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Today’s News - Thursday, August 29, 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're taking Fridays and Mondays off through August. We'll be back Tuesday, September 3 (see last item!). Happy Labor Day weekend!

•   Badger delves into why some states are trying to ban LEED standards (politicians and lobbyists - why are we not surprised...).

•   Woodman parses the 2013 Carbuncle Cup winner: it's a "triumph for the dark side," though "all six nominations richly deserved their shortlisting."

•   Wainwright x 2: his take on the Carbuncle Cup for worst building: aside from it being "a bizarre Frankenstein concoction," it "reveals a wider problem with the standard of student housing."

•   He, Merrick, and Woodman weigh in on Mecanoo's new Birmingham library: "Birmingham has a thing for bling" (definitely watch Wainwright's video) + "The children's library is superb, and the garden terraces are a masterstroke. Yet there are nagging faults" + Its "flashy exterior overshadows an interior that is rich in ingenuity and style. I have no doubt, it will operate terrifically well. I just can't stand the sight of it."

•   The New York Public Library revisits Labrouste to rethink its hotly-contested plans - now the focus will be on "books, not atriums."

•   Altabe x 2: she minces no words: when a museum's "overbearing mass" weakens a single artist's work, "you know the museum architect got it wrong" + The "rolling, undulating stripes of steel" planned for the Petersen Automotive Museum's façade meant "to convey road curves, instead "suggests rows of fender benders"; as with the "woozy zigzags" of London's Evelyn Grace Academy, "these architects know better."

•   Fröbe compiles "the most beautiful examples" of Germany's ugliest edifices, describing them "with ironic affection."

•   An uncertain future for the expansion of Tuscany's only contemporary art museum that only makes €30 a day: it "was born dead so what's the point of expanding it?"

•   Bozikovic, on a brighter note, cheers the "subtle reinvention" as "the stock-in-trade of Canadian modernists" that has "left the country's historic centers in fine shape during North America's era of 'urban renewal.'"

•   OMA wins a big one in Bogotá, master planning the city's new 680-acre civic center.

•   Downey dons walking shoes to explore India's pop-up megacity for a Hindu religious festival: "How does this happen with such ease" - and what can it teach urban planners?

•   Weekend diversions:

•   In Melbourne, "Postcode 3000: A city transformed?" examines the impact and legacy of the planning policy, and "the city's transformation from bleak business district to one of the world's most livable cities."

•   Kennicott cheers the NBM's Guastavino exhibition: "The grandeur of these works still leaves one in awe, and a little ashamed of the shabby airports and purely functional bridges we build today."

•   If you're in NYC on Tuesday, the Center for Architecture is opening "Coverage: 75 Years of Oculus" (full disclosure: yours truly has served as editor for the last 10 years - stop by and say Hi!).

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