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Today’s News - Monday, September 13, 2010

•   ArcSpace brings us an eyeful of Meier's Gagosian Gallery expansion in Beverly Hills.

•   Ouroussoff sees a silver lining among gray economic clouds: "there will be plenty of new buildings to consider in the coming year, many of them showing off an unexpected optimism."

•   Lange and Lamster debate (and sometimes agree) re: Park51 Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, and 15 Penn's view-stealing plans.

•   Kennicott gives us a preview (with images) of Safdie's U.S. Institute of Peace on the National Mall: "As Washingtonians begin to make their own peace with this new addition to the landscape, expect much discussion of sheds and ducks."

•   Rawsthorn cheers a "global celebration of design" with conventions, festivals, and fairs just about everywhere "to view, debate and rethink the principles of great design" + a spotlight on design fairs in The Netherlands where "a second and third wave of Dutch designers" continues to "reinvent their discipline," proving design can be "both thoughtful and delightful."

•   Welton on the woe of losing a Weese in Aspen: "To allow its demolition would mean watching one of the city's own touchstones crumble in a cloud of dust" (others beg to differ: "Harry Weese is not Louis Sullivan," says Tigerman).

•   Saffron x 2: the Philadelphia Historical Commission o.k.'s the demolition of a landmark church, marking the latest defeat in the city's "struggle to retain its stock of spectacular, but underused, 19th-century religious buildings."

•   On the other hand, a new performing arts high school proves that while "architecture alone won't solve the district's problems...a nurturing design can only help make students feel like they've come to the right place to learn."

•   Lubell has a few good things to say about L.A.'s new RFK Community Schools, but for the most part, "the students, and the city of LA, should be getting something better."

•   But on the other side of the Big Pond, a free school pioneer says design not necessary: the connection between architecture and learning "is practically zero. Given the limited resources available, free schools are going to have to be pretty creative over the use of their spaces."

•   While Nouvel's One Exchange Place hopes to become London's newest shopping Mecca, "at first glance it looks like a big blob next to one of the capital's most elegant landmarks. Seen from the back, it comes close to resembling the architect's inspiration: a US stealth bomber" (ouch!).

•   It's only taken 11 years, but the American Revolution Center will finally have a home in Philly's historic heart via a land-swap with the National Park Service; architect still to be determined: "It doesn't have to be a gold-plated Taj Mahal."

•   Bullivant cheers Cloud 9's Media-Tic in the emerging 22@Barcelona: it is more than "an aesthetic statement," its "advanced ecological agenda extends to every aspect of this Janus-faced building."

•   AIA President Miller sees a bigger picture in improving mass transit systems: attention must be paid to development around it, not just "building more highway guardrails."

•   The Dirt offers excellent reviews of a number of presentations made at the 2010 ASLA Annual Meeting re: "the critical role sustainable landscapes play in creating healthier people and communities."

•   Call for entries: 25th World Habitat Award for practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues.


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