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Today’s News - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

•   Makovsky pays eloquent tribute to Irving Harper, "one of Modernism's great unsung heroes - a kind, intelligent, and humble designer. I miss him already."

•   Anderton talks to Gehry, Lehrer, Hawthorne, and Friends of the Los Angeles River folks re: whether Gehry has the answers for the LA River.

•   Hall Kaplan minces no words about what he finds "disturbing" about Gehry diving into the L.A. River's future: "the river already has been scrupulously master planned in a long, arduous process - whatever changes he might wrought to the already approved Master Plan might confuse and splinter its hard won broad support."

•   Zeiger looks at the "ripples of praise and dissent" regarding Gehry wading into the L.A. River master plan: while it could threaten the $1.3 billion approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, it "could be an effective way to harness public-private partnerships," but the project's complexity "will take more than any one figurehead" to make it successful.

•   Bamberger parses the four finalists vying to design a $30 million lakefront bridge and park in Milwaukee, and explains why James Corner Field Operations is "clearly the best of the lot," and "his star-power should make it easier to raise private sector dollars" (he's none too kind to the other three).

•   Hume bemoans that "privatization has become the new mantra" as cities sell off the public realm for short-term benefits: "For the rich, the city will be better than ever. The rest will just have to move along."

•   Q&A with Gehl re: "making cities healthier and the real meaning of architecture."

•   Iyer offers an intriguing explanation for why "Japan has an ambivalent - and unsentimental - relationship with its Modernist architecture"; it is "permanently recyclable, and seeking out the new is in fact the country's oldest tradition" (a fascinating read!).

•   Maier talks about his campaign to save Tokyo's Hotel Okura, and comes to the same conclusion as Iyer: "the instinct to preserve modern architecture is not part of the society."

•   Hawthorne explains why it's the right time for him to launch a series to re-examine the L.A. freeway that "will ask whether we can approach the task of reimagining our freeways with the same energy, ambition and expertise that we brought to the task of building them in the first place."

•   McKeough takes a close look at Piano's new Whitney: "From the outside, it's no jewel. But stepping inside feels like cracking open a geode, as the tough exterior gives way to a welcoming environment of unexpected beauty."

•   Rolex taps Kuma to design a building in Dallas "with unique stacked floors that twist" and Japanese-inspired landscaping that "fuses nature and architecture."

•   Webb cheers WRNS's Boeddeker Park in San Francisco: "a few simple moves transformed a menace into a magnet" that is "a model urban intervention, shaped by and for the community."

•   Ng looks at overlooked side-effects of pro bono architecture, which, "if left unaddressed, may devalue the type, size, quality and integrity of what gets built under the banner of pro bono publico."

•   As work dries up in China, "many firms are cutting salaries or letting staff go."

•   New Graham Foundation grants go to 49 projects that "chart new territory in the field of architecture" in 22 countries.

•   Eyefuls of the 2015 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards.

•   Call for entries: eVolo 2016 Skyscraper Competition.


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