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Today’s News - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're heading to the AIA convention in Washington, DC, very early Wednesday morning (road trip!), and will not be posting again until Monday, May 21 (we'll have a lot of catching up to do!).

•   Westworld redux: a $1 billion green ghost city to rise in the New Mexico desert to test and evaluate new technologies (operations and maintenance system will be underground) - "while no one will live there, the city will be designed as if they do" (great links).

•   RMI's Gallagher Adams on the high price of "energy apathy; we can choose not to pay that price."

•   Architects are invited to imagine Washington, DC, without height restrictions - they didn't have to force "their brightest ideas into efficient but boring 130-foot high grey boxes," so they "let their creativity run wild, even if the products might be scary."

•   Kamin calls for careful scrutiny of Pelli's plan for Chicago's Wolf Point: "the issue is whether the design...will rise to the level of greatness demanded by the site - or whether the Chicagoans of today, like the Indians of long ago, are going to get hustled."

•   Davidson on Cornell's "high-stakes commission" on Roosevelt Island: "the home of futuristic innovation can't look dumb and dull" and "Mayne will have to summon more urban sensitivity for this assignment than he has ever shown before."

•   Predock protests plans for a water park opposite his Human Rights museum in Winnipeg: "It seems to me that this site is destined for a higher civic purpose."

•   Schumacher cheers HGA's plans for a new atrium at the Milwaukee Art Museum: "a modest structure" that wouldn't compete with the masterpieces around it.

•   Q&A with H&deM re: their "unusual, mischievous, archaeological scheme" for the Serpentine Pavilion: "It's really quite bold, this public airing of past starchitects' laundry."

•   Beverly Hills (finally) gets serious about preservation - alas, not before FLW, Jr.'s wing-shaped home bites the dust ("It was a beautiful piece of art and a terrible home.").

•   Viet Nam faces its own "thorny issues" regarding historic preservation: "many pieces of architectural heritage" have been "distorted" by "unskilled and unresearched restoration."

•   The president of the Malaysian Institute of Architects laments: "we're not getting enough architects...If we don't support our local talent, who will?"

•   The "traditional - and often unsuccessful - saviors of decayed neighborhoods" should take heed of lessons to be learned from efforts by SCAD design students.

•   Rochon raves about some of Canada's Governor-General's Medals in Architecture winners - "architectural masterworks" that "take your breath away."

•   Change in plans for WTC spire raises its architect's "ire": the tower could end up being rated only third tallest in the U.S. ("They should have done a better job designing it," sayeth the developer about the spire).

•   Weekend diversions (a bit early):

•   Jacobs finds that MoMA's "obsession with image manages to obscure some of its most important content" in "Foreclosed": if you pay attention, you'll find "not an architecture show at all," but "a mini-seminar on public policy."

•   Kennicott finds much to like in the NBM's "House & Home" show that tells "a complicated story clearly and engagingly" (and oh - those "pleasure buttons of nostalgia" - great slide show).

•   "Delhi Modern" in New Delhi documents "a time when architects, urban planners and state departments came together" instead of leaving everything to private developers.

•   Hume is entranced by a Toronto photo show that "reveals beauty in greasy, hidden train yards...a timely reminder that transit can be taken any way but not for granted."

•   King gives two thumbs-up to Ehrenhalt's "The Great Inversion": he may be on the side of "movements like new urbanism and smart growth, but these sympathies don't blur his sharp eye for details or the wry clarity of his prose."

•   Design Corps set to launch SEEDdocs online with the first of six mini-docs highlighting winners of the 2012 SEED Award for Excellence in Public Interest Design.


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