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Today’s News - Friday, May 4, 2012

•   Weinstein finds Zardini and Borasi's new book "Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture" a "healthy tonic countering academically anemic architectural education."

•   Rudolph's Orange County Government Center may have won a reprieve - but its future still remains in limbo.

•   Goldberger ponders the fate of the OCGC: his buildings "can be harsh, and tough...But oh, can they be beautiful" (and the county executive wants to replace it with "a bland, pseudo-Georgian building, a sort of blown-up version of a Friendly's ice-cream store" - doesn't that sound yummy - not).

•   Russell minces no words about NYU's "bloated" plan for Greenwich Village: facing well-organized local opposition, "the university has made changes," but it's "only made the proposal worse."

•   Talen looks at how zoning laws, building codes, and other regulations "have a powerful - and often negative - impact on urban areas; what's needed are "more adaptive, more form-based" rules "to produce better places."

•   Pedersen uncovers who's behind efforts to repeal an energy-reduction law for federal buildings: one is a signatory of the 2030 Challenge, and another touts a Zero Energy Buildings Whitepaper on its website, putting them "in the uncomfortable position of being politically at odds with their customers. Not the best place to be."

•   Nobel (back with a new column - yay!) parses 1 WTC's "tallest" claim: "Does it appear very tall? To my eyes it doesn't. Because, despite its tapering, it is fat" with "a dowdy profile" - but "it will look terrific at dusk."

•   Saarikoski gives us the skinny on what sank the Guggenheim Helsinki: some "wanted a landmark attraction with a lot of eye-candy for wealthy tourists," but opponents felt the Guggenheim Foundation "was merely trying to milk the naive Finns."

•   Neustein offers a lively blow-by-blow of a debate between the architects of Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art addition and its critics ("Most architectural criticism is drivel," sayeth the architect).

•   Birnbaum is broiling over UCLA's plans to possibly sell off "one of the rarest private Japanese gardens" in the U.S., a bequest to the university on the condition that it "retain the garden portion in perpetuity."

•   Rose's review of the week in architecture includes FAT's "Community in a Cube," Paul Noble's "Nobson Newtown" - "Hieronymus Bosch meets Le Corbusier's Ville Radieuse," and orangutans, "the Gaudìs of the jungle."

•   An in-depth (and surprising!) look at architectural lineages: "architects beget architects, so it seems."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Heathcote, Searle, and Moore leave us chomping at the bit to cross the Big Pond to see "Bauhaus: Art as Life" at the Barbican: the show "helps put the fun back into functionalism" + it offers lessons for contemporary art education and its "lack of common purpose, the overweening bureaucracy, the disillusionment and grasping for fees, the box-ticking lostness of so much of it" + how the Bauhaus building "in a provincial town could have had so much effect" (all with great slide shows!) + one amazing infographic.

•   Two different takes on the Guggenheim's "stillspotting nyc" and SO-IL's "Transhistoria": "you're likely to discover more than what is advertised" + its "a vaguely colonial exercise" with "staged rooms that make the absence of their original inhabitants palpable, transhistoria feels disconnected from the neighborhood's own natives."

•   Goldberger gives Lange's "Writing About Architecture" two thumbs-up (with small niggle).

•   Grescoe's "Straphanger" makes a case against the car: it is "well-researched, nicely written and timely...He goes to his personal version of hell. But he also finds hope."


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