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Today’s News - Thursday, December 15, 2011

•   A number of must reads today: A fascinating look at how the need for security has led to better public spaces because "architects and landscape designers are transforming necessity into opportunity."

•   Norquist makes the case for congestion: cities "should recognize that traffic is often a sign of dynamism."

•   Meanwhile, Vega-Barachowitz makes the case for bike lanes: "City street design, though perhaps the least glamorous subfield in the dialogues surrounding landscape urbanism, just might be its most highly contentious and politically volatile element - and therefore one of its most interesting."

•   Berg offers a baleful tale of L.A.'s paint-bedraggled bike lanes that don't "sit well with a public increasingly skeptical about even meager investments of public money in projects that, for example, take away a lane from car traffic."

•   On a brighter note, some fab graphics that illustrate "how bikes can solve our biggest problems, and how to make cyclists safer without making drivers feel like they're under attack."

•   Glancey x 2: he looks back at the year in architecture: "No building summed up 2011 quite like the Shard, a sky-high hymn to optimism...perhaps it is an Empire State Building for our times."

•   He tools around Central Saint Martins to find out if the students are happy with their "spectacular new home...Here is a rugged yet heroic place, a fusion of modern design and 19th-century industry" (students weighing in with comments are not so rosy).

•   Zandberg minces no words about what she thinks of the new wing of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque: it's "marred by minor, annoying, and even amusing flaws - along with one very major one."

•   A snapshot of some favorite new buildings in South Africa.

•   Rothstein reviews the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center (a.k.a. internment camp museum) in Wyoming: it "is not uniformly successful in its ambitions, but its impact is still considerable."

•   The BLDG 92 museum and visitors center in the Brooklyn Navy Yard has a mission beyond education and sustainability.

•   BIG's big new project is a ski resort in Finland, where folks will be able to ski away from the resort via the rooftops (we kid you not).

•   Stanford University is adding to its arts district with two new buildings by DS+R, Boora, and Ennead.

•   An eyeful of a stunning roadside church inspired by E. Fay Jones in the middle of nowhere.

•   Happy 104th Birthday to Niemeyer; with no plans to retire he remains happy, but also aware of life's difficulties. "The future is problematic and uncertain for us all."

•   A not so happy birthday present: his name is to be removed from the Centro Niemeyer in Spain because of a very public feud.

•   Palm Springs approves a multi-colored hotel (despite an objection that it "has less to do with 'desert hues' than with branding Palm Springs 'Gay'" - now we've heard everything).

•   Call for entries/RFQ: New U.S. Embassy Compound in Mexico City.


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