Today’s News - Tuesday, March 26, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE #1: We're b-a-a-a-ck! Today, we include a special section devoted to insightful/inciteful takes on Hudson Yards, which opened during our absence ("dingleberries" included - plan to spend some time here!).
EDITOR'S NOTE #2: We'll be in road-warrior mode tomorrow, with a possibly iffy Internet connection (those pesky technology gods follow us everywhere!). Should we not be able to post, we'll continue catching up on Thursday.
● O'Neill parses the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator initiative that "is helping more than 100 cities navigate the complex barriers to procuring cleaner energy. Many of these resources are available to any city."
● Noble of HKS makes "the case for zero energy buildings. Energy efficiency is not only good business, but it's also good global citizenship. Virtually any building type can be zero-energy."
● Schwab x 2: She delves into Sidewalk Labs "experimenting with a radically new kind of awning in Toronto - a raincoat for buildings."
● She takes a deep dive into the We Company's (formerly WeWork) "ambitious, if amorphous, path to disrupt the real estate industry" by "swallowing up Studio Dror to lead its future cities initiatives."
● Wainwright is queried by Cheng re: "the link between financial markets and the shape of our cities" prior to his Melbourne Design Week talk "Form Follows Finance": Barangaroo's architecture "is entirely placeless - a painfully missed opportunity" - and "a damning indictment of the influence that powerful developers wield over politicians."
● Madsen brings us a fab profile of Ford's Hip Hop Architecture Camp, and how it uses workshops - and music - to introduce "underrepresented kids to the design profession, one lyric at a time": "Hip-hop brings accountability to Le Corbusier," sayeth Ford.
● One we couldn't resist: Block introduces us to Hungarian photographer Mogyorósy's drone photography series "Barcelona from above" that "captures the Instagram-friendly symmetry of the city's architecture" (alas, drones above Gaudí's Sagradia Familia are not allowed).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Downtown is for People: We are pleased to present an excerpt from Deborah Talbot's newly released "Who the Hell is Jane Jacobs? And what are her theories all about?"
Insightful (and inciteful) takes on Hudson Yards, The Vessel (soon to be re-named), and Snark Park:
● Russell on "Manhattan's opulent new mini-city - where architecture tries to reconcile the human experience with the herculean scale" (9 million square feet!). "The saving grace was the city's requirement that half the site be developed as open space."
● Bernstein compares Hudson Yards to WTC and Rockefeller Center and "what HY gets wrong - its public spaces are cramped," and "crowded, like a checkerboard with more checkers than squares."
● Brake offers a Vessel-full of reasons why "Hudson Yards is not for us" - it "is for them, a narrow band of wealthy individuals, tourists, and high-income workers." NYC "needs more vision, more backbone, and more courage, to create a 21st-century city that reflects and serves its citizens with equity and dignity."
● O'Sullivan takes on "Thomas Heatherwick gimmicks. With the Vessel and Pier 55, all [NYC] is getting is functionless corporate-driven architectural dingleberries. Everyone deserves better."
● Cuozzo begs to differ with "the peanut gallery of design eggheads baying at the moon," and explains why "the architecture snobs got Hudson Yards all wrong. If history teaches us anything about new urban architecture, it's this: Ignore the critics and follow the crowds."
● Wagner of McMansion Hell minces no words re: The Vessel: "The depth of architectural thinking at work here makes a kiddie-pool seem oceanic. It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance," and "a small part of the bigger tyranny of capitalism."
● Mafi proffers the "Hollywood-like story" of The Vessel and parses much of the controversy: "Its ambiguity is its greatest strength. But many wonder if the city needs it. Nevertheless, much if not all of that animosity will be forgotten if the Vessel proves its worth."
● Gibson on Heatherwick's Vessel claiming ownership of visitors' photography - but "contention ensued" re: "Hudson Yards Terms and Conditions of the rights of the images" (Dyckhoff and Furman raised the alarm).
● Madlener, on a brighter note, offers a Q&A with Snarkitecture principals Arsham and Porto re: Snark Park, a "venue-cum-gallery" at Hudson Yards that is "an unrestricted incubator for new experiments and concepts": "Our work has always been about getting people to think about architecture differently and causing it to act in ways that it shouldn't."
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Meaghan O'Neill: This New Program Is Designed to Let U.S. Cities Meet Clean-Energy Goals: How a major renewables accelerator initiative is helping more than 100 cities nationwide navigate the complex barriers to procuring cleaner energy: Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute, and Urban Sustainability Directors Network have joined forces...American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator offers support and expertise...- Architectural Digest
Dan Noble/HKS: The Case for Zero Energy Buildings: Energy efficiency is not only good business, but it's also good global citizenship: ...the cost is less than a 5% to 10% premium. Tax incentives may also balance out any additional cost...Virtually any building type can be zero-energy.- D Magazine (Dallas, Texas)
Katharine Schwab: Sidewalk Labs is developing a raincoat for buildings: The Alphabet-owned company hopes to use this tensile structure, which attaches to building facades, to make being outside in extreme weather more comfortable: ...a “building raincoat"...experimenting with a radically new kind of awning in Toronto...designed by Toronto-based firms RWDI, which specializes in climate engineering, and Partisans, which focuses on experimental, tech-driven architecture. [images]- Fast Company
Katharine Schwab: The We Company is getting into urban design: The company formerly known as WeWork is hiring designer Dror Benshetrit to lead its future cities initiatives: ...moving beyond the walls of its coworking empire to launch programs at the city scale...We swallowing up Studio Dror is yet another example of tech companies and consulting firms bringing design talent in-house by acquiring independent design studios...We has been on an ambitious, if amorphous, path to disrupt the real estate industry... -- Studio Dror; Bjarke Ingels; Case- Fast Company
Oliver Wainwright Q&A: How money shapes architecture: ...he talks to Linda Cheng about the link between financial markets and the shape of our cities: Your talk is titled “Form Follows Finance"...[It] "was the title of a great (1995) book by...Carol Willis...Barangaroo is a prime example...The architecture is entirely placeless...a painfully missed opportunity...a damning indictment of...the influence that powerful developers wield over politicians...Tragically it is a model that is now being exported elsewhere...- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Deane Madsen: How Hip-Hop Can Help Solve Design’s Diversity Problem: The Hip Hop Architecture Camp is introducing underrepresented kids to the design profession, one lyric at a time: ...the workshops are opportunities to not just explore a potential career avenue but develop a whole new way of thinking about their cities..."Hip-hop brings accountability to Le Corbusier.” -- Michael Ford; Urban Arts Collective- Architectural Digest
India Block: Drone photography captures Barcelona's architectural symmetry from above: Hungarian photographer Márton Mogyorósy...aerial shots of buildings...including Ricardo Bofill's Walden 7..."Barcelona from above" captures the Instagram-friendly symmetry of the city's architecture..."Bofill's utopian vision is photogenic from everywhere"...[series] shows a side of the Catalonian capital that is rarely seen by the human eye. -- Taller de Arquitectura; Ildefons Cerdà- Dezeen
James S. Russell: Inside Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s Opulent New Mini-City: With super-tall glass towers, a luxury mall, and a ’grammable urban spectacle, [it] is very much a development of its time: ...an assemblage where architecture tries to reconcile the human experience with the herculean scale required to accommodate all those square feet [9 million]...The saving grace...was the Department of City Planning’s requirement that half the site be developed as open space...Rather than a vision of the future, [it] takes a snapshot of the concentrated-wealth present. -- Nelson Byrd Woltz; Heatherwick Studio; KPF; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group; Foster + Partners- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Fred A. Bernstein: Dig We Must: What Hudson Yards Gets Wrong: ...because the mega development...was built on a basement-less platform, its public spaces are cramped: ...the Shed...and Vessel...occupy precious space on the pedestrian level...shopping mall...rises from the same platform. No wonder Hudson Yards feels crowded, like a checkerboard with more checkers than squares...When it comes to urban design, it’s not just what you build. What you don’t build - especially what you don’t build at street level - makes a world of difference. -- Michael Arad; Peter Walker- Metropolis Magazine
Alan G Brake: Hudson Yards is a billionaire's fantasy of the future of city life: ...all shine and no substance...New York City deserves better: ...an architecture of advanced capitalism...[It] is not for us because "us" means me, you, anyone, and everyone. [It] is for them, a narrow band of wealthy individuals, tourists, and high-income workers...a development, not a neighborhood...It walls itself off from the vitality of one of the world's great cities...it collects data on the people...in order to market to them...blandly impressive thanks to its gigantism and the numbing acreage of blue reflective glass...[NYC] needs more vision, more backbone, and more courage, to create a 21st-century city that reflects and serves its citizens with equity and dignity. -- Elkus Manfredi; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group; Heatherwick Studio; Nelson Byrd Woltz; SOM- Dezeen
Feargus O'Sullivan: Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks: The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards - like so many of his designs - look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover: ...mammoth climbing-frame-cum-corncob...an urban playground for carefree fun and scrambling. But it's really a heavily policed, grimly regulated space...It’s an Instagram-friendly panopticon...With the Vessel and Pier 55, all [NYC] is getting is functionless corporate-driven architectural dingleberries. Everyone deserves better.- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Steve Cuozzo: The architecture snobs got Hudson Yards all wrong: [It] is one colossal, inhumane, sky-blocking cluster of ugly buildings for billionaires. Or so say urban “experts”...So how come [it] is full of smiling, selfie-snapping strollers who can’t get enough of the place? If history teaches us anything about new urban architecture, it’s this: Ignore the critics and follow the crowds...With the peanut gallery of design eggheads baying at the moon for the next Rockefeller Center, Hudson Yards never stood a chance to win their hearts and minds.- New York Post
Kate Wagner: F*ck The Vessel: The depth of architectural thinking at work here makes a kiddie-pool seem oceanic...It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance...surveillance capitalism...[It] betrays the fact that behind the glitzy, techno-urbanist facade of the Smart City lies the cold machinations of a police state...a small part of the bigger tyranny of capitalism... -- Thomas Heatherwick- The Baffler
Nick Mafi: The Vessel in Hudson Yards: The Thomas Heatherwick-designed structure has been controversial, as some have likened its shape to a doner kebab, while others believe it could be New York’s Eiffel Tower: The completion...has a Hollywood-like story...Some have called it a beehive, a rib cage...Its ambiguity is its greatest strength...But many wonder if the city needs it...Nevertheless, much if not all of that animosity will be forgotten if the Vessel proves its worth. -- Heatherwick Studio; Kohn Pedersen Fox/KPF; Nelson Byrd Woltz- Architectural Digest
Eleanor Gibson: Heatherwick's Vessel at Hudson Yards claims ownership of visitors' photography: ...contention ensued following closer inspection of Hudson Yards Terms and Conditions of the rights of the images, revealing that they will all belong to ERY Vessel LLC...any images posted to social media belong to Vessel, without any "compensation" for the photographer. Photos published to social sites, like Instagram, are typically considered public property. -- Tom Dyckhoff; Adam Nathaniel Furman- Dezeen
Adrian Madlener: Snarkitecture Creates Its Own “Amusement Park” in Hudson Yards: Snark Park...venue-cum-gallery will feature a rotating program of immersive installations...As an unrestricted incubator for new experiments and concepts, the new venue gives Snarkitecture full creative license...it also gives the practice a platform to promote itself..."Our work has always been about getting people to think about architecture differently and causing it to act in ways that it shouldn’t."- Metropolis Magazine
ANN feature: Deborah Talbot: Downtown is for People: An excerpt from Talbot's "Who the Hell is Jane Jacobs? And what are her theories all about?"- ArchNewsNow.com
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