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Today’s News - Thursday, February 16, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Our apologies for not posting yesterday - we were without power most of the morning, but all's well now (so far, anyway...).

•   Westcott pays tribute to "the most inventive, dogged, and systematically intelligent member" of the Metabolist movement.

•   Chaban digs deep into what happened to the high hopes for Obama's urban agenda: "Even the administration's staunchest supporters struggle to find much to brag about."

•   Berg tools around Vancouver with the city's now-ousted planning director who, though the odds were against him from the start, remains optimistic.

•   Architectural historian Massey explores how the housing crisis, OWS, and the 99% personify "the national unease about deepening economic inequality and the waning of the American dream."

•   On a brighter note, Mays is amazed by a housing project for formerly homeless in Toronto "that has been largely shaped by ordinary citizens mobilized on behalf of the public good" that is a lesson in "citizenship and commitment to old-fashioned could be social architecture of a high order."

•   Dvir tries to find something good to say about a massive new hospital tower that "brutally changes the West Jerusalem horizon" (though he does like the interiors); residents will just "have to get used to it," sayeth the architect.

•   A zoning mandate to include arts spaces in Washington, DC's downtown office buildings sounds good on paper, but it's more like a "shotgun marriage" with property managers seeing it as a "poison pill," and the arts scene often hard to find.

•   Krier decries Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial (what took him so long?): Modernism is "a theory that has been brain-dead for half a century," and the "Gehry style is a century old; it seems 'innovative' only to the ignorant" (and so it goes...).

•   OMA's plan for a Venice palazzo on the Grand Canal has preservationists up in arms.

•   A study shows the Battersea Power Station is worth more dead and flattened than alive.

•   A fascinating reassessment of Arcosanti: the new director's first job is "to remind the world that it exists as a going concern" and not just "a historical curiosity"; has it lived up to its potential? "'No. Don't be silly,' Soleri said, and then laughed."

•   New research shows increased injury rates on LEED projects, and offers suggestions to mitigate some (though we're a bit confused by "perceived" risk percentages).

•   Abu Dhabi approves new Yas Island master plan for a waterfront community of up to 55,000: "good 'walkability' is a key factor in the design."

•   A jury picks Foster for Patna Museum project in India, but the government is "reluctant to proceed because of the size of the architect's fee"; the contract might go to Maki, who placed second.

•   The 7th Annual Palm Springs Modernism Week kicks off today (wish we could be there!).

•   We couldn't resist: Moby's new architecture blog: "We Angelenos are going to have to teach him why this is strictly against code...please, keep telling your New York friends that it's a vacuous hellhole with no charms."

•   Call for entries: Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge: projects and research for an exhibit at Toronto's Design Exchange.


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