Today’s News - Thursday, March 28, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, April 2 (and a heads-up that we won't be posting next Wednesday - we'll be at a morning preview of DS+R/Rockwell Group's Shed at Hudson Yards!).
● Kamin x 2: He raises questions about how Studio Gang's team won the O'Hare airport expansion competition - "born in the darkness of the Chicago Way. The city's absence of openness stinks to 35,000 feet" (it came in third in online survey, "well behind" Calatrava and Foster, though the design "does some creative rule-breaking."
● On a (much!) brighter note, he hails Gunny Harboe's "meticulous restoration" of the Robie House: FLW's "masterpiece is again a full-fledged architectural symphony - a dynamic, asymmetric composition that at once seems to hug the earth and fly into space."
● J. Stephens visited Snøhetta's King Abdulaziz Center (a.k.a. "Ithra," meaning "enrichment") in Saudi Arabia: It is "a rollicking multiuse complex that is as aesthetically impressive as it is ethically unsettling - the kingdom's first attempt at a tourist attraction represents a true test of architecture's ability to promote social change."
● Wainwright x 2: "Flying saucers have landed" at Nouvel's "eye-popping" National Museum of Qatar, "an astonishing creation" - but is it "too extravagant to fill?" (the final gallery "is yet to be filled. The human costs of the country's insatiable ambitions would be a worthy subject").
● He cheers Feilden Fowles's "heroic concrete amid cows and sheep" at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park's Weston "monolithic slab" of a visitor center, "where the presence of a glazed doorframe is the one telltale sign that this is not another piece of land art, but a habitable building. And an exquisitely made one at that."
● Moore gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Marks Barfield's mosque in Cambridge, "a beautiful, approachable and eco-friendly new place of worship. It doesn't entirely hang together," but "in the end - it is beautifully built, and bravely and intelligently conceived."
● Saffron x 2: She bemoans Philly's Delaware waterfront filling up with townhouses that do "little to further the goal of creating a walkable, mixed-use riverfront neighborhood" - without changes to the zoning code, "the riverfront is in danger of turning into a long, endless suburb."
● On a (much) brighter note - and very different scale, she hails Coscia Moos' "little building that defies Philadelphia's street grid - the diminutive newcomer" is "a delightful surprise thanks to its assertive attitude and appealing sculptural form - what an amenity space!"
● Welton cheers architects bringing "thoughtful design, innovation to developers' residential projects" in Raleigh, NC: "What do architects bring to these projects that a developer doesn't? They often reweave a city's urban fabric for the better" - and two new projects by Raleigh Architecture Company and David Baker "are harbingers of collaborations to come."
● Blander's great Q&A with Jonathan Marvel of Resilient Power Puerto Rico re: "the initiative's work and what it aims to accomplish": "Electricity is the source of survival. Without power you really do come to a halt as a society."
● Bailey's Q&A with Adjaye, who says architects should "stop building McMansions - the behemoths are irresponsible. The project of the 21st century is design with a conscience. The right alchemy can make a disempowered group feel empowered."
● 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?"
● Call for entries: City of Sydney Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge: six participants to receive $20,000 each to further develop their ideas.
● Call for entries: Hudson Yards is "looking for a new name for Heatherwick's The Vessel, its polarizing Instagram sensation. The call for suggestions could backfire."
● "Flat Lands & Massive Things - From NL to NYC & Beyond: Archi-Tectonics/Winka Dubbeldam & Justin Korhammer, New York" at Berlin's Aedes Architecture Forum offers "insight into the methodology and creative cogitations that made the office one of the leading teams in the field of research and innovative building design."
● Welton is quite taken by "HOOPS" at the National Building Museum, with photographs by Bill Bamberger "depicting empty basketball courts from around the world. But wait a minute: Empty basketball courts for a building museum exhibition?" It's "about the spaces in between. Besides, his photographs are gorgeous art, in and of themselves" (with images to prove it!).
● Chambers on "Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain," the show (about to close), and Daybelge and Englund's new book "celebrating the remarkable story of the cultural and social significance" of the "groundbreaking" Isokon Building.
● The Angry Architect asks architects to "stop using the word 'sustainability' until you know what it means," and spend some time with "Vitamin Green" that presents 100 projects "considered truly sustainable works of architecture," and "brings a sharp new relevance to the perennial buzzword of our profession."
● Reiner-Roth cheers Kallipoliti's meticulously researched "The Architecture of Closed Worlds" that presents "37 fearless moments of modern history" ("Megalomaniacs abound and loom large).
● Smart of USModernist has cocktails and a conversation with Suckle and Singer, authors of "Cocktails and Conversations: Dialogues in Architectural Design," along with Moo and Cecchini "(inventor of the Cosmopolitan!), master bartenders behind all the cocktail creations."
● Favermann reviews "a provocative trio of volumes on architecture and landscape architecture" by Dümpelmann, Lamster, and Suckle & Singer: "In very different ways and on very different topics, they assuage notions that architecture/design books are formidable reads."
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Blair Kamin: Jeanne Gang's design for a light-filled O'Hare airport is born in the darkness of the Chicago Way: In the city’s own online survey...Gang’s design ...came in third...well behind plans from Santiago Calatrava and Norman Foster...questions must be asked...The city’s absence of openness stinks to 35,000 feet...doesn’t necessarily mean that Gang’s design will flop. But it doesn’t come close to the structural bravado of the Foster plan...That one was my choice...Yet it does some creative rule-breaking... -- Studio ORD Joint Venture Partners; Corgan Associates; Solomon Cordwell Buenz; STL Architects- Chicago Tribune
Blair Kamin: The Robie House, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, is again a full-fledged architectural symphony (and open for tours) after a meticulous restoration: ...the house culminated the architectural revolution of Wright's Prairie Style and inspired a generation of European modernists...[he] shattered every convention of domestic architecture...The house again looks magnificently sculptural - a dynamic, asymmetric composition that at once seems to hug the earth and fly into space...[it] is again a full-fledged architectural symphony of structure, space, art and furnishings. -- Gunny Harboe/Harboe Architects [images]- Chicago Tribune
Josh Stephens: Snøhetta's Saudi Arabian Wager: Can the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture help promote a more progressive vision for the kingdom? ...a rollicking multiuse complex...that is as aesthetically impressive as it is ethically unsettling...Saudi Arabia’s first bona fide work of starchitecture; it is also, by some measure, the kingdom’s first attempt at a tourist attraction...[on] an inauspicious site for an extravagant work of architecture....clad in over 200 miles of pipes - 4-inch metal tubes...The symbolism is obvious...represents a true test of architecture’s ability to promote social change. [images]- Architect Magazine
Oliver Wainwright: The flying saucers have landed: Qatar's thrilling new supersized museum: It took 18 years to build...and is inspired by a desert rose. But is Jean Nouvel’s eye-popping creation for the world’s wealthiest nation too extravagant to fill? ...National Museum of Qatar, an astonishing creation...Barely anything about the museum is legible as a conventional building...giving it the surreal object-like quality of a Claes Oldenburg sculpture...final gallery...is yet to be filled. The human costs of the country’s insatiable ambitions would be a worthy subject. -- OMA; Fatma al-Sahlawi [images]- Guardian (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Heroic concrete amid cows and sheep: Yorkshire Sculpture Park's Weston visitor centre: The enigmatic gallery building, housing a hidden labyrinth of unfired bricks under Weetabixy ceilings...: Emerging from a grassy slope, the monolithic slab...with only a single break, where the presence of a glazed doorframe is the one telltale sign that this is not another piece of land art, but a habitable building. And an exquisitely made one at that. -- Feilden Fowles; Feilden Clegg Bradley; Tony Fretton; Adam Kahn [images]- Guardian (UK)
Rowan Moore: Inside Cambridge’s new £23m mosque: a forest runs through it: ...a beautiful, approachable and eco-friendly new place of worship: ...it is still not entirely clear what the typical style of a British mosque might be...[it] most determined attempt yet to build in a way that is of its own place and time...an abstract Arabesque, a way of building inspired by the spirit rather than the literal details of traditional Islamic architecture...It doesn’t entirely hang together...in the end...It is beautifully built, and bravely and intelligently conceived. -- Marks Barfield Architects; Keith Critchlow; Emma Clark [images]- Observer (UK)
Inga Saffron: Philly imagined a Delaware waterfront full of apartments. Instead, we’re getting suburban-style townhouses: Compared to what exists...townhouses are a real improvement...At the same time, [they] are doing little to further the...goal of creating a walkable, mixed-use riverfront neighborhood...Worst of all, the designs generally follow a suburban model...In a city where developers are always scouring the zoning code for ways to cram more onto their land, why would they build less? ...without [changing the zoning code], the riverfront is in danger of turning into a long, endless suburb. -- Cecil Baker + Partners; BLT Architects- Philadelphia Inquirer
Inga Saffron: This little building defies Philadelphia’s street grid. Here’s why that’s a good thing: It's rare to see architecture this deft in an apartment building aimed at college students: ...“object buildings...are often civic or cultural destinations, they don’t have to be. They just have to stand out from the crowd. That’s what makes the diminutive newcomer...such a delightful surprise...thanks to its assertive attitude and appealing sculptural form...what an amenity space! -- Sergio Coscia/Coscia Moos Architecture [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
J. Michael Welton: Architects bring thoughtful design, innovation to developers’ residential projects: In 2015...a design symposium...“Build Raleigh Better"...was jam-packed all day, a visible demonstration of local hunger for good design...What do architects bring to these projects that a developer doesn’t? They often reweave a city’s urban fabric for the better...designing for people rather than cars...The Fairweather and The Grove are harbingers of collaborations to come. -- Raleigh Architecture Company; David Baker ArchitectsThomas Phifer; Snohetta; Matthew Nowicki; S9 Architecture; Gensler; Duda/Paine- News & Observer (North Carolina)
Akiva Blander: How Resilient Power Puerto Rico Is Building Sustainable Infrastructure and Strengthening Communities: Q&A with architect and RPPR president Jonathan Marvel about the initiative's work and what it aims to accomplish: Why did you decide to focus on providing power to residents? "Electricity is the source of survival...Without power you really do come to a halt as a society. We quickly defined electricity as our mission..." -- Lucilla Fuller Marvel; Marvel Architects- Metropolis Magazine
Spencer Bailey: David Adjaye's Message to Architects: Stop Building McMansions: The acclaimed architect on why the behemoths are irresponsible - and why design with a conscience is in: The project of the 21st century, he told T&C during a pit stop in Miami to curate an exhibit with Theaster Gates, is design with a conscience..."the way you bring materials together...contributes to what I call justice of space. The right alchemy can make a disempowered group feel empowered..."- Town & Country
Call for entries: City of Sydney Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge: jury will choose six participants to receive $20,000 each to further develop their ideas; deadline: May 8- City of Sydney (Australia)
Call for entries: Hudson Yards Wants You To Rename Its Shawarma-Shaped Sculpture: ...looking for a new name for The Vessel, its polarizing Instagram sensation: The Vessel was not supposed to be a permanent name for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed sculpture...The call for suggestions could backfire...- Patch New York City
"Flat Lands & Massive Things - From NL to NYC & Beyond: Archi-Tectonics/Winka Dubbeldam & Justin Korhammer, New York": ...insight into the methodology and creative cogitations...combining the use of latest digital technologies with philosophical approaches that made the office one of the leading teams in the field of research and innovative building design; Aedes Architecture Forum, Berlin, thru April 25- Aedes Architecture Forum/Aedes Architekturforum (Berlin)
Michael J. Welton: "HOOPS" at the National Building Museum: ...50-60 photographs by...Bill Bamberger...depicting empty basketball courts from around the world...But wait a minute: Empty basketball courts for a building museum exhibition? What’s up with that? ..."that it’s not just about buildings and what’s inside, but about the spaces in between.” Besides, his photographs are gorgeous art, in and of themselves. thru January 5, 2020 -- Chrysanthe Broikos- Architects and Artisans
Tony Chambers on modernist architecture, design exhibitions: ...a new book celebrating the groundbreaking Isokon Building...: ...a full reappraisal of the building is underway with the publication of "Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain" by Leyla Daybelge and Magnus Englund and an accompanying exhibition at the Aram Gallery telling the remarkable story of its cultural and social significance. thru March 30- Evening Standard (UK)
The Angry Architect: Dear Architects: Stop Using the Word “Sustainability” Until You Know What it Means: There was a time when this word was valuable and in vogue, but it has fast evolved into an overused buzzword: "Vitamin Green" comprises a list of 100 cutting-edge projects - chosen...by leading architects, designers, curators, critics, writers, and theorists - which are considered truly sustainable works of architecture...brings a sharp new relevance to the perennial buzzword of our profession. [images]- Architizer
Shane Reiner-Roth: 37 Fearless Moments of Modern History: "The Architecture of Closed Worlds" by Lydia Kallipoliti: ...how can we, in the 21st century, make sense of the enormity of events that took place in the 20th to better understand the precarity of our own? ...meticulously researched book...highlighting a unique cross-section of its most imaginative experiments...also doubles, intentionally or not, as a survey of some of the most unusual and visionary experiments in modern history.- Archinect
George Smart: Cocktails + Conversation: NYC architects Abby Suckle and William Singer, authors of "Cocktails and Conversations: Dialogues in Architectural Design," invite people to to hear a famous architect paired with a master bartender who creates a custom cocktail to share with a thirsty audience...joining them were David Moo and Toby Cecchini (inventor of the Cosmopolitan!), master bartenders behind all the cocktail creations. [podcast]- USModernist Radio
Mark Favermann: A Provocative Trio of Volumes on Architecture and Landscape Architecture: In very different ways and on very different topics, [they] assuage notions that architecture/design books are formidable reads. "Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin" by Sonja Dümpelmann; "The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson" by Mark Lamster; "Cocktails and Conversations, Dialogues on Architectural Design" by Abby Suckle & William Singer ("succeeds at its aim - to inspire and delight")- The Arts Fuse
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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