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Today’s News - Thursday, May 19, 2011

•   Cathy Lang Ho takes an in-depth (and really terrific) look at the rise in national architectural policies in Europe - and what the challenges are to making such a thing even close to being established in the U.S. (cheers to efforts underway!).

•   Glancey tours the first phase of Masdar City and finds "it's the determinedly ultra-modern aspects that prove to be a mirage" + A more technical take on Masdar Institute (with lots of images): despite all the "bells and whistles, the completed institute buildings are most remarkable for their reliance on low-tech, passive strategies."

•   Dvir digs into the details of the "firestorm" swirling around plans for the new wing of Tel Aviv University's school of architecture: is it "a labor of love or a grave mistake?"

•   Architecture firms are still flocking to China's "construction playgrounds," but "architects are not sure how much of an opportunity this offers to smaller companies" + Atlanta firms "haven't been left behind in this architectural gold rush," but "their expertise might have a limited life span in China."

•   Kamin x 2: he cheers Jahn's new Mansueto Library as an "audacious, convention-busting marvel" (great pix, video) + He reflects on changes in plans for the base of 1 World Trade Center: "after $10 million already had been spent on the glass, the architects have been sent back to the drawing board."

•   An in-depth report on NYC's efforts to create a more permeable city that "could well be one of PlaNYC's most lasting effects" - and inspire other urban centers (with links to excellent resources).

•   As the Mississippi River rises and the Yangtze recedes, Watson wonders what "these two waterways tell us about how buildings and countries alike will need to manage water use."

•   Saffron sings high praise for Philly's "delightful" new pier park, with high hopes "it will become harder for the city to continue ceding precious frontage to undesirable uses like big-box stores, casinos, and parking garages."

•   A tribute to the "father" of landscape architecture in the Philippines who brought the field "to mainstream consciousness."

•   One of Tucson's 50 most significant examples of Modern architecture is at risk.

•   Kennicott on the now-demolished Pearl Statue in Bahrain: it may have been "a classic piece of meaningless, made-to-order modernism, drab but sleek," but "it remains an icon of democracy...Expunging a symbol is never an easy process."

•   Glancey ruminates on the RIBA Awards 2011: "This year's gongs went to a bewildering range of buildings, from grandstanding urban monuments to teetering rural titter-fests" (with an eyeful of his faves).

•   The 2011 North American Copper in Architecture Awards showcase versatility and preservation with an emphasis on sustainability.

•   Call for entries: 2011 Record Interiors (deadline looms!) + Architect Barbie Dream House Design Competition (alas, open only to AIA members).


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