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Today’s News - Thursday, October 18, 2012

•   Gendall profiles Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects and how the expanding influence of landscape represents a fundamentally different way of thinking about urbanism.

•   Kimmelman comes up with a concept to save Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital, and Jeanne Gang runs with it (and it's beautiful!).

•   Becker pens an eloquent letter to Chicago's mayor re: Prentice: "Northwestern knows only how to destroy and replace, with the kind of faceless mediocrity that sucks all the air out of the very idea of inviting, liveable urban space" (with pix that prove it).

•   On a more technical note, a fascinating look at "two unsexy issues raised in Northwestern's reuse study: floor load and floor vibration."

•   A key alderman is likely to support Prentice demolition, "striking a blow to preservationists," though he remains open to suggestions: "if there's a eureka moment, I'm all ears" (let's hope he reads Kimmelman!).

•   Wainwright x 2: he takes issue with the latest proposal for London's historic Smithfield market: it "will leave only a flimsy skin of heritage, a picturesque skirt of Victoriana around the base of yet another slab of generic commercial development."

•   He queries Dittmar re: plans for locals to build their own houses on the Balmoral estate in Scotland: "So can we expect a Highland Poundbury, all turrets and towers in the Scottish baronial style? 'No.'"

•   Moore is most cheered by "an inspiring community self-build project" for a children's non-profit by two architecture students that "offers a glimpse of the galvanizing power of doing it yourself. There are signs now that self-build is coming back into's worth hoping for."

•   Brussat says it's time to reform historic preservation: "Brutalism is best preserved with the tools of scholarship, photography and bulldozers."

•   Jacobs looks at a sticky wicket: "How do you mandate superior "design" in a planning document? As admirable as it might seem to embed the notion of beauty in the zoning code, it would be a lot like planting a landmine."

•   Kent is quite taken by Williams and Tsien's Logan Center - no "starved minimalism" here: it's "spare and modern, but rich in detail with imaginative connections...originality was written into the program from the beginning."

•   A new ULI report, "Housing in America: The Baby Boomers Turn 65," outlines trends that are "creating niche markets that could become significant in size" for the U.S. housing industry.

•   Stead takes a closer look at the "underbelly of infrastructure," and "what is it about underpasses that is so appealing to architects."

•   The newest leg of Atlanta's 22-mile Beltline Park built upon an abandoned railway corridor is ready for its close-up.

•   Welton has a most interesting conversation with Botta re: his recent focus on "artisans who now are creating sophisticated spaces out of ordinary materials, and on fellow architects who design from the heart for the common man."

•   Balmond's "Snow Words" is "an intriguing art piece" that pulsates with light (great video).

•   Niemeyer is hospitalized - again.


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