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Today’s News - Thursday, April 1, 2010

•   The transformation of a 1928 St. Louis landmark creates a collaborative space for a design firm's regional office and confirms its commitment to the community.

•   A Haitian pol claims the Haiti aid conference a "farce" without citizen input.

•   Re: Kapoor/Balmond's Olympic "Orbit" (we expect more will be chiming in):

•   Glancey and Merrick give (mostly) thumbs-up: "What an extraordinary thing this is...a strange and enticing marriage of sorts between the Eiffel Tower and Tatlin's Tower," and "There's something beautifully fractious, and not quite knowable."

•   On the other hand, Pearman minces no words: it's "misconceived, ugly, banal, compromised and downright embarrassing"; Dyckhoff calls the "giant squiggle" a "gift to the tabloids" (and a waste of money); Rochon sees it as a "drunken, debauched Eiffel Tower" that is "feral, rowdy...very high and, possibly, very scary." (we thought it might be an April Fool's joke a day early when we saw it in our inbox yesterday)

•   Pearman is a lot more positive about the afterlife of the Hargreaves/LDA-designed Olympic Park: it "promises much, far into the future. I think it is going to be good."

•   The battle over the future of Beirut and the type of city it should become: "a genuine history is being destroyed while a fake one is being built"; there's The Egg and Solidere (a.k.a. "Disney Downtown").

•   Even after 20 years, the debate continues over Piano's City Gate project in Valletta: "this is not the right time to indulge on this national project."

•   Brussat agrees with Rogers re: U.S. Embassy in London?!!? "No, not really...In modern architecture, every day is April Fool's Day."

•   A half-finished Toyo Ito treasure sits abandoned in Spain (how could this be?).

•   On a brighter note: the first of never-built FLW faculty housing plans will be built, adding to Florida Southern College incredible Wright collection (terrific slide show!).

•   McDonald says the collapse of Murray Ó Laoire Architects proves the Irish "government needs to take the crisis in architecture seriously" (a good start would be if it paid its bills promptly); the Construction Industry Federation is "very concerned. It just seems the industry is being left to shut down."

•   National Landscape Architecture Month kicks off today with ASLA's "Designing Our Future" initiative.

•   The Hudson River Valley could be declared a National Park (that's cool news to us!).

•   A great profile of Piet Oudolf, "the constant gardener."

•   UNLV students protest the possible closure of the Landscape Architecture program.

•   Call for entries: 2010 YAF/COD International Ideas Competition: Temporary/Permanent Relief Housing.

•   Our favorite annual: PPS Faking Places: "City Center" R.I.P.: The faux phrase is now banned in 38 states (and so much more).

•   Happy April Fool's Day!


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