Today’s News - Tuesday, May 7, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: As ye olde truism goes - moving is one of the three most stressful things in life. And so it was...apologies for not posting the newsletter last week, but moving mode was more complicated than we expected. So now there's a lot of catching up to do!
● Giovannini delves into the machinations behind the approval process for Zumthor's LACMA redesign: "People opposed to the new plan never stood a chance. The public was being rolled."
● Art historian Allen, on the other hand, says LACMA "has always been dysfunctional," and "it's time to do something fresh" - the new building "will be beautiful, distinctive, and a destination. It's tranquil, even mystical."
● The Affirmation Arts gallery "faces demolition as part of a Hudson Yards park and roadway expansion" (what could be "the most expensive in NYC history"), but the owner is trying to save it "by giving his building to the city on the condition it remain intact as a cultural center."
● Griffiths responds to "the uproar over unpaid internships in architecture," and ponders what the relationship is between ethics and aesthetics, admitting that even "FAT made occasional, short-term use of unpaid interns. We were seduced by a masochistic form of practice, fetishized within architectural culture."
● Zeiger ponders whether female leadership at top architecture schools "is the new normal - a critical question: Will female leadership bring more equity to the field? The short answers are 'I hope so' and 'I don't know.'"
● Gamolina went to Cleveland and came back with "two excellent Q&As" with Madison and Tanebe for Madame Architect: "The interviews are quite candid - two fascinating profiles of accomplished professionals."
● A look at how Diller, Sejima, and Boeri "came to design fashion for Prada - their designs are as different as they are visionary."
● Kamin offers a rundown on endangered buildings in the Chicago-area making the 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois list: "Landmarks Illinois cited the political headwinds it faces in trying to save the sites from being wrecked."
● Small calls out how Weese "helped Milwaukee envision its urbanist future. Celebrating his big-picture thinking, and the wide-ranging and ambitious projects could well inspire a new era of respect for the city's historic uniqueness and optimism about our future promise."
● Contigiani's once glamorous, now long-empty 1973 "upside-down pyramid" hotel in Tunis (said to have inspired "Star Wards" Sandcrawler) faces demolition - architect and activist Sami Aloulou has sounded the alarm.
● A great series of stories offers "a guide to Philly modernism" and "the architects and structures that shaped Philadelphia - and the fate of their legacy."
● One we couldn't resist: Byrnes brings us eyefuls of Treeby's "small tissue-box replicas of threatened and razed modern architecture" that "mix cuteness with contemplation and mourning."
● Brussat cheers a lecture tour by James Stevens Curl (of "Making Dystopia" fame) to Washington, D.C, New Orleans, Denver, and Boston - starting this Friday (following the fete for his ICAA Ross Award).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Andrew Pressman: "Design Thinking: A Guide to Creative Problem Solving for Everyone": Three vignettes excerpted from his recently published book, which focuses on how design thinking is applied to real-life challenges.
Plus de larmes pour Notre Dame, quatrième partie:
● Betsky considers how faithful we should be "to the 19th-century version of the cathedral. The bigger discussion is about what should be reconstructed. The trick would be to figure out what is essential, and then find a way to realize those ideas and forms without directly copying the copy that was there."
● Bergdoll says "a whirlwind of views" and "ridiculous arguments are being advanced - the idea to remove Viollet-le-Duc from the very monument protection he helped craft seems not only wrong but cruel. And what of the flurry of designs published of late, as though the solution could be found in Photoshop? Architects are rushing in like ambulance chasers."
● Stroik: "So why not allow contemporary architects to try their own hand at building a spire" - because Viollet-le-Duc's was a "masterpiece," and "because most contemporary architects couldn't design Gothic to save their life."
● Cramer: "Over the course of eight centuries, the cathedral has been expanded, altered, ornamented, pillaged, adapted, restored, and renovated. Will Notre Dame be the same as it was before the fire? No. But it can be as meaningful as it was."
● Bandarin, former director of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, explains why "Notre Dame should be rebuilt as it was. Does this exclude a contemporary 'architectural gesture'? No. The 'contemporaneity' will lie in its construction techniques and monitoring technologies, rather than the visible forms of the building."
● Brussat, along with almost 1,200 international architects, conservationists and historians, thinks Macron's wish that Notre Dame be restored in time for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris "drastically underestimates the time required to do the job responsibly," and might be an attempt "to grease the skids for a proposal that could shorten the time-line by substituting a quickie modernist clip-on, paint-by-numbers renovation scheme."
● One we couldn't resist: A "rooftop colony of bees" and three hives "were found to have survived" the fire. "Another victory - some of the artwork inside the cathedral suffered less damage than anticipated."
Winners all (and lots of 'em!):
● Franklin profiles the six emerging firms that won the 2019 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, themed "Just," which "explores architectural action within the discipline."
● Winners of the 2019 Design that Educates Award emphasize "the role of architecture in solving social and environmental problems."
● Winners of the 3rd Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition for a Peace Pavilion in Sedhiou, Senegal, offer thoughtful proposals for "a memorial to the victims of the African wars and an educational space to promote the culture of peace."
● Winners of the 2019 AIA COTE Top 10 Awards range "from a zoo education center, to university lab buildings, to a waste transfer station, to a famed New York cathedral - as well as a university building in Canada and a high school in Kenya."
● The AIA 2019 Housing Awards recognize 12 projects as the best in housing design.
● The 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award goes to three 1960s social housing buildings (530 apartments) after their demolition had been ruled out.
● Eyefuls of the 3 winners and 27 honorable mentions in the eVolo 2019 Skyscraper Competition (way, way out-there thinking, as always).
● The Graham Foundation's 2019 architectural research grant winners are "projects that ranged from exhibits on suburban housing stock to research on the effects of MTV on postmodern space."
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Joseph Giovannini: People Opposed to the New LACMA Plan Never Stood a Chance: A critic’s take on the County Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval of a controversial museum redesign: The hearing played out like a well-scripted studio picture, and Michael Govan played both its director and leading man...Without a similarly accomplished director...the half-dozen speakers who represented the opposition didn’t a movie make...The public was being rolled. -- Peter Zumthor; William Pereira; Norman Pfeiffer- Los Angeles Magazine
Brian T. Allen: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Goes for Splash and Experimentation: LACMA’s proposed new building looks like a spaceship on a movie set - and that’s a good thing: It aspired to a comprehensive collection of great things...It aspired, and it fell short...it’s always been dysfunctional...it’s time to do something fresh...I think [new building] will be beautiful, distinctive, and a destination. It’s tranquil, even mystical...It forces LACMA to open branches throughout the county... -- Michael Govan; Peter Zumthor- National Review
Philanthropist Offers City Free Building to Save Doomed Hudson Yards Arts Center: Affirmation Arts gallery...faces demolition as part of a Hudson Yards park and roadway expansion...faces the wrecking ball, along with nine other nearby properties. [William Hillman] says he’d gladly hand over his building to the city - on the condition it remain intact as a cultural center...dual costs of acquiring the properties and building over rail tracks could make the park the most expensive in city history.- THE CITY (NYC)
Sean Griffiths: The master and slave mentality remains firmly embedded in architectural culture: A response to the uproar over unpaid internships in architecture: What is the relationship between ethics and aesthetics? Great works are judged on material reality, not the ethics of those who are creating them...is it right to blame the designer for the political reality in which he operates? I concede that in the early days my former practice FAT made occasional, short-term use of unpaid interns. We were seduced by a masochistic form of practice, fetishised within architectural culture... -- Thomas Heatherwick; Junya Ishigami; Alejandro Aravena; FAT; Theaster Gates- Dezeen
Mimi Zeiger: At America’s Top Architecture Schools, Female Leadership Is the New Normal: Sarah Whiting...will be the eighth dean and the first woman to helm Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design...Now that Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, and Yale boast women in positions of power historically reserved for men, a critical question hangs in the balance: Will female leadership...bring more equity to the field? The short answers are “I hope so” and “I don’t know"...It’s not fair to assume that a glass-breaking deanship also means having to “mother” the whole of architecture. -- Amale Andraos; Meejin Yoon; Deborah Berke; Mónica Ponce de León; Marilyn Jordan Taylor; Annelise Pitts/Equity by Design (EQxD)- Architectural Digest (via MSN)
Two accomplished Clevelanders talk with Madame Architect about building careers, overcoming challenges and more: When Julia Gamolina...came to Cleveland...she said one of her goals for the site was to expand beyond the coasts...two excellent Q&As: one with Sandra Madison, chairwoman and CEO of Robert P. Madison International, and another with Utako Tanebe, an architect and designer at DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky...The interviews are quite candid...two fascinating profiles of accomplished professionals.- Crain's Cleveland Business
How Top Women Architects Elizabeth Diller, Kazuyo Sejima, and Cini Boeri Came to Design Fashion For Prada: ...take part in the latest iteration of Prada Invites, a project in which renowned creatives design limited-edition pieces using the house’s signature nylon fabric...[their] designs are as different as they are visionary. -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; SANAA [images]- W Magazine
Blair Kamin: Endangered buildings: It’s not just the Thompson Center. A Frank Lloyd Wright cottage and other sites are also at risk: In announcing its annual list of the state’s most endangered historic places...Landmarks Illinois cited the political headwinds it faces in trying to save the sites from being wrecked...Here’s a rundown of the Chicago-area sites. -- Helmut Jahn; William Furst; Albert Schwartz; E.E. and E.C. Roberts- Chicago Tribune
Virginia Small: Remembering when Harry Weese helped Milwaukee envision its urbanist future: The Marcus Center’s architect left one of America’s most varied and far-reaching legacies, including blueprints for thriving urbanism: And yet...[his] name seems little known in the Cream City...wanted cities to be so beautiful and welcoming that people would choose to live in them...Celebrating his big-picture thinking, and the wide-ranging and ambitious projects...could well inspire a new era of respect for Milwaukee’s historic uniqueness and optimism about our future promise. -- Dan Kiley; Joe Karr; Eero Saarinen [images]- Milwaukee Independent
The upside down hotel said to have inspired Star Wars faces demolition: ...Hotel du Lac in Tunis, shaped like an upside-down pyramid...brutalist hotel designed by...Raffaele Contigiani [in 1973] features 416 rooms across 10 floors of increasing width...enjoyed a glamorous heyday...stood empty ever since ...architect and activist Sami Aloulou...announced...the hotel was scheduled for imminent demolition...12 different options are under consideration..."preference" is for "another structure." -- Sahby Gorgi; Mohamed Zitouni/Oxxi studio [images]- CNN Style
A beginner’s guide to Philly modernism: The architects and structures that shaped Philadelphia - and the fate of their legacy. -- Frank Weise; George Howe; Louis Kahn; Oskar Stonorov; Edmund Bacon; Vincent Kling; Robert Venturi; Denise Scott Brown; Romaldo Giurgola; etc. [images]- Curbed Philadelphia
Mark Byrnes: A Tissue for Your Favorite Demolished Building: Artist Kurt Treeby’s small tissue-box replicas of threatened and razed modern architecture mix cuteness with contemplation and mourning: ...recreating buildings in plastic canvas and yarn... -- Marcel Breuer; Richard Neutra; Tod Williams Billie Tsien; SITE; Cesar Pelli [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
David Brussat: James Stevens Curl’s American lecture tour: ...author of the pathbreaking "Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism" will be visiting on our side of the pond to receive a Ross Award from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art [ICAA]. Washington, D.C.: May 10; New Orleans: May 13; Denver: May 14; Boston: May 16- Architecture Here and There
Aaron Betsky: Rebuilding Notre Dame? It’s Complicated: How faithful should we be to the 19th-century version of the cathedral we love? ...figuring out what and how to restore a building that has seen bouts of construction for over six centuries is an open question...The bigger discussion, then, is about what should be reconstructed, how, and why...The trick would be to figure out what is essential about Suger’s principles and style, and then find a way to realize those ideas and forms without directly copying the copy that was there. -- Eugène Viollet-le-Duc- Architect Magazine
Barry Bergdoll Calls for Serious Discussion on the Repair of Notre Dame: ...there has been a whirlwind of views put forth on how to respond to the loss...the question of the famous spire...is at the heart of this debate. I am of split minds...On the one hand I am always in favor of promoting new architectural creativity and opposed to historical pastiche; on the other hand I think the issue is more complex...the idea to remove Viollet-le-Duc from the very monument protection he helped craft seems not only wrong but cruel. Ridiculous arguments are being advanced...And what of the flurry of designs that have been published of late, as though the solution could be found in Photoshop? ...architects...are rushing in like ambulance chasers... -- Andrew Tallon- Center for Architecture News / AIANY (NYC)
Duncan Stroik: Why Rebuild a Gothic ‘Addition’ to Notre Dame? Why would we replace the historic cathedral spire unless it was ugly, poorly constructed, or incongruous with the cathedral? A few days later, we saw the first of many designs...denuded of all reference to the masterpiece. What should be done with Notre Dame’s spire? One does not have to be a Gothicist to appreciate Viollet-le-Duc’s restoration...So why not allow contemporary architects to try their own hand at building a spire...because most contemporary architects couldn’t design Gothic to save their life.- The American Conservative
Ned Cramer: Victor Hugo Was Wrong: The author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame believed that the book killed the building as a repository of human thought: The printing press may have taken architecture’s place as the medium of choice, but it didn’t kill architecture, or even mute it. For proof, look no further than the great outpouring of sorrow when [it] was ravaged by fire...Over the course of eight centuries, the cathedral has been expanded, altered, ornamented, pillaged, adapted, restored, and renovated...Will [it] be the same as it was before the fire? No...But [it] can be as meaningful as it was...While tragic, the fire creates an opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of the cathedral, the city, and the nation. That story will be written in architecture. -- Eugène Viollet-le-Duc- Architect Magazine
Francesco Bandarin: Notre Dame should be rebuilt as it was: The cathedral’s 19th-century additions are as much part of its history as its Gothic vaults, says a former director of Unesco’s World Heritage Centre: ...[its] World Heritage status calls for international principles of restoration to be integrated into the discussions on how to restore it...Does this exclude a contemporary "architectural gesture"? No, of course not...The "contemporaneity"...will lie in its construction techniques and monitoring technologies, rather than the visible forms of the building. -- International Council on Museums and Sites (Icomos); Viollet-Le-Duc; Jean-Baptiste Lassus- The Art Newspaper (UK)
David Brussat: How to rebuild Notre-Dame: Right out of the box, France announced an international competition to...rebuild the roof and spire...The French president, Emmanuel Macron, wants the job done by...[the 2024] Summer Olympic Games in Paris...According to 1,170 international architects, conservationists and historians...five years drastically underestimates the time required to do the job responsibly...the chief rationale...might in fact be to grease the skids for a proposal that could shorten the time-line by substituting a quickie modernist clip-on, paint-by-numbers renovation scheme... -- Eugene Voillet-le-Duc; Norman Foster; Duncan Stroik- Architecture Here and There
Bees and undamaged art among 'miracles' after Notre Dame Cathedral fire: ...a rooftop colony of bees were found to have survived. French beekeeping company Beeopic...posted a picture of the surviving bees on Instagram..."nos abeilles" ("our bees") are still on site...satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn...Another victory...some of the artwork inside the cathedral suffered less damage than anticipated.- Yahoo News
Sydney Franklin: Six emerging firms win 2019 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers: ...theme of "Just"...explores architectural action within the discipline...competition open to designers who are 10 or fewer years out of an undergraduate or master’s degree program and live and work in North America. -- Cyrus Peñarroyo/EXTENTS (Ann Arbor, MI); Virginia Black, Gabrielle Printz, and Rosana Elkhatib/feminist architecture collaborative/f-architecture (Brooklyn, NY); Gregory Melitonov/Taller KEN (NYC, Guatemala City, San José, CR); Jennifer Bonner/MALL (Boston, Atlanta); Mira Hasson Henry/Henry Architecture (Los Angeles); Rachel G. Barnard/Young New Yorkers (YNY) (New York, NY) [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Design that Educates 2019 Award Winners: Emphasizing the role of architecture in solving social and environmental problems. -- Richter Musikowski Architekten; Robert Konieczny/KWK Promes; Interval Architects; ASA Design Ltd - Active Social Architecture; Medprostor d.o.o.; Davide Macullo Architects; Faulders Studio; etc. [images]- Laka Foundation
Winners announced in 3rd Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition for a Peace Pavilion in Sedhiou, Senegal...to serve as a memorial to the victims of the African wars and an educational space to promote the culture of peace. -- Changze Cai (China); Dongming He, Yi Xie, Zeyi Yuan (China); Jurij Bardelli, Federico Testa (Italy); etc.- Associazione Balouo Salo
Winners of the 2019 AIA COTE Top 10 Awards: The winners include 8 projects in the U.S. - ranging from a zoo education center, to university lab buildings, to a waste transfer station, to a famed New York cathedral - as well as a university building in Canada and a high school in Kenya. -- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Payette; BNIM; NADAAA/Adamson Associates/ERA Architects; David Baker Architects; Mahlum Architects; Opsis Architecture; Murphy Burnham & Buttrick (MBB) Architects; MSR Design- Architect Magazine
AIA 2019 Housing Awards: Recognizing the best in housing design...12 projects... -- MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects; Kennerly Architecture & Planning; Abacus Architects + Planners; Snow Kreilich Architects; Marvel Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)/Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects/Kevin Daly Architects; William Rawn Associates, Architects; etc. [images]- American Institute of Architects
2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award: Transformation of 530 dwellings - Grand Parc Bordeaux: three 1960s social housing buildings after their demolition had been ruled out. -- Lacaton & Vassal architectes; Frédéric Druot Architecture; Christophe Hutin Architecture [images]- European Commission / Mies van der Rohe Foundation
Winners of eVolo 2019 Skyscraper Competition: 3 winners and 27 honorable mentions...Methanescraper: a vertical city-district in Belgrade that serves as landfill with recycling capabilities; Airscraper: a city-like skyscraper that cleans air; Creature Ark: Biosphere Skyscraper: a nature reserve skyscraper with research facilities. -- Marko Dragicevic (Serbia); Klaudia Golaszewska/Marek Grodzicki (Poland); Zijian Wan/Xiaozhi Qi/Yueya Liu (UK); etc. [images]- eVolo Magazine
Graham Foundation announces 2019 architectural research grants winners: ...projects that ranged from exhibits on suburban housing stock to research on the effects of MTV on postmodern space. -- Lap Chi Kwong/Alison Von Glinow; The Extrapolation Factory/Elliott P. Montgomery/Chris Woebken; Frida Escobedo/Xavier Nueno; N H D M Architects/Nahyun Hwang/David Eugin Moon; Heather Hart; Beatriz Colomina/Ignacio G. Galán/Evangelos Kotsioris/Anna-Maria Meister; etc.- The Architect's Newspaper
ANN feature: Andrew Pressman: Design Thinking: A Guide to Creative Problem Solving for Everyone: Three vignettes excerpted from Pressman's recently published book, which focuses on how design thinking is applied to real-life challenges.- ArchNewsNow.com
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