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Today’s News - Thursday, August 28, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: We will be partaking of the long Labor Day weekend starting tomorrow; undoubtedly we'll have lots of catching up to do beginning Tuesday, September 2.

•   Kamin pays tribute to Chicago architect Gerald Horn, who "found a way to relate to the past without copying it or indulging in architectural in-jokes."

•   Wainwright pays tribute to the "gaudy genius" of Deborah Sussman, who "sprinkled her distinctive brand like sugary confetti across America."

•   Goldberger weighs in with more than a tweet re: Hadid vs. NYRB/Filler: "she may be technically correct" about architects not being able to fix the problem of construction workers' safety, "but her remark is utterly disingenuous because her fame alone can bring enormous attention to the problem" (never mind her comments make her sound like "a cross between Maria Callas and Leona Helmsley").

•   Bevan pens a most thoughtful piece about the destruction of the architectural heritage in Syria and Iraq: "these iconoclastic attacks on monuments are often an advanced warning of worse attacks to come. Saving historic treasures and saving lives are not mutually exclusive activities."

•   King parses how safe rising towers are in San Francisco in the wake of the Napa quake: residents may "wonder about the wisdom of adding towers to a city in an earthquake zone. Structural engineers have no such doubts."

•   Blumgart offers four lessons in public housing the U.S. could learn from the rest of the world: "The fact is that political-economic factors...were the cause of public housing's troubled history in America. Seen in international context, such failure clearly is not preordained."

•   Moore finds much to like (with a few caveats) about the Cheesegrater: "Overlook its crass shape and enjoy instead the dazzling details" and (sort of) public spaces; it's "likely to be the best of the new London towers."

•   BIG gets bonked for the second time as Park City, Utah, rejects its second design for the Kimball Art Center for its "lack of compatibility with Main Street" (maybe the third time will be the charm - if there is a third time).

•   Harper offers the best review of the 2014 UIA Congress in South Africa: "Whoever said architecture was stale, male and pale should have been in Durban" (a really good read).

•   A round-up of Centers for Architecture that use the adaptive reuse of their buildings to "provide a ready-made example" of the power of design.

•   Betsky poses four questions raised by "some of the hottest topics" in the news to spark some debate, including Istanbul's "demolishment of three hideous skyscrapers"; Kimmelman's take on "a fancy hospital in tony Princeton"; "Is it pure male chauvinism making women feel unwelcome?"

•   Call for entries (deadline looms!): Design Trust for Public Space Architecture, Engineering & Graphic Design Fellows.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Rajagopal offers an intriguing take-away from Rem's Venice Biennale, especially found in the non-European/North American pavilions, that "contradicts every single one of his propositions": "The problem that stands out is the conflation of Modernism, an architectural style, with modernity, a way of life."

•   Clemence, meanwhile, finds the National Building Museum's "House and Home" and "BIG Maze" an "interesting counterpoint" to Rem's "Elements" that "seem to question the reductive conclusions drawn in Venice."

•   Giovannini is quite taken by "Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment," the Skyscraper Museum's "compelling little show" displaying "brand-name architects" performing "social engineering" on NYC's "sewer of crime and swamp of sin."

•   "Infra Eco Logi Urbanism" at Yale School of Architecture is "a head-scratcher that tackles big issues with an architect's detail pencil. The work may inspire wonder, inspiration or just confusion" (if you're not an architect, maybe you should bring one with you).

•   In Manila, "The Surface of the World: Architecture and the Moving Image" is an exhibition "rich in contrasts that build to provide a fascinating glimpse of the contemporary metropolis."

•   Calys cheers "A Gift of Architecture 2," the Oakland Museum of California's "clever and handsome tandem volume" that offers an "example of a well-executed, recrafted 50-year-old gem, reimagined to better serve its public without in any way damaging its original strength and beauty."

•   Rybczynski says Ritchie's two-volume memoir "not only recalls his career as the 'Glass Man,' but it also documents the rise of a much celebrated and technologically savvy group of British architects."

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