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Today’s News - Thursday, March 20, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: We've only seen postings on Twitter and Facebook - we are so, so saddened by the news that Metropolis magazine's founder and publisher Horace Havemeyer III has passed away. He was an inspiration to so many of us...

•   Bozikovic offers one of the best overviews we've seen re: how Bloomberg and his "Bloombergians" turned New York "into a laboratory for urban innovation of all kinds" that "has helped create a new climate where cities see each other as peers and share ideas freely" (a fab read!).

•   A study finds that "city main street networks show a drastic shift away from historic patterns of human-scale design"; it's time such patterns "should be considered in contemporary urban design and policies."

•   Finch says finding solutions to the "problems that afflict our high streets" requires understanding what the problems are, "something that architects are trained to do, and it can bring fresh thinking into tired areas."

•   London's skyscraper boom "ought to prompt greener cities...people need a healthy dose of nature in their urban idylls."

•   Green roofs and walls is "a growth area in urban design," and while "Australia has been relatively slow on the uptake of this movement," the "Growing Green Guide" should help move things along.

•   dlandstudio's Susannah Drake "is reviving contaminated landscapes with her politically savvy practice" that is "is as much about politics as it is about design research and development."

•   Kamin x 2: he gives (mostly) thumbs-up to the rebirth of the 1927 Lake Shore Athletic Club: "while the job is no triumph of historic preservation, it merits praise for creative interior planning and its impact on the cityscape," and "plays an essential supporting role in one of Chicago's great urban design dramas."

•   He cheers FLW's S.C. Johnson Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin, opening for the first time to public tours starting in May.

•   King gives unequivocal thumbs-up to the restoration of "one of San Francisco's best large buildings": the 1925 former Pacific Telephone HQ "instinctively feels like it belongs," and "still radiates a confident curiosity in how architecture could embody the aspirations of the modern city - and "still feels fresh."

•   An in-depth look at Svigals + Partners' challenges in designing a new Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, having "to contend with the extra burden of the horrific crime that unfolded on Dec. 14, 2012. The job was fraught with pain and open to second-guessing."

•   Shigeru Ban's Aspen Art Museum "is designed to be part-environmental center, part-ski lift"; its "simplicity doesn't mean that he has sacrificed design" (comments are not kind).

•   One proposal for what LaGuardia Airport could look like by 2021 is "a far cry from the current dilapidated 'Third World' facility."

•   Rybczynski offers a fascinating history lesson as he explains "why architects tend to struggle in their pursuit of sitting comfort" - as he sits (uncomfortably) in Ando's new Dream Chair.

•   RIBA votes to back Brady's campaign to suspend Israel's IAUA from the UIA: "Maybe China will be next but this is the starting point."

•   On a lighter note, Patrik Schumacher does a Facebook rant re the Venice Architecture Biennale: it's "an attack on political correctness in architecture and a perceived trend for prioritizing art over form-making."

•   Schumacher cheers "a new fast-paced, beautiful-to-look-at" PBS series, "Cool Spaces: The Best New Architecture," premiering in April.

•   Call for entries/ RFQ: The 11th Street Bridge Park Design Competition for an old bridge in over the Anacostia River in Washington DC.

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