Today’s News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019
● ANN feature: Maxinne Rhea Leighton: What is a Sage? Climate Week and the Design Profession: This is not about fighting climate change. This is about standing with the planet, our communities, our youth. .
● A report on the recent Architecture of Emergency climate summit in London: "Architects should give up concrete say experts" (with link to video of summit).
● The RAIC calls on "Canadian architectural and design firms to commit to combating the climate crisis by signing a new Canadian Architects Declare pledge" (with a very long title).
● Conklin reports on the continuing international controversy re: the proposed elevated cable car system in Jerusalem: "The criticisms go far deeper than just the unimaginatively modern glass-and-steel aesthetics. The new transit system would fundamentally alter the visual experience of the ancient city."
● Saffron is disappointed that, after five years of planning, $420 million in construction, and the usual hefty public subsidies," the makeover of Philly's "leviathan" Fashion District shopping mall "is really just a better version of its old self" (and "what's up with that bathroom tile on the exterior?").
● Betsky gives the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics HQ "a silver medal for Olympic architecture" for bringing "the world's largest steel mill back to life - an astonishing display of how industrial remains can be reclaimed" and "turns what remains of the past into objects of aesthetic pleasure" - the new buildings - not so much (his own fab photos).
● The preliminary designs for Johns Hopkins University's Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, by Renzo Piano and Ayers Saint Gross, "draws mixed feedback" from some on Baltimore's design panel who fear it "might hinder the very connection between the campus community and the city that designers seek to foster" - it "could come across as an impervious 'building on a hill.'"
● Walker takes issue with Kamin's take on paid-for press junkets: "Architectural criticism has a problem but it's not press trips - to insinuate that other journalists somehow can't be 'trusted' because they don't have the same level of access is a troubling."
● Turning to brighter news: Chandran reports on Pakistan's "ambitious plan to build 5 million affordable homes within 5 years" - designed by student architects and "using common lands - wasteland or grazing land - and unused public lands."
● Davidson explains why Holl's Hunters Point Library "was too expensive," but "worth it": "Lovely, late, and overpriced" - but "the result is a work of civic pride, the kind that one generation builds for the next. New York needs more buildings that honor their public mission as well as this library does."
● Gonchar cheers the completed portion of Gehry's master plan that "reopens long-forgotten spaces" in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: He "describes his role akin to that of an archaeologist. 'We didn't create a new master plan. We've recreated an existing one.'"
● Salisbury cheers Gehry's "jaw-dropping new entrance" for the Philadelphia Museum of Art - "the original architects had created a building with 'elegant bones that needed to be reawakened.'"
● BIG's aluminum-clad The Twist art gallery bridges the river dividing Kistefos sculpture park in Norway: "The statement twist at its centre is designed to reconcile the different heights of the river banks, and in turn creates a distinctive sculptural aesthetic" (fab photos).
● The Washington Monument's new screening center by Beyer Blinder Belle and FXCollaborative's screening center for the Statue of Liberty illustrate how architects are "designing permanent spaces to make those extra minutes spent in security purgatory more enjoyable - or at least, inoffensive."
● Welton is wow'd by Nelson Byrd Woltz's garden at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts: It "may seem whimsical, but the design, ecology and sustainability are serious business - a thought-provoking outdoor space, collaborating with a powerful urban museum."
● Ray Kappe "takes us down memory lane and gives us a glimpse of what it was like to be founding-director of SCI-Arc and challenges he faced in his career as a modern master."
● Ensamble Studio to receive the 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award for its "major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture" - its bold work "explores the powerful combination of placemaking, functionality, refinement and beauty, in both urban and rural areas."
● Gerfen & Risen parse the winners of Architect mag's 2019 Studio Prize - 6 studios "that represent the some of the best investigations in design education - each of which exemplifies design's capacity to improve society" (great presentations)
● Buffalo, New York, picks the winner of its Skyway corridor competition that will make "12 acres available for development in downtown and Canalside" (and cheers for the finalists).
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ANN feature: Maxinne Rhea Leighton: What is a Sage? Climate Week and the Design Profession: This is not about fighting climate change. This is about standing with the planet, our communities, our youth.- ArchNewsNow.com
Architects should give up concrete say experts at Architecture of Emergency climate summit: "We don't have to wait to solve every single problem in order to start something today"..."If we invented concrete today, nobody would think it was a good idea"...Encouraging architects to switch to timber-framed buildings has rattled the cement and concrete industry, which has taken out adverts warning about the supposed dangers of timber buildings. -- Maria Smith/Interrobang; Architecture Foundation; Phineas Harper; Andrew Waugh/Waugh Thistleton Architects [link to video of summit]- Dezeen
On the day of a global climate strike, Canadian architects commit to action on the climate crisis: RAIC Committee on Regenerative Environments is calling on Canadian architectural and design firms to commit to combatting the climate crisis by signing a new Canadian Architects Declare pledge...The declaration, titled "Canadian Architectural Professionals Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency and Commit to Urgent and Sustained Action," is a grassroots effort...based on the UK’s Architects Declare initiative- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
Emily Conklin: Gondolas over Jerusalem spark international controversy: ...the criticisms go far deeper than just the unimaginatively modern glass-and-steel aesthetics. The locations for stations, and the sites and neighborhoods set to be serviced, boil down to be controversial choices from all angles within the context of the Holy City...The new transit system would fundamentally alter the visual experience of the ancient city... -- Moshe Safdie; Mendy Rosenfeld/Rosenfeld Arens Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
Inga Saffron: Philadelphia’s renovated downtown mall still focuses on the inside, instead of on Market Street: What's up with that bathroom tile on the exterior of [the] new Fashion District shopping mall? ...after five years of planning, $420 million in construction, and the usual hefty public subsidies, the leviathan...is really just a better version of its old self...For all the hopeful talk...the public-facing part of the mall was still given second-class treatment...the architectural equivalent of bargain-basement merchandise, and its shoddiness will make it that much harder for Market Street to claw its way back to retail respectability. -- Bower & Fradley (now BLT Architects); JPRA Architects- Philadelphia Inquirer
Aaron Betsky: A Silver Medal for Olympic Architecture: The headquarters for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games brings the world's largest steel mill back to life: It is, as far as I can tell, the biggest single reuse project in the world...Shougang is an astonishing display of how industrial remains can be reclaimed as places of culture, consumption, and post-industrial work...though the quality of detailing and construction is high, that of the design varies...It is the juxtaposition of the new structures...and these fragments...that turns what remains of the past into objects of aesthetic pleasure...the new frames what is left of the old, fetishizing it and giving it a retroactive value...What works less well is the design of the new buildings. -- Bo Hongtao/CCTN- Architect Magazine
Johns Hopkins’ plan for glass cubes for new institute draws mixed feedback from Baltimore officials: Johns Hopkins University showed preliminary designs [for] the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute...city’s design panel with some members saying the proposed structure might hinder the very connection between the campus community and the city at large that designers seek to foster...could come across as an impervious “building on a hill.” -- Renzo Piano; Ayers Saint Gross- Baltimore Sun
Alissa Walker: Architectural criticism has a problem but it’s not press trips: The issue is who grants - and gets - access: Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin wrote a story about how the biennial is paying for flights and hotels for some journalists...to focus on the transactional nature of a press trip ignores the larger issue when it comes to design journalism: gatekeeping. Architecture publicists hand-pick which journalists get stories, and when...to insinuate that other journalists somehow can’t be “trusted” because they don’t have the same level of access is a troubling message in a field overwhelmingly dominated by white male voices...Reader beware. -- Kelsey Keith; Mimi Zeiger- Curbed
Rina Chandran: Student architects to help build 5 million cheap homes in Pakistan: An ambitious plan to build five million affordable homes within five years...will tap student architects and use local materials to keep costs low: developing more than two dozen pilot villages in Punjab...using common lands - wasteland or grazing land - and unused public lands...Housing had traditionally not been a part of urban planning...- Place / Thomson Reuters Foundation
Justin Davidson: The Hunters Point Library Was Too Expensive, and Is Worth ItA small, great civic monument on the Queens waterfront: Lovely, late, and overpriced, [it] has already become an equivocal lesson in what, and how well, the city can build...it’s easy to sneer at a $40 million library...Hold the indignation...the result is a work of civic pride, the kind that one generation builds for the next...New York needs more buildings that honor their public mission as well as this library does, and we shouldn’t let paperwork get in the way. -- Steven Holl Architects- New York Magazine
Joann Gonchar: Philadelphia Museum of Art Reopens Long-Forgotten Spaces as Part of its Frank Gehry-Designed Renovation: The historic north entrance and half of a striking vaulted passageway reopened...as part of Gehry’s comprehensive master plan for the institution: Gehry describes his role akin to that of an archaeologist...“excavating” Trumbauer and Abele...“We didn’t create a new master plan,” he says. “We’ve recreated an existing one.” -- Horace Trumbauer & Julian Abele (1928)- Architectural Record
Stephan Salisbury: Philadelphia Museum of Art opens its jaw-dropping new entrance - the old vaulted walkway, closed for decades: ...entry mostly notable for the trucks parked in front of it or backing into it...Closed to the public since 1975...All has been refurbished, redesigned, and rethought...Frank Gehry, mastermind of the whole plan...Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele, the original architects, had created a building with “elegant bones that needed to be reawakened."- Philadelphia Inquirer
BIG bridges river in Norway with twisting art gallery: ...The Twist art gallery that twirls "like a deck of cards" and bridges the river dividing Kistefos sculpture park...The statement twist at its centre is designed to reconcile the different heights of the river banks, and in turn creates a distinctive sculptural aesthetic...As a nod to the post-industrial site, BIG wrapped The Twist in strips of raw aluminium. -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group- Dezeen
The Washington Monument Reopens with New Screening Center by Beyer Blinder Belle: ...creating a durable annex that enhances the safety of the popular tourist site...the small-but-formidable glass-and-steel visitor entrance defers to and quietly complements the soaring stone structure from 1888...In New York, FXCollaborative, which completed the Statue of Liberty Museum earlier this year, has also unveiled a new visitor screening center for the monument...Precautionary barriers to entry are here to stay, and architects are responding by designing permanent spaces to make those extra minutes spent in security purgatory more enjoyable - or at least, inoffensive.- Architectural Record
J. Michael Welton: A Garden by Nelson Byrd Woltz at the Peabody Essex Museum [in Salem, Massachusetts]: The flow of water and ribbon of pavement easing through NBWLA’s garden at [PEM] may seem whimsical, but the design, ecology and sustainability are serious business...a landscape that puts back more than it takes away...a thought-provoking outdoor space, collaborating with a powerful urban museum.- Architects + Artisans
House of ZKA/Zaid Kashef Alghata: Ray Kappe on SCI-Arc and Architectural Challenges: “Clashes and Intersections”...interview series with architects, theorists, and curators. The interviews begin with the question, “What do you consider your first project to be?” Kappe takes us down memory lane and gives us a glimpse of what it was like to be founding-director of SCI-Arc and challenges he faced in his career as a modern master.- ArchDaily
Ensamble Studio to receive 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award: ...given to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture...“Débora Mesa and Antón Garcia-Abril are bold in their work, which explores the powerful combination of placemaking, functionality, refinement and beauty, in both urban and rural areas."- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Katie Gerfen & Clay Risen: Winners of the 2019 Studio Prize: ...six studios that represent the some of the best investigations in design education...each of which exemplifies design’s capacity to improve society. -- Thomas Jefferson University, College of Architecture and the Built Environment; University of Maryland, School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation/Al-Nahrain University, College of Engineering, Architectural Department; University of Virginia, School of Architecture; Kansas State University, College of Architecture, Planning & Design; NC State University, School of Architecture, College of Design; New Jersey Institute of Technology, Hillier College of Architecture and Design- Architect Magazine
Winning Skyway redesign calls for tearing down part of bridge: The "City of Lights" entry...the winner of the Skyway corridor competition calls for removing part of the Skyway and its access ramps...making 12 acres available for development in downtown and Canalside [in Buffalo, NY]. -- SWBR/Fisher Associates/MRB Group; Marvel Architects; Christian Calleri/Jeannine Muller/Min Soo Kang/Andrea De Carlo- Buffalo News
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