Today’s News - Tuesday, September 22, 2020
● Kate Wagner's letter to a young architect: The structures of contemporary architectural practice insulate it from criticism both within and from critics like myself - there is always an opportunity for subversion and activism. I'm here to tell you, future architect, that you never, ever have to accept things the way they are. In fact, it is your duty to change them.
● Emily Vaughn talks to 5 experts (not all architects) re: "redesigning the office for the next 100-year flu (yes, it's coming). What all these changes have in common is that they'll happen only if the public continues to prioritize indoor health after the acute crisis of the pandemic has passed."
● Carolina A. Miranda considers the "unusual design" of Second Home's Hollywood co-working space to be a preview of the post-pandemic future of offices: 60 SelgasCano-designed studios "look like a hallucinogenic cluster of toadstools" set "in a lush garden that was once a vast parking lot" - it also saved a 1963 Paul R. Williams building that had been "marketed as a tear-down" (great read!).
● Carolyn Fortuna considers proposals by Duany, Plater-Zyberk & KPF's Kassem that indicate the world is "approaching green architecture all wrong - architectural resilience has mostly centered on bouncing back and/or developing emergency responses. The mission for today's architects is to re-engineer a more historic architectural durability and environmental sensitivity alongside an unpredictable and increasingly unforgiving climate."
● Kimmelman cheers WXY and West 8's proposal for a climate center on Governors Island: "This kind of development is just what New York needs now" - for the moment it's "an aspirational plan" and "rosy advertisements for hypothetical construction - the island is, in fact, an ideal Petri dish and laboratory for climate adaptation" - and is being seriously considered.
● Chicago approves a John Ronan-designed, 88,000-square-foot Brighton Park HQ and 17 acres of play space: "Some commissioners lauded a 'transformational' investment in the South Side neighborhood while others cautioned about the risk of gentrification."
● The Durst Organization is tapped for $2.2B Penn's Landing riverfront redevelopment in Philadelphia (with 6 Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed high-rises) - bringing "an end the bid by Philadelphia 76ers owners to build a new arena that would have involved considerable public subsidies."
● Nate Berg parses recent research that looked into why "most pedestrian malls failed" - out of 125 in the U.S., only 43 are still in existence - "the survivors have lessons to teach" about how to revitalize urban downtowns.
● Snøhetta beats Studio Gang & Henning Larsen in the competition to design the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota: "Craig Dykers said the design is heavily inspired by the terrain of the Badlands and aims to respect the ecological environment of the site" (the final design may be "slightly different" after conversations with stakeholders).
● WIP Collaborative's "Restorative Ground" wins the Care for Hudson Square competition that invited NYC-based M/WBE firms (Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises) "to reactivate the public realm with a site-specific installation."
● Ravenscroft reports on Heatherwick Studio's 20-story Singapore residential tower - with balconies galore that "have expressive, shell-like forms that act as giant planters - overflowing with plants."
● India Block reports on Koichi Takada Architects' 30-story, plant-covered Urban Forest housing high rise in Brisbane that will include 392 homes and a "stepped façade with 1,000 trees and 20,000 plants - over 250 species native to Queensland."
● Diana Budds offers a "cautionary tale" from Chengdu, China, where the plant-filled balconies of an 8-tower housing development have caused an infestation of mosquitoes that is so bad, "fewer than a dozen families have moved in." Daryl Beyers: "They didn't think about the maintenance."
● A do-over (wrong link in last Thursday's newsletter): Gibson reports that Abraham Thomas, former director of London's Sir John Soane's Museum, has been named architecture and design curator for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC; he's also had curatorial roles at the Smithsonian and the V&A, and initiated programs at MIT, LSE, AA, etc.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Turan Duda & Jeffrey Paine: Design's Impact on Mental Health on Campus: Designing for mental health requires architects to prioritize the student experience by providing privacy, community, and comfort in their built environments.
● Docomomo US Modernism in America Advocacy Award goes to Willert Park Courts - "the first housing complex for African Americans in Buffalo, NY. The site is a testament to both government-sanctioned racism and segregation as well as an early triumph in the long fight against these policies" (tho' the housing authority "continues to the neglect the property and block the National Register nomination").
● 2020 AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards go to Landon Bone Baker Architects and SMR Architects for projects in Chicago and Seattle.
● SOM, Patkau Architects, John Ronan Architects, and Perkins + Will take home the 2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Award for libraries in Long Beach, California, Edmonton, Canada, and Chicago.
● Domino Park by James Corner Field Operations, SHoP Architects (with Vishaan Chakrabarti), etc. & Trojan Park by Lamar Johnson Collaborative (formerly Forum Studio), etc. win 2020 ULI Urban Open Space Awards.
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Kate Wagner: letter to a young architect: Dear Future Architect, Unless you take the rare step of going straight for sole proprietorship or starting your own firm, you end up at a large firm...alongside dozens if not hundreds of individuals with the exact same background as you...you are in a unique political position in society where you can make a difference...collectively...The structures of contemporary architectural practice insulate it from criticism both within...and from critics like myself...there is always an opportunity for subversion and activism...I’m here to tell you, future architect, that you never, ever have to accept things the way they are. In fact, it is your duty to change them.- Architectural Review (UK)
Emily Vaughn: Redesigning The Office For The Next 100-Year Flu (Yes, It's Coming): Architects are already looking beyond COVID-19 to imagine the office of 2025 and beyond - an office that will keep us safe on the job, whatever pandemic virus strikes next: 5 experts re: workplace design to hear what they think small offices as well as high-rises will look like in 5 years...What all these changes have in common is that they'll happen only if the public continues to prioritize indoor health after the acute crisis of the pandemic has passed. -- Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg/Institute for Health in the Built Environment; Eve Edelstein/Clinicians for Design; Reena Agarwal/Center for Active Design; Asheshh Saheba/Steinberg Hart; Cristina Banks/Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces,- NPR / National Public Radio
Carolina A. Miranda: What will offices look like in the post-pandemic future? This Hollywood space offers a preview: COVID-19 has been especially devastating for coworking spaces...Second Home’s unusual design has allowed [it] to continue functioning...when other nonessential office buildings remain shuttered...inhabits a converted community center...majority of the work spaces are housed in individual studios (there are 60) in a lush garden that was once a vast parking lot...studios look like a hallucinogenic cluster of toadstools...the handiwork of a singular combination of architects...Paul R. Williams (1963)...expansion and renovation...by SelgasCano...architecture has helped the complex maintain a roster of 100 clients...proves that architectural solutions to problems such as the pandemic don’t always need to be high tech.- Los Angeles Times
Carolyn Fortuna: Is The World Approaching Green Architecture All Wrong? ...instead of focusing on mitigating and reducing emissions, Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk propose a shift to a new type of green architecture where adaptation and resilience readies communities for the changes wrought by the climate crisis. Rethinking of green architecture in this way acknowledges the importance of adaptive architecture...architectural resilience has mostly centered on bouncing back, preserving the status quo, and/or developing emergency responses...The mission for today’s architects is to re-engineer a more historic architectural durability and environmental sensitivity alongside an unpredictable and increasingly unforgiving climate. -- Hana Kassem/Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (kPF)- CleanTechnica
Michael Kimmelman: A Climate Center on Governors Island? Could Be a Game Changer: This kind of development is just what New York needs now: So it was, in a sense, good news that theTrust for Governors Island released a proposal...an aspirational plan, more than anything...I’ve seen renderings by WXY...rosy advertisements for hypothetical construction...could entail as much as four or five million square feet of new development...the island is, in fact, an ideal petri dish and laboratory for climate adaptation...To judge from West 8’s master plan and WXY’s renderings, the good news is that existing parkland can be integrated with mostly low-rise development to preserve open spaces, repurpose historic buildings...Planning the future of New York is what we need now. It involves many steps. This is a small but useful one. We need more.- New York Times
Chicago Park District’s Plan For New Brighton Park Headquarters Approved: Some commissioners lauded a "transformational" investment in the South Side neighborhood while others cautioned about the risk of gentrification: ...proposal aims to build an 88,000-square-foot office space, a field house, playground, spray pool and three artificial turf fields on 17 acres...a green roof... -- John Ronan Architects; Maurice Cox- Block Club Chicago
Matt Hickman: Durst Organization tapped for $2.2B riverfront redevelopment scheme in Philadelphia: Beating out four other bids, [its] Penn's Landing...plan includes 3.5-million square feet of mixed-income housing, office space, and more...plan centers around a 12-acre park that will cap a section of Interstate 95...six Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects-designed high-rises...will be home to over 1,800 residential units, 225 hotel rooms...along with amenities...Marina Basin site, will be designed by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group...brings to an end the bid by...Philadelphia 76ers to build a new arena...that would have involved considerable public subsidies. -- Hargreaves Jones- The Architect's Newspaper
Nate Berg: The secret to revitalizing urban downtowns: Most pedestrian malls failed, but the survivors have lessons to teach: The majority...struggled to lure shoppers and eventually were reopened to vehicular traffic...Recent research published in the Journal of Urbanism looked at 125 pedestrian malls in the U.S...only 43 are still in existence...the most significant factors determining the longevity...were high population density, low median age of residents, and a shorter mall length...researchers looked into five outlier malls that have lasted even without factors like lots of sunny days or a younger population. [They] should have failed but didn’t.- Fast Company / Co.Design
Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta picked to design Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota: Craig Dykers said the design is heavily inspired by the terrain of the North Dakota Badlands and aims to respect the ecological environment of the site...two unattached pebbles make up the interior of the library, while a leaf lies over the structure as a roof and "protector"...Dykers noted there have to be more conversations with stakeholders and locals...final library building may look slightly different than the renderings...but that it should "feel very similar to the project I imagine." -- Studio Gang; Henning Larsen- Duluth News Tribune (Forum News Service, Minnesota)
WIP Collaborative ["Restorative Ground"] is the winner of Care for Hudson Square, a recovery initiative: ...to reactivate the public realm with a site-specific installation....design competition invited small and M/WBE [Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises] firms based in New York City...WIP Collaborative, Taller KEN, and Dash Marshall with Public Policy Lab proposed vibrant and community-centered designs to reimagine a placemaking installation on one of three sites...[jury] judged proposals based on physical presence, evolving public health guidance, and inclusive design.- Urban Design Forum
Tom Ravenscroft: Heatherwick Studio's Singapore skyscraper has balconies overflowing with plants: ...20-storey apartment building...contains 20 apartments that each occupy an entire floor...focal point is an expansive central living space that opens onto a large, greenery-filled balcony. Two smaller balconies also extend from either side of the main living room, while the two master bedrooms also open onto balconies...have expressive, shell-like forms that act as giant planters for the tower's greenery.- Dezeen
India Block: Koichi Takada Architects unveils plant-covered Urban Forest housing high rise for Brisbane: 30-storey apartment building covered in 1,000 trees: ...will include 392 homes, a two-level rooftop garden and a public park at ground level...plans to cover the stepped facade with 1,000 trees and 20,000 plants...over 250 species native to Queensland....attempting to make...the "world's greenest residential building"...main structure...will be made of so-called green concrete...sourced locally...- Dezeen
Diana Budds: Skyscrapers Dripping in Gardens Look Great - Until the Mosquitoes Swarm: Bloodsuckers overran a tower in China. Does this mean the whole idea is bad? We asked an expert: ...this cautionary tale from Chengdu...may temper our excitement...Qiyi City Forest Garden - an 8-tower housing development...Each of the 826 units (which have all sold) has its own plant-filled balcony...But here’s the catch: mosquitoes, and lots of them...fewer than a dozen families have moved in...Daryl Beyers: "They didn’t think about the maintenance"...Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale in Milan has been a success story...worked closely with architectural botanist Laura Gatti...Beyers suspects that didn’t happen in Chengdu.- Curbed
Eleanor Gibson: Abraham Thomas named architecture and design curator for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York: ...former director of [London's] Sir John Soane's Museum...in the newly created role, Daniel Brodsky Curator of Modern Architecture, Design, and Decorative Arts...an expansion of the position...first created in 2014 and held by British curator Beatrice Galilee....position follows a number of architecture and design curatorial roles he has held...in the US and UK - including the Smithsonian Institution and the V&A.- Dezeen
Buffalo's Willert Park Courts to receive Docomomo US Modernism in America Advocacy Award: ...the first housing complex for African Americans in Buffalo and an early example of International Style design...prize honors Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) and the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation (MSPC)...have dedicated countless hours and resources to the preservation battle for this culturally, socially and architecturally significant resource...The site is a testament to both government-sanctioned racism and segregation as well as an early triumph in the long fight against these policies...BMHA continues to the neglect the property and block the National Register nomination... -- Frederick C. Backus (1939)- Docomomo US
AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards celebrate affordable, accessible, and well-designed housing: ...proves that good design is not exclusive. The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development teams with AIA’s Housing Knowledge Community to celebrate two projects that demonstrate these traits. -- Landon Bone Baker Architects; SMR Architects- American Institute of Architects (AIA) / U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Four Projects Receive 2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Award: Award recipients must demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, ecology, environmental sustainability, and of history. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Patkau Architects; John Ronan Architects; Perkins + Will- American Institute of Architects (AIA) / American Library Association (ALA)
Parks in Brooklyn, New York, and Wellston, Missouri, Win 2020 ULI Urban Open Space Awards: ...award recognizes outstanding examples of vibrant public open spaces that have been instrumental in promoting healthy, sustainable, and equitable outcomes in communities. -- Domino Park by James Corner Field Operations, SHoP Architects (with Vishaan Chakrabarti), etc. & Trojan Park by amar Johnson Collaborative (formerly Forum Studio), etc.- Urban Land Magazine (Urban Land Institute/ULI)
ANN feature: Turan Duda, FAIA & Jeffrey Paine, FAIA: INSIGHT: Design's Impact on Mental Health on Campus: A Well State of Mind: Designing for mental health requires architects to prioritize the student experience by providing privacy, community, and comfort in their built environments.- ArchNewsNow.com
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