Good morning, architects. Right around this time of year, a pitch like the Drive-Through Airport starts to make sense. Normally it wouldn't. The Drive-Through Airport reconsidering the hub-and-spokes model of most every airport on the planet, plucking the spokes from the hub and then centralizing them in one parking-garagelike structure. Every one terminal becomes three terminals, with the jobs of a terminal (departure, service, and arrival) reinvested across three terminals (thus making the airport terminals a kind of factory floor). It invokes both vertical and horizontal expansion. But any 'port in a storm, right? During the holiday travel season, it seems beyond obvious that the entire airport concept needs re-thinking, especially before I miss my connection at DFW.
DESIGNING DESIGNLAB. At Metropolis, editor Susan S. Szenasy interviews the Boston-based firm DesignLab, the firm that renovated the Claire T. Carney Library, designed by Paul Rudolph for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She follows up on a story in The Boston Globe that praises the firm for successfully rescuing the Brutalist building without holding any part of it reverent. Which means that they punched out walls, added windows, and introduced other features that appear to make the project more viable according to contemporary tastes (for example, aiming for LEED certification). In so doing, the DesignLab architects discovered there was much to admire in Rudolph's bones.
BEHIND THE KICKS. Lee Bey of WBEZ in Chicago says that one of the high-rise shoe designs that Oscar Niemeyer did for Converse is inspired by the "unbuilt anti-torture monument he designed in Rio de Janeiro." Whatever they are, the Niemeyer kicks are only available in Brazil, for the time being.
BEST OF BEST OFs. Over at L.A. Weekly, Wendy Gilmartin runs down the top 10 architecture stories from Los Angeles; Gilmartin gives the top nod to a controversy over a 12-acre downtown plot that culminated in Grand Park. Christopher Hume has another best-of-2012 list for Toronto for The Toronto Star, and he lists several buildings, including First Canadian Place, whose white marble cladding was replaced and reskinned with white ceramic.
...AND REMAINDERS. An artist turns a Southern California highway underpass into the underbelly of a Western Diamondback... The Razorbacks get the nod from DesignIntelligence... Grand Rapids, Mich., architect Greg Metz, AIA, is bullish on Michigan's economy... Thomas Heatherwick leads the Architects' Journal poll for biggest personality of 2012.