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Today’s News - Monday, August 1, 2011

•   ArcSpace brings us luscious eyefuls of Chipperfield's Hepworth Wakefield gallery, and J. Mayer H.'s Spanish parasol.

•   Moore x 2: he offers one of the most thoughtful (and accurate) evaluations of what's been going on at Ground Zero since 9/11: "Is it a symbol? Is it an office block? It is both" (with some rather snarky comments from un-named architects) - your must-read of the day!

•   He finds Hadid's Aquatic Centre "is the Olympics' most majestic space" with an interior "that can only be described as stonking" (nary a hint of snark, but lots of other superlatives).

•   Booth offers up a bit more detail re: the (sometimes snarky) sparks flying between Finch and classicists re: his "overt prejudice" when it comes to modern vs. traditional.

•   Australian architects were none too pleased with competition process for new national pavilion for the Venice Biennale, so organizers have taken a new tack (though "start with design and then deal with credentials" approach doesn't "cut the mustard" with main fundraiser).

•   Saitowitz minces no words about why some big names didn't make the cut for shortlist in St. Petersburg, FL, pier competition (he's "Chihulied" and Gehry'd out) - but it's still an impressive shortlist.

•   Questions and controversy swirl around Detroit mayor's plans to consolidate neighborhoods and services: just how did the consultants arrive at their recommendations?

•   An architect becomes the student in a Caracas barrio, where he learns "that a place with makeshift dwellings and an apparent chaotic fabric can actually be a functional and congruent neighborhood" (some might say the same about Detroit these days).

•   Chattanooga kicks off a year-long design challenge in "a new effort to re-engage the public's imagination and participation in envisioning downtown" over the next 25 years.

•   Hawthorne x 2: he wanders Santa Monica with Corner to delve into his park plans, and finds "a fascinating interplay of urban design and public engagement" (and city fathers hoping for a High Line redux).

•   With Neutra's Kronish House "in the cross hairs" of a wrecking ball, he says it's past time for Beverly Hills to enact "a sensible review process for protecting important architecture" (though "there is a thin line between well-meaning crusades to save individual landmarks and moves to seal entire urban districts in amber").

•   Malta faces its own mid-century modern mash-up about the 1974 Manikata church, even though it's considered "an iconic landmark in Maltese architecture."

•   Freeman-Greene wonders what's with all the gray in Melbourne's architecture; experts say it's "a risk-averse culture in which developers take advice from real estate agents rather than architects"; "color used creatively can be dangerous"; "many architects simply aren't confident with color"; etc.

•   Challenging "optimistic renderings that purport to show actual real-world urban developments but which are in fact visual story-telling, of 'architecture fiction.'"

•   Dyckhoff launches a U.K. TV series tonight (developers and architects are responsible for creating "a nation of property porn addicts who overlook function"; Foster & Hadid next week): "Yes it's populist in a catch-your-breath kind of way, but he is to be applauded" + a live web debate tomorrow with Dyckhoff, Angela Brady, Robert Adam, and Liz Peace (should/could be fun!).

•   Mack offers a thoughtful tribute to Leonard Parker, whose "designs translated function into handsome form and have stood the test of time."

•   Call for entries: 2012 Benjamin Moore Hue Awards (North America).


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