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Today’s News - Thursday, September 3, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Judging by the out-of-office replies to the newsletter for the past two days, much of the ANN world has taken off to celebrate the last days of summer and Labor Day on Monday. So we're doing the same - we'll be back Tuesday, September 8.

•   Giovannini gives (mostly) thumbs-up to DS+R's Broad Museum: it's "a strong architectural presence - yet it manages to be discreet. The reticence, however, should not be confused for meekness."

•   Amelar, on the other hand, has a different take: the Broad's perforated veil is "a radical exercise in contrasts" - it "seems oddly introverted, its skin less than convincing as an inviting, permeable screen - it seems more barrier than filter."

•   Betsky tackles the Times Square controversy (and leaves us confused): tear out the pedestrian plazas and "force visitors to crowd onto sidewalks again. Have them dodge cars. That would make Times Square a better public space, if a much less pleasant one," but "if you want New York to be a better tourist trap," leave the plazas and "regulate those shocking painted ladies. Just don't pretend that you are thereby preserving public space."

•   Florida parses new research into gentrification: it isn't caused only by rich people who decide to move into neighborhoods, public investments like transit, schools, and parks are "the real underlying drivers."

•   Libeskind guest-edits CNN Style to ponder individuality in architecture, and the current battle "against commoditization and a 'design by committee' approach that devalues the architect's role" (with pithy quotes from some notable individuals).

•   Wainwright looks at "why Russia has the world's most beautiful bus stops: Architects may have felt creatively stifled," but bus stops "were opportunities to flex their creative muscles - and boy did they let rip" - and he's totally wow'd by Herwig's photos (so are we!).

•   MacCash cheers "a post-Katrina gift to New Orleans": the artist retreat behind the Joan Mitchell Center is an "elegant" structure that "houses the sort of spacious studios most artists only dream of."

•   The design team for the Los Angeles Convention Center expansion won the job with a proposal "focused on the theme of authenticity and communicating the culture of Los Angeles."

•   The Worldwide Network of Port Cities issues a new guide for cities planning to work on their ports, with guidelines "meant as sources of inspiration."

•   The Henning Larsen Foundation names three winners in its film competition intended to "revitalize the use of architecture in film" (and they're online).

•   Eyefuls of architectural photographer Wayne Thom's truly amazing treasure trove of photos, soon to be publicly accessible for the first time ever, that "shows when LA's skyline became modern."

•   The first house Gaudí designed will open as a museum in 2016: it is "an essential work for understanding his unique architectural language and the development of Modernism in Barcelona."

•   Two we couldn't resist: Eyefuls of "19 of the world's coolest playgrounds designed by top architects."

•   Eyefuls of an astounding palace built of pebbles by a French postman who spent 33 years gathering stones in a wheelbarrow on his 18-mile route, and "one of the most magnificent amateur architectural structures to date."

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Jones has a field day dissing Bansky's Dismaland: the artist "has created something truly depressing - as an actual experience it is thin, threadbare and, to be honest, quite boring" (and "brings together a lot of bad art by the seaside") - ouch!

•   Webb cheers the "innovative proposals" in "Shelter: Rethinking How We Live In Los Angeles," an "exemplary exhibition" in the A+D Museum's "handsome" new digs (though he bemoans "the absence of succinct labels").

•   Riefe gets some of the "Shelter" architects to riff on Gehry getting in on the LA River plan: "Hearing Gehry speak to reinventing hydrology practices while also mentioning a desire to maintain and preserve the concrete sides of the river is anything but progressive and, in and of itself, is a farcical statement."

•   Farago finds MoMA's "Endless House" to be "a diverting if diffuse exhibition whose very loose thesis is that the single-family home was as essential to the development of modern architecture as the tower block or the planned city."

•   At Yale, "City of 7 Billion: A Constructed World" considers "the impact of population growth and resource consumption by examining the entire world as a single urban entity."

•   "Out of the Loop: Chicago 2015" is "a narrative of Chicago as perhaps rarely seen."


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