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Today’s News - Tuesday, August 6, 2013

•   For ANN's Nuts + Bolts #5, Bernard and Breuer explain why mid-sized design firms should hire a director of operations (to increase revenues while creating an environment where designers design, not manage!).

•   Wainwright weighs in on RIBA shortlisting Hadid's Galaxy Soho for the Lubetkin Prize - which has riled Chinese preservation groups: "If the Chinese government's own heritage department is in thrall to the construction boom, it rests with international institutions to call them out - rather than cheer on the violation of what little historic fabric the country has left."

•   Another sign of the times: Nouvel's one-year-old competition-winning design for the National Art Museum of China has yet to be approved: "Adding to the uncertainty" is the new "frugality campaign that has frozen all spending on new government office buildings" (and some Chinese architects weigh in with their own criticism of the project).

•   Meanwhile, MAD's China Wood Sculpture Museum is "an object resting awkwardly amidst a residential complex"; sayeth the architect: "We wanted the museum to look a little bit out of place."

•   Kamin finds it "refreshing to experience a jolt of broad-shouldered boldness," courtesy of Goettsch's high-rise plan along the Chicago River: it's a "gutsy proposal" that "has the potential to inject much-needed energy - and muscle - into one of the world's great skylines."

•   SHoP channels Serra for two new copper-and-glass-clad towers on Manhattan's East River (a sky bridge is "billed as the showstopper").

•   Kennicott has a fine time in "a cathedral for art," a.k.a. Amsterdam's made-over Rijksmuseum: "Not everything is beautiful - the minimalist aesthetic is often bland, and inert," but "the goal was to make most of what is new disappear, or fit in seamlessly. Overall the building works, the art is alive."

•   Jaffe outlines the yay's and nay's re: St. Louis's "Park over the Highway" plan to reconnect the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River to the city: "some local observers see the 'the lid' as a bandage for the urban interstate, when what's really needed is reconstructive surgery."

•   Gluck, on the other hand, finds a "pedestrian paradise" in Rios Clementi Hale's Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.

•   Too bad the "'edible landscape' motion is still stuck in L.A.'s City Hall sausage machine - given the thousands of miles of parkway a city with vast 'food deserts.'"

•   A new study "shows that it's possible to quantify what effect Haussmann's plans had" on Paris, offering "a case history of how cities may evolve through a combination of spontaneous self-organization and top-down central planning."

•   Davidson on MoMA's departing Bergdoll: he "prodded the architectural profession to confront difficult issues" and "helped the museum's visitors understand not only what architecture is, but also what it could be."

•   Williams has a rather intriguing take on the "uncivil civility of Richard Rogers": "The contradiction between his buildings and his rhetoric has never been properly explained."

•   There's new evidence that smog-eating building products "might be producing the very chemicals they're supposed to get rid of."

•   Adelaide picks the team to redesign Henley Square: "Shying away from a design that would foster 'highbrow gestures,'" it will be a "playful" place (looks like fun to us!).

•   A "top-tier shortlist" vies to design a new Calgary Central Library: "the potential for an inspiring temple to free books is enormous" (we can't wait to see pix!).

•   Another impressive shortlist vies to re-program and re-design Oxford's social spaces - it's "a fascinating cross-section of British architectural talent ranging from the contextual to the contemporary."

•   Chaban is quite taken by some of the proposals presented in the Forum for Urban Design's soon-to-be-published "Next New York" that range from the "sublime to strange" to "some just way out there."

•   Call for entries (deadline looms!): Desert Sky Transit Center in Phoenix seeks artist to help design shade features, seating, walkways, etc.

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