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Today’s News - Monday, April 20, 2015

•   A day to play Piano as a cadre of critics weigh in on the new Whitney Museum of American Art (all well worth reading, and there's sure to be more):

•   Goldberger: it "has a clunky exterior - like an awkward hybrid: part glass box, part big metal beast," but "the interior is fun to be in. This is a building filled with joyous moments."

•   Kimmelman: "There's a generosity to the architecture, a sense of art connecting with the city and vice versa"; it "isn't a masterpiece. But it is a deft, serious achievement."

•   Davidson: it is "filled with light - and contradictions - a complicated contraption, ungainly on all sides" that "aspires to be lovingly urban"; inside, it's "a wonderful place for people who get easily bored by art."

•   Kennicott: "It is a ridiculously good place for a museum - it looks a bit of a jumble, but it certainly looks like New York. The experience feels like a love affair with the city."

•   Saltz: "I'd say it looks like a hospital or a pharmaceutical company," but "the genericism suggests that what matters to the Whitney isn't vanity, grandeur, showboating, celebrity, or destination architecture" (or bowing to current museum "fun-house attractions" offering not much more than a "Shut up, take a selfie, keep moving").

•   Schjeldahl: "form doesn't so much follow function as happily succumb to it."

•   Hosey, speaking of criticism, takes issue with Betsky's swipe at Kimmelman, and reaches out to the critiratti crowd to find out "what they think the defining traits of good criticism are."

•   Eyefuls of the 8 shortlisted designs in Sorkin's The Next Helsinki (a.k.a. anti-Guggenheim Helsinki) competition (there's sure to be lots of criticism of these, too).

•   Nadel, the GSA's Shepherd, and Luebk weigh in on the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years later: it was a "wake-up call" for government security, but "has the government now gone too far in the other direction? The debate over security versus openness and aesthetics is 'the issue of the decade.'"

•   Wainwright is intrigued by some surprising finds in the Glasgow School of Art restoration, but "will the replica leave it looking like a cheap kitchen? The eyes of the world are watching."

•   Dunlop takes issue with Dittmar's case for restoring the Mac: "Replication is never the right thing to do. The present danger is pastiche at best or Mockintosh at worst."

•   Page\Park's Park re: criticism of rebuilding the Mac: "I understand your anger. But..."

•   Berg offers a vey thoughtful take re: the future of Rudolph's Orange County Government Center that "has come to represent the contentiousness of an entire genre of architecture," putting the spotlight on whether we should "demolish or cherish Brutalist architecture."

•   Moore parses London Mayor Boris's legacy: "he's "produced a surprising mix of spectacular and workaday projects - along with some famous follies" ("eyesores" and "thoughtful wonkery" included).

•   Murphy muses on some "outlandish plans for London that almost got built" (some real doozies!).

•   Gunther ponders the gargantuan New York Wheel actually breaking ground on Staten Island, "after surviving the 10 plagues of delay - from hurricanes to the storms of local politics."

•   Nouvel loses his court case claiming his Philharmonie de Paris had been "martyred": the "court says he failed to provide the right documents."

•   A cautionary tale: California expands liability for architects to third-party condo buyers: "it is imperative that architects clearly define their scope of liability up front through carefully crafted contracts that anticipate such liability."

•   Q&A with Salingaros re: sustainable development and his definition of "Biourbanism."

•   Eyefuls of the 4th Global Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction: a public park in Medellín, a community library Sri Lank, and Manhattan's The Dryline share a healthy purse.


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