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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: All ye bearing the brunt of a brutal winter - take heart! According to the eminently knowledgeable groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck, we're going to have an early spring - yay!!! (We already have robins in the birdbath!)

•   A look at why "controversy may dog Tokyo's Olympic stadium" long after the Games are over: "It's been an extraordinary mess," and Hadid didn't understand who actually runs the show, says Stewart; "It's a human comedy," says Maki.

•   Gumusyan says Hadid fell victim to the "Japanese Architect's Club For Men" that killed two birds with one stone - "an architect who was both a foreigner and a woman" (but Kuma being "plucked out of architectural obscurity" - really?!!?).

•   A win for "fierce opposition": Piano will head back to drawing board to re-think his 72-story Paddington Place (a.k.a. "Paddington Shard" and "Paddington Pole" - and our fave: "Die Shard II").

•   Datta scratches the surface of India's "experiment with smart cities" to tackle poverty to find a different picture emerging: "smart urbanization is being influenced by corporate interests" and "reforms have facilitated a private takeover of public space."

•   Patrick cheers Detroit's rich architectural pedigree, and being named by UNESCO as the first American "City of Design," but bemoans the current spate of "banal, stark redevelopment of a city that deserves so much more."

•   On a brighter note, d'Antonio explains how "Ljubljana turned itself into Europe's 'green capital,'" proving that "small cities can lead on urban sustainability."

•   Moore questions the decision to basically eradicate "the beautifully designed 1960s Central Hill estate. Trouble is, there isn't very much wrong with it" (from his description, we'd live there!).

•   In Lisbon, a group of architects "is fixing like-minded tenants up with vacant spaces, and the creative spirit is spilling out into the streets."

•   Betsky parses Aravena's Pritzker win and two points of criticism: an amusing take on Schumacher's rant about it; and whether the jury should have waited a bit before making this pick: yes, but he's still "delighted" with the Chilean's win.

•   Worrell is totally wow'd by MAD's Harbin Opera House: "the formal audacity of this striking and at times extraordinary building is likely to reinforce Ma Jansong's position as the most flamboyant of his generation of Chinese architects."

•   Baltimore's architecture review panel is (mostly) excited about plans for a new waterfront park around the National Aquarium, but some wonder "whether there are 'too many things going on,'" and request a more "refined approach that won't potentially overwhelm patrons."

•   Beanland is heartened by Brutalist buildings being "back in fashion," and "finding a fresh audience - they're solid and dependable - the opposite of so many of today's splutters on the skyline."

•   Green parses the winning cities and states in HUD/ Rockefeller Foundation's $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition.

•   The Society of Nepalese Architects is chairing the South Asian Association of Architects this week: "the country is slowly waking up to the importance of traditional but resilient architecture in the context of disasters - stressing community-led reconstruction based on indigenous designs and using locally-available materials."

•   Eyefuls of the 37th Annual Interiors Awards winners (great presentations!).

•   Eyefuls of Mexico City-based Escobedo Solíz Studio's winning design for the 2016 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program (sand, water, and vibrant colors included).

•   We cheer George Smart and his nonprofit North Carolina Modernist Houses - definitely deserving the AIA 2016 Collaborative Achievement Award "for taking public knowledge of modern architecture from a local to national level."

•   Oxford University's St Hilda's College picks five finalists that "sparkle with enthusiasm and ideas" to design a new riverside block.

•   Call for entries: European Commission offering up to €5 million for innovative urban ideas that have never been introduced in Europe.

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