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Today’s News - Thursday, August 15, 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're taking Fridays and Mondays off through August. We'll be back Tuesday, August 20. Happy Weekend!

•   Wainwright x 2: he parses Alsop's The Public and the "inevitable end for the misguided arts center" that is "a catalogue of catastrophes since its inception," and "a monument to ill-conceived ambition."

•   On a brighter note, he cheers the University of Limerick's new medical school and housing blocks - "a worthy contender for the Stirling Prize" that would be his pick to win, "given how radically it has reinvented two building types often consigned to dismal mediocrity."

•   Henley sees cycle cities as "the catalyst for a 21st Century urban renaissance. From an architect's perspective though, the question remains: what will cycle cities be like?"

•   An eyeful of 10 of the "brightest ideas" in two-wheeled transit and infrastructure (very cool!).

•   St. Louis Cardinals find themselves on the defensive when it comes to Ballpark Village - critics claim such a highly subsidized development should include more than a gigantic parking lot and bars.

•   An architect cheers P+W's Sprout Space, "an exciting alternative to traditional portable classrooms" providing "a healthy, conducive and beautiful environment" in which to learn.

•   Speck alters and expands categories for the 2014 CNU Charter Awards, "recognizing the advances and new directions taken by new urbanists in the previous decade" (call for entries opens in November).

•   A lovely tribute to Natalie de Blois: "Neither the Times nor the Chicago Tribune's stories on her death mentioned the lasting influence she had on Austin's female architects, or her many other contributions to Austin."

•   She probably would have cheered the finalists in Austin's Seaholm Intake Design Competition to re-imagine a historic power plant on the banks of Lady Bird Lake.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   StudioKCA's "Head in the Clouds Pavilion" on Governor's Island is "part Anish Kapoor, part meteorological boon" (full disclosure: yours truly was a juror - and gave it two thumbs-up!).

•   Bentley cheers "Spontaneous Interventions," a survey of tactical urbanism at the Chicago Cultural Center that "challenges conventional notions of 'vibrancy' in the urban environment."

•   Walljasper explains "how to reclaim public spaces for the people who use them - and need them the most."

•   PPS's Crain talks about community-oriented problem solving in the context of Leo Hollis' book, "Cities Are Good for You."

•   Pearson says Chakrabarti's "A Country of Cities" delivers "a clarion call to build our cities bigger, taller, and better."

•   Williams has a few issues with Lovell's "Splendidly Fantastic: Architecture and Power Games in China," but "as a non-academic treatise, it is a useful and informative pamphlet: a provocation" that "cannot help but stimulate a critical interest with the issues."

•   Gallagher's "The End of the Suburb" documents "a shift in demand from suburban to urban. Or at least urban-lite" + Q&A with the author about the suburbs hitting a dead end.

•   Heathcote has some fun with "Architecture on the Carpet" that suggests "particular types of toys may have influenced the way individual architects build."

•   MoMA's "Young Frank, Architect" storybook is "a gorgeous example of multi-layered children's storytelling" - lots of Franks included (great video trailer!).

•   Q&A with Richard J. Williams re: his new book "Sex and Buildings" and "how progressive sexual attitudes manifest themselves in architecture."

•   Benford gathers "old dreams and schemes" for the 21st century in "The Wonderful Future that Never Was."


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