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Today’s News - Monday, December 17, 2012

•   ArcSpace takes us to Berlin with eyefuls of Libeskind's Academy of the Jewish Museum, and "Coop Himmelb(l)au: 7+ Projects" at Aedes Gallery.

•   Capps offers an intriguing take on the new Louvre-Lens: other cities like Lens trying for the Bilbao Effect "have met with failure and frustration"; this new museum, however, "hardly needs to do more than simply succeed - and it was designed to do exactly that."

•   Jacobs visits Saint Louis and comes away singing anything but the Blues: "The component parts of a great city are still there" - what's needed are developers "whose vision is more about bricks and mortar and less about harvesting tax credits."

•   Bergen takes a long look at Mumbai's ongoing slum rehab program to relocate the city's poor to new high rises: "On paper, the plan is a smart urban policy fix. But the program has been marked by red tape and wrong turns."

•   Tracy bemoans that "if we only had more faith in our architect artists" instead of bottom-line developers, Las Vegas's "self-portrait of an often soulless Las Vegas" could have looked very different.

•   Saffron is saddened by the "distressing fate" of a Philly church: "What hope have others" when this faces demolition? "In a city that prides itself on its commitment to preservation, why is everyone so eager to tear down a building with so much history and physical presence?"

•   On a brighter note, Toronto's Bridgepoint Hospital weaves healing and history into its design.

•   Kent minces no words about Chicago's new black glass box on Michigan Ave. "designed to disappear beneath a slipcover of screaming chrome ornament evoking plaid": it's "loud and vulgar. It's the car salesman who won't go away" (ouch! though "there are some things to like").

•   Russell and others tackle "big league dreams" and urban identity: are sports venues really the economic engines they're cracked up to be?

•   Beha "engages historic preservation with contemporary design" for University of Chicago's Department of Economics and Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

•   Hagberg hails El Cerrito, CA's 40-year-old recycling center's net-zero update.

•   Gardner gives thumbs-up to "Gwathmey's final project - as humble as the architect himself."

•   Whiting offers a fascinating history of Niemeyer's never-quite-finished international fairground in Tripoli, Lebanon: "a monument of architectural vision silent and unused, like a post-apocalyptic feels like a failed and evacuated human colony on an alien planet."

•   Rykwert on the Brazilian master: "I feel a bit churlish not joining wholeheartedly in the adulation but Niemeyer himself suggested why I hesitate."

•   Helsinki Central Library competition picks 6 designs to proceed to Stage Two (images, but entrants remain anonymous).

•   Call for entries: Arnold W. Brunner Grant for advanced study in architectural investigation.


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