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Today’s News - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

•   ANN Feature: Taylor cheers Johnston Marklee's new home for the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston: "In the somewhat arbitrary hierarchy of fine art media, where painting is king, the new MDI elevates the medium by providing a distinguished, respectful home."

•   Mouzon calls for "a green rating system that is fast, friendly and free": LEED was "a great idea in the beginning," but it is "skewed heavily to Gizmo Green solutions that are completely ignorant of where the building is being built, and for whom."

•   Steuteville says that smart urbanists should "seek out and connect with groups" that already support smart growth to reverse "the Sisyphean cycle of urban placemaking."

•   Davies proposes a "thought experiment": "suppose historic CBD buildings demolished in the 1960s and 70s had instead been preserved and sensitively adapted to other uses. How would our cities be different today?" (be careful what you wish for!)

•   Miranda offers an interesting take on BIG's second "pass at pleasing" picky Park City, Utah, "after NIMBYs thwarted" the first (much-lauded elsewhere) design for the Kimball Art Center: "one can't help but feel an air of lost opportunity."

•   Woodman gives two thumbs-ups to Haworth Tompkins' Everyman Theatre in Liverpool that avoids "the institutional associations that a more monumental treatment might invite while better maintaining the established urban grain."

•   The skyline of a "gentrifying downtown L.A. is finally in for a dramatic change" with a new high-rise by HansonLA.

•   Five "starlets" are in the running to take on making over London's Science Museum research center.

•   The on-again-off-again Guggenheim Helsinki satellite may be on again with a design competition launching in June - but with a big BUT: "a decision to go ahead with the project would be taken after the architectural competition is completed."

•   Copenhagen's big Blue Planet aquarium by 3XN has been a big hit in its first year, but is already planning a makeover after 20% of visitors surveyed "said they were dissatisfied with the current set-up."

•   Groves cheers a 19th-century shotgun house in Santa Monica staring down a firing squad - and winning.

•   Q&A with Ben Wood re: China's transformation over the past 15 years: "'One day, the only people doing architecture in China will be Chinese architects."

•   Clemence has a sprightly Q&A with Libeskind re: Italy, product design, the state of architecture today, and designing the Venetian pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale.

•   Eyefuls of all 129 winners in the 2014 A+ Awards.

•   Call for entries: LEAF Awards 2014 to honor architects "setting the benchmark for the international architectural community."

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