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Today’s News - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

●   We are so saddened by the news that we've lost the ever-enthusiastic urbanist and editor Branden Klayko - at only 33.

●   Jenkins minces no words: "The lesson from Grenfell is simple: stop building antisocial, high-maintenance, disempowering, unnecessary, mostly ugly" residential towers. "There is no need to build high at all."

●   Anderton queries fireman-turned-engineer Wittasek re: lessons from Grenfell: "the U.S. has a pretty good record because designers have developed a 'belt and suspenders' approach with multiple redundancies built in."

●   Budds parses a new study by the Center for Active Design that actually quantifies the impact that "simple interventions" like benches and greenery have on the "civic life of a city."

●   Grabar says Bloomberg's $200 Million American Cities Initiative may not solve big problems, but even "small grants give mayors the political capital go out on a limb with endeavors that might not seem like an obvious use of public money."

●   Katz and Noring use Copenhagen as a case study of institutional innovation regenerating a city - the results "have been nothing short of transformative - smart city institutions matter as much as innovative urban techniques and tactics."

●   Pedersen visited Copenhagen ("an American Portland - except better"), and "left with an acute case of urban envy" - it's a "shared belief that transcends urban design - getting that level of buy-in is ultimately not a design problem, but a political and cultural challenge."

●   King gives thumbs-up to a long-term (well, for three years) homeless shelter that "is an odd cross between institutional and inviting. Ad hoc yet humane" ("Inchworm green" and "Aegean blue" included).

●   Central Florida "might soon become one of the few places in the nation using metal shipping containers to build affordable apartment complexes aimed at millennials, baby boomers and anyone else on a budget and seeking nontraditional living quarters."

●   In Melbourne, John Wardle Architects' "benevolent office tower" is heading for approval: "It's not often that one collates commercial buildings with a social conscience," but "in off-peak office hours the showers and change room facilities will be opened up to local homeless people."

●   The expiration of a 30-year deal leaves 80 artist/residents in L.A.'s Santa Fe Art Colony fearing dramatic rent increases will force them out; fingers crossed that "a group of outside investors is prepared to make a bid to purchase the property if necessary."

●   Bozikovic cheers Diamond Schmitt Architects' "very tasteful for 2017, tightly detailed and hospitable" and "sleek addition" to Ottawa's National Arts Centre, but it does raise questions when it comes to modernizing a textbook Brutalist fortress.

●   Hawthorne sees "one obvious criterion guiding the design" of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philly - "the building had to embody a certain Americanness - we desperately need a new definition of Americanness in our architecture."

●   McGivern gets Piano to explain why he rejects comparisons between Spain's new Centro Botín and the Guggenheim Bilbao: "I suppose our strategy was the opposite of the Guggenheim. How many Bilbao effects can you have after all?"

●   Safdie tells the tale of Habitat 67 - and reflects "on how we must radically change our thinking if we are to build the dense, liveable cities of our future."

●   Gendall talks to Safdie and Blake Gopnik about what it was like to live in Habitat 67: "Safdie is overseeing the painstaking historic restoration" of an apartment, with the intention of giving it "to a Montreal institution that will make it open to the public."

●   On a more depressing note, Sasaki's Citicorp fountain has been demolished, and the sunken plaza "eviscerated": "AN is planning a follow-up story - the approvals process that led to the fountain's destruction deserves explanation." (we think so, too - it's been our water-song subway stop for a gazillion years!)

●   On a brighter note, a 1970s co-op in the Bronx "gets an elegant, High Line-inspired green roof" that is more a "communal garden that covers two-thirds of an acre."

●   CTBUH crunches the numbers in a study that "presents data on the height and prevalence of tall timber buildings around the world" (along with a handful of theoretical "Vision" projects).

●   Canadian giant Stantec acquires Denver-based RNL Design: "The two firms are no strangers to one another - they've collaborated on more than a dozen projects over the years."

●   One we couldn't resist: Sperber offers a response to Ivanka Trump and her "manual for architecting the life you want to live": "She demonstrates that a white, powerful and enormously wealthy woman can be as ignorant to her own privilege as any white man."

●   Call for entries (deadline extended!): ARCHITECT Studio Prize for "thoughtful, innovative, and ethical studio courses at accredited architecture schools."


  


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