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Today’s News - Tuesday, July 12, 2011

•   San Diego decides to dissolve its planning department into the city's department of development services; some see it as "risky at best"; others see it as a big time and money saver.

•   Ouroussoff is absolutely awe-struck by OMA's CCTV tower: it "may be the greatest work of architecture built in this century"; if that isn't enough to convince you, Koolhaas has created "one of the most beguiling and powerful works I've seen in a lifetime of looking at architecture" (wowee kazowee - we think he likes it!).

•   Houston has high hopes (and is a bit awe-struck) by the shortlist for its new museum: whichever is selected certainly "won't blend into the background."

•   The Royal Alberta Museum short list certainly includes some global flair.

•   But not all are pleased with the lack of transparency and public input: "it's absurd to hold a competition...then deny Albertans the right to see their entries...why keep us in the dark?"

•   Meet the "new breed of zealous 20-somethings and 30-somethings leaving their mark" on Melbourne (+ State of Design Festival highlights).

•   The RIWAQ Center for Architectural Conservation faces some daunting challenges in its efforts to renovate and restore old buildings and heritage sites in the Palestinian territories.

•   Mies's once-shuttered Montreal gas station is "getting a beautiful new life" as a youth and senior center.

•   Jenkins cheers the return of St Pancras hotel (where he threw "flash" parties in its ruins 30 years ago), but bemoans George Gilbert Scott remaining "the unsung hero of British architecture."

•   Davidson offers an amusing tale of Gorst finding the original "three-bedroom suburban box" on Long Island that served as the model home that hosted the Nixon/ Khrushchev Kitchen Debate in Moscow.

•   Rose joins today's Google doodle in celebrating the 450th anniversary of Moscow's St Basil's Cathedral: "it's a good time to step back and consider what a fantastically, psychedelically bizarre symbol it is...Could it have influenced the likes of Gaudi, or even Gehry?" (Google's doodle is a doozy!)

•   Datum:KL - Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival (only up until Saturday) "gives visitors a broad view of what architects do and how they think, and guides us to pause and examine Kuala Lumpur's 'unseen' architecture."

•   New Zealand's Maori Television is offering a "fascinating" 13-part series about Maori architecture that explores Maori cultural and social history through its built environment.

•   We couldn't resist: An amazing slide show essay about "the world's most beautiful wastelands and fascinating post-apocalyptic spots."


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