Today’s News - Thursday, January 28, 2021
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, February 2. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe - and wear a mask! (And check out the full moon tonight and tomorrow night!)
● ANN feature: Samuel G. White: The Architecture of Public Buildings: The aspirations of a program that encourages good design should not be expressed in terms of style. The key difference between good and bad architecture is quality, not whether the cladding is rusticated limestone or perforated titanium.
● Justin Davidson: "Even before COVID, superstar cities were shrinking: In London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York, the population is steady or falling. But that doesn't mean they're in trouble. Cities aren't doomed, much less already dead."
● "The A&E System," a study from Columbia University's Buell Center, delves into "Who will design and manage the green infrastructure needed to combat climate change," and "what does this system reveal about the built environment's relationship to today's interconnected crises of mutual care, racial oppression, and climate? And what part do architects truly play?"
● Brussat says "Da!" to "a marvelous half-hour video of the classical work of Mikhail Filippov - Russia's artful classicist" (his sketches are beautiful, too!).
● Lloyd Alter cheers architect Richard Pedrantri teaming up with Plant Prefab to design the first 3 Passive House LivingHomes - "what I love about this program is that Plant Prefab is making it possible for other architects to be part of its collection - going for full Passive House certification."
● Baldwin brings us eyefuls of LUCE et Studio's imaginative renovation of the non-profit Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park.
● Studio Gang, landscape architects SCAPE, and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects make up the team reimagining the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (formerly Arkansas Arts Center) in Little Rock's MacArthur Park - "the design once again reveals the original 1937 limestone façade."
● Construction is (finally) about to begin on the Armenian American in Glendale, California, designed by Alajajian Marcoosi Architects, that will rise on "a 1.7-acre green space in downtown Glendale that's being dramatically revamped by SWA Group - the museum's cube-shaped, distinctive facade is meant to evoke rock formations found in the Armenian Highlands."
● One we couldn't resist: In Covid-hit New Orleans, instead of parades, homes have been turned into floats for Mardi Gras - on view now thru Ash Wednesday, February 17 (bunches of fab photos!).
● Call for entries: International VinFast Global Showroom Design Competition for a design that will be used to showcase VinFast smart car models in international markets; prizes total $60,000 (the most impressive submissions will be projected in NYC's Times Square in April!).
● Call for entries: HOME: Our Place: an international design event for students to design their ideal home; conceived by Building Beauty Faculty Member Duo Dickinson.
Weekend diversions + Page-turners:
● An impressive line-up of architects, designers, and filmmakers from 14 cities around the world for The World Around day-long virtual summit on Saturday, curated by Beatrice Galilee - live-streamed on Dezeen and on the Guggenheim's YouTube channel.
● The Municipal Art Society of New York is going virtual with its great walking tours, kicking off tomorrow - through Sunday.
● 16 "must-see films to inspire architects and architecture lovers" - synopses & "why you should watch" included (some new to us and some of our faves).
● "Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci" at the West Vancouver Art Museum: "At a time when our relationship to the earth is of paramount importance, her projects reveal consistent and significant stewardship of the natural environment."
● Kathleen Langjahr: "Form outshines function at MoMA's 'Broken Nature'" offering "an array of innovative ideas that ultimately prompt more concerns for the future of design - it feels too sanitized for an exhibition about the literal apocalypse."
● Deborah Gans parses Koolhaas's "Countryside: The Future" at the Guggenheim (thru Feb. 15), and "Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures" at MoMA (now closed): "One body of work is determined to remain detached; the other is driven by political commitment" ("our present is the future that Lange's images foretold").
● James Tarmy cheers "Radical Architecture of the Future" by Beatrice Galilee - she argues that a template for the future of architecture and design exists in buildings that have already been constructed - what the world could, and indeed should, look like."
● Tom Davies of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design offers his reading list of "12 texts intended as flags or markers for the cracks that are present in our understanding of the communities and heritage of post-war housing" (they're also "entertaining reading").
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ANN feature: Samuel G. White, FAIA: The Architecture of Public Buildings: The aspirations of a program that encourages good design should not be expressed in terms of style. The key difference between good and bad architecture is quality, not whether the structure is clad in rusticated limestone or perforated titanium.- ArchNewsNow.com
Justin Davidson: Even Before COVID, Superstar Cities Were Shrinking: In London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York, the population is steady or falling. But that doesn’t mean they’re in trouble: It’s tempting to draw facile conclusions...or to formulate a Unified Theory of Anti-Metropolitanism...in the absence of solid data, we rely on questionable proxies: how much garbage the sanitation department collected, how many change-of-address forms the Post Office processed...But this is like trying to count fallen leaves in a windstorm...Cities aren’t doomed, much less already dead...close-up impressions exaggerate trends, making ordinary fluctuations seem epochal...- Curbed New York
The A&E System: Public Works and Private Interest in Architectural and Engineering Services, 2000–2020: Who will design and manage the green infrastructure needed to combat climate change? ...it would most likely be designed and managed by public-private partnerships led by large architecture and engineering firms...the "A&E System"...What does architecture look like when studied through this system? ...what does this system reveal about the built environment's relationship to today's interconnected crises of mutual care, racial oppression, and climate? And what part do architects truly play?- Columbia University Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture
David Brussat: Russia’s artful classicist - Da! ...a marvelous half-hour video of the classical work of the Russian architect Mikhail Filippov. His work has been described as “Piranesian"...in a world fatigued by our dismal built environment it all does seem dreamlike, even utopian. But it is real...It displays a multitude of sketches of major urban developments he was asked to submit...He pairs his drawings with footage of what was actually built...These are heart-rending sequences...Without a doubt, he has managed to turn his artistic talent into a series of architectural masterpieces.- Architecture Here and There
Lloyd Alter: Plant Prefab Goes Passive House: Richard Pedrantri Architect designs the first Passive House LivingHomes: Two of the three houses have a simple, classic form...what I love about this program: the fact that Steve Glenn and Plant Prefab are making it possible for other architects to be part of its collection [and] going for full Passive House certification. This requires a certain rigor in design; you can't fake it...this is the real thing: Good designs from talented architects, with high-quality construction from a sophisticated builder...- TreeHugger.com
Eric Baldwin: LUCE et Studio Reimagines Mingei International Museum in San Diego: ...a nonprofit that collects, conserves and exhibits folk art, craft, and design objects in Balboa Park...part of the House of Charm, a Mission Revival-style building. Originally designed as a temporary exhibition space for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the building will be renovated to better serve the community and connect to the surrounding park.- ArchDaily
Studio Gang-designed Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, formerly Arkansas Arts Center, to open in 2022: ...designed with landscape architects SCAPE and Little Rock-based Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, is under construction in Little Rock's MacArthur Park...In concert with new construction, the design once again reveals the original 1937 limestone facade of the Museum of Fine Arts, a precursor to AMFA, as the main north entrance- Archinect
Matt Hickman: Armenian American Museum to finally break ground this summer in Glendale, California: ...on the eastern edge of Griffith Park in the Verdugo Mountains...Designed by Alajajian Marcoosi Architects, the 50,800-square-foot museum will rise in the southwestern corner of Glendale Central Park, a 1.7-acre green space in downtown Glendale that’s being dramatically revamped...by SWA Group...linking the new museum to Glendale Central Library, a hulking 1973 Brutalist landmark renovated...by Gruen Associates...[museum's] cube-shaped distinctive facade is meant to evoke rock formations found in the Armenian Highlands.- The Architect's Newspaper
Covid-hit New Orleans turns homes into floats for Mardi Gras [now thru Ash Wednesday, February 17]: When the mayor of the Louisiana city announced that the raucous, crowd-filled street carnival parades would not be going ahead, residents decided to turn their houses into floats instead...A special project was set up encouraging home-owners to hire the many artists who would normally have months of work preparing for the event...more than 9,000 people had signed up - some as far afield as the UK and Australia.- BBC News
Call for entries: International VinFast Global Showroom Design Competition for the most excellent showroom design idea that will be used to showcase VinFast smart car models in international markets; prizes total $60,000; deadline: February 25; sponsored by Vietnam Design Association - Ho Chi Minh City/VDAS (The most unique, impressive design ideas will be projected at Times Square, New York City in April)- VinFast
Call for entries: HOME: Our Place: an international design event for students to design their ideal home; conceived by Building Beauty Faculty Member Duo Dickinson, FAIA; preliminary design deadline: March 1 (final submissions: March 23)- Building Beauty
January 30, 10am-6pm (NYC time) - impressive line-up for The World Around virtual summit curated by Beatrice Galilee: 20 architects, designers and filmmakers from 14 cities around the globe will take part; marks the launch of The World Around's residency at the Guggenheim museum. - live-streamed on Dezeen and on the Guggenheim's YouTube channel. -- Francis Kéré; Alice Rawsthorn; Sumayya Vally/Counterspace; Sumayya Vally; Ensamble; etc.- Dezeen
Municipal Art Society of New York Virtual Tours: Friday, January 29: New York's Crystal Palace of 1853; Saturday, January 30: Queens Neighborhood History, Part 2 of 2 (1898 - present); Sunday, January 31: Subway Art Tour Three- Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS)
16 Must-See Films To Inspire Architects and Architecture Lovers (Synopsis & Why you should watch): Some films are included for their incredible world-building.[and] a few films that include an architect as the main character.- NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
"Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci" - West Vancouver Art Museum thru March 13: Genius loci, meaning the protective spirit of a place, is embodied in the seven decade span of her work...At a time when our relationship to the earth is of paramount importance, her projects reveal consistent and significant stewardship of the natural environment...introduces projects...devoted to playgrounds, social housing, public projects, and residential projects- West Vancouver Art Museum
Kathleen Langjahr: Form outshines function at the MoMA’s "Broken Nature": ...proffers an array of individually innovative ideas that...ultimately prompt more concerns for the future of design as we now know it, rather than...a clear ideological framework through which it might lead us into a less destructive future...feels too sanitized for an exhibition about the literal apocalypse. thru Summer 2021 -- Paola Antonelli- The Architect's Newspaper
Deborah Gans: Countryside: The Future and the Past: Two recent exhibitions showcase efforts by vastly different visual thinkers to document transformations in rural life. One body of work is determined to remain detached; the other is driven by political commitment: "Countryside: The Future" is a smorgasbord...of daunting problems and maybe-solutions that leave the visitor feeling helpless and confused..."Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures"...presented us with a very different way of seeing...Lange doesn’t hesitate to identify the structural causes of the conditions she was witnessing...our present is the future that her images foretold... -- Guggenheim; Museum of Modern Art/MoMA; Rem Koolhaas/Office for Metropolitan Architecture/OMA; Samir Banta/AMO; Sarah Hermanson Meister- Places Journal
James Tarmy: The Radical Architecture of Tomorrow Already Exists: "Radical Architecture of the Future" argues that a template for the future of architecture and design exists in buildings that have already been constructed: ...Beatrice Galilee makes the argument that if we look around, we can find buildings, social spaces, and urban design that provide templates for what the world could, and indeed should, look like...a sample of projects [from] her book. Even if some “aren’t spectacular looking,” she says, “there is something very spectacular about their thinking.” -- Atelier Masomi/Studio Chahar; SelgasCano; Theaster Gates; DnA_Design and Architecture; Daniel Fernández Pascual/Alon Schwabe; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Practice Architecture; Toshiko Mori; Rotor DC- Bloomberg News
Tom Davies/AHO/Oslo School of Architecture and Design: Post-War Housing: Community, Heritage, and Myth: This reading list is made up of twelve texts intended as flags or markers for the cracks that are present in our understanding of the communities and heritage of post-war housing...[they] both color and detail to a familiar picture...[also] entertaining reading; their capacity to provoke new thought corresponds with the often unusual angle from which they approach established topics. -- Stanford Anderson; Reyner Banham: "The New Brutalism"; Kenny Cupers; Mark Swenarton; Douglas Murphy; Paul L. Knox; Esra Akcan; David Roberts; Jane Rendell; Aiden While; Alex Coles; Alfredo González-Ruibal; Alan Powers- Places Journal
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