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Today’s News - Monday, November 29, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: As always, just a few days away and we have lots of catching up to do this week (including lotsa cultcha).

•   ArcSpace brings us breathtaking eyefuls of Fogo Island Artist Studios in Newfoundland, Hadid's Evelyn Grace Academy, and a stunning book that documents "a vanishing people in war-torn Sudan."

•   Ouroussoff got NYT's front page with his exhaustive report from Abu Dhabi and Qatar re: high hopes for high culture in forging an Arab identity in a global society - the good, the bad, and the questionable.

•   This includes the just-released plans for Foster's Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi intended to showcase heritage, history, and sustainability on the "wingtips of falcons" (BD has some stunning images).

•   Campbell, meanwhile, finds Foster's MFA Boston "a triumph of intelligence and pragmatism"; even with its "disappointing" façade, the new wing is "a deeply humane, deeply thoughtful piece of architecture."

•   Russell x 2: he's taken by Foster's glass cube that "dazzles" and a "planning rigor" that "comes with a silky finely machined as an airliner fuselage" and "sublime glimpses that take you by surprise."

•   He's much kinder than Saffron was to Polshek's National Museum of American Jewish History that is a "welcome contrast to the underwhelming parade of institutions" on the "drab" Philadelphia Mall.

•   Glancey, Woodman, Merrick, and Moore give (mostly) good reviews to revamped Royal Shakespeare Company's theater: "engrossing, neutral and strange" is indicative (and no one seems very thrilled about the tower).

•   Calatrava's Peace Bridge in Calgary is behind schedule, but it's not his fault: his responsibility is for the design and not the construction schedule.

•   A most interesting report on CEOs for Cities Community Challenge and The Us Initiative (some amazing things going on under the radar!).

•   Modesto Art Museum takes on its own city's urban problems.

•   Litt's analysis of the casino design process in Cleveland: it's "a glimpse of a major urban project in the making" - but what to make of a developer who doesn't want to share an uber-glitzy video with the public just yet (but he got his hands on it for us to see).

•   NYC's transportation commissioner Sadik-Khan "elicits love, and loathing, from New Yorkers" by "executing, on a sweeping scale, some of the globe's hottest urban-planning concepts."

•   Next up will be Manhattan's Hudson Square and a "high-powered makeover team" tapped to make it greener, prettier, and more people-friendly.

•   Another report on the mass destruction of Beijing's hutongs: "it's time for preservationists and architects to find ways to protect them and ensure their viability."

•   Chinese fraudsters fake U.K. firms' identities in hopes to getting juicy contracts.

•   A photographer's portfolio of FDR's 1930s Greenbelt Towns built with the "hope that American citizens would meet the challenges of the Great Depression in a spirit of cooperation" (are there lessons for us today?).


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