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Today’s News - Thursday, February 5, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Monday, February 9.

•   Dunlap pays eloquent tribute to "rainmaker" Jordan Gruzen, whose passing "not only ended a father-son practice dating to the 1930s but also ruptured one of the longest design partnerships in New York."

•   Saffron delves deep into "how big money and business elites are warping the way America's urban parks are funded," turning them "into playgrounds for the wealthy."

•   Details of ULI's plan for turning the "beloved/neglected/hated" Houston Astrodome into a park, paid for by a public private partnership (perhaps with attention to Saffron's caveats?).

•   King has a lively conversation with Gang re: skyscrapers, including the tower she's designing in San Francisco that will be "a ripple of angled bay windows, jagged and subtle at once," and others' designs around the world.

•   Kent and Daley discuss their research into how "higher-density living can make us healthier," but warn there is "also the possibility of unintended consequences - we will need to watch carefully to know whether we are getting it right."

•   Kennicott reports that the Mecanoo/Martinez + Johnson Architecture expansion plan for Mies's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in DC will be the smaller option.

•   Gorlin issues "a call to arms" to get the World Monuments Fund to take action against the "misguided 'restoration'" of Chartres Cathedral : "To correct this travesty will require the world's attention."

•   Bentley parses the 2014 Chicago Prize winners' designs for an Obama Library in Chicago that has "enlivened the conceptual debate swirling around a closely watched project already wrought with its own political complications."

•   The inaugural Ada Louise Huxtable Prize goes to "visionary" client and architectural patron Jane Priestman: "She promoted good British design, and it is hard to imagine what would have happened without her."

•   Ann Looper Pryor leaves ASLA to join TCLF as COO (our heartiest congrats to Ann, and condolences to ASLA).

•   Call for entries: Take the Architectural Record / Van Alen Institute Design Competition Survey (full disclosure: yours truly is on the Survey Committee).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   A composer hopes to "evoke" Gehry's Santa Monica home in "Frank's House," knowing "there's a chance that some listeners will find it as unpleasant" as his neighbors did in 1978 (percussionists crumpling paper included).

•   Kennicott pens a poetic review of "Architectural Image, 1920-1950," a "fascinating and potent exhibition of architectural and urban images" at the National Building Museum.

•   Menking marvels at "Sketch to Structure" in Pittsburgh: "The concept is so cogent and well thought out it's a wonder no other museum hasn't already staged such a show."

•   Kats explains why "Blueprint" at the Storefront for Art and Architecture is a "show that matters."

•  "Prison Obscura" at Parsons "explores an area of society that continues to exist in the shadows" and "sheds light on the prison industrial complex and those it confines."

•   In Brisbane, "How Did Architects Respond Immediately After 3/11 (The Great East Japan Earthquake)?" presents a wide range of projects launched by architects, from the quake's immediate aftermath to today.

•   In London, Neu Architects and Seán & Stephen's "Mind Maze" offers cryptic doorways to a Holmesian world.

•   Jacobs rediscovers Scheerbart, a turn-of-the-century visionary who "could have been a precursor to Rem Koolhaas...he represents an alternative version of Modernism, a road not taken."

•   With "Hypernatural: Architecture's New Relationship with Nature," Brownell and Swackhamer hope "to provide a framework for discussing and advancing materials and methods in projects that are in constant collaboration with nature."


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