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Today’s News - Wednesday, December 21, 2016

•   The best question to ask when renovating a "work of art" like Ponti's 1971 North Building of the Denver Art Museum, and wanting "to stay true to his vision: What would Ponti do?"

•   Meanwhile, Iranian architects battle to save a Ponti villa in Tehran - it was "listed as a national treasure," but a judge delisted it so the owner can build a 20-story hotel.

•   The Australian Institute of Architects has launched an online petition to stop plans to erect a fence around Giurgola's Parliament House in Canberra that would "fundamentally change the character of the building and its symbolism as the people's house."

•   On a brighter note, Niemeyer's cylindrical, "ostentatious" Hotel Nacional in Rio (with gardens by Burle Marx) reopens after closing its doors in 1995 (link to original article in Spanish for lots of images!).

•   Klimoski takes a deep dive into the "political fissures" that have "rattled Finnish politics and sparked debate within the architecture community" re: the scrapped Guggenheim Helsinki plans (meanwhile, "the most valuable property in the city will remain a parking lot").

•   Kennicott hops aboard the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor casino that "sits on the low bluffs of the Potomac like Fitzcarraldo's landlocked steamboat" (and includes a giant chocolate fountain circulating "two tons of sweet liquid death" and Bob Dylan's "hellish portal").

•   5468796 Architecture's new condo tower "eschews the norms" of new towers, while Land Art Design's landscaping "introduces the greenery of backyards to a high-rise typology," garnering "praise and criticism for its architectural boldness."

•   Saffron cheers Philly's own "professional blight busters - a group of vigilante code enforcers who have become the city's go-to, blight-fighting consultants" (every city should have one!).

•   Snell parses "an argument for justice" when dealing with density: "All the right density won't make for an interesting urban culture when those densely clustered together in starchitect/gold plated buildings aren't themselves interesting or are dissuaded from having or sharing interests."

•   Campbell-Dollaghan details what's involved in relocating (for the first time) Hugh Broughton's Halley VI mobile research station in Antarctica because of a dangerously deep chasm emerging nearby (it will take two years).

•   Budds parses Zaera-Polo's infographic that attempts to map the evolution of today's architectural movements.

•   Paul Revere Williams' granddaughter and "many in the architecture industry believe" his AIA Gold Medal "is long overdue in a field that's been repeatedly critiqued for its lack of diversity."

•   A "haunting image" of an underground sewer system in London wins the 2016 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award (definitely worth checking out the other 19 on the shortlist!).

•   A look at "some of the lesser-known and more fashion-focused elements" of Hadid's (a.k.a. "Queen of the Curve") legacy.

•   Two we couldn't resist: a blast from the past video of Ada Louise Huxtable discussing the options for building at Ground Zero: "I don't want to see big buildings there."

•   Lubell talks to architects and engineers who "shove a lightsaber through the Death Star's bad design": when asked "for their assessments, most were not kind" to the "planet-killing not-a-moon" structure (great images - but holding judgment until we see "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story").

•   Happy Winter Solstice!

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