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Today’s News - Thursday, August 18, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, August 23.

•   Williamson ponders whether the "Olympics' failures" will "spark a new urban paradigm for Rio" and its "greatest psychological and physical sore spot - its favelas" (fascinating read).

•   A "village of Quonset huts" is sprouting in a Detroit neighborhood that wouldn't usually attract "top-notch architects" to design a "unique housing project."

•   Heathcote hails the "meticulous restoration" of the Yale Center for British Art that is "so fine, it is almost obsessive," and the renovation of the Beinecke Library, "a building as exquisite as the delicate printed volumes it houses."

•   Ditmars cheers Surrey, which sits at the suburban edge of Vancouver, for choosing a design for its new municipal operations center that proves "architecture for the mundane business of public works can be far from ordinary."

•   Something for our bucket list: "9 of the world's top architectural pilgrimages, from Chandigarh to Fallingwater" (we'll take the Hundertwasser!).

•   Harvard Art Museums just launched a new, comprehensive digital archive of one of the largest collections relating to the Bauhaus (stunning - we spent wayyy too much time tooling around the site!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Wainwright gives a halting thumbs-up to Koolhaas fils's film "Rem," which "finds the film-maker racing to keep up with his father" (the star is the back of Rem's head) "and struggling to achieve objectivity" (Olly would also like the "option to mute the elegiac soundtrack").

•   Hawthorne sees Roberto Burle Marx "as a mute and minor star" but "a compelling bit player" in the Summer Olympics, and cheers the "dense and appealingly wide-ranging exhibition" at the Jewish Museum in NYC that suggests "if Burle Marx hadn't come along when he did, Brazil might have had to invent him."

•   Meanwhile, there are some "wild and wonderful landscape installations" in Quebec's Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens.

•   Lam really likes the Siza show at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which pairs his plans for a visitors center with 14th century artifacts from the historic Alhambra: his "carefulness with subtle details elevates the project beyond the ordinary - without pomp, flash or ego."

•   McKnight finds much to like in "The Architecture of Francis Kéré" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which "conveys his inventive approach" to building for the underserved (with eyefuls of his atrium installation "Colorscape").

•   Jürgen Mayer H. [hearts] Times Square with "XXX" that "lets you lounge at the Crossroads of the World."

•   University of Illinois at Chicago shows off its past and future with two shows, including "The Netsch Campus."

•   Cramer is quite taken with al-Sabouni's "The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria," written with "the moral fervor of a John Ruskin - albeit a 21st-century, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and female incarnation" (Dubai's skyline is "a shelf of perfume bottle").

•   King plunges into Serraino's "The Creative Architect": "the unearthed data is catnip to anyone intrigued by midcentury buildings. What hasn't aged is how so many good architects seem to be gregarious loners angling for success but, deep down, wanting to create what they view as art."

•   Xie finds "'The Creative Architect' shines a light on the researchers, subjects, and context. Most fascinating is the insight we get into how the legendary architects viewed themselves and each other" (fab images!).

•   Hatherley rounds up a number of tomes that tackle Soviet buildings that have become "part of a strange but popular cult," but don't "just stare at pictures of incredible Soviet ruins when there are books that can tell you what they are and why they're there."

•   A great excerpt from Howard's "Architecture's Odd Couple," which "examines the fraught relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson."

•   Rosenstock revels in Desimini and Waldheim's "Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary" - a "jewel box for mapheads and plan geeks."

•   In an excerpt from "Manual of Section," LTL explores what a section is.

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