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Today’s News - Friday, February 3, 2012

•   Holl is "the chosen one" (over Snøhetta and Morphosis) to design Museum of Fine Arts, Houston expansion.

•   Mays marvels at a new residential development in Toronto's Little Portugal that "is no bully, but makes no bones about the fact that it's different" - it's helping to "shape the image of the city in fresh, bracing ways."

•   Of minarets and domes: is this really "a bad time for Islamic architecture" in America, or because good design comes up with modern forms?

•   Lewis finds Gehry's design for Eisenhower memorial is "creatively unconventional, innovative in form and use of materials, monumental in scale - and the wrong thing to build."

•   Foes of Christo's "Over the River" take a final stand and "unleashed their final barrage."

•   Birnbaum is a bit bewildered by Boston's "grass ceiling" when it comes to funding the city's Emerald Necklace: "Where are the Boston equivalents of major philanthropists who donated $35 million to New York's High Line?"

•   Joy joins Holl in Princeton University project.

•   An emerging British talent laments that small firms will always lose out to the "big boys" when it comes large-scale projects.

•   Rose offers a most amusing take on the week in review (most of it good news, too).

•   Bernstein looks into P+W's free online database of hazardous building materials.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Kamin cheers Tigerman's show at the Graham Foundation that "encapsulates the work and wit of Chicago's design provocateur": it's "well worth seeing, even if you're already familiar with his eclectic opus and wisecracking ways."

•   L.A.'s Chinese American Museum presents four Chinese-American architects who helped shape the city "as modernist architectural visionaries."

•   Searle is stirred by Thomas Demand's photos of Lautner's "bent and battered models" with "chewed corners and dinked, friable edges": they "show what happens when modernity gets old."

•   "Migrating Landscapes" migrates to Toronto, exploring "the influence of migration and immigration on Canadian architects and designers"; we'll soon know which firms make Team Canada at this year's Venice Biennale.

•   Schwarzer sizes up Rosenfeld's "Building After Auschwitz": it's a "grandly ambitious book," but "evaluating Jewish-American architects for the Jewishness of their built works feels like a forced and, given the book's lack of evidence to the contrary, futile exercise."

•   Kraus gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Ascher's "The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper": it's successful on one level, but skirts some important topics (like the "complex layers of society, culture, and politics").

•   Welton is wowed by "Windfall," a documentary that's not tilting at windmills: it "delivers a profound message: Look before you leap into wind power."

•   We couldn't resist: the Strandbeest, a kinetic sculpture by a Dutch artist and physicist, takes Melbourne, making "even the most stolid of Melburnians nervous" (so worth looking up video of this creature, too!).


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