Today’s News - Thursday, May 7, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 12. 'Til then: Stay well. Stay safe. Stay in!
● Zeiger minces no words re: "the cruelness of demolishing LACMA - half will be erased - all we will be left with is the museum's ambiguous future in the form of a construction shed surrounding a ditch seeping tar" (Citizens' Brigade competition "schemes aren't particularly great. Then again, neither is Zumthor's").
● Gunts reports on an NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission's review of "a seemingly innocuous" schoolyard fence proposal that "turned into a larger, Jane Jacobsean-discussion about urban playgrounds in general" and "creeping privatization" (a faux-ivy vinyl screen and Zoom issues included).
● Q&A with Cooper Robertson's Donald Clinton re: large-scale, mixed-use developments: Can megaprojects become actual neighborhoods? They "can be very successful as true neighborhoods, but to be viable and livable - one of the most important questions is: How does it connect with, and integrate into, the surrounding city?"
● Welton considers Thomas Phifer's North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, 10 years later: "Inside, the building continues to articulate its commanding essay on the power of natural light," and though the museum has gone virtual for now, its art park (the largest in the U.S.) is open. "For life during a time of Coronavirus, that's an exotic visual treat. And it's free" (+ link to video Q&As).
● The Australian Institute of Architects 2020 National Prizes announced: The "architect's architect" John Wardle wins the 2020 Gold Medal ; President's Prize: Sydney Mayor Clover Moore; Leadership in Gender Equity Prize: Parlour; and more!
● Call for entries - deadline looms!: COVID-19 Design Innovation Grants, sponsored by the International Design Awards (IDA) in collaboration with European Product Design Awards (ePDA).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: The New Norm: A Report by Peter Piven: The results of a survey of firm principals across the U.S. about the differences they envision in technology/working remotely, in markets and marketing, in work life and culture, and in society in our post-pandemic future.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Weinstein cheers Impelluso & Fusaro's "Villas and Gardens of the Renaissance": What better escapist yet relevant book could an architect desire? The splendors of Italian Renaissance architecture illuminate our Dark Age and transform eye candy into brain food.
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● Detroit gallery Library Street Collective offers "SITE: Art and Architecture in the Digital Space" that inserts "works by an exciting and diverse coterie of contemporary artists" into James Haefner's "evocative photographs" of some of the city's landmarks (sales proceeds go to good causes).
● The 2020 Barcelona Architecture Week launches today, "this time with a 'from-home' edition," and includes Fundació Mies van der Rohe's virtual exhibition "Architectures on the Waterfront" and the European Conference on Architecture & the Media.
● Tokyo-based architect and video blogger Martin van der Linden teams up with the Virtual Design Festival "to present a selection of his best short architecture videos, which explore the urban and architectural landscape of Japan" and "its rather mysterious urbanity."
● Morgan cheers Baldwin & Bell's "SLICE: The Inhabited Facade": "Simply put, the concept constructs shallow, usable spaces behind a building's façade," and the book "offers a practical and much needed downtown revitalization tool to save the existing fabric - spelled out in clear language."
● Lamster is quite taken by "new revelations" about why La Reunion, a socialist commune, failed in Dallas, found in the late architect James Pratt's "Sabotaged: Dreams of Utopia in Texas" - a "compulsively researched book" that turns "history on its head. Why do communities fail - with "quarantine and our civic institutions under assault, it is a question worthy of examination."
● Favermann recommends three "superior graphic novels" that "cleverly explore the highs and lows of architectural theory as well as urban planning and design. They also delve into the practice of the craft."
COVID-19 news continues:
● The AIA's Disaster Assistance Committee has "developed the Re-occupancy Assessment Tool to provide public officials, businesses and architects with practices that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public while businesses, stores, restaurants, etc., reopen."
● King talks to park managers as "Bay Area parks brace for another month of perilous popularity" - they "once again will confront the dilemma of being too much in demand" - restrictions will remain in some, others will be closed ("I hope it's the worst thing, professionally, that I ever do," says one park director).
● Cheng's Q&A with Woods Bagot CEO Nik Karalis re: "the firm's survival strategy, the importance of collaboration, and the role architecture can play in creating the post-pandemic future": "Ultimately, the important thing is preserving jobs so that we are able to re-scale up."
● Yuen, parses his architectural software company's 4-day work-week, and what post-pandemic work-life might be: "The workplace shifts we might experience will be less focused on requiring core work hours and more on maintaining consistent communication and connectivity - evidence suggests it's good for business."
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Mimi Zeiger: The cruelness of demolishing LACMA when Angelenos are unable to bear witness should not be ignored: ...she is concerned about what will be left for the city and its residents following coronavirus lockdown: At some point...we will...emerge...Half of LACMA will be erased...all we will be left with is the museum's ambiguous future in the form of a construction shed surrounding a ditch seeping tar...Citizens' Brigade...ideas competition...LACMA not LackMA...Products of a three-week charette, the schemes aren't particularly great. Then again, neither is Zumthor's. He's had seven years. -- Peter Zumthor; Michael Govan; William Pereira; Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates; Renzo Piano; Greg Goldin; Joseph Giovannini; The Citizens' Brigade to Save LACMA; Coop Himmelb(l)au; RUR Architecture; Reiser + Umemoto; Paul Murdoch Architects- Dezeen
Edward Gunts: A schoolyard fence proposal for Greenwich Village raises questions about creeping privatization: ...New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)...reviewed a seemingly innocuous proposal to permanently alter a chain-link fence [with a faux-ivy vinyl screen]...turned into a larger, Jane Jacobsean-discussion about urban playgrounds in general and how a property owner’s push for privacy could end up taking life and vitality off city streets..."this is a terrible precedent"...no one liked the ivy screen...schedule another meeting. It was a polite way of suggesting that they go back to the drawing board. -- Frederick Bland/Beyer Blinder Belle; Everardo Jefferson; John Gustafsson; Signe Nielsen/Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
The Mind Behind Billion-Dollar Megaprojects: Cooper Roberston’s Donald Clinton explains how influential large-scale developments are born and touches on the future of sprawling mixed-use constructions: He reveals the concepts and workflow behind large projects and sustainable urban growth: Can megacomplexes become an actual neighborhood? "[They] can be very successful as true neighborhoods, but...to be viable and livable...one of the most important questions is: How does the development connect with, and integrate into, the surrounding city? We’re seeing rail yards and waterfronts...present great opportunities...Redevelopments of institutional sites or campuses are also emerging as a promising new trend..."- Commercial Property Executive
J. Michael Welton: Thomas Phifer’s North Carolina Museum of Art at 10: “I always hoped the landscape would take over...that’s coming true"...The 75,000-square-foot West Building is sited among 164 acres of land adjacent to the largest art park in the nation...Inside, the building continues to articulate its commanding essay on the power of natural light...though the museum is currently closed, every week it takes a deep dive into content connected to its collection - and sends out movie recommendations, inspired music, yoga moves, meditation, and even coloring pages. Better yet, its art park is now open...For life during a time of Coronavirus, that’s an exotic visual treat. And it’s free. [+ link to video Q&As] -- Mark Johnson/Civitas; Walt Havener/Surface 678- Architects + Artisans
‘Architect’s architect’ John Wardle wins Australian Institute of Architects 2020 Gold Medal: AIA has announced winners of the 2020 National Prizes: President’s Prize: Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore; Leadership in Sustainability Prize: Stephen Choi/Living Future Institute of Australia; Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize: Parlour; Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture: Chantelle Fry/University of Adelaide- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Call for entries: COVID-19 Design Innovation Grants (international): put your talents to work and find new solutions in four categories to combat this global crisis: Architecture/Interior Design: design an in-home isolation pod; Product Design: design life-saving equipment that can be produced at a cost of less than $1,000; Graphic Design: a resource guide; Fashion Design: design a fashionable and reusable mask or other protective gear; deadline: May 15; sponsored by the International Design Awards (IDA) in collaboration with European Product Design Awards (ePDA)- International Design Awards (IDA)
Virtual "SITE: Art and Architecture in the Digital Space" inserts contemporary art into Detroit’s architectural landmarks: ...fine art gallery Library Street Collective has launched a new online exhibition that grants virtual visitors access to the city’s most prized...historic architecture while showcasing...works by an exciting and diverse coterie of contemporary artists...Key in bringing SITE to life was architectural photographer James Haefner, whose evocative photographs of Detroit landmarks serve as a backdrop for the artworks to be inserted.- The Architect's Newspaper
Barcelona Architecture Week is back, this time with a “from-home” edition, May 7-17: includes Fundació Mies van der Rohe's virtual exhibition "Architectures on the Waterfront" and the European Conference on Architecture & the Media- Barcelona Architecture Week
Architects appear in photographs of their own buildings as "a testimony of the process we went through": In his final contribution to Virtual Design Festival, video blogger and architect Martin van der Linden reveals that he and his team often feature in the photographs of their completed projects...VDF teamed up with [him] to present a selection of his best short architecture videos, which explore the urban and architectural landscape of Japan..."its rather mysterious urbanity"... -- One Minute Architecture; Van Der Architects- Dezeen
William Morgan: "SLICE: The Inhabited Facade": ...a sensible proposal for saving our urban fabric by Ian Baldwin and Jonathan Bell of Dual Studio. It is another instance of the power of smart thinking small...Simply put, the SLICE concept constructs shallow, usable spaces behind a building's facade...deals with a variety of issues from aesthetics to building codes...offers a practical and much needed downtown revitalization tool...a primer on how to save the existing fabric...while bringing more business, residents, and life to established downtowns...spelled out in clear language...- GoLocalProv.com (Providence, Rhode Island)
Mark Lamster: New revelations tell why a socialist commune failed in Dallas. (Hint: It wasn’t the socialism): This is the true story of La Reunion, the utopian community on the Trinity: ...established in Dallas in 1855, only to fall apart after little more than a year......That the enterprise collapsed has generally been understood as proof of its own folly...A new, compulsively researched book rewrites that history, turning it on its head. According to "Sabotaged: Dreams of Utopia in Texas" [the late architect James Pratt], [it] was felled neither by its utopian vision nor the practical incapacity of its settlers, but by a complete failure of leadership - by “sabotage.”- Dallas Morning News
Mark Favermann: Superior Graphic Novels About Architecture: What do [they] bring to our understanding of the urban experience? They suggest that buildings can be like our memories - they hide as much as they show: Many...are dystopian in their graphic depiction of city life. Others are set in challenging utopian futures...Three...cleverly explore the highs and lows of architectural theory as well as urban planning and design. They also delve into the practice of the craft. -- "Asterios Polyp" by David Mazzcchuelli; "Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City" by Pierre Christin & Olivier Balez; "The Structure Is Rotten, Comrade" by Viken Berberian & Yann Kebbi- Arts Fuse
Architects release new resource for safer re-occupancy of buildings: AIA’s Disaster Assistance Committee developed the Re-occupancy Assessment Tool to provide public officials, businesses and architects with practices that protect the health, safety and welfare of the public while businesses, stores, restaurants, etc., reopen.- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
John King: Bay Area parks brace for another month of perilous popularity - 'We're the only game in town': ...the people who manage the region’s open spaces once again will confront the dilemma of...being too much in demand...neighborhood parks [and trails have] served as relief valves for the region’s 7.8 million residents...This balancing act could become trickier now that shelter-in-place restrictions will remain...through the end of May. Even so, park managers...say that behavior for the most part has improved from week to week - and most visitors seem willing to accept the compromises necessary...- San Francisco Chronicle
Negotiating an ‘undefined and uncontained’ crisis: Woods Bagot CEO Nik Karalis: Q&A with ArchitectureAU editor Linda Cheng about the firm’s survival strategy, the importance of collaboration, and the role architecture can play in creating the post-pandemic future...this latest crisis is testing its business model in entirely new ways. "What we don’t want to do is panic and we don’t want to put fear into our decision-making process...Ultimately, the important thing is preserving jobs so that we are able to re-scale up."- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Robert Yuen, Assoc. AIA: My company’s always had 4-day workweeks: A cofounder of Monograph [architecture software] says the company’s been doing 4-day workweeks since it launched. Will this “forced” trial run of remote work, in turn, make it more commonplace? While still in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, company management and C-suite executives are beginning to rethink office structure and processes...The 4-day workweek is partially about productivity, but it’s also about the health and well-being of employees. This pandemic specifically brings workers’ wellness front and center...The workplace shifts we might experience after going through the [pandemic]...will be less focused on requiring core work hours and more on maintaining consistent communication and connectivity...evidence suggests it’s good for business.- Fast Company
ANN feature: The New Norm: A Report by Peter Piven, FAIA: The results of a survey of firm principals across the U.S. about the differences they envision in technology/working remotely, in markets and marketing, in work life and culture, and in society in our post-pandemic future.- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Book Review: "Villas and Gardens of the Renaissance" by Lucia Impelluso with photography by Dario Fusaro: What better escapist yet relevant book could an architect desire? The splendors of Italian Renaissance architecture illuminate our Dark Age and transform eye candy into brain food.- ArchNewsNow.com
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