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Today’s News - Tuesday, November 3, 2009

•   Weinstein's Words That Build Tip#20: open a door to dialogue rather than "hook" another into compliance with your message (it entails thinking about the architecture of Zanzibar).

•   Stephens digs deep into starchitecture and sustainability: could "an ethic of sustainability" be the "final echo of the collapse of Modernism?" (he gets some surprising responses - a must-read!).

•   MoMA picks teams to tackle New York's rising waters.

•   Ouroussoff ogles "Intersections: The Grand Concourse Beyond 100" competition winners: perhaps a bit "naïve," but perhaps "the problem is not so much the innocence of planners and architects, but our own indifference and lack of political will" + an eyeful of the winner and finalists.

•   Russell minces no words re: the skyscraper to house "the masters of the universe" of Goldman Sachs (it has little to do with architecture and everything to do with the architects' pay packages that "would be laughed off Wall Street").

•   Chelsea Barracks developer is surprise buyer of Saarinen-designed U.S. embassy in London (so much for worrying that new landmark status would hinder sale).

•   Newest neighbor for Dallas's downtown cultural arts district: a revamped mega-church campus (green space included).

•   Less cheery news for the city's Calatrava bridge over the Trinity River (oh those pesky earthen levees).

•   Russian billionaire has big plans for an arts center in Kiev: he wants a design competition among the "most important architects in the world"; though he won't say who, "you know their names."

•   Dorment and Bayley give four thumbs-up's to Mather's Ashmolean: a "£61 million achievement" that "is money well spent; and "a different, and rather wonderful, sort of alchemy has taken place in Oxford" (Atlanta's Hyatt Regency atrium comes to mind?).

•   King cheers thoughtful design guidelines for Yosemite where "the overarching goal is that nothing new should make you look twice."

•   Could Chicago's landmarked Three Arts Club building be transformed into "dorms for the dead"? (the neighbors might not be too thrilled).

•   Obama names Thom Mayne (and a bunch of other famous folk) to serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

•   Rose queries Alsop about his "going off to paint" line: "He smirks when I ask him to explain himself" (and other amusing bon mots).

•   The first Jakarta Architecture Triennial launches tomorrow: "Our theme is affording architecture, not affordable architecture...It's not a question of expensive or cheap, but whether it's good or bad."

•   One we couldn't resist (our jaws dropped in disbelief): need further proof that U.K. is a nanny state? Parents have been banned from supervising their children in two public playgrounds because they have not undergone criminal record checks (puhleeeez!).


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