Today’s News - Thursday, August 27, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking an end-of-summer break next week (yay!). We'll be back Tuesday, September 8 (the day after Labor Day). In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.
● ANN feature: RKTB's Carmi Bee parses the firm's Infill Housing Prototype that offers a model for developing affordable urban housing on a neighborhood scale, and that also addresses health and safety measures.
● Welton introduces us to Lagos, Nigeria-born Victor Body-Lawson and his "mission to humanize public housing - he has built his career by designing some of the most humble architecture in New York with balance, cadence, and attention to detail."
● Kamin considers the high hopes - and pitfalls - of Chicago's $750 million Invest South/West program: "Woe to the city planner who paints a rosy picture of a shining tomorrow but fails to deliver. He doesn't just flop - he breeds distrust among those who put faith in him. That's the danger confronting Maurice Cox" ("Buck Rogers razzle-dazzle" not included).
● Nadine Post reports on the U.S. Representative "demanding answers from the head of the GSA about newly released criteria for construction, which call for two new courthouses to be built in the 'classic architectural style'" (a precursor to the proposed executive order "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again"?).
● Vanamee reaches out to TCLF's Charles Birnbaum re: "why it's good that we fought about the White House Rose Garden redesign": "Managing change and the dynamism of the White House grounds is always an issue worth raising questions about. We're having this conversation today because of this ruckus."
● OMA New York unveils its design for a 3-story glass volume atop Tiffany & Co's New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue that will be used for exhibitions and events.
● A wonderful profile of Perkins and Will's Vancouver-based Annie Boivin, and how she "conquered the world of architecture": "I am someone living with a disability, and I am proud and comfortable about that. But I am much more than my disability" (truly inspiring!).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Mary Ann Lazarus & Joyce Lee explain why they and a group of industry leaders launched a petition to the World Health Organization to work with industry experts to develop much-needed indoor environment guidance that is currently hard to find, contradictory, and minimal at best.
COVID-19 news continues:
● We cheer three recent initiatives that "outline how experts in the built environment are advocating for policy changes on public health and climate change," including petitioning WHO, AIA's Platform 2020: "Building a Healthy America," and new USGBC credits.
● Erika Morphy parses a KPMG survey that found "large company CEOs plan to decrease their office footprint. The work-from-home genie is out of the bottle" - but "large leases are still being inked, showing that the office is not dead."
● Nate Robson parses a Gensler survey to find out what changes employees want "before returning to the office in the wake of COVID-19" - they're "also wary of being discouraged from using public transit" (and millennial and Gen Z'ers are "the least prepared to work from home" gasp!).
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● Deane Madsen talks to the SmithGroup designers who are installing "Society's Cage," a temporary pavilion opening tomorrow on the National Mall - the "intimate platform for grappling with racial injustice" will be on view only until September 4.
● Another great reason to head to Washington, DC, tomorrow: "Murals That Matter: Activism Through Public Art" opens on the National Building Museum's west lawn, featuring street art created in response to social justice protests and commissioned pieces (meet the artists tomorrow and Saturday!).
● Steven Holl's 'T' Space in Rhinebeck, New York, is hosting "Hiroyuki Hamada: Recent Works" in which the Guggenheim Fellow's "powerful, meditative sculptures will enter a spatial dialogue with Holl's architecture."
● The show you won't see - at least for now: Architect Jaimie Shorten's "SHARKS!," winner of the Architecture Foundation's Antepavilion competition, will not be swimming in the Regent's Canal because the local council's planning department issued a court injunction (called "pathetic" by a juror).
● Stephanie Rogers cheers Hillel's "City Dreamers" that "sheds light on the work of Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown - if it weren't for the patriarchal glass ceiling they continually had to fight back against, they'd probably be celebrated alongside their most famous mentors and colleagues."
● Amy Plitt's great Q&A with Jason Diamond re: his book "'The Sprawl: Reconsidering the Weird American Suburbs,' the cultural power of the American suburb, why stereotypes about it persist, and how life among the cul-de-sacs could change."
● Sara Hendren: "The tyranny of chairs: why we need better design: Most chairs aren't designed to serve human bodies - but a better seat is possible" - great excerpt from her book, "What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World."
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ANN feature: Carmi Bee, FAIA: Health and Safety in Urban Housing: RKTB’s Infill Housing Prototype offers a model for developing affordable urban housing on a neighborhood scale, and that also addresses health and safety measures.- ArchNewsNow.com
J. Michael Welton: Inside Victor Body-Lawson’s Mission to Humanize Public Housing: Combining experience at Davis Brody Bond and his own paintings from his studio, the New York architect aims to enhance the lives of residents: ...born in Lagos, Nigeria...has built his career by designing some of the most humble architecture in New York...And he does it with balance, cadence, and attention to detail...J. Max Bond took the young Nigerian under his wing...He left a lasting influence...[he] often donates his abstract paintings to his projects... -- Richard Gonzalez; Body Lawson Associates; Jack Travis; Claire Weisz/WXY Studio- Metropolis Magazine
Blair Kamin: Time to stop planning and start building: It’s crunch time for Mayor Lightfoot’s drive to revive South and West sides: ...woe to the city planner who paints a rosy picture of a shining tomorrow but fails to deliver. He doesn’t just flop - he breeds distrust among those who put faith in him. That’s the danger confronting...Maurice Cox...$750 million Invest South/West program... Chicago Architecture Center...to announce the winners of a juried competition that winnowed nearly 200 architects down to 32 design teams...44% minority-owned...Conceptual renderings...wisely do not indulge in Buck Rogers razzle-dazzle or wiping the slate clean...may yet turn out to be something greater and more enduring than a public relations gesture emanating from City Hall.- Chicago Tribune
Nadine M. Post: Conflict Heightens Over GSA's New Design Criteria: U.S. Representative Dina Titus is demanding answers from the head of the General Services Administration about...newly released criteria for construction, which call for two new courthouses - in Florida and Alabama - to be built in the “classic architectural style"...criteria signal that the Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to dictate architecture style across the country...taking away...principles of local control and community input as outlined in GSA’s own Design Excellence Program..."Design must flow from the architectural profession to the government, and not vice versa."- ENR/Engineering News Record
Norman Vanamee: Why It’s Good That We Fought About the White House Rose Garden Redesign: Melania Trump recently unveiled a "renewed" [garden]. Things got ugly fast: ...set off a firestorm of criticism...T&C reached out to Charles Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation: "Managing change and the dynamism of the White House grounds is always an issue worth raising questions about...I'm excited when people want to talk about landscape...We're having this conversation today because of this ruckus.” -- Oehme, van Sweden & Associates; Perry Guillot; TCLF; Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon- Town & Country
Kristine Klein: OMA New York, led by Shohei Shigematsu, designs glass volume to top Tiffany & Co's New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue: The project involves...a renovation of its ground floor and the construction of a rectangular glass volume that will span three storeys, adding space for hosting exhibitions and events...In 1980 an upper volume was added...to house offices, which will be demolished and replaced by the new glass structure... -- Cross & Cross (1940); Jason Long- Dezeen
Rachel Rose: Bigger Than Her Body: How Annie Boivin Conquered the World of Architecture While Living with a Disability: “I am someone living with a disability, and I am proud and comfortable about that. But I am much more than my disability...In school, people didn’t discriminate against me. The buildings did"...For most people pursuing registration, the process is mentally and physically challenging. For Boivin, it was even harder - especially the requirement that she spend 250 hours reviewing work on active construction sites. -- Meredith Greene/Nelson\Nygaard; Peter Busby; Susan Gushe/Perkins and Will- Canadian Architect
Leilah Stone: Architects and Designers Urge Action on Healthier Policy Priorities: Three recent initiatives outline how experts in the built environment are advocating for policy changes on public health and climate change: According to the World Health Organization, 19% of factors that affect our health and well-being are directly related to the built environment, making architects and designers key to protecting public health: Built Environment Experts Petition to the WHO Urging Enhanced Guidance on the Role of Buildings in Addressing COVID-19; USGBC Creates New LEED Safety First Pilot Credits + Healthy Economy Commitment; AIA Launches Policy Platform 2020: “Building a Healthy America"- Metropolis Magazine
Erika Morphy: It Appears that Companies Really Do Plan to Reduce Their Office Footprints: At the start of the pandemic, landlords were unsure what to make of companies declaring that their employees were just as productive at home as they were at work. Now it is clear this is a viable trend: ...survey by KPMG finds that 68% of large company CEOs plan to decrease their office footprint. The work from home genie is out of the bottle...large leases are still being inked...show that the office...is not dead. But its role is certainly changing...Just how depends on [who] you ask. Ultimately...companies will keep offices...with more flexible workspace options.- GlobeSt.com
Nate Robson: Employees Want Changes Before Returning to the Office in Wake of COVID-19: While employees expect offices to be flexible with working from home...people do miss the collaboration and socialization from being in an office: ...according to a new Gensler survey..."also wary of being discouraged from using public transit.” Nearly 55%...said it’s harder to collaborate when everyone is telecommuting, and 51% said it’s more difficult to keep up with what their colleagues are working on...Millennial and Gen Z employees were the least prepared to work from home..."report a far more challenging experience...than their older peers. They are less likely to feel accomplished at the end of a typical day.”- GlobeSt.com
Deane Madsen: Designers Quantify Racial Injustice in Data-Driven Installation on National Mall: A temporary pavilion opening August 28 for the March on Washington uses physical manifestations of data to show systemic oppression: ...designers from the local office of SmithGroup - mostly people of color - are installing an intimate platform for grappling with racial injustice, called "Society’s Cage"...temporary pavilion formed by a forest of vertical bars serves as an interpretive space as well as a contemplative one. -- Dayton Schroeter; Julian Arrington; Michael Ford- Architectural Record
"Murals That Matter: Activism Through Public Art": ...features D.C. street art created earlier this summer in response to social justice protests...The murals speak to the impact that art can have on the built environment as well as the nation’s urgent need for dialogue and reflection...meet their creators August 28-29. National Building Museum west lawn, Washington, DC, thru November- National Building Museum
"Hiroyuki Hamada: Recent Works": Guggenheim Fellow's powerful, meditative sculptures will enter a spatial dialogue with the architecture of Steven Holl’s naturally-lit T2 Gallery at ‘T’ Space, Rhinebeck, New York, thru October 31- ‘T’ Space (Rhinebeck, New York)
India Block: Antepavilion juror attacks "pathetic" Hackney Council for blocking "Sharks!" installation with court injunction: Four of the five [fibreglass sharks by Jaimie Shorten/Barker Shorten Architects] had already been lowered into the Regent's Canal...planning department issued a court injunction...against the Architecture Foundation...Ironically, this year's Antepavilion brief called for designs that commented on the project's ongoing battles with planners...concept was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek response to the brief about Antepavilion's previous planning battles.- Dezeen
Stephanie Rogers: “City Dreamers” Documentary Highlights 4 Influential Women in Architecture: ,,,directed by Joseph Hillel, sheds light on the work of Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown. All now between the ages of 87 and 97, the women broke into the traditionally masculine industry just after the Second World War...their highly original work addressed major societal issues rising at the time...if it weren’t for the patriarchal glass ceiling they continually had to fight back against...they’d probably be celebrated alongside their most famous mentors and colleagues.- Dornob.com
Amy Plitt: Suburbia, Reconsidered: In "The Sprawl: Reconsidering the Weird American Suburbs," Jason Diamond argues that America’s much-maligned suburbs are more diverse, culturally rich, and strange than you thought: ...and poverty is rising in the suburbs at a faster pace than in urban or rural areas...“the suburbs were a smart, practical idea that was put into practice in all the wrong ways." Q&A re: the cultural power of the American suburb, why stereotypes about it persist, and how life among the cul-de-sacs could change.- Bloomberg CityLab
Sara Hendren: The tyranny of chairs: why we need better design: Most chairs aren’t designed to serve human bodies - but a better seat is possible. [excerpt from "What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World"]- Guardian (UK)
ANN feature: Mary Ann Lazarus & Joyce Lee: The Role of Buildings in Combating COVID-19: As information on how to address the potential spread of COVID-19 via airborne aerosol emissions is hard to find, contradictory, and minimal at best, a group of industry leaders launch a petition to the World Health Organization to work with built environment experts to develop much-needed indoor environment guidance.- ArchNewsNow.com
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