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Today’s News - Thursday, February 25, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're hitting the road for Durham, NC, early tomorrow for a family gathering. If the weather gods are kind, ANN will be back Tuesday, March 1.

•   Bernstein pens a most eloquent tribute to Ali Tayar, gone much, much too soon: he "was old-school, a gentleman with a distaste for anything trendy, flimsy, or ostentatious. But he was hardly backward-looking."

•   Davidson x 2: he is totally taken by the WTC Transit Hub, "an extravagantly idealistic creation - Calatrava's skeletal dove joins the tiny circle of New York's great indoor public spaces, serving not just the city that built it but also the city it will help build."

•   He weighs in on China's crackdown on "weird, wacky" architecture - for Western architects "the party's over."

•   Lasky channels Bogie and Brasserie when she enters DS+R's Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and finds herself at the threshold "between something cool and cosseting, and something porous and intimate. Even bland spaces offer drama."

•   Keskeys sits down with Gang to get the back-story about the Writers Theatre: her "enthusiasm for her latest building is palpable" (we really dig the "cat's paws").

•   Wainwright gives a guarded thumbs-up to H&deM's Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford: "can a hermetically sealed building bankrolled by an oligarch be truly democratic?" Herzog's (rather depressing) quote: "As architects, we are not so powerful to have a say in this world," but hopefully it's "an environment that might help the students to go out and change it."

•   Assemble assembles at Design Indaba in Capetown for a Q&A re: "their process, and how to create spaces that empower, not just awe."

•   The V&A's Hyde ponders most thoughtfully: "Why does 'good' architecture rarely have anything to do with 'doing good'? Perhaps all it takes is courage" (he feels sorry for Schumacher, "a man out of his time").

•   Sperry makes the case yet again for architects and the AIA "to take a stand against spaces intended to torture and kill. I'm happy to say that AIA is reconsidering."

•   Venice Biennale's Baratta says: "It's desire, not ethics, that's missing from architecture - his aim with the biennale is to inject that passion back into the profession."

•   Kaji-O'Grady warns that we should all be concerned that "new developments in architecture and technology are making pure air privately available. Shared air is a basis of public life."

•   One we couldn't resist: a video of four coal plants being demolished set to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture; watching it is "insanely satisfying" (truly!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Mogilevich finds "Structures of Coastal Resilience" at NYC's Center for Architecture a "sweeping" project.

•   Hartman finds "Creation from Catastrophe" at RIBA London "a modest show with a vital message. Community architecture is nothing new, but its practitioners remain too few" (and the "architects presented make for very odd bedfellows").

•   Giovannini is quite taken by "Jean Nouvel/Claude Parent: Musées à venir" in Paris that "doubles as an exploration of the master and protégé relationship - a touching exhibition about a shared biography and a raw and tender subject."

•   Wiles is wild for Hatherley's "The Ministry of Nostalgia": it is "perceptive, witty and timely," and "an exemplar of how design and architectural criticism can be used to reveal deep truths about a country and its people."

Van Allen Spring Party

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