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Today’s News - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

•   ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of 10 cool things to see in Berlin.

•   Kimmelman offers an eye-opening look at how a sprawling Syrian refugee camp in Jordan is evolving into "an informal city - with an economy and even gentrification" that "aid workers say can be potential urban incubators that benefit host countries," and "points more broadly to a whole new way of thinking about one of the most pressing crises on the planet."

•   Baku may be "basking" in the attention because of Hadid's Heydar Aliyev center, but "urban renewal often comes with a high human toll. Some believe the government should be paying more attention to people, than places."

•   Lamster ponders Dallas's "penchant for brazen works of kitschy historicism - you will find developer kitsch kudzuing all over the city."

•   Davies cheers a new app that lets you see then-and-now views of Melbourne building sites, but bemoans what he discovers: "is this all we've got to show for it? It's dismaying to think such magnificent assets were traded away for so little" (indeed!).

•   Pogrebin delves into a few more details about Gene Kaufman's offer to "buy and preserve" Rudolph's Orange County Government Center ("buy" is not exactly how it sounds to us - and a few other quibbles we won't get into).

•   Rosenblum presents a fascinating history of an exquisite, though long-abandoned 19th-century hospice in Jaffa, and its transformation into a hip W hotel (at least in Pawson's hands, there's hope for much of its grandeur).

•   Rhode Island's "grande dame" of hotels, once slated for demolition, "is once again the crown jewel - and point of civic pride - of Watch Hill" (we can be packed and ready to go in five minutes!).

•   In Malta, Ian Ritchie has grand plans for an office park that "represents a wonderful opportunity to highlight the importance of regenerating Mriehel, while making use of exceptional industrial heritage structures."

•   Sweet is sweet on the idea of the Obama Library making its home on Lake Michigan shore: the site (offered free) may be "higher risk, but comes with more reward: to build an Obamaville from scratch, a high-tech, green model community. What happens in Lakeside is important to the future of the city. It is the largest piece of empty land left in Chicago."

•   Hawthorne has second - and third - thoughts about Zumthor's updated vision for LACMA, "stretched like a piece of black bubble gum across Wilshire Boulevard. Does the design fetishize car culture?" (perhaps "the architect's basic reading of Los Angeles could use an update").

•   Cheers for the Chicago Design Museum finally finding a home on Block 37 (a Kickstarter success story; alas, no mention anywhere of who actually designed it).

•   Zandberg eloquently zaps Koolhaas's Biennale: "architects worldwide anticipated a new and lively agenda. But after viewing the grueling main exhibition...we are left with no alternative other than to take a good look at the whole prestigious enterprise itself, which has been showing signs of fatigue in recent years."

•   Sperber, on the other hand, is left fairly dreamy about the whole thing, "liminal space between the individual and the world, between ego and reality" included (very Remsian).

•   Heathcote is heartened by a few emerging trends in airport design that go beyond "carefully wrought metaphors of wings and flight" that "all end up feeling pretty much the same anyway" (i.e. a "generic mega-mall look").

•   Moore parses the ascension of Assemble from pop-ups "to works of greater size and social impact. The question is to see how far they can go from here."

•   New vocabulary to add to our lexicon of business terms as Aedas announces its "conscious uncoupling": it has "demerged" into the two companies (with "no animosity behind the split" - but who gets to keep the cat?).

•   Call for entries: RFQ: International Architecture Design Competition for Guangzhou Science Museum + Deadline reminder: $100,000 Moriayama RAIC International Prize for a single work of architecture.

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