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Today’s News - Tuesday, April 5, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking a two- (or possibly three-) day break...we'll definitely be back by Monday, April 11.

•   Concern mounts for Ai Weiwei with calls for his release - or at least information + Lebbeus Woods vows "to reject all new work offers in China until the artist and architect is released.

•   An architect and urban planner bemoans the probable loss of an "endangered urban paradise" in Jakarta to a new skyscraper for politicos (never mind the Indonesian Institute of Architects (IAI) members say "it shows indications of plagiarism" - though no architect is named).

•   Saffron takes away some sobering lessons from a conference that pondered the future of water.

•   Kamin cheers that a Chicago alderman has stepped in to slow down Northwestern's plans to demolish Goldberg's Prentice hospital: "now have a chance for a real debate. Let's see where the debate goes."

•   Mays marvels at a new condo tower that "will show a bright, light and translucent face" to Toronto's Bloor Street opposite the "dull, opaque cladding - the worst thing about Libeskind's ROM exterior."

•   The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority proves to be a good neighbor by demonstrating that "even the most utilitarian public buildings can be elevated to a level of design that inspires the people who use them and benefits the communities that surround them."

•   Meier makes his first foray into Central America with two W Hotels in Mexico.

•   Gdansk, Poland, is rebuilding its Shakespearean theater on the "site of the only Shakespearian playhouse to have been constructed outside England during the Bard's lifetime" (who knew?!!?).

•   The Van Alen Institute taps LOT-EK to re-envision the architectural bookstore (and more) in NYC.

•   Plans to transform the historic - but long-vacant - Union Station in Springfield, MA, into a regional transport hub that have been kicking around for more than 30 years finally look to be chugging forward.

•   The on-again-off-again plans for a visitors center at Stonehenge are on - again.

•   Q&A with Bratton re: can we design a more harmonious world? "Not only are the answers wrong, the questions are wrong too" (and check out the Guardian Activate Summit coming to NYC April 28).

•   Birnbaum offers an eloquent eulogy to an Olmsted elm that "served as one of the most symbolic living witnesses to the birth of landscape architecture and city shaping in America."

•   Architecture Canada | RAIC names first recipient of the Young Architect Award.

•   Call for Papers: 49th International Making Cities Livable Conference.


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