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Today’s News - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

•   ArcSpace brings us Studio Gang's Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership that "embodies the ideas of social justice - an inclusive building encouraging equality, openness and conversation."

•   Riddel bemoans plans for a 47-story tower that threatens Brisbane's Customs House "from being seen as it was intended to be - neither a new problem nor unique to Brisbane."

•   Saval parses Google and Apple's new HQs, and ponders why they are "spending billions to build offices that look lifted straight from the 1960s - in the form of impregnable corporate campuses for the future-plotting, world-dominating, 'don't be evil' tech industry" (oh, those "high-tech hippies").

•   Bozikovic has high hopes for BIG's low-rise "ziggurat" in Toronto that is "vastly more interesting than a skinny point tower" and recalls "the utopian form-making of 1960s modernists - if it is realized, the effect would be magical."

•   Pogrebin x 2: she reports that TWBT's planned renovation of Charles Moore's Hood Museum is attracting some vociferous detractors: "Moore deserves far better than this aggressive, ill-designed, shallowly considered project" (ouch!).

•   On a brighter note, she reports that the Frick has decided to keep its gated garden, and is now considering an invited shortlist of 20 (unnamed) to rethink and revise the museum's renovation plan.

•   Shaw wonders why SHoP was picked to design the new SITE Santa Fe that "does not do its incredible context justice," and "leaves a lot to be desired" (a mash-up of a Manhattan super-tall "cropped on the corner to look like L.A.'s Broad Museum" - double-ouch!).

•   Fabiao offers a fascinating take on Calatrava's Museum of Tomorrow: "The massive museum appears as a ship or a whale that has come to the busy beach of Rio de Janeiro, bringing with it a history of otherness, colonialism, and resource extraction."

•   Heatherwick embroiled in holy row about the "bizarre" church pews he designed at Worth Abbey that "have become so disfigured that staff have been forced to use masking tape to cover cracks."

•   Saffron is all for fighting Philly's food deserts, but plans for "yet another sprawling shopping center" in a predominantly Latino neighborhood will create an "asphalt wasteland" - a concept that is "well past its sell-by date."

•   A sampling of innovative efforts that are "small templates" for "how architects can fight urban food deserts."

•   Peters reports on how the Van Alen/NORA Future Ground competition is tackling a turn-around for urban blight in New Orleans.

•   Last Thursday, we ran a story about an artist transplanting a derelict Detroit house to Rotterdam; now we find out the neighbors are none too pleased that the "naked shell of the home still stands in the middle of a healthy block," leaving them "living next to blight they say is worse than when the house was simply abandoned."

•   Hawaii's plan for a massive elevated rail project is struggling to keep from becoming a "boondoggle": critics' concerns "have turned out to have merit."

•   Brussat is more than a bit disappointed to learn that plans to replace an aging highway in Providence with a landscaped boulevard have "morphed into the Biggest Little Dig."

•   Another Madin building in Birmingham is "granted immunity from listing" and now faces extinction; preservationists are none too happy.

•   Menking mourns what's left of Johansen's Mummers Theater, now nothing but an empty lot with "a large water-catching hole. Have a look and weep."

•   Harvard GSD names a shortlist of four now vying for the $100,000 Wheelwright Prize.

•   Eyefuls of the 2016 eVolo Skyscraper Competition (we consider ourselves open-minded - but these things are scary!).

•   One we couldn't resist: remember the fresco in Spain that became "Beast Jesus" after a botched amateur restoration? Now it has its own cultural center that celebrates its "journey from little-known artwork to viral meme" (t-shirts available).



  


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