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Today’s News - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: We will be taking a break for Thanksgiving Day holiday, and will return Monday, November 30.

•   Vancouver's mixed-use, "big-tent," "social experiment" still stirs controversy: is it "a naïve rainbow vision"? (time will tell)

•   Atlantic Yards developer wins big court battle (i.e., eminent domain ruling in its favor), but that doesn't mean it's won the war.

•   Litt calls the latest proposal for a medical mart a bait-and-switch that could cost Cleveland more than money - it "would lose a piece of its history, and of its soul. That would be a high price indeed."

•   Gensler unveils massive expansion plans for southern Mecca (Foster and Hadid are working on the north side).

•   Morrison waxes almost poetic about the lost bridges of flood-ravaged Cumbria: "there are some superbly imaginative engineers and architects" who could create wonderful structures and prove there's nothing that "can't be spanned by human ingenuity."

•   Dickinson cheers the replacement of New Haven's "artless concrete ribbon" of a bridge with "an elegantly thin, sleek concrete and wire sculpture" that just might make the city "feel special."

•   Hinshaw is more than disappointed in a "facelift gone awry" that's turned a Seattle parking garage from "a silk purse into a sow's ear."

•   Palm Springs preservation committee is batting zero in an attempt to get owners of historic buildings (read mid-century Modern) to submit applications for the historic landmark designation.

•   Lifson queries Zumthor re: his big plans for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; will it involve demolition? "Yes." (Govan pipes in, too)

•   Alsop starts his teaching gig at Ryerson (this time, he won't be setting fire to students' models - maybe).

•   Q&A with Soleri: Do you have hope for the future? "If you look at the progression of life you cannot be but super optimistic."

•   Building's Sustainability Awards include a double winner.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Davidson finds MCNY's Saarinen show a "touching and evocative exhibit" that "makes today's smiley-face propaganda machine seem dinky."

•   Greg Lynn creates crystal palace for Design Miami: "It's like hanging 3 SUVs off a paper thin sheet" (and only on view next week).

•   Goldberger's "Why Architecture Matters" is like "some masterful sommelier" at a wine tasting, helping us "discover what's special about certain architectural experiences and the language that most eloquently describes them."

•   GSD's "Landscapes of Energy" investigates energy's spatial dimension to show "the realities of how the energy machine and the building machine work" (is the imagined green future no more than a "romantic notion"?).

•   "Critical Cities: Ideas, Knowledge and Agitation from Emerging Urbanists" is an anthology by urban thinkers to open a debate about how we engage with our urban environment.

•   Edinburgh College of Art launches "Vision," an interdisciplinary research magazine.


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