Today’s News - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

●  Kamin responds to Birnbaum's opposition to the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago's Jackson Park: "plans won't destroy Olmsted's park - they should be improved, not rejected - the proposed museum tower needs to become less bulky and more elegant. But that is no reason to throw out an opportunity."

●  Birnbaum offers a point-by-point riposte to Kamin's riposte: Kamin's column "is grossly misleading and misrepresentative of TCLF's position."

●  Hawthorne bemoans the AIA not giving out a Twenty-Five Year Award, "the most consistently surprising and meaningful award in architecture - the jury ought to have tried harder" - coming up with his own list 25 potential winners "wasn't that difficult."

●  Campbell-Dollaghan wonders if architecture is "ashamed of Postmodernism" with the AIA not naming a Twenty-Five Year Award winner: "Postmodernism still gets stuck in architecture's craw. Should we really try to forget an entire era, however flawed?"

●  Frearson parses 10 buildings picked by the Postmodern Society's Furman that "represent a new age of postmodernism" ("a pile of Dutch townhouses" included).

●  Robinson considers Houston's post-Harvey future: the city "must begin to do things differently if we want a better future. What is the best city that Houston can be? If not a city on a hill, at least one that is above the floodplain."

●  Tondo revisits Italy's "bold plan" to build entirely new towns following the devastating 1968 earthquake in Sicily that created "an urban disaster of a different kind," with one town "built according to a strange late-60s design aesthetic" - and now a ghost town.

●  Upwork's Kasriel explains why "we should be trying to reverse our obsession with luring large corporate offices toward increasingly dense central business districts," and explore "alternatives to a 1950s-style work-here-live-there paradigm" (are you listening, Amazon?).

●  Anzilotti ponders whether we can "create a new kind of downtown" in abandoned suburban office parks; Saarinen's historic Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, hopes to by creating a "'metroburb' - the question is: What's a downtown without a city?"

●  Wainwright x 2: he's quite taken by the "wonky desks, giant fig trees, and mindfulness classes" in London's Second Home by SelgasCano, "styled with a retro sci-fi air - as if Barbarella has opened a garden center. Who knew insulation could be so much fun?"

●  He minces no words about Boris Johnson's "preposterous plan for a 22-mile bridge" across the English Channel to France: "No doubt his go-to designer for overpriced public baubles has already rustled up a design" (think Heatherwick), or possibly "iconic bridge tsar" Calatrava, to add "a touch of ageing celebrity sparkle."

●  Alan Dunlop has a better (and less expensive) idea: build a "Celtic bridge" between Scotland and Northern Ireland that he says "would boost both economies and help the post-Brexit border issue" (some skeptics weigh in).

●  Stephens cheers the Complete Streets movement: "The possibilities are endless - there is a virtuous cycle in the relationship between well designed, functional streets and well designed, attractive neighborhoods" (some impressive statistics!).

●  Davidson delves into what city streets could become with "a new set of decisions and designs, not just a let's-see-how-it-all-works-out attitude. The street of the future should look nothing like today's" (and offers a few basic principles).

●  Speaking of city streets, Murphy offers up some of "the outrageous highway schemes left as roads to nowhere" - NYC had the Moses/Jacobs conflict - who knew there were similar challenges in Glasgow, Cape Town, Sydney, Warsaw, and elsewhere (some scary-looking stuff)!

●  Eisenberg sits in on the New Jersey regionals of DiscoverE's Future City "Age-Friendly City" competition for middle school kids, and parses the top three winners: "Most ideas were high-tech; it was an engineering competition, after all. But some were very low-tech" (best of all - the kids understood they were designing their own future).

●  On a more adult note: eyefuls of the 2017 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards Winners.

●  Eyefuls of 24 examples of North Korea's eclectic architecture - everyone knows the 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, but there's so much more (the pink and blue Baby Home and Orphanage - wow!).

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