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Today’s News - Thursday, August 20, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: These being the lazy, hazy (and horribly hot!) dog days of August, tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, August 25.

•   Eyefuls of the five finalists vying to win the National World War 1 Memorial design competition: "Public comment is welcome."

•   George Will, not known for architectural commentary, minces no words: Gehry's proposed Eisenhower Memorial "is a monstrosity - societies have traditionally resorted to triumphal arches, temples, colossal columns and obelisks, not because they are ancient but because they are timeless."

•   Shepard ponders whether building hundreds of "ecocities" will "solve China's environmental problems" - it "really doesn't have another choice," but "is clearing out massive swaths of farmland, demolishing rural villages, and relocating thousands of nearly self-sufficient peasants actually an effective way to improve environmental conditions?"

•   Bevan cheers London's "dull and dreary Victoria Street getting its groove back" with two new buildings that "will help turn a nowhere into a somewhere."

•   Goldberger makes the argument for managed change, for careful, measured, respectful change" - not demolition - as the way to go in resolving the inadequacies of the Chautauqua Amphitheater in Upstate New York: "we have not seen any convincing evidence that the only way the Amphitheater can be updated is to tear it down and start over."

•   Flint delves deep into the saga of Eileen Gray's Villa E-1027 and its long-in-coming restoration: it "survived Le Corbusier's act of vandalism and decades of neglect. Now this midcentury icon shines again - part of a larger effort to put these two figures on more equal footing - and perhaps set the record straight" (with great pix!).

•   Eyefuls of Hadid's construction shed on the High Line (a "swooping canopy" - what else?).

•   Arup's "Sky Pool" will link a pair of residential buildings in Nine Elms - 10 stories up ("more akin to an aquarium than a pool," they say).

•   H&deM wins the 2015 RIBA Jencks Award: "They seem to have finally squared the circle of large-scale architectural production."

•   Call for entries: The Architect's Newspaper 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards.

•   One we couldn't resist: WORKac's Dan Wood raps about urban planning in "The Roman City is the Sh*t" (all for a good cause).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Giovannini gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "Zaha Hadid at the State Hermitage" (designed by the Dame herself): "In the dense context of St. Petersburg, the exhibition expands our conception of Hadid's career, charging her work with an intense historical dimension."

•   Anderton and Zeiger have lively Q&A's with co-curators Lubell and Rago re: "Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles," opening tonight at the A+D Museum's new digs.

•   "Mississippi Modern" is the result of an MSU School of Architecture project that highlights 24 structures from the late 1930s to the early 1970s (it was a real treasure hunt).

•   Gorlin explores the Kabbalah in the NYC exhibition, "Light and the Space of the Void" (an impressive roster of architects and architects included).

•   The Design Trust/NYCDOT's "Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities" is a "toolkit of tried-and-tested strategies" offering lessons "in how to exploit and make good use of underutilized spaces" for cities everywhere.

•   Pangburn applauds Meuser's "Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme" and a retrospective in Frankfurt for "bringing her work back into focus" - and gets an e-mail from the 84-year-old architect herself (images are fab!).

•   Architect and conservationist Mehrotra talks about his new book, "Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Mega-City," and "why the notion of smart cities is flawed" (oh - and architects need to "get away from the position of arrogance").


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