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Today’s News - Tuesday, June 9, 2015

•   Kimmelman hopes that now the Frick has been "nudged back to the drawing board," it will look at some alternate plans he has seen (one by Helpern) - it is "a golden opportunity to do better."

•   Betsky describes the "major differences in what was planned and what was delivered" at the 2015 Milan Expo's Italian Pavilion: "It would be a wonderful farce worthy of Fellini if the results were not so disastrous. Shame on Italy and its architecture culture. The talented young designers deserve a better chance."

•   Neighbors of the current U.S. Embassy in London are relieved it's moving, but the critics - not so much: not only is it like moving from New York to New Jersey, "if the embassy's design is intended to project America's 'transparency, openness and equality' - the British are not convinced."

•   City Observatory puts out a new report that examines how "people spending more time alone in cars, living in gated and segregated neighborhoods, and cocooned in headphones has profound impacts on how well communities function."

•   Giovannini cheers Coop Himmelb(l)au's Musée des Confluences in "a rust-belt zone" of Lyon: "This museum that houses Jurassic-era behemoths is itself the new behemoth in town. Too new and radical for easy digestion, it is the subject of controversy. Whether ugly or beautiful, the building succeeds, but not just as a museum" (and he has a most amusing take on Prix).

•   Olcayto applauds the Theatre Royal by Page/Park: "if ever one of Glasgow's corners needed an architectural peak, this would be among the favorites - it revels in the art of showing off."

•   Leber finds out why Ingles is "a big sci-fi nerd," and how that influenced the design of The Dryline: "Architecture and design - at the core of it, is the art and science of turning fiction into fact."

•   King calls out some of the tensions that may be raised as San Francisco considers what it may have to do to defend itself against rising sea levels (cue the sci-fi nerd, perhaps?).

•   Parramatta shows off its big riverfront plans that include a major square to "serve as Sydney's largest public plaza."

•   Lord Rogers x 2: he "launches parliamentary probe into design" that "hopes to discover examples of design prompting 'good behaviors,'" and resulting in "recommendations 'designed to stimulate new thinking in planning policy'" (insights and case studies welcome).

•   He makes the case for why Heatherwick's Garden Bridge "is a potentially brilliant enhancement of the river and the city - some of the criticism entirely misses the point, or is based on misinformation."

•   Meanwhile, Garden Bridge opponents take issue with the mayor's funding guarantee, but supporters claim the "guarantee is little more than a bureaucratic box-ticking exercise" (right - until the bill comes due).

•   Manaugh delves deep into "a vast and strange new world for architectural design" that "suggests that another revolution in architecture is on its way": electromagnetism - and how it is reshaping the built envirnoment.

•   Schumacher responds to the responses to his first - and much-debated - "In Defense of Stars and Icons" essay in hopes of dispelling "some misunderstandings that I feel might have stirred misgivings and suspicions where agreement should be possible."

•   Q&A with HDR's Ayoub and Horan re: the challenges of working in "a hotbed of new hospital construction" - the Middle East: ""Spiritualism is very much intertwined within the science of medicine" (and Brooke changes wardrobe before deplaning in Saudi Arabia).

•   Leddy Maytum Stacy's Sweetwater Spectrum Community in California is "a new national model for supportive housing for adults with autism - the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S. - offering 'life with purpose and dignity.'"

•   The University of Melbourne establishes the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

•   An impressive, international mix of teams make the shortlist for Stage 2 in the competition to design a four kilometer-long signature stretch of Singapore's Rail Corridor.

•   One we couldn't resist: the Israeli architect who was asked by two engineers to design the "world's longest (and scariest) glass pedestrian bridge" said no - until they described it as "thin as a wing and as light as a swallow. My god, can you imagine a structural engineer describing a bridge like this?" (pix to prove it!).


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