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Today’s News - Thursday, April 4, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE #1: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, April 9.

EDITOR'S NOTE #2: Our apologies (once again) for not having posted yesterday. As we feared, those pesky technology gods (abetted by the cable company) just won't leave us alone!

●  ANN feature: Rick Fedrizzi of the International WELL Building Institute (and founding chair of USGBC) brings us Building Abundance #3: Abundance in Architecture Starts with Abundance in Human Health: Just as buildings became an incredible tool in the movement for environmental sustainability, they can and must become our greatest asset when it comes to human sustainability.

●  Howard's great Q&A with Samuel Stein, author of "Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State," who "contends that real-estate interests have co-opted urban planning and made planners complicit in gentrification": "Planners are under-appreciated - not just as individuals, but the act of planning is underplayed."

●  Davidson, on the other hand, cheers that life is finally flowing back into a 20-acre wasteland on NYC's Lower East Side with the Essex Crossing mega-development: "In a development largely without Instagrammable architecture, it's the unlikely Rubik's cube of uses that gives cause for thanks - a place that's just messy, dense, and motley enough to feel like New York again.

●  Knight offers "a critic's lament" re: Zumthor's LACMA plan for the now "incredible shrinking museum. I couldn't name another art museum that has ever raised hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on reducing its collection space" (time to stop calling it an "expansion"?).

●  Dorte Mandrup's design for "Western Europe's tallest building, planned for tiny a Danish town" of 7,000, will be taller than London's Shard and visible from almost 40 miles away (and likened to Eye of Sauron rising from a vast, flat landscape).

●  Sad/bad news x 2: The Rockefeller Foundation is ending funding for its 100 Resilient Cities program, though it is shifting some funding to the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience, and "will continue to pay chief resilience officers' salaries for the remainder of their two-year commitments."

●  Activists and environmentalists fear that Brazil's right-wing president "will roll back environmental oversight in favor of economic development" by privatizing "some of its most famous national parks."

●  Call for entries deadline reminder (April 26!): 2019 RAIC International Prize (formerly the Moriyama RAIC International Prize + $100,000!).

The Shed @ Hudson Yards, by DS+R & Rockwell Group, opens tomorrow:

●  Kennicott says it "is the only reason to go to Hudson Yards - it "compensates for the vulgar mess of the larger project" ("as ugly as Dubai, it reeks of greed and mammon") - The Shed is "the one bit of leavening in this whole miserable, embarrassing tale of urban gigantism and one-percenter excess" (ouch!).

●  Heathcote finds The Shed's "vast hangar of flexible space" to be "like a sci-fi, insectoid, almost steampunk counterblast to the corporate banality of the surrounding landscape - a bubble, to protect the ecosystem of collective culture within the ruthlessly commercial city."

●  Russeth ponders "what exactly does The Shed aim to do? I will admit to not being entirely sure what to make of this hulking palace for new art - it does feel a bit like a fever dream from another time. The danger is that it becomes just another venue for what we might call Prestige Art" (but "it would be crazy not to root for it to succeed").

●  Ip says The Shed's "arresting design is really an industrial-sized allegory for what it thinks the cultural temple of the future should be: infinitely flexible. If ever a building for the arts had the potential to be more inclusive, more tech-forward, more plain interesting - it's here."

●  Feinstein ponders whether The Shed, "one of the most ambitious cultural institutions since Lincoln Center," can "make Hudson Yards likeable. It emerges from the nearby Hudson River as a translucent palace - surprisingly compact and efficient."

●  Here's a best-of "guide to navigating the glittering new district" that is Hudson Yards, which "didn't quite gentrify a neighborhood, but rather created a facsimile of one - replacing the grit of West Chelsea with dollar signs."

Weekend diversions:

●  Eyefuls (miles long!) of the OMA/AMO-designed "Making Doha 1950-2030" at Novel's the National Museum of Qatar that charts "the ongoing urban and architectural development of the capital city" and its "transition from organic growth to more modern and deliberate planning practices."

●  Zhang cheers Belogolovsky's "I Am Interested in Seeing the Future" in Shanghai that "includes no models and no drawings" - only text and the voices of 10 architects (5 Chinese, 5 American): "Dispensing with physical objects, the show is absolutely unconventional - can we understand architecture without images? Or is there any 'correct' way to understand architecture, anyway?"


  


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