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Today’s News - Friday, December 6, 2013

•   A new report should prove useful to all of us who advocate (and struggle for funding) for arts and culture in tight times: they represented $504 billion of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2011 - surely a hefty arrow in our fundraising quivers!

•   Russell is rapturous about Weiss/Manfredi's "temple to science" at UPenn: for a building type where "inspiration often lands on the cutting room floor," the Singh Center "is something of a miracle. This isn't wallflower architecture, nor attention-grabbing spectacle - it embodies a rarity: poise."

•   Woodman parses OMA's De Rotterdam: it "embodies as no other" the city's "energy and openness...but perhaps something of the insecurity and naivety too."

•   H&deM's Binswanger describes the Pérez Art Museum Miami as "a transparent gem rather than the jewel box" (great Baan pix and a video, too!).

•   Feilden Clegg Bradley breaks its silence to defend its Southbank Centre scheme: "key elements" of the original design "have survived the revisions" - and skeptics are still not convinced.

•   Eyefuls of Arch Record's Design Vanguard 2013 who hail from Europe, North America, and Asia (great presentation!).

•   Eyefuls of Central America's 10 Hottest Young Firms "whose work shatters paradigms."

•   Two we couldn't resist: a Christmas gift for the impossible-to-buy-for on your list: FLW's 1893 Winslow House in suburban Chicago (his first independent commission - he was just 26) is up for sale for a mere $2.4 million (great pix!).

•   A French photographer introduces astronauts, rock stars, long-dead generals - and more - to Paris Metro commuters with vignettes that illustrate station's names: "the results are fantastically bizarre" (and the photos fantastic!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   "Almost Lost" at London's Wellington Arch looks back at projects "we can all be a bit thankful that didn't happen."

•   Boston's BSA Space offers "Rights of Way: Mobility and the City," with "dozens of examples of visionary urban thinking, showing how the city is shaped by the ways people move through it."

•   Calatrava takes center stage "in the monumental spaces of the Charlemagne Wing in the Colonnade of St. Peter's Square" in Rome.

•   Davidson decides not to set down Stern/Fishman/Tilove's massive "Paradise Planned" on "its own half-acre lot, give it a peaked roof, and simply move in": "I defy anyone who so much as leafs through this book to sniff dismissively at a verdant enclave ever again."

•   Benfield cheers "The Guide to Greening Cities": it is "indispensible" to those "who need to understand how the bureaucracy works in order to be influential," and "a guide to Getting Things Done, pragmatically yet with vision."

•   Lamont laments - and lauds - the "seductive beauty" of Campbell's "The Library: A World History": "It's a shame that a survey of the world's libraries focuses on institutions created for the privileged."

•   A "scholarly monograph" on Bo Bardi raises hopes that her "growing reputation will encourage local authorities to take better care of her buildings."

•   Heathcote and King offer their best-books-of-the-year gift guide with brief, pithy, and witty recommendations.

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