Today’s News - Tuesday, January 7, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: We hope everyone's New Year has begun with banners flying high - and remain so for years to come! Now, to some serious catch-up over the next few days (and apologies for tardy posting - it took time to get back into the swing of things).

●  Betsky considers what the 2020s will bring us: "Architects will focus on reuse, flexible spaces, and earthy materials," but "memes will be more effective than monuments - we should not repeat the High Modernist mistake of throwing out the historical baby with the fluidity of the modern bathwater."

●  More than 100 Australian firms offer pro-bono design services to those impacted by bushfire crisis, forming Architects Assist- -"we are ready when they need us."

●  In California, San Clemente finalizes a "sea level rise report in hopes of establishing a coastal program," including continuing to bring in sand to restore its beaches - but the "Surfrider Foundation advocated for methods like pairing the living shoreline with managed retreat" (read the comments - yikes!).

●  Brandes Gratz "weeps" for NYC as she watches her city commit "urban suicide" with supertall towers "spreading like kudzu - a visible disgrace" that "reflects how real estate owns and controls a city (demolition of 270 Park Avenue is the poster child).

●  Jacobs cheers MoMA's new curatorial approach, but bemoans "the missed opportunities of its expansion - it had become a better museum but a worse building - like a major airport terminal - as it's grown, it's become less distinct."

●  Curator and critic Belogolovsky visited the new MoMA and found "a genuine sense of pleasure - it feels like exploring a real city - crowded, loud, fascinating, surprising. But as far as architecture, I am unsettled. Nothing is quite special, intimate, and magical - there are wonderful moments, but they can be easily missed."

●  Chances of Breuer's Central Atlanta Library making National Register of Historic Places "are slipping away" because of a $50 million renovation that includes "chiseling windows" into the façade, though "historic designation likely wouldn't have spared the library from exterior changes."

●  On brighter notes: Zaha Hadid Architects' revised design for a timber stadium in Gloucestershire, U.K., (finally) wins planning permission.

●  Gendall explains why "the coolest architecture on Earth is in Antarctica - long the purview of engineers, now attracting designer architects looking to bring aesthetics to the coldest neighborhood on Earth" (one research station "could be mistaken for an art museum").

●  Toyota has an "audacious plan" - and taps BIG to design a prototype "city of the future" at the base of Japan's Mt. Fuji "aimed at creating safer, cleaner, more fun cities."

●  Ingalls parses plans for an "urbane village" that taps an impressive list of architects to "redefine the ski town in a tech-utopian Utah community" ("TED meets Burning Man").

●  Conklin, meanwhile, considers Canada giving "utopia a chance with The Orbit," a 450-acre smart city master plan. "While PARTISANS does admit to Garden City inspiration, their reasons for departure from the framework are weak - they just replace 19th-century jargon with 21st-century jargon" (and a digital master plan).

●  Hatherley, on the other hand, parses how, in the 1980s, "high-tech architects showed little affinity for urban complexity," and why "it's unsurprising that they've tended instead towards either the business park, or the theme park."

●  DSAI's Schmitt explains that Canadian architects "are winning more work beyond our borders - and welcome excellence from anywhere because it makes us stronger competitors everywhere" (hopefully, not behind a paywall!).

●  Scruton chronicles what was a difficult year "in which much was taken from me [including dealing with cancer and chemo]. But much more was given back."

●  AIA releases final set of chapters of "Guides for Equitable Practice" online that "focus on developing employee career paths; building and involving authentic community engagement, and measuring firm progress in developing equitable practices."

●  We're sad to end on a sad note: The rector of Notre Dame says there's a "50% chance" the structure might not be saved because of scaffolding "threatening the vaults of the Gothic monument."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Peter Piven: Cultural Fit: What is cultural fit when design firms merge or acquire, and how do you achieve it?

●  ANN feature: JoAnn Locktov: Venice Gift Guide: Many Venetian artisans and small businesses suffered extensive damages in the unprecedented acqua alta flooding in November, so when you invest in their creativity, you are helping them to repair, restart, and recover.


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