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Today’s News - Monday, December 15, 2014

•   Byrnes pays eloquent tribute to August Perez III: "It's hard to look at New Orleans' skyline today without seeing something that Perez had his hands on."

•   Filler more than fulminates about what's being done to Chartres Cathedral (with pix to prove it!), "raising a worldwide alarm about this unfolding cultural disaster" (the Black Madonna is now "a simpering kewpie doll"; next up: arms added to the Venus de Milo - yikes!).

•   Ward wades into the "complicated and controversial" efforts to save Taliesin West - and "it's taking a long time" (amazing pix).

•   Moore minces no words about his upset with wind farms being (rightfully) "carefully scrutinized," but rules to protect London's "peerless skyline" seem to be another matter.

•   Florida parses a new study that "suggests there's a gap between how researchers think about gentrification and what journalists are telling the public" (it's talking about you, NYT).

•   Wainwright has issues with Canberra being named OECD's "most livable city in the world" for the second year running: it is "is a deathly place. It is what a city looks like when it is left to politicians to plan" (Gehl and Rogers don't get off lightly, either).

•   Davies, meanwhile, takes issue with Wainwright's issues: "Canberra-bashing," apparently "is a common bloodsport" in the media, "but do they land some telling blows or are they bullies missing the mark?"

•   Omidi delves deep into Moscow's apparent embrace of "hipster Stalinism": with Gorky Park now transformed "from rusting funfair to Wi-Fi heaven [and] more gentrifying projects on the cards, is it just a way to silence dissent?"

•   Nouvel's Philharmonie de Paris in the Parc de la Villette hopes to bridge the banlieues and affluent boulevards: it is "a glamorous architectural statement. But it is aiming for nothing less than social transformation through the arts" (maybe it's just us - but is there a striking resemblance to another glamorous design in another Paris park?).

•   Ramos cheers Boston's new mayor for going "up against boring architecture - not everything needs to built in red brick. Architects and developers shouldn't need political cover to put their best ideas forward. But now they have it - and should make the most of it."

•   Lewis finds proof in the 2014 AIA/HUD awards that "affordable housing design doesn't have to be boring": "all four projects receiving awards are in California. Is there something about California that we in Washington and elsewhere in the United States should know about?"

•   Birnbaum basks in 2014's "notable developments in landscape architecture," but cautions "we still have to deal with retrograde thinking that views parks as dumping grounds and places to put 'stuff.'"

•   Kamin has a thoughtful Q&A with Van Valkenburg re: Chicago's Maggie Daley Park: "It was a deliberate design decision to make play a beacon for the park" (and he's 100% behind banning dogs).

•   Barash has a different take on Maggie Daley Park: it may be "a technicolor dreamcoat of a park," but it "is symptomatic of a larger cultural trend - hyper-competitive spaces are what the 'Bilbao Effect' was to a previous generation. Call it the High Linification of the public space."

•   Governors Island's Leslie Koch offers her take on how to start a megaproject: "People get tripped up with utopian plans."

•   Perth's new Yagan Square has high hopes "to reconnect the CBD with Northbridge across the rail corridor that has divided it for more than 100 years."

•   It's "David versus Googleiath" as Attia sues Google for stealing his invention.

•   Eyefuls of Architect Magazine's 2014 Annual Design Review (great presentation!).


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