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Today’s News - Thursday, April 25, 2013

•   An absolutely fascinating (and totally depressing) report about what is happening to Sochi as Russia builds huge projects for the 2014 Winter Olympics: "Money has taken over Sochi. They've beaten all the beauty and the love out of our city."

•   Hollis uses Hurricane Sandy and Chicago's deadly 1995 heat wave to paint "a bleak condemnation of our urban future" unless we get our act together: "Whether the city becomes our ark rather than our concrete coffin is up to us."

•   Betsky, as part of the Holcim Conference on Sustainable Construction, visits the "creative engine at the heart of Mumbai," the Dharavi slum, and comes away "exhilarated and troubled - the cost in human life is too high a price to pay for the incredible ingenuity of Dharavi."

•   Lutyens' Delhi is (once again) under threat of high-rise development, with preservationists hoping for UNESCO World Heritage Site status: "It's our values against those of the developers and the moneybags. It's a tough battle."

•   Hopes are high (but are they promising) that the re-birth of a 1921 Parisian movie palace can revive the neighborhood (san bodyguards).

•   Grabar offers an architectural reflection on a presidency: "After a presidency as polarizing as they come, the Bush Center is the opposite of divisive. But forward-looking? It's hard to find any elements of the design that point forward."

•   Wainwright is at his anthropomorphic best after his encounter with Leeds' new arena: besides being "bold, brazen bling on a budget," it is a "mysterious green creature rearing its scaly head like a supersized robot aphid, come to take over the city" (he basically likes it).

•   Brussat ponders the next new plan for Providence's Kennedy Plaza: it "owes an intellectual debt to the New Urbanist movement (that is, the old urbanism)...it is a serious plan based on important new ideas about urban design."

•   Pearman pays tribute to Rick Mather: he "had long been a quietly authoritative presence in British architecture; one hopes his influence will persist" (and "always suavely, preppily American, he was excellent company").

•   A "Pritzker chat" between Mayne and Ito re: what does being an "architect's architect" mean (and much more).

•   Sullivan tackles the conundrum of black architects in America: "Why isn't there a U.S. equivalent of Adjaye among our ranks?"

•   In South Africa, the Wits University Corobrik Architectural Student Award goes to Mhlungu: "she is the first black student to bag the honor" (we cheer the "she" part, too).

•   A new architecture magazine launches in China, run from the Department of Architecture at Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University; and headed by Austin Williams and Theodoros Dounas (all good wishes to them!).

•   Call for entries reminder (deadline looms!): 5th Annual Contract Inspirations Awards recognizing social responsibility in interior design.



  


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