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Today’s News - Tuesday, December 14, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: We woke up yesterday morning wishing it was Sunday only to find we had no Internet, phone, or cable connections for most of the day (proving be careful what you wish for - those pesky technology gods just might oblige). Apologies for missed posting...

•   ArcSpace brings us a thoughtful renovation and expansion of a church in Tampa, Florida.

•   Rochon has never been more riveting: Architects "can't stop bullets," but in the right architects' hands, "buildings can nudge people to take a measure of their lives" (makeover of Toronto's Regent Park could prove her case - hopefully).

•   Architects and planners don't see a fairy tale ending for Tata's massive Camelot development; it's a "danger to the city's skyline and would violate the edict of Chandigarh" and could lead to "massive uncontrolled urbanization."

•   U.K.'s Localism Bill: is it a "people power" bill "allowing neighborhood democracy to flourish," or will it lead to "intransigent local protest groups" blocking "necessary development and much-needed new housing"?

•   Glancey says bring it on: "Dull cul-de-sacs may benefit from local people making planning decisions" - with some reservations (though sometimes a shark diving through a roof is not a bad thing).

•   Edwards offers his own caveats: the "Localism Bill is radical but fraught with difficulty": it "can be easily hijacked by nimbyism."

•   Ideo offers up examples that prove "powerful individualism is often what leads to strong communities."

•   Proof the opposite can be true: Columbia University wins its eminent domain battle and can move ahead with $6.3 billion expansion plans (shades of Kelo and not all are pleased).

•   Could a serious battle be brewing over bike lanes in NYC? (we hope not, though we cheer plans for "a major advertising campaign featuring celebrities who would warn cyclists 'to stop riding like jerks'").

•   Heymann's 3rd installment of "Landscape with Buildings": "where once site was seen as setting, now it is seen as source" and a "primary form-driving factor in current architectural design" (great pix).

•   Kamin's promised "dubious design moves of 2010" (ouch!).

•   Moore makes his picks for the best of 2010 (and a turkey or two - including localism).

•   Gardner bemoans Gehry's 8 Spruce Street (a.k.a. Beekman Tower): it "seems so thoroughly sad and unimpressive" and "depressing in the spectacle of this lionized star...thoroughly defanged and declawed by the forces of dullness."

•   Kamin on Stern winning the 2011 Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture: he's a "pluralist" who manages to upset both modernists and classicists.

•   Skurman receives France's Chevalier des Arts Medal for Architecture: the classical architect has earned "the respect and admiration of the Beaux-Arts community."

•   Nathaniel Kahn feels his father's spirit as he tours the Trenton Bath House, now restored.

•   The newly-minted Middle East AIA Chapter hopes "to increase the ethics and design standards in the region" and sees the building slowdown as "a chance to discuss issues that were ignored in the frantic construction pace of recent years."

•   Amit blasts the sad state of American design schools, lamenting the "lackluster quality of job applicants" who "seem to have a sense of entitlement that has no place in reality."

•   Lui rakes design school rankings over the coals.

•   On a brighter note, the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University in Hyderabad, India, launches a masters degree course in conservation planning "to educate students about ways of planning and developing cities without compromising on its heritage and environment."


Figment Project - The Living Pavilion

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