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Today’s News - Thursday, December 4, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical difficulties beyond our control, we were unable to post the news yesterday (oh - those pesky technology gods!). All's well now (we hope!).

•   A young Spanish firm to design the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion: we won't know what it will look like for a few months, but it will be made of a single material.

•   Capps minces no words about all the things that are so very wrong about the Guggenheim Helsinki gamble, including: "If design competitions are bad for designers, then this one was the worst there has ever been. It made a mockery of architecture."

•   Wainwright checks in with all the things that are/could go wrong now the Garden Bridge over the Thames has been approved.

•   Higgins checks in with Chipperfield re: some of the differences between London and Berlin: In Berlin, "there is still an idea of the public realm. We have given that up in London."

•   Meanwhile, the Humboldt Forum project to rebuild a Prussian palace in Berlin is in trouble, lacking funds for its Baroque façade, it "could end up being nothing more than an unattractive concrete box besmirching the banks of the Spree."

•   Saffron sees a few problems with a proposal to build a $100 million velodrome in a historic Philly park: even with some nice perks proffered, "giving away public parkland to a private, for-profit venture would set a major precedent," and "sure to be a charged issue."

•   Manchester, U.K. has high hopes for a new Ian Simpson and Mecanoo-designed arts center and cultural quarter as anchors of anchor a major regeneration scheme.

•   Perhaps all of the above should check out a new study that found "arts and culture have 'zero' impact on the economy."

•   Wainwright reports on China's efforts to encourage urban artists to move to rural villages - but some are well ahead of the push and embracing "the roaring industry of domestic tourism" by capitalizing "on their picture-postcard charm."

•   Also in China, the "beautiful ancient city of Yangzhou" taps the talent of a Texas team in hopes of reclaiming its "glorious and glamorous past."

•   Davidson digs the "urban jungle" trend in cities "where patches of planned wilderness infiltrate the architecture, by invitation, not neglect."

•   Hume hails Alsop's tabletop in Toronto: "At a time of fear-induced paralysis, the unabashed exuberance of the Sharp Centre is more irresistible than ever."

•   Bentley cheers Beha's makeover of the University of Chicago's seminary building: "existing brick melds with brushed stainless steel, and new lighting dispels the moodiness of a religious retreat without entirely banishing a sense of the sublime."

•   Rall rants against the apparent comeback of McMansions: "Garage mahals. Starter castles. Hummer houses. Biggification is a national trend" (his illustration is hilarious!).

•   On a brighter note, our heartiest congrats to the winners of: Arch Record's Design Vanguard 2014 + B/D's Architect of the Year Awards 2014 + Curbed Young Guns Class of 2014 (eyefuls of everything!).

•   Five cities join the UNESCO City of Design family.

•   Taniguchi and Morrison take home the 2nd annual Isamu Noguchi Award.

•   Call for entries: Wanted: a young firm to work with an artist on a major new £40,000 commission.


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