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Today’s News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

•   We're saddened by the news of the passing of Plunkett (our heart goes out to the family, especially architect/daughter - and friend - Karen Plunkett Muenster).

•   Kats offers a great take on Sochi's Olympic architecture and its uncertain future: "these products of hurried design and rapid construction might stand to outlive the Olympics precisely because their generic mediocrity also makes them multiuse" (they "are meant to be international in style, but they are not world-class architecture").

•   Ford offers an in-depth, fascinating look at the past and current history of "the revolutionary dimensions of public spaces" (another great read).

•   Urban planner Snell ponders how useful the "walkability" factor is if it's not enough to actually make people want to walk.

•   A fascinating take on the decades-long saga of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Museum, and the high hopes that the "shrine to the Oscars will be for film nothing less than what the Louvre is for painting."

•   It looks like it's back to the drawing board for Studio Gang's "Solar Carve" tower along the High Line: it seems the "serrated edge" has hit "some unexpected kinks of its own" (oh, those pesky zoning rules).

•   Wainwright cheers Zaha's Olympic Aquatics Centre opening to the public, especially now that "its lithe body" is no longer "trapped between two hulking seating stands" (and the view? "Not bad for £4.50 a go").

•   When queried about migrant worker deaths in building the Qatar World Cup stadium, the Grande Dame of architecture says it is a serious problem - for the Qatari government: "I cannot do anything about it because I have no power to do anything about it. I think it's a problem anywhere in the world."

•   Woodman reports on Rykwert's RIBA Royal Gold Medal lecture last night: "Every building diminishes or contributes to the common good," the Gold Medalist said; "At the end of a fearsomely erudite and far-ranging talk it was a statement of simple but powerful conviction," sayeth Ellis.

•   Q&A with Pearson re: London's planned Garden Bridge: What did you think when you heard about the concept? "That it was a crazy, brilliant idea, and that I would be mad not to agree to help create a garden that sailed over the Thames!"

•   The shortlist for The Contemporary Austin's Laguna Gloria Master Plan just got shorter (images will be forthcoming).

•   One we couldn't resist (who could?!!?): M Is for Meerkat: An illustrator's take on the alphabet "veers into the furry, the scaly, and the finned."

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