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Historic Preservation: The Latest Architecture and News

RSHP Reveals Design for New Museum Woven into the Existing Urban ‘Tapestry’ of Bayeux, France

RSHP has unveiled the urban and architectural design for the new Bayeux Tapestry Museum. The intervention is created to house and display the Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered cloth measuring 70 meters in length and depicting the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. The almost 1000 years-old artifact is also included in UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” list. The project proposes a contemporary extension of the 17th-century seminary where the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux is located.

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Bologna's 12th Century 'Leaning Tower' Set to Undergo Extensive Restorations after Fear of Collapse

Bologna officials announced plans to secure and repair the leaning Garisenda Tower, a medieval structure in the center of the Italian city. Earlier last month, the area surrounding the tower was secured after raising fears of collapse, as monitoring has found shifts in the direction of the tilt. The 47-meter-tall tower leans at a four-degree angle, similar to its more famous counterpart, Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Garisenda Tower has been a defining feature of Bologna’s skyline along with its neighboring Asinelli Tower, which is around twice the height and also leans, though at a smaller angle, and is usually open for tourists to climb.

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Theaster Gates Receives the 2023 Vincent Scully Prize

The National Building Museum announced that Theaster Gates will be the 25th recipient of the Vincent Scully Prize. Initiated in 1999, the award serves as a recognition of excellence in the fields of design, architecture, historic preservation, urban design, encompassing practice, and criticism. Theaster Gates is an artist internationally renowned for his interdisciplinary blend of social performance, urban regeneration, and cultural activations.

How the YIMBY-NIMBY Debate Worsened the Housing Crisis

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

For the past three decades, YIMBYs and NIMBYs have been fighting pitched battles across the U.S. for the heart and soul of future development, but the housing crisis has only grown worse, especially since the crash of 2008, which changed so many things on the supply side.

This was followed a dozen years later by 2020, the strangest year of our lifetimes, which made those supply-side challenges even more pronounced. The roots of the problem, however, go back further than that, with mistakes made as long as 75 years ago now being repeated by completely new generations. Failure to understand those errors—and even why they are errors and not good practice—will perpetuate and exacerbate today’s crisis into future generations.

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Bez+Kock Architekten and Koeber Landschaftsarchitektur Win First Prize in International Competition for Carthage Museum

Bez+Kock Architekten and Koeber Landschaftsarchitektur have won the competition for the Requalification of the Acropole of Byrsa and Rehabilitation of the National Museum of Carthage in Tunis project. An international jury, led by Alberto Veiga of Barozzi Veiga in Barcelona, has awarded the first prize to the studios based in Stuttgart, Germany, out of 94 design submissions for the competition.

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George Smart on Why Documentation Is Such a Powerful Preservation Tool

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

George Smart is an unlikely preservationist, almost an accidental one. The founder and executive director of USModernist, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and documentation of modern houses, Smart worked for 30 years as a management consultant. “I was doing strategic planning and organization training,” he says. “My wife refers to this whole other project as a 16-year seizure.” Recently I spoke with Smart about his two websites, the podcast, the house tours his organization conducts, and why documentation is such a power preservation tool.

Brutalism: The Architecture Style We Love to Love

It’s true that all trends are circular, and what was once seen as old and outdated becomes new and modern again- in fashion, music, art, and especially architecture. From the mid 20th century, brutalist architecture rose in popularity before reaching its peak in the mid-1970s, when it was disregarded for being too stylistic and non-conforming to the needs of clients who wanted their buildings to feel timeless. But the love for these concrete beasts is facing a resurgence, and a renewed appreciation for this architectural style is on the rise.

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The Historic Center of Odesa, in Ukraine, Added to UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger List

The World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the Historic Center of the Port City Odesa, Ukraine, on the World Heritage List. The decision symbolizes the recognition of the outstanding value of the site and the commitment of the 194 States Party of the Convention not to undertake any deliberate step that may damage it and to help protect it. The site has also been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, which gives it access to international financial or technical assistance to ensure its protection and, if necessary, assist in its rehabilitation, according to UNESCO.

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On Community Preservation with Vishaan Chakrabarti in Urban Roots Podcast

Urbanist, architect, and professor Vishaan Chakrabarti talked in Urban Roots about preservation, his backstory, and his studio projects around the USA. Hosted by Vanessa M. Quirk, journalist, producer, and Deqah Hussein, historic preservationist and urban planner, in this episode, the founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism PAU discusses the seismic shift happening in preservation and planning: a move away from conserving historic buildings towards communities. The interview is part of a series of 15 episodes that deep dive into little-known stories from urban history to conceptualize what shaped our communities.

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Theodore Prudon: ‘Modernism Has Never Been a Popular Movement’

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Theodore Prudon, the founding president of Docomomo US, recently stepped down as the organization’s head. (Robert Meckfessel is the new president.) “Docomomo” is shorthand for the group’s mission: the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the Modern movement. Prudon has had a storied career as a preservationist, architect, and educator, heading his own practice and teaching at Columbia University. In October, he was presented with the Connecticut Architecture Foundation’s Distinguished Leadership Award at the newly reborn Marcel Breuer building in New Haven, which began its life in 1970 as the Pirelli Tire Building and is now the Hotel Marcel (designed, planned, and developed by architect Bruce Redman Becker).

Snøhetta Renovates the French Natural History Museum Of Lille

The Natural History Museum Of Lille in France will undertake a significant architectural transformation for its 200th anniversary. Snøhetta, selected to restore and modernize the complex, with a transdisciplinary team featuring the scenographer Adeline Rispal and the landscape architects of Taktyk, imagines a renovation that will support the city's ambition to combine urban renewal with the preservation of the city's historic architecture. Planned for completion in 2025 and with a total of 7,500 m², the restoration will accommodate flexible exhibition areas, more extensive storage, and gardens.

New Green Spaces Don’t Have to Lead to Gentrification

Decades of redlining and urban renewal, rooted in racist planning and design policies, created the conditions for gentrification to occur in American cities. But the primary concern with gentrification today is displacement, which primarily impacts marginalized communities shaped by a history of being denied access to mortgages. At the ASLA 2021 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Nashville, Matthew Williams, ASLA, with the City of Detroit’s planning department, said in his city there are concerns that new green spaces will increase the market value of homes and “price out marginalized communities.” But investment in green space doesn’t necessarily need to lead to displacement. If these projects are led by marginalized communities, they can be embraced.

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Grand Egyptian Museum Gives Historic Artifacts a Modern Context

Designed by Irish architecture firm Heneghan Peng, the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum devoted entirely to Egyptology is set to open this summer, sitting on the edge of the Giza Plateau, 2 km away from the Pyramids. Considered as the largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization, the cultural complex will accommodate about 100,000 ancient artifacts, and will include 24,000m² of permanent exhibition space, a children’s museum, conference facilities, educational areas, a conservation center, and extensive gardens inside and around the museum's plan.

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