Another month, another wounded architect. This time, it isn’t due to the recession resentments of Spanish leftists, it’s conservative Washingtonians who want a monument to Dwight Eisenhower that’s lot more conventional than the one proposed by Frank Gehry. They don’t seem to like any of the “isms” of the past century or so. We find out who wins this coming Friday.
03.06.12 in architects
Architect / protaganist: Gehry Partners
[ Old Treasury Building, Melbourne. Gil Meydan ]
Is this a sign of things to come? As austerity measures dig in, are “los indignados” of Spain wondering about the money that fed a cultural building boom? Where complex buildings were designed by foreign architects, who didn’t seem to know that their hefty fees were being added to the country’s debt.
14.05.12 in practice
Architect / protaganist: Santiago Calatrava
30.04.12 in forum
I finally got to the William Kentridge exhibition at ACMI last weekend, with a friend. It closes at the end of May. It is worth every cent. Etchings and drawings of characters in his films take up most of the space. He has a particular way with blotchy skin that reminds me of the late Lucian Freud’s work. The self portraits – William as “Felix” and “Solo” – move about within ghost like bubbles that remind me a bit of one of Freud’s models, Sunshine boy Leigh Bowery.
10.04.12 in galleries
04.04.12 in competitions
Architect / protaganist: Denton Corker Marshall [DCM]
This morning’s Background Briefing on RN examined the flaws in home energy rating systems. The show was unsurprising: they found many houses with low ratings and high performance, and vice versa. No prizes for guessing that architect-designed green homes suffered in the ratings department for not under-glazing, and not air-conditioning. The software wasn’t designed to be used like this and it encourages a conformity of design that suits standard project homes. From my experience, it is a bit of a lottery what the software will think of a custom-designed house.
01.04.12 in sustainability
It was my first journey into the 26 year old Dulux colour awards. This is one of several industry awards in architecture, and this one now covers New Zealand also, so it was a big event. I have to admit the main reason I went along was that it was in the Regent Theatre, which I had never ventured into before, musicals not being my thing. The basement ballroom is a hidden Melbourne treasure, giant in scale, yet detailed to the umpteenth degree in 1920s exoticist splendour. Hundreds of ceiling panels, each individually painted. A late nod to the Marriner Group for bringing this beauty back from rat-infestedness.
28.03.12 in awards
Hyundai Australia has just published an e-book covering their six blogger-lead tours around Sydney and Melbourne in August last year. I was one of them, and get a double page spread, thankfully with no mugshot. They seemed to like the Ashton Raggat McDougall buildings I showed them the most. Click the image below to view the book.
25.03.12 in books
22.02.12 in films
Architect / protaganist: McBride Charles Ryan
The National Mutual tower in Collins Street (Godfrey & Spowers, Hughes, Mewton and Lobb) lost a marble facade tile today, clearing the plaza 10 storeys below. The Age has more, mistakenly referring to a fallen ‘concrete slab’, a scary thought.
30.01.12 in buildings
30.11.11 in video-clips
The Australia Council yesterday announced its shortlist for the Venice pavilion competition. As expected, they are playing it safe, with just a couple of smallish practices. Given the level of discontent surrounding the competition, it’s surprising and provocative of them to play it this safe. It’s the competition you have when you’re not having a competition. All blokes who graduated before 1986, so a total lack of Gen X, Y or Z, or XX chromosomes. Of the 67 expressions of interest, the jury of five chose:
24.11.11 in buildings
John Gollings, Philip Goad, Vanessa Bird, and Alan Saunders spoke at a forum at the State Library of Victoria in July 2011. The transcript and audio are now available. Here’s a snippet.