Today’s News - Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Of buildings, beauty, and affordability (mass timber & upzoning included):
● McGuigan parses what "appears to be a preliminary draft" of "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" - an executive order that would declare "the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style" for federal buildings, and "decries the quality of architecture" under the GSA's Design Excellence Program (President's Committee for the Re-Beautification of Federal Architecture - oh joy).
● Mehaffy & Salingaros decry "Colonialist Modernism" and the "profoundly negative" results of the 1933 Charter of Athens and the 1964 Venice Charter on the Conservation of Monuments and Sites: Will we "continue to allow an outmoded century-old ideology to cause the degradation of cities?" (with ink to ICOMOS/EU proposal).
● Birnbaum parses the process that indicates the Trump Administration could be "the Obama Presidential Center's most unexpected ally" with "a confounding interpretation" of the responsibilities of the federal agency overseeing the review process ("stunning irony" included).
● Moore "truly hopes" that the U.K.'s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission succeeds, but "the suspicion is that talk of 'beauty,' using Scruton's erudite but superficial understanding, will only be a dressing on the not beautiful realities of government-approved, developer-led housing."
● Dougherty, on the other hand, considers "how beauty could help solve the housing crisis - Scruton believed that beauty was part of the solution. It's up to the rest of us to carry it on."
● Make up your own mind - check out the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission's report "Living with beauty" that proposes "a new development and planning framework, which will: Ask for Beauty; Refuse Ugliness; and Promote Stewardship."
● Budds delves into the cities and states that "are proposing new upzoning laws to combat the housing crisis," and considers whether they will work ("Oregon and Minneapolis are going to be our guinea pigs").
● Walker wades into whether a 35-story, mass timber tower proposed by Sidewalk Labs "might make building homes cheaper and more climate-friendly - CLT construction "could reduce the cost by 20%, but first, "what's essentially a brand-new construction method" must be developed.
Taliesin tales, tears, and finger-pointing:
● Kamin considers how FLW's Taliesin campuses were more "a community, not just an academy" that some "characterized as artistic communes of the highest order," while others thought they "were not-so-benign dictatorships. However one perceives the campuses - the school's absence will likely be keenly felt."
● Scavnicky, a former Taliesin teaching fellow, minces no words: "Shame on the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The architecture community needs to be cognizant of the potential impact outsiders can have on our field who fetishize and exploit the genius of our heroes."
● Lynn & Schweiker "want to set the record straight" about closing: The school's governing board "did not feel comfortable putting our staff, students and board members in the position of providing their expertise and deep wells of knowledge to help the Foundation establish a new non-accredited program."
● Graff, president & CEO of the FLW Foundation, has a different take: The decision to close "could be made only by the school itself, and not by the Foundation," which is now considering "potential partners to create a new and sustainable educational model - we will announce those plans when they are finalized."
On (much needed!) brighter notes:
● Wainwright cheers "Captain Scarlet," a.k.a. Ab Rogers, and his new "uplifting Maggie's Centre full of zing and zest - a cheery foil to the jumble of large institutional buildings that form the rambling warren" of the Royal Marsden hospital (spoiler alert: he likes red!).
● Orlando on MoMA's makeover: "The finished structure exhibits a formal purity that Corbu would have admired: there are no decorative elements to interfere with the bare engineering. This new MOMA is exhausting - and serene, and thrilling."
To subscribe to the free daily newsletter
Cathleen McGuigan: Will the White House Order All Federal Architecture To Be Classical? RECORD has obtained what appears to be a preliminary draft...“the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style” for new and upgraded federal buildings...“Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again"...decries the quality of architecture under the General Service Administration’s Design Excellence Program...last week, the GSA’s Chief Architect and Director of the Design Excellence Program, David Insinga, resigned...[draft] declaring that Brutalist and Deconstructivist styles..."shall not be used"...The mechanism for the radical upending...would be a President’s Committee for the Re-Beautification of Federal Architecture. -- Morphosis; Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects; Arquitectonica; Justin Shubow/National Civic Art Society; James C. McCrery II; Duncan G. Stroik- Architectural Record
Michael W. Mehaffy & Nikos Salingaros: Colonialist Modernism Strikes Again: ...1933 Charter of Athens...it is difficult to over-state the impact on the human environment...The results...have been profoundly negative...The idea that everything must be radically new...the enormity of that restriction...is hard to grasp... this ideology persists is in the 1964 Venice Charter on the Conservation of Monuments and Sites...will non-architects, and others not specialists in conservation, continue to allow an outmoded century-old ideology to cause the degradation of cities...Or will we see a continued (and increasing) uprising...demanding...a new generation of more humane, more historically rich human environments?- ArchDaily
Charles A. Birnbaum: Is Donald Trump the Obama Presidential Center’s Most Unexpected Ally? ...a revised Assessment of Effects with a laundry list of ...“adverse effects”...Under normal circumstances, the Federal Highway Administration...would now seek to avoid, minimize, or mitigate those adverse effects...instead, the agency is creatively applying a Trump-era policy position - as yet unapproved changes to the National Environmental Policy Act...to ignore the OPC’s harm to the parkland. Between the lines...is the stunning irony that the OPC’s proponents...now asserting that after two years of review under the National Historic Preservation Act, the OPC is not subject to the Act’s requirements...a confounding interpretation of the FHWA’s responsibilities.- The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)
Rowan Moore: Is housing design and planning safe in the Tories’ hands? Inspired by the late philosopher Roger Scruton, the government talks about beauty, but promotes ugly development. If they’re serious about good design, they need a theory that’s not skin-deep: Scruton treated architecture as a thing observed rather than lived...Adequate play space is...more important than the detail of an Ionic portico, but [his] philosophy could only speak of the latter...I truly hope that [Building Better, Building Beautiful commission] succeed. But...the suspicion is that talk of “beauty”, using Scruton’s erudite but superficial understanding, will only be a dressing on the not beautiful realities of government-approved, developer-led housing.- Observer (UK)
Michael Brendan Dougherty: How Beauty Could Help Solve the Housing Crisis: Roger Scruton’s ideas about architecture are...worth considering: ...we have a strong obligation to make beautiful things that naturally draw out the devotion and protection of our children...In his entertaining documentary on beauty, he shows deftly that by building machines exclusively for one purpose, modern architects ended up creating useless buildings...This was a strong argument against progressive architectural theory...beauty requires humility...But its upside is enormous...He believed that beauty was part of the solution to the housing crisis...It’s up to the rest of us to carry it on.- National Review
Living with beauty: report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission: Independent report on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods: ...we propose a new development and planning framework, which will: • Ask for Beauty: We do not see beauty as a cost • Refuse Ugliness: ugliness is a social cost that everyone is forced to bear • Promote Stewardship: Our built environment and our natural environment belong together. Both should be protected and enhanced for the long-term benefit of the communities -- Roger Scruton; Nicholas Boys Smith- U.K. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
Diana Budds: Will upzoning neighborhoods make homes more affordable? Cities and states...are proposing new upzoning laws to combat the housing crisis. Will they work? ...upzoning, which means changing single-family zoning codes to allow taller and denser housing...it’s important to know how single-family zoning became perceived as the norm for housing - and how that’s fueling the affordability crisis...“Oregon and Minneapolis are going to be our guinea pigs"...the definition of success in upzoning is subjective...there is a research gap in how much regulations impede development...Who supports and who opposes upzoning? ...gentrification and displacement shows why comprehensive planning, and not just rezonings, are needed.- Curbed
Alissa Walker: Could a 35-story, all-wood skyscraper cut housing costs? A “pure timber” proposal from Sidewalk Labs might make building homes cheaper and more climate-friendly: Mass timber is a major component of the...$1.3 billion...Sidewalk Toronto...one major challenge is that [it] is thought to have height limitations...team...ended up borrowing...from traditional tall-building construction - a cross-brace frame...of cross-laminated timber (CLT)...could reduce the cost...by 20%...might inform...Google...$1 billion investment to build 20,000 new homes...to help ease [California's] housing shortage...For any cost savings to pencil out...[it] must first develop and streamline what’s essentially a brand-new construction method. -- Michael Green Architecture; Gensler; Perkins and Will; Dan Doctoroff- Curbed
Blair Kamin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin was a community, not just an academy. That’s why many mourn the architecture school’s loss: ...some have characterized the Taliesin campuses as artistic communes of the highest order. A less sympathetic take is that the compounds...were not-so-benign dictatorships...However one perceives the campuses, they were, like Wright himself, utterly unconventional...Aaron Betsky...tried to infuse it with new ideas...Why it all came apart is the subject of finger-pointing...Whoever is right, Tuesday was a sad day for architectural education...While activities like public tours...will continue, the school’s absence will likely be keenly felt. -- John Howe; Tim Quigley; Brad Lynch; John Eifler- Chicago Tribune
Taliesin Opinion #1: Ryan Scavnicky, former teaching fellow: Shame on the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation: The gift shop at Taliesin West tells you everything you need to know about the closure of the School of Architecture at Taliesin...One can smell the Foundation cashing in on the aesthetic legacy...on the heels of receiving a full eight-year accreditation...the school...was thriving. Why then, the decision to close? The failure of the [School] to agree to terms with its landlord, the FLW Foundation, is a real tragedy and we must learn from it...The architecture community needs...to be cognizant of the potential impact outsiders can have on our field who fetishize and exploit the genius of our heroes. -- Aaron Betsky; Chris Lasch- The Architect's Newspaper
Taliesin Opinion #2: Jacki Lynn & Dan Schweiker, Governing Board of the School of Architecture at Taliesin: A sad day for Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy: We want to set the record straight...The decision to close the venerable school...came only after our Governing Board exhausted all options in trying to craft an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation...did not feel comfortable putting our staff, students and board members in the position of providing their expertise and deep wells of knowledge to help the Foundation establish a new non-accredited program...Board did present some new funding options to extend our operating agreement with the Foundation.- The Architect's Newspaper
Taliesin Opinion #3: Stuart Graff, president & CEO, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation: [FLW’s] Legacy will continue at Taliesin: School of Architecture at Taliesin announced that it...would be closing its doors...That decision could be made only by the school itself, and not by the Foundation...In the frenzy of the announcement, some misinformation has been spread...Let’s set the record straight...the Foundation sought a plan to transform the School for the 21st Century; the SoAT board voted instead to close...Since the announcement, we have welcomed and opened dialogues with potential partners to create a new and sustainable educational model...we will announce those plans when they are finalized. -- Dan Schweiker; Aaron Betsky- The Architect's Newspaper
Oliver Wainwright: Captain Scarlet! Ab Rogers brings a rhapsody of red to a hospital car park: It was the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer. Now Royal Marsden is home to an uplifting Maggie’s Centre full of zing and zest. Ab Rogers clearly shares his dad Richard’s love of colour: It is a cheery foil to the jumble of large institutional buildings that form the rambling warren of the hospital, providing an optimistic, welcoming presence for patients...Rogers...has come up with one of the clearest embodiments of [Maggie's] principles to date. -- Maggie Keswick Jencks; Charles Jencks; Piet Oudolf- Guardian (UK)
Jordan Orlando: The Once and Future MoMA: The museum’s current renovation is built around a paradigmatic curatorial shift: For 90 years, MoMA has stood as a monument to the paradoxical alignment of capital and counterculture...The finished structure exhibits a formal purity that Le Corbusier would have admired: there are stylistic and aesthetic nuances throughout, but no decorative elements to interfere with the bare engineering...This new MOMA is exhausting - and serene, and thrilling... -- Elizabeth Diller/Charles Renfro/Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R); Philip Johnson; Philip L. Goodwin; Edward Durell Stone; César Pelli; Yoshio Taniguchi; Jean Nouvel; Tod Williams Billie Tsien- The New Yorker
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window.
External news links are not endorsed by ArchNewsNow.com.
Free registration may be required on some sites.
Some pages may expire after a few days.
© 2020 ArchNewsNow.com