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Today’s News - Monday, May 14, 2012

•   ArcSpace brings us ALA Architects' Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand, Norway, and Calatrava's latest adventure in Lakeland, Florida.

•   Peirce parses Ehrenhalt's new book about a "grand inversion" that "makes a strong case for how today's young adults are opting for lively, walkable urban streets with parks, shops, transit and school choices. But it's not just urban hype."

•   ULI's McMahon makes the argument that "density is being pursued as an end in itself, rather than as one means to building better cities. Density does not always demand high-rises."

•   Doig looks into "gritty Rust Belt cities, once left for dead, are on the rise" - or is the attraction of "ruin porn" just "a faddish blip"? (great links).

•   Brake cheers Cincinnati's "progressive urbanism" championed by a mayor who "has put public space, place making, and mixed-use development at the center of his agenda."

•   Scruton scrutinizes the possibility of renewal in urban America: changes in zoning laws needed; and why China's urbanization is one of the great ecological disasters of our time.

•   Superfont's McEwen muses (darkly) on "The Hunger Games" being released in China: "should architects be afraid?"

•   Pulvers posits: "Born of disaster, modern architecture is itself now an ongoing disaster" - and finds Kuma's "The Principles of Place" holds answers to how we can "turn away from this self-inflicted condemnation and reclaim our humanity."

•   Farrelly opines that a "high-minded brief can be badly executed and a rotten brief brilliantly" - illustrated by projects that break "new ground with nobility, grace and budgetary restraint."

•   Hawthorne kicks off a new series exploring how L.A.'s boulevards are beginning to "reassert their place in the public realm," offering "glimpses of a new city identity taking shape" and "reversing decades of neglect" (great presentation, too).

•   Berger's take on how Seattle's 1962 World's Fair is still shaping the city 50 years later (maybe it's time for the U.S. to re-join the Bureau of International Expositions so American cities can get back in the game).

•   Rosenbaum has a catch-up report on the Rudolph reprieve in the land of Goshen - and some disturbing images of Yale's Rudolph Hall that "suggest an uneasy fit between the structure's form and its current function."

•   Menking updates what's going on with Johansen's Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City: "It's a sad day for this great building."

•   Moore argues that "replacing London's last great ruin with a football stadium would be a grave mistake": destruction of the landmarked Battersea Power Station would only be "so that lenders get a less severe haircut."

•   Meanwhile, a media preview of London's ArcelorMittal Orbit tower brings on the expected media frenzy (with more to come, we're sure): Jones fell "in love with this friendly giant" (that even has an "arse"!): "Critics are missing a lot of fun" (worth watching the video, too!).

•   Hudson is not at all disappointed: it's "like looking up at some classic early Modernist building that's been grabbed by a monstrous hand and shaken all over the place. Yet as you look closer, a certain order appears."

•   Even Kapoor thinks the entry fee to climb the tower, finally "delivered to a far from doting city," is steep: it's "pricey - but beautiful" (no word on whether the tickets will be cheaper after the Games).

•   Q&A with Balmond re: the orbit's convoluted design and construction process: "The first challenge was to get it to happen" (and "only three men were needed to build it").

•   One we couldn't resist: we can all breathe easy now - archaeologists have discovered the oldest-known Mayan calendar that says the world won't end at the end of this year (whew!).


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