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Today’s News - Thursday, July 3, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: With the 4th of July upon us, our summer schedule starts tomorrow - we will not be posting on Fridays and Mondays (gasp!). We'll be back Tuesday, July 8.

•   Betsky bemoans the change to a more negative tone that is "ironic and disturbing" when it comes to shared public spaces: "The place of commonality or gathering has turned into the safety of distance and disengagement."

•   Evitts Dickinson delves into the realm of public space and buffer zones when it comes to women's reproductive health clinics and "why architects need to do more" (especially with the recent Supreme Court ruling).

•   Pritchard visits Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku: "As a piece of architecture devoid of context" it is "captivating - and perhaps the most important building of recent years, but the unstated set of values that this building represents should maybe give cause for concern."

•   Waite wades into what's behind the Holl vs. Hopkins standoff re: a Maggie's Centre at St. Bart's Hospital that has become a "planning battle" in "a polarized tug-of-war between the Maggie's Modernists and the heritage protectors."

•   Olcayto re: the Serpentine Pavilion: "it's not worth spending too much time wondering what Radic's freakish folly actually is" - other than "another sign that primitivist forms are oh so now" (it's always been "more about the curator than the architect" anyway).

•   Ulam is left feeling "oddly glum" by Koolhaas's vision for the Biennale; it seems that for Rem, "architecture has lost the potential to delight" and "has removed practicing architects (besides himself) from the stage."

•   Brussat is brutal x 2: Charleston's approval Cleopfil's Clemson University School of Architecture is an "official blessing to poke a stick in its own eye"; and at the Biennale, Rem "gave the architectural establishment a taste of its own medicine. The elites didn't like it."

•   Berg takes us out of the gloom and doom (whew!): SurveyLA intends "to keep Los Angeles from forgetting itself" using open-source software that is being adapted for cities around the world.

•   Montreal landscape architect Cormier looks ahead at five public space projects that will transform three Ontario cities.

•   UNESCO considers whether to name 11 FLW buildings World Heritage Sites (please say yes!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Shaw finds FLW's recreated filling station is a gas at Buffalo's Pierce-Arrow Museum, and looks at a few other architects whose designs were built posthumously: "These recreations raise questions about intent, authorship, and authenticity."

•   Heathcote gives thumbs-up to GRAD Gallery's "Work and Play Behind the Iron Curtain" in London: "This delightful exhibition lifts the curtain on Soviet-era consumerism" (we'll take the vac any day!).

•   The Chicago Architecture Foundation turns the city into (really) big data, "encompassing everything from tweets to demographics to air quality."

•   Bentley cheers Lavin's "Everything Loose Will Land" at the Graham Foundation in Chicago: it "betrays no looseness of concept or execution" and "doesn't feel like a geographic or historical oddity. It's alive, still inspiring experimentation today."

•   Bernstein says Albrecht's "Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism" at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco "is worth seeing. But it also makes clear that a larger, more far-reaching show would be worth organizing."

•   Q&A with Maya Lin re: "saving the planet through art," and her environmentally-minded site-specific projects for a show at the H&deM-designed Parrish Art Museum.

•   The National Building Museum's "BIG Maze" (yes, that's Bjarke's BIG) opens Friday: "Don't worry if you get totally lost. 'We will sweep it at the end of the day.'"

•   McGuirk's "Radical Cities" is "a collection of stories that demonstrates great ingenuity in the harshest of circumstances."

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