Today’s News - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for late posting - we ran into some technical difficulties (again - ooofffaaa).

●  A report on how the "European recession prompted a new generation of graduates to try their luck in China," but "Western architects' allure may be wearing off" (take heart: there's "an increasingly buoyant job market" back home).

●  Heymann finds frustration in the "ugly pet" syndrome when it comes to green design: it's "homely well-intentioned construction that only a mother could love" instead of being "revolutionary to architectural form" (for now, anyway - though Murcutt and others do offer inspiring moments).

●  Fulcher parses the jurors' take on the "10 star-studded teams" vying to design London's Holocaust Memorial, and his own take on each scheme: Adjaye's team offered "possibly the most compelling of all," and a few "shouldn't have made the final shortlist."

●  Hawthorne has a very interesting take on how Apple and Amazon are taking "two paths to the same conclusion - that tech companies owe nothing to the American city" (e.g. Apple's "town squares" suggest that while it "has no desire to be in a city, it certainly wants its customers to think they are").

●  Another most interesting take on Apple's "use of the term 'town square'" that "illustrates something bigger than a questionable branding strategy" - it's "the desire to look like a good citizen, but not necessarily act like one" (and it's not just Apple).

●  Murali says it's time to go back to the drawing board in designing India's "ultra-mega-world-class-city" Amaravati: "Public money is being wasted on political hubris and nonsensical notions of public architecture" (Maki is out; Foster and Hafeez are in - for now).

●  Bozikovic cheers Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown LRT that "makes infrastructure exciting again," and "shows how good urban design and architecture can be part of the package" (but a caveat: "designers are way down in the hierarchy").

●  King x 2: He finds "reason for optimism" in Cavagnero and SOM's new wing of the Moscone Center: it "does its best to bring architectural nuance to what could be a numbing show. Thin icing on a massive cake, perhaps, but welcome all the same."

●  He parses San Fran's new rooftop park atop the new transit hub with rules based on Yerba Buena Gardens, but a "programming model" based on NYC's Bryant Park: it "will be considered public even though a private firm handles maintenance and security."

●  Litt considers a counter-proposal to Rosales's design for a (now over-budget) pedestrian bridge in Cleveland "inspired by plans for the $225 million Penn's Landing project in Philadelphia" (though it wouldn't cost that much - one can hope).

●  Stern warnings from Scottish architects that the £414m Scottish Parliament building "might not last 40 years": "The Holyrood building is so ridiculously over-engineered."

●  Scottish architects are also "furious" about an RIAS pop-up installation in Glasgow Central station, "branding it 'embarrassing', 'clumsy' and 'offensive to the profession.'"

●  Bernstein cheers Flansburgh's new HQ for a world-famous dance festival: the Jacob's Pillow Performing Arts Studio Is "a gorgeous high-tech building, at once casual and contemporary" - and "feels like it's been there for ages."

●  A little-known (some say haunted) long-abandoned hospital-turned-asylum designed by Cass Gilbert in the 1930s could become a "crown jewel" on a "pristine slice" of Connecticut's shoreline.

●  Dickinson cheers Christopher Alexander's new "Building Beauty" architecture program: "Unless we start teaching that the basis of designing buildings is found in the human capacity to create beauty (versus mimicking a style), architects will consign themselves to be aesthetic 'pickers.' The trick is to teach that truth."

●  A profile of Weizman and the Forensic Architecture project that reconstructs what happened in devastated war zones to determine human rights violations.

●  A look at how Dallas' Latinos in Architecture group "is stepping up to be a mentor in its community" to encourage diversity in the profession - it must be working - new chapters are popping up elsewhere.

●  Canada's team for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, led by Douglas Cardinal, includes Indigenous designers from across Canada and the U.S. to create "an interesting narrative connecting past and present."

●  Tezuka Architects takes home the $100,000 (CAD) 2017 Moriyama RAIC International Prize for Excellence in Architecture for its Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo.

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