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Today’s News - Monday, December 16, 2013

•   ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of Turrell's first adventure in China at the Beijing Temple of Wisdom, and Kiser considers Zumthor's reconsideration of LACMA.

•   Speaking of the Swiss master, Bridger revisits the thermal baths at Vals; was it worth it? Yes: it "achieves something rare: a crystalline moment of human smallness and rapture."

•   Kamin's review of the year: "architecture came alive again in 2013" with "bold new buildings" and "rare displays of integrity."

•   Moore gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Denton Corker Marshall's "discreet new visitor center" at Stonehenge that is "as light as the old stones are heavy. The design suffers only from nerviness. They should have had the courage to be simpler."

•   Baillieu sees a cautionary tale in Stonehenge's 21-year "sorry saga" that the "architects appointed to the Palace of Westminster would do well to heed - it's a "classic case of political indecision" and "one of those scandals that Britain excels at."

•   Lubell, on a brighter note, brings us eyefuls of the shortlisted proposals for a major new park in West Hollywood (not without its own saga).

•   Showley cheers three winning designs for Balboa Park, San Diego's "crown jewel" - too bad "no funding for actually building any of the proposals has been raised."

•   Ditto (i.e., too bad) there are no plans to build any of the three winning Container Vacation House designs in Sydney's Bondi Beach competition.

•   Pawson's holiday bungalow in the Welsh countryside for de Botton's Living Architecture collection will be black brick on the outside and white on the inside (Pawson + black?!!?).

•   Artangel's plan for a soon-to-be demolished housing estate in London's Elephant and Castle comes under fire, "especially after it emerged that another planned block would have no affordable housing, as the developer argued this would mean having to build a separate entrance and lifts for social tenants" (why not just let them eat cake and walk it off on stairs?).

•   Speaking of exercise (sort of), AIA and MIT issue a preliminary report on the impact of design on public health that offers "a path for translating the research into meaningful findings for policy makers and urban planners" + AIA's new interactive infographic "demonstrates design elements in the built environment that directly affect the physical and mental health of its inhabitants."

•   The National Academy of Sciences takes an extensive look at "which Hollywood-style climate disasters will strike in our lifetime" ("Waterworld" and "Sharknado" included!).

•   Perhaps we should all plan to build our own heated conservatories as the Botanical Gardens in Aarhus, Denmark, has done, which "is like a drop of dew in its green surroundings."

•   A good reason to head to Italy in January: the AA Rome Visiting School's "Im/Material" 10-day workshop.

•   2013 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence winners announced.

•   Call for entries/EOI: three-stage competition to design a new Crystal Palace for London's Hyde Park.

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