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Today’s News - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: We head to Chicago tomorrow for the AIA convention and (very) early-morning keynotes by some (very) notable folks, so we won't be posting again until Monday, June 30 (hence today's news is a bit longer than usual).

•   ANN Feature: Peters parses the Venice Biennale: "Fundamentals" is certainly not the typical way one would think of displaying architecture.

•   Medina offers a thoughtful (and often amusing) guide the Biennale's hits, misses (ouch!), and surprises.

•   Kamin reports plans for the launch next year of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, "a nod to the prestigious Venice Biennale" that boosters hope will be "the Davos of architecture."

•   Brake descends into the "somber" 9/11 Memorial Museum: it is "a powerful project of documentation for future generations" that "shows humanity at its most depraved and its most noble - few will forget what they have seen."

•   Bevan, on a lighter note, is having a fine time in Radic's Serpentine Pavilion: "Like a giant egg or a Stone Age spaceship, it is a symbol of hope and something more mysterious...a more playful, childlike approach to building than most architects will allow themselves" (if only they'd let the grass grow wild).

•   Russell explains why the Rebuild by Design effort "could radically alter our relationship with the water's edge" and "deserves a chance to show that it can save us from such top-down folly" as federal "inertia and hidebound policies."

•   A fascinating look at how the development of two decommissioned military bases in the Chicago area "wound up having divergent fates - one soared, and the other staggered," and "each illuminates some contemporary lessons in mixed-use planning."

•   Wainwright weighs in on Heatherwick's proposed garden bridge in London: "Take one voguish designer and one icon-hungry mayor and what do you get - can anyone actually say what the £175m bridge is for?...there is a niggling feeling that it is a spectacular solution to a problem that doesn't really exist."

•   Murg reports that Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton, originally set to open in 2010, has finally set an opening date for the "contemporary art-filled cloud of glass - an articulated nimbostratus" hovering over a swath of Paris's Bois de Boulogne.

•   Meanwhile there seems to be a Catch 22 gumming up plans to resurrect Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace: "the council wants more detail on the plans before they sign off, but the developer wants the land deal secured before they put more money into developing the plans."

•   Hadid proves sometimes coming in third in a competition pays off in the end as she inks deal to design the Iraqi parliament, even though no one is quite sure what the design looks like (and considering current events, things are most likely to remain pretty iffy).

•   Hawthorne pens a most thoughtful, thorough profile of Julia Morgan: "Her quietly revolutionary architecture is finally earning its due" with a posthumous AIA Gold Medal; "her consistency, her distaste for self-promotion, the obstacles she faced as a female architect don't fully explain why her work was admired rather than celebrated for so long" (a great read and great pix, too!).

•   The National Trust's list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2014 includes a Frank Lloyd Wright house and the New Jersey Palisades (and keeps an eye on the possible demise of Federal Historic Tax Credits).

•   UNESCO adds 26 sites to the 2014 World Heritage List.

•   Toronto hands out its 2014 Pug Awards for the city's best and worst new buildings (architects of the "worst" are not named).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Lange cheers Nakaya's "Veil" that "enshrouds" Philip Johnson's Glass House in a layer of mist: it "manages the difficult trick of creating a new frame for a familiar architectural monument while leaving only a spatter of raindrops on the landmark."

•   Vienna's MAK turns an exhibit into a posthumous tribute to Hollein, opening tomorrow.

•   Heathcote gives two thumbs-ups to McGuirk's "Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture": it is a "fine and timely book. None of the ideas solve all the problems but together they present an intriguing picture of an activist urbanism and architecture that has made a real difference."

•   A fascinating excerpt (and fab photos!) from Rohan's "The Architecture of Paul Rudolph" that explains why "Rudolph's sense of monumentality and urbanism were better suited to the public realm."

•   Schumacher cheers Thorne-Thomsen's "Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids": "I wouldn't be at all surprised if this book were responsible for putting a few architects into the world."

•   Speaking of children, Lange picks her four favorite building toys that still get played with in her house almost every day + Mini Archi's new toys to "turn children into budding architects."


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