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Today’s News - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

•   Misra parses "how haphazard urbanization and rampant building code violations in Nepal pushed up the earthquake death toll," and other "rapidly urbanizing South Asian cities show similarly dangerous urban growth patterns."

•   Kats looks deep into the "new Whitney's old soul": Piano's "nostalgia for his beginnings, and for Modernism's, is evident" - the museum's "definitive functionalism and aggressively awkward form imitate and emulate the industrial buildings that inspired radical architecture - a century ago."

•   Kiser brings us eyefuls of the new Whitney: "Piano's strong, asymmetrical design responds to the industrial character" of the neighborhood "while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence."

•   Could bad-boy Bjarke be about to bump Lord Norman from 2 World Trade Center?

•   Renn ruminates on what's the perfect size for a city: "Planners love efficiency, but even on a piece of paper it can be hard to know what size box to draw - nobody really knows where to draw the lines."

•   A new report analyzing before/after Complete Streets scenarios "shows the extraordinary effect low-cost, thoughtful street design can have on local communities."

•   Hume would probably agree when it comes to Toronto: "Cleary, what's needed is a new sort of micro-urbanism focused on small-scale interventions designed to transform the city without threatening nervous residents" (a.k.a. the all too prevalent NIMBYs).

•   Kamin cheers the new, oh-so-green (LEED Platinum!) Method soap factory in historic Pullman: it may be "a plain concrete box," but "it does the basics of form and function right - a factory doesn't have to be a hulking, fenced-off building with a smokestack belching pollution" it can, instead, "enhance both the economy and the environment" (and "it's going to grow stuff you eat, on the roof").

•   The Rocky Mountain Institute issues a new guide to "calculate the true increase in returns achievable through deep energy retrofits" that "moves past the standard capital cost versus energy savings equation" (useful for convincing clients).

•   Davies delves into designing memorials, "one of the hardest and most fraught commissions a designer can take on. The role of the designer is to facilitate a response, not create it or choreograph it (some 'starchitects' might take note!)."

•   Sokol reports on the results of the Architectural Record/Van Alen Institute Design Competition Survey results from 1,414 respondents: "Regardless of country, aspects of competitions can leave architects either frustrated or energized - or both." + VAI proposes 10 reforms to the way design competitions are run.

•   Good news for fans of DC's historic Corcoran Gallery of Art: "Much of the graceful interiors will remain intact, despite the wishes of new owner George Washington University."

•   Emblin checks out the Mazzanti "effect": "His architecture changes not just a landscape, it changes people."

•   Singapore-based American architect L'Heureux wins the 2015 Wheelwright Prize $100,000 travel grant.

•   Eyefuls of the 11 DOCOMOMO US 2015 Modernism in America Awards winners.

•   The 2015 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition winners are "7 outstanding projects."

•   One we couldn't resist: a video produced by Philly's Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities "jokingly recommends building bubble-wrap safety suits" to keep pedestrians safe (it's a hoot!).

•   Call for entries: Triple Bridge Waterfront: propose development along the Liepaja Canal in Latvia + Sukkahville 2015 International Design Competition for a free-standing Sukkah on Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square.


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