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Today’s News - Thursday, January 7, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for not posting yesterday - we've been laid low by a miserable cold. If there's no newsletter tomorrow, you'll know why (and just in case, "Weekend Diversions" is in today's news).

•   Betsky reflects on 2015 and "overcoming a year of fear": "critics are so wary of architecture they don't understand that they are willing to proclaim thoroughly mediocre and confused buildings as works of genius because they are so bland, but do no harm."

•   Baillieu "dusts off her crystal ball and gazes into 2016": after a year when "architects were cock-a-hoop" at Assemble winning the Turner Prize, they are less happy about Heatherwick as "clients' favorite go-to designer," and H&deM's new Tate Modern is "a building out of time" (and not a good way).

•   Wainwright minces no words about what he thinks of the U.K.'s new housing and planning bill that "is handing housing over to private developers" in "a drunken festival of deregulation."

•   Capps itemizes "14 incredible objections" to an affordable housing project in Boulder, CO, that include "protecting a firefly habitat and curbing 'pet density'" (and we thought we'd heard it all).

•   Snell delves into ways to think about - and critique - sprawl: "It's more than just automobile infrastructure."

•   Anderton considers what's next for L.A.'s Pershing Square now the shortlist has been winnowed down to four: "Will the winning idea become a reality? Can they make over the square without over-designing it," as Legorreta did in 1994?

•   Japanese historians still bemoan the loss of Tokyo's original Hotel Okura, claiming the city "is razing architectural assets to accommodate the 2020 Olympics" (promises to "'faithfully reproduce' several beloved artifacts" just doesn't cut it).

•   Wainwright is pretty much wow'd on his visit to Russia's 1957 "Silicon Forest" in Siberia, "now, making a comeback - as a billion-dollar cradle of tech innovation - a gleaming orange ziggurat that rises out of this a monument from some techno-Mayan civilization."

•   Chipperfield has really big plans for a Berlin brewery that was severely bomb-damaged during WWII.

•   Goldschmied minces no words in an open, "outspoken 'letter of regret'" to Richard Rogers that "puts the boot into the firm which he accuses of abandoning of its founding principles."

•   One we couldn't resist: "NIMBYism beyond the grave": the neoclassical mausoleum for the Washington Post's Bradlee "is suddenly on shaky legal ground - thanks to Georgetown griping" (one would think the architect would/should have known better!).

•   Weekend diversions (in case we can't muster our energy above a miserable cold tomorrow):

•   "Work on What You Love: Bruce Mau Rethinking Design" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art "demonstrates the teamwork behind architectural creativity."

•   "Architecture" is the theme of this year's Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, presenting "worlds of structural fantasies" by outsider artists (amazing! H/T John Devlin).

•   Per previous stories re: affordable housing and sprawl, Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner's "Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City" offers lessons for all from NYC's subsidized housing's successes and failures.

•   Paletta parses two new books that explain "why suburbia looks so much the same" (except it really doesn't).

•   Goldberger's Gehry biography is "engaging, warm and appealing, factual and philosophical."

•   Economides gives two thumbs-ups to two new monographs marking the 50th anniversary of Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square.

•   Call for entries: Re-Ball! Design Competition to reuse Snarkitecture's 650,000+ plastic balls from the NBM's "The Beach" in DC's Dupont Underground + 2016 AZ Awards: Social Good Award and Environmental Leadership Award + 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space.

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