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Today’s News - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

•   An unconfirmed (but likely plausible) video claims that ISIS will not bulldoze Palmyra's historical structures, but "we will pulverize the statues that the heretics used to worship in the past."

•   SANAA wins Art Gallery of NSW's Sydney Modern competition with a series of pavilions that is "unconstrained, cultured and stimulating."

•   A grumpy group of Brits today (and all must-reads!): Meades minces no words about "the nomenklatura of the regeneration racket" (including "suppliers of witless bling") who have had a ball riding the most extravagantly appointed of gravy trains - the sainted market has itself contrived feats of social engineering worthy of a capricious dictatorship."

•   Heathcote x 2: "the city has been monetized as a futures market. We have all become data," with "a marked shift from the city as public realm to a new conception of its streets and squares as a massive mall without walls. An overdose of success can kill a city."

•   He zeros in on how civic spaces "are coming under control of the private sector," with new spaces "based around consumption, not civic activity" - the latest being London's Garden Bridge, with "public money going towards private space."

•   With "Superdensity: the sequel" architects fire their latest salvo demanding "the end to the unbridled rise of 'super-dense' developments in London driven by a 'frenzy of avarice.'"

•   Partridge is left disheartened by a recent program "Can architecture be (im)moral?" that chronicled "the architect's diminishing status" - there were lots of "suits" who "all thought they had answers, and they do have power" - but where were the architects? "If architects don't engage...and stand up for our profession we soon won't have a voice at all."

•   Chicago Athenaeum's Narkiewicz-Laine explains why Good Design is a human right - based on freedom and democracy, instead of fear and control - freedom takes discipline and also doing what is morally and ethically right."

•   A look at how Ban "reshapes disaster zones" - proving that "not all notable architects are demanding divas or money-sucking leeches."

•   Simpson can barely contain herself in describing the "indigestible banquet of overblown audio-visual gimmicks and kitsch excess" at Milan Expo 2015. "And yet there was much to intrigue and entertain."

•   Merrick finds much to marvel over at Hadid's "Daliesque" library in Oxford: some may call it a "beached whale" or a "giant ear trumpet," but "this is undoubtedly her most intriguing small building."

•   Hawthorne hails Gehry's "remarkably restrained" Facebook HQ that is more like "a crowded, upscale indoor village," with an emphasis "on directness and an unapologetic practicality. When executed at this level, lack of polish is very much a kind of polish."

•   Kamin cheers the transformation of the 1893 Chicago Athletic Association, "erected by and for rich white guys," into a welcoming-to-all hotel: "This is a triumph, not just of historic preservation, but contemporary reinvention."

•   Horton hails Hariri Pontarini's Bahá'i Temple of South America outside Santiago, Chile: "a mysterious orb-like structure has been slowly rising, at once high-tech and organic - a building that defies rational thought and veers into the realm of the emotional."

•   Litt lauds the unveiling of the "visionary concept" for the Red Line Greenway, "Cleveland's answer to the High Line."

•   As TOD is about to take off in Australia, a new report highlights the challenges.

•   Call for entries: National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, Washington, DC + Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship that partners early-career architectural designers with community development organizations.


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