Today’s News - Friday, July 7, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: A Friday newsletter (surprise)! Monday will be a no-newsletter day - we'll be back Tuesday, July 11.

●   Searle says city planning in Australia is suffering growing pains because of "the development industry's push for a continuous rapid population growth. But our poorly planned cities are ill-prepared and already struggling."

●   Hawthorne parses the $1.35-billion Wilshire Grand Center, L.A.'s new tallest building: "For all its aesthetic wobbles, the tower has a certain guileless charisma - it winds up being tough to dislike."

●   Woods Bagot joins forces with three notable firms from London, Amsterdam, and Paris for a "once-in-a-generation" $800-million mixed-use tower complex in Melbourne.

●   McLaughlan and Pert parse the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, also in Melbourne, that "evokes optimism and inspires hope": Without the stats, "it is easy to lose sight of the magnitude of this architectural achievement" - it's also a model for a new healthcare typology.

●   Saffron gives (mostly) thumbs-up to three "handsome new parks" around Philly's Logan Square, but they don't "fully cover scars left by I-676" - more could have been done in "a once-in-a-generation opportunity to cap the cross-town trench."

●   Wainwright cheers Levete's "dazzling new porcelain piazza" for London's V&A that "brilliantly reunites the museum" with the neighborhood, "but the giant new jewelry box of a gallery lurking below ground is the real star of the show" (with just "a bit naff" here, and a "clunk" there).

●   Moore x 2: He also cheers the V&A's Exhibition Road Quarter and its "bold" design that "delivers space, light and spectacle. Don't forget your sunglasses" (it "comes with a touch of bling").

●   He likes "Kéré's cool shades of Africa" in his Serpentine Pavilion: "There was a danger of folksy hokum, of presenting a 'Lion King' version of Africa - but Mies helps here" (a troupe of dancing women not included).

●   Sisson sits down with Phoenix-based Studio Ma to talk about its "desert-inspired architecture" ("it's not just some New Age desert minimalism"), and the focus on campuses because they are "microcosms of the urban fabric and become small urban experiments."

Winners all!

●   Eyefuls of the Driverless Future Challenge finalists, who "envision autonomous transit solutions for NYC" (great videos!).

●   The two 2017 Arnold W. Brunner Grant for Architectural Research will explore historic preservation and urban decline in Cleveland, and architectural heritage in VR.

●   "Design on Stage - Winners Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017" now on view in Essen, Germany.

Weekend diversions:

●   Hawthorne parses "Vernacular Environments: Part 1" on view in L.A. that illustrates "one of the most fascinating" ways architecture "has tried to reconstitute itself after the economic collapse of 2008" - it's caught "the acting bug."

●   Biology, materials science, mathematics, engineering, and design are integrated into Jenny Sabin Studio's "Lumen," an interactive woven canopy at MoMA PS1 that "morphs into a photo-luminescent wonderland."

●   Sabin has taken "weaving to another level" in "Lumen" (both have great pix, so we decided to run both).

●   A "paper forest" of 2,500 interlocking wound paper tubes is Gang's answer to having an audible conversation inside Washington's "cavernous" National Building Museum.

●   A good reason to head to Malaysia: the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival: *POWER is/and/to/with/of/for ARCHITECTURE* is underway.

●   Another good reason to explore KLAF2017: an exhibition of Hadid's "intrepid approach to re-defining architecture and innovative design over the course of her 40-year career" opens on Monday.

●   Webb finds Setti's "If Venice Dies" to be "a deeply depressing and urgent analysis that offers a few glimmers of hope that must be seized if Venice is to survive" (and a shout-out to Locktov's "Dream of Venice Architecture").

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