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Today’s News - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

•   It's a Pritzker kind of day, and we've spent most of the morning poring over dozens of reports to come up with those that include actual commentary on and conversation with Alejandro Aravena - all are most excellent reads (with more to come, we're sure).

•   Goldberger considers the "modest, practical, and exceptionally elegant" work by a Pritzker winner "you've probably never heard of."

•   Heathcote hails Aravena's "half a house" that might not "seem enough to win a Pritzker Prize. Perhaps it's because that half a house is half of a very good house indeed" and "his offer of hope to a profession fearful of its own lack of engagement."

•   Kamin cheers the choice as "the latest sign of a shift that has seen socially conscious buildings shove flashy museums and other iconic designs off of architecture's center stage."

•   Pogrebin hears from the Chilean that "he does not worry about becoming rich and famous. 'Human life is so much richer than money,'" though "I guess from now on we don't have to prove anything to anybody."

•   Wainwright says it's "a refreshing choice for the Pritzker, usually awarded to later-career architects whose portfolios brim with grand cultural monuments."

•   Lange calls Aravena's work "easy on the eyes as well as comfort for the soul. He's only a surprise if you really thought more white male neo-modernists from the East Coast were going to be Pritzkered right now."

•   Lamster takes a very different tack, focusing on "the very imperfect process of reporting" on a Pritzker winner who is "a relatively obscure figure" whose work most critics haven't actually seen it in person.

•   To other news (yes, there is more going on than just the Pritzker): Dunlap talks to some who are not thrilled with 5th iteration of grand plans for the (currently grotesque) Penn Station: "From 'Wow!' to 'Meh' in five easy steps" - the latest "renderings may be a brilliant use of reverse psychology - 'to galvanize the design community to say we can do something so much better.'"

•   Kimmelman considers the current plan for Penn a missed opportunity, and "the equivalent of saying that New York can no longer achieve complicated tasks. We are better than this" - and move the equally grotesque Madison Square Garden, while you're at it.

•   Lam lauds the decision to scuttle "the misguided plans for a Memorial to the Victims of Communism" in Ottawa and "restart the competition process on a new site"; it was "a hard won victory led by a coalition of design-sector individuals and organizations."

•   King considers two major Bay Area museums opening soon, and ponders the question: "Who are they really for?" Dykers sayeth: "Is a museum a place for art with people in it, or a place for people with art in it?"

•   Sernovitz queries three D.C. architects who weigh in on BIG being tapped to design "a new battlefield for Washington's NFL team" (to be left unnamed until renamed): "Right now, at the beginning, it's better to start with the guys who are going to dream."

•   A look at the first high-rise in the U.S. made of wood - in enlightened Portland, Oregon (where else?).

•   Green walks us through the new, interactive Surging Seas Risk Zone Map that "shows in startling detail" what rising seas "could look like, foot by foot - designed to help policymakers and planners better plan coastal resilience efforts" (scary stuff!).

•   A great review of the hits (and misses) in Canadian architecture in 2015.

•   Eyefuls of AN's Best of Design Awards 2015 (great presentation - and not all the usual suspects).

•   The winners in Toronto's 2016 Winter Stations Design Competition will "encourage locals to embrace the cold" and "explore transformed lifeguard stations along Lake Ontario."

•   Call for entries: 2016 AAF Sustainable Cities Design Academy.



  


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