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Today’s News - Monday, February 13, 2012

•   ArcSpace brings us Meier x 2 with a glimmering villa in Italy, and an elegant tower in Mexico City.

•   Sad losses x 2: Sklarek, who broke through more than one glass ceiling as the first African American woman to become a licensed architect in the U.S.; and third-generation Weston, a California mid-century modern master in his won right.

•   A passing of a different sort: Glancey pens his last column for the Guardian, reflecting on his 15 years as critic, and "the buildings that have stopped me in my tracks because of their beauty or audacity, and sometimes both."

•   Badger takes on the dilemma of density, which is "supposed to be the answer to a whole range of urban challenges" - but there's that nagging public distaste for building tall; one answer: "put density wherever you don't like what you currently have," and "of course ensure that it's not awful."

•   Alpert reports on Washington, DC's 4-year effort to re-write its zoning code by "looking at development patterns from 100 years ago while adding some 21st century touches" (tall buildings included).

•   Gang and Lindsay offer a fix for the housing crisis that goes beyond throwing money at current problems: "at the core of the crisis but wholly ignored: design and urban planning" (zoning changes included).

•   A conference in Bhutan tackles some thorny issues facing South Asian countries, such as urbanization: "it is only in the last few years that architects and urban planners are becoming mindful of their own moral failure to serve the larger and deeper interest of society."

•   Nigerian architects and planners call for a clamp-down on "the incursion of foreign architects practicing illegally" and a need to let clients know that there is local talent that can do the work just as well.

•   Rochon looks at library systems from all over that, in the face of budget cuts, are "focusing hard on the economic case" that makes them "crucial to a vibrant civic life."

•   Campbell cheers BSA's new HQ on the Boston waterfront, with hopes it "gets more of us talking with one another about the city...And the Green Stair? I see it as a signal flag, a marker of one place where that conversation will occur."

•   Neyfakh offers the fascinating tale of how the much-loved and/or much-reviled Boston City Hall came about; its original architects "remain defiantly in love with it."

•   A (hopefully) happy ending to the Manny Hanny saga on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue: the Bertoia sculptures will return! (of course, "several other contentious elements remain").

•   The Port of Miami gives two thumbs-ups to Arquitectonica's design for new tunnel entries that is "evocative and distinctly modern," yet "reminiscent of an Egyptian temple front"; the design has "transformed an elephant into something beautiful."

•   Iovine profiles five architecture firms that are "attracting global attention to Brazil's design boom."

•   The Top 10 must-see buildings of Israel is "an eclectic mix of the ancient to the avant-garde."

•   Rose reviews the week in architecture that includes Moby parsing "strange LA architecture," and the architecture board game to "test your knowledge and alienate your non-architectural friends even further."

•   Say it ain't so! Graves and Target to go their own ways (but plans afoot to keep us design snobs trekking to "Tarzhay").


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