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Today’s News - Friday, October 4, 2013

•   Kimmelman considers the importance of local libraries that could serve as shelters from the next storm: "Places that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes. Invest in one, and you aid the other."

•   Hawthorne offers up an FAQ "in the spirit of clearing up at least some of that mystery" about what's going on with L.A.'s Grand Avenue redevelopment efforts, Gehry, et al.

•   Lubell cheers 10 years of Gehry's "dazzling" Disney Hall, but even though it "has become an international icon, in many ways it represents what's still wrong with L.A.'s approach to building and planning."

•   Kats reports that Pei's 1982 Sunning Plaza in Hong Kong "overlooking a rare open piazza" faces the wrecking ball as it "awaits conversion into - you guessed it - luxury offices and shops."

•   Brussat, fearing the worst, is pleasantly surprised by the design for a "pleasantly modest addition" to the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

•   Pogrebin is cheered by a once-itinerant Brooklyn arts group finding a new, permanent home in a formerly forlorn historic theater.

•   Plans are afoot to launch a new - and affordable - architecture school in London (with an interesting mix of comments).

•   Montreal's Pierrefonds Public Library picks the winning team for its renovation and expansion.

•   Practices from Spain, Belgium, and the U.K. land on the YAYA 2013 shortlist.

•   Fast Co's 2013 Innovation By Design Awards go to "a particularly diverse group" of nine.

•   One we couldn't resist: an "ambitious publicity stunt" has a full-size submarine (complete with sailors and "baffled firefighters") breaking through a cobblestone street in the heart of Milan (a must-see!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Sydney's Hyde Park South has been transformed into a maze of mirrors that is "completely sublime" and "surreal - provided you don't run into your own reflection" (great pix!).

•   Zieger finds "something rather cheery" about "Never Built: Los Angeles": it "is not a lament, per se, but rather a celebration of speculative possibilities and a challenge to the present status quo."

•   Also in L.A., a Spanish architect "investigates the informal architecture" of the city's sprawl.

•   Houston investigates the complexities of its own sprawl with an exhibition called "Sprawl."

•   Davidson finds "festive gloom" in new books on the "sickly suburbs": Gallagher's "'The End of the Suburbs' paints an especially grim picture," while Chakrabarti's "A Country of Cities" is "a persuasive, elegantly argued, and charmingly illustrated polemic."

•   Weller revels in Banham's 1971 "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies" that "intentionally avoids the pomp and ceremony of academic writing and as such is a pleasure to read."

•   Kamin cheers an FLW apprentice finally getting his due in "a fine new" biography, "The Architecture of Barry Byrne: Taking the Prairie School to Europe."

•   Merkel is a bit less impressed with "The Gateway Arch: A Biography," Campbell's "curious tribute" - he "clearly despises Saarinen"; he "softens his reservations...toward the end but remains ambivalent about whether it should have been built."

•   Eyefuls of Kerns' "Nightwatch" that offers "vivid nightscapes of abandoned American roadside spots" (amazing!).


SEED Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design

Architecture and Design Month NYC 2013

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