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Today’s News - Friday, February 11, 2011

•   Could NYC be the world's next Venice? Not if the powers-that-be have anything to do with it (we hope, anyway).

•   Welton looks at how a "who's who" of U.S. architects bringing sustainable lessons learned at home to cities in Vietnam (facing major flooding issues themselves).

•   An in-depth (and most interesting) Q&A with Calthorpe re: urbanism in the age of climate change: "The market forces already at work will make urbanism the core of the next generation of growth in America."

•   Saffron gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Philly's plans to revamp three public plazas: "The real trick, however, will be to create spaces where people...also want to linger."

•   Viñoly's Battersea master plan gets the green light; Simpson and DRMM are tapped to design the first elements.

•   ShoP seems to be on a roll: after scoring the massive Hunter's Point affordable housing development, now tapped to design the first apartment building for Atlantic Yards.

•   Richard Rogers is confused by Gove who, after promising starchitects would not be designing schools, neglects to mention that the model school he puts forth was designed by...(3 guesses - the first 2 don't count).

•   Arup's Vauxhall bus station "ski-jump" canopy may be only six years old, but a proposal is afoot to replace it with a "linear walkway" (linking to new skyscrapers, what else?).

•   It's official: CABE merges with Design Council.

•   Call for entries: Connections: The Gowanus Lowline open ideas competition for the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Flinchum finds "The Vertical Urban Factory" at NYC's Skyscraper Museum "a compact but impressive exhibition" that "makes a case for the relevance and reinstatement of the building type today."

•   "Jugaad Urbanism" at NYC's Center for Architecture "shirks high design in favor of 'design by the people, for the people'" + It "explores how the energy of citizens 'making do' can be an inspiration and a catalyst for the worldwide community of architects, designers, and urban planners."

•   Along the same lines, a new documentary examines the formerly luxury Grande Hotel in Mozambique, abandoned 50 years ago, is now home to 2,000 - 3,000 people, "like a village within a village...the perfect social housing project," where the "residents are expert improvisers."

•   Schumacher says that while the FLW exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum may "lack the missionary zeal of its subject" with "a kind of laidback, general veneration," it's definitely a must-see (best with multiple visits).

•   Glancey cheers Chaubin's "CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed" and "the extraordinary stories behind some of Russia's wildest architecture" that tell of the "Soviet capacity for exuberant architecture" showing "an unexpected rebellion against a decaying system" (terrific slide show!).

•   Thackara adds "Sustainism" to his lexicon of words he dislikes; likewise the book, that "is rather like a butterfly collection. Many of its specimens are renowned, and some of them are beautiful - but they are also - how to put this delicately? - lifeless."


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