Today’s News - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

●  Kamin x 2 (sadly, obituaries): Birkerts was "best known for light-filled modernist buildings," and the 2014 Latvian National Library in Riga, "a work of great personal meaning" (we'll miss his occasional comments on the day's news).

●  Macsai, who specialized in multifamily housing, was "a colorful man" known for the very colorful (very purple!) Purple Hotel, and some of Chicago's "most eye-catching high-rises."

●  Trump's infrastructure plan: environmental rules "aimed at reducing exposure to flooding, sea level rise and other consequences of climate change" be damned (we, of course, can hear the American Petroleum Institute and the National Association of Home Builders cheer).

●  Agbo pens a letter from Abuja, Nigeria: "In spite of all its current problems, Abuja still has the opportunity to realize its ambitions of becoming a model for contemporary place making in Africa."

●  White ponders Calgary's growing presence on the international scene (with two international conferences converging on Calgary in September), and whether "the average Calgarian really cares about urban design" (the answer is Yes).

●  Malaysian architects are being overlooked because of the "influx of foreign architects, coupled with the colonial mind-set": "The last time we had faith in a local architect to take on the daunting task of building an iconic structure was in 1965. How long more will we wait to put our trust in another?"

●  On a brighter note, "homegrown" talent in the Philippines is "beginning to show strong competitiveness - they do not just refer to value for money and commercialism but 'value for humanity and community, and environmental consciousness.'"

●  Murphy visits Spaceport America: "For better and worse, this is the new face of infrastructure - a kind of futuristic Rorschach test" (great overview of the current, privately-funded space race, history and future, science and poetry - even the footnotes are fascinating!).

●  Betsky explains why "architects designing for America's future suburbs should look back to the country's unsung modernists," the "timber constructivists who created site-appropriate and livable timber homes."

●  Come September, the Architecture Center Houston, with its "highly functional" and "seriously flexible" interior, "stands a good chance of transforming former Produce Row into a street of creativity for the 21st century."

●  Saffron has "a leisurely afternoon conversation" with Wilcots, "the overlooked African American architect who completed Louis Kahn's masterpiece" in Dhaka: now 89 and retired, "the Bangladesh government still relies on him to interpret Kahn's intentions. He became the Kahn whisperer."

●  King admits that "bringing the Vaillancourt Fountain back to life was not a pretty sight - but a treat nonetheless," and should be restored ("at the very least," please "clean off the pigeon droppings").

●  Budds talks to MVVA's Urbanski re: finding a city's "mute button hiding in plain sight - when thoughtful landscape architecture enters the picture, there's a shot at some aural relief."

●  Darley cheers the "recycling of the spoils of Crossrail excavations into Europe's largest manmade coastal reserve" - what could have been an airport now sports "paths and hides for the ornithologically-inclined."

●  There are "lessons engineers and architects should learn from nature and topology optimization: when you are aiming to design something that is unique and eye catching, then biomimicry and topology optimization tools can be invaluable."

●  Kohlstedt reflects on NBBJ's "reflective skyscraper" that "bounces sunlight into shaded space: the project highlights how a limited resource (like sunlight) can be more strategically distributed in a city - by design."

Winners all!

●  The 2017 Palladio Awards honor 11 firms for outstanding work in traditional design (great presentations).

●  Shelter Global's Dencity 2017 Competition honors "3 winning designs for unplanned cities that focus on the people who live in them" (link to great presentation).

●  The Society of Architectural Historians 2017 SAH/Mellon Author Award winners will receive financial help to publish "their first monograph on the history of the built environment."

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