Today’s News - Thursday, April 4, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE #1: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, April 9.
EDITOR'S NOTE #2: Our apologies (once again) for not having posted yesterday. As we feared, those pesky technology gods (abetted by the cable company) just won't leave us alone!
● ANN feature: Rick Fedrizzi of the International WELL Building Institute (and founding chair of USGBC) brings us Building Abundance #3: Abundance in Architecture Starts with Abundance in Human Health: Just as buildings became an incredible tool in the movement for environmental sustainability, they can and must become our greatest asset when it comes to human sustainability.
● Howard's great Q&A with Samuel Stein, author of "Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State," who "contends that real-estate interests have co-opted urban planning and made planners complicit in gentrification": "Planners are under-appreciated - not just as individuals, but the act of planning is underplayed."
● Davidson, on the other hand, cheers that life is finally flowing back into a 20-acre wasteland on NYC's Lower East Side with the Essex Crossing mega-development: "In a development largely without Instagrammable architecture, it's the unlikely Rubik's cube of uses that gives cause for thanks - a place that's just messy, dense, and motley enough to feel like New York again.
● Knight offers "a critic's lament" re: Zumthor's LACMA plan for the now "incredible shrinking museum. I couldn't name another art museum that has ever raised hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on reducing its collection space" (time to stop calling it an "expansion"?).
● Dorte Mandrup's design for "Western Europe's tallest building, planned for tiny a Danish town" of 7,000, will be taller than London's Shard and visible from almost 40 miles away (and likened to Eye of Sauron rising from a vast, flat landscape).
● Sad/bad news x 2: The Rockefeller Foundation is ending funding for its 100 Resilient Cities program, though it is shifting some funding to the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience, and "will continue to pay chief resilience officers' salaries for the remainder of their two-year commitments."
● Activists and environmentalists fear that Brazil's right-wing president "will roll back environmental oversight in favor of economic development" by privatizing "some of its most famous national parks."
● Call for entries deadline reminder (April 26!): 2019 RAIC International Prize (formerly the Moriyama RAIC International Prize + $100,000!).
The Shed @ Hudson Yards, by DS+R & Rockwell Group, opens tomorrow:
● Kennicott says it "is the only reason to go to Hudson Yards - it "compensates for the vulgar mess of the larger project" ("as ugly as Dubai, it reeks of greed and mammon") - The Shed is "the one bit of leavening in this whole miserable, embarrassing tale of urban gigantism and one-percenter excess" (ouch!).
● Heathcote finds The Shed's "vast hangar of flexible space" to be "like a sci-fi, insectoid, almost steampunk counterblast to the corporate banality of the surrounding landscape - a bubble, to protect the ecosystem of collective culture within the ruthlessly commercial city."
● Russeth ponders "what exactly does The Shed aim to do? I will admit to not being entirely sure what to make of this hulking palace for new art - it does feel a bit like a fever dream from another time. The danger is that it becomes just another venue for what we might call Prestige Art" (but "it would be crazy not to root for it to succeed").
● Ip says The Shed's "arresting design is really an industrial-sized allegory for what it thinks the cultural temple of the future should be: infinitely flexible. If ever a building for the arts had the potential to be more inclusive, more tech-forward, more plain interesting - it's here."
● Feinstein ponders whether The Shed, "one of the most ambitious cultural institutions since Lincoln Center," can "make Hudson Yards likeable. It emerges from the nearby Hudson River as a translucent palace - surprisingly compact and efficient."
● Here's a best-of "guide to navigating the glittering new district" that is Hudson Yards, which "didn't quite gentrify a neighborhood, but rather created a facsimile of one - replacing the grit of West Chelsea with dollar signs."
● Eyefuls (miles long!) of the OMA/AMO-designed "Making Doha 1950-2030" at Novel's the National Museum of Qatar that charts "the ongoing urban and architectural development of the capital city" and its "transition from organic growth to more modern and deliberate planning practices."
● Zhang cheers Belogolovsky's "I Am Interested in Seeing the Future" in Shanghai that "includes no models and no drawings" - only text and the voices of 10 architects (5 Chinese, 5 American): "Dispensing with physical objects, the show is absolutely unconventional - can we understand architecture without images? Or is there any 'correct' way to understand architecture, anyway?"
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Rick Fedrizzi: Building Abundance #3: Abundance in Architecture Starts with Abundance in Human Health: Just as buildings became an incredible tool in the movement for environmental sustainability, they can and must become our greatest asset when it comes to human sustainability.- ArchNewsNow.com
Tanner Howard: Are Planners Partly to Blame for Gentrification? In his new book "Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State," Samuel Stein contends that real-estate interests have co-opted urban planning and made planners complicit in gentrification: ...argues that the combined forces of development, finance, and a global elite parking its wealth in luxury housing swamp planners’ best intentions. Q&A re: the rise of real estate, radical planners, and how would-be planners should approach the role..."planners are under-appreciated - not just as individuals, but the act of planning is underplayed."- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Justin Davidson: Essex Crossing Is a Megadevelopment That Knows Its Tenement Neighbors: Half a century ago, the city razed thousands of tenements and designated the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA)...[a] 20-acre wasteland...Finally, life is flowing back in...revamped neighborhood bears many of the markers of standard-issue bourgeoisification...Yet [it] also represents a progressive victory...Half its 1,079 apartments are affordable...In a development largely without Instagrammable architecture, it’s the unlikely Rubik’s cube of uses that gives cause for thanks...a place that’s just messy, dense, and motley enough to feel like New York again. -- SHoP Architects; Handel Architects; Hugh Boyd- New York Magazine
Christopher Knight: LACMA, the Incredible Shrinking Museum: A critic’s lament: [Los Angeles County Museum of Art] ambitious construction plan...has been radically downsized...I couldn’t name another art museum anywhere that has ever raised hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on reducing its collection space...From nearly 42% more gallery space when [given] preliminary approval...there will now be about 8% less than [it] has today...collection will continue to grow...But the new building cannot grow with it. -- Peter Zumthor- Los Angeles Times
'Like the Eye of Sauron': western Europe’s tallest building planned for tiny Danish town: Fast-fashion giant Bestseller set to build skyscraper headquarters in Brande, a 7,000-person rural town: ...besting the Shard in London...in Jutland, the surrounding landscape is so flat that the tower will be visible from 60km away...“There really is no opposition. But...a project like this being built in a community as small as this is, it does seem rather insane, doesn’t it?” -- Dorte Mandrup [images]- Guardian Cities (UK)
Oliver Wainwright: Bauhaus: 100 years old but still ubiquitous in our homes today: How a revolutionary idea became our go-to way of living. Shop the look: our pick from the high street: Spending a night at the hallowed Bauhaus school in Dessau...was my teenage dream come true...when I got to stay in Josef Albers’ former bedroom...it felt disappointingly like a sleepover in an Ikea showroom...The success of Bauhaus furniture...is that it has become so ubiquitous as to be invisible... -- Marcel Breuer; Mies van der Rohe; Walter Gropius; Le Corbusier; Lilly Reich [link to: "Bauhaus at 100: shop the look - in pictures"]- Guardian (UK)
Rockefeller Foundation to Wind Down Biggest Private Climate Resilience Push: ...will end funding and dismiss the staff at its 100 Resilient Cities program...will shift some of its resilience funding to the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience...The shift of the 100RC program...coincides with a pullback in climate adaptation work by the Trump administration...The program...pays for cities to hire “chief resilience officers’’...will continue to pay those officers’ salaries for the remainder of their two-year commitments.- Bloomberg News
Brazil to privatize some of its most famous national parks starting this year: Activists and environmentalists have said they fear right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro will roll back environmental oversight in favor of economic development: The move would involve privatizing oversight for territories demarcated as "conservation units" that are generally managed by government agency Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Call for entries: 2019 RAIC International Prize (formerly the Moriyama RAIC International Prize) recognizing great architecture anywhere in the world that transforms society and promotes justice, respect, equality, and inclusiveness; CAD $100,000 prize; deadline: April 26- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
Philip Kennicott: The Shed is the only reason to go to Hudson Yards, New York’s most hated new development: The arts and cultural center compensates for the vulgar mess of the larger project: ...a generic pop-up landscape of soulless glass towers and high-end retail...It’s as ugly as Dubai, it reeks of greed and mammon...But now comes the Shed, the one bit of leavening in this whole miserable, embarrassing tale of urban gigantism and one-percenter excess...[its] primary charm (it moves!) is essential to its function...we can at last acknowledge that the new architecture of cultural institutions...is just a different language than the old architecture of elevated entrances and grand facades. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group; Thomas Heatherwick- Washington Post
Edwin Heathcote: The Shed, New York - a space for experimentation in the corporate cityscape of Hudson Yards: A vast hangar of flexible space. A Modernist dream. From the Crystal Palace...moon bases and the mega mall...the signature landscape of modernity. The newest manifestation of this ideal is the $475m Shed...a sci-fi, insectoid, almost steampunk counterblast to the corporate banality of the surrounding landscape...a space where anything might happen...a very architectural metaphor for the fragile biosphere...to create a structure, a bubble, to protect the ecosystem of collective culture within the ruthlessly commercial city. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group- Financial Times (UK)
Andrew Russeth: Here Comes the Shed, New York’s New $500 M. Arts Center: It’s a “platform” and a “uniquely adaptable building”...but what exactly does it aim to do?: I will admit to not being entirely sure what to make of all this - this hulking palace for new art that espouses a desire to please every kind of artist and audience...it does feel a bit like a fever dream from another time...The danger...is that it becomes just another venue...for what we might call Prestige Art...Can it build a wide and deep audience for its many ambitions...It would be crazy not to root for it to succeed... -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group- ARTnews
Chris Ip: The Shed and the art of the flex: Design, architecture and technology are not just functional, they shout a message. The Shed's arresting design is really an industrial-sized allegory for what it thinks the cultural temple of the future should be: infinitely flexible...a permanently responsive building...an ethos of architecture as technology...a physical, presumably permanent manifestation of a culture of constant iteration...If ever a building for the arts had the potential to be better - more inclusive, more tech-forward, more plain interesting - it's here. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group- Engadget
Laura Feinstein: Can This Arts Center Make Hudson Yards Likeable? If The Shed remains committed to its lofty goals, Hudson Yards may soon provide real accessibility and a sorely needed sense of inclusion: ...one of the most ambitious cultural institutions...since Lincoln Center...[It] is, in many ways, subversive: what if all New Yorkers could access top cultural programming, regardless of income? And what if all genres could mix seamlessly? ...emerges from the nearby Hudson river as a translucent palace...surprisingly compact and efficient...a key inspiration...was Cedric Price's Fun Palace... -- Liz Diller/Diller Scofidio + Renfro; David Rockwell/Rockwell Group- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
The Best Things to Eat, Drink, See, and Do at Hudson Yards: The Mallification of Manhattan continues...[it] didn’t quite gentrify a neighborhood, but rather created a facsimile of one...replacing the grit of West Chelsea with dollar signs...Sure, the glitzy new construction isn’t for everyone...but this thing isn’t going anywhere...So here’s your guide to navigating the glittering new district...- Thrillist
OMA/AMO Designs "Making Doha 1950-2030" Exhibition Exploring Doha's Transformation At the National Museum of Qatar: ...exploring the ongoing urban and architectural development of the capital city...to chart Doha’s transition from organic growth to more modern and deliberate planning practices. thru August 30 -- Jean Nouvel; Rem Koolhaas/Samir Bantal/OMA/AMO; Fatma Al Sehlawi; Atlas Bookstore [images]- World Architecture / Qatar Architecture News
Qi Zhang: Shanghai Exhibition Serves as a Platform for Architects’ Voices to be Heard: "I Am Interested in Seeing the Future"...includes no models and no drawings...[visitors] find themselves surrounded by text...the voices of 10 architects...interviewed by Vladimir Belogolovsky... Chinese architects are among the best independent architects in China. The Americans are similarly exceptional but significantly older...Dispensing with physical objects...[the show] is absolutely unconventional...can we understand architecture without images? Or is there any “correct” way to understand architecture, anyway? Fab-Union Space, thru April 28 -- Intercontinental Curatorial Project- ArchDaily
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