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Today’s News - Monday, June 29, 2015

•   Russell is left none too impressed with the winning design for the Guggenheim Helsinki, "an indistinct jumble of pavilions faced in charred wood. It is extraordinary that a design that triumphed over 1,700 competitors should turn out to be rather ordinary."

•   Brown pens an open letter to the Guggenheim Helsinki finalists with the "hope that some of us might grow in the process, or at the very least, avoid undermining each other in the ways that architects too often do. Where does it all end?"

•   Blackson is rather cheery about "Modernism's last stand" and its "now marginalized position between the ground floor and roofline - pushed as far away from people as possible."

•   Moore x 2: he finds the Serpentine Pavilion to be "as playful a work of art as you could wish to hold a sponsor's party in - it is the work of clever and inventive architects. But it is the sketch of a charming and fascinating building, rather than being one."

•   He bemoans that London is now "a city ruled by money - whereby anything distinctive is converted into property value. If London is an enormous party, millions of people are on the wrong side of its velvet rope."

•   Pallister begins his series looking into the "mess" that is the U.K.'s housing crisis.

•   Meanwhile, British architects are "calling for the government to rewrite planning legislation to stop developers dodging 'affordable' housing commitments" via rather dodgy "financial viability assessments" (if you missed Wainwright's scathing exposé, click "Yesterday's News" - it ran in Thursday's ANN).

•   Hume wonders when Torontonians got so "grumpy": "the habit of kvetching has overpowered our collective sense of proportion - the NIMBY impulse, always strong, is out of control."

•   Katz, Vey, and Wagner ponder what they've learned in the year since the release of their "The Rise of Innovation Districts" report: "we've gained some important insights into how cities and metros are embracing this new paradigm of economy-shaping, place-making, and network-building."

•   Swope offers a fascinating look at the evolution of OpenGov Hub and the four cities about to launch GovCombinator - "co-working on a deadline to create better public policy" ("We're building the plane while we're flying it," sayeth Heller).

•  The chairman of Malta's Chamber of Architects weighs in as Malta "appears set to experience 'multiple erections' along the lines of a little New York."

•   Brownell gets up close and personal with contemporary architecture in China: the "booming construction market boasts all-star project teams but at times falls short in material execution" (with sad pix to prove it).

•   Eyefuls of Heatherwick's design for the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa to be built within a historic grain silo in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront district.

•   Eyefuls of Hans van Heeswijk Architects' "surprisingly light and airy" Museum MORE in the Netherlands.

•   Mori shuffles back to Buffalo to reimagine the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens.

•   RIBA president elect Jane Duncan "explains why all girls should consider a career in her field" (and how it took awhile for her architect/father to come around).

•   Weder pens an eloquent tribute to Roger du Toit, who "was bestowed a rare triple official recognition as a professional architect, landscape architect and planner" - and "reshaped Canadian cities."

•   Safdie garners the LEAF 2015 Lifetime Achievement of the Year award.

•   Call for entries (deadline reminder): 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture.

•   One we couldn't resist: #LoveWins - a round-up of "some iconic buildings lit up for past Pride Parades for everybody to enjoy - equally" (cheers for Friday's Supreme Court ruling!).


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