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Today’s News - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

•   One of the saddest/gladdest new days: Frei Otto gets the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize - but he died yesterday; at least he knew he was this year's Laureate: "You have here a happy man."

•   Jones makes the case for why Nouvel's Louvre Abu Dhabi is worth celebrating, despite accusations of migrant worker exploitation: "I suspect this audacious new museum will be admired as a world destination and artistic treasure house. And so it should be," because it's "a turning point in cultural history."

•   Greenfield parses Gehry's Facebook "Zee Town" and wonders if company towns are ever a good idea: "Its most worrisome aspect is how clearly it reflects the tech industry's continuing withdrawal from the public realm" (with some fascinating history thrown in for good measure).

•   Meanwhile, Gehry has been tapped to transform a "fugly" Sunset Strip shopping center into a mixed-use development (no images yet).

•   In San Francisco, David Baker converts a derelict motel into affordable and sustainable housing (and stylish!) for the formerly homeless.

•   Holl says that designing the new wing for Mumbai's Bhau Daji Lad Museum is "a huge responsibility" (and sides with residents in controversy re: possible loss of a playground).

•   A fascinating look at how Baghdad could have been a mega-city designed by "a coterie of architectural heavyweights" (with great pix).

•   Move over Central Park and Hyde Park - Sydney is set to get its own almost 500-acre "super park."

•   Silverstein digs into how Tel Aviv's "Mountain of Crap" is being reborn as Ariel Sharon Park.

•   Goodyear reports on a new report that actually quantifies the positive impact parklets have on a community: "Are those two parking spaces better used by 150 unique users? Or by two cars?"

•   Gunther minces no words about what he thinks of the Metropolitan Museum's plaza redesign: it "undermines the institution's civic grandeur."

•   King cheers three public art installations in San Francisco: "Each work pushes different buttons" - what they "have in common is a shared determination not to be innocuous."

•   Capps makes the case for why London "should be at the forefront" in "planning for the dead. After all, there is barely room enough for the living" (and calls out "one of the all-time great reads about life's eternal bummer" - a great read!).

•   Eyefuls of the 2015 Civic Trust Awards winners (all 91).

•   Call for entries: speakers for VERGE 2015 conference on technology and sustainability in San Jose + Proposals for ABX 2015 in Boston re: emerging A/E/C trends.


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