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Today’s News - Monday, May 4, 2015

•   Campbell gives thumbs-up to the "glorious" galleries in the new Whitney, but it's something else from the outside: "It's not so much complex as it is incoherent. Well, New York isn't coherent, either. The Whitney fits right in."

•   Lamster likes much about Piano's "inverted ocean liner moored awkwardly at the foot of the High Line" - it "adds a bit of intellectual heft to the increasingly intolerable fashion-meets-entertainment zone that is the Meatpacking District."

•   Bozikovic finds an "odd amalgam of art, money, steel and style" in Piano's "ungainly machine - precision is in evidence on the interior, which has none of the clumsiness of the exterior."

•   Davis: "Piano's appealing and thoughtful design is a very clear signal that it is not just another rash trophy. Its very wonderfulness is a chess move in the battle for museum supremacy."

•   A most amusing Q&A with Saltz re: "the spectacle surrounding museums today," what the Whitney gets that MoMA doesn't, and "what the major New York museums would be like if they were your college friends" (the best part).

•   Evitts Dickinson pens a most thoughtful piece about defensive architecture and its role in Baltimore, past and present: "The architecture profession, like our nation at large, is also in the midst of a soul-searching moment...what we build - and how we build - speaks volumes about who we are as a culture. Architecture is nothing less than mankind's values writ large."

•   A touch of irony? Baltimore's National Great Blacks in Wax Museum gets the go-ahead for a Davis Brody Bond-designed expansion.

•   Meanwhile in Milan, rioters "protesting what they see as the wastefulness and corruption" overshadow Milan Expo 2015 opening day.

•   Haldane, in the meantime, feels the buzz in the Hive, Buttress's UK Pavilion for the Milan Expo: it's a "Willy Wonka-like journey" (great pix!).

•   Saffron bemoans the loss of "another functioning, attractive, meaningful patch in Philadelphia's great quilt of buildings" giving way to "dreary, mini dorms - if we keep losing blocks of fine, textured buildings like Lancaster Mews, there will be no neighborhood left to revive."

•   Johnston cheers Splash Adelaide, a "'fast and dirty' anything-goes approach to placemaking" where "any dead street is fair game for an experiment in bringing it to life" (as long as it doesn't break any laws).

•   Hume continues to make the case for taking down a section of Toronto's Gardiner Expressway: it "is a mistake the city can't afford to repeat. The issue isn't how much should stay, but how much can go."

•   From Israel, the sad saga of efforts to make Jaffa's old port a hot spot proves that "'if you build it they will come' is no sure thing" (meanwhile, "Tel Aviv's old port is humming").

•   Heathcote hails Foster's Crossrail Canary Wharf station as "a bridge between two worlds," where the structure housing a rooftop greenhouse "pokes out between buildings like a silvery eel."

•   Labine lauds a "visionary new plan" to rebuild Penn Station in its original form that would rectify "an appalling act of architectural vandalism," and create "badly needed civic space in a dreary part of New York City" - it would be "an act of civic redemption" (and cost less than Calatrava's WTC transit hub).

•   A look at how NYC Mayor de Blasio has retooled Bloomberg's PLANYC to become the "more comprehensive" OneNYC that the city hopes will "fuse sustainability, social equity and resilience."

•   Some big names chime in about plans to renovate Philip Johnson's Four Seasons restaurant, calling it "ill-advised" (turning the glass enclosed wine cellar into a powder room sounds pretty awful to us!).

•   Nayar nails down why Miami has become "an epicenter for design" where "a serious flock of international talent" (a.k.a. starchitects) is "shifting the aesthetic of Miami's new buildings."


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