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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