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Today’s News - Friday, July 13, 2012

•   Pearman parses the Shard: visually, he likes it on the skyline, and it's "a start for Britain when it comes to making tall buildings which can multi-task a little" - but it "doesn't have nearly enough ordinary stuff in it."

•   Altabe finds it "hard to understand Londoners' outrage over their newest skyscraper" - sure the Shard "can be viewed as an arrogant symbol of power. But there's nothing new about such symbols."

•   Badger offers a most interesting take on the American shopping mall as it turns 60: Gruen "came to rue his creations. But now they are dying off anyway."

•   Lewis laments that as urban vitality grows, housing affordability will shrink: can innovative engineering and architectural design help? "Regrettably, increases in land, labor and material costs persistently outstrip savings attributable to design."

•   Kennicott cheers Adjaye's two D.C. branch libraries that "express well-channeled exuberance, a playfulness that is never merely arbitrary, and a deep sense of respect for what the building should do and for whom it does that work. Quality needs no gimmicks."

•   An architect raises questions re: the Sydney Opera House revamp: "What is more important, the look or the function of architectural icons?"

•   Hawthorne hails the "markedly" changed Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus: it's not the buildings, but "art, piece by gigantic piece. In an age of rather mindless museum expansion, there is something refreshing about LACMA's approach."

•   Philly's Rodin Museum reopens today "as something both familiar and utterly startling."

•   Q&A with Jonsdottir (a "fierce female architect") re: the intersection between architecture and art, projects from L.A. to Beirut, and the challenges of being a female architect.

•   NEA hands out Our Town Grants to support creative placemaking in 80 communities across the country.

•   Deadline reminder: 2012 Healthcare Design Remodel/Renovation Competition.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Goldberger on the "practical, poetic" Heatherwick show at the V&A: "He may be the most original designer working today" (great slideshow).

•   Kamin is taken by "a small but thoughtful and altogether delightful" FLW show in Chicago.

•   Calatrava's "sprawling retrospective" at the Hermitage "seems to be as much about his ego as his art."

•   HWKN's "spiny blue beauty" at MoMA/PS1 is "eye catching, a little ridiculous, and already looks fun to hang out with."

•   An amusing stroll through the NBM's mini-golf course "designed by some devilish masterminds": "So how hard could a mini-golf course designed by architects, landscape architects, and building contractors actually be? Turns out kind of hard" (fun and stress included).

•   Rogers Marvel Architects' monograph: "few have changed NYC so physically as RMA and Robert Moses, but comparing their practices shows the strides made towards humanistic design over 80 years."

•   Hustwit's "Urbanized" introduces a "multitude of individuals who create our beguiling, often exotic, metropolises - architects don't always fair well."

•   Gorst's "Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island" documents a fast-disappearing architectural legacy in this age of mega-mansions.

•   Happy Friday the 13th!


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