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Today’s News - Thursday, June 24, 2010

•   Gunts pays tribute to an architect who influenced Baltimore's skyline beyond just the buildings he designed.

•   King on Berkeley Art Museum's pick of DS+R: the "choice signals that UC Berkeley remains serious about a cultural expansion that would bolster city efforts to position its downtown as a cultural destination" (it's also "an implicit act of one-upmanship" to SFMoMA, "a friendly rival across the bay").

•   Hawthorne offers up an interesting method to "build a better shortlist" for Broad's Grand Ave. museum - and who he things should be on it.

•   An eyeful of what's in store for the next stretch of the High Line: the designers "saved the best for second" (we agree!).

•   Russell tackles the New Domino: he finds much to admire, but also much to bemoan: he doesn't hold much hope that Viñoly's towers won't "get dumbed down" or park design refined in a "high-risk yet compromised Faustian real-estate bargain" + who wants - and doesn't want - what in the $1.3 billion project.

•   The Australian pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo is a "lame event" - as its architects "distance their firm...from the exhibition within the pavilion they designed."

•   Rybczynski reviews Graves's Sentosa resort in Singapore: the architect (and master planner) sees it "as a blend of Coney Island and Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition, but this is definitely not a White City."

•   Meier agrees to modifications of his Ara Pacis Museum in Rome (it's better than seeing it torn down).

•   Behnisch has big plans for a sports complex inside a gigantic, mothballed power plant in Toronto.

•   So much for the end of the Automobile Age: China plans a museum you can drive through - "so the museum will promote bad driving, smog, and smug rich people. It very well may be the most fitting tribute to cars ever made."

•   Polshek Partnership makes a name change to Ennead (yes, there is a definition having to do with nine deities in Egyptian mythology).

•   It's fitting that top NSW Architecture Awards prize goes to a sustainable "piece of public transport infrastructure" - but critics say while the rail line "may have won the plaudits of architects and aesthetes who decide the Sulman Award," don't "overlook the serious problems with the design of the line."

•   Perfect for a sultry summer day: Davidson cheers the dawning of an "era of the skill-challenging, danger-embracing, starchitect-designed play zones" in NYC + Rockwell's Imagination Playground in Lower Manhattan is almost ready for its close-up (can we play, too?) + Harnik outlines 14 ways to build out innovative parks in crowded cities.

•   Sorry to end on depressing notes: AIA's billing index tumbles again, "pointing to long, uneasy recovery."

•   The TEDxOilSpill conference on Monday will explore new ideas for our energy future, and how we can mitigate the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf (an amazing lineup of speakers, and live video feed for those of us not in DC) + Why "the same set of human characteristics that precipitated" the BP oil spill "may well hinder us from stopping" climate change.


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