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Today’s News - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

•   Davidson pens one of his best re: the "rise of the mile-high building" (a.k.a. "Hubris Tower"): "the megatall tower is really a new species. What we need is a new ethics of the skyline."

•   Hawthorne talks to Zumthor re: his yet-again revised plan for LACMA that "has become noticeably more angular and muscular" (and now includes white or light-gray concrete): "I cannot do the whole museum in black. It gets too heavy."

•   Moore digs deep into regeneration plans for London's Tottenham that includes new homes, shops (and a new stadium, of course): it may sound great, but developers are overlooking - and even demolishing - "the best of what's already there. This sort of regen-babble is suspect at the best of times" (good architecture - and planning, for that matter - "is about walking and chewing gum at the same time").

•   NPR has a long conversation with Piano re: Europe's suburbs: they are not beautiful or well treated. "But they are the future of the city; or they are the city of the future," and "must be developed not by expansion, but by implosion; by transforming what's already available" (are you listening, Tottenham?).

•   Webb and North dig into the Australian Government's Intergenerational Report, and are concerned by "the largely overlooked [but critical] issue of affordable housing for older Australians."

•   Meanwhile, in a Melbourne inner suburb an affordable housing project "takes a communal approach" that may not be "a transcendently beautiful work of architecture in the Pevsner mould," but "it has already proven to be transformative" for its residents (beehives and blackboards included - we could live there!).

•   A group of young entrepreneurs in Malmö, Sweden, is using a "crowd-sourced living room to break down walls between communities and power": "This citizen-driven approach has become an antidote to hardcore modernist planning."

•   Litman lays it on the line about what advocates, planners (and architects) of public transit and transit-oriented development need to do to better communicate the benefits and overcome the nay-sayers: "It's time to channel Don Draper."

•   A new study "tests whether Jane Jacob's ideas ring true for predicting pedestrian vitality in Seoul" (basically, they do ring true).

•   Olcayto makes the case for good school design, as AJ launches a collaboration with Hawkins\Brown "to investigate how the profession can design better schools. Your input and feedback is most welcome."

•   Marks Barfield's new University of Cambridge Primary School "combines cutting-edge design with educational theory - a mix of dreams and tough limits."

•   Nelson Jones on why the design of U.S. Steel's new HQ in Pittsburgh shouldn't look like it could be anywhere: "What an irony that the corporation that almost defines this city would be paying rent in a yawner of a building."

•   Betsky is glad the well-planned and designed company town of Pullman, IL, is being preserved, but is "bothered by the fact that there is little recognition that the place is a monument to oppression and violence" - as a National Park, it "has enshrined injustice, not labor history."

•   Angell Brown takes a fascinating look at the "surge of interest" in modern house museums: "Once upon a time, they had the reputation for being architecture's ugly stepchildren. Not any more."

•   de Graaf clarifies some misunderstandings about OMA's position re: the Nine Elms bridge competition: "The statement that we did not expect to win never meant to imply that we did not try" (but it was still "a wasteful exercise in political lobbying" - paid for by architects).

•   Bernstein has a most interesting Q&A with Driehaus re: "bad architecture, foiling Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial, and the 'Hershey's Kiss' Lucas Museum" that will surely have some cheering, others fuming.

•   Yudelson "has made a sudden exit" from his leadership role with the Green Building Initiative.

•   Daas is leaving Ball State to take over as dean of Kansas University School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

•   Call for entries: 2-stage competition for the restoration and expansion of the Wien Museum in Vienna (big cash prizes, too!).



  

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