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Today’s News - Friday, December 4, 2015

•   Peirce cheers mayors and local governments sitting at the table at the COP21 climate confab in Paris - they are "key agents in the global fight against climate change" - but there's no guarantee their nations will listen.

•   Anderton talks to L.A.'s Chief Sustainability Officer about "why urban design is central to global climate, and how Los Angeles is in the vanguard of sustainable thinking."

•   Speaking of climate and urban issues, plans are afoot to build the "Bride of the Gulf" in Basra, Iraq, that would not only be "the world's tallest vertical city" (241 stories!), but would also be a net-zero energy building (we'll believe it when we see it).

•   Hawthorne has a field day parsing the Petersen Automotive Museum's "happily tasteless exterior" and "its absolute and endearing refusal to be embarrassed. There has been an architectural arms race going on along this stretch of Wilshire. The Petersen has chosen the nuclear option" (a must-read!).

•   Anderton, meanwhile, goes behind the Petersen's "delirious skin" to explore the museum's interior - "a dynamic environment that woos all generations" (you don't have to be a "gearhead") with "a makeover that is more muted than the exuberant exterior but every bit as dramatic" (fab photos!).

•   Birnbaum offers cheers and jeers for the year's developments in landscape architecture: "For broken, derelict, and underutilized urban space, 2015 was a good year - it is also marred by taking - specifically, the confiscation of open space held in the public trust."

•   MoMA PS1 2016 Young Architects Program shortlist includes five rising firms from the U.S. and Mexico.

•   Saffron cheers local girl making good: "This time, Denise Scott Brown's name is on the prize" along with Robert Venturi. "Given that they also railed against the myth of the 'lone-genius architect,' there is a poetic justice in the fact that they are the first architects to share the AIA Gold Medal."

•   On a not-so-cheerful note, RIBA investigates an architect's allegations of institutional racist and sexist discrimination.

•   Call for entries: ULI Global Awards for Excellence + RFQ for a new museum in Beirut open to architects of Lebanese origin.

•   Weekend diversions:

•   "Bikes vs. Cars" is a new documentary that "reveals that the war playing out on our streets could be the decisive battle of our time. It isn't a story about people on bikes vs. people driving cars, but a story about love vs. hate."

•   Iovine cheers the Adjaye show at the Art Institute of Chicago that proves "he's got the talent to match the early fanfare," and "does something even more impressive: It opens up new ways of thinking about architecture itself."

•   Miranda splashes through LACMA's "Rain Room" and comes away with three lessons: 1) It's "better in pictures" and "made for Instagram"; 2) It "comes with too many instructions" (#3 is a hilarious riff on Miami Beach spas).

•   At Yale, "Pedagogy and Place" celebrates 100 years of architecture education at YSoA - and beyond.

•   At the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin, "Moving Forward" shows the best of the submitted design concepts from the competition for new Bauhaus museums in Berlin, Dessau, and Weimar.

•   Wainwright takes to a bean-bag chair to take in "Black Shoals," a planetarium "in the vaulted bowels of Somerset House in London" that "depicts a cosmos made up not of stars in the night sky, but of money. Stock exchange tickers never looked so dreamy" ("just watch out for the black holes").

•   Saffron delves into "Becoming Penn: The Pragmatic American University, 1950-2000," the "ugly story behind the bucolic urban campus" that included "ruthless real estate grabs that destroyed distinctive neighborhoods."

•   Byrnes has a conversation with the authors of "Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston," which " reads like a template for how to properly tell the story of any American city's concrete architecture" (why "Heroic" and not "Brutalist"? "Obviously, 'Brutal' is not a good brand."

•   Gorlin cheers five "camouflaged monographs" by firms that "have produced beautiful artifacts - each completely different."

•   Budds cherry picks "9 things you didn't know about Frank Gehry" from Goldberger's biography: "Misunderstood genius? 'Building Art' suggests as much, painting a portrait of Gehry as a shy, sensitive man who's grappling with self-doubt and ego in equal measure."

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