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Today’s News - Thursday, August 22, 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're taking Fridays and Mondays off through August. We'll be back Tuesday, August 27. Happy Weekend!

•   Badger has a most interesting conversation with an urbanist/researcher who explains why "few groups are more hypocritical than urbanists discussing gentrification (the "elephant sitting in the academic corner").

•   Gilsinan delves into Kabul, Afghanistan's "utterly mundane urban planning crisis - the city's biggest problem isn't suicide bombers or militants - it's the traffic" - and what the city hopes to do about it.

•   A Japanese architect is spearheading a project to get Pakistani women into architecture (not an easy task).

•   Brake cheers Chipperfield's "SLAM dunk" in St. Louis as "an object lesson for other U.S. museums pondering expansions" - start with a "principled but not ego-driven architect."

•   Farrelly offers an amusing musing on Fujimoto's Serpentine Pavilion that "promises infinite climbability": is it art or "just play equipment for grown-ups? I'd trade all climbability for more beauty and subtlety, any day."

•   Waning support for Libeskind's Maze Peace Centre in Northern Ireland raises questions about consensus.

•   Local architects are bellying up to the bar in the Twin Cities brewpub boom: there are lots of cool wineries in the world, so "why shouldn't breweries and their architects have some fun, too?"

•   A new park in Uptown Charlotte, NC, is ready for its close-up with high hopes it will "revitalize the area's currently dull after-work scene."

•   Hoboken, NJ, offers some best practices and lessons learned for other cities looking to implement on-street bike parking (don't call them "bike racks" - and "bolt them down, and firmly").

•   Stephens has a lively Q&A with Meier as he celebrates the 50th anniversary of his firm re: his career and sticking with a Modernist vocabulary: "It never occurred to me to do anything else" (and his title on the company's website is incorrect?).

•   Corbu x 2: Betsky says it's time to "face up to the sexism" in the work of Corbu and other "Masters of the Modernist Universe - myopic men who achieved beautiful things and dreamed of even better ones by suppressing reality and complexity - and at least half the human race."

•   Gordon looks into the history of Corbu's "role in the controversy over Eileen's Gray's E.1027 - how one of the 20th century's most important historic houses was nearly destroyed," and how the "promised rescue was compromised - much of the effort has been botched."

•   Zara explains why, though it may be architectural enthusiasts' fantasy to live in an FLW house, "living in art" can end up being "much more tedious than living with it."

•   Our heartiest congrats to High Line co-founders David and Hammond on receiving this year's Vincent Scully Prize for "one of the most successful urban revitalization projects to date."

•   Call for entries: "Russia" Theme Park just outside of Moscow (they want a big one!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Juergen Mayer H queries curator of "Draft Urbanism" for the Biennial Of The Americas in Denver re: architecture, urbanism - and beer.

•   Treu's: "Signs, Streets, and Storefronts" offers "vivid descriptions and ample photographs" to "support his even-handed entreaty to please, please, consider the sign."

•   In "Almost Home: The Public Landscapes of Gertrude Jekyll," Miller "extends our knowledge of the famed landscape architect" who "imbued landscapes with what she believed to be therapeutic properties."

•   Brussat discovers a "real and unreal" Providence in H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth": one "riveting description, nine pages long...might be the most extraordinary passage of literary urbanism in the annals of fiction, horror or otherwise."

•   One we couldn't resist: a 72,000-square-foot, zoo-themed mural to brighten three buildings in a sprawling concrete Berlin housing estate hopes to enter the Guinness Book of Records.

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