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Today’s News - Friday, April 10, 2015

•   Chipperfield's design for the new Nobel Center in Stockholm continues to stoke controversy: "We are paying close attention to the feedback, which will be considered in the design development of the project," sayeth the architect.

•   Hosey would like to see more clarity in the "language shifting back and forth between fact and metaphor, life and 'like' life" when it comes to talking about "living buildings" and "green" design.

•   Davies takes Mackay to task for his reasons behind believing humans aren't meant to live in high-rise towers: "There are potential problems with high-rises that must be managed. But the idea that towers are somehow unnatural for humans, or that they discourage human interaction, is just silly."

•   Jaffe parses a study that finds the New Urbanist neighborhood of Stapleton, Colorado, may "look the part. But it doesn't function that way" because it "suffers from compromised planning standards."

•   French ponders whether Toronto's 19 miles of "underground city" could be "a solution to crowded, dense megacities."

•   Rotenberk digs deep into Chicago's "massive regreening - making up for the wrongs created by racism, rapid growth, and negligence" (some great history).

•   Eyefuls of Denton Corker Marshall's white-box-in-a-black-box pavilion for the Venice Biennale.

•   Gensler/HWKN's ziggurat-shaped "Williamsburg Generator" in Brooklyn would "momentarily" interrupt the "unceasing march of bland and boxy new apartments" in the nabe ("but it is not a done deal just yet").

•   Capps and Lewis each offer very thoughtful takes on NORCs (naturally occurring retirement communities) that are "increasingly reshaping urban and suburban development."

•   McGuigan waxes poetic about the "earthly paradise" that is Sea Ranch, 50 years later: "Though mankind's footprint on the land has occasionally been clumsy, the beauty of the wild acres of meadows and forests, the sea and the sky, triumph over all" (fab photos!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Jaffe has a few issues with Gertten's new documentary, "Bikes vs. Cars": its "heavy-handed style often obscures - and occasionally even confuses - the real challenges" - its best moments "remind us the goal isn't (or shouldn't be) utter annihilation of automobiles, but a shift in transport balance and a general change in perspective."

•   "The Competition" is a "magical documentary" about a "doomed" museum competition with "starchitects behaving badly," and "just as fraught and dramatic as one might think" (the "f"-word - mon dieu!)

•   Stephens says "Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change" at L.A.'s Annenberg Space for Photography "displays the guiltiest sort of beauty. The heroes - or, more cynically, the perverse beneficiaries - are engineers, urban planners, landscape architects and architects."

•   Heathcote and Bevan give (mostly) thumbs-up to "All This Belongs to You" at London's V&A: it is "hugely important, subtly subversive show" + It's "inventive" and "should not only wake up the museum zombies from their shuffle but also remind us that, as a public museum, all this does indeed belong to us. Which is an astonishing thought, really."

•   Bevan is less impressed with "Designs of the Year 2015" at the Design Museum: "A plethora of tech seems to spell the end for handcrafted beauty" (except for a bench).

•   Leon lauds McGuirk's "Radical Cities": it "should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we're stuck in" - it "gives us hopeful fragments."

•   Welton cheers Hardin Kapp's "The Architecture of William Nichols" that "shines a much-needed spotlight on a forgotten designer," and is "a must-read for neoclassical architecture fans."

•   A slide show essay from Johnson's "Improbable Libraries" that proves we're not really "falling out of love with books."


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