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Today's News - August 10, 2004

Gdansk opens international competition for Elizabethan Theater. -- As promised: Everyone has something to say about Holyrood, including a touching walk-through with Tagliabue, and Jenks warning "Architecture has to be defended against intimidation by the ignorant." -- Suburban retailers moving into downtowns with decidedly "anti-urban gestures." -- Pedestrian- and neighborhood-friendly parking lots - now there's a concept (and long over-due). -- Developer given nod for L.A.'s Grand Avenue (with wise words of caution from development watchers). -- An ex-New Yorker learns to love L.A. -- A starchitect shortlist for Kansas City project (no, not the stadium). -- McDonald's chickens out on potential great design and opts for "bloated piece of nostalgia" in Chicago. -- "Libeskind pragmatist or falling icon?" -- An "exuberant" futurist city hall faces the wrecking ball (great pix not in article: www.rmarch.net/fremont.htm). -- Concrete learns new tricks.

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Call for Entries: International competition to design the Elizabethan Theatre in Gdansk, Poland; application deadline: September 15, 2004 [Polish/English]- Theatrum Gedanense Foundation

Holyrood: The Verdict. From the outside it is all curved lines and windows. But what is the parliament like inside? And was all the money worth it? Four experts on buildings give their opinion on Enric Miralles’s creation. - Deyan Sudjic; David Stillman/Flack and Kurtz; Professor Isi Metzstein; Charles McKean- Sunday Herald (Scotland)

Built to endure: Quote...incontrovertible facts to Tagliabue, who has been the lead architect on the [Holyrood] project since her husband’s untimely death...and she replies, "Maybe it was not thought accurately as to how much it would cost, but it’s fantastic to have it..." EMBT/Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue- The Scotsman (UK)

Was It Worth It? After six years, interventions, delays...resignations and an inquiry...will the new Holyrood complex ever live down its difficult birth? Architecture has to be defended against intimidation by the ignorant. By Charles Jenks- Sunday Herald (Scotland)

Holyrood inquiry ‘will lead to boring buildings’ warns architecture critic [Jenks]: Fraser investigation into cost missed the point- Sunday Herald (Scotland)

One foot in the door: Amazingly, despite the project’s troubled history - plus a few broken toilets, dodgy phones and false fire alarms - the place [Holyrood] seemed to be working nicely. So far.- The Scotsman (UK)

[Holyrood] Parliament builders play Father Christmas: ...it was not just the builders, architects and accountants who benefited. - Bovis Lend Lease- Sunday Herald (Scotland)

Character assassination: Suburban retailers' influx poses a threat to the experience of city neighborhoods... Downtown shopping malls are dramatically anti-urban gestures... Retailers should understand they have a responsibility to the street... By Justin Davidson- NY Newsday

A little landscaping can change a lot: Now there's a novel idea: a parking lot that's kind to pedestrians. Just think how many of our worst urban eyesores could be transformed with that approach. By Whitney Gould - Caren Connolly- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

New York Developer Chosen to Make Grand Ave. Grander: Civic leaders select Related Cos. to create a $1.2-billion centerpiece for downtown L.A....other words of caution from some who watch downtown development closely. - Thom Mayne/Morphosis; David Childs/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill- Los Angeles Times

It's All Related: Los Angeles City and County authority gave the nod to New York’s The Related Companies as prospective developer [of] downtown’s Grand Avenue. - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Morphosis; Elkus/Manfredi Architects Ltd.; Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd.; Levin & Associates Architects; Suisman Urban Design; etc.- The Slatin Report

Lessons of L.A.: How a New Yorker Learned to Love La-La Land: The assignment [for Oculus magazine] was to sum up my 25 years writing about architecture and urban design in L.A. in a New York minute. By Sam Hall Kaplan- LA Downtown News

West Edge project courts big names: Fed up with the mediocre architecture that has grown up around the Plaza, Braswell saw this as an opportunity to do something about it. - Hadid; Predock; McDonough; Zapata; I.M. Pei; Tschumi; Kohn Pedersen Fox; Moule & Polyzoides; Pelli; Starck; Safdie; etc.- Kansas City Star

A ground beef: McDonald's chickens out designing its River North restaurant: ...asked top Chicago architects to craft plans...opted instead for...bloated piece of nostalgia. By Blair Kamin - Helmut Jahn; Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Dan Coffey- Chicago Tribune

Libeskind pragmatist or falling icon? LWTC changes cloud star status- Denver Post

Futurist city hall no longer has a future: Exuberant Fremont structure deserves a wake. Go see [the spaceship on the hill] now while you can. By Alan Hess - Robert Mittelstadt- Mercury News (California)

Concrete Is Learning New Tricks, Like Letting in the Light: "Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete," explores how architects are using concrete with greater efficiency and panache than ever before.- New York Times

A Flexible Future: UCSF Genentech Hall: Flexible laboratories, informal gathering spaces, and a soaring atrium emphasize collaboration among researchers. - SmithGroup [images]- ArchNewsNow


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