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Today’s News - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

•   Bevan visits the 9/11 Memorial Museum (and actually talks about the architecture): "an artificial ruin...suitably somber architecture...the choreographed Wagnerian staging does draw an emotional response...evokes emotion skillfully but synthetically" (there's also Calatrava's "$4 billion chicken carcass").

•   Long tours "Elements" at the Venice Biennale, and ends up "unutterably sad for Koolhaas" (who has a snappish moment) and "what he thinks architecture is. The result is less than encouraging. He's either unaware or willfully ignorant of the architects engaged in the topics he says the profession ignores."

•   Betsky found the Biennale an elegy "focused on the past, with Modernism in ruins. The Russians summed up best what you can do when the dreams of building a better modern world lie in ruins: sell it."

•   Wise reports that a Congressman is calling into question the U.S. Department of State's Design Excellence program for embassies, and (of course) calls for a hearing.

•   Toderian makes the case for "sticky streets": "those things that slow down a pedestrian's pace may be the very things that make a street great. A place is sticky if people love it, and don't want to leave."

•   A new report by Smart Growth America ranks the "30 largest U.S. cities by how walkable they are - a key figure that demonstrates how cities are shifting from the suburban sprawl of the past 60 years to the urban infill of the future."

•   King cheers the latest revisions in San Francisco's Moscone Center expansion plans by SOM/Cavagnero: "There's still work to be done," but at least the "latest designs use a variety of tools to soften what was shaping up to be a sleek but sterile behemoth."

•   Eyefuls of SOM's competition-winning 60-story tower in Gothenburg, Sweden, that "takes its inspiration from ribbons blowing in the wind" (plus images of the 3 losing designs).

•   Eyefuls of Chetwoods' "blatantly iconic" (but oh-so-green) kilometer-tall tower in Wuhan: "In China if you come up with a slightly mad idea, it's almost not mad enough."

•   Fab photos of Piano's "alien snail or metallic armadillo" for the Pathé Foundation in Paris; it is a "sinuous creature" and "an intense juxtaposition of old and new."

•   Makovsky takes an in-depth look at Lonberg-Holm, "the invisible architect of invisible architecture" and "an overlooked but highly influential Modernist" who Bucky called the "unsung Leonardo of the building industry" (great read!).

•   For all you fans of "Enigma" and "The Bletchley Circle" (we are!), Bletchley Park, home of the World War II code-breakers, re-opens following a year-long restoration.

•   Three win the crowdsourced design competition for NYC's Cotel.

•   Kamin explains why "the title 'architecture critic' is entirely too limiting": it's not all about "glamorous structures designed by globe-trotting 'starchitects.' In reality, my job is much broader and much grittier - cities that ignore the quality of their built environment do so at their peril."

•   Design Corps/SEED Public Interest Design Awards: Mexico winners selected.

•   The Enterprise Rose Fellowship "has been a quiet but powerful force" in proving that social impact design can be a career.

•   Call for entries: Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowships for 2015-2017 + 1st Blueprint Awards in architecture and design projects, products, and critical thinking + 2014 FX International Interior Design Awards for projects and products.


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