Today’s News - Wednesday, September 4, 2019

●  Grabar delves into "how architects are transforming schools for the era of mass shootings. Jay Brotman argues that a school designed to resist a massacre need not look that way - it's not clear his ideas are carrying the day" - though he does find "a small victory in a war we have lost" (sigh).

●  Chandran parses Indonesia's plans to move its capital from polluted - and sinking - Jakarta to Borneo island, "known for its forests, orangutans and sun bears," and where "thousands of indigenous people may be uprooted" to make way for a new, 445,000-acre city (sigh).

●  Minority Rights Group International's Castellino sees Indonesia's plan for "a purpose-built new city" on Borneo to be "a new form of 'urban slash and burn.' If countries abandon their unregulated urban messes to go after virgin land to build megacities, the environmental pressure will increase exponentially" (sigh).

●  NPR and the University of Maryland team up on a study analyzing 97 U.S. cities and finds that, as the planet warms, "the poor often feel it most - not only will more people get sick from rising temperatures in the future, we found they likely already are" (we've run out of sighs).

●  Kamin x 2: He cheers three "bright, optimistic and city-enhancing" library-public housing combos in Chicago, by Ronan, P+W, and SOM. "Yet in light of how few apartments the developments actually provide, I'm compelled to ask: Are these models worth replicating or three beautiful drops in the bucket?"

●  He tours Gang's 101-story, curvilinear Vista Tower and "reveals the engineering secrets that hold up Chicago's latest skyline standout. Sometimes skyscrapers are as fascinating in this in-between construction stage as when they're finished."

●  King x2: He finds the "park-topped Transbay transit center pays architectural dividends, past troubles aside - as a work of civic architecture, it is a spirit-lifting success - what 21st century urban infrastructure should be; for every misstep, there are layers of unexpected delight" (and "downright welcoming" - great pix!).

●  He has high hopes for SOM's plans for the now-defunct Concord Naval Weapons Station: "With the right mix of perseverance and imagination," it "could stand out as home to our region's most nuanced yet ambitious experiment at fitting a sustainable model of 21st century growth into a traditional suburban frame" (with 13,000 housing units!).

●  U.K.-based WKK Architects awaits approval for a 60-story building in Vancouver that would be world's tallest Passive House tower - "a building of this scale will drive innovation in "low-carbon, healthy, comfortable buildings'" (RAMSA has an approved two-tower Passive House project, too).

●  The tallest tower in Japan will be one of three Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed towers as part of "the regeneration of Central Tokyo" amidst the public realm overseen by Heatherwick and retail space by Sou Fujimoto (word is it's seeking WELL Building Standard certification, too).

●  ULI's Greenprint Center "tracked the performance of 8,916 properties across 32 countries" to detail the commercial real estate industry's progress in reducing its carbon footprint "on three fronts: economic reform, climate legislation, and environmentally responsible investing - on track to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030."

●  Another study finds that, "despite dire warnings of brick-and-mortar's demise, innovation among operators and retailers is resulting in surprisingly strong fundamentals" (bring on "food, fun and fitness"!).

●  Call for entries: 2019 Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design.

●  The shortlist was announced in June - now we have images of Dorte Mandrup, DS+R, and WEISS/MANFREDI's "holistic visions" for the La Brea Tar Pits revamp.

●  Winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture are in Senegal, Bangladesh, Palestine, Russia, Bahrain, and the UAE.

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Nicholas Boys Smith & Roger Scruton: Lesson Plan #3: Beauty and Sustainability in Architectural Education: We were greatly heartened to see architecture students call for a curriculum change to address social, political, and ecological challenges, and we want to say something about how their proposals intersect with the work of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.


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