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Today’s News - Monday, April 30, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for missing Friday's post (we've been brought low by a nasty flu-bug). So lots of catching up to do...

•   ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of the Scolari exhibit at Yale, and Zellner's gallery in Los Angeles.

•   Hawthorne x 2 + Lubell on L.A. Metro's (odd?) competition for the massive Union Station project: "vision boards" by "an embarrassment of design talent" that apparently will have no bearing on the outcome ("Talk about raining on your own parade").

•   Moore gives (some) high marks to London's mayor for his "combination of show-off whatsits and fairly sensible stuff" that "deserve credit for getting some things done that make London, in a modest way, a better place to live."

•   Six "big thinkers" offer their ideas to revive the U.K.'s high streets: Adjaye: bring in public buildings; de Botton: "make psychotherapy like a visit to the hairdresser."

•   An Australian theater director looks at the country's love of converting historic buildings into multi-purpose arts venues: "this can result in creative white elephants and financial black holes"; there have been successes, "but there are duds...flexibility is confused with adaptability."

•   Vanstiphout minces no words about what he thinks of Rotterdam's "rush to make architectural masterpieces" - or rather "gigantic office buildings" by famous architects.

•   Duany is alarmed by the movement against change moving to the extreme: it's no longer "what is old is good - it's just what is new is going to be worse"; the architectural profession is partially at fault - it needs "to get its act together and actually recover the standing that what we do is better, it's actually worthy."

•   King cheers the "rugged" Lands End Lookout on one of San Francisco's best sites: it is "assertive and inviting" with an "architectural response that is tough rather than meek" with touches that "make the connection to place without making a fuss."

•   Heathcote x 2 (in a double-good mood): Koolhaas's plans for a new Moscow art gallery in Melnikov's 1926 bus garage in Gorky Park will retain "signs of age and the original Socialist Realist iconography with the dignity and respect," and will be "generous to the park and the public."

•   He heads to Las Vegas and finds the Smith Center, "standing on the edge of a dusty plot," a "glimpse of genuine urbanity" in a place that has practically none (he also likes the "impeccable Jazz Age art deco" vibe - it's "an enjoyably complex work").

•   Kamin on the challenges facing the architect who revamped Boston's Fenway Park tasked with reviving Chicago's Wrigley Field: "political landscapes surrounding the two ballparks differ...Which is why revamping Wrigley could make redoing Fenway look like a walk in the park."

•   Lubell reports on the "archi-crime of the year": despite protests, a house designed by FLW fils (that looks - 'er looked - pretty amazing) bites the dust to make way for a "Mediterranean McMansion" (with links to the sad details).

•   On a brighter note, Dobrzynski cheers the High Line's new curator for creating "an art treasure hunt" along the park's pathways.

•   Berkemeier is named the Australian Institute of Architects' next president.

•   We couldn't resist: 1 WTC (a.k.a. Freedom Tower) is set to top off the 100th floor today, so Chaban offers us EarthCam's time-lapse video of the tower's 8-year rise - in 80 seconds!

•   Call for entries: Building Malaria Prevention: A Global Design Competition for a community in Cameroon.


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