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Today’s News - Thursday, October 9, 2014

•   Cramer ponders "the collective animus" toward Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial design that "seems visceral, almost feral. What gives? The problem, at least in part, is that Gehry's columns lack acanthus leaves."

•   Miranda mulls Ando's Clark Art Institute expansion: "I'm hoping this bucolic little museum might serve as a template for other institutions that might confuse bigger with better."

•   Bratishenko gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Maki and Correa's Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Art and Ismaili Centre, but wonders about it being set so far from Toronto's other cultural institutions: "Can Maki's beautiful fortress and its refined grounds lure visitors all the same?"

•   Betsky reflects on his recent visit to three European cities and their "downtown dystopia": "what struck me was the continued march of sameness. It is on the edges where things are more vibrant."

•   Benfield explains why, "for smart growth, not all density is created equal."

•   Boston's new "Literary District" has high hopes that "literary tourists will promote business and enhance property values in their own eclectic, well-educated way."

•   O'Sullivan minces no words when it comes to a proposed almost $1 billion floating bike path on the Thames that is both "hilarious" and "insulting": "The proposal isn't just wrong. It's a whole club sandwich of wrongness, made of delectable layers of stupid" (and that's just for starters).

•   Aitchison brings lessons he learned from visiting Japanese prefab housing companies back to Australia that "can soften the blow of the departing auto industry": "Japan shows us an established and sophisticated lean manufacturing future. But its outcomes, in design and social terms, also represent a kind of dystopia."

•   O'Connell looks at a case study of a suburban office building being recycled as a school: the idea wasn't a hit with parents at first, but they've been won over: "going vertical is becoming more viable."

•   Anderton has a lively Q&A with Scott Johnson, who "explains why skyscrapers look the way they do," what "performative" means, "gentler, kinder" skyscrapers - and what's in store for L.A. now they don't have to be flat-topped giants.

•   A round-up of super-skinny skyscrapers that "offer great views, but also show off feats of engineering and design" (and no - they're not all in NYC).

•   An architect considers stadiums, glass, and birds: "200,000 square feet of monumental glass walls" planned for the new the Minnesota Vikings stadium does not bode well for our feathered friends. "Glass is what we make it. It's time to make it safer."

•   Speaking of feathered friends, the poor, endangered piping plover bird is at the center of a Sandy recovery controversy on New York's Fire Island: "Besides arguing that the bird's habitat is in jeopardy, critics say the $207 million project would be a huge waste of money" (others say just get over it).

•   Volner delves into the "emerging role of the design editor" as Nobel and McKnight don the new title for SHoP and SOM: "Whether other firms will follow suit will hinge on the tangible results that firm editors are able to produce" (and there's always a hitch).

•   Bernstein has a most engaging Q&A with Malkawi, the just-announced founding director of the new Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities re: why he "believes the center is uniquely positioned to rethink the design, construction, and operation of buildings to enhance their efficiency - without regard to industry agendas."

•   Ferro has a most thoughtful Q&A with Libeskind re: "how he works, embracing failure, and why he'd love to design an airport" (though we question calling him "Freedom Tower architect").

•   Maya Lin wins $300,000 Gish Prize for her "outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world."

•   Capps has a field day cheering Norges Bank for overruling its own jury to pick "glitch art" by Snøhetta to adorn one side of Norway's new currency: "bank notes goes bonkers."

•   Call for entries: 2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.


Archtober - Architecture and Design Month

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