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Today’s News - Friday, October 16, 2015

•   It's a Stirling kind of day for AHMM, and the pundits are only beginning to weigh in: Wainwright cheers the Burntwood School, a "1950s time warp in the best possible sense" that "harks back to the days when schools were full of fresh air and optimism, their buildings invested with care, quality and the power to uplift."

•   Heathcote hails the Stirling win that "strikes a blow for public architecture" (and "a kind of poetic justice").

•   Olcayto, as a Stirling juror, explains why the jury unanimously chose the school: it "outshone its competitors on the shortlist because of the sheer range of architectural skills put to good use."

•   Ijeh, on the other hand, calls the Stirling win an "unusual" but "underwhelming choice," that has "all the charm and intimacy of a fortified military outpost built 50 years ago. I struggle to see how Burntwood School sufficiently elevates itself from the mundane and monotonous to merit its prize" (ouch!).

•   Meanwhile, the Gallaudet University International Design Competition results in four impressive finalist teams.

•   Kamin x 2: first, he makes the case for tearing down McCormick Place: "It's time to start a civic conversation about getting rid of the shoreline's Berlin Wall - one of Chicago's worst urban design mistakes."

•   Then he makes the case for sparing Jahn's Thompson Center from the wrecking ball: "handing down a death sentence for Jahn's 30-year-old postmodern glitter palace is both premature and ill-informed. Chicago is now the epicenter of the debate over how to handle troubled postmodern buildings."

•   Historian Bright isn't all that enamored of the Thompson Center, but doesn't want to see it torn down, either: "the real truth is: It is in the way of profits. And the visionaries aren't the ones holding the reins."

•   Feldman takes an in-depth look at a "radical design movement" in New Orleans, and what can happen "when activists, architects and artists team up to change their city."

•   OMA is tapped to lead another big project in Washington, DC: to "develop a holistic conceptual plan for the iconic" 190-acre RFK Stadium-Armory campus.

•   WMF unveils its 2016 Monuments Watch List of the world's 50 most endangered cultural sites (as we sadly sigh).

•   Call for entries: 3rd Annual Fairy Tales Competition (deadline looms for early bird registration!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Betsky finds much to like in "Shelter" at the A+D Museum: "Los Angeles certainly could use such inventive thinking. Three things, however, were missing."

•   Birnbaum digs deep into "The New American Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Oehme, van Sweden" at the National Building Museum, which "provides opportunities to examine a body of work, explore its significance and ponder its future" (and the future of so many others).

•   "Grace of Intention: Photography, Architecture and the Monument" at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago "investigates themes of permanence and impermanence, memorial and commemoration, and the human propensity to mark power and characterize history with structures."

•   Wolf-Powers gives two thumbs-up to Brandes Gratz's "We're Still Here Ya Bastards," finding "an appealing juxtaposition that Gratz is eloquent in arguing" between "clueless or depraved government functionaries, and return-obsessed developers" being "outmatched by grassroots civic groups and small, local entrepreneurs."

•   Moore is impressed with Stamp's "Gothic for the Steam Age": George Gilbert Scott "finds a champion at last" by making the argument "that Scott was more sensitive to the fabric of old buildings than the critics allowed."

•   Margolin finds Goldberger's "masterful but frustrating" Gehry biography filled "with in-depth detail, but lacking in passion" (and "a bit starry-eyed about Frank").

•   Whitaker wades into "Sergey Chernyshev: Architect of the New Moscow" by Lykoshin and Cheredina expecting it to be "a real clunker, and then while lumbering forward discovers something truly wonderful."

•   An excerpt from Rizvi's (very timely, it turns out) "The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East."

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