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Today’s News - Monday, April 16, 2012

•   Scruton and Grenfell add to the cacophony surrounding Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial: "Starchitects do not build for people - they build to shock" (instead of being "conscious contributors to a shared public space") + "If this higgledy-piggledy array of disparate objects spread over four football fields doesn't resemble sprawl, it certainly doesn't resemble good urbanism" (hence "Rybczynski is wrong").

•   Doig delves into some of the dilemmas arising from landmarking historic districts: it "not only cements a city's best sections as enclaves for the rich, it has wider anti-urban reverberations."

•   Brussat takes on Rudolph and Gehry: "Modern architecture is flawed not because so many of its buildings leak but because modernism sets itself against the human spirit."

•   Protests force a Ukrainian developer to scrap plans for "a glitzy business center" Kiev's best-known tourist spot (but not before the bulldozers rumbled through): he promises to "return the original look to the destroyed facades" (now that's historic).

•   Seattle is trying to find a compromise for Counterbalance Park where a sculpture honoring a wealthy benefactor has preservationists and landscape architects up in arms.

•   Not holding an open competition for Australia's Venice Biennale Pavilion is a lost - and "wasted" - opportunity.

•   Farrelly, on the other hand, thinks otherwise: "There are three good buildings in the Venice Giardini. Three out of 29. Now...there'll be a fourth; DCM's Australia Pavilion."

•   She's not quite so upbeat about the Museum of Contemporary Art's "blocky new" Mordant Wing in Sydney: "It does it well, in its shoulder-padded, faux-brutalist way. But I wanted the enchanting, the sophisticated, the sublime - and it's not that."

•   Campbell gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Leers Weinzapfel's copper-clad medical museum for the otherwise massive (mostly gray) Massachusetts General Hospital: "in the hands of inventive architects," the "tiny building succeeds in its goal of grabbing your attention, inciting your curiosity, and inviting you in."

•   Taniguchi is very pleased with his new Asia Society Texas Center: "This is likely Houston's most perfect building," but "he was more pleased to see the energy of 1,000 guests moving through its airy spaces."

•   BIG's "twisty tower" proposal "could be turning point for 'Vancouverism.'"

•   A new tower in Cebu "is way more than just another soaring edifice" and "will surely paint a smile on Mother Earth's face."

•   Pearman makes his way through the mud to cheer a new visitor center overlooking the Thames Estuary wetlands: "Hovering literally and visually over a reclaimed waste tip," it is "intriguing without being intrusive."

•   Birmingham University finally gets its fourth dome, "creating a world-class rehearsal space in the worst form for one."

•   Goldberger in conversation with Gehry (most amusing: the off-camera remarks at the start about the flower arrangement: "Where is Aalto when you need him?").

•   (Re) Stitch Tampa design competition ends with an international shortlist of three (no pix to be found - yet).

•   We couldn't resist: an eyeful of the "world's highest and longest valley suspension bridge" (in China, where else?!!?) - oh...pedestrians welcome (unless you have acrophobia).



  


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