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Today’s News - Friday, April 24, 2015

•   A day of slings and arrows, kudos and caveats: Giovannini doesn't just parse Zumthor's latest design iteration for LACMA - he dissects it (sans chloroform): "A warmed-over vision, stuck in caution, camouflaged as artistic sensitivity - dragging the museum toward mediocrity, sliding it into a yawn" (and curators' needs don't count).

•   Anderton's Q&A with Giovannini re: why he's against the LACMA design by "a certain architectural mystic in Switzerland," and why the critic chose to be a "voice in the wilderness": "I think the critical establishment has been largely supine and passive..."

•   The new Whitney (mostly) wow's more of the critiratti glitterati (lots more in Monday & Tuesday's ANN - if you missed them, click "Yesterday's News" above):

•   Wainwright: Piano's "steel-clad icebreaker...trumpets its awkwardness in a strangely compelling way" in a neighborhood being transformed by the "real estate fairy dust of the High Line."

•   Saffron: it's "functional, reliable, not lovable," but "the architectural details are so fine that even a humble wall joint becomes a gorgeous piece of precision craft," and "politely defer to their surroundings - and, especially, to the museum's art."

•   Glancey likens "the muscular new building to a freighter berthed alongside the Hudson, nosing its way into the city. If you think it a little cold or even artless from the street, step inside."

•   Eyefuls of the 6 Guggenheim Helsinki finalists that, along with 15 honorable mentions, go on view at the Kunsthalle Helsinki.

•   Lange's first foray as Curbed's architecture critic (yay!): she takes on Heatherwick's Diller/von Furstenberg-funded Pier55 on the Hudson River: is it a "pocket gadget, meme-tecture, or something more nefarious? The last thing the Parks Department needs is another expensive, limited-use bauble."

•   Vogel cheers Koolhaas's about-to-open Prada Foundation in Milan, set "on the site of an old distillery in a scruffy industrial neighborhood" with "original industrial buildings juxtaposed with dramatic new ones (and lots of gold leaf).

•   Speaking of the Kool guy, OMA is tapped by L.A.'s ornate, 1929 Wilshire Boulevard Temple to design a special events building (though "the congregation has not yet pledged money").

•   Eyefuls of Safdie's design for the National Medal of Honor Museum in South Carolina, which alludes to the five-pointed star of the medal itself + Q&A with Safdie re: "his vision for Singapore and what his iconic buildings are supposed to remind us of."

•   A historic but long-closed jail in Bendigo, Australia, is transformed into the "stunning, trailblazing" Ulumbarra Theatre - thick metals bars on the windows and the gallows trapdoor included.

•   King has a thoughtful conversation with Peterson re: the future of Public Architecture and The 1% program: "the buzz that accompanies the latest gyrations of so-called starchitects...doesn't lessen the need for architects and designers who want to make a fundamental impact at a human scale."

•   Eyefuls of AIA 2015 COTE Top Ten and Top Ten Plus Awards (great presentation).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Lina Bo Bardi takes center stage at Chicago's Graham Foundation in the U.S. debut of an exhibition that pays tribute to her work and legacy.

•   MCNY's "Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks" exhibition "documents preservation failures and triumphs, and highlights juxtapositions of new architecture in historic contexts" (and panoramic views of the city by Baan).

•   Christo's "The Floating Piers" will invite the public "to walk on water" with "shimmering yellow walkways" on Italy's Lake Iseo for 16 days in June.

•   Brownell and Swackhamer's "Hypernatural: Architecture's New Relationship with Nature" explores 42 examples of how innovative architects are re-defining building.

•   Two new books on Corbu that depict him "as an out and out fascist have shocked admirers," while the Centre Pompidou's Corbu exhibition "faces allegations of totally failing to mention the controversy."

•   Meanwhile, Grima's "99 Dom-Ino" film series looks at how Corbu shaped Italy with structures he didn't' design, but "bear his fingerprints. The narration is sparse, but the cinematography is jaw-dropping."


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