Today’s News - Tuesday, April 9, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not be posting the newsletter tomorrow - we'll be back Thursday, April 11.
● Shaw ends with some serious questions (but no answers) re: BIG and MIT's Oceanix City, a "man-made ecosystem" of modular islands that "would be prefabricated onshore."
● A proposal "calls for Amsterdaming most of Lower Manhattan" to "give more space to throngs of tourists and other pedestrians with new designs" and "bring motorists to a crawl" - congestion in the area "has reached a crisis."
● Moore x 2: He ponders the "kissing roofs" of Heatherwick's Coal Drops Yard shopping center and Ingels' Amager Bakke power plant with a ski slope on top, and wonders: "Why does great architecture have to be fun? I oppose a culture that invests little in the dignity and beauty of everyday places - streets, schools - but finds billions in its back pocket for corporate spectacle."
● On a brighter note, he cheers Jestico + Whiles and Julian Harrap's renovation of Soane's Pitzhanger Manor: "For the first time in two centuries you can get a sense of what he intended. You can feel the great man's ego, but you can also appreciate the rooms it made, which are never less than intriguing - they mesmerize."
● Foster's controversial Tulip tower is approved, following "a 152-page report that concluded it had the potential to become an 'architectural icon' for London."
● Snøhetta's design for the Shanghai Grand Opera House includes a spiral staircase roof, reminiscent of its Oslo Opera House - both feature "a publicly accessible roof that slopes down to meet the waterfront."
● Toshiko Mori's elementary school in rural Senegal "expands education in a historically illiterate pocket of the world."
● ODA transforms a decrepit 1898 warehouse on the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park into office space with a crystalline façade inspired by the building's sugary past as a sugar refinery.
● Gendall reports that Christo will wrap the Arc de Triomphe in recyclable blue fabric next year, to coincide with "Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Paris" at the Centre Pompidou.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Rick Fedrizzi: Building Abundance #3: Abundance in Architecture Starts with Abundance in Human Health: Buildings can and must become our greatest asset when it comes to human sustainability.
Lamenting the Govan/Zumthor LACMA plan (the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is voting today):
● Giovannini x 2: He takes a seriously deep dive (that Govan wanted to squelch) into what he calls LACMA's "suicide by architecture" with surprising results of a spatial audit: The "geometrically self-involved fantasy fails its most basic responsibility as architecture: it doesn't work - a flawed, even reckless, project with many malodorous questions."
● He parses "Zumthor's incredibly shrinking plan," and the Environmental Impact Report that reveals the project "represents a 105,108-square-foot reduction of overall space - perhaps the most counterproductive project undertaken by any museum in America."
● Hall Kaplan joins "the chorus of critics" of "the clearly over-whelmed Govan and over-his-head architect, Zumthor" and their $1 billion "mistake - the structure is ugly and awkward. Time for the County Supervisors to bring this farce of a design process to a screeching halt."
The Shed, Hudson Yards, and then some:
● Wainwright calls The Shed "New York's quilted Chanel handbag on wheels - the one redeeming feature of Hudson Yards - the one truly public element inspired by Cedric Price's Fun Palace. The dream of a brave future of movable, transformable architecture, it seems, remains best observed in 1960s drawings."
● Davidson says The Shed "stays half-true to its radical roots - Price's Fun Palace has borne a kind of mutant fruit - you can feel the architects' struggle to get the balance right" with "a building that allows for anything and dictates nothing."
● Bellafant calls The Shed "an arts center for the rest of us in a playground for the 1% - an attempt at making amends for all the greed and ostentation embodied in the $23 billion playpen in which it has been sunk."
● Hughes offers a fascinating, in-depth comparison between Hudson Yards and Battery Park City: "At first blush, the cities-within-a-city on the western edge of Manhattan would seem kindred spirits. But vibes have changed - they represent very different theories about development."
Of kids and design education:
● Enggass has a great Q&A with educator Anne Taylor re: "how design education can transform our schools": "We've helped invent a new role for architects - to unlock design education as a new pedagogy. Interdisciplinary design training of architects can be appropriately adapted to serve learners PK-12 and beyond."
● Dickinson talks to Vicky Chan of Avoid Obvious Architects and Architecture for Children about the value of teaching architecture in grade school: "Few students will become architects, but architecture may be able teach them more about real-life problem-solving than geometric proofs."
● A great report on middle and high schoolers' music video about gentrification as part the Hip Hop Architecture Camp in Washington, DC (rap included!).
● The new Educational Center Lab housed in FLW's B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois, "provides students exposure to science, technology, engineering, art/architecture and math."
To subscribe to the free daily newsletter
Matt Shaw: BIG and MIT unveil a floating city of the future at the United Nations: ...would be made out of mass timber and bamboo...a series of modular hexagonal islands with a productive landscape...zero-waste, energy-positive and self-sustaining...Oceanix City...a kit of parts for each part of the man-made ecosystem: a food kit of parts, a waste kit of parts. Each island would be prefabricated onshore and towed to its location in the archipelago. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; UN-Habitat- The Architect's Newspaper
Group Calls for Amsterdaming Most of Lower Manhattan: New Amsterdam, meet actual Amsterdam. Crowded streets in Lower Manhattan must give more space to throngs of tourists and other pedestrians with new designs that would bring motorists to a crawl...the exciting “Make Way for Lower Manhattan” plan also calls for the elimination of several roadways to create an expanded Bowling Green and a plaza at the crowded end of the Brooklyn Bridge...congestion...has reached a crisis... -- Massengale & Co- Streetsblog.org
Rowan Moore: Why does great architecture have to be fun? A shopping mall with kissing roofs and a power plant with a ski slope on top. Whatever happened to grown-up architecture? Coal Drops Yard...designer of the kissing roofs is Thomas Heatherwick...someone whose success and popularity is matched by deep critical scepticism...Bjarke Ingels' tone is more knowing and ironic...each is unveiling their most striking landmark to date...I oppose a culture that invests little in the dignity and beauty of everyday places - streets, schools - but finds billions in its back pocket for corporate spectacle. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group- Observer (UK)
Rowan Moore: Renovation of Pitzhanger Manor: Sir John Soane’s country house...has been restored to its Regency glory and is reopening to the public: The clutter of time has been removed and missing chunks of building reinstated...For the first time in two centuries...you can get a sense of what he intended...to be as surprising and impressive as he could...In Soane spaces you are in Soane’s world...You have to accept them on his terms or not at all...the great man’s ego...You can feel it, but you can also appreciate the rooms it made, which are never less than intriguing. At their best, they mesmerise. -- Jestico + Whiles; Julian Harrap- Observer (UK)
The Tulip is "inevitably controversial" says Norman Foster as tower approved: ...a concrete shaft topped by glass viewing platforms complete with slides and rotating pods...to sit next to Foster + Partner's Stirling Prize-winning skyscraper 30 St Mary's Axe, also known as The Gherkin...decision to approve...follows the publication of a 152-page report from the City of London that concluded The Tulip had the potential to become an "architectural icon" for London.- Dezeen
Snøhetta to build Shanghai Grand Opera House with spiral staircase roof: ...will connect the upper levels of the building with a riverside plaza...teamed up with Chinese studio ECADI on its competition-winning design...building is reminiscent of the Oslo Opera House...also featured a publicly accessible roof that slopes down to meet the waterfront. [images]- Dezeen
The Toshiko Mori Architect-designed Elementary School Opens in Rural Senegal: The school, made possible by nonprofit Le Korsa, expands education in a historically illiterate pocket of the world: Students celebrating its opening flocked to the circular structure, whose thatched roofs, courtyard, and mud-brick walls helped cool the sub-Saharan air...To construct it...relied on the same artisans with whom they had worked on Thread, a Senegalese artist residency. [images]- Architectural Digest
ODA Designs New Crystalline Facade for 10 Jay Street in Brooklyn’s DUMBO: ...230,000-square-foot former warehouse for new office tenants: 1898 steel and brick structure was a sugar refinery...In 1925, the building was converted to a winery...fell into disrepair and stayed in a decrepit state...had to go through the Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals process, and its prominent location only raised the stakes further...Taking inspiration from the building’s sugary past, ODA conceived a crystalline facade to replace the missing exterior. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
John Gendall: Christo Will Soon Wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Blue Fabric: Following last summer’s blockbuster installation in London, he has turned his attention to the City of Light by wrapping...in recyclable fabric..."L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l’Etoile-Charles de Gaulle)"...on view April 6-19, 2020...25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric in silvery blue, held in place with 7,000 meters of red rope...will coincide with “Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Paris” at the Centre Pompidou, March 18 - June 15, 2020- Architectural Digest
Joseph Giovannini: LACMA: Suicide by Architecture: Michael Govan's failures and deceptions surrounding the museum's renovations: ...Govan...always reassuring...the new structure replacing the four existing gallery buildings...would equal their total square footage...Then the bombshell exploded...spectacular and irresponsible folly of this design...fails its most basic responsibility as architecture: it doesn’t work...geometrically self-involved fantasy...land-gobbling...flawed, even reckless, project with many malodorous questions....square footage lost...is 320,000 square feet...This is administrative failure on an epic scale...[It] is too small, profligate with land, disproportionately expensive, shortsighted, inappropriate for the site...- Los Angeles Review of Books
Joseph Giovannini: Zumthor’s Incredibly Shrinking Plan for the LA County Museum of Art: LACMA press department has said that the overall square footage and the net gallery space of the new structure roughly equaled that of the buildings about to be demolished. But the EIR [Environmental Impact Report] blew that fib...the numbers reveal that the project now represents a 105,108 square foot reduction of overall space...perhaps the most counterproductive project undertaken by any museum in America...it’s highly questionable whether Los Angeles can afford the cultural cost of building it.- Architectural Record
Sam Hall Kaplan: The LACMA Calamity: ...stop feeding funds to what will be, by the time it is built, a $1 billion mistake...Talk about an edifice complex...the clearly over-whelmed Govan and over-his-head architect, Peter Zumthor...inexplicably reducing the proposed gallery space, when obviously needed is more to house the collection...sad when considering those funds could be used for arts education in our culturally starved public schools...it is hard to rationalize the demolition of the nearly half a million square feet of the existing landmark museum...the structure is ugly and awkward. Time for the County Supervisors to bring this farce of a design process to a screeching halt.- City Observed
Oliver Wainwright: The $500m Shed: inside New York's quilted Chanel handbag on wheels: This puffed-up cultural citadel was meant to be an endlessly evolving, telescopic arts complex: All hope has been vested in the Shed as the one redeeming feature of Hudson Yards, a project roundly condemned as the ultimate fruition of disaster capitalism...the one truly public element...inspired by Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, a dreamy 1960s idea...[it] feels like a painful compromise...a fiendishly complex engineering challenge of ultimately questionable value...how often will they bother to move it? The dream of a brave future of movable, transformable architecture, it seems, remains best observed in 1960s drawings. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; David Rockwell- Guardian (UK)
Justin Davidson: The Shed at Hudson Yards Stays Half-True to Its Radical Roots: ...six decades later, that seed [Cedric Price's Fun Palace] has borne a kind of mutant fruit...its mission keeps evolving...each nifty feature challenges artists to use space in ways they’d never considered...tries to reconcile...contrary forces - flexibility and permanence, radicalism and practicality, openness and cost - you can feel the architects’ struggle to get the balance right...using old familiar tools to unfamiliar ends...tried to design a building that allows for anything and dictates nothing...Trusting the imagination of artists is always a solid bet. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Rockwell Group- New York Magazine
Ginia Bellafant: In a Playground for the 1%, an Arts Center for the Rest of Us: If Hudson Yards is the sin, is the Shed its penance? ...with much hope invested in the notion that it will serve a broader population...Unlike so much of Hudson Yards, [it] indeed extends itself to those beyond the payrolls of private equity professions...an attempt at making amends for all the greed and ostentation embodied in the $23 billion playpen in which it has been sunk. To this end, an aesthetics of resistance has been cultivated...feels like the very generous birthday present you receive from the rich man who stole your wife. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; David Rockwell- New York Times
C. J. Hughes: Hudson Yards: A City Within a City: New York’s newest neighborhood drew inspiration from Battery Park City, but is filled with 21st-century twists: At first blush...cities-within-a-city on the western edge of Manhattan, would seem kindred spirits. But Hudson Yards...will have taken 18 years to complete its gleaming clump along 10th Avenue...Battery Park City...took 45 years to fully form...vibes have changed. What was architecturally appealing a few decades ago now seems staid. Planners say that if the past was about fitting in, the present is all about standing out...[they] represent very different theories about development. -- Daniel L. Doctoroff; Stan Eckstut; Alexander Cooper; Marianne Kwok/KPF- New York Times
Katherine Enggass: How Design Education Can Transform Our Schools: Q&A with educator Anne Taylor, a leading proponent of design thinking: [She] received the National AIA Collaborative and Professional Achievement Award [and] is president of the School Zone Institute..."we’ve helped invent a new role for architects...to unlock [design education] as a new pedagogy. Interdisciplinary design training of architects can be appropriately adapted to serve learners PK-12 and beyond. -- Andrew Pressman; "Linking Architecture and Education: Sustainable Design of Learning Environments"- Common Edge
Kevin Dickinson: Should architecture be taught in grade school? Few students will become architects, but architecture may be able teach them more about real-life problem-solving than geometric proofs: Are there subjects that would enrich the average student's life...Vicky Chan [of] Avoid Obvious Architects and...Architecture for Children, believes one candidate is architecture.- Big Think
DC middle and high schoolers make video about gentrification: The group belongs to the Hip Hop Architecture Camp, a program that exposes underrepresented youth to architecture, urban planning and economic development through hip hop culture: “Black neighborhoods reducing drastically we need to find a way to help our community,” one student rapped in the music video for the Washington, D.C. camp.- WUSA 9 (Washington, DC)
Are there budding architects among us? ...new Educational Center Lab...at the Frank Lloyd Wright B. Harley Bradley House...provides students exposure to science, technology, engineering, art/architecture and math...an important part of each tour is learning about careers, not just architecture or structural engineering but also interior design and the trades...students will draft, engineer and draw while also working on communication, collaboration and cooperation skills. -- Robert Bohlmann- Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois)
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
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window.
External news links are not endorsed by ArchNewsNow.com.
Free registration may be required on some sites.
Some pages may expire after a few days.
© 2019 ArchNewsNow.com