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Today’s News - Thursday, September 24, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's a Zaha Gold Medal kind of day! (And a shorter-than-usual newsletter - we're in a mad dash to get to Manhattan before the Pope does, so we can get to BIG's LafargeHolcim Award celebration this evening!)

•   Peter Cook hails Hadid winning RIBA's Royal Gold Medal: "Let's face it, we might have awarded the medal to a worthy, comfortable character. We didn't, we awarded it to Zaha: larger than life, bold as brass and certainly on the case. Our Heroine."

•   Heathcote hails Hadid: "If there is anything surprising about the Gold Medal going to Dame Zaha, it is that it has taken so long."

•   Wainwright x 2: "'Zaha' has grown into something of universal brand. But the ride to global ubiquity and expensive tabletop trinkets hasn't always been an easy one" (some thorny roads on "Planet Zaha").

•   He ponders why Hadid is "given a harder time than her starchitect rivals": "she is typecast as the famously grumpy, demanding old diva, while Koolhaas is the charismatic maverick. Richard Rogers can throw his toys out of the pram when things don't go his way, but all the media sees is a kindly veteran with natty neon dress sense."

•   Olcayto considers the same re: why "many in the profession still consider Hadid an exotic anomaly," and "still thought of as an outsider" - especially after bagging the "grand slam" of RIBA Gold, Pritzker Prize, Praemium Imperiale, and the Stirling (twice) + Waite's Q&A with Dame Zaha.

•   Wainwright and Gibson fact-check the now-infamous Radio 4 interview that Hadid walked out on: "how and why it went so wrong."

•   Needless to say, the twitter-sphere lit up: The questioning in the "twisted" interview "sparked an outcry from architects."

•   Australia appoints new Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, and the Australian Institute of Architects approves and offers an agenda.

•   Eyefuls of the "roadside Renzo" for Des Moines-based convenience store chain Kum & Go: "The attention Piano has focused on the city is reason to be proud, but it is also an opportunity to exorcise some fly-over-country anxiety."

•   Eyefuls of Viñoly's proposed 76-story tower at the south end of Chicago's Grant Park (which might also sprout a twin): it "ups the ante when it comes to selecting notable architects for projects in the area."

•   Rand Elliott works his magic on two new garages "that make parking a pleasure" by bringing "a level of sophistication, attention to detail, and desire to create enjoyable spaces that is not typically associated with the typology."

•   Hosey has no problem with the design of Manhattan's new Spring Street Salt Shed, but questions its purpose: "Does the city need all that salt? Many communities are exploring 'nature-friendly substitutes.' Why build such a functionally specific and long-lasting structure when the function it supports is already outmoded?"

•   Speaking of roads (sans salt), Speck offers "a wonderfully clear explanation of how road diets work."

•   An impressive shortlist is in the running for a new U.S. Embassy in Brasilia.

•   Good reasons to be in NYC and Sydney next week: Dwell on Design New York: "design(ed) for you" + 9th Sydney Architecture Festival.


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