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Today’s News - Thursday, May 21, 2015

•   Giovannini thinks "Piano got it right" with the new Whitney: "It opens to the city and takes it inside - open, accessible, energized, urban, fun," and he thoughtfully parses Piano's other American museums (a most excellent read!).

•   Szenasy wonders: "Why do we need to segregate social consciousness as a marginal practice in architecture" when it "should be at the center of contemporary architecture and design."

•   The Missing 32% survey report "takes a deep dive into the state of equity in the architectural profession, and sheds some new light on the different obstacles female and male designers face."

•   We could almost hear a collective sigh of relief with news that the Four Seasons restaurant is safe: new carpeting allowed, but "the planters and pivoting panels were another story" ("I'm going to do what I think should be done. I'm spending 20 million bucks restoring it," sayeth the owner).

•   Betsky, meanwhile, ponders the Four Seasons' fate: "My first reaction is that the changes seem so minor that I do not quite understand the depth of their concern - but it makes a larger point: We need to figure out how to protect our best buildings without pickling."

•   Brown x 2 re: Calatrava's WTC transit hub ("the world's most expensive train station"): the architect says he's "been treated like a dog" on a project "meant to be a jewel of the 16-acre development site" - not "a budgetary boondoggle" - but not all due to "the complex aesthetic design."

•   PANYNJ's problems with Calatrava and Childs "speak to the broader tense and delicate environment that has defined the WTC redevelopment - so much so that the main agency overseeing it is loath to have some of its designers speak freely."

•   A veritable who's who of Canadian architecture sign an open letter re: the Memorial to the Victims of Communism on Ottawa's Parliament Hill: given "the widespread public outcry about the planned location" and "the serious nature of that which you plan to commemorate, we ask that you find an alternate site to proceed with this project."

•   Froud doesn't begrudge Assemble being shortlisted for the Turner Prize (it does "make beautiful places"), but "if it had been nominated for the Stirling Prize, it would be worth investing time in soul-searching conversations re: the nature of practice, models of practice, the economic viability of practicing in this way."

•   Meanwhile, Assemble plans to turn RIBA HQ into a "Brutalist Playground" by recreating (in foam) "some of the elements of the abstract concrete playgrounds that were designed for Brutalist housing estates in the mid-20th century."

•   Wainwright is quite taken by the transformation of Buffalo's Silo City: "Derelict for decades, too expensive to maintain or demolish, it is finally being reborn - as a fun-filled leisure-scape" called RiverWorks (a "Stonehenge" beer hall included - beerhenge?).

•   Eyefuls of DS+R's "spiraling design" for the U.S. Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs, "inspired by the movement of athletes."

•   An impressive team wins the Olympicopolis competition in London.

•   A 10,000-room mega hotel is on its way to Mecca (helipads included): it "looks like a semi-futuristic, sand-colored, desert version of a 1930s Manhattan high-rise."

•   NCARB ditches the term "intern," and its Intern Development Program will have to be renamed (by a Future Title Task Force, of course).

•   Heartfelt, charming (and sometimes amusing) tributes to Michael Graves by some amazing people who knew him.

•   Gehry's $4.5 million Winton Guest House auctioned off for $905,000: "It's a bargain for an architectural masterpiece" (until you factor in the cost of moving it!).

•   Call for entries: 2015 Detroit Design Festival: North America's Festival of Independent Design seeks large-scale installations focused on the theme of "play" + "Dear Architecture": write a letter about architecture, as a concept, as a social practice, and as a community.


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