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Today’s News - Friday, June 1, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to post the newsletter yesterday...sometimes stuff happens...

•   Lepeska's 4-part series on the "rebuild era" in America is well worth spending some time with: Has it begun? What comes next?

•   Oscar picks Piano and Pali for its new museum inside LA's old May Company Building: "there is a chance that Piano could have more impact on Los Angeles's new public architecture than any other contemporary architect," says Lubell.

•   Hawthorne offers a Take 2 on TWBTA's Barnes in Philly: it is "sober, handsome, and exquisitely detailed," but because of the "peculiar restrictions," it "suffers from a distinct lack of soul."

•   High hopes to turn the to-be-demolished Sydney monorail into another High Line get mixed reviews: "it makes sense to reuse not to remove" vs. "the proposal should be called the Bye Line and quickly forgotten."

•   Glancey weighs in on Ai Weiwei/H&deM's Serpentine Pavilion: the "would-be archaeological site is a game of make-believe and fleeting memory. It has an ethereal and even ghostly quality" that "seems apt."

•   Herzog "invokes Olympic spirit - but no mention of the disappearing foundations."

•   Long takes a long view at artists taking a hand at architecture, though Ai is the only one who considers himself an architect.

•   McGuigan reports from the Pritzker Prize ceremony in Beijing where Wang Shu delivered an "architectural manifesto that was an attack on the vast and rapid expansion of China's cities" and "gigantic and iconic architecture" - not to mention "an implied critique" of previous (though unnamed) Pritzker laureates who were sitting in the audience.

•   Adler x 2: a report on (and link to) the Eisenhower family's response to Gehry's revised memorial design: they approved of the changes, but are still unhappy with the metal scrims that "remain controversial and divisive."

•   He comments on a forum on memorial design as "a one-sided attack on non-classical memorials and monuments. The irony, though, is that even when these curmudgeons get what they want, they remain unhappy."

•   The forum sponsors beg to differ: Adler "is wrong to attribute these objections to a reactionary, knee-jerk anti-Modernism...'Classicism-vs.-Modernism' battle was largely irrelevant."

•   Menking considers the legacy and future of Brutalist buildings now under threat: in time, they "may not look so bad when compared with the commercial towers and thoughtless bland boxes that will replace them."

•   Mattern marvels at "the emergence of myriad mini, pop-up, guerrilla and ad-hoc libraries" showing up in "urban margins."

•   Brussat is cheered by news that the exquisitely classical Providence Public Library plans to re-open its grand main doors - and totally "crestfallen" by the details: "the 1% will get to enter the ornate portal for parties, but the 99% will still enter through the basement."

•   Call for entries: Berg cheers the "cheekily-named contest" - "Show Us Your Package": design L.A.'s official condom wrapper (NYC did it first, and it was great fun).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   "Modern Ghost Towns" on view in Berlin explores the eerie phenomenon (great slide show!).

•   Cedar Rapids Museum of Art presents its first exhibition "devoted to the art of architecture" chronicling the changing face of the city's downtown after the 2008 floods: "the current building boom is a 'transformative moment' for the city," and "stirs mixed emotions."

•   Ball-Nogues Studio steps into the spotlight at the SCI-Arc Gallery with a show that "calls into question the contemporary architectural vogue for digital complexity and abstraction."

•   London's Canary Wharf hosts a large, wind-powered sculpture that "looks like the result of smashing together a pipe organ and a porcupine" - and "mutters breathy" (or "creepy") tunes (some suggest a mute button - you can listen and decide).


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