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Today’s News - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

•   Strongman has some strong words about "resilience" and "toughness" used "extensively by the media and government to try to contain the traumatized" Christchurch in its post-quake "afterlife" - the use "is glib, irrelevant and insulting."

•   Lewis outlines the many causes for the decline of affordable housing: "Don't expect the problem to reverse anytime soon" because it "remains near the bottom of the problem-solving priority agenda."

•   Bernstein looks at a trend in NYC that is seeing the conversion of public or institutional buildings into high-end housing; to affordable housing advocates, it's "a victory for the wealthy," while "preservation advocates look to condo developers as white knights."

•   Popova suggests perhaps its time to revisit Rudofsky's 1964 "Architecture Without Architects" and what "ancient cities in Sudan and China can teach us about designing better communities."

•   Seville stands to lose its UNESCO World Heritage Site status if Pelli's 40-story tower goes forward - though the new city council "might try to lower the height of the building."

•   Badger examines a new NTHP report that "puts big numbers behind the finding that the greenest buildings aren't in fact state-of-the-art ones; they're the ones we already have."

•   Hume cheers new projects that prove "heritage is the way of the future...the case for conservation, practical as well as cultural, is self-evident. It pays off civically and economically" + Details of plans for one project that will revitalize a long-empty Toronto treasure.

•   There could be a wrecking ball heading towards a mid-century modern treasure in Fort Worth preservationists didn't even know existed until a few years ago: it was "abandoned since 2008 and deteriorating rapidly. Amon Carter III said it is time to move on."

•   Heathcote cheers Pawson's plans for London's Design Museum: it "could do for design what Tate Modern did for contemporary art."

•   Wainwright welcomes the museum's move to the Commonwealth Institute, but wonders "will it work in the wasteland of the west...tightly hemmed in by three 'generic' housing blocks" he calls "humility OMA-style."

•   The Community College of San Francisco considers a new ZGF-designed home for a massive, "dazzling" mural by Diego Rivera that has been languishing in semi-obscurity.

•   Q&A with Piano re: "his chivalrous addition" to the Gardner Museum: "Bold in its restraint, his new building is not the tail wagging the dog" - "our decision was not to compete at all."

•   Abu Dhabi sets new timetable for Nouvel's Louvre and Gehry's Guggenheim (alas, no mention of Hadid and Ando Saadiyat Island projects).

•   Memphis Botanic Garden approves plans for a "box-in-a-box" outdoor stage that will" fit into a green hedge and be framed by towering trees."


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