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Today’s News - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy post-Pi Day (and beware the Ides of March)!

•   ArcSpace brings us Haugh's great take on Caruso St John's Newport Street Gallery that "sees the practice return to a restrained, almost Nordic modernism of solidity, civic scale and sleek detailing."

•   Alastair Gordon is faced with a dilemma in assessing Calatrava's WTC transit hub: "The perfect word to describe it may not yet exist" - he's "thrown violently against my own expectations" (throw in "hokey and bloated in an Oz-meets-Mormon Tabernacle way" - his take on the surrounding developments make this well worth reading!).

•   Kamin parses China's call to tame "weird architecture" after years of importing "brand-name foreign architects like designer handbags. Maybe object-centric Chinese leaders are finally understanding that a striking silhouette does not a good city make - and that the spaces between buildings are as important as the buildings themselves."

•   Dittmar makes the case for London to reconsider its own towering ambitions "or we'll have a skyscraper glut and still no affordable housing" - housing should be "seen as infrastructure supporting a robust economy rather than as an investment product."

•   Heathcote bemoans "a de facto privatization of the skyline" in both London and New York: "the consequence will be a new architecturally-imposed class system and a picture of inequality inscribed in the skyline in the most graphic way imaginable."

•   Altabe considers new "bone-thin apartment towers" as "sky-stabbers," and ponders "where such anorexic architecture leaves pedestrians" (perhaps design codes "that govern air and light are warranted").

•   Wainwright tells the tale of two affordable housing schemes that make those who need it most either losers or winners, but even the winners are "now perilously threatened by the Housing and Planning Bill."

•   Maltzan's hyper-big, "hyper-dense" One Santa Fe mixed-use development in L.A. is an example of a new breed of "place entrepreneurs" devising "anticipatory architecture" that "fuses architectural prowess with developer ambition."

•   Welton wonders "what's up" with Raleigh's seeming bent for demolishing buildings from the 1950s and '60s, and "turning of blind eyes to highly talented local architects - a lack of political will to do the right thing is surely evident."

•   Place Lab's Ferguson lays out "Nine Principles of Ethical Redevelopment" that "are part of a living, evolving approach to making cities successful."

•   Hawthorne has some good things to say about L.A.'s huge, new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art complex, but is still left a bit underwhelmed: "This is closer to Selldorf Lite. Or maybe Selldorf Once Removed - a design not so much disappointing as suffused with a faintly nagging sense of what might have been."

•   Hodgetts checks out "what's under the hood" at the remade Petersen Automotive Museum by KPF: "The shock waves from that fluorescent, zebra striped makeover draws eyes, insults, and parody. Clearly, this is not a museum for car-nuts" ("looky-loos and lurkers" included).

•   Campbell-Dollaghan takes an in-depth look at what's gone into "putting the Architecture for Humanity name to rest," and reimagining the organization as Open Architecture Collaborative, "a radically transparent band of nimble, on-the-ground community architects - real people doing real projects in their communities."

•   BCJ has big plans for Expedia's 40-acre campus on Seattle's waterfront (lots of re-used industrial buildings included).

•   Studio Gang beats out a stellar shortlist to design a new U.S. embassy in Brazilia (will it play nice with Costa and Niemeyer?).

•   Wainwright has one we couldn't resist: the "Frankenstein-like new face of Matrera fortress" in Spain "has been damned as the world's worst ever restoration," and "one of the most extreme façadectomies of modern times" - but it "may prove enduring - and perhaps, with time, even endearing."

•   Call for entries: Programs/papers for AIASF's 2016 Architecture and the City Festival: "Resilient City: Strength by Design" + Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum architecture competition (earlybird registration closes tomorrow).

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