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Today’s News - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

•   ArcSpace brings us Kiser on Kuma's Contemporary Art Center (FRAC) in Marseille; and a round-up of new books.

•   Heathcote and Ijeh are less kind than others re: Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton: "It is being hailed as a masterpiece...But is it?" and it "shoots for the spectacular. But does it thrive or flounder?" (though there are moments they like).

•   Anderton offers "5 takeaways from Gehrygate: he is "a crusty, difficult guy who makes warm, welcoming, interesting, places. Let's give him a break on his bad boy behavior" (i.e., giving the now-infamous finger).

•   Kamin x 2: while he regrets a grove of trees being sacrificed for a university parking garage and visitors center, P+W's design is "a welcome and welcoming surprise - hardly the rude, crude intruder many predicted it would be" (and trees will be planted elsewhere).

•   He cheers Harboe's "meticulous restoration" of Mies's "God Box" at IIT that "simultaneously attended to form and function."

•   King reports that Snøhetta has been tapped for its third San Francisco project - and its first tower - to replace a Meier tower plan that bit the dust.

•   Saffron x 2: Philadelphia's "scandal-plagued" Family Court project may be a "dispiriting example of bland, office-park architecture," but "there is real compassion hidden behind its cheap, corporate-looking glass veneer" (thanks to the architects and family law advocates).

•   She bemoans the sad fate that could befall a number of Philly's long-standing community gardens that have become easy targets for developers and the city's "autocratic leadership" who find it "hard to accept that community gardens, long seen as a better-than-nothing option, might be an amenity in need of preservation."

•   Christensen delves into the pitfalls of turning public housing over to private developers: often, "the results aren't pretty - so-called 'public-private partnerships' often exacerbate the very problems they claim to be addressing."

•   Duarte delves into the gentrification debate, and the "need to begin to embed income inequality within the debate" - and just what is the difference between affordable housing and cheap housing.

•   NJIT formally questions the need for Kean University's Michael Graves School of Architecture in New Jersey (never mind the Wenzhou, China, campus).

•   Bernstein queries the school's acting dean re: the decision to open an architecture school in NJ that has "left some bewildered," but Mohney argues that "Chinese officials wanted a new architecture school with U.S. accreditation and the Michael Graves School was created to serve their needs."

•   Meanwhile, Graves thinks his design for his school on Kean's Wenzhou campus is "an A-plus. It's one of my better buildings, if not my best building" (we'll withhold judgment for now).

•   Speaking of China, Horton ponders "how seriously should architects take" the Chinese president's recent remarks on "weird architecture": "the real question now is how this will be used in the design procurement process."

•   Eyefuls of some young Chinese firms that prove there's some wonderful, very "un-weird" local talent around (though archi-babble abounds).

•   Stratford offers a fabulous take on overlooked L.A. architecture that has "fueled dystopian fancies" by some of the greats in science fiction: too bad the "facelessness" of new McMansions and "the ruthlessness with which they are built...makes them feel like the architecture that comprises the sort of dystopian world Bradbury described so trenchantly."

•   Grima takes the helm of the New Museum's IDEAS CITY Festival (yay Joseph!).

•   Call for entries (deadline looms!): AIA 2015 Small Project Awards, themed "Pleasure."


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