Today’s News - Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Larmes pour Notre Dame
● Kimmelman at his most eloquent: "For centuries, Notre Dame Cathedral has enshrined an evolving notion of what it means to be French. As smoke and flames wafted into the sky - the symbolism was hard to miss."
● Madrigal tells us the tale of Tallon, a pioneering architectural historian, who (with computer scientist Blaer) scanned every piece of Notre Dame before he died last year at 49 - "the images could be an invaluable aid to whoever is charged with rebuilding the structure."
● Capps & O'Sullivan offer good news: "There's hope for restoration. Gothic architecture is strong stuff, built to withstand even an inferno - governments and institutions around the world will be standing by to help."
● Architectural historian Melvin measures "the architectural loss of Notre Dame fire. Rarely has the destruction of an historic work of architecture generated so much public emotion."
● Schmich: "The most beloved church in the world went up in flames, and with it a piece of the world's heart" - it's "tempting to think of the fire as an omen of the world gone mad. But we have to remember that the world has always been mad and always figured out a way to rebuild from ruins."
● A round-up of French and British newspapers' front pages about the Notre Dame fire.
In other news:
● Still in Paris, Adjaye "pips Heatherwick" and wins the competition to one of eight towers in a major new urban district by the Seine.
● Betsky x 2: He finds The Shed at Hudson Yards to be "a movable spectacle at a gigantic scale - its lacey steel structure and the translucent panels summon the image of a Gothic cathedral that has become abstracted and stretched into a thin membrane."
● He explains why Isozaki deserves a Pritzker Prize (it's about time): "His architecture mixes the grand and the mundane, the eye-catching and the confusing, and the composed and the unfinished - the perfect architect for our confused and perilous times."
● Brussat re: why Scruton's sacking was "inevitable - like any such sane voice in an asylum run by its inmates, he had a target on his back - architecture itself is probably better off with Scruton roaming freely to speak his mind without the restrains of chairmanship."
● Grabar crunches the numbers to find out why, "even in thriving cities, old buildings house far fewer people than they did 50 years ago - a reminder that 'growth' in cities isn't always what it seems and that architecture can be an awfully poor proxy for the social structures to which it seems so closely tied. "
● Lamster cheers plans to save the "crumbling" Hall of State built for 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas: "The magnificent hall, once and still the pride of Texas, now depends on the kindness of strangers."
● Blander cheers Diamond Schmitt's transormation of Ottawa's disused 1912 train station into "a new civic space and provisional home for the Canadian Senate - the project's sensitivity, restraint, and ample Canadian imagery feel right at home" ("opulent elegance" included with fab photos to prove it!).
● Dupré hails the restoration of Nevelson's Chapel of the Good Shepherd at Saint Peter's Church - "a singular treasure" that is "the fruit of a series of unlikely alliances between a larger-than-life artist, an entrepreneurial pastor, a global financial giant, and New York City itself."
● TCLF's Birnbaum responds to a rather self-serving "Report and Opinion" on effects of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago "solicited by a private party (the law firm representing the Obama Foundation) whose primary interest in doing so is the furtherance of plans to build the OPC in Jackson Park."
● Cascone reports on controversial plans to demolish NYC's art-filled Elizabeth Street Garden to build affordable housing. "The project has divided the neighborhood 'pitting community green space against affordable housing'" (TCLF calls it "an Outsider Art garden").
● Bernstein reports on BIG's proposal for Brooklyn's Brooklyn-Queens Expressway "that would replace the existing expressway" so that the Promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park "would become part of a multilevel recreation space."
● Witte & Beck: The Bauhaus is finally "getting its due" - with celebrations across Germany: "A utopian ideal of modernity that was snuffed out by hatred and mass killing only to rise again after its leading lights had fled abroad - the movement has been allowed to take center stage."
● Ravenscroft x 2: He hails Heike Hanada's just-completed Bauhaus Museum Weimar - "a minimalist concrete museum that creates a physical cultural presence for the Bauhaus in the city where it was based between 1919 and 1925."
● He brings us everything you need to know about Bauhaus architecture and design, from A to Z.
● D. Hill brings us the fascinating tale of how the Bauhaus came to Aspen via Herbert Bayer: "Aspen may now be a billionaire's paradise, but you can still tease out Bayer's legacy. His playful spirit still permeates the serene Aspen Institute campus" (Gropius declined invitation design a master plan).
● Safi explains how, a 100 years later, "capitalism is a boon for Bauhaus, which has its origins, ironically, in a very anti-capitalist art movement."
● Only a few more days to see OMA and Knoll's "Knoll Celebrates Bauhaus" at the Knoll showroom in Milan.
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Michael Kimmelman: A France in Turmoil Weeps for a Symbol of Paris’s Enduring Identity: For centuries, Notre-Dame cathedral has enshrined an evolving notion of what it means to be French. As smoke and flames wafted into the sky...the symbolism was hard to miss: This fire is not like other recent calamities...Grenfell Tower...bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy...National Museum of Brazil...Notre-Dame...represents a different kind of catastrophe, no less traumatic but more to do with beauty and spirit and symbolism...the embodiment of the Paris of stone and faith...a kind of palimpsest of French history...It may take many years to repair the damage. But the great cathedral will reinvent itself, too. -- Eugène Viollet-le-Duc- New York Times
Alexis C. Madrigal: The Images That Could Help Rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral: And the young, brilliant professor who made them before he died: Andrew Tallon, a pioneering architectural historian...died [in] 2018...He was 49. He had dedicated his life to the study of medieval architecture...his interest in technology to create novel ways of studying centuries-old buildings...[with] Paul Blaer, began to painstakingly scan every piece of the structure...an unmatched record of the reality of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring buildings...could be an invaluable aid to whoever is charged with rebuilding the structure. -- Megan Rispoli; Murphy Burnham & Buttrick; Lindsay Peterson/Higgins Quasebarth & Partners- The Atlantic
Kriston Capps & Feargus O'Sullivan: Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration: Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster: It’s strong stuff, built to withstand even an inferno...While the damage is sure to be extensive, governments and institutions around the world will be standing by to help...it could be some time before Notre-Dame’s bells ring out over the city again. -- Megan Rispoli/Walter B. Melvin Architects; Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc; Peg Breen- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Jeremy Melvin: Measuring the architectural loss of Notre Dame fire: Rarely has the destruction of an historic work of architecture generated so much public emotion...Basilica of Saint-Denis...abbot Suger's work inspired other churchmen and architects to surpass his achievements, resulting in a series of great gothic cathedrals...Notre Dame is part of this group of structures. Together, they brought new levels of refinement, structural innovation and artistic expression...rooted its influences in the corporeal world, with its ornamentation bringing new levels of naturalism to the gothic tradition. -- Eugène Viollet-le-Duc- CNN Style
Mary Schmich: Notre Dame burns and a piece of the world's heart goes up in flames: ...the most beloved church in the world went up in flames, and with it a piece of the world’s heart...It connects people through the centuries and connects people from all over the globe...the sheer size and audacity of it assured to make you gasp...At Notre Dame, you’re in the presence of time itself...tempting to think of the fire as an omen of the world gone mad. But no matter what happens, we have to remember that the world has always been mad and always figured out a way to rebuild from ruins.- Chicago Tribune
'Our lady of tears': what the papers say about the Notre Dame fire: Front pages of French and British newspapers are filled with images of 850-year-old Gothic cathedral ablaze.- Guardian (UK)
Adjaye pips Heatherwick to win major Paris high-rise scheme: ...tower is part of a winning competition bid for a major new urban district by the River Seine...residential block, called Tour Seine, is one of eight buildings...for the 100,000m² brownfield site in the Bruneseau district...The Nouvel R team...features Parisian firm Buzzo Spinelli Architecture and Lebanese outfit Youssef Tohme (YTAA)... -- Heatherwick Studio/Lina Ghotmeh/Brenac & Gonzalez/DVVD architects; 2Portzamparc [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Aaron Betsky: The Move: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Produce a Movable Spectacle at a Gigantic Scale: He visits the Shed, designed with the Rockwell Group...at New York City’s Hudson Yards, and finds one of the best architectural “moves” he’s seen in a while: ...it is spectacular. The combination of the lacey steel structure and the translucent panels summon the image of a Gothic cathedral that has become abstracted and stretched into a thin membrane...diagonal panes and struts [and] supersized wheels, have a kinetic beauty even when they are fully stationary. -- Cedric Price; Archigram- Architect Magazine
Aaron Betsky: Building Question Marks: Why Arata Isozaki Deserves a Pritzker Prize: the greatest living architect never to have won the prize has now finally gotten (some of) his due: ...he balances his work between an attempt to create monuments...and an interest in the ephemeral, the passing of all things, and the uncertainty of knowing...[his] architecture mixes the grand and the mundane, the eye-catching and the confusing, and the composed and the unfinished. That is exactly its difficult beauty...the perfect architect for our confused and perilous times- Architect Magazine
David Brussat: Sir Roger Scruton’s inevitable sack: [He] is a voice of reason who will not shut up, and good for him. But like any such sane voice in an asylum run by its inmates - a fair characterization of Britain these days - Scruton had a target on his back...if no good reason to sack him could be found, let a bad one suffice...Gratifying as it was to see him hired to...Building Better, Building Beautiful commission, architecture itself is probably better off with Scruton roaming freely to speak his mind without the restrains of chairmanship...we will hear more from Sir Roger.- Architecture Here and There
Henry Grabar: The Incredible Shrinking Mailroom: Even - especially - in thriving cities, old buildings house far fewer people than they did 50 years ago. What happened? It’s a reminder that “growth” in cities isn’t always what it seems and that architecture can be an awfully poor proxy for the social structures to which it seems so closely tied. Neighborhoods that appear to be magnets for new people and more apartments may, behind every historic façade, be losing both.- Slate
Mark Lamster: Fair Park's landmark Hall of State is crumbling, but Dallas architects' plan to save it just might work: ...a building of such exceptional quality that even in its decrepitude it retains a unique majesty...the centerpiece of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition...The magnificent hall, once and still the pride of Texas, now depends on the kindness of strangers. -- George Dahl; Paul Cret; Texas Centennial Architects; Donald Barthelme (1936); Brian Nicodemus/Gensler [images]- Dallas Morning News
Akiva Blander: Diamond Schmitt Architects Adapts a Historic Train Station for the Canadian Senate: ...leverages the building's opulent elegance, inserting strong nation-building imagery to create a new civic space and provisional home for the Senate [in Ottawa’s disused 1912 Grand Trunk Central Station]: ...the project’s sensitivity, restraint, and ample Canadian imagery feel right at home... -- KWC Architects [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Judith Dupré: Renewal of a Manhattan Retreat: Louise Nevelson’s Chapel of the Good Shepherd at Saint Peter’s Church is a singular treasure...the fruit of a series of unlikely alliances between a larger-than-life artist, an entrepreneurial pastor, a global financial giant, and New York City itself...more than four decades after it opened in 1977, [it] is undergoing a major restoration and renewal...She worked with Lella and Massimo Vignelli to create the chapel’s furnishings...restoration process is being...closely documented. -- Hugh Stubbins & Associates; Emery Roth & Sons; Objects Conservation Studio; Kostow Greenwood Architects; Watson & Henry Associates- Faith & Form Magazine
Charles A. Birnbaum: TCLF Responds to “Report and Opinion” on Effects of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park in Chicago: ...what the author has produced is not a Cultural Landscape Report...the accepted standard...delineated by the National Park Service; rather, it is a unique “Report and Opinion” solicited by a private party (the law firm representing the Obama Foundation) whose primary interest in doing so is the furtherance of plans to build the OPC in Jackson Park.- The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)
Sarah Cascone: New York City Officials Have Voted to Demolish the Art-Filled Elizabeth Street Garden: The city plans to replace it with affordable housing, sparking a conflict between two scarce resources: ...affordable housing and green space...The project has divided the neighborhood...the existing 20,000-square-foot garden would be reduced to 6,700 square feet...the alternative land parcel “avoids pitting community green space against affordable housing.” -- Joseph Reiver; Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation [images]- artnet News
Fred A. Bernstein: BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group Makes Its Own Proposal for Brooklyn’s Looming BQE Repairs: The fate of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway's cantilevered stretch of highway - which must be fixed or repurposed - in Brooklyn Heights has stirred extensive controversy and multiple proposals. Now the Danish-American firm is throwing its hat into the ring: ...plan that would replace the existing expressway...Called BQP (Brooklyn-Queens Park)...existing Promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park would become part of a multilevel recreation space... [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Griff Witte & Luisa Beck: The Nazis tried to destroy it. Now Germany’s Bauhaus is getting its due: ...the school that inspired products from Ikea chairs to the iPhone with its form-follows-function philosophy is being celebrated across Germany...a utopian ideal of modernity that was snuffed out by hatred and mass killing only to rise again after its leading lights had fled abroad...only in recent years that [it] has been rehabilitated in Weimar...only with the [Bauhaus-Museum Weimar] opening...that the movement has been allowed to take center stage.- Washington Post
Tom Ravenscroft: Heike Hanada completes Bauhaus Museum Weimar at birthplace of the design school: ...a minimalist concrete museum...creates a physical cultural presence for the Bauhaus in the German city where it was based between 1919 and 1925...Hanada designed [it] to be a public building for the city and has attempted to clearly connect it to the neighbouring park. -- Holzer Kobler Architekturen [images]- Dezeen
Tom Ravenscroft: Bauhaus architecture and design from A to Z: To conclude our Bauhaus 100 series, celebrating the centenary of the hugely influential design school, we round out everything you need to know about the Bauhaus, from A to Z.- Dezeen
David Hill: How the Bauhaus Came to Aspen: The Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke and Bauhaus-trained artist Herbert Bayer helped transform Aspen into a cultural and skiing mecca. More than a half century later, here's what remains of their legacy: Today, with its posh boutiques and lavish vacation homes, Aspen hardly seems like a proving ground for the modernist tenet “form follows function"...Aspen may now be a billionaire’s paradise, but if you look closely, you can still tease out Bayer’s legacy...His playful spirit still permeates the serene Aspen Institute campus... -- Fritz Benedict; Harry Weese; Harry Teague; Jeffrey Berkus [images]- Architect Magazine
Marlo Safi: A Century Later, Capitalism Is a Boon for Bauhaus: The interwar German art movement remains influential: The ubiquitous minimalism that some defend as honest and accessible - and others criticize as sterile and lacking in identity - defines many of the products we own and the commercial spaces we occupy. Capitalism has been good to this aesthetic, which has its origins, ironically, in a very anti-capitalist art movement.- National Review
OMA and Knoll Curate an Exhibition to Celebrate the Bauhaus: "Knoll Celebrates Bauhaus"...at the Knoll showroom in Milan...through April 19 before traveling to London; Paris; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney; and Tokyo: ...aims to tell the intertwining history of the Bauhaus and Knoll centered around one of Knoll's founders, Florence Knoll Bassett. -- Office for Metropolitan Architecture; Mies van der Rohe; Marcel Breuer [images]- Architect Magazine
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