Today’s News - Tuesday, December 1, 2020
● Fred A. Bernstein takes issue with attempts "to redefine the meaning of 'green'" by folks like Duany who preach that resilient features are more green than attempting to mitigate climate change. But "features that contribute to resilience aren't part of the solution. They are, in fact, part of the problem."
● Ravenscroft's Q&A with Architects Declare folks re: how some leading signatories "are breaching promises made - undermining its efforts to prevent climate change" and "damaging its legitimacy" - time to tighten up the rules (Schumacher doesn't come off well here).
● Mark Johanson delves into how "Covid-19 caused rapid shifts in travel infrastructure to make streets friendlier to bikers and pedestrians - at least 365 global cities have allocated new street space for walking and cycling. Can these changes endure?"
● Camille Squires looks at how Barcelona's affordable housing and mobility initiatives (a la "superblocks") "helped it respond to the pandemic - and allowed it to adapt quickly to the needs of such an unprecedented moment."
● Sarah Holder & Kriston Capps consider "the indoorification of outdoor dining. At what point does eating outside become no different from eating inside - what exactly is a Covid-safe outdoor space?"
● John King x 2: He rounds up 11 (out of @ 300) "cool" dining parklets in San Francisco representing "a pop-up landscape running the gamut, from elaborate to idiosyncratic."
● He cheers AIA San Francisco "moving forward with plans to turn the ground floor of the historic" Hallidie Building into the Center for Architecture + Design by Aidlin Darling Design, "confident that the downtown scene will rebound."
● Kamin's (glowing!) take on Jeanne Gang's Vista Tower, "one of Chicago's finest skyline giants": "It's a stirring work of skyline artistry. It doesn't simply show that women can play the male-dominated skyscraper game. They can play it very well, thank you."
● Chaseedaw Giles parses Ford's plans for Detroit's Corktown, envisioned by PAU and Gensler as the Michigan Central mobility innovation district - the 30-acre site plan "weaves the existing historic neighborhood into new structures to create an alluring, modernized regional destination for high-tech talent" (it seems the Gensler team "had fun" - something you don't hear very often).
● Justin Davidson delves into how "New York's approval system for new building is a recipe for mediocrity" - major development projects should "demand the best design that New York's architectural talent pool can offer. I am not optimistic about that last part. No neighborhood should be forced to choose between terrible and meh."
● Environmental neuroscientist Robin Mazumder, "recognizing that not everyone experiences public space in the same way, is working to create more equitable urban environments - a collaborative approach is necessary and a diversity of lived experiences, and disciplinary backgrounds is required."
● Architect & researcher Cristina Monteiro explains why the "coronavirus should inspire us to rewild cities to better support our children - flip neglected spaces into ones that are loved and well-used by local children and which contribute far more to the ecology of the city. The role for design is of profound importance."
● Carey L. Biron parses the national conservation nonprofit American Forests' Tree Equity Score - a new tool to help "urban leaders see where more trees are needed to help vulnerable communities tackle pollution and rising heat."
● Call for entries: Applications for 2021 ULI Hines Student Competition - Europe, open to university and business school students from across the region, due January 31 (and a reminder that the 2021 ULI Hines Student Competition - Americas' deadline is December 4!).
● Wainwright re: the "'toxic dispute' over Zaha Hadid's £100m estate": The "four-year feud has finally been settled in an explosive court hearing" that "exposed the dramatically frosty nature of the dispute between the trustees" ("unjustified hostility" towards Schumacher included).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Patrick MacLeamy: In this excerpt from his new book, "Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK," the former HOK CEO contends that just as buildings need strong foundations, companies on firm footing stand a better chance of long-term success.
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Fred A. Bernstein: Op-ed: Attempting to redefine the meaning of “green” could weaken efforts to mitigate climate change: Andrés Duany declared houses with generators, fortifications against rising waters, and other resilient features to be “green...minimizing carbon dioxide emissions and mitigating climate change - is naive at best and a dereliction of duty at worst"...In fact, it is his approach that is naive and a dereliction of duty...Luckily, there are thousands of architects who are up to the task, working to create net-zero buildings...When it comes to climate change...features that contribute to resilience aren’t part of the solution. They are, in fact, part of the problem. -- Chris Hellstern/Miller Hull Partnership; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk; Eric Corey Freed- The Architect's Newspaper
Tom Ravenscroft: Leading architects "clearly contravening" climate pledges says Architects Declare: High-profile studios including Zaha Hadid Architects are breaching promises made when they signed up to [AD] and undermining its efforts to prevent climate change...17 high-profile UK practices including ZHA and Foster + Partners were founding signatories...UK body admitted that its rules are too lax and the actions of some signatories have damaged its legitimacy..."we will be conducting a survey with our signatories about tightening the declaration points. We know this may lead to some practices withdrawing"... -- Patrik Schumacher- Dezeen
Mark Johanson: How bike-friendly ‘slow streets' are changing cities: Covid-19 caused rapid shifts in travel infrastructure to make streets friendlier to bikers and pedestrians. Can these changes endure...? ...urban planning experiments could not only radically alter the way we commute...but also make [cities] more resilient to future shocks...at least 365 global cities...have allocated new street space for [walking and cycling]...measures have not been without their detractors...there are simple policies that can incentivise cycling...Some are rolling out experimental pilot programmes that, in normal times, could take a decade...to go from idea to implementation..."revolutionary...in the field of transportation planning.” -- Tabitha Combs- BBC The Life Project (UK)
Camille Squires: How Barcelona’s housing and mobility efforts helped it respond to the pandemic: Mayor Ada Colau says her city's ongoing work to create affordable housing and safer streets provided a foundation for its crisis response: ...allowed it to adapt quickly to the needs of such an unprecedented moment...The most well known...was the creation of Barcelona’s “superblocks,” which restrict the movement of vehicles...Reshaping public spaces for such considerations as social distancing and the safe continuation of businesses fits in with existing goals to make Barcelona more liveable for the people who call it home.- City Monitor
Sarah Holder & Kriston Capps: The Indoorification of Outdoor Dining: Restaurants are enclosing outdoor spaces with tents and domes ahead of the winter months. At what point does eating outside become no different from eating inside? The most sophisticated of these structures have taken on a decidedly permanent look...the architecture of the outdoor dining age has advanced to a point where diners might never notice that they’re sitting outside...So what exactly is a Covid-safe outdoor space?- Bloomberg CityLab
John King: San Francisco is having a parklet moment. Here are 11 cool ones to check out right now: The architectural icon that symbolizes 2020 is the humble dining parklet. Or, sometimes, not so humble at all. At least 300 of the structures have been erected along San Francisco streets since the coronavirus reached pandemic stage...according to the city’s Shared Spaces program...Economic reality dictates that most parklets are more about function than flair...there’s a pop-up landscape running the gamut, from elaborate to idiosyncratic...Full disclosure - I haven’t actually had food or drinks in any of them. Until there’s a reliable vaccine in place, count me as one of those people who would rather be safe than sorry.- San Francisco Chronicle
John King: Famous S.F. building to get new storefront tenant - an architecture center: Defying the trend of empty storefronts on commercial streets, San Francisco architects are moving forward with plans to turn the ground floor of a historic...building into a gathering space that includes a cafe and gallery...in the Hallidie Building on Sutter Street will house the city’s chapter of the American Institute of Architects...confident that the downtown scene will rebound...design is by one of the city’s most highly regarded small firms - Aidlin Darling Design... -- Willis Polk (1918)- San Francisco Chronicle
Blair Kamin: An exclusive look at Jeanne Gang’s Vista Tower, now Chicago’s third-tallest building: ...the hype would be meaningless if the $1 billion, 101-story tower did not merit a more important distinction: It’s a stirring work of skyline artistry...appears as liquid as it is solid, as if the waters of Lake Michigan had burst upward and transformed themselves into fluid, undulating tiers of glass...It doesn’t simply show that women can play the male-dominated skyscraper game. They can play it very well, thank you... the tower sends the upbeat message that downtown has a future...not just for the 1%...It is one of Chicago’s finest skyline giants... -- bKL Architecture; Julianne Wolf/Studio Gang; OLIN- Chicago Tribune
Chaseedaw Giles: Ford Unveils Details of its Plans for Detroit’s Corktown: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) and Gensler envision how the Michigan Central mobility innovation district will embrace the past and provide future opportunities for Detroit’s communities: Two years ago...it created waves because the site included some of Detroit’s most iconic buildings - landmarks that had languished for decades...30-acre site plan...weaves the existing historic neighborhood into new structures to create an alluring, modernized regional destination for high-tech talent. -- Albert Kahn; ishaan Chakrabarti- Metropolis Magazine
Justin Davidson: New York’s Approval System for New Building Is a Recipe for Mediocrity: ...we’re dredging [Gowanus Canal] for an idea everyone can live with: ...the charmingly fetid waterway keeps tempting developers, new residents...hope to shape a new high-rise neighborhood on its toxin-laced banks...subsidized showpiece is Gowanus Green...all 950 apartments will be affordable...[should] demand the best design that New York’s architectural talent pool can offer. I am not optimistic about that last part...No neighborhood should be forced to choose between terrible and meh, but that’s the way the system works if the city doesn’t guide development - a worse option wins by default. -- Jared Della Valle/A.J. Pires/Alloy Development- Curbed New York
Robin Mazumder: Public spaces are essential - but not yet equal: Recognising that not everyone experiences public space in the same way, this environmental neuroscientist is working to create more equitable urban environments: As a racialised person with a disability, my experiences of both marginalisation and privilege elucidated the complexity of the human experience...shaped by barriers created in our social and physical environments...I am suggesting we consider an experiential equity. I propose this term to acknowledge the psycho-spatial disparities...a collaborative approach is necessary and a diversity of lived experiences, and disciplinary backgrounds is required.- City Monitor
Cristina Monteiro/DK-CM: Coronavirus should inspire us to rewild cities to better support our children: What would it take to retrofit our existing towns and cities to make access to woodland an easy, natural part of a child's education? We would need to create a 0.5-hectare [1.2-acre] area of woodland - the minimum size for a viable habitat...within easy reach of every school...Local authorities, schools, landowners and the wider community should be coming together to explore how nature can be intensified in their local area...flip neglected spaces into ones that are loved and well-used by local children and which contribute far more to the ecology of the city...The role for design is of profound importance...- Dezeen
Carey L. Biron: 'Tree equity': U.S. cities urged to focus planting in areas most at risk: A new tool helps urban leaders see where more trees are needed to help vulnerable communities tackle pollution and rising heat: [American Forests] Tree Equity Score's coverage will broaden to about 70% of the country's urban population by 2022...Tree policy is having a moment in the United States...- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Call for entries: Applications Open for 2021 ULI Hines Student Competition - Europe: a team challenge for university and business school students from across the region that tests their skills in applying their knowledge of all aspects of real estate and land use in a practical case study; deadline: January 31, 2021. Reminder 2021 ULI Hines Student Competition - Americas; deadline: December 4- Urban Land Magazine (Urban Land Institute/ULI)
Oliver Wainwright: 'Toxic dispute' over Zaha Hadid's £100m estate finally settled: Court case at end of four-year feud hears contested allegations of financial mismanagement and ‘clandestine relationships’ between practice principal and junior staff: ...[dispute] has been taking place between the executors of her estate, with claims and counterclaims filed over the interpretation of her wishes and the future of her architecture practice. The long-running feud has finally been settled in an explosive court hearing...hearing exposed the dramatically frosty nature of the dispute between the trustees... -- Patrik Schumacher; Brian Clarke; Rana Hadid; Peter Palumbo- Guardian (UK)
ANN feature: Patrick MacLeamy: The Pyramid Strategy: In this excerpt from his new book, "Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK," the former HOK CEO contends that just as buildings need strong foundations, companies on firm footing stand a better chance of long-term success.- ArchNewsNow.com
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