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Today’s News - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

•   Dunlap on Calatrava's "selfie magnet" (a.k.a. WTC Transit Hub), set for a soft opening soon: "It is breathtaking from the inside - luminous, intricate, uplifting and tranquil. Photos of it resemble idealized architectural renderings."

•   Wainwright's take on this year's Serpentine Pavilion + four is not so rosy: the "dinky structures" will be good "as tabletop centerpieces for sponsors' parties. Each one feels like a sketch of a pavilion that could have been" ("tangle of rubber bands floating above some benches" - ouch!).

•   Eyefuls of all the Serpentine pavilions - make up your own mind.

•   Kamin delves into questions raised by redevelopment plans for a Chicago public housing complex: "The pictures were pretty. The mood was not."

•   Abello sees hope for the too-often overlooked ground-floor uses in affordable housing developments with the Design Trust's release of design guidelines that include "a tool to demonstrate hypothetical return on investment of building ground-floor commercial space with good design."

•   Bingler makes the case for co-design: "creators and users collaborating is happening elsewhere. Why couldn't this work for architecture? Otherwise, how will we know when we've got it right?" (and no, it wouldn't be "taunting the ghost of Howard Roark").

•   The cost and design (by BIG) of a new Bronx police station are raising eyebrows: aside from having approved (and paid for) the original Karlsberger/Gorlin design, the new version "resembles something out of 'Robocop.'"

•   Michigan introduces new bills that would radically affect historic preservation of buildings and neighborhoods: "It's a continuation of the mindless drive to roll back government even when it's doing good. It's a solution in search of a problem."

•   Hadid at her Zaha best on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs: "I'm judged more harshly because I am a woman" (+ her play list - an interesting mix).

•   A great Q&A with Caro re: just about everything (including Robert Moses): "he largely shies away from commenting on New York City in 2016, except when we gaze out the window of his office. 'You know, these buildings are disgusting.'"

•   Eyefuls of Mecanoo's winning design for the Tainan Public Library in Taiwan.

•   Eyefuls of four proposals to un-pave a Miami Dade College parking lot and replace it with a paradise of towers, hotels - and lots of culture.

•   Aravena on his Venice Biennale theme: "These issues require professional quality not professional charity."

•   Detroit Resists has a few issues with the Biennale's U.S. Pavilion: "what the project description refers to as 'the power of architecture' might serve as simply another name for architecture's political indifference - who and what benefits from an idealization of 'The Architectural Imagination' in Detroit at a time when architecture is being violently re-imagined by austerity politics."

•   A complete list of "Reporting from the Front" participants: "the event will witness an infusion of youth never seen before with 33 of the featured architects being under 40 - a first for the Biennale."

•   Rybczynski revisits Foster's Sainsbury Centre: it "still manages to look visionary," and "remains one of the architect's best works" that "represents a built chronicle of his evolution as a designer" over his four-decades-long involvement.

•   Cheers to Decq for winning the Jane Drew Prize, and Peyton-Jones being awarded the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize!

•   Five winning landscape design teams "will display their verdant creations" at the 2016 Festival at Les Jardins de Métis/Redford Gardens in Quebec.

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