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Today’s News - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

•   McGraw Hill Construction is sold to Silicon Valley equity group (we sure hope this bodes well for our friends at Arch Record, ENR, BuildingGreen, etc.).

•   Pearman, Heathcote, and Wainwright all give eloquent cheers to the 5-time Stirling Prize-shortlisted dynamic Dublin duo O'Donnell + Tuomey: the "Irish magicians of brick and poets of concrete" are taking home the 2014 RIBA Royal Gold Medal.

•   Skene Catling pens one of the best ponderings we've read re: the "moral duty of the architect": they're "ridiculed if they take a moral position, and attacked if they don't," so just "what are architects for in the 21st century?" (a must-read!)

•   Four leading academics offer a manifesto re: "How to build a fairer city" (another totally fascinating read).

•   Davies ponders the fate of Sydney's Kings Cross: the city's "historical bohemian heartland and den of iniquity is reported to be dying; and it's fading fast. I wonder if the romantic version of The Cross even exists any more" (gentrification and lock-out laws involved).

•   Hume has high praise for Toronto's first "woonerf": "The unquestioned acceptance of vehicular dominance comes to a halt here" (though "one woonerf does not an enlightened city make").

•   Ulam digs deep into NYC's $2.4 billion green infrastructure initiative, which, for some, "does not go far enough, and they are hammering away at the city's bureaucracy for approvals and funding."

•   MIT picks a great mix to design its East Campus/Kendall Square Gateway.

•   Eyefuls of Shepley Bulfinch's makeover of an iconic, mid-century Phoenix landmark as its own office - and to make it more accessible to the public: "It feels like a totally public space that we happen to work in" (we could work in a space like that!).

•   A profile of the woman behind the design of Istanbul's truly "spectacular" Sakirin Mosque and a few others (when she's not designing London restaurants, New York stores, or her own line of furniture).

•   Kats considers Rem's plans for the Garage Museum's new home inside a long-defunct Soviet-era eatery in Moscow's Gorky Park that will be "an exercise in abstinence" (Rem + abstinence?!!?).

•   King cheers the new stadium for the "so-called" San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara: "Easily navigated drama is the aim, not nuanced architecture. But the architectural ambitions are real."

•   Initial drawings for the Golden State Warriors arena, on the other hand, are likened to a toilet (or a George Foreman Grill in another post): "With porcelain not part of the project's scope, expect a significant makeover from these drawings to the actual renderings."

•   SCI-Arc names Hernan Diaz Alonso as new director to succeed Eric Owen Moss: he has big plans, but isn't "ready to go into detail" about what they are.

•   Good news: the AIA's Architecture Billings Index indicates there "continues to be an increasing level of demand for design services" (may it grow and grow!).

•   Call for entries: 2015 Rome Prize + Call for proposals: EDRA Fall 2015 Symposium.


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