Today’s News - Tuesday, January 26, 2021

●  Elizabeth Blasius delves into "what Chicago loses when it loses an architecture critic - Blair Kamin's exit leaves Chicago without a full-time critic. The consideration shouldn't be which singular voice will replace" him - the city "needs not one, but many people to hold up a mirror to the skyline and show the city what it is."

●  Marianela D'Aprile takes issue with the "mostly inscrutable jargon" of Keller Easterling's essay "On Political Temperament": "Engaging with politics doesn't always require filtering it through obtuse design theory," which, "most of the time, has little consequence on the politics and machinations of the world" (and other ouches).

●  John Seabrook considers whether the pandemic has transformed the office forever: "The virtual meetings I sat in on were charged with a sense of high purpose, as designers on the front lines [like Gensler and Studio O+A] used their skills to potentially save lives."

●  Moore's take on "urban clickbait," and "why 'iconic architecture' is all the rage again. Look and shape are everything - Instagram fodder - architectural bitcoin. One thing is for sure: they are not going to go away."

●  Heatherwick Studio reveals images of two irregular-shaped residential towers for Vancouver "studded with angled balconies" (Moore refers to as "tulip-shaped" towers).

●  Catherine Osborne parses how Toronto-based PARTISANS' "irreverent, sometimes feather-ruffling approach may be pioneering an alternative to the endless forest of vertical gray sticks - and heralding in a more interesting and distinctly Canadian style" (we want the sauna!).

●  William Morgan sees a new apartment and commercial block planned for Rhode Island's charming Pawtuxet Village as "good news - the site is magnificent - it needs to be more special than a traditional house with a mansard roof - there's time to literally push the envelope."

●  Neil Flanagan cheers Mecanoo's renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC: "Mies's clean lines did not wear neglect well - deficiencies of the design were obvious," but "three interventions tie together a delirious range of activities" over five floors.

●  Jessica Mairs brings us Ranalli and Valentino's never-built pool house for the late novelist Philip Roth: It has "appeared in numerous exhibitions" - and won a 1995 AIANY Award - but "always presented anonymously until now": "Roth entrusted me to protect his privacy until, as he said, the time came when he was out of the way."

●  ASLA releases comprehensive policy recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration "designed to give landscape architects a seat at the table and support for their vital work" designing "vibrant, resilient, and just communities for all."

●  Edinburgh's 1829 A-listed neoclassical landmark, the Royal High School is back on the open market after the city ended a long lease with developers - St Mary's Music School hopes to call it home, but will have to compete for the lease.

●  Brussat: "Edinburgh's Royal High School has a stern and foreboding look. But surely a grin can be detected. It has recently dodged the bullet of redevelopment as an arts hotel.' Can St. Mary's School of Music's wealthy backers compete?" (and no kind words for the "absurdist" Scottish Parliament).


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