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Today’s News - Friday, March 23, 2012

•   Rybczynski explains what critics get wrong about Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial: it "would not sprawl over the entire site"; it's more a memorial "in what is effectively a new public park"; it's been described "as 'Gehryesque,' as if it were an alien presence. But this is precisely what it is not."

•   Mays on Toronto's new mantra: "Build tall, live small - the post-war era of the spacious new detached house is well and truly over" (with some fascinating statistics to prove it).

•   The incoming Australian Institute of Architects ACT chapter president says Canberra "shouldn't ignore its heartless reputation" - he wants to "up-end the planning apple cart and put the apples back where they should have been in the first place."

•   Dubai approves replacement for Hadid's opera house - apparently design work is underway (there's a rendering) - but no architect's name attached.

•   Palm Springs Art Museum taps Marmol + Radziner to transform a 1960 E. Stewart Williams building into an architecture and design annex.

•   Dvir on the questionable fate of a former "home away from home for the jet set," now abandoned - and its possible new lease on life (too bad it's been turned "from modern architectural pearl to generic building").

•   Rose's review of the week includes Wren's St Bride's Church in dire need of restoration, and the Maidstone Museum "gets blinged up - Prince Charles would doubtless add it to his 'monstrous carbuncle' file" (and lots more).

•   Hume on Bell Canada's new cell phone towers disguised as pine trees: leave it to the private sector to recognize the importance of appearances - "Imagine the outrage" if taxpayer money were to be spent "on something as frivolous as preserving the landscape."

•   Nield named Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medalist; he wanted to be Barangaroo's design director and "appeared a shade miffed to be passed over."

•   Moore on Moussavi: she's "always inventive, never predictable, this architect's fascination lies in making pieces of city in a globalised world."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Kennicott is taken by Aitken's "Song 1" projections on the Hirshhorn Museum: "As an urban intervention, it is brilliant, animating one of the city's monumentally grim dead zones...a perfect melding of messaging, ideology and architecture" (looks truly amazing!).

•   Schumacher sings high praise for Hustwit's "Urbanized," an "ambitious film" that "hints at how hard urban design can be" and a "sign that urbanism has become less about tricked-out architecture and more about close-to-the-ground, community-driven innovations."

•   "Drylands Design" at L.A.'s A+D Museum offers visionary responses to the challenges of water scarcity in the face of climate change.

•   At the Farnsworth Museum in Maine, an impressive lineup of architects imagines a modern home for a growing family in "The Homestead Project - a Residence Reimagined."

•   "Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century" explores the man who shaped New York's skyline in the 1920s - on view in one of his own classic buildings in Manhattan (great website!).

•   "Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870-1930" is more than "any mere historical study...Why contemporary students would want to live in a Hogwort's dream such as Porphyrios's Whitman [dorm] is really what this show is about."

•   In "Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World's Least Sustainable City," Ross ponders: "could Phoenix break free from its brown reputation?"

•   Hicks Stone sets the record straight about his father: "It's an ironic story...Dad would have imagined me as the last one who have stepped up for this, and he would have had a good laugh."

•   "Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader" looks like a must-read to us (with link to excerpt).

•   "Alexander Girard" is "not tempered with austere observations or cynicism" about this "obsessive design mind."

•   One we couldn't resist (and the stuff of dreams): a Dutch engineer builds wings - and flies!


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