doing it without breaking the rules...industry professionals can get help designing and building safe, high-performing wood structures from The Think Wood Research Library online database... -- DLR Group- ArchDaily
Paul Wachter: Phil Freelon, America’s most prominent black architect, designs for the culture: The ‘Blacksonian,’ Atlanta’s civil rights center - and a Durham bus station - are all part of his legacy: “I’ve learned that if you build something beautiful, people will respect it...you don’t just wake up one morning and the Smithsonian wants you to build a museum, There’s 30 years of work that leads up to that.” -- O’Brien Atkins; Freelon Group; Max Bond; David Adjaye; Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup; Perkins+Will- The Undefeated
Iva M. Kravitz: Archive of modernist residential architecture thrives in North Carolina: ...free, searchable database is the work of George Smart, founder and director of USModernist...whose mission is to document, preserve, and promote mid-century and modernist residential architecture. Smart refers to himself as an accidental archivist...This little project has become possibly the largest online digital archive about residential modernist design in the world. With more than two and a half million pages...- The Architect's Newspaper
Five Finalists Announced for 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: The national prize, which recognizes urban-focused designs and initiatives, has tapped a range of projects this year, from a DIY skate park in New Orleans to a public lighting initiative in Lynn, Massachusetts. -- Bruner Foundation; Toole Design Group; SWA Group [images]- Metropolis Magazine
The 5 Finalists of the EU Mies Award 2019: The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe are proud to announce the five finalists that will compete for the 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award. -- architecten de vylder vinck taillieu; selgascano; 51N4E; Anri Sala; Plant en Houtgoed and iRI; Brandlhuber+ Emde, Burlon and Muck Petzet Architekten; Lacaton & Vassal architectes; Frédéric Druot Architecture and Christophe Hutin Architecture- European Commission / Mies van der Rohe Foundation
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