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Today’s News - Friday, July 23, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: Travel back to home base (and home time zone!) precludes posting the news on Monday, but we'll be back Tuesday, July 27.

•   Calys on SFMOMA selecting Snøhetta: "a happy middle ground" between a starchitect and a fine architect who "may have been a tad too risky."

•   Arieff analyzes her adventure with the Build a Better Burb competition, and comes down hard on how some good ideas are badly communicated - she blames architecture schools that "promulgate the notion that an idea can't be important unless it's indecipherable."

•   A new report points to the numerous benefits of demolishing an elevated expressway in New Orleans.

•   Saffron says Philly's Franklin Court renovation plan needs reworking: "a big challenge remains: How do you provide a new ending to an acknowledged masterpiece?"

•   Merrick is mightily disappointed in de Botton's Modernism for the masses: is the "Living Architecture scheme to popularize contemporary architecture trivializing world-class design?"

•   Vale on the valiant and the vane at Expo 2010 Shanghai.

•   Pitera presents a (terrific!) portfolio of artists, architects and activists working to reinvigorate some of Detroit's abandoned landscapes.

•   Carbuncle Cup shortlist names and shames Britain's worst architecture.

•   Results are in for DESIGN 21/IDEO Living Climate Change Video Challenge.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   In NYC, "Cars, Culture, and the City" explores just how central the car has been to New York's evolution, though on the street, Rothstein sees "another kind of unyielding grid" being imposed.

•   Lange lauds "Our Cities Ourselves" - but "longs for life beyond bikes and BRT."

•   In Prague, "City Interventions Prague 2010" offers designs by top architects for the city's public spaces.

•   "The Unbuilt Berlin" (in Berlin) presents 100 never-realized ideas from 100 architects that offer inspiration for the future (great slide show).

•   Searle tours Schütte's "Big Buildings, Models and Views" in Bonn, a "mysterious, Piranesian - but often very funny - world."

•   Kennicott tours Tucker's "Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition" in Washington, DC: the "models have a cultural power that ordinary architectural models might not - it will make you wish that you had more bricks to play with" (great pix!).

•   Russell finds the newest "AIA Guide to New York City" a "love letter to the city" made more lovable by thoughtful if "acerbic assessments" and "witty comments and bad puns."

•   Q&A with Grumbine re: his new book that "explores the tangled relationship between conservation and development in China."

•   Q&A with Friedman re: her new book that links the work of postwar architects glamour: "a sensual, emotional and magical sensibility" that elevated "the ordinary...into the extraordinary."

•   Wainwright cheers a new EH guide to Manningham in Bradford, "one of England's greatest Victorian suburbs."


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