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Today’s News - Friday, February 24, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for not posting the newsletter yesterday - the gods of the internets were apparently not happy with us (again).

•   Weinstein is wowed by two new books "on design research and transformational ideas through architectural history" with "potent practical uses" that "you can't afford to bypass."

•   The Chicago Housing Authority opts for a stellar team (instead of the wrecking ball) to find new life for a 1938 public housing complex.

•   An eyeful of sociologist Schalliol's photos of "the dramatic transformation" of Chicago's South Side, from "the demolitions of the city's infamous public housing projects" to their replacements as mixed-income communities.

•   Brussat ventures to Vegas and finds "a new concert hall that looked like a concert hall. Imagine that. It is architecture at the top of its game" (and lots of pix to prove it).

•   Michael Graves's Portland Building still causing controversy after 30 years, "declared both an architectural atrocity and a brilliant piece of innovation; says the architect: "At least they're still talking about it."

•   On the other side of the Big Pond, Wainwright wades into Bradford's new "puddle in the park," the UK's largest water feature (and probably among its most expensive); needless to say, it's causing lots of controversy.

•   A stellar team from both sides of the pond tapped for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park South.

•   PRP heads to St. Petersburg, Russia, by winning a massive mixed-use project on Vasilievsky Island (lots of pix).

•   McGuirk hops aboard Heatherwick's new Routemaster and likes what he sees: "the demonstrative return of good design to the capital's infrastructure" (great pix here, too).

•   Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to CTBUH's new skyscraper database: "I took a quick spin through the site and found it to work well, with some exceptions."

•   Renfro ruminates on designing museums, "profound" rejection, and now being "firmly part of the architecture elite": "But we do like to work outside the system when we can."

•   The "relentlessness of Maya Lin is something to be in awe of."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Lange lauds MoMA's "Foreclosure," but longs for a bit more meat: "these are not blueprints but visions" that "by and large, replace knee-jerk saltboxes with knee-jerk contemporanaeity. It is more modern, but is it appealing?"

•   Campbell cheers three "fascinating" shows in Boston and Cambridge "all rooted in architecture" (though Preston Scott Cohen's "is strictly for the die-hard architecture groupies" - but "once you penetrate the blather, there's much to see").

•   Two amazing takes by Dillon and Poynor on the history of - and our love affair with - "ruin lust" (a.k.a. "ruin porn").

•   "Massimo Scolari" at Yale School of Architecture is "probably one of the best representations of that right brain-left brain synergy of artist and engineer that defines the best architects" (lots of pix).

•   Goldring gives (mostly) thumbs-up to the collection of essays in "Raimund Abraham and the Austrian Culture Forum New York": it is a "valuable record of the architect and this project while we await a comprehensive monograph on his life and work."


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