Today’s News - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bad/sad news first:

●  Kamin reports that, after 88 years, FLW's School of Architecture at Taliesin in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Spring Green, Wisconsin, campus will close their doors in June - a "gut-wrenching" decision" by the board (Betsky blames the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation - and vice versa, of course).

●  Bernstein considers whether America is "poised for another World's Fair embarrassment": "The U.S. will have a pavilion at the 2020 Dubai Expo" - thanks to the Emirati government paying for it, "but the design remains an open question" (by an unnamed Australian firm with U.S. offices, perhaps).

●  Architects react to Trump naming Blanton as "Architect" of the Capitol - he "is neither trained nor licensed as an architect" (though he is a licensed engineer).

●  Caulfield considers what the Hawaii Government is doing about sea level rise - legislation is under consideration "similar to bills that failed to pass last session," but "there is no set game plan, despite the fact that a 2017 report urged immediate preparation for 3.2 feet of sea level rise by 2060."

●  Ing x 2: Legal finger-pointing begins as the insulation manufacturer claims "Studio E 'knew' Grenfell Tower cladding could fail" - Studio E says that, "at the time," it didn't know "the products used on the tower were unsafe" ("contradicted by Celotex's evidence").

●  He reports that "WeWork confirms under-fire Bjarke Ingels is no longer chief architect - amid mounting criticism" of his affiliation with the far-right Brazilian president - Ingels responds.

Good/great news:

●  Saleem profiles the four founders of U.K.-based Black Females in Architecture: "The issues they are tackling are wide ranging, relevant, progressive and urgent - this is an initiative that has the potential to speak for many."

●  UNStudio's "100 Homes Project," a "unique Dutch initiative for a future living," intends to create the "smartest neighborhood in the world" that will include an Ethics Council to oversee data ownership, privacy, regulation, etc. (shades of Sidewalk Toronto issues?).

●  Moore cheers Grafton Architects' new library and dance center for Kingston University that offers "sociability on a grand scale. It has a town hall's sobriety that allows the playfulness of what is a great grownup climbing frame to flourish."

●  Wainwright calls the new library/dance center a "£50m love nest - a stirring, open-plan library where students can 'meet and fall in love,'" and a "majestic multileveled theatre of higher education."

●  Wells "showed up for the unveiling of the design for the new Ottawa library with a certain defensive curmudgeonliness. Fortunately," Diamond Schmitt "favors buildings you can use, and want to be in" (quite a cheeky take on architecture in Ottawa - read!).

●  Eyefuls of ZHA's competition-winning design for Chinese smartphone maker OPPO HQ - almost 2 million square feet in four interconnected towers (a "Sky Plaza" and a rooftop "Sky Lab" included - click 1st pix for lots of images).

●  Lee parses Dreyfuss + Blackford's "thoughtful and subtle" makeover of its own 1959 office building in Sacramento by the firm's next generation, so that it "shines again."

●  Davidson's (great!) Q&A with Gehry: "Nearly 91, the starchitect with the soul of an artist does not know how to retire" - from his office mezzine looking down on some dollhouse-scale Gehryland, he clearly relishes the sense of inventiveness and bustle."

●  TCLF's 16th in the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Oral History Project series is Birnbaum's 2007 interview with the late Robert Royston re: his "extraordinary life and career."

●  Your eye candy for the day: Stunning(!) images of the winners of CIOB's Art of Building Photographer of the Year 2019 Awards.

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: INSIGHT: Gensler's Shah & client ELA Advertising's Filip talk about how architects and designers are creating spaces that promote company culture and go well beyond the physical design of a space.


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