Today’s News - Wednesday, June 19, 2019
● Google commits to a $1 billion, 3-prong plan to add 20,000 new homes over the next 10 years "to address the San Francisco Bay Area's crippling housing affordability crisis."
● Hume makes the case for more "missing middle housing" in Toronto - though he sees hope in a proposed redevelopment of a former industrial site "designed to be an element of something larger, a living neighborhood as well as a city."
● Anderson puts the spotlight on 3 creative placemaking programs in Chicago, Somerville, Massachusetts, and Denver fighting gentrification by raising a "tide" that "lifts all community boats" - building community networks and helping "artists and residents lay down economic roots": "We're investing in human infrastructure."
● Davidson delves into "dueling ideas" of what should be done with "10 hulking oil-and-gas tanks" in a new park in Brooklyn - an "inventive, exciting and bold" plan that reuses the tanks faces opposition: "Tension between erasure and commemoration keeps coming up as New York gradually converts its once forbidding industrial shoreline into a green and pleasant buffer."
● O'Sullivan parses Paris's plan to plant "urban forests - a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage. Given how charming the designs appear, this seems unlikely to be controversial."
● Wainwright Ishigami's Serpentine Pavilion 2019, "squatting on the lawn like a moody crow - feels rather lost in translation, the compromised product of a sharp clash of cultures" - it's "a striking object, but it could have been so much better."
● Anderton x 2: She talks to the mayor of Santa Monica, CA, about plans to turn the soon-to-be-defunct Santa Monica Airport into a park, and whether it's "the best and highest use for the 227-acre site. Housing advocates argue that this is a misplaced goal."
● She talks to Craig Hodgetts of Mithun/Hodgetts + Fung, Gensler's Terence Young, and Seleta Reynolds of L.A. DOT re: Uber Air skyports: "Hodgetts says he drank the Uber Air Kool Aid."
● Grabar spends some time on the Mississippi River with some serious river captains - they all ponder when it will "come for New Orleans - hell is high water."
● Speaking of rising water: the Van Alen Institute & the City of North Miami announce the Keeping Current: Repetitive Loss Properties finalists in the design competition to reimagine public uses of the city's "current and future portfolio of flood-prone vacant lots."
● Kennicott visits the TWA Hotel and the "magnificently restored" 1962 TWA terminal - "one of the great buildings of the last century" - Saarinen "proved the power of a poetic modernism, full of whimsy and romance" that "asserts a truth far deeper than its original purpose: If man can build miraculous buildings, he can remake the world itself into something more equal, more fair, and more decent."
● Kamin reports that John Ronan has been selected to design a new visitor center for Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio that "would require the demolition of a neighboring house" not designed by Wright, and reducing the footprint of a house where Wright's mother lived.
● Block brings us eyefuls of Ron Arad's twisting ToHA tower in Tel Aviv that will include restaurants, two terraces, and a perimeter walkway on the roof, and views of the sky from a 100-metre-high "atrium void that runs through the building" (and LEED Platinum to boot!).
● In Germany's Rems Valley, the 46-foot-tall "elegant, curved" Urbach Tower is "the first example of a 'self-shaping' wood construction process - it is already a landmark in Remstal and will be on view permanently."
● Schwab is quite taken by Oppenheim Architecture's "gorgeous beach resort" in Aqaba, Jordan, that "appears to disappear in the desert sand" (it is also "the centerpiece of a knowledge exchange program, with the architects teaching local workers the shotcrete building technique" - cool!). - HGA's new SleepIQ LABS for Sleep Number in a Jose high-rise "combines design insight with engineering ingenuity" to create "a vibrant space that is all about a good night's sleep."
● Vigo's report on Grohe's recent The Wave of the Future talks in Frankfurt, and "parametric architecture's embrace of new technology": "From the parametric designs coming out of London to those emerging from India's architecture studios, it is essential that AI be carefully employed while not resulting in the loss of architectural identity" (Schumacher weighed in, of course).
● Zaha's "fluid magic" makes its debut Down Under at the Denfair trade show in Melbourne, June 20-22: "Dramatically compelling, they're domesticated versions of Hadid's buildings."
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Google announces $1B commitment for San Francisco Bay Area housing: ...should result in 20,000 new homes added to the local market, over 10 years...intends to divvy out its investment three ways: setting aside company-owned land for housing development, creating a new investment fund to maintain and create affordable homes and awarding grants to organizations focused on homelessness and displacement in the region. -- SPUR/San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association- San José Spotlight (California)
Christopher Hume: Toronto Needs Missing Middle Housing Now More Than Ever: Towers we’ve got in the hundreds...What’s missing [are] those four- to 12-storey structures...The issue is how rarely mid-rise is considered when it comes to new residential construction...more often than not, they fall victim to...NIMBY opposition as well as rules and regulations...the city has made mid-rise condos so problematic developers run screaming from the prospect...Still, things have improved...One of the most exciting is Reunion Crossing, a proposed redevelopment of...what was a former industrial property...designed to be an element of something larger, a living neighbourhood as well as a city. -- Ralph Gianonne/Giannone Petricone Associates- Toronto Storeys
James A. Anderson: How the Creative Placemaking Tide Lifts All Community Boats: In the fight against gentrification, three placemaking programs activate community networks and help artists and residents lay down economic roots....“We’re investing in human infrastructure"... -- Emmanuel Pratt/Sweet Water Foundation (Chicago); Jamie Hand/ArtPlace America; Patrick Horvath/Denver Foundation; Juliet Kahne/Project for Public Spaces/PPS; Rachel Strutt/Nibble (Somerville, Massachusetts); Jami Duffy/Youth on Record (Denver)- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Justin Davidson: Can a Gas Tank Be a Playground? Dueling Ideas for Bushwick Inlet Park: An inventive scheme to reuse (rather than demolish) industrial structures in a new park faces local opposition: ...tension between erasure and commemoration keeps coming up as New York gradually converts its once forbidding industrial shoreline into a green and pleasant buffer...an alternative plan...integrate [10 hulking oil-and-gas tanks] into a landscape...plan is exciting and bold - so much so that it could conceivably yield a tourist destination...That may be one reason some neighborhood activists want no part of their idea. -- STUDIO V; Ken Smith Workshop; Richard Haag; Latz and Partner- New York Magazine
Feargus O'Sullivan: Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks: The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees - a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage: ...part of a plan to create “islands of freshness”...proposals will only add to the mosaic of new green spaces...include a makeover and extension of the green area around the Eiffel Tower, reduction of parking spaces in major squares, and alterations to schoolyards...Given how charming the designs appear, this seems unlikely to be controversial... -- Paris Urbanism Agency/Apur; Céline Orsingher [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Oliver Wainwright: Serpentine Pavilion 2019: Japan's great conjuror falls foul of health and safety: Junya Ishigami’s hillock of Cumbrian slate was meant to feel ‘primitive and ancient’. But British regulations - and the wind - dashed his dreams: Squatting on the lawn like a moody crow, this year’s [pavilion] is an enigmatic arrival to Kensington Gardens...feels rather lost in translation, the compromised product of a sharp clash of cultures...More time...would have helped matters...structure is a striking object, but it could have been so much better... -- Aecom- Guardian (UK)
DnA//Frances Anderton: Is a park the best future use of Santa Monica Airport? ...the oldest operating airport in Los Angeles County...a step closer to fully ending all flight operations by 2028...But the transition is worrying to folks in both aviation and regional housing advocacy. Q&A talks with Mayor Gleam Davis about what’s next for the airport and whether a large park is the best and highest use for the 227-acre site...Housing advocates argue that this is a misplaced goal...- KCRW (Los Angeles)
DnA/Frances Anderton: Skyports unveiled for Uber’s flying cars: Uber Elevate claims Uber Air will be ready for lift off in 2023. And it’s thinking about where these app-based, flying taxis will take off and land. To that end they tapped eight design teams to come up with concepts for what they call Skyports, to be located in Los Angeles, Dallas and Melbourne...Q&A with Craig Hodgetts of Mithun/Hodgetts + Fung, Gensler’s Terence Young, and Seleta Reynolds, L.A. DOT...Hodgetts says he drank the Uber Air Kool Aid...- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Henry Grabar: Hell Is High Water: When will the Mississippi River come for New Orleans? It has been a high water season that has, for now, proved the strength and flexibility of the system of shipping, spillways, and levees built to keep [NOLA] prosperous and safe. One season is a little scary...Channelization and climate change have helped create a Mississippi River running high and fast, longer than ever before...As the years go by, it is looking more likely that high water and a hurricane could coincide in New Orleans.- Slate
Keeping Current: Repetitive Loss Properties Finalists Announced: ...three international firms advance to the final stage of the ...design competition [to] reimagine public uses of the City of North Miami’s current and future portfolio of flood-prone vacant lots, known as repetitive loss (RL) properties...The winning team will be awarded $80,000 (master plan development, design, and construction). -- Department Design Office (Cambridge); Office ParkScheerbarth (Berlin); Resolve (Miami)- Van Alen Institute / City of North Miami
Philip Kennicott: The TWA Hotel revives a magnificent, mid-century vision of the friendly skies: Eero Saarinen's 1962 TWA terminal...has always been about selling a fantasy...when it reopened...as a retro hotel for well-traveled hipsters, it began selling a fantasy of what flying was supposed to have been: elegant, exciting and sexy...one of the great buildings of the last century...proved the power of a poetic modernism, full of whimsy and romance...the ultimate temple to capitalism...magnificently restored ..asserts a truth far deeper than its original purpose: If man can build miraculous buildings, he can remake the world itself into something more equal, more fair, and more decent. -- Beyer Blinder Belle; Lubrano Ciavarra Architects- Houston Chronicle
Blair Kamin: A new visitor center is planned for Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio: ...plans for a low-slung visitor and education center, designed by the architect of Chicago’s acclaimed Poetry Foundation building...would require the demolition of a neighboring house that wasn’t designed by Wright but is part of a village historic district...John Ronan characterized his design as modest...plans also call for reducing the footprint of another house...where Wright’s mother lived.- Chicago Tribune
India Block: Ron Arad's twisting ToHA tower nears completion in Tel Aviv: ...narrow at the base but widens at the top...7 lower narrower levels in the building contain [its] technical plant. This leaves the roof level free for several restaurants, two terraces, and a perimeter walkway...7-storey-high lobby has views all the way up to the roof via an atrium void that runs through the building...Sky is visible through this 100-metre-high vertical space...No two floors of the office building are the same...combined more traditional passive approaches with a high-tech facade...has been given an LEED Platinum certification. -- Yashar Architects [images]- Dezeen
Urbach Tower Pioneers "Self-Shaping" Wood Construction Technique: The panels of the 46-foot tall structure twisted themselves into this elegant, curved form: ...in Germany's Rems Valley...the real story here is in how the tower came together...the first example of a "self-shaping" wood construction process...Installed as one of 15 small structures for the Remstal Garden Show, [it] is already a landmark in the city and will be on view permanently.- Core77
Katharine Schwab: This gorgeous beach resort appears to disappear in the desert sand: A new resort in the port city of Aqaba, Jordan, is taking the rolling dunes of the desert as its inspiration...Designed by the Switzerland office of Oppenheim Architecture, the clubhouse also served as the centerpiece of a knowledge exchange program, with the architects teaching local workers the shotcrete building technique...The clubhouse is part of what will be a 17-square mile-development called Ayla Oasis that’s currently under construction... [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
HGA Completes Interior Design for Sleep Number's New SleepIQ LABS: ...combines design insight with engineering ingenuity...to envision a vibrant space that is all about a good night's sleep...Occupying an entire floor of the downtown San Jose high-rise...space was intentionally created to be flexible and to grow...Small details...pay homage to the software found at the business's core... [images]- Dexigner
Julian Vigo: Parametric Architecture's Embrace Of New Technology: ...AI [artificial intelligence] is entering into the realm of design...Schumacher sees the future of architecture emerging from computer calculations and rational data instead of artistic intuition and judgment...From the parametric designs coming out of London to those emerging from India’s architecture studios, it is essential that AI be carefully employed while not resulting in the loss of architectural identity...The paradigm for an architecture of the future will mean that the pace of change will increase while the revival of certain autochthonous materials like bamboo will be making their way back into the buildings of the future. -- Patrik Schumacher/Zaha Hadid Architects; Filippo Gilardi/MX3D; Vo Trong Nghia; Le Corbusier; Balkrishna Doshi; Sheila Sri Prakash/Shilpa Architects- Forbes
Designers bring Zaha Hadid's fluid magic Down Under: The legendary architect's design company is about to unveil its first Australian presentation at Denfair in Melbourne, June 20-22: ...devised “an environment more than a display” for the design trade show...Dramatically compelling, they’re domesticated versions of Hadid’s buildings... -- Woody Yao/Maha Kutay/Zaha Hadid Design- Australian Financial Review
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