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Today’s News - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day. We'll be back Friday, December 19.

•   Wainwright reports from "inside Beijing's airpocalypse," where 21 million people "appear to be engaged in a city-wide rehearsal for life on an inhospitable planet. Only it's not a rehearsal" - their "airmageddon" has arrived (an incredible read!).

•   Queensland's deputy premier orders a Brisbane council "to remove future sea-level rise from its planning regulations - as certainty over future sea-level rise increases, planning protections are being wound back right across Australia" (whaaaat?!!?).

•   Eyefuls of the finalists in the St. Petersburg Pier's second attempt at a competition (after the "contentious rejection of a much-reviled design" of the "The Lens" by Maltzan - remember that debacle?).

•   Eyefuls of 3XN's competition-winning Olympic HQ scheme on the shores of Lake Geneva.

•   Flint delves deep into the "long list of difficulties Renzo Piano faced" designing the new Harvard Art Museums: "being 'urbanistically correct' can be an expensive and incredibly challenging undertaking...there would be no messing with Le Corbusier, either."

•   O'Sullivan reports on why the Mall of Berlin is such a flop: "It's not that Berlin's government and developers don't have the guts to take on major projects to transform the city. It's just that they really suck at them"

•   No need to pity Ontario's "poor St. Catharines" anymore: Diamond Schmitt Architects "is putting an indelible mark on our downtown with its visions" that should "do away with any self-doubt the Garden City may ever have felt."

•   Rauchwerger offers a lively examination of Mexico City's "Me-Mo" moment in the architectural spotlight.

•   After 20 years of mostly "bog-standard steel-and-glass office blocks," a round-up of Russia's Top Six Best Buildings, where "architects have dared to differ and turned bold blueprints into bricks and mortar."

•   Snoonian Glenn cheers Bestor's Blackbirds development in L.A. that "hits the right notes for eco-conscious urbanites who are ready for a starter home and want to live in an area that offers a less car-dependent lifestyle."

•   Moore has a field day inside Second Home, a "workspace for 'creative nomads'" in London by Serpentine Pavilion winner SelgasCano: it has "lightness and grace as well as invention, and an awareness of when to stop - stopping the playfulness short of kitsch" (we wanna work there!).

•   Norfolk, Va., has a new downtown anchor with a new library that incorporates a landmark.

•   The AIA and 11 architectural schools sign a three-year partnership to "further explore the notion that building design, city planning and health should go hand in hand."

•   The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture launches a fundraising campaign it says "is the only opportunity to save the school."

•   One we couldn't resist: A "Hogwarts" castle is built for China's Heibei Academy of Fine Arts that "will be used by animation students, rather than to house young witches and wizards."

•   Eyefuls of the 2014 AR Awards for Emerging Architecture + Eyefuls (and miles and miles) of A' Design Award & Competition 2013 - 2014 winners.

•   Call for entries: Gowanus by Design 3rd international design competition.


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