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Today’s News - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for missing yesterday's post and tardy posting today. Snow and sleet and ice (and lions and tigers and bears - oh my!) have caused our Internet tubes to experience technical difficulties.

•   ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of BIG's maritime museum in Denmark that is "daring indeed, but also highly sensible," and parses a tome on architecture and neuroscience, another on Zaha's complete oeuvre.

•   An experimental psychologist parses "how neuroscience affects urban planning" (hats-off to Holly Whyte!)

•   Hume cheers Toronto's Global Cities Institute and its "respected local data gatherers compile the information needed by cities around the world to plan a way forward."

•   Rainwater rallies behind the AIA/MIT Report on the State of Health + Urbanism that recommends "using urban planning to help fight obesity by putting people on a design-based diet."

•   Litt cheers Cleveland's new bike plan, "but the quality of design is far from settled" - if done well, it "would be a boon for current residents and a terrific selling point to new ones."

•   In Arizona's East Valley a new mixed-use master-planned community could be a model for future suburbs "with an urbanity and a walkable center of gravity of its own."

•   King x 2: the Presidio Trust "called an end to the competition for the 8-acre site on Crissy Field," but hopes to find another spot for the (lucrative) Lucas museum.

•   He reminds us that Crissy Field is "no bucolic nook. It's a parking lot and a concrete building that would look at home in an industrial park"; so what might fit best would be "a modest and inviting building that isn't an icon."

•   Moore is none too merry about plans to replace historic buildings in Leicester Square with "a generic, could-be-anywhere, lamely jazzed-up block - the architectural equivalent of the premium-priced vats of tepid Coke on sale in the foyers of multiplexes" (ouch!).

•   Saffron is saddened that Philly's "lone survivor from Hollywood's heyday" is "doomed: The belief that the Boyd has to be destroyed to be saved has gained traction" (a strikingly similar sentiment put forth re: a certain small museum in NYC).

•   de Monchaux isn't much impressed with the Kimbell's Piano Pavilion that "aims to pay homage to the original, but instead offers a kind of distant defacement" ("Seussian bureaucrats" included).

•   Hawthorne wanders Eisenman's City of Culture and wonders what it says "about the legacy of its eminent designer": the "sense of vulnerability takes over the architectural experience to a degree that becomes almost unbearable...the place is a tender ruin."

•   Williams wanders Fuksas's Terminal 3 at Shenzhen Airport and is rather surprised by how much he likes it: "this is a complex building and there will inevitably be teething problems, but this is tabloid-esque nit-picking."

•   Webb wanders SPF:a's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: it is "a model of adaptive re-use, and a much-needed cultural resource for Beverly Hills" (great pix).

•   Six young British firms make the cut "to bid for schemes featuring 20 homes and under."

•   Gorlin builds a dream house on the Nova Scotia coast built with "two foundations - bedrock and trust."

•   Groves marvels at a Santa Monica house turned in a "mosaic artwork" over 13 years: it is "eccentric artistry" and "a shimmering montage that beckons the curious."

•   Two we couldn't resist: eyefuls of a stunning secret sculpture garden near Chandigarh started in 1965 by a roads inspector; 10 years and 12 acres later discovered by authorities, and now a 30-acre tourist attraction - an astounding saga!

•   Eyefuls of the world's ugliest monuments - a "collection of sentimental howlers and overblown statement pieces that serves as gaudy testament to overreaching creative ambition."

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