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Today’s News - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

•   Russell bemoans (as do we!) Bloomberg News decision to end culture coverage and give more ink to luxury and lifestyle (what else?!!?): it's "a regrettably powerful signal that culture doesn't matter," and that "the people who matter - those who hire architects, the non-specialist citizens who want their communities improved - no longer hear about the value architecture can bring."

•   Meanwhile, MAS bestows NYT's Kimmelman the 2014 Brendan Gill Prize for "challenging New Yorkers and their regional neighbors to no longer settle for anything less than planning and design excellence."

•   Heathcote x 2 (both excellent reads!): he takes on the "global property trend for architecture as logo": even though designed by starchitects, many new buildings "are very far from architectural masterpieces - the new generation of skyscrapers has been conceived as objects rather than engaged architecture."

•   That said, he is hopeful as planners, architects and developers seem to be at least trying to get their mojo back with mixed-use projects: The WTC site is "a blend of the emerging trends in city center development...its success - or its failure - will determine the model of city center commercial architecture for years to come."

•   China's circular skyscraper by an Italian architect stands out as an "urban logo": "The traditional race for the tallest building in the world will end sooner or later...the competition will be moved from the height to the iconic value" (includes a great round-up of other round buildings).

•   Litman reports on a Victoria, BC, report that seems to prove cities' "economic success and livability benefit from policies that favor space-efficient modes (walking, cycling, ridesharing and public transit) over space intensive modes (low-occupant automobile travel)."

•   A more depressing report says that "nearly one-fifth of the planet's 720 world heritage sites will be affected" by rising tides (even more depressing is the estimated number "is likely to be underestimated").

•   A look at the uphill battle facing the planned cultural center at Ground Zero: lots of skeptics (and "Gehry's involvement in the project is now unclear").

•   Corner presents his vision for a stretch of Seattle's waterfront once the Alaskan Way Viaduct is demolished (skeptics abound).

•   Ban "blasts architects 'too busy' to help the needy" - he's not "against building monuments but I'm thinking we can work more for the public."

•   Zeiger cheers MRY's "vibrant" affordable housing project in Santa Monica, CA: "small decisions" (and lots of color) "account for the project's success."

•   A Pereira 1970s tower on L.A.'s Sunset Boulevard is getting ready for its new close-up as an upscale apartment building: "It's a gem in need of a good polish" that "will be a catalyst for the entire neighborhood."

•   Eyefuls of Perrault's DC Tower 1 on the Danube in Vienna (talk about "urban logo").

•   Eyefuls of Fujimoto's White Tree tower in Montpellier, France: "Whether it will serve as a cultural magnet as planned remains to be seen, but it certainly will fit in with the city's 'boldly modern' agenda wonderfully" (ditto "urban logo").

•   Eyefuls of Adjaye's Colgate University Center for Art and Culture in upstate New York hopes to reinforce "connections between the village, the university and the wider population."

•   An international list of 79 projects take home the 2014 Civic Trust Award.

•   Sign up for the NEA's upcoming webinar series on International Design Initiatives.

•   One we couldn't resist: "If 27 Famous Artists Designed Buildings" (very fun).

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