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Today’s News - Thursday, August 25, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: A reminder that we're taking Monday's and Friday's off through Labor Day. We'll be back Tuesday, August 30. Happy Weekend!

•   Assessing the damage after the East Coast's strongest earthquake in 67 years: is "this part of the country, with its older architecture and inexperience with seismic activity, prepared for a truly powerful quake?" + Gotham Gazette offers up its in-depth 2008 report "Preparing for the Great New York Earthquake" (and here comes Hurricane Irene!).

•   Earthquake ravaged Christchurch unveils its ambitious £1 billion vision of the future

•   a low rise, people-friendly "city in a garden." + The city commissions Shigeru Ban to design a cardboard cathedral (it looks pretty amazing).

•   Architecture and security: a new U.S. government program "underscores the fact that security and design excellence are not separate matters to be reconciled."

•   Jones jams into a few paragraphs about Piano's Shard one of the most vitriolic commentaries we've ever read: "a broken society's towering achievement" and "quite obviously and even gleefully the imposition of a style of architecture that is banal, moneyed, and grimly businesslike" (ouch!).

•   Not to be out-done, sparks continue to fly re: the "fossilized thinking" and "shoddy process" (i.e. design/build) resulting in "four mediocre design options for the new Royal Alberta Museum" (ouch, again!).

•   On brighter notes: Despite the bad economy, the Toronto Public Library "has quietly been improving the cityscape" and "raising the bar for world-class contemporary architecture and design along the way."

•   Lubell cheers O'Herlihy's update of Julius Shulman's 1950 Los Angeles house.

•   Gross.Max envisions Berlin's former Tempelhof Airport as "a contemporary prairie for the urban cowboy."

•   Boddy offers a most eloquent report from the final edition of Brian MacKay-Lyons' Ghost Lab: an impressive list of attendees and a "generosity of spirit everywhere evident."

•   Long sits down with the Olympics head of design: the "Queen of the East is part of a new generation of architects interested not in futuristic shapes and utopian dreams but in the lessons of how our city has developed."

•   Hume sits down with Prix de Rome winner Fitzgerald to discuss her take on urban agriculture.

•   How Turkey's First "Slow City" is finding ways to keep its traditional ways of agriculture alive.

•   Call for entries: YUL-MTL: Moving Landscapes International Ideas Competition for the gateway corridor linking Montreal-Trudeau International Airport to the city's downtown.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Safdie gets the Charlie Rose treatment.

•   King x 2: AIA San Francisco's Architecture and the City Festival "version 9.0 may be the most thorough yet." + He gives thumbs-up to two new books and an oh-so-green building.

•   Bullivant cheers "Living in the Endless City" that is "a powerful convergence of values" with "illustrations are vividly telling."

•   We couldn't resist: architectural greats recreated as "knuckle dusters" (i.e. rings for fingers of architects who have everything - now we know what we want for Christmas!).


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