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Today’s News - Thursday, November 20, 2014

•   Kim tackles a timely sticky wicket re: our tendency to blame starchitects for bad buildings, and "the real source of obnoxious, bland, or culturally negligent architecture" - ourselves (dear Brutus, how Shakespearean!).

•   Farago gives thumbs-up to Piano's "reboot of Harvard Art Museums - apart from one serious flaw": how it connects to an "especially rowdy neighbor" - Corbu's "glorious concrete bunker."

•   Selldorf's expansion plans for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) in La Jolla will make the existing museum building "kinder. Architecture is the mother of all arts, but our art is to enable other things."

•   H&deM's plans for a soaring triangular tower in Paris is seen as a chance for a Bilbao Effect by some, but for others, it would be a major disfigurement to the city's "almost perfect 19th-century skyline": "We are not in Dubai."

•   Green considers BIG's master plan to revamp Washington, DC's South Mall to be "a shocker": while it may improve "connectivity" and promote green infrastructure, the changes to the landscape "are perhaps mis-characterized as 'subtle, surgical interventions.' This is a wholesale redesign."

•   It's a day of bridges too far: Wainwright x 2 tackles Heatherwick x 2 (and "a serendipitous stroke of Jack and the Beanstalk urban planning"): London's Garden Bridge might be, "as its critics have suspected...but another privately managed tourist attraction, on which £60m of public money is to be lavished.

•   He finds "troubling similarities" between the garden bridge over the Thames and plans for Pier55, "a Disneyfied island" sprouting atop toadstools on NYC's Hudson River as "another example of privately-managed 'public' space" - neither should "be shielded from the spotlight of public scrutiny any longer."

•   Lamster sees great potential for Dallas's pedestrianized Continental Avenue Bridge as "the love-child of Klyde Warren Park and New York's High Line," but it "fails to knit neighborhoods together."

•   Litt cheers Clevelanders selecting Rosales's "bold, dramatic and heroic-looking cable-stayed design" for a pedestrian bridge on the city's lakefront (though not all are pleased).

•   Beanland cheers the U.K.'s plans to repurpose some derelict gastometers: "there's clearly something intoxicating about these strange structures."

•   A fascinating take on China's "re-education campaigns to teach new ghost city-dwellers how to behave. The irony isn't lost on the people of Ordos: almost 50 years ago they were forced out of cities to farm, and are now being pushed back into them."

•   A look at some of China's home-grown design talent "rising in prominence, helping the country's modern architecture develop its own identity."

•   Q&A with Greenaway, one of Australia's few Indigenous architects, re: "why there are so few registered Indigenous architects, and why he believes this shouldn't be the case."

•   A young British practice makes its mark in Norway with a new cultural center "set to raise Bodø's cachet - as big in scale as it is in significance for this remote peninsular in the Arctic Circle."

•   Q&A with Grima and Herda re: plans for next year's inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, and "how they'll use their $5 million budget to make a big impression on architecture acolytes."

•   Anderton's Q&A with MAD's Ma Yansong re: harmonizing with nature, the George Lucas Museum, and why he's opened a Los Angeles office.

•   Eyefuls of Australia's 2014 ArchiTeam Awards for small and medium-sized firms (some very cool stuff!).

•   Call for entries: 2015 AIA COTE Top Ten/Top Ten + Awards + 2015 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition + 2015 Coverings Installation & Design Awards or outstanding use of tile and stone.


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