Today’s News - Wednesday, August 5, 2020
● OLIN's Alexa Vaughn-Brainard, a Deaf woman and a landscape designer, considers the ADA, 30 years on: "It's time to examine whether both the ADA and the design professions have done enough to guarantee our right to fully access the public realm" - and "recognize that the built environment itself is the real problem.".
● Elsa Lam considers what reforming policing "would mean for the architecture of the justice system. Some answers may already be visible [great examples]. It is an opportune time to rethink how such facilities can be constructed to honor community, offenders, and victims alike."
● McGuigan x 2: A great Q&A with Mabel O. Wilson, Mario Gooden, and Justin Garrett Moore re: "how racism has shaped, and operated within, the profession of architecture" ("even with excellence, you can still be invisible").
● Another great Q&A with Walter Hood re: "his forthcoming book, 'Black Landscapes Matter,' how his design work increasingly is inspired by his identity as a Black man and by history" (he really hates the word "placemaking"), and his landscape/art project for Henry Cobb's International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.
● Audrey Wachs reports on the Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, established by an impressive list of preservation groups, to provide "financial and technical resources to preserve buildings and landscapes" (many designed by African-American architects) at up to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
● Jennifer Baum Lagdameo reports on the fascinating "unsung story of Eichler Homes and how they helped integrate American neighborhoods. In 1958, Joseph Eichler resigned from the National Association of Home Builders when they refused to support a nondiscrimination policy."
● Kaley Overstreet x 2: She ponders the very different fates of Natalie de Bois/SOM's 270 Park Avenue and Philip Johnson's 550 Madison Avenue: "Why will one be torn down without much opposition and the other is so heavily guarded? What makes one building more important than another?"
● She brings us eyefuls of photographer Amanda Large's black & white series "Fifty/50" that documents 50 Modernist churches in Toronto in "an ode to their enduring importance to the city" - and "also raises questions about preservation and architectural legacy in Toronto."
● Moore cheers the new Maggie's Centre in Leeds: "I am a Heatherwick-sceptic: too many of his works are cute ideas and glib gestures that under-deliver," but here, the "commission has brought out the very best in him - the project rises to the ambition, stated in the brief."
● Kimmelman takes his second "walking" tour with conservation ecologist Eric W. Sanderson, this time in the Bronx, from Yankee Stadium to the Bronx Zoo, imagining what it was before it became part of NYC in 1898 (the beavers are back!).
● Sitz reports on a partnership between the Architectural League of New York and two CUNY colleges that "pairs students with local professionals" to introduce them "to the broader professional community - particularly important for students who may lack the built-in network that comes with attending a 'name- brand' school."
● Aaron Smithson talks to educators and researchers at Harvard GSD re: what they're doing "to analyze and challenge systems of oppression, both within the disciplines and more generally, in building just cities."
● The University of Minnesota School of Architecture's Jennifer Yoos and many students and faculty are working "to address racial justice - and refocus the curriculum, improve recruitment, contribute to environmental justice, and more" (a survey wasn't all that helpful).
● Industry organizations, like IWBI, UIA, WorldGBC, etc., and built environment experts totaling 680 from 51 countries petition the World Health Organization "urging enhanced guidance on the role of buildings in addressing COVID-19."
● The ASLA-supported Great American Outdoors Act becomes a new law that "permanently and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides funds to address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and other public lands."
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Samuel G. White: The Legacy of Paul Spencer Byard: The author of "The Architecture of Additions," published 20 years ago, proposed parameters for evaluating additions to historic buildings - more timely than ever considering the proposed Executive Order mandating classical architecture for federal buildings ["architectural pudding" included].
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Alexa Vaughn-Brainard/OLIN: The ADA at 30: The Battle for an Accessible and Inclusive Future Continues: As a Deaf woman and as a landscape designer, I have experienced public space in the post-ADA era both personally and professionally...it’s time to examine whether...both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the design professions have done enough to guarantee our right to fully access the public realm...it does not address the broad spectrum of disabilities...designers need to...recognize that the built environment itself is the real problem...designers and planners have the chance to rethink access and what it means in the public realm.- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Elsa Lam: Reforming Justice Architecture: ...groups in several Canadian cities have called for a rethink of policing and police funding. What would this mean for the architecture of the justice system...Some answers may already be visible...pressures of the protests and the pandemic may have a swift impact on new justice buildings...It is an opportune time to rethink how such facilities can be constructed to honour community, offenders, and victims alike...A reform of policing will also entail a reform of the architecture of justice. Both will be welcome changes. -- figurr architects; Richard Henriquez; Gregory Henriquez/Henriquez Architects; Robert Boraks/Parkin Architects- Canadian Architect magazine
Cathleen McGuigan: Three Scholars Discuss Racism and Whiteness in the Built Environment: ...three professionals in practice and education - Mabel O. Wilson, Mario Gooden, and Justin Garrett Moore - explore how racism has shaped, and operated within, the profession of architecture: "To be Black and in architecture, you cannot be mediocre: to be visible, you have to be excellent. And you have to be excellent at every second of every moment of the day... Yet, sometimes, even with excellence, you can still be invisible." -- Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP); Studio &; Huff + Gooden; NYC Public Design Commission; Urban Patch- Architectural Record
Cathleen McGuigan: Walter Hood on History and Race in Landscape Design: Q&A re: with the landscape architect about his work in the public realm and his forthcoming book, "Black Landscapes Matter" and how his design work increasingly is inspired by his identity as a Black man and by history: "People have ideas about what a place should become, without any understanding of what’s there. You hear people say “placemaking,” which I really hate. It’s this colonial attitude, versus going into a place and trying to cultivate what’s there." -- Hood Design Studio- Architectural Record
Audrey Wachs: Preservation groups launch initiative for campus architecture at HBCUs: ...a pilot program to plan care for cultural resources at up to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities...The Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative will give...financial and technical resources...to preserve buildings and landscapes...Many buildings were designed by African-American architects...initiative...giving money to schools to hire preservation consultants...There’s a social infrastructure component, as well... -- National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP); African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund; National Endowment for the Humanities; Ford Foundation; The JPB Foundation; J.M. Kaplan Fund; The Executive Leadership Council- The Architect's Newspaper
Jennifer Baum Lagdameo: The Unsung Story of Eichler Homes and How They Helped Integrate American Neighborhoods: Joseph Eichler not only defined the middle-class home of the midcentury period, but also worked to dismantle racist housing policies: In 1958, Eichler resigned from the National Association of Home Builders when they refused to support a nondiscrimination policy...So why is it that for the most part, Eichler’s legacy of integration isn’t better known? -- A. Quincy Jones & Frederick Emmons; Anshen & Allen; Oakland & Associates; Jones & Emmons; Raphael Soriano; Klopf Architecture- Dwell
Kaley Overstreet: A Tale of Two Buildings: The Argument Behind Preservation and Reuse: 270 Park Avenue [Natalie de Bois/SOM, 1961], once hailed by Ada Louise Huxtable as one of the city’s contributions to a “dramatic revolution in architectural design...When the plan to raze it was announced, the public appealed...the request fell on deaf ears and [it] is expected to come down in early 2021...Philip Johnson’s 550 Madison Avenue has faced a much more tumultuous and drama-filled history...So why will one be torn down without much opposition and the other is so heavily guarded? What makes one building more important than another? -- Foster + Partners; Snøhetta- ArchDaily
Kaley Overstreet: Documenting 50 Modernist Churches in Toronto by Photographer Amanda Large: ...black and white photography series, "Fifty/50"...is an ode to these churches, and a celebration of their enduring importance to the city...also challenges some tropes that are prevalent in architectural photography. The photographs are purposefully taken almost exclusively in winter...leave blemishes and damage to the buildings without retouching...Beyond documenting a largely ignored subset of modernist architecture...Fifty/50 also raises questions about preservation and architectural legacy in Toronto.- ArchDaily
Rowan Moore: Maggie's Centre, St James's hospital, Leeds - a safe place for flamboyance: Thomas Heatherwick has risen to an important challenge, bringing...this latest in a series of bespoke, calming environments for people with cancer: .I am a Heatherwick-sceptic: too many of his works are cute ideas and glib gestures that under-deliver...What I can say about his building in Leeds, though, is that the Maggie’s commission has brought out the very best in him and his practice...the project rises to the ambition, stated in the brief...If only humane architecture could become a rule rather than an exception in the NHS. -- Balston Agius- Observer (UK)
Michael Kimmelman: When the Bronx Was a Forest: Stroll Through the Centuries: Yankee Stadium was the site of a salt marsh. Concourse Plaza was a valley. A walk with Eric W. Sanderson, a conservation ecologist: ...the Bronx is a vast, vibrant megalopolis, which also happens to be New York City’s greenest borough...we explore a swath...before it was consolidated and became part of NYC in 1898...He recommended hopping the BX21 bus on the floor of an ancient creek bed carved thousands of years ago by a glacier...[now] called Third Avenue. -- Wildlife Conservation Society; Joseph H. Freedlander; Max L. Hausle;. Charles Keck; Rafael Viñoly- New York Times
Miriam Sitz: Architectural League Program Fosters 'Sense of Belonging' to Larger Design Community Among Local College Students: A partnership between the Architectural League of New York and two community colleges in the city pairs students with local professionals, to introduce emerging designers to the broader professional community: This mission is particularly important for students of the two CUNY colleges, who may lack the built-in network that comes with attending a “name- brand” school. -- Sanjive Vaidya/Claudia Hernandez/City Tech (New York City College of Technology); Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York (CCNY); Thomas Phifer and Partners; Leroy Street Studio- Architectural Record
Aaron Smithson: Harvard GSD faculty take on the challenge of building just cities: As design schools across the country begin to respond to longstanding criticism over their wholesale embrace of whiteness in pedagogy, it is useful to examine the work that some educators and researchers are doing to analyze and challenge systems of oppression, both within the disciplines and more generally in U.S. cities. AN talked to several practitioners at the department of urban planning and design at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design about the work they’ve been doing in this area. -- Stephen Gray/Urban Design and the Color Line; Lily Song/CoDesign/Design Studio First Aid Kit; Toni L. Griffin/Design for the Just City/Just City Lab- The Architect's Newspaper
University of Minnesota's School of Architecture works to address racial justice: ...Jennifer Yoos and many students and faculty...are working to refocus the curriculum, improve recruitment, contribute to environmental justice, hold faculty and staff accountable and more...The Women in Architecture Student Organization, American Institute of Architecture Students and The Architecture Lobby collaborated to release a survey...Due to the lack of BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Color] students who answered, the survey was not as helpful or representative as it could have been- Minneapolis Star Tribune
Hundreds of Built Environment Experts Join Forces In Statement to WHO [World Health Organization] Urging Enhanced Guidance on Role of Buildings In Addressing COVID-19: More than 680 experts from 51 countries...urging public health leaders to adopt and advance indoor environment best practices proven to help protect building occupants worldwide from the spread of COVID-19. -- International Union of Architects (UIA); World Green Building Council (WorldGBC); International Living Future Institute (ILFI); International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI)- International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)
ASLA-Supported Great American Outdoors Act Becomes Law: The new law permanently and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provides funds to address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and other public lands. ASLA President Wendy Miller: "Many landscape architects rely on funding from LWCF to finance important projects that otherwise would never get off the ground...the role of landscape architects as responsible stewards of the land has never been more important. This law will go a long way toward helping us continue that work."- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
ANN feature: Samuel G. White, FAIA: Additions to Historic Buildings: The Legacy of Paul Spencer Byard: The author of "The Architecture of Additions," published 20 years ago, proposed parameters for evaluating additions to historic buildings - more timely than ever considering the proposed Executive Order mandating classical architecture for federal buildings.- ArchNewsNow.com
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