Today’s News - Tuesday, December 10, 2019

●  We are saddened by the news that we've lost Whitney Gould, "the influential urban landscape writer and architecture critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" who "had the power to influence Milwaukee's skyline" (and one of our faves).

●  Budapest's mayor halts construction of the $277 million SANAA-designed New National Gallery, the centerpiece of the Liget Budapest Project, because of its supposed "enormous impact on its environment," but supporters point out that the new buildings replace parking spaces and buildings slated for demolition - and green park space "will actually increase by 5%."

●  On brighter museum notes: In San Diego, the $52 million makeover of Balboa Park's Mingei Museum, by LUCE et studio, "will feature a light-filled plaza level envisioned as an open, airy living room for park patrons."

●  Eyefuls of Helsinki-based JKMM Architects' competition-winning design for the expansion the National Museum of Finland - "a circular volume" with glass walls "that curve around the extension creating a sense of a floating roof," and bring natural light to the floors below.

●  Medina parses the "crop of museum buildings" that have sprung up for the celebration for the Bauhaus's 100th anniversary that "highlights the problem of building 'on brand.'"

●  Ruan explains why Utzon's Sydney Opera House "is a little overcooked": "Construction should have stopped as soon as" the "ingeniously engineered sail-like roof" was complete - "any citizen could then have walked up to the terraced amphitheatre" (Rykwert wrote: "Beyond the one blowsy over-dramatization it has few pleasures to offer").

●  Reiner-Roth reports that Zumthor's "controversial street-spanning element of LACMA redesign" has been approved, "allowing the design's most ambitious feature to remain intact."

●  Franklin brings us SHoP Architects' urban farm and wellness space in an underserved part of Washington, D.C., offering access to healthy food, an events space, a farmers market - and "will help beautify and activate a blighted piece of landscape" - "mostly we'll be growing community."

●  Chandran talks to Bangkok-based landscape architect Voraakhom, who designed Asia's biggest rooftop farm that "is open to anyone who wishes to grow rice, vegetables and herbs. As climate risks increase, rooftop farms will no longer be a novelty."

●  TCLF's Birnbaum brings us a round-up of "2019's notable developments in landscape architecture," with "sensitive rehabilitations of iconic landscapes now widely recognized as vital public amenities," though "great works remain at risk."

●  Yulsman has us totally depressed: "With sea level rise, we've already hurtled past a point of no return - research suggests 65 feet is already inevitable" ("The coast is toast").

●  Kamin cheers Viñoly's NEMA Chicago that "reinterprets Willis Tower in one of the finest efforts of Chicago's current building boom - at once calm and lively; proudly exultant," the tower has "endowed the skyline with a fresh shot of visual poetry" (a thumbs-up for Rockwell's interiors, too).

●  Eyefuls of Adjaye and Aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd's Sydney Plaza that "celebrates the reconciliation of culture" in a new public square and community building (check out the huge, perforated canopy!).

●  McKnight cheers LOHA's Isla Intersections, an affordable housing complex of stacked shipping containers on a difficult site in Los Angeles (rooftop farms and edible gardens included).

●  Sparkes, of the U.K.'s homeless charity Crisis, explains why the Housing First initiative "is a bold, straightforward idea that will help us end homelessness for good - it works. What we need to see now is the funding and political will. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity."

●  Call for entries: Bartlett's RE-Stock London Housing international competition: "RE-visit, RE-imagine, RE-invigorate and RE-think council housing by either extending them or echoing their concepts throughout the city."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Top Architecture and Design Books of 2019: 10 books offering historic sweeps, global visions, and heroic quests.


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