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Today’s News - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

•   McKee says the ocean won, again, with Hurricane Sandy: "The easiest and blindest thing would be to rebuild and bring back all the good memories. The wisest and most heartless thing would be to say: You should never have built anything there in the first place."

•   Rochon, Merrick, and Robertson offer eloquent tributes to Niemeyer: "In his hands, even heavy concrete was expressed as if weightless"; "his Serpentine pavilion took the breath away" (and he called Corbu "a small architect"); "I wish I could write with pictures instead of words to explain why Niemeyer was one of my heroes" + Foster and Burdett think differently about Brasilia: it's "a great body of work by a great architect," but "it's just not a city."

•   Bing Thom and Ronald Lu beat out rival starchitects to win competition for the first venue in Hong Kong's mammoth West Kowloon Cultural District, and a most impressive shortlist tapped for the district's M+ museum.

•   Davidson has some major reservations about midtown Manhattan rezoning plans: it's a "sweeping proposal that combines swollen ambitions for the skyline with puny civic aspirations."

•   Lewis cheers Washington, DC, finally revisiting its ancient building heights law: the "vital study is coming none too soon. The city could grow physically in rational ways without compromising or sacrificing its historic urban form."

•   Ennead's renovated Yale University Art Gallery is "a masterpiece" and "breathtaking."

•   Arch Record's Design Vanguard 2012 "blur roles, disciplines, and national boundaries" as "part of the young architect's kit of survival strategies these days" (great presentations!).

•   Bernstein x 2 from Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami: "The death of starchitecture has been greatly exaggerated" + Lots of "bubbles and blow-ups."

•   K. Jacobs takes an in-depth look at Sperry's attempt to amend AIA Code of Ethics to ban architects from designing death chambers and solitary confinement cells: his proposal "is the outgrowth of the debate that has long been an undercurrent of the profession: Do architects have an obligation to improve the human condition?"

•   One we couldn't resist: exquisite photo essay by Fouillet "an ode to midcentury modern churches."

•   Calls for entries (and lots of 'em): 2013 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers + ASLA 2013 Professional & Student Awards + FIGMENT 2013 Minigolf Course on NYC's Governors Island + AIA Diversity Recognition Program + Call for presentations for IALD Enlighten Americas 2013 conference.


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