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
This week on the podcast, I speak with Jens Bertelsen – a Danish architect specializing in historic preservation, who since 2011 has called himself "The Queen's Architect." Bertelsen’s official title under the Danish monarch (Queen Margrethe II) translates to something like “Royal Building...
The effect is a curious one, as if a voluptuous society beauty has opened her mouth to smile at you, only to reveal a thin row of rotting teeth. [...]
Depressingly, the numpties and panjandrums who sit on Edinburgh city council have squandered the opportunity to heal the wounds of the past. [...]
What is it with this city, whose custodians, over centuries, seem to be ashamed of having so much natural beauty bestowed upon it and constantly seek ways to diminish it? — Kevin McKenna via theguardian.com
That’s why a team from the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) is turning to the next best option—using technology to protect cultural heritage.
Founded in 2012 by Roger Michel, IDA is a joint effort between Harvard University and Oxford University to create an open-source database of high-resolution images and three-dimensional graphics of things like paper and papyrus documents, epigraphs and small artifacts.
Work on what IDA has named the Million Image Database began in early 2015. — newsweek.com
The photo shows the Baal Shamin temple prior to its destruction. Volunteers of the Institute for Digital Archaeology were able to digitally archive the 2,000-year-old structure for the Million Image Database project just in time before ISIS fighters seized control of Palmyra's historic...
It’s a reminder that decommunisation is a project which might actually be physically impossible to execute in full, which hopefully begs the question — if Soviet Ukraine can't be wished away, what should be conserved, and what should be rejected? [...]
The nationalist purging of any traces of socialism from the landscape is a fool’s errand at best, gross historical revisionism at worst. — calvertjournal.com
Related on Archinect:Owen Hatherley on the mass housing history of Moscow’s suburbsMoscow skaters reclaiming hidden spaces on top of Soviet-era buildingsParadise lost? The enduring legacy of a Soviet-era utopian workers’ district
Julia Ingalls highlighted the work of Design Build Research (DBR), based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Currently a non-profit institute led by architect Michael Green and creative entrepreneur Scott Hawthorn, one of the earliest projects was building a theater when TED headquarters’ moved...
I would like to argue that a more potent threat to the ongoing political viability of historic preservation is the perception that the preservation industry has become a conservative, indeed revanchist force; that it is elitist and sometimes even racist in its abetment of gentrification.
How did this happen?
Historic preservation in New York, according to the favored creation myth, was born in the postwar era as a progressive grassroots movement... — Places Journal
"One of the problems with house museums is you keep kind of circling back to the same people who come….Eventually they are going to die and there's going to be no one coming to your parties," [says Franklin] Vagnone [the executive director of New York City's Historic House Trust].
He wants nothing less than to revive interest in the house museum.
Museums don't need to think about "changing the color of their garment…what they need to do is completely change their outfit..." — Curbed
I confess that I feel the sort of ambivalence toward the James R. Thompson Center as I did toward Prentice Women's Hospital: I do understand why people want to raze it, I don't find it pretty, I understand the functional problems.
But all the same, I believe the Thompson Center should be saved.
[...] Chicago remains full of examples of money and vision coming together to create wonderful buildings. — chicagobusiness.com
residents are taking aim at the disruption caused by construction, the uprooting of cherished institutions, the buildings’ designs and the ever-higher prices attached to the housing that they fear will alter neighborhoods fundamentally. — NYT
C. J. Hughes examines how some NYC residents are reacting to an ongoing boom in construction, enabled/exemplified by the rezoning of 37 percent of the city under the Bloomberg administration. From filing noise complaints, pushing for height moratoriums, to fighting against the loss of public...
Tokyo’s venerable Hotel Okura is getting a remake, starting next week.
Over the course of the past 53 years since its opening on May 20, 1962, the Okura, located in Toranomon, has earned an unsurpassed reputation both at home and abroad as a luxury hotel to represent Japan.
The hotel said in a statement that it will maintain the Japanese traditional aesthetics and the basics of the architecture style of Hotel Okura. — japantoday.com
Previously on Archinect:As the Okura says sayonara, Tokyo doesn't seem to care muchFarewell to the Old OkuraAnd before the wrecking ball ends an era of Japanese 1960s Modernism to make way for the new, shiny, 41-story, $836M Okura Hotel, here a few more impressions of all its glory on the way...
These are confusing times in the business of protecting the country’s architectural heritage. [...]
Recently, two large modernist buildings were up for consideration for listing: the British Library in St Pancras, and an East End council estate, Robin Hood Gardens. Both have been controversial [...]
Yet the library has been granted the immortality of a Grade I listing, while the estate has been denied recognition and is set to be demolished. — theguardian.com
Related on Archinect:Robin Hood Gardens residents dare Lord Rogers to spend a night in the blighted estateRobin Hood Gardens Set For DemolitionPostmodern No 1 Poultry divides architects in debate over recent heritage
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