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Today’s News - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

•   It's a Venice Biennale kind of day: ArcSpace picks its favorite exhibition catalogs so you can "learn about the research presented without ever having to leave the comfort of your own couch."

•   Davidson and Ponce de León take issue with Menking's review of the U.S. Pavilion: he "raises important questions" - but "also makes blatant errors that grossly misrepresent the work that we and the 12 U.S. architecture teams developed."

•   Seewang focuses on three Biennale "fronts" that are worth looking into in detail.

•   "Reporting from the Front or an affront to architecture?" A handy round-up of critics' takes on the Biennale.

•   Pedersen delves deep into Campanella's deep look at post-Katrina architecture, which uncovers a "troubling statistic: the fraying, now nearly broken connection between architects and ordinary people - just 3% of the new homes were the work of commissioned architects."

•   King gives thumbs-up - and down - to San Francisco's Rincon Hill towers: "None of these is a hack job, but few of them aspire to architecture - they're costumed product. And repackaged product, at that" (with a few exceptions).

•   Risen returns (yay!) to write about an architect/developer's "high hopes" to help turn around "the beleaguered New Jersey capital" of Trenton.

•   An interesting question: after a flurry of activity two years ago, whatever happened to plans for the Sarasota Museum of Art?

•   Rao offers a fascinating (and depressing) take on how "our culture of fear has changed the role of architecture."

•   Miller has mixed feelings about touring the new Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT: it's "meant to be a fresh start," but "it isn't yet easy. This sanctuary is a fortress, too."

•   Sisson says the new Sandy Hook school "exudes a commitment to openness and a connection to nature, all while keeping issues of safety and student performance paramount" (Shelby the turtle, too!).

•   Farrelly minces no words about what she thinks of not landmarking Sydney's Sirius building: "Vandalistic. Soulless. Crass" - and "explicitly places heritage below profit."

•   Perrottet, the NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property, bites back: the Sirius building is "as sexy as a car park - the demise of the concrete eyesore and the promise of a new, less brutal building will be met with cheers, not jeers."

•   Saffron cheers Philly's new Mormon Temple, which "may be the most radical work of architecture built in the city in a half-century" - most recent classically inspired designs have been "insipid" - the temple "is the real classical deal."

•   Brussat has a different take on Saffron's take: "She praises the genuine quality" of the Mormon Temple's "forthright classicism," but he wonders "if her plaudits are reluctant."

•   Experts who worked on or have written about Chicago's Millennium Park give Toronto advice about how to build a "once-in-a-generation park" as the city considers building a 21-acre park over a stretch of downtown rail yards.

•   Grabar gives his take on Toronto's Rail Deck Park plans: it would be "a contribution to the city that doesn't require turning over parkland for condominiums, stadiums, or other private uses. If Toronto can pull it off, that is."

•   Hopefully, Toronto's powers-that-be will read The Trust for Public Land's new report, "City Parks, Clean Water: Making Great Places Using Green Infrastructure."

•   Plans are afoot - and moving forward - to rebuild Frank Lloyd Wright's long-ago-demolished Banff Pavilion.

•   FLW was a great architect, but those who have had to deal with restoring his work weigh in on 7 things he got wrong about design: "It takes a brave soul to buy one of Wright's houses."

•   One we couldn't resist (and truly your must-read of the day!): Kennicott's Pokémon Go diary: "I've now zapped two exotic birds..." (bad omens ensue).

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