Today’s News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019

●  Plitt & Bindelglass update the progress at the World Trade Center on the 18th anniversary of 9/11: "Though it's been a long road back for Lower Manhattan, the nearly two decades since the attacks have been transformative."

●  Jacobs revisits the High Line 10 years after it opened and "inspired both a movement and a backlash": "Aspects that felt overdesigned now struck me as generous - there's a sincerity to it, an honest desire to respond to the needs of the public - an open-air museum of the present moment."

●  Kamin visits a small town in Michigan that is redesigning its high school "to prevent shootings. The level of care that has gone into the defensive design measures is impressive," but "projects like this may put too much faith in, and too heavy a burden on, architects, tasking them with solving problems that are really the responsibility of the president and Congress."

●  O'Sullivan delves into why Nouvel et al. are right about being "outraged" by plans for "a shopping-mall-like extension to Paris's 19th-century Gare du Nord - overall, drawing a mustache on the 'Mona Lisa' this is not. Here's the real problem - the station is prioritizing footfall for stores over speed and ease for travelers."

●  Surico's great Q&A with CultureHouse's Aaron Greiner re: how the Boston non-profit is taking "a tactical urbanist approach" to transform empty storefronts into pop-up "social infrastructure," bringing "more life (and business) to the surrounding area. Early signs have been promising - he hopes to one day see a CultureHouse in every American downtown."

●  Bozikovic x 2: He explores "why public places like libraries and parks are critical for bringing people together - and even saving lives" - according to sociologist Eric Klinenberg, "social infrastructure tied to hard infrastructure" is "critical to our collective future."

●  He says "it's time to redesign Toronto's deadly streets," and visits "a pilot project that shows the way - if Toronto's leaders have the guts to make it happen. Changing a street doesn't take much," but "progress has been much too slow."

●  Bliss reports on a new study that proves "the life-saving benefits of Barcelona's car-free 'Superblocks' - a citywide plan to limit cars and capture nearly 70% of street space for bikes and pedestrians could save 667 lives per year" ("global cities eyeing the Catalonian capital's progress").

●  The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust says it will "no longer pursue" a John Ronan-designed visitor center that called for moving or demolishing one adjacent home and altering another after the Oak Park historic preservation committee rejected it.

●  The Art Institute of Chicago taps Barozzi and Veiga "to craft a long-term plan that could drastically change the design of the iconic Michigan Avenue museum" (plans hopefully ready in the next 18 months).

●  Gadanho presents "five meta-reviews and some footnotes on the (im)pertinence of architectural criticism - the critic recalls why her profession was made obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century" (a hoot!).

●  One we couldn't resist (having nothing to do with architecture - there be dragons!): The "frozen dragon of the north wind," the name of this newly discovered gigantic flying reptile" with "a wingspan up to 32.8 feet" might evoke familiar imagery if you're a 'Game of Thrones' fan" (we're not, but this is cool!).

ICYMI: ANN feature: Miguel Baltierra: Report from the 2019 North American Passive House Network Conference: Of particular value were presentations by Passive House practitioners, developers, and city agencies who have advanced PH implementation in their own practices and businesses - and in public policy.

(Almost) winners all:

●  Fairs explains why an interiors project shortlisted for Dezeen Awards was disqualified after "an eagle-eyed commenter" called out "'subtle cues' that images are fake" (the firm admitted it).

●  One brighter notes: Harrouk reports that SLA and BiecherArchitectes have won the competition to transform a 3,7-hectare railway site into a socially sustainable urban development in Paris by "preserving the industrial heritage" while creating "nature-based public spaces and carbon-neutral architecture" for 1,000 new residents that "prioritizes pedestrians and bicycles and encourages urban farming."

●  Three winners take home the ArchDaily & Strelka Awards 2019 that "celebrate emerging architects and new ideas that transform the contemporary city."


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