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Today’s News - Monday, February 23, 2015

•   Heathcote hails Gehry's "remarkable new building" for the University of Technology, Sydney that uses "an unsettling and uncertain language with which to express the ethos of a school that prides itself on disruption through design."

•   Kamin minces no words about what he thinks of proposals to usurp Olmsted-designed Chicago public park land for the Obama Presidential Library.

•   Wilkinson offers a British take on the history of presidential libraries: their "auto-memorialization has been institutionalized": "The question of what these buildings are actually for is another one entirely" ("mausoleum effect" is one).

•   Kennicott is none too pleased with Washington, DC's decision to end its support for the widely-supported Institute for Contemporary Expression in the historic Franklin School: "The decision to scuttle the city's arrangement with ICE remains opaque. This kind of fiasco is all too familiar to longtime observers of the city's cultural scene."

•   Kolson Hurley reports on the groundbreaking for DC's new Museum of the Bible in a former 1920s refrigeration warehouse: if Gehry had been asked "to represent the parting of the Red Sea in billows of metal and glass, it might have been the least controversial thing about the project."

•   Herzog visits the H&deM-designed M+ museum building site in Hong Kong: "To some, the minimalist inverted T-shape is an elegant urban statement. To others, it appears disappointingly understated" - but for him, "a museum should never be about the architect."

•   Williams wanders Siza's "new trophy offices" for a chemical plant in China: "With his artist's eye, Siza has created a stunning work of elegant simplicity. But as a piece of architecture," it is "surprisingly typical of Chinese renderings where commissioned designs are always surrounded by nothingness."

•   Slessor sees something very different: "Siza exports his oeuvre to China in a predictable triumph of style over content. For all its undoubted qualities as a piece of architecture, you get the nagging sense of Brand Siza hitting China with an exquisitely minimal thud."

•   Bernstein's Q&A with Davis Brody Bond's Krebs re: the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and his response to criticism about two contentious projects for NYU and the Frick Collection.

•   Thompson delves deep into what the secret is behind the "miracle of Minneapolis": "No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well" by using "fiscal equalization" never before "tried at the metropolitan level."

•   DePillis delves into "how a prep school math teacher has exploded the debate over affordable housing in San Francisco" that is pitting two camps with the same goals against each other, "which blocks progress toward policies that might make a dent."

•   Sturgis cheers an initiative in India that has kids mapping slums that is "sparking urban planning changes" and fostering a new generation "with a keen awareness of disparity - who are eager to correct it."

•   Eyefuls of the competition winning design (from Argentina) and runners-up (from Turkey, France, and The Netherlands) for the Bamiyan Cultural Centre in Afghanistan.

•   Eyefuls of the 74 schemes vying for new Nine Elms pedestrian bridge over the Thames (from wild to tame, thrilling to mundane).

•   A very amusing take on the "12 most ridiculous designs" for the Nine Elms bridge: "Helpful tip for architects: you can't just draw squares on a photo and call it a design" (also in the bunch: "nightmarish"; "fairylights"; and "one with the... thing").

•   Winners of the Tygron Student Contest, which "challenged next generation planners to build their own game."

•   AdWeek parses AIA's venture into TV advertising with a "Look Up" theme that hopes to "humanize" a "revered but misunderstood job" (nicely done ad, but we didn't quite get the message - but maybe it's just us).


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