Today’s News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

●  Leaked Grenfell Tower report "recounts in forensic detail how the original concrete building was turned from a safe structure into a tinderbox," and "exposes hitherto unknown areas of incompetence - the fire would not have claimed even a single life if the original façade had not been re-clad."

●  Goldblatt parses how Ho Chi Minh City and World Bank teams are connecting AI, emerging technology, and machine learning to key development stakeholders to help improve lives, and how "this new wave of technology will allow making smarter decisions, thus smarter cities."

●  Kamin & Ori report on the proposed AS+GG-designed tower next to Chicago's Tribune Tower that would be the city's second-tallest skyscraper - "a tapering shaft of metal and glass" that "resembles the top of Batman's black mask" (though the "proposal is 'aspirational' and could change," it would certainly benefit the city's affordable housing fund).

●  Eyefuls of AS+GG's Tribune Tower addition that would "shake up Chicago's skyline with a striking 96-story skyscraper."

●  Moore (waxing almost poetic) parses Britain's giant distribution centers supporting online businesses (a place called Dirft included), "where the virtual becomes physical, with a vengeance" - they're a "new breed of superstructures trying very hard to disappear" (with the help of architects).

●  Rybczynski ponders Calatrava's bridge in Venice, which, though "full of novelty," is a reminder "of the dangers of architectural experimentation. Beware of architects bearing shiny new gifts."

●  Trufelman offers a most engaging (and rather romantic) profile of Las Vegas, Venturi, Scott Brown, and Postmodernism: as it "became sillier and sillier, it strayed further and further from what they were originally trying to do" (a great read).

●  Sarasota architect Parks takes issue with three master plan schemes for the city's Bayfront that call for the "elimination of two architecturally significant buildings" (by SOM's Netsche): it would "bring us closer to being just another faceless coastal community."

●  Schumacher discovers murals in Milwaukee's 1963 State Office Building that are now in jeopardy: 93-year-old Marjorie Kreilick "was a woman in a boy's club - there should be public debate about" their fate that "should include Kreilick. To meet her is to understand she's lived the life of a pioneering artist with much to offer a rising generation of feminists."

●  Baldwin parses architectural criticism and what seems to be a growing role for in-house critics, a.k.a. Design Editors, who are "bringing systematic, critical conversations of design to architects themselves. In doing so, they join journalists and activists in beginning to move criticism forward. Now more than ever, we need critics outside practice and within it."

●  Frampton will take home the 2018 Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

●  A long-overdue tribute - in English - to Lin Huiyin and Liang Sicheng: In the 1930s, they "began surveying and recording China's overlooked ancient buildings, in an effort to begin preserving them. Their efforts have since inspired generations - they've become folk heroes, their lives recounted in novels, films and a documentary series" (Maya Lin is Lin's niece).

Of housing - and the lack thereof:

●  Florida & Schneider crunch the numbers and parse reports re: the global housing crisis - the world's most unaffordable cities are not where you might think (check out the Comments section, too!).

●  Wagner (of McMansion Hell fame) tackles "architecture, aesthetic moralism, and the crisis of urban housing": "new-build apartment architecture, specifically, has become a social media scapegoat for today's urban housing crisis - there's a reason developer-chic architecture has become so loathed by those fighting for the right to affordable housing."

●  Bouw explains how "a coalition of urban designers and residents are planning their neighborhood from the ground-up" in a tiny Amsterdam neighborhood that serves as "a prototype for grassroots urban planning - instead of letting the highest-paying developers take the reins" (toolkits on collaborative urbanism and grassroots city-making included).

●  Kolson Hurley reports on how a Chicago suburb is "wooing millennials" by billing itself "as a hip, diverse, urban neighborhood that they can afford" - via a new comic-strip ad campaign ("the old dichotomy of city vs. suburb is blurring").

●  O'Sullivan reports on how Barcelona is attempting to solve an affordable and interim housing shortage, a "problem that many cities face," by "forcing banks to find tenants for properties they own, but leave empty."

At the opposite end of the housing scale - and your eye candy for the day: a double dose of Zaha!

●  A 360-degree video tour of Hadid's 520 West 28th Street, along the High Line in New York City.

●  The "spaceship has landed": if you happen to have $140 million lying around, you might be interested in Hadid's 36,000-square-foot home set in a forest outside of Moscow - not for the acrophobic - the master bedroom is about 117 feet above the ground (watch the video!).

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