Today’s News - Thursday, February 4, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, February 9. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe - and wear a mask!

●  A great opportunity! Call for applications: J.M. Kaplan Fund's J.M.K. Innovation Prize to support innovators spearheading transformative early-stage projects in the fields of social justice, the environment, and heritage conservation; 10 Prizes, each totaling $175,000.

●  Bozikovic cheers a "sustainable village of 9,000" in Vancouver being developed by the Squamish Nation and designed by Revery Architecture (formerly Bing Thom Architects) - its "compact, green, and dense" (12 buildings on 10% of the 4.7-hectare [11.6-acre] site, and very few cars). "All this makes a powerful and utopian vision."

●  Kriston Capps' take on Amazon's conch shell-shaped tower, by NBBJ, on its HQ2 campus in Virginia: "Renderings of the tree-encrusted glass skyscraper seem to glow with the techno-futurist optimism that held sway in The Before Time. America's faith in its urban centers is being tested. Whatever else it is, the Helix is a testament to that conviction."

●  Hickman x 2: He reports on SOM's "colossal" 2.2 million-square-foot, 83-story mixed-use tower to replace Trump's Grand Central Hyatt: "Hulking size aside - 175 Park Avenue attempts to play nicely with - and reflect - its stately historic neighbors, including Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building" (Beyer Blinder Belle and James Corner Field Operations are on the team, too).

●  He reports that The Cultural Landscape Foundation has launched a campaign to halt "inappropriate" development at the 425-acre "famously sylvan" Weyerhaeuser campus in Washington State (SOM & Petrer Walker, 1972) - the current owner "plans to build over 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space across 132 largely forested acres."

●  NYC-based Stephanie Lin, the principal of Brooklyn's Present Forms and a co-founder of the design collective Office III, is named dean of the School of Architecture - formerly the School of Architecture at Taliesin.

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Samuel G. White: The Architecture of Public Buildings: …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.

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  The Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum is hosting a free film screening of architect/director Nili Portugali's "And the alley she whitewashed in light blue" - followed by a live Zoom Q&A moderated by Michael J. Crosbie.

●  Elisia Seeber gets the skinny from curator Hilary Letwin re: "Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci" at the West Vancouver Art Museum: "The remarkable 99-year-old is still consulting on projects - and helped choose what to include" in the retrospective.

●  Gabriel Díaz Montemayor cheers Maria Bellalta's "Social Urbanism: Reframing Spatial Design - Discourses from Latin America" - "a welcome addition to the growing number of publications on the social justice-oriented form of urbanism, architecture, and public space - it is not a how-to book," but "proposes social urbanism must transition from model to global movement."

●  Linda Poon applauds Arthur Drooker's "City Hall" that "dives into 15 of the most architecturally unique city halls in America - including those whose design deviates from the Greek- and Roman-inspired style of neoclassical architecture [and] the evolution of civic architecture in America."

●  Welton talks to photographer Tim Street-Porter re: his latest book, "Los Angeles Today: City of Dreams: Architecture and Design" - Street-Porter calls L.A. a "kind of a cowboy town, with all these quirky wonders - I had a great subject."


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