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Today’s News - Tuesday, February 9, 2016

•   Giovannini ponders the importance of Hadid's RIBA 2016 Royal Gold Medal: the Queen approved it - Prince Charles "was probably not amused" (Cook cheers the medal going to Zaha - "larger than life, bold as brass. Our heroine.").

•   Hadid's Gold Medal speech: "I am very happy and honored to receive this prize, for work that has not been mainstream and remains widely misunderstood. This misunderstanding is often linked to the dismissal of my work as self-indulgent or willful."

•   Pedersen has "an intriguing conversation" with Goldberger re: his "great side job" as consultant on the Obama presidential library: "'Obama was engaged and remains a very seriously interested layperson.' The perfect client, in other words. 'Theoretically, yes.'"

•   Heathcote x 2: he minces no words about Heatherwick's Garden Bridge: it is "wrong in virtually every way - everything about this scheme suggests a sweatily nervous attempt to brand itself a 'visionary' project. But that vision is not to achieve any purpose beyond its own existence."

•   He's much more optimistic about the "resurrection of Christchurch": he is witness to "the slow, sometimes uncertain, sometimes wrong and occasionally magical resurrection of an entire city" (and finds the best espresso in New Zealand that "blows your head off - but served without any of the self-conscious beardy nonsense.").

•   O'Sullivan can't find much to cheer about the "Reinventing Paris" competition: "Paris appears to have totally botched it - the poor impression it has given so far is neither promising nor, sadly, especially new."

•   Lubell, on the other hand, revels in Tokyo's architectural petting zoo of high-end boutiques that have achieved "sort of mythical status," and "turned the city into a battleground for a rare, and spectacular, game of architectural one-upmanship."

•   Walker has high hopes for "The Spiral," BIG's next big Manhattan tower that "has a very nice twist on the typical superskinny skyscraper - Ingels might be able to reimagine the supertall in a way that serves the city better than most proposals do now."

•   Calatrava wins out over five unnamed rivals to design another sky-high tower in Dubai that carries high hopes of being an "architectural wonder that will be as great as Burj Khalifa and Eiffel Tower."

•   Studio Mumbai tapped to design Melbourne's MPavilion 2016: he sees the project as "a space to discover the essentials of the world - and of oneself."

•   Saffron x 2: she's cautiously optimistic about DAS Architects' "stealth" Center City tower in Philly "that gets it right - it's likely other canny developers will go the by-right route. If only all the projects could be as well-designed as this one."

•   She hopes "the third time will be the charm" in reimagining 14 acres of the newly-dubbed uCitySquare: the (impressive) team of architects "will have to step carefully to ensure their buildings don't bigfoot their neighbors - essentially will be creating a mini-neighborhood out of whole cloth."

•   Kamin gives a standing ovation to Gang's Writers Theatre in Glencoe: "There's a stirring performance going on - strong but delicate, fresh without lapsing into an hollow quest for novelty, very good if not quite perfect - the building is no one-liner."

•   Hawthorne looks beyond the pretty pictures of Los Angeles's new football stadium: the "design is full of impressive touches," but "remains fuzzy around the edges," where it really counts. "It's easy to imagine those elements getting a whole lot less attention, investment and architectural care."

•   Haworth Tompkins joins the Robin Hood Gardens makeover team + Design principals talk about their plans to replace Robin Hood Gardens: "We respect the Smithsons' legacy and are acutely aware of the controversy."

•   O'Sullivan parses Paris's plans for rooftop "parasite" homes that look "vaguely like steel and glass reptiles that have scaled a wall to bask in the sun" - and "could be the future of affordable housing" in the city.

•   A fascinating look at Rural Studio's 20K House that is not only cheap - it "has such innovative design that it's changing the entire housing system."

•   Another fascinating look - this time back and why FLW's Baghdad Opera House (that "looked like the Jetsons meets the Sugar Plum Fairy") never came to be.

•   Preservationists continue to rattle cages re: the possible demolition of Roche's Ambassador Grill and Lounge and the lobby of the One UN New York hotel.

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