“I give it two years, max [...] It will be US business interests that finally push congress into lifting the embargo – they’re all going crazy being shut out of this market.” American architects and developers are already queuing up to be first in line, ready to pounce on investment opportunities when the embargo drops. Frank Gehry sailed into Havana in December, aboard a streamlined yacht he designed for himself, here to “offer his expertise to Cuba” according to a government statement. — theguardian.com
“You know that Cuba is at the centre of attention of many people,” Gehry told the gathered crowd. “And in the immediate future it will attract many investors – particularly the tourism sector. But I am sure that you know to be careful with those projects.”Related stories in the Archinect...
"Small houses can tell big stories," read the apt white words on the pamphlet's blue cover.
The shotgun house's Ocean Park neighborhood had once been full of such modest dwellings. It was a working-class place — home to carpenters and painters and people who washed other people's laundry.
But that kind of history most often is erased over time, as little houses make way for bigger ones. Ordinary people often don't chronicle their lives — and when they leave, their stories do too. — LA Times
Related:"Stop the unpermitted demolition": Roche Dinkeloo's shiny UN Plaza Hotel lobby might be remodeledIt's easier now to tear down "historic homes" in Beverly Hills than before – is this progress or folly?Preserving a Home in All Its Marred GlorySelective memory: Old Penn Station, ruined...
The more period commentary on these spaces you read...the more you see the hotel's owners are falling into the very trap the interiors were engineered to escape: banality, anywhere-ness, the flimsiness of changing fashion...Are the current going to rip out the mirror and replace it with barn wood and mason jars? Just wait. Stop the unpermitted demolition. Landmark this interior and, in doing so, remind people of its undated and undateable wonder. — ny.curbed.com
Alexandra Lange writes about the Ambassador Grill & Lounge and Hotel Lobby at the United Nations Plaza Hotel (now known as ONE UN New York), which is currently planned for reconstruction and where illegal exploratory demolition has reportedly begun. The remodeling plan has sparked outcry from...
Last July, the Beverly Hills City Council voted to modify the city’s historic preservation ordinance, thereby making it easier to demolish buildings that were at one point deemed “historic.” While the City Council understands this a mark of progress—allowing more real estate money, and therefore more revenue, to flow into the city—historically minded citizens believe the modification places architecturally and historically relevant buildings onto a very slippery slope... — LAist
The hotel plan by the Procaccianti Group Inc. [...] is being welcomed by construction-trades unions, city officials and surrounding business owners. But Ned Connors, an architect and historian of the Weybosset urban renewal project, says he will miss the Fogarty building.
It’s not ugly, he said, it’s just … different. At about 50 years old, he said the Fogarty building is in the most dangerous time in a structure's life: when it’s too old to be hip but too young to be venerated. — providencejournal.com
Sadly the architectural design of the proposed extended stay high-rise hotel that has been OKed by Providence City Council last December to replace the Fogarty building could not be any more generic and bland. What do you think, Archinectors? Do we have Providence locals here among our readers...
Brutalism lost the good fight in 2015. [...]
Demolition on another building by Johansen began late last year as well: Stage Theater, once known as the Mummers Theater, in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman‘s Steve Lackmeyer called the 1970 project the number-one modernist building in the city that should have been spared. [....] Preservationists had hoped to turn it into a children’s museum. Models of the building show what a delightful museum it might have made [...]. — citylab.com
Brutalike stories in the Archinect news:Orange County legislators fail to save Paul Rudolph's Government CenterArt college professor suggests makeover for brutalist Boston City HallBrutalism: the great architectural polarizerNew movement urges to call Brutalism 'Heroic' instead
Their biggest challenge was securing the house’s foundation....Other work included stabilizing the walls by injecting adhesive between the lath and plaster with a veterinarian’s needle and transforming a small bathroom into an elevator shaft — NYT
Jori Finkel profiles Carlie Wilmans founder of 500 Capp Street Foundation. The foundation was established to stabilize and preserve 500 Capp Street (exterior, interior, site-specific installations) in San Francisco, which was the longtime home and studio of the Conceptual artist David Ireland...
The company promised to “faithfully reproduce” several beloved artifacts in the lobby, including wall tapestries, paper lanterns and sliding doors, the lacquered furnishings and map of time zones...But those plans have done little to assuage the concerns of preservationists, many of whom contend that Tokyo is destroying its greatest postwar architectural assets to accommodate the 2020 Olympics and a recent surge in tourism. — The New York Times
The New York Times profiles the historic Hotel Okura Tokyo, which began reconstruction last September, much to the dismay of preservationists worldwide. The Times covers its modernist legacy and the pressures of the real estate and tourist market that Tokyo can't avoid.Previous news about the...
Bank buildings have become bars. Football grounds have been turned into prestige housing. All things must pass. Buildings that have outlived their purpose have no right to be preserved perpetually in a Prince Charles-style attempt to stop the clock on history. Sentimentality about an imagined past is a British disease. For all that, the emotional link between a building like the Washington Post’s and the people who once worked there will live on, for years to come. — theguardian.com
More pieces on the cultural history of demolished or renovated structures:Saving Buildings with Social Media (Or Not)The Folly of Saving What You Kill"Historic Status" won't protect against demolitionInteractive Decay
While some residents may be more concerned about their overflowing rubbish bins than maintaining ancient monuments, for many the survival of modern Rome will depend on the preservation of the past. — The Guardian
As Rome moves forward without a mayor, the city is taking on the restoration of both the Colosseum and the Porta Maggiore basilica while updating the modern city.More about Rome on Archinect:Was Rome really a "City of Marble"?A breakneck tour of contemporary architecture in RomeContemporary Art...
Alongside the companies shortlisted for the management services, four of the UK’s largest architectural practices have been shortlisted to provide architectural advice. The companies shortlisted are Allies & Morrison, BDP, Foster & Partners and HOK.
[...] The report, produced by Deloitte Real Estate, Aecom and HOK, stated that the major works would cost between £3.5bn and £5.7bn and take between five and 40 years to complete. — construction-manager.co.uk
The systematic destruction of Saudi Arabia is under way—in silence. Historic mosques, tombs, mausoleums, monuments and houses: more than 90% of the old quarters of the holiest cities of Islam has been razed to make room for a new urban landscape of hotels, shopping centres and apartment blocks. [...]
Construction works have already transformed Mecca and Medina into cities without a past, dominated by skyscrapers. — theartnewspaper.com
Built in 1780 and leveled in 2002 for the construction of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel complex, the Ottoman Ajyad Fortress is just one of many historic sites that are being destroyed and replaced by hotel towers, condo skyscrapers and parking lots. Related news on Archinect:More than...
When executives at Taco Bell found out that the Downey building that housed their first restaurant was at risk of being demolished, they ordered the store “to go.” The birthplace of the Mexican fast food chain, located on Firestone Boulevard, is up on rails and ready to roll. Founder Glen Bell built the mission style building in 1962 and on Thursday night at 10:30, store “Numero Uno” will begin the 45-mile ride to company headquarters in Irvine. — Los Angeles Magazine
The original Taco Bell was initially threatened with demolition back in January. For all the best coverage of food-related design, do check out:• Upstarts: Design, Bitches• A Journey from Architecture and Design to Gourmet Dog Food• How architects are redesigning schools that encourage kids...
Built in 1962, the People’s Bank has distinct glossy, off-teal bricks and a sawtooth, vaulted rooftop. The building is not only one of the finest remaining examples of Googie commercial architecture in Kentucky — it is one of the finest examples in the nation. However, after years of neglect, locals are working to ensure that the building isn’t leveled into a movie theater parking lot. — hyperallergic.com
Related in the Archinect news:Only one vote left before Marina City can become official city landmarkL.A. City Council Officially Votes Norms Restaurant as "Historic and Cultural Landmark"Has preservation become too conservative and elitist?
[Sara Zewde] argues that while the traditional monument commemorates a singular event or individual by placing an object in a space that is a break from its surroundings, the 400-year practice of African enslavement demands a different approach.
“For Afro-descended people, you wake up every day with the legacy of slavery,” she says. “How do you deal with that spatially?”
One approach is to translate cultural practices into spatial ones. — Next City
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