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Today’s News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

•   Chaban reports on AIANY's efforts to have a seat - and a voice - at NYC's political tables: "Now we want to be there for the start of the discussion, or even initiating the discussion ourselves."

•   Meanwhile, the NYC DOT (and Sadik-Khan) now faces a couple speed bumps in its drive to reshape the city's streets.

•   Heathcote is disheartened by Britain's high streets: "This is a landscape of aesthetic and social dysfunction...Streets need to make us see the city anew as a place that is alive rather than an architectural Stepford wife."

•   UVA's $50 million plans to restore Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda include getting rid of six 100-year-old magnolias; needless to say, not all are pleased (especially when the project is actually restoring the Stanford White version of the famed building).

•   When a religious group wants to sell off its house of worship but historians want to save it, who should decide?

•   Dvir reports on efforts to save at least the façade of a 1957 movie theater in Bat Yam; developers want to raze it to make room for a luxury high-rise (what else?).

•   Colombian architect Simon Velez is gaining ground in his global crusade for new uses of bamboo: it is now an approved construction material in Colombia's building code.

•   Landscape architects are on a crusade to "end the unsustainable harvesting of Ipe wood and scale up the use of sustainable alternatives" that could also prove to be "a new source of employment in cities like Cleveland and Detroit, where landscapes aren't as productive as they could be."

•   Q&A with the "maestro of super-tall buildings" Adrian Smith re: why skyscrapers are efficient and eco-friendly (as will be the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, "which will take the title of world's tallest when - and if - it is built").

•   Lexington, KY's Living Arts & Science Center plans to expand "with a beautiful contemporary addition" that "promises to be one of Lexington's most exciting pieces of contemporary architecture" (though not all are pleased).

•   Troppo Architects and others win big Down Under in the Weddell New-Town Urban Design Competition: "I think everyone's had their mind boggled with the notion of building a new city in the bush."

•   Eyefuls of the winners in the 2011 ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture (great presentations!).

•   DXA/Design Exchange Awards announces Canada's top 50 design projects (alas, only the names).

•   Dunlop x 2 re: Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami: she chats with Adjaye, who "takes center stage as an unconventional choice" for Design Miami's Designer of the Year + The events are "about art, of course, but it is also about the integration of art into the larger world - in public projects, in public spaces, in commercial districts."

•   Heathcote weighs in on the celebration as well: "Miami has been an intriguing experiment in the dynamics of the urban distribution and dispersal of art and design space and installation."

•   Meanwhile, AIA New Orleans is about to kick off its 5th Annual DesCours, a free, public, 10-night architecture, art and entertainment event that includes installations within "hidden" locations in the heart of the city.

•   One we couldn't resist: Safdie's Habitat 67 finds itself "in top spot in a competition to determine the next Lego architecture set."


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