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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

•   A Pritzker Prize surprise: Wang Shu of China. We're thrilled. The work is very thoughtful and quite beautiful. But we're more than a bit disappointed in what seems a repeat of the 1991 Venturi and Scott Brown snafu.

•   Hawthorne has lunch with the laureate in L.A.: "should his wife be sharing the Pritzker Prize with him? 'Yes.'"

•   Pearson gets an explanation why his wife/partner was not included (not all that convincing to us).

•   Kamin says pick "signals a shift toward relevancy"; Wang is "a different breed from recent Pritzker winners...that augurs well both for his country and the continued relevance of the Pritzker Prize."

•   Lifson lauds Wang's hopes to "influence this generation of Chinese architects to realize that China must not demolish history to develop"; re: his wife and only partner: "without me, no design. Without her, it can't become reality."

•   Russell commends the jury for making Wang Shu "an international messenger for humane, people-centered places."

•   The Hyatt Foundation's official 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate website - with tons of info and images.

•   Aric Chen assesses the makeover of the National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square: the architects "did an admirable job combining old and new. But has a programming infrastructure that lags behind its architectural ambition, and neither seems to have been planned with the other in mind."

•   It's a who's who of a shortlist in the running to design Cornell's $2 billion technology and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.

•   Detroit's MOCAD picks a New York team for redesign; their "sensitivity to site history made the team stand out" (now all it needs is the moolah).

•   Russell cheers Gehry's Signature Center, now "one of New York's best new off-Broadway theaters" by returning to his roots and "conjuring cheerfully informal sculptured spaces in faceted planes of humble plywood."

•   Browne offers an amusing take on the "waning of wild architecture," when "eccentric" was meant as a compliment (and Goff "was a nutty follower of Frank Lloyd Wright").

•   Dublin-based Heneghan Peng tapped to be Ireland's showpiece at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

•   Q&A with a New York architect who has designed bookshelves to re-purpose now-unused pay phone stands: "his persistence speaks to the sustainable, community-driven bent of architecture as art" (despite "some unforeseen obstacles" like "the swift theft of both the first prototype and its books").

•   The University of Texas at Arlington establishes the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture in honor of the late critic.

•   AAF and USCM honor Philadelphia Mayor Nutter with the 2012 Riley Award for Leadership in Urban Design.

•   Four university teams are finalists in the ULI Hines Student Urban Design Competition to re-envision a grand but shuttered post office in Houston (great presentations).

•   Call for entries: Co.Design/Porsche $20,000 Next Design Challenge (it can be "smaller than a living room and bigger than a purse" - as long as it's not a car).


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