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Today’s News - Thursday, October 13, 2011

•   Good news/bad news re: 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale: we cheer the team and theme selected for the U.S. Pavilion!

•   Betsky bemoans the probability that Berlusconi is ousting the Biennale's president to replace him with a food business executive (who brought Gatorade to Italy): "Luckily, there is still some hope."

•   Kimmelman cheers "a quiet revolution" in NYC with dozens of public buildings being designed by gifted architects instead of the lowest bidders - a reminder that "governments actually do get things right sometimes."

•   Instead of "half-timbered buildings and medieval romance" of a German village on the outskirts of Shanghai, Speer thought he knew better and convinced the Chinese what they really wanted was a sort of Bauhaus-style residential quarter; now it's a ghost town - nobody wants to live there (slide show really proves it).

•   Hawthorne on LACMA's architectural mix: "it seems to attract and then foreclose visionary architectural plans"; but does it really "need to feel unified architecturally? Maybe not."

•   Brussat x 2: Gehry's proposed design for the Eisenhower memorial "is being blasted by a well-aimed (and well-deserved) bombardment," including at a forum where he was "peppered with hostile questions" for "kicking tradition in the shins."

•   He gives Douthat kudos "for noticing the difference between beauty and ugliness," but he doesn't seem to get new urbanism: "criticizing tradition remains the hypocrisy that dare not speak its name."

•   Weder chronicles life in a "moderny, hurty house" - a machine for living in that she "was inept at operating," and "began to miss the reassuring privacy of those tyrannical barriers we call walls, doors, and curtains" (a great read).

•   Preservationists are more than a bit peeved over planning process to redo Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis that "some regard as one of the great American Modernist plazas."

•   Stern wins his first U.K. project: the redesign of a Mayfair mansion block as a luxury development in central London.

•   Koolhaas talks about his Barbican exhibition, Maggie's Centre Gartnavel, Glasgow, why the Brutalist Preston bus station should be treasured, and why architecture is "not just for super-rich."

•   The Philippines' first LEED Gold tower rises in Manila: "it will help pave the way for other architects to promote green principles in architecture."

•   After a much-needed revamp, the University of Oklahoma's College of Architecture is now a "jewel" of the campus.

•   Dvir delves into a collection of Shulman photos "discovered by chance" documenting his "seminal trip to Israel in 1959, in which he captured in a moving way both urban and rural landscapes."

•   10 communities earn Walk Friendly status (great presentation - and some real surprises).

•   2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards winners announced (and another great presentation).

•   Sjunkhatten National Park Competition in Norway names a winner: "the jury found the mythical approach appropriate for enriching children's experience of nature."

•   Call for entries: Strategies for Public Occupation; 1st Prize: The possibility of a new world order.

•   We couldn't resist: an eyeful of the winners in the 2011 Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest.



  


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