London Mayor Sadiq Kahn scraps Garden Bridge
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has finally pulled the plug on the controversial plan for a garden bridge across the Thames, announcing that he would not provide the vital financial guarantees needed for construction to begin.
In a letter to the Garden Bridge Trust, the charity leading the much-delayed project, Khan said he was taking the decision because of a continuing shortfall in fundraising for the scheme, and a lack of the necessary land use agreements despite three years of talks.
— The Guardian
New USC Dean Milton Curry shifts pedagogical focus toward theory
When you think about diversity and globalization and urbanization, you can’t do it without a theoretical underpinning. You just can’t. And I think that what we’re seeing in the discipline at large is the limit conditions of thinking a-theoretically about urbanism, about inequality, about what we should do about environmental challenges and sustainability. We’ve got to address it through a theoretical lens. - Milton Curry
— The Los Angeles Times
In this interview conducted by Christopher Hawthorne as part of his pithy Building Type column, the soon-to-be-Dean of USC's School of Architecture Milton Curry talks about reintroducing a theoretical emphasis to the school's programs. Curry, who in his time at University of Michigan experienced... View full entry
Rejecting modernist master planning notions, MAD's Milan master plan repurposes dilapidated rail yards by symbiosis
Repurposing and renovation have gained greater appeal in the years since the overwhelming success of The High Line, extending to a variety of applications and structures. At the recent Milan Design Week, MAD took this to a new level by showcasing their proposal for a new masterplan of Milan, which... View full entry
The Neutra VDL House Celebrates its National Historic Landmark Status
Built in 1932, the VDL Research House designed by Richard Neutra is one of Southern California’s modernist gems. Now it has been named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior following the tireless work of its owners, the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation and, in particular... View full entry
Will luxury apartment owners shut down the Tate's viewing platform?
Good walls make good neighbours – but not, it seems, when they are made entirely of glass. Five residents of the multi-million-pound Neo Bankside towers, which loom behind Tate Modern like a crystalline bar chart of inflated land values, have filed a legal claim against the museum to have part of its viewing platform shut down. They claim that its 10th-floor public terrace has put their homes into a state of “near constant surveillance”.
— The Guardian
In an apparent case of art interfering with life, the owners of the apartments next to the Tate Modern's viewing platform are trying to legally erect some kind of visual barrier between them and the visitors of the museum (although the exotic technology of curtains has apparently not yet made it... View full entry
AIA awards $100,000 to five intriguing Upjohn Research Initiative projects
From a Circadian Daylight Metric and Design Assist Tool to Trashwalls, the AIA has announced the five projects it has selected for its 10th annual Upjohn Research Initiative grants, and they're all fairly promising. Speaking broadly, the projects each propose investigating a particular aspect of... View full entry
'The New Inflatable Moment' at BSA Space will explore the role of pneumatic architecture in envisioning utopia
Pneumatic architecture—aka inflatables—have been a mainstay of avant-garde and experimental architecture for decades. Back in the ’60s, figures like Buckminster Fuller and Frei Otto, alongside radical practices like Haus-Rucker-Co, Utopia and Ant Farm, pioneered the use of these structures... View full entry
This week's picks for London architecture and design events
Returning once again, the Tate opens its doors wide this Friday night to mark the end the month. Expect the usual views and sunsets from the Switch House tower, as well as workshops and talks throughout the building. What better start to the bank holiday?The Bartlett's talk New London... View full entry
Untangling Louis Kahn's life and work
It is one of history’s cruelties that Louis Kahn is almost better known for his unconventional domestic arrangements than for his architecture. Kahn gave us a remarkable string of masterpieces that includes the Salk Institute and the Kimbell Art Museum, and yet he was one of those shambling geniuses whose life was a mess of contradictions. While his commissions took him around the world, he managed to maintain three separate families at home in Philadelphia.
— the New York Times
"He had a reputation for blowing deadlines and budgets, testing the patience of clients. No one was surprised to learn after his death in 1974 that his firm was deep in debt. The turmoil of his life came to overshadow his accomplishments."The author, Inga Saffron, reviews You Say to Brick: The... View full entry
"A Night in Paris"
Protests in Paris in the aftermath of the vote have turned violent with smoke grenades, flares and glass bottles thrown at police. More rallies, dubbed the “night of the barricades,” are expected to take place in 13 cities across France.
— COURTESY: RUPTLY video agency
Live event cameras covering the night of French elections. The footage follows night time streets and other public spaces romancing the dreamy city with shadowy elevations, silhouettes and the sounds of the Parisian architecture and urbanism. Considering the French tradition of protest, this is... View full entry
Touring Danish playground emphasizes multi-faceted nature of play with modular elements + a smoke machine
In addition to conceptually representing the inherent creativity of play, this touring modular playground made up of 35 white cubes mounted on safety rubber also features inlaid LEDs and a smoke machine, making it ridiculously cool for its target demographic.As Stephan Gustin, one of the... View full entry
The next International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam will be split across two years and two countries
The next International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) will be split in two parts, the first held in 2018 and the second in 2020. Appropriately dubbed IABR—2018+2020, it will be based in both the Netherlands and Belgium and use “the world as its source of inspiration”. This follows in... View full entry
So-called "parking podiums" are aesthetically ruining downtown Los Angeles
As L.A. pats itself on the back for its freshly angular skyline, a new architectural trend — enabled by another city ordinance — threatens to turn the beating heart of modern Los Angeles into a cold, lifeless and unwalkable place.
— The Los Angeles Times
This excellent piece by the aptly named Steven Sharp delves into the uglification of downtown Los Angeles via the "parking podium," wherein large buildings dedicate their first few floors to a parking garage to meet code requirements for parking, thereby plunging the pedestrian realm back into an... View full entry
Developing flexible parking garages for a rideshare-dependent LA
The strategy reflects a consensus among some developers and planners that California’s vaunted car culture is inevitably going to run out of gas...[Andy] Cohen, co-chief executive of Gensler, predicts car ownership will peak around 2020 and then start to decline, with more Americans relying on some form of ride-sharing than their own vehicles by 2025. That means cars gradually would disappear from home garages, curbs and parking structures, freeing up acre upon acre of real estate for new uses.
— Los Angeles Times
Some developers are already planning for a not-so-far-off future Los Angeles where more people primarily rely on ridesharing (including from autonomous vehicles) than driving their own car, particularly in the form of parking garages that can be redesigned for other uses like commercial spaces or... View full entry
Indian bar legally evades closure by adding 250-meter long maze entrance
Since April 1 a large number of the bars, pubs and liquor shops across India has gone out of business, thanks to a Supreme Court order that the outlets should be at least 500m away from state and national highways...The Aishwarya Bar in North Paravoor, a Kochi suburb has built a 250m-long maze-like walkway to the entrance, theoretically making it more than 500m away from the highway.
— India Times
In a move that has even delighted the bureaucrats who initially drafted the rule that no bar could be within 500 meters of a highway, an Indian bar has managed to stay in business by virtue of building a 250 meter long maze that, like the snaking lines at an amusement park, greatly expands the... View full entry