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Today’s News - Friday, December 19, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: 2014 has been an eventful/inspiring/depressing/surprising year of news - and we've enjoyed sharing it all with you. Today's news is a bit longer than usual because we're starting our holiday break a bit early. We'll be back January 5, 2015. We wish everyone Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays and a New Year filled with grand adventures and great expectations fulfilled!

•   Weinstein returns (yay!) with a review of Young's "Saint John's Abbey Church," a "towering history of Breuer's Bauhaus-influenced design" that "dazzles as an illuminating story of a critical episode in church architectural history, replete with lessons for architects in the present."

•   Filler's take-down of Chartres Cathedral's "restoration" is rebutted by Caviness and Jeffrey Hamburger re: his "well-meaning but also misinformed" post - and Filler responds.

•   Bernstein cheers Kaufman's plan to turn Rudolph's Orange County Government Center into artist studios "with a group of tenants who will revel in its eccentricities. After half a century, function may finally follow form."

•   King, meanwhile, is a bit concerned about the fate of Ciampi's 1970 Berkeley Art Museum: "the departure of the museum for which it was built, and the structure's vague future, shows the peril of designing for the drama of the moment."

•   Horton reports on a fashion designer's quest to save some of Tokyo's 20th-century architectural landmarks "under threat by the development ramp-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

•   Gunts and Russiello talks to Graves re: the news that his Portland Building is no longer under threat of demolition (and the mayor's office confirms).

•   Bentley pens a most thoughtful op-ed re: Chicago's Lucas Museum plans: "the speed with which much of the public wrote off this opportunity deserves some challenge. Let's work to bring this design down to earth, instead of hitting hyperdrive to discredit it."

•   Chicago's West Loop (formerly known as Skid Row) is going through "what researchers call gentrification on steroids."

•   Keegan reviews a few of 2014's "great moments in Chicago architecture": "The Spire is (really) dead...But we are building again!"

•   Jacobs ponders why Calatrava seems to be "the world's most hated architect": "It's rare to hear important figures in architecture publicly attack a colleague with such undisguised venom" - and she also gets some serious face time with the man to hear his side of the story - a fascinating read!

•   Critics of Calatrava's uber-costly projects should take a look at this great "run-down of some of the world's most eye-wateringly over-budget projects" (nary a Calatrava among them!).

•   More on China's crackdown on "weird architecture" that "has reignited debate over the financial and aesthetic excesses of urban design," and leaving many wondering "if it would dampen creativity more than it would curb freakish designs."

•   Raptopoulos wraps up her insightful Stormproofing the City series with eight takeaways: "keep an eye on the moving parts: although Sandy is long gone, there is a lot of work still ahead."

•   Heatherwick's Garden Bridge over the Thames gets final approval - with a slight hitch: there's no deal yet on who will pay to run it; the mayor "said he has no intention of underwriting the expected £3.5m annual bill."

•   Kats is totally taken by the Cooper Hewitt's makeover: "Four floors of galleries provide so much varied visual stimulation that a curious child, a seasoned designer, or a blockhead can all come away captivated."

•   An impressive list of 100 winners in BWAF's Built by Women New York City/BxW NYC competition.

•   Help Wanted: PennPraxis Managing Director, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   In Canberra, Frost finds "James Turrell: A Retrospective" invokes "a feeling of awe that's rare in contemporary art" that "feels vaguely religious but more than that, an evocation of the infinite that ultimately defeats language itself: the true sublime."

•   Farago finds "One Way: Peter Marino" to be "a spectacle of decadence - and it's - well, it's perfect for Miami."

•   Heathcote and Wainwright find more just than fun (though there's much of that!) at the V&A's "Small Stories: At Home in a Doll's House."

•   The Dallas Center for Architecture's "Building Toys and Toy Buildings: Architecture Through a Child's Eyes" is "way cool. It's a small exhibit - but don't let its size fool you."

•   Green rounds up his pick of Best Books of 2014 that include tomes by Lerner, Corner, Brown, and Benfield.

•   "Archiculture" documentary is now online, including some great interviews with some of the profession's greats.

•   One we couldn't resist: Babina's latest illustrations of some of history's most famous film stars doing daily chores and just chillin' out in some great Modernist masterpieces: "From Marilyn and Mies to Caine and Kahn..." (such fun!).


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