Today’s News - Tuesday, December 3, 2019
● A doubly sad way to start the day: Anderton honors SCI-Arc founder and architect Ray Kappe, 92, "one of the pillars of Los Angeles architecture," and "pays tribute to a life well-lived, through interviews with some of those who knew him, as well as clips from Kappe himself."
● Walker & Chandler honor Kappe, "LA's trailblazing modernist architect. 'The world of architecture would not be what it is without him,'" sayeth SCI-Arc director Hernán Díaz Alonso.
● Rozzo pays tribute to Dion Neutra, 93, "Between them, Richard and Dion Neutra exerted their influence upon the built environment" with "lithe and airy structures - at once elegant and breezy. Dion was perhaps best known for his work as an aggressive and sometimes prickly steward of the Neutra legacy."
● Davidson x 2: Perhaps the third try will be the charm re: new plans for Lincoln Center's Geffen Hall: "In place of that eggshell-and-gold light box, we'll get an architectural turducken," with public spaces by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, and "Diamond Schmitt's curvaceous blond-wood auditorium. (Heatherwick is no longer involved - another cannonball dodged.)"
● He parses the perils of a proposal for two 39-story apartment towers a block away from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. "Swaths of Olmstedian wilderness nuzzle remnants of Beaux-Arts symmetry and strokes of sleek modernism - being drawn into the wars over scarce urban resources: housing, light, and air. New York should bake the right to sunlight in public spaces into its laws. Green spaces aren't fungible or a frill. They're what make the city livable."
● In Chicago, AS+GG's supertall Tribune Tower East "proposal returns with minimal changes - the majority of the revisions focus on how the development will handle vehicle loading, traffic circulation, and pedestrian access - arguably more exciting change - improvements to the adjacent riverfront plaza and a realigned pedestrian promenade."
● Meanwhile, London's second tallest skyscraper, the Trellis by Eric Parry, "gets the go-ahead after three-year fight - despite concerns its 73-storey, 1,000ft height will blight views of the Tower of London" (lots of pix!) + A round-up of "London's giants."
● Moore revisits "a very British fiasco," the Millennium Dome, 20 years later: "It was supposed to be the ultimate symbol of Cool Britannia. Instead it became a nightmare that exposed the spin and hubris. It set a pattern in which the skills and integrity of architects were crushed by the mechanics of public-private partnerships" ("a Thames-side bog with a plastic bag over its face" - ouch!).
● Aliento reports on Australia's affordable housing crisis - and "some small moves to fix a big problem," with local governments "now stepping up to the plate - state and federal budgets for affordable housing are 'pathetic.'"
● On a (slightly) brighter note, "abandoned malls are sputtering back to life with mega-churches, rooftop pools, and homeless shelters. Municipalities and developers nationwide have come up with unique ways to give dying shopping centers new life."
● Morgan cheers RISD's new dorm by Tehrani's NADAA as a "design triumph - the kind of serious, innovative, and environmentally sensitive public work of art that Providence should be encouraging" by "a thoughtful artist who would rather be good than trendy. Subtly wins over flash."
● Crosbie's great Q&A with Frances Halsband: The "architect who never designed a hospital gives a doctor just what he ordered" for a surgical clinic in Kyabirwa, Uganda.
● Baldwin rounds up a series of public projects over the last decade that are "building a new vernacular" in modern Morocco.
● Scarpa on paid competitions: "What is sorely needed is an organization that officially sanctions all design competitions and proves that they have the ability to pay the design professional in accordance with industry standards and have the funds to build the projects" (with links to some other interesting commentary).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: INSIGHT: Conners Ladner: Designing Landscapes to Adapt to Hurricane Season: By focusing on cultivating native ecosystems, landscape architects can help to build landscapes that are both more resilient and more authentic to place.
● Lam minces no words: "We're in a climate crisis with a 2030 deadline. Let's act like it. In Canada, our government's policies overall are 'insufficient' to 'highly insufficient'" (can Canadian Architects Declare's call for "immediate action" make a difference?).
● Sitz parses Obama's keynote at Greenbuild 2019 re: sustainability and affordability: "He identified two connected concerns as the most critical: climate change and the economy. Authentic concern for constituents was just one of the leadership strategies. He emphasized the importance of convening a diverse team."
● Dixon & Oldfield, two of the authors of "Guide to Low Carbon Commercial New Builds," one in a series of free, technical guides, explain that "several years of research, combined with case studies - demystify and summarize best-practice, integrated low-carbon design principles."
● Zeller on Quadrangle's 80 Atlantic, Toronto, "Eastern Canada's first mass timber office building. Any leftover prejudices against wood have been demolished - led by the pioneering work of Canadian architects and engineers."
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Obituary by Frances Anderton: A tribute to SCI-Arc founder and architect Ray Kappe, 92: One of the pillars of Los Angeles architecture...He was concerned with environmentalism before most people heard the term. He also saw his career get eclipsed by a feisty younger generation, and then he made a comeback that kept him busy until the end of his life. DnA pays tribute to a life well-lived, through interviews with some of those who knew him, as well as clips from Kappe himself. -- Joe Osae-Addo/Constructs; Todd Gannon; Robert S. Livesey/Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture; Thom Mayne/Morphosis Architects; Yasi Vafai/DU Architects; Steve Glenn/Plant Prefab/Living Homes; Hernan Diaz Alonso- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Alissa Walker & Jenna Chandler: Ray Kappe, LA’s trailblazing modernist architect, 92: During a career that spanned decades, Kappe designed more than 100 stunning residences and, as an educator, transformed the Los Angeles design world: “The world of architecture would not be what it is without him,” SCI-Arc director Hernán Díaz Alonso said...“His legacy as an architect, city planner, and educator is absolutely unparalleled.”- Curbed Los Angeles
Obituary by Mark Rozzo: Architect Dion Neutra, who fought to save his father’s iconic buildings, 93: The father and son, individually and in collaboration, executed hundreds of houses and civic projects...Between them, Richard and Dion Neutra exerted their influence upon the built environment and visual aesthetics of Los Angeles for nearly a century...lithe and airy structures...At once elegant and breezy...[Dion] was perhaps best known for his work as an aggressive and sometimes prickly steward of the Neutra legacy.- Los Angeles Times
Justin Davidson: Revealed: The Plans for David Geffen Hall and for the Music Within: A $500 million renovation that will finally fix that room. Maybe: In place of that eggshell-and-gold light box, we’ll get an architectural turducken. Inside Max Abramovitz’s  shell will be a lobby, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, and Diamond Schmitt’s curvaceous blond-wood auditorium. (Heatherwick is no longer involved - another cannonball dodged.)...a terraced, vineyard-style hall rejiggered into a shoe box - a fan-shaped peg in a rectangular hole. -- Akustiks; Fisher Dachs- New York Magazine
Justin Davidson: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Renovates, and Faces an Existential Threat: A new visitor center and Woodland Garden, and the long shadow of proposed high-rise neighbors: The garden is a public artwork...Swaths of Olmstedian wilderness nuzzle remnants of Beaux-Arts symmetry and strokes of sleek modernism...it’s being drawn into the wars over scarce urban resources: housing, light, and air...nemesis is the proposal for a pair of 39-story apartment towers...would obliterate hours of morning light...To some, the creation of decent, low-cost home...is being stymied by prissy plant-lovers...New York should bake the right to sunlight in public spaces into its laws, as other cities have done. Green spaces aren’t fungible or a frill. They’re what make the city livable... -- Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates; Weiss Manfredi- New York Magazine
Supertall Tribune Tower East proposal returns with minimal changes: ...will still rise 1,422 feet: The upper portion remains aesthetically unchanged, retaining the distinctive two-pronged crown that...Blair Kamin compared to “Batman’s mask"...majority of the revisions...focusing on the building’s lowest levels and how the development will handle vehicle loading, traffic circulation, and pedestrian access...Another - and arguably more exciting change - includes improvements to the adjacent riverfront plaza known as Pioneer Court...A realigned pedestrian promenade dubbed the “Pioneer Path” aims to better bridge Michigan Avenue and Cityfront Plaza. -- Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture- Curbed Chicago
London's second tallest skyscraper the Trellis gets go-ahead after three-year fight - despite concerns its 73-storey, 1,000ft height will blight views of the Tower of London: ...real name 1 Undershaft...will be beaten only by The Shard, which is just 17ft taller...it will also be the second tallest tower in western Europe, dwarfing the likes of The Gherkin and The Cheesegrater...will replace the Aviva Tower...[includes] a public viewing gallery...a restaurant and an education centre for school trips [and home to the world's highest climbing wall, giving views from 390ft up as participants climb on the inside of the glass. -- Eric Parry Architects- Daily Mail (UK)
Rowan Moore: The Millennium Dome 20 years on ... revisiting a very British fiasco: It was supposed to be the ultimate symbol of Cool Britannia. Instead it became a nightmare that exposed the spin and hubris: ...opening night...31 December 1999...one of the greatest PR disasters in history...this spectacular container of not very much made an easy emblem of the government’s...tokenistic approach to regeneration...The talent arrayed there...was buried in a Thames-side bog with a plastic bag over its face. It set a pattern for the next decade of urban regeneration, in which the skills and integrity of architects and artists were crushed by the mechanics of public-private partnerships. -- Mike Davies/Richard Rogers Partnership; Jonathan Glancey; Simon Jenkins; Stephen Bayley; Eva Jiricná; Zaha Hadid; Tim Pyne; Nigel Coates; Liza Fior/muf architecture and art- Observer (UK)
Willow Aliento: Affordable housing - some small moves to fix a big problem: Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis...local governments are now stepping up to the plate...in an ARC Linkage project examining local government housing, Professor Alan Morris from the UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance says that while local government initiatives are useful, there is a limit to how much land is available...More broadly, measures such as inclusionary zoning...are not happening at scale...state and federal budgets for affordable housing are “pathetic”...- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Abandoned malls are sputtering back to life with megachurches, rooftop pools and homeless shelters: Municipalities and developers nationwide have come up with unique ways to give dying shopping centers new life: ...the successes have taken multiple forms: community colleges, public preschools, churches and libraries. Some old malls have turned into micro-apartments or microbreweries, and at least one...is now an Amazon fulfillment center...- Washington Post
William Morgan: New RISD Dorm is a “Design Triumph": Rhode Island School of Design's residence hall is the kind of serious, innovative, and environmentally sensitive public work of art that Providence should be encouraging...Nader Tehrani is an architect's architect, a thoughtful artist who would rather be good than trendy...North Hall demonstrates what a good architect can do with a simple, well-proportioned rectangle...jammed up on all sides by buildings and busy streets. NADAAA utilizes just two exterior materials...to transform a simple box into an intriguing and vibrant composition...The play of light...lifts this box into the realm of excitement and drama...Subtly wins over flash. -- Office dA- GoLocalProv.com (Providence, Rhode Island)
Michael J. Crosbie: An Architect Who Never Designed a Hospital Gives a Doctor Just What He Ordered: Frances Halsband talks about designing a surgical clinic in Kyabirwa, Uganda: ...how the project came about, and what she and her team learned in the process..."Dr. Michael Marin, came to us and we told him, 'We don’t know anything about healthcare facilities.' He said, 'That’s why I am choosing you'...he needed an architect to think about things in a completely new way, an opportunity for a fresh approach. He wanted to rethink everything about designing a surgical facility. -- Kliment Halsband Architects- Common Edge
Eric Baldwin: Modern Morocco: Building a New Vernacular: ...a series of public projects...From museums and educational projects to transport stations and a visitor center, they represent a diversity of program and scale....informed by a history of building with the landscape, a past that continues to shape modern design. -- Studio KO; OUALALOU+CHOI; Silvio d’Ascia Architecture + Omar Kobbité Architectes; Tarik Zoubdi Architect & Mounir Benchekroun Architect; BC Architects...Groupe3 Architectes; Ricardo Bofill; Saad El Kabbaj + Driss Kettani + Mohamed Amine Siana- ArchDaily
Lawrence Scarpa on paid competitions: a response to Matt Shaw’s article on the value of paid architectural competitions...What is sorely needed is an organization that officially sanctions all design competitions, that have been vetted and proves that they have the ability to pay the design professional in accordance with industry standards and have the funds to build the project they are offering in the competition. -- Brooks + Scarpa Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
Elsa Lam: Countdown to 2030: The long, nebulous spectre of climate change now has a more forceful name - the climate crisis - and a deadline...Canadian Architects Declare urges architects and designers to raise awareness of the impact of the built environment on climate change, and to take immediate action...In Canada, “business as usual” plans are indeed failing to effect meaningful change...our government’s current and projected policies overall are “insufficient” to “highly insufficient”...We’re in a climate crisis with a 2030 deadline. Let’s act like it.- Canadian Architect
Miriam Sitz: President Obama Talks Sustainability, Affordability, and Air Force One at Greenbuild 2019: He identified two connected concerns as the most critical: climate change and the economy. “Climate change is an existential issue...This is one of those where you can be too late...Pointing to California’s housing crisis...“building codes are so onerous that it makes construction of affordable housing almost impossible...If we want to think about sustainability, we have to do it in a way that also is thinking about affordability"...Authentic concern for constituents was just one of the leadership strategies...He emphasized the importance of convening a diverse team...- Architectural Record
Ian Dixon, GHD & Philip Oldfield/UNSW: Mainstreaming low carbon design: Low carbon design provides a cost-effective way of improving performance that can be adopted for all buildings. Now, clear guidance on how to achieve such designs is available in a series of free, technical guides..."'CRC Low Carbon Guides"...released by the CRC for Low Carbon Living draw on several years of research, and are combined with case studies that demystify and summarise best-practice, integrated low-carbon design principles..."Guide to Low Carbon Commercial New Builds"...one of several guides... -- Cooperative Research Centres- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Javier Zeller: Brick & Beam 2.0: 80 Atlantic, Toronto: Can a building material have moral weight? ...wood construction - and particularly mass timber construction - has an apparently unassailable logic. Any leftover prejudices against wood...has been demolished by designers...led by the pioneering work of Canadian architects and engineers, such as Michael Green and Fast + Epp...Eastern Canada’s first mass timber office building...isn’t simply environmentally virtuous, it’s also a very good addition to the urban fabric...straightforward and elegant...profound change that [it] made to the construction and design process...still a nascent industry. -- Quadrangle- Canadian Architect
ANN feature: INSIGHT: Conners Ladner: Designing Landscapes to Adapt to Hurricane Season: By focusing on cultivating native ecosystems, landscape architects can help to build landscapes that are both more resilient and more authentic to place.- ArchNewsNow.com
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