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Today’s News - Thursday, December 23, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking a Christmas break until Monday, January 3, 2011(!). As ANN heads into its 9th(!) year, we'd like to thank our faithful readers, tipsters, and mentors for your continued support. We wish everyone a Happy Happy Holiday - and here's to grand adventures for us all in the New Year!

•   Viñoly ends his year on a high note getting a thumbs-up from London mayor for Battersea Power Station (there's still the question of getting the bucks to build it).

•   Glancey gives two thumbs-up's to Royal Veterinary College's "weirdest courtyard cafe in Britain" (skeletons included): "Those planning or redesigning our town and city squares would do well to come here and see how a space that was once all but dead...can come so intelligently alive" without "annoying gimmickry" or spending a fortune.

•   An eyeful of Snøhetta's new museum plans for the University of Guadalajara.

•   Philip Johnson's Interfaith Peace Chapel in Dallas, the last building he designed, "looks more like a biomorphic sculpture" with "a sense of serene spirituality...swirls and roundness, twisting and arching, prevail."

•   Tasmania's "cheekiest devil" is a "provocative and irreverent" multimillionaire who's building a "subversive Disneyland" that includes an underground museum that's a "labyrinth rich with myth and mortality" (it's just him "doing stuff" - and he doesn't care "if rising sea levels drown his temple to secularism in decades to come").

•   Old Montreal's newest attraction is a floating spa inside a former ferryboat.

•   Brussat cheers Stern "finally" winning the Driehaus Prize as he thumbs through the master's massive tomes: "Some architects have an Edifice Complex. Bob Stern has an Opus Complex."

•   Kamin cheers two landscape architects being named Chicagoans of the Year because they "brighten the cityscape and reflect their field's rising profile."

•   Q&A with Bjarke Ingels who "is creating a long-overdue dialogue around housing and the urban form," and likes to make up words to fit his new ideas (we like "hedonistic sustainability").

•   Q&A with Ole Scheeren re: why he split from Rem, life in Beijing, and plans for the future (a London office, perhaps).

•   Esther Robinson of ArtHome is an "urbanist you should know" if architects and planners want to have a serious architectural conversation about how to stabilize our neighborhoods.

•   NYC's MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program teams up with Rome's MAXXI (this should be fun!).

•   A report on the mantownhuman's "Critical Subjects: Architecture & Design Winter School": 26 young architecture students find themselves "held in a windowless, basement for 24 hours" - and a good time was had by all (full disclosure: we were on the advisory and judging panel who selected the students).

•   Our favorite bit of news for the day: the Beatle's Abbey Road zebra crossing declared a landmark (how cool is that?!!?).

•   Winding up the year, Slevin, Lin, and Brizzio wax (amusingly) poetic about the 10 Best Architecture Moments of 2001-2010, the 10 Top Interiors of the Decade, and What's Coming in 2011 (great slide show essays).

•   Azure offers its picks of hits and misses of the year: "Women architects kicking ass in Italy," but "We're still drowning in packaging."

•   We couldn't resist ('tis the season and all that): AN and Fast Co.'s ideas for way-out-there Christmas gifts: "architect-worthy toys and treasures" and things "we'd rob banks to buy" + a cautious tale about why you should never "go hunting for a Christmas tree with someone who is pursuing a double major in engineering and architecture."


Figment Project - The Living Pavilion

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