Today’s News - Thursday, December 21, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE #1: Take heart: today is the Winter Solstice - days will be getting longer (yay)! Today also marks the last ArchNewsNow newsletter of 2017 - we'll be back January 2 or 3, 2018. Our 15th year ends with a bang: two ANN feature must-reads by Crosbie and Weinstein (and a slew of other great stuff!). From our interweb house to yours, we wish everyone a Very Happy Merry Everything!

EDITOR'S NOTE #2: We are starting to transition to a new mail server. The newsletter will be mailed from instead of Since this is a new site, Today's News may be flagged as spam. If you do not get your newsletter, please check your spam folder.

●  ANN feature: Weinstein offers one of his best Best Architecture & Design Books of the Year: "This year's best reading subverts shopworn stylistic and historic categories."

●  ANN feature: Crosbie walks into Hariri Pontarini's "chrysalis of crystal": "When I visited the Bahá'í Temple of South America, I was not prepared for the power of this transcendent space - a work of architecture for the ages" (with his own fab photos to prove it!).

●  Hawthorne warns that "we're on the doorstep of an era when dramatic disasters threaten to become routine," and "urban-planning chickens are coming home to roost in service of Disaster, the new patron saint of our increasingly vulnerable metropolitan regions."

●  Kimmelman & Haner visit Jakarta that "is sinking so fast, it could end up underwater" very soon because of a "tsunami of human-made troubles. Hydrologists say the city has only a decade to halt its sinking" + How climate change is challenging Mexico City, China; Rotterdam, and Houston.

●  Pearman parses (more positively than others) KieranTimberlake's new U.S. Embassy in London: it "will be the only architecturally sober building [in Nine Elms], surrounded by a crowd of demonstrative drunks."

●  An engaging profile of Cézanne Charles, curator of America's first "City of Design" - Detroit: "she is working to prove that design can drive inclusive growth."

●  Cook takes an in-depth look at Charles and Ray Eames, "who shaped the way we live. She sprinkled stardust on his designs. Without her playful input, his creations would have seemed austere."

●  Rhodes looks at the relationship between race and architecture in American film, from "Gone with the Wind" to "To Kill a Mockingbird," an essay adapted from his book "Spectacle of Property: The House in American Film."

●  Stratigakos takes a deep dive into why "moviemakers love architects - as long as they are white men. There are fewer women playing architects today than in the 1990s. This matters if we care about the broader invisibility of women architects in popular culture" ("archimoms" included).

●  One we couldn't resist to end the year on a giggle-inducing note: The 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards (the laughing dormouse stole our hearts!).

A Who's Who of critics and their takes on the best architecture of 2017.

●  Lange & Lamster, "the Luke and Leia of architectural criticism," bring us 2017 in architecture: "The good, the bad, and the pink" (including the Architecture That Should Have No Architects Award, and One More Step Toward Irrelevance Award).

●  Lange ponders Apple Park: "the most-hyped building of 2017" but "the one that got away," because "so far, Apple has let in journalists only to ooh and aah, not to pick or contextualize."

●  Hawthorne's take on "a tough year, marked by a return to basic, even stoic architecture after a couple decades of flamboyant form-making. All the same there was no shortage of highlights" (most discouraging: Apple "continues to refuse to open to even a single architecture critic").

●  Kamin's pick of the best "in a remarkable year" in Chicago includes the Apple Store, Unity Temple, and the 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennial.

●  Glancey makes his pick of "the year's most brilliant new architecture" (few surprises here).

●  Hume's Project of the Year goes to Google's Quayside, a 12-acre "experimental community planned 'from the Internet up.' Not often does a Toronto development project make headlines around the world," and two honorable mentions to Mississauga and Vaughan.

●  Plitt's pick of NYC's best new architecture of 2017: "It's hard not to feel slightly underwhelmed. Still, there were some projects worth celebrating," including "Best reason to actually go to Penn Station," and The "oh my God, finally!" award (links at bottom to round-ups including Weirdest Proposals, 10 biggest preservation battles, and more).

Weekend diversions:

●  The Off- Broadway "Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses" is "a confused new rock musical" built on "a rickety foundation": if it took Caro "more than 1,200 pages to unspool" Moses' life in "The Power Broker," and Goldberger 5,000 words writing his obituary, "it is probably ill advised to take a mere 90 minutes to tell his tale."

●  "Repositioning Paolo Soleri: The City Is Nature," on view in Scottsdale, "comprehensively summarizes the breadth of his art, architecture and design"; the curator "selects her highlights and explains their significance."

●  At NYC's CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture, "Five Artists + Architecture" offers "five distinct and inspired points of view that illustrate the dynamic relationship between art and architecture."


●  Wills finds that Farrell and Furman's "Revisiting Postmodernism" has "less to say about the current revival of the movement, but with its present-at-the-creation insight, it's a worthy primer about this enigmatic period of architecture."

●  Zohn zooms in on Mayne's (et al.) "100 Buildings" and Fisher & Harby's "Robert Venturi's Rome" - two "very giftable tomes" that include some "already-beloved structures, and bring to our attention some others that, despite their excellence, are still under the radar."

●  Koush's "Constructing Houston's Future: The Architecture of Arthur Evan Jones and Lloyd Morgan Jones" will give "anyone not immediately familiar with their work an 'a-ha' moment at a list of some of their most prominent buildings."

●  An excerpt from Scharmen's "Space Settlements" offers a fascinating look at "NASA's bold space habitats inspired a generation of designers."

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