Today’s News - Thursday, October 22, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, October 27. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.
● Davidson parses KPF's "bold and meek" One Vanderbilt and S9's "brawny" Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard - these two "spectacularly ill-timed" office buildings are "totems of the city's economic hopes - when nobody's going to the office. Please wish them well" (with 200 million square feet under construction - canaries in the coal mine?).
● Kennicott gives thumbs-up (with reservations) to Planet Word, a new museum "devoted to a huge subject" - language - opening today in a "beautiful" but "severely dilapidated" 1869 school building in Washington, DC (alas, "it is a monument to the loss of cultural patrimony and public trust").
● McGuigan has a great conversation about architecture and racism with two scholars and a practitioner who "explore the history and ongoing impact of whiteness and white supremacy in the built environment and in design education."
● Gibson reports that Studio Libeskind is creating a mixed-use waterfront development in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, "intended to act as a cultural gateway that also links the surrounding towns to the Delaware River."
● Kamin reports that the once-in-doubt Chicago Architecture Biennial "will go on next year with new format and gritty subject matter" that will build on artistic director David Brown's "long-term efforts to find creative uses for thousands of vacant city-owned lots" (with hopes to retain its "international flavor").
● Architectural Record's 2020 Innovation Conference, themed "The New Future: Architecture, Urbanism, and Communities," kicks off next Tuesday with an impressive line-up of speakers. Registration is free to all and open throughout the virtual event, October 27-28.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Excerpt: "Stanford White in Detail" by Samuel G. White; photos by Jonathan Wallen: A rich presentation of the sensual and scenographic effects created by the legendary architect. For White, every surface was an opportunity, and few opportunities were neglected.
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● Nate Berg parses the "Tidal Basin Ideas Lab" online exhibition showcasing five stellar landscape architecture firms' proposals to reimagine the National Mall's endangered Tidal Basin - "with its land sinking and its waters rising, the cherry trees don't stand a chance" (never mind the major monuments that will be under water at high tide).
● Tanya Mohn digs deep into "Landslide 2020: Women Take the Lead," TCLF's online exhibition that puts the spotlight on "the little-known women behind some well-known landscapes" - raising "awareness about 100 years of women landscape architects has been an uphill battle."
● Natalia Torija Nieto cheers "Shofuso and Modernism: The Architecture and Design of George Nakashima, Antonin and Noémi Raymond, and Junzo Yoshimura" in Philadelphia that "honors the close friendship and collaboration between" the architects and interior designer and graphic artist whose "legacy is genuine and palpable through this insightful show."
● In Turin, Italy, "China Goes Urban. The City to Come" connects "the culture of traditional China with the impressive transformations of contemporary Chinese cities, and questions the challenges posed by the urban changes taking place all over the planet."
● Belogolovsky hails the "much-expanded" (734-page!) 5th edition of Kenneth Frampton's 1980 "Modern Architecture: A Critical History" - "arguably the most authoritative architectural treatise undertaken by a single author - most controversial [is] what it chooses to ignore," but it is still "a fascinating adventure - every sentence is enticing and is there for a reason."
● Langdon cheers "the thoughtful city-making prescriptions" of Peterson and Littenberg found in the "lavishly illustrated" new book, "Space & Anti-Space: The Fabric of Place, City, and Architecture" - "Americans desperately need to learn to build better neighborhoods, districts, and cities. It can give designers, planners, urban leaders, and others a more solid sense of what to do - and what to avoid."
● Evan Pavka's great Q&A with Roman Mars re: "The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design" - a "sprawling 400-page tome that exposes a cacophony of designed elements that shape cities and; in turn, revealing a narrative centered on people."
● An excerpt from Stephen Dillon's "Paths to Prison: On the Architectures of Carcerality" - a provoking and disturbing account of the development of supermax prison architecture in the 1960s and '70s: "It is not enough to change the spatial politics of the prison. The prison itself must become unimaginable and the prisoner with it."
● Fortmeyer cheers Barber's "Modern Architecture and Climate: Design Before Air Conditioning" that "offers perhaps the most comprehensive and concise corrective to the reigning histories of Modernism that have tended to exclude environmental context" (the Corbu example "takes some unexpected turns").
● NYC Architecture Biennial 2020: "Social Inclusion in the Workplace and in Design" October 20-23: Online and free of charge - an opportunity to reach a broader audience around the world - the lectures will be shared in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. ArchNewsNow is proud to be a media sponsor!
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Justin Davidson: Two New Office Buildings Open, When Nobody’s Going to the Office: Eight months into the pandemic, New York keeps right on building...Two...are spectacularly ill-timed...One Vanderbilt, next door to Grand Central Terminal...Dock 72...keeping a lonely vigil at the Brooklyn Navy Yard...totems of the city’s economic hopes...Please wish them well...no natural law prevents an immense forest of high-rises from declining into a wilderness area...It would create a glut of emptiness that would challenge the entire city’s rationale for existence...One Vanderbilt is simultaneously bold and meek...Dock 72... at home in a former shipbuilder’s habitat...To look around...these days is to watch the business world...conduct a real-time experiment in social psychology, and the outcome will affect us all. -- Norman Foster; Jonathan Marvel; Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF); S9 Architecture- Curbed
Philip Kennicott: Planet Word, a new museum devoted to language, is a high-tech, feel-good experience: The  Franklin School in downtown Washington, DC...One of the most significant historic structures in the city, and one of the most beautiful, [it] was neglected and severely dilapidated...will reopen [as] a modestly scaled museum devoted to a huge subject...For humans, a museum of language may seem a bit like a museum of water for fish...exhibition designer Local Projects...has attempted to break down a vast subject so that visitors can be more cognizant of something they use reflexively and unconsciously...technology is mostly effective, although sometimes unnecessarily complicated...opens after one of the ugliest, saddest and most alarming chapters in the history of local historic preservation...it is now a monument to the loss of cultural patrimony and public trust. -- Beyer Blinder Belle- Washington Post
Cathleen McGuigan: Architecture and Racism: A Conversation: Two scholars and a practitioner explore the history and ongoing impact of whiteness and white supremacy in the built environment and in design education: "...we have to have the courage to see the failures and the hard histories embedded in the landscape before we can begin to cast a hopeful vision for the future." -- Dianne Harris/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Louis P. Nelson/University of Virginia; Damon Rich/HECTOR Urban Design Planning & Civic Arts Studio; Mabel O. Wilson; Mario Gooden; Justin Garrett Moore- Architectural Record
Eleanor Gibson: Daniel Libeskind to create waterfront neighbourhood on Delaware River: ...in the town of Phillipsburg, New Jersey...intended to act as a cultural gateway that also links the surrounding towns to the [river]...mixed-used development will step down to a waterfront boat launch...buildings will be residences with rooftop gardens, parking and commercial space, connected by elevated footbridges.- Dezeen
Blair Kamin: Chicago Architecture Biennial will go on next year with new format and gritty subject matter: Finding creative uses for city’s vacant lots: After weeks of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers...announced...the 4th edition...“The Available City” will build on a Chicago architecture professor’s long-term efforts to find creative uses for thousands of vacant city-owned lots...dovetails with...$750 million “Invest South/West” program to boost investment in struggling neighborhoods...artistic director will be David Brown, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s architecture school...will seek to retain that international flavor...- Chicago Tribune
Architectural Record’s 2020 Innovation Conference Showcases a Global Lineup of Speakers: Registration is free to all and open throughout the entirety of the virtual event October 27-28: architecture and design communities across time zones will tune in to 10 virtual sessions. This year’s theme is “The New Future: Architecture, Urbanism, and Communities.” -- Jeanne Gang; David Adjaye; Neri Oxman; Frank Gehry; Thomas Phife; Fabrizio Barozzi; Mario Carpo; Kwesi Daniel; Adrian Parr; Sunil Bald; Mitchell Silver; Justin Garrett Moore; Martha Thorne; Branko Kolarevic- Architectural Record
Nate Berg: The Jefferson Monument will be under 4 feet of water by 2040. Here’s how to redesign the National Mall: Five prominent landscape architecture firms reimagine the Mall’s Tidal Basin. One proposal? Let the monuments flood to show the consequences of inaction: The Tidal Basin Ideas Lab...online exhibition...is hoping to show how this endangered site can persevere - and to solicit the public support...with its land sinking and its waters rising...The cherry trees don’t stand a chance...designs confront the flooding and natural changes...while also preserving its historical significance...recent protests over systemic racism...have given the design concepts another layer of relevance. -- Donald Albrecht; Thomas Mellins; DLANDstudio; GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol); Hood Design Studio; James Corner Field Operations; Reed Hilderbrand- Fast Company / Co.Design
Tanya Mohn: The Little-Known Women Behind Some Well-Known Landscapes: “Women have literally shaped the American landscape and continue to today, but their names and contributions are largely unknown": "Landslide 2020: Women Take the Lead," an online exhibition to raise awareness about 100 years of women landscape architects and the works they designed...recognition has been an uphill battle...WxLA, a coalition to assist the next generation of women... -- Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF); Marjorie Sewell Cautley; Clermont Lee. Genevieve Gillette; Ruth Shellhorn; Beatrix Farrand; Annette McCrea; Susan Child; Martha Schwartz; Angela Danadjieva; Lawrence Halprin; Gina Ford/Agency Landscape + Planning; Anne Spencer- New York Times
Natalia Torija Nieto: "Shofuso and Modernism: The Architecture and Design of George Nakashima, Antonin and Noémi Raymond, and Junzo Yoshimura" revisits a major mid-century East-West cultural exchange: Shofuso (Pine Breeze Villa)...moved in 1958 to...Philadelphia. 62 years late...[it] has reopened with an exhibition...honors the close friendship and community-based collaboration between Yoshimura, architect and woodworker Nakashima, architect Raymond, and interior designer and graphic artist Pernessin Raymond...[Their] legacy...is genuine and palpable through this insightful show. thru November 29- The Architect's Newspaper
"China Goes Urban. The City to Come”: connects the culture of traditional China with the impressive transformations of contemporary Chinese cities and questions the challenges posed by the urban changes taking place not only in China, but all over the planet...aims to stimulate a reflection on the city of today and the future. MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale, Turin, Italy, thru February 14- MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale (Turin, Italy)
Vladimir Belogolovsky: 5th edition of Kenneth Frampton's  "Modern Architecture: A Critical History": ...arguably the most authoritative architectural treatise undertaken by a single author...much expanded...A lot of what is new...is affected by the 2008 world financial crisis that first decimated the profession...then set it on a definitive course of diverting from producing ego-centric iconic buildings...to the creation of eco-conscious environments with a social purpose and intentions...sheds light on many before overlooked architects...most controversial [is] what it chooses to ignore...Perhaps the most glaring absence...are architects associated with the green movement...book is a fascinating adventure...every sentence is enticing and is there for a reason.- STIR (See Think Inspire Reflect)
Philip Langdon: Urban Design in a Time of “Anti-Space”: The thoughtful city-making prescriptions of Steven Peterson and Barbara Littenberg: ...In a lavishly illustrated new book, "Space & Anti-Space: The Fabric of Place, City, and Architecture," [they] "present the revival of Lower Manhattan as a testament to the continuing appeal of traditional urbanism. Americans desperately need to learn to build better neighborhoods, districts, and cities...book can help guide that quest. It can give designers, planners, urban leaders, and others a more solid sense of what to do - and what to avoid.- Common Edge
Evan Pavka: Q&A: 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars on His New Book and Looking Closely at Cities: "Even though it’s a guide to the city,” says the podcaster of "The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design" - “it’s really about wherever you’re looking": ...co-authored with Kurt Kohlstedt...condenses a decade’s worth of exploration into the quotidian and often overlooked aspects of our daily lives into a sprawling 400-page tomb that exposes a cacophony of designed elements that shape cities both big and small; in turn, revealing a narrative centered around people...- Azure magazine (Canada)
Stephen Dillon: “Nothing stirred in the air”: A snow-white room. Humming lights. Dead air. Eleven cameras. Decades ago a high security prison for women deployed banal architectural elements to intensify a new regime of carceral terror...Part of the difficulty was architectural - the physical qualities of the unit produced memory loss, hallucinations, and blindness...It is not enough to change the spatial politics of the prison - larger cells, bigger windows, longer chains. The prison itself must become unimaginable and the prisoner with it.- Places Journal
Russell Fortmeyer: "Modern Architecture and Climate: Design Before Air Conditioning": Architecture’s past could be a key to a more climate-friendly future, which is the case the architectural historian Daniel A. Barber makes in his new book: ...offers perhaps the most comprehensive and concise corrective to the reigning histories of Modernism that have tended to exclude, or at least consider only superficially, environmental context. He makes a detailed study of the building envelope in early Modernism...The Corbu example acts as a soft opening for a book that takes some unexpected turns.- Architectural Record
NYC Architecture Biennial 2020: "Social Inclusion in the Workplace and in Design" October 20-23: Conference will be online and free of charge, This is an opportunity for us to reach out to a broader audience around the world - the lectures will be shared in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. ArchNewsNow is proud to be a media sponsor!- New York City Architecture Biennial
ANN feature: Excerpt: "Stanford White in Detail" by Samuel G. White; photographs by Jonathan Wallen: A rich presentation of the sensual and scenographic effects created by the legendary architect. For White, every surface was an opportunity, and few opportunities were neglected.- ArchNewsNow.com
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