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Today’s News - Monday, June 1, 2015

•   Lepeska takes an in-depth, thoughtful look at how "an eco-system of revival and reclamation has shimmered to life" in Beirut, where "urbanist campaigners have upped their game" with projects that are not merely restorations, "but a reckoning with the past."

•   Olcayto minces no words about the RIAS Festival of Architecture: "events of this kind can only ever be, at best, well-meaning PR stunts. The profession will receive no PR boost at all - few will come away from it with greater respect for architects in Scotland."

•   Kimmelman delves into the very pricey saga of Brooklyn's Bushwick Inlet Park, whose first five acres "already surpasses the High Line's cost to the taxpayer" and the landowner wants $500 million for the next, promised by the city, 13 acres. "Back here on planet Earth, the city will not, and should never, pay that kind of ransom."

•   Townsend ties the details of the ongoing saga of London's Garden Bridge into a neat narrative: so, just how did an architect with one bridge under his belt beat out two firms known for many "prestigious" (and one Stirling Prize-winning) bridges?

•   More luminaries "line up to lambast 'abysmal' garden bridge plan" (Self says, "It's crap.").

•   Heathcote, meanwhile, has a long chat with Heatherwick about his plans for the Royal Academy and the Metropolitan Museum of Art: he "delivers serious, elegant new spaces that manage to combine respect for the historic fabric, a kind of high-minded modernity and a sense of generous, civic permanence."

•   A look at the reinvention of airports: "travelers are spending longer in airports these days. And we expect more from them. Cue high-profile architects to design them" (led by Foster).

•   Eyefuls of new images of Saudi Arabia's £67 billion, 70-square-mile King Abdullah Economic City - "no cost will be spared" (train station by Foster included).

•   Eyefuls of new photos of Piano's Valletta City Gate, his once-controversial "expansive civic complex" in Malta (looks stunning to us!).

•   Wainwright gives two thumbs-ups to The Foundry that "punches well above its weight in both architectural ingenuity and the social impact" - and just won London building of the year ("It's basically a series of concrete shelves that you can put stuff on," sayeth Architecture 00).

•   Bevan parses "two remodeled buildings that are reinventing the workspace": Parry's "approach is as elegant and understated as Hywel Evans's offices are in-your-face. There's a fridge magnet quality of 'drink more caffeine and do dumb things faster' to some architecture."

•   A (stunning) new courthouse in Australia "reflects the intersection of the justice system with Indigenous worldviews" - instead of "alienating Aboriginal people from their community and place."

•   Nottingham's planning committee says it "had no choice" but to approve a "brutal" PFI school, even though it looks like "a barracks or something out of Dickens"; the school principal "declared it "lovely'" (we'll withhold comment).

•   Welton, on a brighter note, cheers Berke's 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, NC: "It has perfect elements for rebirth - for the 'Brooklynization' of America," sayeth the architect (guess that's a good thing?).

•   On a sadder note, the sun is about to set on a Tokyo "time capsule," the 1962 Hotel Okura: the "current renovation plans don't favor the wishes of the preservation crowd" - but at least they're being overseen by Taniguchi - son of the original architect (fab photos make us sad).

•   Darley celebrates two women who "probably changed the physical landscape of Britain more than any other individuals": "The recent surge of interest in the role of 20th-century women in architecture has entirely leapfrogged landscape architecture" (until now).

•   A legendary Turkish architectural firm's archive opens for visitors that "not only presents a detailed history of a long established firm, but also allows architects to analyze the field of architecture in Turkey from 1960s to 2000s."

•   Call for entries: Expressions of Interest/EOI: Art Mill, Qatar International Design Competition (to be sited near Pei and Nouvel museums) + $10,000 Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award + "Casablanca Bombing Rooms": design a public library on the site of the 2003 Casablanca bombings (great project, no-so-great name?!!?).


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