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Today’s News - Monday, June 30, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: After several fabulous (and exhausting) days in Chicago at the AIA convention, we're glad to be back. Apologies for tardy posting - it's taken some time to get back in the swing of things this morning. On a personal note, anyone who is in NYC this evening is invited to join us and AIANY at the Center for Architecture in a celebration of the life and work of Fred Schwartz, a dear friend and treasured colleague gone much too soon (link to details at the end of newsletter).

•   PRO's Allen makes the case that "historic preservation does not inhibit urban growth," and how, from Paris to Cleveland, "preservationists and developers are working together to build better cities."

•   Capps parses a study that shows why cities should reconsider greeting new or expanded cultural centers with "irrational fanboy enthusiasm" - the numbers show that an arts building boom doesn't always produce the predicted Bilbao Effect.

•   King explains what Chicago did right to lure the George Lucas museum to its lake shore: San Francisco's political culture, not the Presidio Trust, is the "culprit" who chased the project out of town: "Now, Chicago power brokers are gloating."

•   Kamin x 2: Lucas's museum may "face the prospect of a battle royal with lakefront advocates" - but would "transforming 12 acres from parking lots to parkland" be such a bad idea?

•   He reports that revised Burnham memorial plans include renaming it View Chicago (there'll be an app for that, of course), and eliminating a statue of Burnham (whither goest the idea of an actual memorial to the master, we wonder).

•   Hawthorne parses Zumthor's "dramatically revised" LACMA design that addresses concerns of potential damage to the La Brea Tar Pits: "he took the criticism seriously," and the "decision is a bold one," but "in terms of its basic architectural personality - it has been left misshapen, like a piece of taffy."

•   Heathcote, Wainwright, Woodman, and Ijeh all seem to be smitten by Radic's Serpentine Pavilion: "it really is very odd"; "the weirdest ever"; a "spectacularly madcap construction" with "an animal-like quality"; "one of the most whimsical and enigmatic creations the program has ever commissioned" (they all really, really like it).

•   Moore is a bit less smitten by RSH+P's British Museum extension: "There's much to like but the new exhibition space seems to have the status of a broom cupboard. The new building is delicate, refined and crafted," but it's lacking two things.

•   The Villages in Florida, "a Manhattan-sized retirement village - with more golf carts than New York has taxis," is the "fastest-growing metro area in U.S. with no crime or kids" (complete with rules about how many pet fish you can keep): "You basically have a city of 100,000 people, owned by a company."

•   At the opposite end of economic scale, an in-depth look at how Manchester, U.K., is designing out crime in two housing estates.

•   Copenhagen and Malmo also have ambitions to drive out crime - by design.

•   Litt says Cleveland's plans for a new bridge are "cause for both delight and dismay. The delight is that the excellent design is very much worth building, and could become a powerful, postcard-worthy attraction on the city's chronically underused lakefront"; the dismay is what it's going to cost and why.

•   Wainwright says a proposed East London bridge across the Thames, the "subject to endless delays and inquiries" for 70 years, is now "being called a no-brainer - but is there enough fairydust to capture the Mayor's eye?"

•   Montreal gets its first look at the proposed Champlain Bridge, being "billed as one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America."

•   Speaking of bridges and infrastructure, how could we resist an infographic of "Top 10 Most Impressive Engineering Projects of All Time" courtesy of Norwich University Civil Engineering folks.

•   Call for entries: Architectural and Design Competition for Moscow Metro Stations Solntsevo and Novoperedelkino.


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