Today’s News - Wednesday, December 9, 2020
● Biron parses a survey of U.S. mayors who are "'bleak' about recovery from pandemic's effects - worried that public transit and neighborhoods will not recover for years to come," though "findings also suggest changes that may become permanent, such as street design, planning and land use."
● Arieff parses what Big Techs' empty campuses say about the post-Covid world - and "what about the workers who cleaned the offices, prepared the meals and drove the shuttles? They are made even more vulnerable."
● Amy Crawford delves into the dilemma of there being "no room for teens in the pandemic city: Talk of child-friendly cities is on the rise, but it tends to focus on families with younger children. Designers have long attempted to limit teenagers' use of public space. What would a park for adolescents look like?"
● Amir Kripper is concerned about the discipline of adaptive reuse - "spectacle architecture may have something to do with it - the Rem-ification of adaptive reuse deserves closer inspection."
● Belmont Freeman: "Even before the global health crisis, Cuba was in trouble -.crises expose the underlying flaws of a society, and the coronavirus has proved that rule to a scorching degree," exposing "the underlying dysfunctions of the communist economy" ("then there's the Trump factor").
● Kamin x 2: He offers his top 10 picks of the best Chicago architecture of 2020 that "raised our sights and spirits."
● He explains that, "even as the pandemic has emptied everything - building has gone on in Chicago, reminding us that downtown has a future, even if we don't know precisely what that future will be - a whole lot of improvising is going on, some of it innovative enough to merit a lasting presence."
● One we couldn't resist: Feargus O'Sullivan reports that Amsterdam is cracking down on "garish" Christmas lights and holiday displays, "spurred by a recent lighting-display arms race" ("the ultimate expression of municipal Grinchery" perhaps?).
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Dave Hora's Nature of Order #2: The First Eight of Christopher Alexander's 15 Fundamental Properties of Wholeness: These are properties that describe how centers work together to produce life in a given scope of the structural fabric we inhabit, the wholeness.
Winners all + 1 Deadline reminder:
● Call for entries (deadline looms!): 2021 P/A Awards: The 68th annual edition of the program for innovative unbuilt work.
● NYC-based architect and activist Pascale Sablan wins the AIA 2021 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award "for her work in promoting women and designers of color in architecture" with initiatives such as the "Say it Loud" exhibitions - and is now the president-elect of NOMA.
● Chandran reports that the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat Pakistan project is a gold prize winner of UN-Habitat's World Habitat Awards "for shielding villages from natural disasters" by "combining satellite images and mapping tools with local knowledge and community participation - AKAH projects in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Syria and India are also using this approach in nearly 2,500 villages covering 3 million people."
● The Architect's Newspaper announces 47 winners of the 2020 AN Best of Design Awards - "the quality of the submissions has rarely been stronger or more timely" (scroll down for links to Parts 1 & 2)
● Dezeen Awards 2020 feature 45 winners.
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Carey L. Biron: U.S. mayors 'bleak' about recovery from pandemic's effects: National survey finds particular concern over schools and downtown businesses: ...worried that workers will avoid offices and public transit and neighborhoods will not recover for years to come...fear small closed-down businesses will not quickly be replaced by new ones, and renters, immigrants and minority-owned businesses will suffer long-term distress...findings also suggest changes that may become permanent post-pandemic, such as street design, planning and land use...potential need for more bicycle infrastructure... -- Menino Survey of Mayors- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Allison Arieff: What Facebook’s empty campus says about the post-Covid world: When Big Tech found it could work from home, an economy of lower-paid workers lost out: Facebook, Google and others have always maintained that their innovative corporate culture was what set them apart. How could they be so quick to abandon the physical core of that culture? ...what about the workers who cleaned the offices, prepared the meals and drove the shuttles? ...[they] are made even more vulnerable...Spontaneous interaction may no longer be the guiding principle of Big Tech’s buildings, but it will return. Meanwhile, the economic fragility of those who help facilitate it never went away.- New Statesman (UK)
Amy Crawford: There’s No Room for Teens in the Pandemic City: With schools remote, sports canceled, and libraries closed, teenagers in many U.S. cities find themselves unwelcome in parks and public spaces: Talk of child-friendly cities has recently been on the rise, but it tends to focus on...families with younger children...Adolescents, on the other hand, are often an afterthought - or, through anti-teen policies or hostile design, they may be deliberately excluded...Designers have long attempted to limit teenagers’ use of public space...What would a park for teenagers look like?- Bloomberg CityLab
Amir Kripper: Curb Your Enthusiasm: In Praise of Constraints: The compelling challenge of adaptive reuse: I’ve devoted a good chunk of practice to reinterpreting, modernizing, and expanding historically sensitive places...I am growing worried for the discipline...once again, spectacle architecture may have something to do with it...the Rem-ification of adaptive reuse deserves closer inspection...we may...figure out which of these mindsets is best suited to handle the wholesale building types - shopping malls, streetfront retail, traditional office headquarters - that Covid-19 is reducing to artifacts. Machado Silvetti; Harry Weese; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Kripper Studio- Common Edge
Belmont Freeman: Post-Castro: Six decades after the revolution, Cubans envision a new society that blends the equities of socialism with the energies of capitalism. The challenges are daunting: Last year Havana celebrated [its] 500th anniversary...The historic core saw a frenzy of renovation activity...But even before the global health crisis...Cuba was in trouble...crises expose the underlying flaws of a society, and the coronavirus has proved that rule to a scorching degree...if the island’s medical infrastructure remains sound and its social solidarity strong, the pandemic has intensified the underlying dysfunctions of the communist economy. The cruelest of these is food insecurity...Havana continues to crumble...- Places Journal
Blair Kamin: Best Chicago architecture of 2020: The design of St. Regis Chicago [formerly Vista Tower], a new bridge and the pandemic-ready Rush Hospital [and the preservation of both the old Cook County Hospital and the Chicago house of Emmett Till] raised our sights and spirits...Wolf Point East...another bright presence to the skyline. -- Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Pelli Clarke Pelli; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); KOO architects; Perkins and Will; Andrew Metter; Epstein; Diller Scofido + Renfro; Mies van der Rohe; Edith Farnsworth; Balkrishna Doshi; Open House; Chicago Architecture Center- Chicago Tribune
Blair Kamin: Chicago architecture in 2020: In a year like no other, anxiety soared about the future of downtown Chicago, but so did new skyscrapers: Even as the pandemic has emptied everything...building has gone on here...reminding us that downtown has a future, even if we don’t know precisely what that future will be...a whole lot of improvising is going on, some of it innovative enough to merit a lasting presence once the pandemic ends...a return to normalcy remains months away...downtown’s boosters remain undeterred. -- Goettsch Partners; Studio Gang- Chicago Tribune
Feargus O'Sullivan: Amsterdam Cracks Down on Garish Christmas Lights: Holiday displays in the Dutch capital may soon...need to be registered online with the municipality if they cover more than a square meter (10.8 square feet) or more than 10% of a building’s façade...In UNESCO-protected city center, the rules will be yet more stringent...spurred by a recent lighting-display arms race...governing aldermen already stand accused of resembling that least-popular of Christmas characters: Scrooge.- Bloomberg CityLab
Call for entries: 2021 P/A Awards: The 68th annual edition of the program for innovative unbuilt work; must be commissioned by paying clients for execution. Projects must have a completion date after February 1, 2021; deadline: December 14; late entries: December 18- Architect Magazine
Pascale Sablan Wins AIA 2021 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award: ...recognized the New York-based architect and activist for her work in promoting women and designers of color in architecture: A past recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award... created and curated..."Say it Loud" exhibitions, which highlight the work, voices, and experiences of 345 diverse architects...serves as the Northeast regional vice president of the National Organization of Minority Architects...was recently elected president-elect of NOMA. -- S9 Architecture; Beyond the Built Environment; FXFowle Architects- Architect Magazine
Rina Chandran: Pakistan project wins award for shielding villages from natural disasters: Combining satellite images and mapping tools with local knowledge and community participation have made settlements safer: ...Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) Pakistan project...a gold prize winner at the World Habitat Awards organised with the United Nations housing agency (UN-Habitat)...projects in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Syria and India are also using this approach...completed risk assessments in nearly 2,500 villages covering 3 million people.- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Best of the Best: Winners of the 2020 AN Best of Design Awards: What attributes connect these 47 discrete works, representing a total of 50 categories...To begin with, the quality of the submissions has rarely been stronger or...more timely. -- Ho¨weler + Yoon Architecture/Mabel O. Wilson/Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect/Frank Dukes/Eto Otitigbe; Adjaye Associates; Outpost Office; Koning Eizenberg; Marlon Blackwell Architects; PRODUCTORA; etc.- The Architect's Newspaper
Dezeen Awards 2020: 45 Winners; Public vote winners; Architecture; Interiors; Design; Studios; Designer of the year: Formafantasma; Emerging interior designer: Formafatal; Emerging designer: Shahar Livne Design; Architect of the year: Alison Brooks Architects; Interior designer: Esrawe Studio; Emerging architect of the year: Gad Line+ Studio; Architecture Project of the Year: TAA Design; etc.- Dezeen
ANN feature: Dave Hora: Nature of Order #2: The First Eight of Christopher Alexander's 15 Fundamental Properties of Wholeness: These are properties that describe how centers work together to produce life in a given scope of the structural fabric we inhabit, the wholeness.- ArchNewsNow.com
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