Inga Saffron, the resident architecture critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer, has won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, the Pulitzer jury announced at Columbia University, where the awards ceremony will take place in May, and on its website on Monday. She receives journalism’s highest honor after prior nominations in 2004, 2008, and 2009, for her “criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise,” explains the jury in its citation. When asked yesterday by Philly.com how she felt upon learning of her triumph, Saffron humbly remarked “shocked,” before going on to say: “I’m excited for tomorrow, when I’ll be done cooking.” Saffron got wind of her accomplishment while trying to leave the Inquirer offices to prepare Passover dinner for 10, when coworkers crowded around her desk with congratulations yesterday afternoon, reports Philly.com. (more…)
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The Museum of Modern Art will begin demolition work within the next two weeks on its beleaguered 53rd St. neighbor, the Tod Williams Billie Tsien-designed former American Folk Art Museum building, reports the Art Newspaper. The Museum filed plans with the New York City Department of Buildings last week, for a partial demolition and other construction work, to the sum of $1.6 million. Building crews will begin to erect scaffolding in front of the AFAM building today, a process that MoMA expects to finish within two weeks’ time. After that, it will be time to pay last respects to the idiosyncratic building — an “obstinate” structure that could not be altered to fit MoMA’s needs for new exhibition space, as per Liz Diller’s assessment of the AFAM building at the #MoMAconvo on January 28, when Diller Scofidio + Renfro and MoMA publicly explained the joint decision to demolish the building. The demolition work will be complete by early summer, a MoMA spokeswoman told The Art Newspaper. (more…)
It’s tiny, it rolls around, and it seems to achieve the impossible. The Pocket Printer sounds a lot like the Little Engine That Could — but is this miniature robotic printer really more efficient than the usual desktop variety?
A small but committed group of protesters that briefly included New York State Senator Liz Krueger gathered in front of the historic Rizzoli Bookstore at 31 W. 57th St. in Manhattan this morning, on the shop’s last day of business. Rizzoli is being evicted from its home of 29 years, on a stretch that’s fast becoming New York City’s gold coast, with five luxury residential skyscrapers currently under development or construction around the Central Park South environs. The structures were purchased by developers Vornado Realty Trust and the LeFrak Organization in 2006, and Community Board 5 filed their first petition to the Landmarks Preservation Commission the following year. Rizzoli’s six-story 1919 building and the two adjacent structures failed to gain historic landmark status, despite several further pleas from Community Board 5 and preservationist group Save Rizzoli to the LPC — a final, last-minute petition was filed to the commission earlier this week and dismissed — to save the buildings at 29, 31, and 33 W. 57th St. (more…)
“I love architecture. I’m very involved in architecture,” billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad tells Los Angeles Magazine during an interview that reads like a love letter to the city and its definitive new buildings. “I can think of no city which, within three blocks, has such great architecture: MOCA, designed by Arata Isozaki; Disney Hall, by Frank Gehry; the cathedral, by Rafael Moneo; the arts high school, by Wolf Prix.” His paean to Grand Avenue, the city’s downtown cultural strip which is about to undergo a Gehry-designed master plan, will only get grander come 2015, when the Broad Art Museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro opens across the street from Disney Hall.
“I’m very happy with the building we’re doing with Elizabeth Diller at the Broad Museum. She’s a great architect, and we’re getting along famously,” he tells the magazine. Not so with others — “With regards to Disney Hall, Frank Gehry had a contract as a design architect. He wasn’t supposed to get involved in construction.” Without pause, Broad assures his interviewer: “We’re great friends now.” [Los Angeles Magazine]
— Anna Kats (@fortunaviriliis)
Photo by Jae C. Hong.
Grigory Revzin, an architectural historian, critic, and author of Russian Architecture at the Turn of the 21st Century, was fired from his post as commissioner of the Russian pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale on Monday, reports Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant. “The Ministry of Culture just called to inform me that this morning, Minister [of Culture] Vladimir Medinsky personally decided to fire me… There are three months left until the Biennale. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next,” Revzin wrote on Facebook. He also suggested that the decree is a response to an article Revzin penned on March 2 in opposition to Russia’s recent political machinations in Ukraine, ahead of its annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Though the Ministry of Culture has yet to confirm that it fired Revzin — or why — the dismissal comes in the midst of a state crackdown on domestic opposition journalists and media outlets. (more…)
The numbers are in and the results are a bit surprising: MoMA’s “Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light” was the most-attended architecture exhibition in the world in 2013, reports the Architect’s Newspaper. The retrospective, curated by outgoing Chief Curator of Architecture Barry Bergdoll, drew 438,680 total viewers from March 10 to June 24 — 4,100 unique visitors per day, according to statistics compiled by The Art Newspaper. For comparison, the museum’s much-hyped Le Corbusier retrospective welcomed 405,000 visitors during its three-month run, a total of 4,010 a day; guest-curated by Jean-Louis Cohen, the MoMA retrospective was the first comprehensive survey of Corbusier’s oeuvre staged in North America. Contemporary audiences were slightly more moved by Labrouste’s experiments with Neoclassical forms and public space than by Corbusier’s lifelong interest in landscape, but both shows placed among the top 50 most-attended exhibitions of any kind worldwide for 2013. Pedro Gadanho’s curatorial debut at MoMA, “9+1 Ways of Being Political,” takes third place among architecture shows, with 2,594 visitors a day over the course of its eight-month run. MoMA may have dominated architecture shows in 2013, but 2014 promises different results: Last year’s fourth most popular architecture show, “Lebbeus Woods: Architect” at SFMOMA (2,287 visitors a day) opens at New York’s Drawing Center on April 17. [The Architect's Newspaper]
— Anna Kats (@fortunaviriliis)
Image courtesy of MoMA.
During Milan’s mega trade show Salone del Mobile, Gothenburg-based Swedish handmade rug company Henzel Studio is teasing its new “Henzel Studio Collaborations, Volume #1,” a collection of rugs by an impressive roster of designers: Anselm Reyle, assume vivid astro focus, Scott Campbell, Leo Gabin, Robert Knoke, Helmut Lang, Linder, Marilyn Minter, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Juergen Teller, and Mickalene Thomas. Each richly textured piece has been woven in Nepal using centuries-old traditional techniques.
Talk about winging it: architect David Hertz, partner at the Studio for Environmental Architecture in Los Angeles, took on an unprecedented challenge by building a residence in the Santa Monica Mountains out of a discarded Boeing 747. “Standing on the property, I imagined a floating roof overhanging the site to allow unobstructed views,” he tells Blueprint Magazine. Asked by client Francine Rehwald to create a building of curvilinear forms that embraces views of the surrounding ocean, mountainside, and sky, Hertz — seasoned in adaptive re-use and repurposing industrial waste — developed an unorthodox solution. After dismembering the decommissioned plane, Hertz used its limbs to construct parts of the home’s roof, interior, and guesthouse. (more…)
Learn the genesis of his career in just two minutes.
After a particularly bad episode of bullying in the fourth grade, Charles Renfro told his mother he didn’t want to go to school anymore. “She asked me what I wanted to do, and I said ‘I want to go look at buildings’,” he says in the latest installment of “What Made Me,” a series of video shorts by T Magazine. Rather than send him back to class, Renfro’s mother obliged; she took him on a two-week tour of downtown Houston’s architecture, from Philip Johnson’s Bank of America Center to “kind of ridiculous commercial developments.” The tour struck a chord with 8-year-old Renfro, and turned out to be that formative (and heartwarming) moment that led to his becoming a principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro. See the full video here.
— Janelle Zara (@janellezara)
Image via Azure