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Today’s News - Thursday, November 5, 2015

EDITORO'S NOTE: Tomorrow will be a no-newsletter day. We'll be back Monday, November 9.

•   Kimmelman cheers Gang's $325 million addition to the American Museum of Natural History that is "part Dr. Seuss, part Jurassic Park. Within the park, it aspires to be a kind of good new son-in-law, handsome yet accommodating."

•   Pogrebin calls the AMNH design "both cautious and audacious" - a cross between Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao and Turkey's subterranean city of Cappadocia.

•   Weder is less optimistic about H&deM's design for the Vancouver Art Gallery: the conceptual design "ignited debate over its form and cladding, but very little discussion about public space. Perhaps because there isn't a lot of it."

•   Dunlap reports on another setback to "bedevil" Calatrava's $3.7 billion WTC transit hub: leaking water, so no Christmas season for retailers, but "once the hub finally opens, an awe-struck public may forget the tribulations."

•   Kamin sees "cause for celebration, or at least guarded optimism" about the Chicago Architecture Biennial pavilions, despite some problems: "They serve up delicious eye candy" and "remind us of the value of architectural experimentation."

•   Evans-Cowley considers three "topics planners don't often think about, but should: microclimates, airport expansions, and planning as improv comedy."

•   SOM "steals the show" with the once-splendiferous, long-decayed 1917 The Strand theater, now A.C.T.'s gem of a satellite theater in San Francisco.

•   Mortice cheers the new National Public Housing Museum rising in the last standing house in one of the first public housing projects in Chicago, which "fittingly chose a local public housing architect - not a globetrotting museum designer."

•   Sutherland Hussey Harris takes home the 2015 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland award for an "uncompromisingly contemporary" housing scheme.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   "Designing Affordability" at NYC's Center for Architecture "opens many more areas for engagement between architecture and activism" with projects that "tackle problems in ways much deeper and potentially more effective than number crunching."

•   "Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas" is "a compact and enlightening" show at the Met in Manhattan: "a wonderfully curated collection of artifacts - a resurrection of the daily lives of long-ago civilizations, in imperfect miniature."

•   In Montreal, the CCA's "The Other Architect" offers 23 case studies that "emphasize the potential for architecture to identify the urgent issues of our time," and "challenge the concept of individual authorship in favor of collaborative networks or partnerships with permeable roles."

•   Shaw talks counterculture, techno-utopia, and hippies with Blauvelt, curator of the Walker Art Center's "Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia."

•   Tigerman updates his 1978 "Titanic" at the Chicago Architecture Foundation with "The Epiphany": the "new image, somewhat ironically, is a protest against what he sees as a contemporary infatuation with icons."

•   In Paris, "Architectural & Minimalist: French Design of the Fifties" explores "French minimalism's love affair with 1950s architecture."

•   Before heading to the Eames show at the Barbican in London, check out "10 things you might not know about Charles and Ray": #7: "They saw innovation as a 'last resort'" (fab images!).

•   Heathcote is fascinated by "Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme": "from its logos to its satellites - Balashova did it all."

•   Walker wades into "Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston" that "explores how Boston became an unlikely home for many of the world's great concrete buildings authored by a stellar roster of talent."

•   Moore cheers Harwood's "Space, Hope and Brutalism: English Architecture 1945-1975": an "authoritative study of postwar architects reveals their grand vision. Yet if these architects were mostly not the megalomaniacs of caricature, many of them liked to think big."

•   Russia's "palaces and metro stations are hard to tell apart" in Burdeny's "A Bright Future": they're all "supremely decadent, with high arched ceilings, opulent gold leaf, and glittering chandeliers" (fab photos!).

•   Dunlap can't say enough about Stokes's "The Iconography of Manhattan Island," rare tomes finished in 1928 and "still considered one of the most important works on New York" - and now available online via Columbia University and the Internet Archive.

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