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Today’s News - Thursday, July 21, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for missing yesterday's newsletter - and late postings earlier this week, but the Internet gods (or was it the cable company) were not on our side (maybe the current heat wave is making them grumpy). Fingers crossed things will go more smoothly...

•   It's a Stirling (but not very shiny) kind of day: Pearman, Heathcote, Wainwright, Mount, Merrick, and Wigglesworth weigh in on the 2011 shortlist: A "dose of unpredictability needed"; "list looks meticulously calculated to cover all bases"; buildings by the "usual suspects...are clearly not their finest...paying lip service to the safe and generic, rather than celebrating the truly innovative or joyful"; "they don't lift the heart or open the mouth in beauty-struck awe"; none "set the heart, and mind, racing"; "it's all about the beauty of the object and that the architect is merely a stylist who sprinkles magic dust over engineering" (all well worth reading).

•   Speaking of big prizes, Goldhagen bemoans Pritzker picks: "When did architecture's top prize become so predictable and boring?" (and leaves her "yawning").

•   DSDHA's Saunt bemoans the "Tesco-ification" of profession.

•   AIA's ABI doesn't add any shine to the news, either: "This seems to be a case of not thinking it can get any worse - and then it does."

•   We're almost done with the down news: it seems Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House is "falling apart"; the good news: it's "not because of the design."

•   Glancey gets word that the opera house is not really falling apart - the "the flaws are superficial" + the "Gherkin paternity battle finally ends" and more in the week in architecture.

•   Hawthorne revisits Coop Himmelb(l)au's "wildly ambitious" L.A. high school two years later to see how it's actually working - and finds something he didn't expect: the students see "the quirky, somewhat cold, and challenging architecture" as "a reflection of their own emerging personalities as artists-in-training...what kind of campus could be better?"

•   Angotti examines NYC's latest plan to meet housing goals: it "gives short shrift to preserving our neighborhoods" and "will not solve the city's more deep-rooted affordable housing problems" (a lesson for other urban centers?).

•   King says the prominence of San Francisco's Market Street may make "planners and advocates and policy wonks think big," but "that's too bad."

•   Brussat is cautiously optimistic that a forlorn 1911 Providence synagogue will be revived, but fears that "if a grant to finance the temple's renovation falls through, the buyer apparently intends to raze it and build anew."

•   2011 Brick in Architecture Awards honor excellence in style and sustainability + the Eurogroup - Khemka Foundation Architectural Design Competition winners will design a low-cost, eco-friendly school in Punjab.

•   Call for entries: Architect Magazine 2011 Annual Design Review + 2011 Canadian Architect Magazine Awards of Excellence.


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