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Today’s News - Thursday, May 7, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for not posting on Tuesday that yesterday was this week's floating no-newsletter day (oops!). In the meantime, today is a very starry-tectural kind of news day!

•   Betsky takes on Capps in defense of architectural spectacle: "Beam me up, please, Scotty, I am ready to be amazed."

•   Darley cheers on architectural critics who "wield their influence to powerful political effect" by "engaging with major issues. Who is designing what has ceased to be of much interest. It is the how and the why of the development that keeps people talking."

•   Kamin considers the speculation already swirling around who will be tapped to design the Obama presidential library and museum: "This much is clear - the selection of an architect won't be an aesthetic afterthought."

•   Iovine cheers Piano's new Whitney, a "welcoming, creative" place "as tough and ready for action as a Navy warship" (in a good way).

•   Heathcote x 2: the Whitney "is ugly, awkward, lumpy. It is also the best building by Renzo Piano for many years - made of a series of spaces pressed together to work well as a museum, not as a logo. And it works."

•   He considers Australia's "radical black box in Venice": aside from the controversy of how the design was selected, "what does it say about Australia? The metaphors could be endless - but each suggests a mystical object, something which sits oddly in its landscape and which both attracts and conceals."

•   Wainwright is wow'd by OMA's Fondazione Prada in Milan, "a dazzling art space - love has even been lavished on the loos, which feel as special as the galleries themselves."

•   Q&A with Koolhaas re: his Fondazione Prada, the danger of turning cities into historical Disneylands, and his desire to raze an entire neighborhood of Paris.

•   Olcayto gets hooked on the "weird architectural fun-park" that is the Milan Expo 2015, and "seeing stuff that will no doubt filter through into the mainstream of building, for better or worse, over the next decade."

•   de Monchaux is quite taken by Phifer's Corning Museum that presents "a new kind of minimalism" where "less does more."

•   Russell gets to actually roam around Gehry's "soaring fishbowl" for Facebook: its "monumental vastness is surprisingly matter-of-fact," and "(so far) feels less adolescently male than many tech workplaces."

•   Giovannini is disappointed by the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art's "ill-advised lobby renovation. A space with an extraordinary aura has become ordinary," despite "laudable intentions" (hopefully, the Cincinnati museum will give Hadid a call next time).

•   The winning design for the National Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa is now being considered by a committee which has been critical of the selected site, but the "real question is whether anyone on the board will have the gumption to raise an objection."

•   Cornell sues over Johnson Museum of Art, alleging "that Pei Cobb Freed & Partners committed 'architectural malpractice.'"

•   Filler pays eloquent tribute to Frei Otto: "there can be no doubt that he helped lift his homeland out of the darkest period in its history through marvelously wrought designs that conveyed not only stunning technical finesse but, more importantly, a spiritual lightness of being."

•   Getty and WMF launch the latest version of the free, open-source Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System.

•   The V&A names Hawkins\Brown partner Bickle as its new design director, who will be "overseeing a raft of major construction projects."

•   Good Design is Good Business 2015 awards go to 9 teams of architects and clients who "demonstrate how design brings up the bottom line."


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