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Today’s News - Thursday, April 26, 2012

•   Woodman poses "an awkward question": how much is the architectural design to blame when large-scale projects fail? (starchitects included).

•   Meanwhile, 11 starchitects are in the running for a "bigger, badder 'crown jewel'" on Park Avenue for developer who sees it as a formula to "turn dollar signs into even more dollar signs" (a.k.a. "architecture of the 1%" - how 90s, but what the hay - who wouldn't want another sparkle on the NYC skyline?).

•   Hatherley, on the other hand, takes a look at the "dark side of urban architecture tours" where "urban explorers, the consumers of ruin porn" take in parts of cities they would otherwise never visit, and wonders who's left to "champion pride in civic building design?"

•   An eyeful of the architecture emerging in post-earthquake Christchurch (some looks amazing, some not so much - is there a bus tour?).

•   Kennicott cheers Washington, DC "emerging as an important incubator of architectural innovation and variety."

•   Kamin cheers Roosevelt University's new tower that "adds sizzle to Chicago's skyline" that "is worth celebrating" (but a looming question: "If you build it, will they come?").

•   Brussat couldn't be happier with Brown University's new fitness center, "an amenity rare in the recent annals of scholastic design: a building worth looking at" (needless to say, the sizzle is strictly classical).

•   The Paul Rudolph Foundation's Wagner encourages Orange County decision-makers to visit Yale's Rudolph Hall that "was for 40 or so years a dump and everybody rightfully hated it" to see how it "rose from the ashes as a brilliant swan again" (final decision due May 3 - sadly, we're not too hopeful).

•   Lui looks at the Pritzker Prize "slight Wang Shu's wife, Lu Wenyu": the "award seems to reflect a larger problem in the industry."

•   Raja reviews a very reflective Gehry on his own "insecurities, intuition, and other academic taboos."

•   Goodyear gathers an amazing amount of information about how and why the "streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam look so different from ours."

•   An in-depth looks at Harvard GSD's Mehrotra's architecture that "spans eras and cultural divides."

•   HNTB's Zoli wins accolades for his "zest for bridges" and his belief in "collaboration with no ego" (what a concept!).

•   Lasky offers a post-mortem on Milan's International Furniture Fair, "marked by the contradictory pursuits of social consciousness and unrestrained luxury" (where the "most thought-provoking ideas were written on the walls").

•   Two we couldn't resist: Moscow's "skywalker" gets the "best views and biggest thrills" (but no wonder he's pursuing a law degree) + 49ers for the 21st century: plans to mine near-Earth asteroids to expand our natural resource base (beam me up, Scotty).

•   Call for entries: New ideas in community planning, design, and development in the next 15 years + Deadline reminder: Contract's 4th annual Inspiration Awards recognizing social responsibility in commercial interiors.


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