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Today’s News - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

•   A day of Serpentine superlatives (did you expect anything different?); all worth reading:

•   ArcSpace offers Zumthor's own manifesto re: his "hortus conclusus" (and lots of pix!).

•   Glancey escapes "into a floriated garden of monastic calm" where "visitors should be asked to turn down their personal and collective volume."

•   Long sees "a thoroughly mute black box" that is "a rebuttal of the hyperactive showmanship" of previous pavilions (take that, starchitects!).

•   Merrick muses on the master taking "gallery visitors over to the dark side" by bringing "dark matter to Hyde Park" (he means that in a good way).

•   Bayley says the pavilion "gives Britain a first glimpse of Zumthor's genius."

•   Ouroussoff finds his own superlatives for Holl's Horizontal Skyscraper in China: it is "a surreal hybrid - part building, part landscape, part infrastructure...also a carefully engineered social machine" (throw in "extraordinary" and possibly "architectural masterpiece").

•   An in-depth profile NYC's planning chief Amanda Burden who has transformed "a once-sleepy bureaucratic agency into an activist department championing good design by using zoning as a weapon to enforce her vision" (not all are enthralled, of course).

•   Another NYC urban planner brings home lessons from São Paulo by stepping "onto the front lines of the enormous challenges of rapid and unplanned urbanization": "'why' we do things might be similar between places...but we must be wary of copying the 'what.'"

•   P+W's Alschuler sees buildings as sandwiches and explains what makes them tasty: "A land-use sandwich would enable vertical stacking of different uses that multiplies the flavors we get out of any one bite of a city and nourishes us with diversity."

•   Q&A with Nina-Marie Lister on ecological urbanism, green infrastructure, brownfields, Toronto's Evergreen Brickworks, and how the ARC wildlife crossing competition is "the beginning of a new typology of infrastructure - and a new role for landscape architecture."

•   An archaeologist and researcher on Islamic architecture offers an insightful take on how/why "Islamic architectural tradition is all about innovation" - from the Great Mosque of Damascus to a German minaret wind turbine.

•   Goldberger takes issue with Woody Allen's take on Paris: what makes his film "so unconvincing is that it's so flat and one-dimensional: it isn't a city," but rather "a place in which the greatest gift that the architecture of the past can give us, the gift of a richer present, is implicitly devalued...Paris as it exists, warts and all, is much more interesting."

•   A good reason to head to Australia later this month: the 4th Healthy Cities: Making Cities Livable Conference in Noosa, Queensland.

•   The 2011 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards shortlist is a really, really long one.

•   Call for entries: The Greatest Grid: International Call for Ideas: use the Manhattan street grid as a catalyst for thinking about the present and future of New York (and be part of an upcoming MCNY exhibit to boot!).


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