Over at the LA Times, Christopher Hawthorne reported on LACMA Director Michael Govan’s plan’s for $650-million new building by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor...Eric Chavkin commented "New construction has always been fundraising tail that wags the museum dog. Big names to draw bigger money...Now that AMPAS is leveraging it's Oscar prestige to be a part of LACMA, a new name to entice donor dollars is Zumthor, a name that means absolutely nothing to most.
Michael Z Wise reviewed the newest edition of Albert Speer, Architecture by Léon Krier for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Wise concluded his review "Though he is again bemoaning a contemporary inability to regard classicism in a detached manner, it is Léon Krier who is in a delirious thrall to a malevolent aesthetic".
Will Galloway was surprised "wow, i didn't need another reason to dislike krier, but this one certainly seems more than enough to set aside any other complaint about the guy and never revisit them. its amazing that someone could hate modernism so much that even hitler's vision for the world seems palatable to him. nasty". For his part Steven Ward
argued "I'd rather see the swastika redeemed for its original associations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika) than see any redemption of Speer's work. It's not that the style(s) from which he borrowed were bad so much as his intentional bombastic over-scaling of everything. These buildings were meant to communicate oppressive power and they succeeded. Other variations often associated with fascism - especially the more abstracted classicism of the late-30s/early-40s - can actually be much better, more sensitive and appropriately scaled. I wouldn't discount all of the buildings that carry these associations, but Speer's weren't so good."
Students in Cooper Union’s School of Architecture, with support of Art and Engineering students responded to Cooper Union Board of Trustees failure to uphold the mission of their school through a collaborative intervention upon the School of Architecture Lobby. The students painted the white space (famously designed by John Hejduk) black. thunderclap was pleased "Right on, guys. It's such a shame that such a bright, select few have to pay for their college education. No doubt, this is a loss for everyone and a reflection of society's misguided priorities” while Spike Cyclone believed "Pat would be proud".
Over at the LA Times, Christopher Hawthorne reported on LACMA Director Michael Govan’s plan’s for $650-million new building by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The proposal would require demolishing the core of the museum's campus, including the original 1965 buildings by William L. Pereira and a 1986 addition by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates of New York.
Eric Chavkin commented "New construction has always been fundraising tail that wags the museum dog. Big names to draw bigger money...Now that AMPAS is leveraging it's Oscar prestige to be a part of LACMA, a new name to entice donor dollars is Zumthor, a name that means absolutely nothing to most. They will have to sell Zumthor and the need to remake LACMA". Plus, Orhan Ayyüce argued "They should just knock out the Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer's rediculous addition and leave Pereira buildings intact and slightly updated. Those buildings, although beautiful, underrated, have always been between the style changes to be fully appreciated and understood...While at it, get rid of Renzo additions too.. Really. It is okay, all the ‘museomalls’ are doing it without a shame anyway. They have been there almost five years.., long enough to be demolished".
Last week UC Davis announced that it had selected New York-based design firm, SO – IL, to design the campus’s planned art museum, envisioned as a regional center of experimentation, participation and learning. The firm will work with team members Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and contractor Whiting-Turner. Donna Sink
thought the design "looks really beautiful. Reminds me of Judith Chafee's Ramada House and Cliff May's Ocotillo House. It seems like such a simple and functional idea to do a big shading roof like this! Maybe this should be more popular…"
Amidst some controversy Frank Gehry has pulled out of 'A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture From Southern California', part of the Getty-sponsored series Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., set to open June 2 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Orhan Ayyüce pointed out "Let's not make Gehry the bad guy for pulling out from a superficial exhibition, more or less creating yet another Gehry piggybacking. From what I understood so far, and I have been thinking about this since they have announced the show while back, the show has no critical attributes. Even the title is problematic and bombastic. Is there an old sculpturalism? Do laser cutters and cnc machines account to new sculptural theory? And, what about the real artists and where their sculpture is now? This assemblage is essentially a surface survey show leaving out large swatches of development and arrival. It might be best thing happened to it that it now got attention via the cancellation issue".
Over at his blog Gregory Walker wanted to talk about 'green shoots' and the uptick in the architectural market. He also wondered "is this rebound 'genuine' (see the most recent aia architecture billings index)...are mergers and acquisitions 'done' or out on the side for a while?...are we about to see a radical shift to it being an 'employee's' market?...will we see 'the middle' - firms between 20 and 100 people - grow and thrive or be caught between more nimble, smaller firms and the crush of trans-global giants?"
jla-x opined "I'm skeptical man. It seems good on the surface, but there are all sorts of economic problems still festering. Europe is worse than ever.... Not to be a bummer, I am enjoying the slight uptick too, but I wouldn't spread too thin because I don't think it will last more than another 1-3 years...As for the US....I don't know. There are many aspects of the economy that seem good on the surface like housing, but once you take a closer look you see that the numbers are really being inflated by unsustainable things...Its kinda shady".
RGX_MERCADO started a blog titled Architecture is... RGX_MERCADO promises to cover everything "From Autodesk research and development Articles, innovative technology to control Arduino, to my opinions and analysis on the influence of Tadao Ando's architecture in Mexico".
Moto Designshop Inc.’s Scott Residence, is a multi-year renovation/modernization of a typical Philadelphia row-house while Glass House, London by Julia Haensel is an Art Collector's Folly, measuring 4 x 8 x 3.
Nathan Barnhart recently worked on a photography elective project; image 8/16 and Eugen Lubomir let us know that (in collaboration with Sarena Rabinowitz) he has completed his thesis; check out the data-driven Resilient Red Hook.
With his degree show finally behind him, Farid Rakun at Cranbrook Academy of Art reflected on his thesis project titled ‘How I put a SAAB 9-3 into Cranbrook Art Museum’ and announced the closing up of his blog "If every architecture is an act of violence, would double-folded violence end up creating double architecture—ultra-architecture? I think it is fair to say that even just the unfolding of this question could justify my consideration of this project to be the most architectural one I have ever done in my life, so far...With that closing, I am saying goodbye to the school, and therefore also to this blog. It has been a really productive, albeit challenging two-years".
A team of NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students won the 'Best Overall' at the prestigious Cal Poly Design Village 2013 competition April 19–21, beating out teams from 14 other California schools. The annual Cal Poly Design Village competition challenges students to develop structures that are not only unique but also portable and habitable—a task requiring a mastery of form and function that is emphasized throughout the NSAD curriculum.
Annie McCarthy currently a graduate research assistant in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech started a blog to document the Infamous Lines Drawing Summit that was convened in February of this year. She began by asking Why is it important to talk about the Agency of Drawing?
This past Friday the design/buildLAB students at Virginia Tech publicly unveiled their design for the Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge! Earlier this week they cored and tested the strength of the existing concrete retaining wall they hope to reuse as the structural foundation for the bridge and they also received delivery of all the steel (I-beams, barstock, columns, C-channels, and angles) they will be using for the construction.
mmax is a high school senior entering Pratt institute fall as architecture major who started a thread to discuss Parametric Design: Why the Controversy?
.com was worried "Ah, not again...Here come the luddites" but accesskb replied "I think its just a tool that could assist you in designing...Its like buying a $2 paint brush or a $100 brush...Some architects are purely about experimenting, pushing the profession beyond its boundaries and think any idiot can learn to draw a drywall detail and build a house. To them, experimentation is more important and it doesn't matter how ridiculous or aloof their design might be".
toasteroven noted "there's the problem with this whole group of people who conflate ‘parametric design’ with their own signature pseudo-biomorphic styles (whenever you hear ‘parametricism’ it's these folks) - and really just use software to make their forms ‘build-able.’..’Parametric Design’ - has, in fact, been around for centuries (baroque, classical, islamic arch - all examples of ‘parametric’ design)- it's just that the tools have gotten more powerful in the past decade or so which has opened up many more opportunities for exploration...The thing I personally dislike is this continual fascination with processes/operations that produce buildings that look like wet turds covered in spiderwebs".
gual simply wanted a clearer definition "Do we even have a definition for what parametric design is?...From what I know about parametric design (not that much, I will admit) isn't it just a blanket term for passing off some of the design ‘work’ to algorithms/computer programs?...I know that in practice what people seem to be referring to when they say ‘parametric design’ is these weird, bloopy futuristic-looking facades... In which case I think people have beef with the ‘style’ rather than the ‘approach’.” To which calamist added "as J. James R. demonstrated, parametric design can be nothing more than manipulating the width/height ratio or capital (parameters) to generate different columns. In the modern context, with our available software, we don't have to manually reconstruct each column, we just link it to its parameters and when the parameter is changed, every object to which it applies also changes...The utility of parametric design is unquestionable. The architect just needs to make sure that s/he is the designer and parametrics is the tool - not the other way around".
interestedinarchitecture is curious about how Archinector’s found their first client? As he explained in Miles Jaffe’s case "My orthodontist hired me to design an addition to his vacation house. That was 1980, my first independent project, fresh out of school. 15 years later he hired me to do another one" and geezertect offered "Many of us got the first client referred to us by our employer. Usually, it was a little job for the boss' friend that he just didn't want to bother with during normal office hours. (That was obviously back in the day when offices' actually had enough work for normal business hours)".
Finally, Jefferson is looking for help costing-out E and O insurance. Does "1800 per year...for a 1 person practice" sound right? So far only Donna Sink has answered. She wrote "I am a one-person architecture firm and paid $2,500/year through State Farm Specialty Services for about four years".