Today’s News - Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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●  ANN feature: Bjone parses "three books that defy expectations. These choices are well off the beaten path but enjoyable in the views of the road least taken."

●  Russell tackles the new U.S. tax plan and what it says to cities: "Drop dead. We've seen this movie before. Equity, of course, is not what this basket of tax deplorable is about" (a must-read!).

●  Waite, on a (slightly) brighter note asks British architects what their 2018 predictions are: "Will the profession continue to be marginalized? Is business going to get worse before it gets better? Will the housing conundrum finally be cracked?"

●  Bliss delves into a new CTBUH study that "challenges some widely held assumptions about urban and suburban development from a few unexpected angles," and finds that density doesn't always mean greener.

●  Wainwright x 2: he minces no words re: KieranTimberlake's new U.S. Embassy in London: "the glass citadel aims to be a benign fortress - a 12-storey glass castle" in a "frilly wrapping" that isn't doing its job. "There are some nice moments - but it mostly feels like an unremarkable office block" (ouch!).

●  On the other hand, he finds Holl's new Maggie's Centre "hides its battle scars well - a hazy apparition that manages to feel rugged, warm and welcoming at once" (with a few flaws).

●  Kafka also hails Holl's Maggie's Cancer Center that is "as much an emotional embrace as it is an intellectual exercise"; its architecture is "serious yet soft - perhaps we can read a vision not just for a better architecture, but a better quality of healthcare facility for all."

●  Litt takes a look at the now-approved $140 million renovation of Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena by SHoP and others: It "looks good, but with a caveat": The question is: will the new glass façades "look chilly and unwelcoming," or, "as the architects promise - will they be truly transparent and inviting."

●  Giles offers an interesting round-up of some ultra-rich patrons who give up-and-coming architects funding to realize their dreams, and give the public spaces to learn about architecture: "None of these patrons are likely to fund a flashy skyscraper bearing their name, but they're all working in their own way to support architects."

●  Wachs ponders "plazas in peril: Why are we wrecking our best modernist landscapes? Maybe because they are underappreciated," they "are threatened by market forces and dumb human decisions."

●  There's a lovely little church in Alma, Michigan, designed by an FLW associate, that may face demolition because of needed and costly repairs and no money (maybe an angel will come along and rescue and reuse as something else!).

●  On brighter notes: Roanoke, Virginia, has become what many cities like it want to be: "It started by bringing housing to a deserted downtown," and is now a model of "how small industrial cities can reinvent themselves."

●  In Sydney, the once-derelict Griffiths Tea building that "has been the source of intrigue among Sydneysiders for more than 30 years" has been transformed and is ready for residents to move in.

●  Meanwhile in China's mountainous Yangshuo County, a disused sugar mill is now a (stunning!) a resort hotel (with pix to prove it!).

●  And German architect Bengs "has emerged as a leading voice in the effort to save Japan's traditional homes and depopulated mountain villages from extinction."

●  The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation launches the website "Pioneering Women of American Architecture" that gives 50 women "their due credit. So why has time forgotten these women? 'Because men write the history books,' says Cynthia Phifer Kracauer."

●  Stephens' Q&A with Christiaan Dinkeloo re: the future of his father's firm. "I had been working with the office since the seventh grade. This was my architectural home."

●  The U.S. Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations' final (impressive!) list of architects for worldwide embassies includes "some surprises, with a healthy mix of larger and smaller studios."

●  The National Endowment for the Humanities announces $12.8 million in grants to projects that include a database to study FLW floor plans and an investigation into the history of Chicago neighborhoods.

●  One we couldn't resist: Eyefuls of "Gingerbread City" at the Museum of Architecture in London, a marvelous miniature metropolis made of - guess what, designed by some very notable names (hurry - it closes this Friday!).

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