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Today’s News - Monday, February 2, 2015

•   ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of Holl's watercolors, "an important reminder of just how much you can do with the simplest of means"; and Tezuka Architects' Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo.

•   Baillieu's argument that "monographs contribute to the marginalization of the profession" is sure to raise eyebrows - and (likely strident) debate (her point of reference is the Soane Museum's show "Building a Dialogue").

•   Anderton offers very thoughtful takes on the demise of Architecture For Humanity: "it certainly does not represent the end of architects trying to serve 'humanity.' But it does raise the question of how to viably serve the underserved."

•   Stott is equally as thoughtful: "Though the name and its work will live on in the chapters around the world, AfH's true legacy will be how they helped change the landscape of architectural culture."

•   Bevan cheers a few of London's activist architects who have "begun to kick back at the bubble-shaped (and often bubble-headed) digital creations of their globalizing predecessors" with a "commitment to people's needs rather than stroking their own egos by building a stylistic brand."

•   A Vietnam-based architect's quest for low-cost housing: a "simple abode designed to withstand typhoons, flooding and earthquakes - and at a cost of less than $4,000 - could herald a new wave of cheap, sustainable housing."

•   MIT's Vale and Shamsuddin examine the disconnect between varying definitions of "mixed income" housing, "which, though widely used, is rarely defined - many kinds of communities have been too easily lumped together under the same term."

•   RAIC's newly-installed President Oboh calls for government buildings that don't look cheap: "if many buildings in Ottawa don't meet public expectation of grandeur, don't heap the blame on the government - we must all share the blame."

•   Rosenbaum weighs in once again on the "Goshen commotion," and "Kimmelman's belated, muddled plea to save Paul Rudolph's masterpiece."

•   Woodman is "less than impressed" with Foster's Evans Hall at Yale (though it's not all the architect's fault): it "feels awfully like it belongs in a business park," though "things improve markedly once you get past the building's front door" (he gives the "interior a B+, the outside a borderline fail").

•   The Governor-General of Australia opens Gehry's University of Technology Sydney building: "Most beautiful squashed brown paper bag I've ever seen" ("It's a container, maybe it's a brown paper bag, but it is flexible on the inside," sayeth Gehry).

•   Meanwhile, scheduled to be completed last November, only the stretch of Sydney's $10m pedestrian/cycle Goods Line in front of Gehry's UTS "paper bag" building is ready to strut its stuff.

•   Also in Sydney, Seidler's 1977 Sydney MLC Centre is set to "undergo a major redevelopment that will see its architect's original designs advanced" that will be in keeping with his "public space-focused designs."

•   Litt lauds the preliminary vision for the East Side Greenway plan that uses "new planning methods that attempt to quantify the potential impact of public investments on public health, crime and perceptions of safety, social connectedness...communities have become willing to overcome earlier hesitation over connecting racially and economically diverse areas with bike lanes and other recreational pathways."

•   Gardner has an interesting Q&A with Calatrava, "the symphonist of steel," about the WTC transit hub and building in NYC: "it is hard to draw from him a critical word about New York City or its architecture" (why are we not surprised?).

•   Lamster offers an in-depth - and totally fascinating - tale of sculptor-turned-architect Robert Bruno, who "labored for decades to build one of America's most striking houses, but died before he could complete it. Is there a way to preserve his work and legacy?" (an amazing story - and pix!)

•   The Château de Fontainebleau "aims to rival Versailles" with a €115m, 12-year overhaul.


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