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Today’s News - Friday, February 19, 2010

•   Should architects try harder to please the public? Yes, says Millais: architects "live in a pseudo-intellectual ghetto"; no, says Gough: "architecture is far too important to be left to the public" (that should endear them to both sides).

•   Anchorage mulls zoning code update, but some worry the pending rules will be a flop: "By imposing these standards you're going to bring everything down to mediocre level."

•   Google and Mountain View (and NASA) in a debate re: the company-town model (is what's good for the goose good for the gander?).

•   Saffron sings praise for Corner's "peerless plan" for a Philly pier: "a nice reminder that good design isn't so much about the size of your budget as the breadth of your imagination."

•   Crosbie croons about an "opportune convergence" resulting in "an exceptional work of architecture" for Yale's Kroon Hall.

•   Merrick measures in on the "King Kongs" of architecture: "So the world has 7 starchitects," SOM (and its "biggest beasts") has a "historically monstrous shadow" that covers them all.

•   A primer on some "heavy hitters," but what do some other starchitects "have to do to earn the nickname of King Kong?"

•   Woodman wonders whether Chipperfield "played it too safe" in Essen (his Neues Museum is "a tough act to follow").

•   The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Center launches Walks in Contemporary Budapest, an online tour-guide of selected buildings erected in the last 20 years.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   NYC on our mind: Hawthorne finds the "uneven results" of the Guggenheim's "Contemplating the Void" suggest there is one skill that will be most valuable in hard times: "knowing how to make nothing mean something."

•   Smith calls it "a frolicking, mostly feel-good show" where it's the architects "who tend to be most Oedipal." (great slide shows)

•   "Modernism At Risk" at the Center for Architecture offers case studies that "reveal the many ways the design community is working to sustain the legacy of modern architecture - one building at a time."

•   "Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary" at The Drawing Center "captures and showcases his genius as an engineer, mathematician, architect, and composer: "he excelled in all four."

•   At the AIA San Francisco Gallery, "Vertical Gardens" presents imaginary and real projects "that envision solutions for building greener urban environments."

•   In Chicago, "Susan Giles: Buildings and Gestures" includes "an architectural gobstopper."

•   Krieger and Saunders' "Urban Design" offers "a well-rounded assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the differing schools of urban design theory."

•   "Talking Architecture" is a useful book "for those who know little about contemporary Indian architecture. But that is also its main weakness."

•   The "poetic approach" of "Ten Walks/Two Talks" makes it no ordinary tour guide: its "exuberance is something of an art in itself - and an eye-opener for anesthetized New Yorkers."

•   On film: Foster may be "keen to distance himself from Rand's superhero," Howard Roark, but "How Much Does your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?" suggests that "he has at least a little of Gary Cooper in him."

•   With "Visual Acoustics: The Modernisms of Julius Shulman," viewers "cannot help but fall in love with this adorable old man."

•   Seven great movies that star architecture (and lots of great links).


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