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Today’s News - Monday, July 11, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: Eleven days away - we have a lot of catching up to do! It's good to be back...but difficult to get our gears in motion...hence the delayed posting...

•   ArcSpace brings us L.A.'s big celebration plans honoring Lautner's 100th birthday, and an eyeful of Belzberg's Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

•   Litt pays tribute to Ruth Durack, an urban planner who "raised the level of civic debate on architecture and planning" in Cleveland, Perth, and elsewhere - and gone much too soon.

•   Legorreta and Kapoor among 5 recipients of the Japan Art Association's 2011 Praemium Imperiale.

•   Rogers Marvel wins competition to revamp 52-acre President's Park South in Washington, DC with "a bold statement about security and landscape design...a model for keeping our public spaces open and inviting" (elements of other short-listed proposals could be incorporated into the final plan, too).

•   Star-struck: Ouroussoff finds Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House "gorgeous to look at" and a "magnificent example of how a single building can redeem a moribund urban environment" (even though "construction was racked with problems and the quality of some of it is abysmal").

•   Glancey gets Gehry teary-eyed talking about "finally making his mark on the Manhattan skyline" that "brings back the dazzle and the ritz, the catwalk strut and sheer brio that have made the great New York towers so compelling ("Do you think they'll let me have a go in London?" Gehry queries).

•   Lewis cheers Washington, DC's new Arena Stage: "Architectural exceptionalism clearly was called for, which is what Bing Thom has delivered."

•   Rochon x 2: she cheers Kéré - none of his work "will change super-tall, bombastic design. But for sobering acts of architectural wisdom, keep your eyes low to the ground, where he and others are quietly making buildings that stick in our minds."

•   She has high hopes that one of Toronto's "dreary, invisible streets... with no there there," even in the midst of "cultural heavy hitters," can itself be transformed "into a five-star attraction."

•   Hawthorne visits the Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston in the week of his death, and is still taken by Piano's 1995 Menil museum, "a modestly scaled but sublime piece of architecture that ranks as one of the four or five best works in his prolific career."

•   Russell is struck by Ban's Metal Shutter House with "magic glass walls" being "a world away from Arquitectonica's 63-story, blue-black glass behemoth" that "looks like a giant headstone," proving that "when not lashed by activists, too many developers do their worst."

•   Across the Big Pond, Bennett minces no words about how the London skyline "has become a greedy developer's playground... to show the world how mighty we are once we've called in an Italian architect [guess who] and Middle Eastern finance" - and don't forget Prince Charles's new ally who recently declared that "the age of bling is over... As moments go, this feels positively iconic."

•   Brussat, needless to say, has much to say (or should we say chortle) about Shuttleworth's decrying bling.

•   After all this chortling, debunking, and bemoaning, how could we resist a new research study that "suggests highly creative people may not be humble, but they also aren't hostile" (critics obviously not surveyed).

•   Speaking of critics: Kimmelman is tapped to replace Ouroussoff at the Gray Lady - we wish him well and hope for the best (so far, we have not been disappointed by his few forays into architectural criticism).

•   A good reason to head to Los Angeles: it's Little Tokyo Design Week (shipping container galleries included).


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