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Today’s News - Friday, September 9, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's newsletter is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. A decade. Ten years. Oddly, it feels like only ten minutes. Memories begin rushing back. Conversations become hushed reflections of where each of us was that morning - each of us remembers in minute detail. Today, my city is basking in another gloriously sunny day, and I'm heartened by memories of my recent walk-abouts here and there: the High Line in late summer bloom and the architectural garden rising around it. A Gehry glimmering in a late afternoon sun. A carousel wrapped in a Nouvel about to start spinning on the Brooklyn waterfront. And tourists asking which train goes to Ground Zero. Life goes on, but we will never forget. - Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA

•   Schama looks for a friend's name in "cut into the blackened bronze lip that overlooks the cascades" and reflects on "what makes a successful memorial? The world music of those names is perhaps all the eloquence we need."

•   Schumacher finds the Ground Zero memorial "an unflinching confrontation with loss" and "the amount of intelligence, investment, innovation and muscle being poured into this place" is unlike anything she's ever seen.

•   Nobel bemoans that "the search for meaning at Ground Zero still proves painfully elusive."

•   Saffron says the memorial "is a surprisingly effective emotional prompt for our feelings," but what is being built around it reflects "the narrative of the last decade, when corporate greed took precedence over civic good."

•   Kennicott x 2: the Ground Zero Memorial "is an extraordinary thing," but to succeed, "it must ultimately merge with the landscape of New York not as a place apart."

•   He finds the 9/11 memorial at Shanksville "inspires thoughtfulness and repose, without adding undue pomposity or sentiment," but best to see it soon "if you want to hear the memorial speak softly as it now does, before it becomes blander and generic."

•   The Pentagon Memorial is "a quiet lesson for the living" - it is "not a cemetery, at all. Go ahead and sit."

•   Gendall x 2 in conversations with Michael Arad re: "Reflecting Absence"; and David Childs re: Ground Zero: "Architects should be particularly proud. This is a truly New York project."

•   Iovine's thoughtful take on what has happened in architecture since 9/11: the "intense public focus was pure adrenaline for architects," but, alas, "the moment didn't last."

•   Kamin's thoughtful take on how 9/11 changed architecture: "Just as the attacks did not destroy the human urge to build taller, so they did not vanquish our desire to gather in vibrant public spaces."

•   Tischler gets into the details of how 9/11 changed the way skyscrapers are designed: at 1WRC, it won't be "how can a flock of stiletto-wearing fashionistas get down 102 stories safely?" But rather, "Where can we park our armada of town cars?" Believe it or not, that's progress."

•   A fascinating look at the campaign against the original WTC construction in the 1960s: "The idea of making the towers the tallest in the world came from the Port Authority's marketing department."

•   The BMW Guggenheim Lab and "Supertall!" offer two competing ideas of architecture: "Should all architectural projects resort to minimalism out of ecological necessity? Or should those who create them strive for ever-inventive ways to trounce gravity?"


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