Today’s News - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

●  Davidson, at his poetic best, makes the case for why SOM's "gracious and vibrant" 270 Park Avenue "deserves to continue existing": "If New York can't distinguish standouts from knockoffs, it doesn't deserve the next generation of architecture. And then it becomes a disposable city" (a must-read!).

●  Lange also makes the case for saving the Union Carbide building: aside from renovation being a better use of resources than demolition and replacement, "there is something unseemly about crowing over what would be the largest voluntary building demolition in the world" - with replacement architect as yet unnamed, "are they hiding?" (comments are fast and furious - on both sides).

●  Meanwhile, in Armidale, Australia, architects are making the case to save a 1964 modernist college designed by Michael Dysart, now facing demolition: "It is especially remarkable that it was the work of a 24 year old trainee in the NSW Government Architect's Branch" (never mind the cost difference between demolition and refurbishment).

●  A different battle looms over "the most contentious building in Warsaw": Does Poland hate "a harsh reminder of Soviet occupation enough to tear it down?" Ironically, it's a "younger generation that has emerged as guardians of the city's troubled past and its foremost conservationists."

●  In Tripoli, Niemeyer's now- abandoned "monument to Lebanon's aspirations" is an "eerie yet magical" site with his "fantastical buildings, frozen in time, at once retro and futuristic"; funding to restore "is unlikely to materialize any time soon."

●  Researchers in Denmark "looked back at 250 years of architecture to identify the features that make buildings last a long time," in hopes that "their results will highlight the role of architecture and built heritage in addressing climate change and today's throw-away society."

●  Hume cheers a new project in Toronto "that may not seem particularly remarkable but it is": It "marks the first time brick-and-beam construction has been used in the city in almost a century - the great virtue these simple but elegant boxes possess is their flexibility; they can be used and reused."

●  Wainwright is more than a bit disappointed in Southampton's £30m "culture palace": "commercial interests have overshadowed a bold cultural vision" - it "squats on the town square looking like the entrance to a cut-price dictator's palace" (ouch - but not entirely the architects' faults).

●  Hall Kaplan holds high hopes for Gehry's next go at L.A.'s not-so-grand Grand Avenue: "it appears a viable design has emerged, grand, if ambitious, it will be, a $1 billion stacked conceit," but "while hoping the Grand will indeed" be grand, he's reserving judgment.

●  Henning Larsen unveils its £400 million Belfast waterfront master plan that uses the redevelopment of Copenhagen harbor as a model, with the hopes that "outdoor areas could remain comfortably in use for up to 25 weeks - in contrast to the 9 weeks the city's inclement weather typically permits."

●  Litt takes a long look at the master plan for Cleveland's third biggest suburb that serves as a case study for the challenges facing the "reboot" of aging, inner-ring suburbs elsewhere: "The plan has buy-in. The big question now is what to do first, and how to pay for it."

●  A beautiful Carrère and Hastings church in NYC to be reincarnated by FXCollaborative as the new home of the Children's Museum of Manhattan (a much happier fate than original plans to go condo).

●  Moore offers an in-depth (and fascinating!) look into Forensic Architecture: The "organization that uses architectural evidence in cases of war crimes or other human rights abuses is making itself enemies in high places" by making "visible those things that are kept hidden. The material is harrowing," but it "changes lives and, sometimes, policy."

●  Stinson's Q&A with Michael Green re: why he "loves building skyscrapers made of wood."

●  Kirk takes a deep dive into why "the number of young people choosing architecture school is declining," and what's being done to make "the profession easier to join and more welcoming."

●  Your eye candy for the day (we've been bumping this for awhile now): Bolivian architect Freddy Mamani is a sort of present-day Gaudi, creating "psychedelic dream homes" (to put it mildly!).

●  The "most striking architecture images shortlisted" in this year's Mobile Photography Awards - a showcase of "the most talented smartphone snappers."


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