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Today’s News - Friday, February 14, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: We were right - our Internet tubes were not happy being buried by about 18 inches of snow yesterday (and now awaiting tomorrow's snow - is there such a thing as Spring?!!?). Happy Valentine's Day!

•   Dunlap reports that MoMA "is intent on carefully preserving" the former AFAM building - well, the façade (in pieces), anyway, but there's no word on where it might end up.

•   Jacobs channels Marshall Berman and Goethe re: the MoMA/AFAM saga: "There is something decidedly Mephistophelian..."

•   Is MoMA's decision to preserve the façade "a brave curatorial decision or damage control?" - some pundits and architects weigh in ("a bronze bone thrown to the masses," says Goldberger; or perhaps coffee tables in MoMA's catalog?).

•   The artistic director of London's Young Vic Theater tapped to "draft a programming vision" for a performing arts center at Ground Zero, but Gehry may not be part of that vision: "We love his models" but... (one of the more back-handed compliments we've ever come across).

•   Crosbie is crazy for Foster's "stunning, very elegantly detailed, hip, innovative" Yale School of Management - except "it belongs in an office park."

•   Wainwright wrangles with RSH+P's Y:Cube flat-pack homes for homeless people: they "look like Monopoly hotels. But are they really the 'answer to Britain's housing crisis'?"

•   Things "are looking up" for Philip Johnson's "folly" in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park: the Queens Borough President gets behind efforts to bring the 1964-65 World's Fair New York State Pavilion "space-age beauty" back to life.

•   Jeffries has a most interesting conversation with English Heritage's Thurley re: Stonehenge ("We were victims of our own success"), why he's no fogey, and why he's proud to be English brutalism's greatest champion.

•   UNESCO puts a stop to German archaeologists rebuilding Afghanistan's Bamiyan Buddhas, and taps an Italian architect to supervise four new initiatives for the site.

•   Two we couldn't resist (in honor of Valentine's Day!): "Match-Maker" in Times Square is a "perfect installation for a city that has been accused of keeping its dwellers single" + V-Day cards "for planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation engineers, and those who love them" ("I love you like Jane Jacobs loved front stoops").

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Glancey gabs with the architects celebrated in "The Brits Who Built the Modern World": they "belong to a generation of brilliant Britons who changed the course of architecture," and "have been highly influential around the world in terms of invention, skill and sheer chutzpah."

•   "Bunkers, Brutalism, Bloody-mindedness: Concrete Poetry" is Meades's A-to-Z of brutalism on BBC4: "It was mocked and misunderstood. But it produced some of the most sublime, awe-inspiring buildings on the planet" (hopefully coming to a PBS station near us soon!).

•   Wim Wenders' "Cathedrals of Culture" is a 3D tour of modern buildings, "giving all new meaning to the expression 'if these walls could talk'": it's "overlong and only intermittently absorbing" (better suited to 2D TV audience).

•   MacLowry's "The Rise and Fall of Penn Station" documentary "gets a lot right. Yet it's difficult to shake the feeling that this is an outline or proof-of-concept for a larger documentary."

•   Kats and Tan parse MoMA's "Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal": "despite its celebratory premise, it takes on a somber tone - contemplating his schemes gets you thinking in fresh ways about what ails our cities."

•   Nashville's Frist Center offers "Frank Lloyd Wright: Building the Imperial Hotel" as part of "Looking East," an exhibition that looks at "how architects and artists were influenced by the Japonisme trend."

•   In Shanghai "Beyond Architecture" shows off "a collection of all manner of designs" by architects - except for architecture.

•   "Transforming Cityscapes: Winning Entries of the 8th Ibero-American Architecture and Urban Design Biennial" in Washington, DC, shows off buildings and urban environments in nine countries that are "astounding."

•   "100 Years of Architectural Drawing" is the only book we want for Christmas (great pix!).

•   Pedersen has a most interesting Q&A with Stern re: "Paradise Planned" and how it "rescues the garden suburb from the periphery of urban design, and repositions it at the heart of the debate on cities."

•   Fortmeyer cheers Mazzoleni's "Architecture Follows Nature": "It is certainly refreshing" for those looking for something beyond Benyus' "somewhat cheerleading" 1997 "Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature."

•   We cheer Lambert's "Building Seagram" being named the Designers & Books first annual Design Book of the Year.

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