Friday, February 21, 2020

Architectural Digest suggests "The 11 Most Anticipated Buildings of 2020"

Nick Mafi at Architectural Digest writes on January 14, 2020:

"...[A]rchitecture is a medium meant to be experienced not through two-dimensional writing, but in everyday life. It’s through the craning of one's neck to take in the magnificence of a skyscraper such as New York’s Central Park Tower; or the almost indescribable individuality of Zaha Hadid Architects’ tower that features a gaping hole in its center; or the striking beauty that can be produced when modern and ancient architecture, as with MAD Architects' kindergarten in China, are juxtaposed next to each other. So, in 2020 and beyond, we at Architectural Digest urge you to go out and experience these spectacular structures that will be completed this year. Oftentimes, we can’t imagine the necessity of architecture until the project is completed and the landscape is altered for the better. We believe these 11 buildings will meet that high bar."

Friday, February 14, 2020

Draft of an executive order called “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” shocks many

Chicago Sun Times

"Future federal government buildings, he decrees, should look like those of ancient Rome, Greece and Europe."

Artdaily News
"The order, spearheaded by the National Civic Art Society, a nonprofit group that believes contemporary architecture has 'created a built environment that is degraded and dehumanizing,' would rewrite the current rules that govern the design of office buildings, headquarters, and courthouses, or any federal building project contracted through the General Services Administration that costs over $50 million.

“'For too long architectural elites and bureaucrats have derided the idea of beauty, blatantly ignored public opinions on style, and have quietly spent taxpayer money constructing ugly, expensive, and inefficient buildings,' Marion Smith, the society’s chairman, wrote in a text message. 'This executive order gives voice to the 99 percent--the ordinary American people who do not like what our government has been building.'"

The draft is a particularly blatant slap to Mid-Century Brutalism, agreeably a style that provokes heated debate between foes and passionate fans.  Needless to say this "draft" decree (which one can only hope is a boondoggle of the current administration) has sparked fierce opposition from groups like the Society for Architectural History.

Brutalist J. Edgar Hoover Building (1962-70) in Washington, DC (photo by Aude, CC BY-SA 3.0 via WikimediaCommons)

Monday, February 10, 2020

Turner Prize 2019--Everyone's a Winner!

Four Finalists for the 2019 prestigious Turner Prize (bestowed annually to a visual artist born in or based in Great Britain in recognition of an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of his or her work) will share the honor of winner in 2019!  Read more about the winners here!

The artists - Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cannock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani - said they wanted to send a message of togetherness in troubled political times.

“At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the Prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity - in art as in society,” they said.

The jury accepted their request, and all four nominees were given the award in a ceremony at Dreamland in Margate.

                                                 --The Telegraph,  "Turner Prize 2019: everyone's a winner as nominees ask to share award 'at time of political crisis in Britain'," Anita Singh, 3 December, 2019