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Today’s News - Friday, June 24, 2011

•   Weinstein gives a shout-out to new Leers Weinzapfel monograph and how well it illustrates the firm's talents at being "lovers of the difficult."

•   We lost George M. White, the "influential and long-serving" Architect of the Capitol who "introduced a new professionalism and understanding of architectural and urban history."

•   Brussat is "thrilled" China wants to copy the picturesque Austrian village of Hallstatt that "is sure to outshine China's mostly prefab new towns in beauty" (and he's not holding his breath for "news of a first successful reproduction of an existing modernist city or town or just a modernist street. Faux Brasilia, anyone?").

•   Birnbaum and Saffron tackle the recent assaults on historic preservation and the revisionists (Koolhaas, Glaeser, etc.) who assert that "the darn preservationists won't let American cities behave like Shenzhen."

•   Saffron also gives a thumbs-up to "a well-crafted concrete addition" that "nods affectionately" to the 1919 concrete castle that is the Mercer Museum "while standing smartly on its own as architecture" instead of going "the glass-box route" of deferring to "the overpowering weight of the mother ship."

•   Kamin cheers Ronan's "splendid new" Poetry Foundation building in Chicago and its "subtle, slowly unfolding pleasures" that are "mysterious, engaging, richly layered and revealing."

•   Smith and Gill tapped to design the world's 4th tallest building (in China, where else?).

•   LaBarre on Calgary's "bid for big-time culture" with Cloepfil's National Music Center that he says is "a building type that doesn't exist yet" and that the city hopes will be "an anchor for larger urban renewal" (great fly-through video, too!).

•   Glancey strolls Jencks's "Life Mounds" ("totally cosmic" land sculptures outside Edinburgh) with the designer himself (great slide show).

•   Schumacher cheers the Marcus Prize going to Kéré.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Lange is swept away by "Designing Tomorrow: America's World's Fairs of the 1930s" at the National Building Museum.

•   Reel time: "Battle for Brooklyn" is a "David-and-Goliath portrait" that can be compelling, but also "avoids some gray areas" - though it does bear "witness to the palpable insincerity and cold-blooded indifference of the developer-government alliance" behind the (galling to many) Atlantic Yards mega-project.

•   Hawthorne goes to the movies: "Midnight in Paris" and "The Tree of Life" are, "beneath the surface, channeling Jane Jacobs" and "requiems for throwback, Restoration Hardware urbanism."

•   The makers of "Unfinished Spaces" write about meeting the architects behind Cuba's National Art Schools and the opportunity to restore their utopia.

•   Russell, this time on the "A" side in a Q&A about his new book, "The Agile City" and why and how the smart money is investing in green.

•   King on the "A" side in a Q&A with Pedersen about his new book, "Cityscape: San Francisco and Its Buildings" and how he made his selection of 50 projects: "I'm a style agnostic...Just give me something that radiates conviction."

•   A fascinating excerpt from "Marion Mahony Reconsidered": Friedman's essay on the woman architect who was truly "a force of nature."

•   "Architect for Art - Max Gordon" is a "lively mix of anecdotes and insights that gives a rare glimpse inside the art world of this extraordinary


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