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Today’s News - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

•   Sad news from opposite ends of the globe: Heathcote and many others pay tribute to Richard MacCormac, who was "never cynical and always open to new ideas. But the BBC experience bruised him. It was a painful and undignified end to a generous and public-spirited career" (and he was "a cherubic giggler").

•   A "farewell to a legend of Australian architecture," Blair Wilson, who headed "Australia's longest running architecture dynasty."

•   A great debate among some of our faves re: whether starchitects are ruining cities' skylines: "Starchitects aren't the problem," says Arieff; "Here's to the demise of star architects," says Willis (Chakrabarti and Borrego Cubero weigh in, too).

•   Speaking of starchitects, Kamin x 2: Lucas picks MAD/Gang team for his Chicago lakefront Museum of Narrative Arts: if the "star-studded team produce a design could soften, or at least blunt, opposition" (maybe the Presidio would have been happier if this team had been on board from the get-go?).

•   He cheers Van Valkenburgh's new Chicago park: it "will be different from Millennium Park, but they'll still be 'best friends.'"

•   Miranda ponders whether Gehry signing on to design a campus for a social services not-for-profit can "help change the dynamic" of L.A.'s Watts neighborhood: "the scale of this project may be small. But in some respects it's as important as anything he's built in Bilbao."

•   Heatherwick "joins Maggie's Centre A-listers" to design the charity's first Yorkshire center.

•   King parses Foster's plan for San Francisco's second-tallest tower: it "needs to go on a diet" - its scale is "more daunting than dynamic. It needs to be uplifting, not overstuffed."

•   Meanwhile, Hughes delves into Foster's "New York moment," with four Manhattan buildings in the works: "His buildings might not be the tallest, priciest or zaniest. So what's fueling the current Foster fad?" (being a starchitect has something to do with it).

•   Pritchard ponders whether Ingels' Danish Maritime Museum, an "invisible icon," is a sign that "the notorious architectural prankster may be growing up" (don't bet on it).

•   Kats explores the growing trend of architecture leaping "from commodity to collectible," with buyers who "now see that historic homes can be collected, preserved, and appreciated much like fine art."

•   Cahill pens an eloquent "ode to the humblest building" on Chicago's Wacker Drive: "The squat gray 1956 office building won't win any beauty contests or architectural awards," and a wrecking ball may be heading its way, but it has "beaten the odds before - the little building has staying power."

•   Berlin's newest retail complex in a landmarked Modernist building hopes to revive a neighborhood as "a doggedly hip shopping and design hub" with "a scrappy authenticity - shorthand for the city's seedy-chic, poor-but-sexy ethos."

•   Canberra's new shipping-container pop-up venue for arts, sports, and culture hopes to connect residents to the waterfront: "Steering away from the traditional stereotype of a 'quiet, clean and tidy Canberra,' the space will be 'real' and 'grungy.'"

•   A Prussian - now Russian - city considers "rebuilding the city center to reflect some of its historical German architecture" in the "desolate Soviet landscape" (Fishing Village "turned out very kitschy").

•   Jaffe looks at "how to keep our buildings from making us fat": stairs with flair and slow elevators are a start.

•   A good reason to plan to be in Chicago mid-August: 2014 Symposium on Technology for Design and Construction.

•   Murphy/Jahn's Post Tower in Bonn wins CTBUH 10-Year Award: it "paved the way for the next generation of high-performing tall buildings."

•   Call for entries: Lisbon Open Room competition for students and young graduates.

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