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Today’s News - Monday, August 23, 2010

•   ArcSpace's working vacation in Beijing includes installation of the first Frank Gehry exhibition in China (and a lot of sightseeing!).

•   Germany comes to terms with its ugliest buildings: "some architects say we should learn to embrace these eyesores to find hidden charms in the otherwise charmless" - perhaps a "cash-for-clunkers program for offensive architecture"? (scary and inspiring slide shows).

•   Iconic architecture might make skylines grand, but the real test of an impressive design is if it's "loved by the people who live and work in them" (and some mince no words).

•   Big plans for a sustainable community and eco-resort in Oman is "a gorgeous vision," but is it a "scam or sustainable dream?"

•   In Oregon, the LEED-certified (and only 10-year-old!) Marion County Courthouse Square is placed on the official list of dangerous buildings: is it unfixable?

•   Hosey on the word "sustainability": it's "more than 'design-speak.'"

•   Tacoma faces a design dilemma on its Foss Waterway: does the city really want to settle for a "two-star cityscape"?

•   Hume x 2: a huge Hines/Pelli TOD project bodes well for Toronto and its waterfront.

•   And a new firefighter training center is "elegant, exciting yet supremely architectural tour de force" (proving sometimes being a "post-apocalyptic playground for grownups" is a good thing).

•   Hawthorne re: the buzz about Broad big Grand Avenue plans in L.A., but "an edgier and more interesting downtown has been emerging" - will his (as yet unnamed) architect and advisors tap into it?

•   Kamin x 2: a thumbs-down (a WWTT moment) and a thumbs-up for the same firm: its plaza façade renovation on the Wrigley Building "has all the warmth and charm of a refrigerator"; on the other hand, the Fourth Presbyterian expansion plan "strikes the right balance between old and new...the modern elements serve as accents to the historic ones."

•   As three biggies vie for the massive West Kowloon Cultural District, officials promise it "will not be a mishmash of incoherent elements" - there can be only one winner (though don't rule out "bright ideas from the other two designs" making the cut as well).

•   Viemeister on NYC's Robin Hood Foundation L!brary initiative: he said it couldn't be done; then he - and so many others - made it happen.

•   Macmillan on Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "Over the River" project: "If Christo is forced to scrap this project because of public opposition, the snub could give Colorado a cultural black eye - a reputation for provincialism that could take years to repair."

•   Another Lautner is very, very close to demolition despite preservationists' efforts (the owner "has run out of patience with the home and its fans").

•   A formerly dull Chicago garage now spruced up with stylish design, including some very cool-looking wind turbines.

•   Studio Mumbai is not the usual architectural office.


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