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Today’s News - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

•   Stephens and Minutillo have the first positive words we've heard about Mayne's "Empire State-sized tower" in the Swiss Alps: it "turns out to be trim and sedate in its shape and wrapping - clad in glass" (though from the ground, you might feel like "Jack stumbling upon the Beanstalk").

•   Of architecture and the "global problem" of glass vs. birds: architects "are becoming more attuned to the issue" (please tell us Mayne's glassy Alpine needle wont' become a feather factory for Björk costumes!).

•   Betsky offers a bemused take on the "Apple circle," the "Facebook warehouse," and the "Google circus": one age-old question "for all monuments to vanity and utopian ambitions: Which structure will make the better ruin?"

•   Heathcote has a most thoughtful take on the complexities of architecture in Africa, and "the discrepancies between the corporate behemoths and the ingenious interventions into the informal - made yet more complex because so many of Africa's finest architects work outside the continent," and "the most interesting recent buildings here have been built by young foreign practices."

•   A fascinating (and sad) Q&A with Iraqi-born, Jordan-based Fethi, who "is monitoring the ISIS-led destruction of historic sites and spearheading efforts to stop it": "Nothing. Nothing can be done."

•   Page\Park promises transparency in its work to bring back Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art, and its "staggering" discovery: "You would never have said this angelic space was made by carpenters whacking nails. You can make magic with a hammer, saw and nails. That should be an inspiration to young architects."

•   The Warhol Museum drops a bombshell on NYC's Essex Crossing developers by dropping plans to open a branch in the 6-acre Lower East Side development.

•   Civitas takes inspiration from the history of a former baseball stadium site in San Diego to create the new Lane Field Park.

•   Brownell delves deep into research projects exploring brain-computer interfaces that "could one day find a place" in architecture and the built environment: the "use of EEG technology in the design, construction, and occupation of buildings may not result in the dire circumstances predicted by dystopian authors, but instead a more humane future" that is "not only stranger than fiction - it's also brighter."

•   Loftness goes Down Under to talk about the role of women in green building, and acknowledges that it "is a tough topic."

•   The Bangkok Post offers an interesting Q&A with Heatherwick re: his philosophy, process, and projects.

•   Winners all: Knight Cities Challenge awards 32 community projects across the country, from porch swings in public spaces in Charlotte, to a "science barge" in Miami, and "Houselets" in San Jose.

•   Woodbury University's Arid Lands Institute wins $100,000 AIA Latrobe Prize + Impressive projects nab APA 2015 National Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards.

•   A good reason to head to Harvard later this month: GSD/Van Alen Institute's Design Competition Conference (an impressive line-up of speakers!).

•   Call for entries: Tristan da Cunha International Design Ideas Competition + Clark's take on where Tristan is (site visits not possible): "It could end up being a case of 'I'm an architect, get me out of here.'" + FX International Interior Design Awards 2015.

•   Two we couldn't resist (it is April 1, after all): The U.S. Government proposes a Failed Public Space amendment "designed to ensure that future generations of Americans can continue to not use them" (damn those "rogue activists, sometimes referred to as Placemakers" transforming these wastelands!).

•   No need to worry about Thames view corridors: Heatherwick's Garden Bridge "to be upended and turned into Europe's tallest tower - surpassing even Morphosis's Swiss monster. Careful pruning will ensure the planted skyscraper does not impinge on any protected views. Peter Zumthor was said to be speechless."


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