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Today’s News - Thursday, March 31, 2011

•   In Shanghai, "there's every sign that forward-thinking (and upward-rising) Western-inspired architecture" (by starchitects, of course) will continue to shape the city's "urban cool."

•   Q&A with urban planner Sorensen re: rebuilding challenges in Japan: it might be better off relocating cities to higher ground - "you need a new kind of settlement system."

•   Q&A with architect and urbanist Ramati re: plaza bonuses, street life, and the legacy of NYC's Urban Design Group: "One thing that worries me is the branding of architecture."

•   Brussat bristles with the same concern, wishing there was a way to make traditional and modern architecture more compatible: it "can be conceived, but a way to bring architects of all stripes to embrace it is difficult if not impossible to imagine."

•   High hopes that Lower Manhattan's Water Street ends up with "that Park Avenue feel."

•   Your chance to make that happen: NYC issues an RFP for a Water Street Feasibility Study.

•   California taps 36 firms - from established names to small but well-regarded offices - to modernize 50 new state courthouses of all sizes.

•   Glendale, CA, hopes "to boost fortunes downtown" with plans for a an arts and entertainment district to include nightclubs and bright architectural lighting + Adding to the glow will be a "transformative new building" (carved out of two empty storefronts) to house the first permanent home for the Museum of Neon Art (looks like fun!).

•   A former JC Penny store almost ready for its close-up as the new Sioux City Public Museum.

•   3XN and William McDonough + Partners team up for "one of Europe's first and most ambitious Cradle to Cradle projects" on an island in Denmark.

•   "Marcel Breuer and Postwar America" at Syracuse University "illuminated unfamiliar dimensions of the great architect's legacy. The old man looks good" (the show closed this week, but the pix are terrific).

•   Plans for an Anne Frank museum near Ground Zero "would be more evidence that lower Manhattan is becoming a Mecca for religious and cultural groups of all stripes."

•   RIBA's Reed and Rich at odds only add to a continuing list of ruffled feathers and discontent: "It is the worst period of RIBA politics in my generation."

•   In Korea, Samsung uses corporate clout in a "lopsided legal battle" with companies with similar names - most notably the 40-year-old architectural firm that actually designed Samsung's Hoam Art Museum in 1982.

•   James Dyson claims "Chinese students are infiltrating British universities to steal technological and scientific secrets."

•   Ending on a brighter note: Dutch architect Nanne de Ru takes home the Rotterdam-Maaskant Prize for Young Architects 2011.


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