Just as designers have reacted to the death sentence of Ted Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building, forming petitions and a tumblr (#FolkMoMA), architecture critics have also been wielding their weapon – words – and entering the fray.
Most critics have responded with outrage (it’s “nothing less than cultural vandalism” says Martin Filler), denouncing MoMA’s prioritization of corporate needs over cultural value. However, a few are actually defending MoMA’s decision, saying the building was never ideal for displaying art anyway. See a round-up of all the opinions – from Davidson to Goldberger – after the break…
Among the many ironies of the MoMA’s decision to demolish Ted Williams and Billie Tsien’s 12-year old building for the American Folk Art Museum, is the most obvious: as a cultural institution, the MoMA is meant to value and protect, not demolish, architecture.
Critics such as Justin Davidson and Martin Filler have pointed out that the irony is particularly acute considering the MoMA’s “distinguished” and “revivified” department of architecture and design, curated by Barry Bergdoll. They note that Bergdoll, who they both praise highly as “visionary”, has remained conspicuously silent on the decision. Davidson even claims that the MoMA can only appreciate such innovative “individuality [such as Bergdoll's] under glass.”
LEESER Architecture’s design for the Museum of Moving Image has recently been announced as the winner of the 2013 Red Dot Design Award in its highly competitive Architecture and Urban Design category. Completed in 2011, the Museum of the Moving Image houses a comprehensive collection dedicated to educating the public about the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media.The existing structure is seamlessly integrated with the substantial new addition through a grand lobby which connects the two. More information on their award after the break.
A 1970 graduate of Cooper Union‘s architecture program, world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind will be delivering ‘The Art of Memory’ lecture, a free event, on Tuesday, April 30th, at 6:00pm. The master planner for Ground Zero and the architect of one of Europe’s most visited museums, the Jewish Museum Berlin, will discuss the role that memory played in his work on those projects and others, such as the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, England; the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany; and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. He will also talk about the acute sense of responsibility he feels, when accepting commissions for projects addressing Jewish history, to create work that honors not only the harsh realities, but also the resilience of the Jewish spirit. For more information, please visit here.
As his website reveals, Hancock “panics that he may not be able to draw everything in the world… at least once.” Since Kindergarten, he’s been obsessed with drawing in meticulous detail (or, as he tells the Atlantic Cities, with a mix of “technicality and whimsy”), a characteristic this native Australian brought with him when he moved to Brooklyn, New York.
What began as a blog, All The Buildings In New York, to keep track of his many sketches of New York’s architecture (particularly the brownstones), is now a book (All The Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far - which includes about 500 drawings). Organized by neighborhoods, it features New York architectural icons from the past and present, including the Chrysler Building, the Flatiron, Apple’s 5th Avenue store, as well as the everyday buildings that make up New York’s unique cityscape.
See more images from All the Buildings in New York, after the break…
Claire Weisz, AIA, founding principal of WXY and a frequently cited expert source on waterfront design, will be speaking on the topic “Ecological Barriers: Holding Sea Levels at Bay” with a panel at 6:00pm on April 25 in New York City. A leading advocate for post-Hurricane Sandy infrastructure design, Weisz’s firm is known for such waterfront projects as the East River Blueway, a planned reconstruction of miles of Manhattan water’s edge, as well as Transmitter Park, Rockaway Park, Sherman Creek Waterfront, and Battery Park.
Sponsored by Urban Green Council and hosted by The Mohawk Group, panelists will discuss paradigms and solutions for rising global sea levels, including barriers and heavily engineered infrastructure vs. “soft” coastal edges, such as restored wetlands. For more information, please visit here.
New York’s City Council have unanimously backed a proposed plan to restore and redevelop the aging giant that is Pier 57. Built in 1952, the 300,000 square foot pier was hailed by Popular Mechanics as a ‘SuperPier’ for its vast size and unconventional construction, as most of the pier’s weight is supported by ‘floating’ air-filled concrete cassions. The pier was originally used as a bus depot by the New York City Transit Authority, however it has been lying vacant since 2003. The latest decision brings a concrete end to years of speculation as to what the fate of the pier would be.
Read more about the proposal after the break…
“There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.” – Billie Tsien, quoted in The New York Times
After only 12 years, the Tod Williams & Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum is slated to be demolished. Despite the acclaim it has received from critics, including high praise from the likes of Paul Goldberger and Herbert Muschamp, and the importance it has been given in New York’s architectural landscape, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, which bought the building in 2011) reports that it must tear down the building to make way for an imminent expansion.
At the time of its construction, the building was of the first new museums built in New York in over thirty years. Unfortunately, the building will more likely be remembered for its short life, taking, in the words of The New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, “a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan.”
Taking place April 11-12 in New York, the Facades+ Performance Symposium will focus on cutting through the jargon to consider the heart of high performance building envelopes. Presented by The Architect’s Newspaper and enclos, they recently announced that an additional workshop will take place on Friday, April 12. This workshop will focus on the fundamental concepts and workflows for creating performance-based design models with the parametric design tool, Grasshopper for Rhino3D. Using Grasshopper, participants will be guided through a series of exercises designed to emphasize the relevant applications of parametric design for professional practice. To sign up, and for more information on the two-day event, please visit here. A video can be viewed after the break.
Whole Foods has teamed up with New York’s local organic grower, Gotham Greens, to build the first commercial-scale greenhouse attached to a supermarket. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, expected to open in Brooklyn this Fall, will provide locally grown produce year-round to nine Whole Foods stores in New York City area.
Organized by New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (nycobaNOMA), lighting designer Abhay Wadhwa, founder and design principal of AWA Lighting Designers, will speak about Contextualizing Light: The Impact of Culture and Climate on Lighting Design at the 2013 Design Talk. AWA Lighting Designers are known for their architectural lighting designs nationally and internationally and were just featured in the Index Furniture Journal’s January-February 2013 issue. The event will take place at the Mohawk Showroom in New York City on April 18th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. For more information, please visit here.
As part of Season of Cambodia, a multidisciplinary arts festival taking place this spring in New York City, Parsons The New School for Design and Cambodian Living Arts will be presenting a two-day colloquium titled, ‘Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York’. Taking place April 6-7, the event will bring together artists, performers, curators, arts managers, scholars and students in a series of facilitated workshops and discussions on how to make the arts central to a sustainable future in Cambodia, in the face of rapid growth and urban development. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, please visit here.
Prefabrication has long been heralded as a possible way to infill New York’s vacant sites; however, it has only recently become a solid practical solution rather than an experimental concept. Riding the crest of the wave of new prefabricated housing is GLUCK+ (formerly Peter Gluck & Partners), in collaboration with developers Jeffrey Brown and Kimberly Frank. Together they have begun construction on one of New York’s first prefabricated steel and concrete residential buildings.
Read more about this and New York’s recent wave of prefabricated buildings after the break…
Presented by The Architectural League of New York, the Wang Shu lecture is coming up this Tuesday, April 2nd, at The Cooper Union at 7:00pm. The 2012 Pritzker laureate will be discussing his current work and how Amateur Architecture Studio, founded by him and wife Lu Wenyu, incorporates his knowledge of everyday techniques to adapt and transform materials for contemporary projects. Some of his most important built works include the Library of Wenzheng College, Suzhou University; Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum; the Xiangshan Campus of the China Academy of Art; and the Ningbo History Museum. For more information, please visit here.
Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial plans to rezone midtown New York, allowing for bigger and bolder skyscrapers, has found an unlikely ally in the form of environmentalists.
Re-zoning midtown would ultimately lead to the demolition of the corporate steel and glass skyscrapers, which preservationists argue are emblematic of the cutting edge modernism that swept 1950′s America. However, landlords contest that – for the most part – they are poorly built copycats of seminal landmarks such as the Seagram and Lever buildings and are not particularly significant or suited for modern needs.
More information after the break..
Selected for this year’s Emerging Voices of the Architectural League of New York, PRODUCTORA of Mexico City will be delivering a lecture this Thursday, March 28th, at 7:00pm at the Scholastic Auditorium. PRODUCTORA was selected for their distinct design voice and their potential to influence architecture on a global scale. Being named an Emerging Voice is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture, and the program has an excellent thirty year track record of identifying and nurturing firms that go on to have influential practices.
Other winning firms included in this year’s selection are Cao-Perrot Studio of Los Angeles and Paris, DIGSAU of Philadelphia, dlandstudio of Brooklyn, Gracia Studio of Tijuana and San Diego, MASS Design Group of Boston and Kigali, Rwanda, Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects of San Francisco, and SO-IL of New York City. For more information on the event, please visit here.
nARCHITECTS is designing a cultural education complex for the Wyckoff House Museum in Brooklyn on the site of New York‘s oldest house. The Wyckoff House has an immense history as it was the first landmark designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1968. nARCHITECTS’s educational complex will act as a portal between its present day environment and historical site. Due to its exceptional spatial and temporal intervention, the design was recently awarded an AIA New York Design Merit Award.
The Woolworth Building @ 100 Exhibtion, taking place at the Skyscraper Museum in New York City until July 14, 2013, celebrates its centennial year in the process of conversion, with office space remaining below and luxury residences planned for the upper tower. Still radiant on the lower Manhattan skyline, the landmark heralds both the past and future of New York as it became the preeminent silhouette on the New York skyline and took the title of world’s tallest office building in 1913 when eighty thousand incandescent bulbs illuminated the New York night. The brilliant spectacle was a career-crowning achievement for the tower’s owner, the five-and-dime store king Frank W. Woolworth, who paid for the skyscraper with his personal fortune and took a hands-on role in every decision of its design. For more information on the event, please visit here.