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Today’s News - Monday, May 2, 2011

•   ArcSpace brings us a church in Portugal that gives an identity to its surroundings.

•   Rochon minces no words about Toronto's "bureaucracy and the mentality of engineers" who "have messed up our streets," saying the city is "a bottom-feeder when it comes to civic space."

•   In a surprise turn-around, a Malibu conservancy group decides not to oppose a multiple-mansion development on a pristine ridgeline (seems $1 million donation and promise of public open space helped); needless to say, not all are pleased.

•   The architect-of-record for New Jersey's ill-fated Xanadu is getting a bad wrap: "the ugly façade wasn't his idea. He just drew the plans" (the "ugly" was also not the architect's design - he resigned ages ago); now there's a new developer and a new name: American Dream @ Meadowlands ('nuff said).

•   Saffron has much higher hopes for revamp of Philly's Kimmel Center: "a step-by-step recovery strategy that is fearless in its ambition."

•   Hawthorne on Mexico City's Soumaya Museum and its young architect: "an ambitious, even self-consciously iconic, piece of architecture" that "has unmistakable charisma" (and a few missed steps) + the rest of LA Times Magazine's Titans of Design issue (for the new bridge over the Colorado River near Hoover Dam, "necessity became the mother to grandeur" - pix are spectacular!).

•   Moore more than admires a new nature reserve visitor center - that floats: "it is rare that the stuff of a building, as well as its relationship to nature, gives so much pleasure...and delightful balance of energies."

•   An ode to Selldorf, "a kind of anti-Daniel Libeskind" who mixes "equal parts modesty and authorship" into "an interesting plainness."

•   Salant has an amusing conversation with Eisenman re: the difference between a house and a home.

•   Fry offers his take (and optimism) on the impact of sustainability-based design thinking and practice on design education in Australia over the last decade.

•   An exhibition of furniture by teachers at a Pakistani school of art and architecture sparks student anger and allegations of copycat designs (a most interesting read!).

•   MoMA's newest multi-month design program challenges five (impressive) teams to rethink mega-regional housing in this age of foreclosures.

•   We cheer Zoe Ryan being named - officially (at last!) - Chair of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Architecture and Design.

•   An interesting mix of Berkeley Prize 2011 Essay Prize, Travel Fellows, and Architectural Design Fellows announced.

•   Diversions beginning before the weekend: NYC's Festival of Ideas for the New City should be an intriguing "design crawl" around the Bowery and Lower Manhattan + Dublin serves up The Fourth Wall film and architecture series.


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