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Today’s News - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

•   ArcSpace brings us Meyer's travel guide to Hong Kong, "the most breathtaking skyline in the world - unique in its ambition, elegance, ruthlessness, density and cosmopolitan aura."

•   A slew of Scottish practitioners have signed on with Architects for Yes, a pro-independence campaign launching tomorrow.

•   Betsky bristles at the "evil of banality" of bad design in the continuing "starchitecture" debate: "We, as a society in general, and those commissioning do not want to spend that money. That is the root of all this evil, not egotism."

•   Curbed's Schellenbaum takes a swat at architecture, "largely a discipline that sits on stilts, away from the floodlands of the people that use it in everyday life," and those who "have started to shake the pillars architecture sits on" (she calls out a lot of big names, but calling Ban a "guy" who won the Pritzker without naming him is a bit much - and comments are brutal).

•   Three projects by Gehry, Hadid, and Nouvel "have stoked serious debate about what architecture means beyond the building envelope."

•   Hine has issues with Gehry's plans for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and warns not to be taken in by his "great model that is itself thrilling - because its beauty as an artifact encourages us to ignore the possible shortcomings of the vision it represents" (the Forum is "artless in every sense").

•   Some are wondering why so many new housing projects in L.A.'s burgeoning Downtown are "squandering a chance to be beautiful" (high-end kitchens are more valuable than curb appeal).

•   On brighter news notes: Q&A with Lehrer re: what makes a successful park and how L.A. can build them: the city needs "an uber-urban guru" (and she loves palm trees).

•   Profiles of 9 women who "are an inspiring presence" in public interest design - and being recognized for it.

•   O'Toole reports from Durban, South Africa, where German architects teamed with local craftsmen to build a shelter for hitchhikers made out of scrapped cars that "resembles a five-lane traffic jam. Peculiar as it is, the structure is entirely practical."

•   Goldberger goes totally gaga for Gehry's Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris: it is "muscular and delicate, utilitarian and fantastic," and "an utterly spectacular building."

•   Moonan is moved by the "sensitive restoration and renovation" of the Clark Art Institute's original building: "What's great is that, while the interior may feel historic, it's not. It's all Selldorf."

•   Wright says Birkerts got everything right with his National Library of Latvia in Riga: "Embodying myth, physically anticipating the future, and creating wonder, this extraordinary building is timeless."

•   Thomas Phifer tapped for Warsaw's Museum of Modern Art and the TR Warszawa Theater complex.

•   Davidson makes an FLW pilgrimage "to a series of idiosyncratic extravaganzas that remain astounding - this processional of Midwestern masterpieces reminds us that great architecture is not always the most sensible solution, or the most frugal, or the sturdiest. Sometimes it's brilliantly insane."

•   Amelar, meanwhile, reports on the "rebirth" of FLW's Hollyhock House, where "many long-vanished features will be revived, and sparkling" - and it's almost ready for its close-up on Hollywood Boulevard.

•   Good news from Moscow: Shukhov Tower "gets a reprieve from circling developers," though "if they don't allocate money for saving it, sooner or later it will die."

•   Renovation of the Melnikov House is underway (bad news: residents evicted, "the latest twist in an ongoing legal dispute over ownership").

•   Not so good news for Hinkin's Greenwich Sainsbury's eco-store: English Heritage concludes it is "not of sufficient importance as a pioneer of, or turning point for, sustainable retail architecture" to warrant listing (then what, pray tell, would be?!!?).

•   Ending on a high note: AIA ABI and ASLA 2014 Business Quarterly surveys show business is looking bright(er) for both architects and landscape architects (ABI is at a 7-year high!).



  


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