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Today’s News - Monday, July 20, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Thank you, dear readers, for your patience - and your many kind and thoughtful notes over the last while. We're slowly easing back into the real world (a truculent Internet connection today) - and glad to be back!

•   It's a Stirling kind of day, with (mostly) high praise for the shortlist of six: Heathcote hails them as being "generous, self-effacing and thoughtful," and "possibly the most unshowy group of buildings in the prize's history."

•   Merrick gives "three cheers for excellent ordinary architecture - most of them serve ordinary people, and ordinary daily life" (they're "bling-free").

•   Moore marvels at "the virtues of quiet craft" of the shortlist "dominated by 'whispering' candidates - scrupulous designs of brick and timber."

•   Wainwright finds "no flashy baubles by famous names, as the contenders for the best building of the year reflect the chastened times in which they were designed."

•   Ijeh, on the other hand, says it is "one of the most irrelevant shortlists" in the Stirling's history - "awards are about stardust and not shelter and this year's crop is decidedly lacking in inspiration."

•   Wainwright delves into the "troubled history" of Hadid's now-scrapped Tokyo Olympic stadium - it's about "much more than architectural infighting" ("It was a white elephant waiting to happen").

•   Saffron, on a much cheerier note, finds some of Philly's "best new architecture is at the Navy Yard - better than most of what we're seeing in Center City or University City" (by big and not-so-big names).

•   Russell x 2 re: things getting a bit easier in The Big Easy: he takes a deep dive into how New Orleans is learning "to live with water" 10 years after Katrina, though "many opportunities have been squandered.

•   Beyond water management, he looks into why and how the city "works better and offers greater opportunity than it did before the storm - tiny enterprises have done much to knit New Orleans back together."

•   Pogrebin reports on Adjaye's design for the Studio Museum in Harlem, which "signifies the museum's move from the margins to the mainstream."

•   Giovannini has high hopes for Asymptote's Hermitage Museum outpost in Moscow, "signaling an ambition to become a New York-style art powerhouse."

•   Unite to Save the Frick presents Helpern's "alternate expansion vision" that it "believes would give the Frick everything it wants without the public backlash" (and saves its Russell Page garden).

•   Dunlap details the machinations behind the WTC transit hub's retractable skylight: "Calatrava said the roof would open. And evidently it will."

•   Eyefuls of Levete's MPavilion 2015 in Melbourne, "a high-tech, ultra-thin forest-like canopy that will "sway' in the breeze" + The MPavilion's "thin, translucent petals will bring an ethereal, light-filled space to the centre of Melbourne."

•   Eyefuls of the recently-opened 4th Design Biennial Boston with four site-specific installations on view along Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway.

•   It only took two years, but Cooper Union finally finds a new architecture dean with Tehrani (his former Office dA partners have faired well in academia, too).

•   Hawthorne pens an eloquent tribute to Donald Wexler: "There was an optimism inherent in nearly all of his work."


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