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Today’s News - Tuesday, March 9, 2010

•   We lose two masters of the skyscraper: Kamin pays tribute to Graham, "the Burnham of his generation" (SOM office credo: "If you disagree with Graham, shut up"; and Williams, "not a doctrinaire modernist."

•   Australia's former prime minister minces no words in speaking to developers in Sydney: "ice-cube tray" high-rises and "gormless" apartment blocks display "an absence of civic conscientiousness."

•   Many California cities are adopting design guidelines that eliminate a lot of ugly buildings, but do they also eliminate creativity? "Manipulating the look and feel of a city is a weird science."

•   Rochon on Vancouver's "state of architectural transition": Vancouver Art Gallery should not even consider moving from its "slice of compressed urban magic"; the new roof for BC Place Stadium "is something to get excited about"; and housing atop Woodward's "feels exactly right."

•   Critics claim moving the VAG makes no sense from a city-building perspective: "We have a small number of people on an ego trip, wanting to do a Bilbao," says Bing Thom.

•   Lindsay on Detroit: can it "really shrink its way back to greatness (or at least stop the bleeding)?" Maybe, maybe not - it's "always had a weakness for urban renewal fads."

•   Meanwhile, the city debates the future of its "most iconic ruin," the grand Michigan Central Station (grand slide show, too).

•   While Detroit may ponder urban farms, Cleveland's Gardens Under Glass is an "urban eco village" in (drum roll, please) a mall.

•   King on the "sea of contention" facing proposals for San Francisco's Embarcadero, in "a fractious district where obstruction has been refined to an art."

•   Plans to "respectfully rehabilitate" the National Mall to make it more sustainable and accessible move forward (public comment period open until March 18).

•   Calatrava's Liège-Guillemins railway station: "Nothing about the lofty structure, which appears to change shape at every angle, is static" (terrific slide show).

•   Campbell coos over Emerson College's restoration of its Art Deco Paramount Center: "one of the triumphs of recent Boston architecture and urbanism" (topped by dorm rooms for 262 future students).

•   Maki muses on his new MIT Media Lab: it's "one of the best buildings we ever produced in my long career."

•   Cheek cheers a deal to save an old Seattle sanctuary, but the new church is "ultimately, just a big, tall box...while that's an altogether honest architectural expression for an urban site, it's not a space that seems likely to trigger a spiritual rush."

•   Fetell ponders what kind of architecture works best for places of worship (researchers studying awe have some answers).

•   Hess cheers a high school auditorium that's so much more than that: it's "an instant civic of the most joyous, rhythmic, lively and uplifting spaces added to our area in recent decades."

•   Q&A with Harrington of the Architects Council of Europe re: the role of women in architecture today; what it still means to be a European architect: "We don't fear for our architecture; we just need a bit more nourishment."

•   An 11th-hour rescue for Yamasaki archives (shredders were prepped).

•   Memphis launches the Paul R. Williams Project to put a spotlight on the "architect to the stars."

•   2010 ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition picks four finalists for $50,000 grand prize.


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