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Today’s News - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

•   Heymann calls out architects for their "rhetorical use of landscape" that "is a form of deceit, a means-versus-ends intellectual sleight of hand" because they "know this is a shorthand method of tapping into a primary vein of cultural meaningfulness" (Part 1 of 3 - we can't wait for the next two!).

•   Rochon rues that "North American cities continue to ignore the invaluable civic lessons" she found in Paris's "divine" Place des Vosges.

•   A new research group at Columbia University comes up with what one might consider a totally bizarro idea: connect Lower Manhattan to Governors Island using landfill - "It may be an impossible project. But it is the kind of big thinking that New York needs."

•   Goldhagen is aglow amidst the "sublimely beautiful example of environmental architecture" that is The Sea Ranch: it may have failed as a model alternative to suburban sprawl, but "it offers a world-class model of a different sort."

•   An economist calls out Irish architects and the RIAI, claiming current contracts allow them to avoid responsibility.

•   RIAI's director begs to differ and claims the "argument is based on a false premise...We are all entitled to our opinions - but facts must also have their place."

•   Details of the deal DIA struck with Calatrava re: his drawings for the Denver airport; it hasn't been an inexpensive venture, but authorities say "We got everything that we wanted."

•   Zandberg minces no words about the decision to exclude architecture critics from the unveiling of Israel's national theater: it "is just the latest step in this absurdly secretive project" and "another example of the chronic absence of transparency in the fields of planning and architecture" (never mind what was done to a landmark: it "s not a renovation but an all-out revolution").

•   Hawthorne hails us from 2012 Olympic venues: "Instead of having been designed to make a statement, as in Beijing, London's stadiums...promise to be an exercise in architectural restraint" (that's not a bad thing).

•   Mays cheers a new West Don Lands condo complex that promises to be "one of the most imaginative multi-family residential schemes" in Toronto.

•   Q&A with King re: San Francisco's epic preservation battles and how modernist architects manage to get their buildings built: "The way you get through the groups is to give them most of what they want."

•   Dvir reports on the sad tale of how privatization is killing a kibbutz culture center: "it will likely not regain its past glory" and "likely to soon be abandoned altogether and become a silent, forgotten monument to the ethos on which the kibbutz was founded."

•   Newport's battle over Maya Lin's plan for a memorial to Doris Duke: critics "denounced it as ersatz history and the result of a kind of celebrity-artist-shopping."

•   An eyeful of J. Mayer H.'s new Turkey-Georgia border crossing: "one might expect this striking seaside stunner to house a luxury hotel or millionaire's abode, in reality it serves as a customs checkpoint."

•   An eyeful of Atlantic Yards' prefab B2 tower (it "almost makes you miss Miss Brooklyn").

•   Hadid shrugs off criticism: "they thought they were going to beat me up so much that I would give up. That was the plan, but I didn't."

•   The finger-pointing starts after Beijing's airport terminal roof blows off for the second time: "the roof area was too large for maintenance workers to make sure every screw on the metal panels was tightened after five years' use" (huh?!!?).

•   Call for entries/ RFQ (deadline looms!): Leipzig Monument to Freedom and Unity.


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