Today’s News - Wednesday, November 29, 2017

●  Volner at his best describing his "mind-warping" visit to Trump's border wall prototypes: "nothing can quite measure up to the experience of seeing them for oneself. As no other architectural initiative before it, the prototype exhibition bodies forth an imminence of absolute doom" (with a "touch of evil" thrown in - your must-read of the day!).

●  Hosey has issues with "what critics of contemporary architecture [like D'Aprile, Rennix & Robinson] are missing" by assuming "architecture and capitalism don't mix - it's that architects fail to grasp the relationships between those things. It's at once aesthetic, cultural and economic."

●  Day parses adjusting to life in Jakarta, with its towers "that look like leftovers from other hyper-expansive cities" washed up "like gargantuan discarded water bottles - one finds as much sunshine as noir, perhaps the truest realization of a post-colonial cosmopolis."

●  Shaw ruminates on the just-ended first biannual "Exhibit Columbus" that "could be read as another 'biennial,' or 'Design Week,' but proved to be something different. It is positioned to be a unique voice among many voices in the cultural events sector."

●  Brady tackles the "promise and the pitfalls" of online architectural education: it "will eliminate many self-defeating aspects of today's studio culture," but could also "acquire its own bad habits. Architectural educators should take it upon themselves to drive this change, lest it drive them instead."

●  Johnson's AT&T Building took its "first formal step" in the landmarking process - "a promising sign."

●  Chakrabarti's PAU gets a green light from the NYC Landmarks Commission for the Domino Sugar Refinery redesign: it "won the praise of the commissioners" (except one, still not convinced: "I can't bring myself to approve destroying a building to essentially save it").

●  Hume hails Toronto's King Street streetcar pilot project (even if too short): "For the first time in living memory, the city has taken a step that prioritizes public transit over the private vehicle. It offers a glimpse of a different, smarter, more humane city."

●  Chandigarh's architect department, on the other hand, is falling short: "In a city that is known for its architecture and planning excellence around the globe, the department has failed to save it from going astray from the path set by Le Corbusier."

●  Then there's Chandigarh's "affordable housing conundrum": "The style pioneered during initial years of the city's development still holds valuable lessons for achieving the goal of housing for all," but they "have largely been overlooked by planners."

●  Meanwhile in Mumbai, Anupama Kundoo is determined to make a difference for some of the millions of slum-dwellers in India with her low-cost, sustainable, DIY Full Fill Home.

●  The 14-member non-profit Architects for Society, made up of architects from eight countries, has designed the 500-square-foot "Hex House" - a "rapidly deployable and easy-to-build dwelling for refugees and others in desperate need of shelter."

●  Budds ponders Leo A Daly's Intelligence Community Campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and the "new paradigm for intelligence architecture" that "allowed this governmental architecture to shed its militaristic shell and take on the guise of a nice office building," but it is also "a wolf in sheep's clothing - just because it doesn't look like a bunker doesn't mean we should let our guard down."

●  For Tabanlioglu Architects, "preservation and restoration were top priorities" in modernizing the Ataturk Cultural Center in Istanbul.

●  Shipping containers are the material of choice for a new 2022 World Cup stadium in Doha, Qatar, "allowing it to be quickly assembled, disassembled and then reassembled in a new location" (and oh so green!).

●  "Mass timber is having its Maison Dom-Ino moment": AN's Timber issue has something for everyone.

Head-turners for page-turners:

●  Saffron cheers the "transformation" of four Free Libraries that "marks the beginning of a sea change for Philadelphia, from the library as a storehouse of books to the library as a community gathering place - the early numbers are encouraging."

●  P+W's very colorful Albion Library in Toronto's Rexdale neighborhood of "predominantly immigrants, minorities, and low-income residents" includes "community areas for new Canadians" and "a wide range of services that go beyond traditional book lending."

●  MVRDV's futuristic Tianjin Binhai Library: "more fiction than books - if you read between the lines you'll find something is missing" (like books - another quirk: irregular stairs "have proven hazardous for selfie-snappers").

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