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Today’s News - Monday, January 9, 2012

•   ArcSpace brings us Holl's adventure in Biarritz (via Baan's lens).

•   On sadder notes, Saffron, Kamin, Mays, and Hawthorne pay tribute to Tyng, Summers, Robbie, and Legorreta.

•   On a brighter note, Hume offers "10 reasons to feel optimistic about Toronto: Random acts of urbanity are still breaking out all over."

•   Knöfel minces no words about Piano's Shard: "ambition and arrogance have blinded" the developer and architect "to the building's disregard for London's history and character...Even its name sounds aggressive."

•   Heathcote and Hammond tackle the continuing "urge to build tall...skyscrapers were always more about ego than profit...All those spiky skylines have become a kind of electrocardiogram of dynamism. No city wants to flatline."

•   Goldhagen has a most interesting take on why tree metaphors appeal to architects.

•   Meanwhile, New Zealand has a leaky home crisis having to do with chemical-free wood and a "leaky regulatory regime."

•   A Zambian architect explains the havoc caused by government regulations being ignored and buildings being "designed and constructed by incompetent people" - leaving qualified architects struggling for business and graduates with no place to go.

•   Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music's new digs: "true contextualism has always been a dialogue between past and present, not mindless mimicry. And that's what the new building delivers."

•   Gropius and his group may have "put a radical stamp on architecture, design and art education," but they forgot to protect the name.

•   Unable to restore a shrine in Iran, a U.S. organization and an Iranian-American architect have decided "the only option is to restore the site - virtually."

•   Orange County Great Park's master plan "is being dramatically altered, raising questions as to whether the nearly $50 million spent in planning documents and designs is being wasted."

•   Calthorpe calls for high-speed rail for California that would spur innovative land use and "breed the kind of economic development and communities" sorely needed in the state.

•   AIA Twenty-five Year Award goes to the 1978 Gehry Residence in Santa Monica: its "fundamental material modesty and formal experimentation marks a Rubicon in the history of contemporary architecture" + 2012 AIA Institute Honor Awards recognize excellence (great presentations).

•   AIA Minnesota 2011 Honor Awards "are characterized by modernist lines, environmental awareness and a kind of boxy, no-frills understatement that appears to reflect today's tough economic climate."

•   BSA announces ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) - a new tradeshow and conference coming in November.


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