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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

•   Janz returns to Flint and finds some surprising answers to his question: "What is the place of an architect in a setting where few building permits are issued, where many more buildings are being demolished than designed?"

•   Minneapolis has high hopes for its riverfront, naming winner in waterfront design competition.

•   Q&A with Dieden: the "town builder" (and "guerilla developer") discusses urban highway removal, sustainability, and TOD.

•   An ode to NYC's traffic commish Sadik-Khan, who "has turned conventional wisdom on its head...with her potent combination of smarts, chutzpah and political savvy" in transforming urban transportation (despite the naysayers).

•   Hume x 2: Calgary's new mayor makes the city "the new leader of urban Canada; he "is one of those rare city politicians who actually loves the city" (as opposed to Toronto's mayor who "was elected on a promise to wage war on the city") + He bemoans a heritage report that "paints bleak picture" of Toronto's treasures: "You can make money out of heritage but it's still seen as an obstacle."

•   It turns out to be a heritage sort of day: Glancey cheers National Trust's call to arms to save Lutyens' Castle Drogo, "the stuff of architectural sorcery" - but "the whole quixotic caboodle might tumble and fall. Should we care?" (hint: yes!).

•   The U.K.'s "public lavatories are vanishing fast," but there is "a model that could keep the nation's loos flushing" (great slide show).

•   Yesterday, "the wrecking ball paid a visit" to Steve Jobs' Woodside mansion (we've been reporting on this since '04, when he said it was "one of the biggest abominations of a house I've ever seen" by an architect he's never heard of - preservationists beg to differ).

•   On brighter heritage notes: Moore marvels at "the rebirth of the gothic masterpiece," the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, now "sumptuously" restored: "It is both magnificent and a little demented" (not necessarily a bad thing).

•   King finds himself in Petaluma, where the post office is a health club and the old opera house is a martial arts center - and "this is as it should be": aged buildings are really "vessels shaped in one culture...often inhabited by later cultures in ways the creators could not have conceived."

•   Kamin re: green credentials of Gehry's 8 Spruce Street and Gang's Aqua: Why does it matter? Because these "acclaimed skyscrapers" were "designed by two of the most highly-publicized architects of our time" and "can have enormous influence, not simply on architects but on developers."

•   Rochon on Bali's Green School and the Canadian who "has given the world a remarkable new temple of learning" (but "you'll find no mention of any architect of record").

•   OMA's AMO teams with WWF and Ecofys on "The Energy Report" which forecasts the "world could be entirely dependent on renewable energy" by 2050.

•   What high speed rail can mean for community design.

•   A fascinating look at London's brush with its own Robert Moses and plans for highways to nowhere.

•   Pickrel fondly remembers Edgar Tafel, FLW's last apprentice and "history incarnate" (Edgar Tafel, FAIA: A Remembrance will be held at NYC's Center for Architecture Thursday afternoon).


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