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Today’s News - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

•   ArcSpace brings us Haugh's take on H&deM's Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford that is "stunningly detailed" and "creates an unapologetically contemporary addition to the streetscape."

•   Kimmelman turns in a most engaging report on his travels in Chile with Aravena visiting the Pritzker winner's projects: "I found him earnest, open, a little nerdy - and deadly serious" (a great read!).

•   MoMA's Anderson considers "how architecture can redefine the refugee crisis. Architecture has become the litmus test of society's capacity for holistic and compassionate security" (another great read!)

•   Wainwright is quite taken with H&deM's Switch House at the Tate Modern, a "power pyramid" that "will be a people-watching paradise," and "an unsettling presence that is at once seductive and forbidding."

•   Bevan is also bedazzled by the "triumphant" Switch House, "one of the most spectacular buildings London has seen in decades - this is not pointless 'starchitecture.'"

•   Shaw revisits the new Whitney and finds it an un-bedazzling "tourist trap - washed-out and soulless, without any of the Piano magic - the building has nothing to offer beyond its celebrity status" (ouch!).

•   Q&A with Barry of Prague-based NGO reSITE re: whether Hadid's plan for a huge development will be the right fit for Prague: "We should pay close attention to how the designs develop - it is clear that it is early and they need work."

•   Bausells delves into Barcelona's "radical new strategy" to "give streets back to residents" as "'citizen spaces' for culture, leisure and the community."

•   Moore is impressed with OMA's luxury apartment block in London with "a public heart": it "achieves a degree of intelligence and public spirit almost unheard of in luxury residential developments" (though "fans of the Koolhaas universe" might be disappointed).

•   A fascinating look at some of the surprisingly zingy, blingy architecture rising in North Korea, though if it "has its own Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid, it's not saying - few of its buildings are credited to individual designers."

•   There's an architecture boom in China's rural areas creating "a new paradise for Chinese architects" in forgotten villages, but they're vanishing rapidly, and saving them is a race against time.

•   Campbell-Dollaghan parses whether timber skyscrapers can truly be an "Earth-saving" building type; some say yes, others say maybe not so much.

•   Wainwright wanders the "nap pods and rooftop parks" of Silicon Valley that are "reinventing the office": "For all their talk of community and the commons, the dotcoms are proving to be some of the least civic-minded businesses around."

•   Kamin cheers a new "sound proposal" for the old Chicago post office "after years of cockamamie plans for reviving the moribund hulk."

•   Eyefuls of Nouvel's 70-story Melbourne tower that will be "a friendly tower that likes and respects its neighbors" (green walls and FLW inspiration included).

•   GMP beats out Nouvel, Hadid, and others for yet another (gigantic) opera house in China.

•   Paris-based Studio KO reveals renderings for the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech in Morocco.

•   Gole gets into the details re: the "challenges and solutions for heritage architects" in "re-identifying use and retaining the significance of heritage buildings."

•   Gunts gets into the challenges of saving Philadelphia's architectural heritage: despite its World Heritage City designation, "more than a few describe the preservation scene as being in a state of crisis."

•   Uncommon's Evans explains why, "If we're to build good places, architects and developers need to learn to trust each other."

•   Hawthorne hails L.A.'s new Expo Line to Santa Monica that "marks a rare kind of progress in American cities" by "chipping away at the dominance of the car."

•   Keskeys' Q&A with Snøhetta's Dykers re: studio life and advice for young architects looking to start a firm of their own (beer included).

•   Our heartiest congrats to Lamster, awarded a Harvard GSD Loeb Fellowship for championing "progressive policies, preservation, and higher design standards for all citizens."

•   Call for entries: Urban SOS: Fair Share international student competition to explore how the "sharing economy" can improve equity and the built environment.

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