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Today’s News - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Friday, May 1.

•   ANN Feature: Gisolfi considers the saga of New York City's West Street: "If a 19th-century method of moving traffic can succeed in a city as congested as Manhattan, it can work in many other cities as well."

•   Russell wishes the new Whitney was "gutsier": even though it's "a startling, aggressive departure" for Piano, he "cleaves to his characteristic elegance - courtly when he needs to be gutsy, even operatic."

•   Merrick's take on Piano's "picture palace": "It's not an icon. It's not sexy," but the Whitney "may be the first post-Bilbao 'headline' art palace that has really added something respectful to a city's existing character."

•   Clemence's Q&A with the Whitney's Chief Curator De Salvo, who "talks Piano, delves into the often-fraught relationship between art and architecture, the brilliance of the old Breuer building, and explains why the new Whitney just works" (and what makes for a good loading dock).

•   Artist and cultural critic Robinson on the Whitney as "an avant-garde art machine": "The building does rather suggest a giant appliance - not unlike Brad Cloepfil's Frigidaire of a Museum of Art and Design on Columbus Circle."

•   Filler (in a January review we missed - gasp!) finds Piano's Pathé foundation in Paris to be his "hidden masterpiece," and ranks among the architect's "best works" that "far surpasses other recent, much higher-profile museum projects."

•   Iovine cheers Phifer's "irreducibly refined and elegantly expressive new wing" of the Corning Museum of Glass that "goes a long way in harmonizing the cacophony of disparate parts" of the museum campus.

•   With Expo Milano 2015 about to open, Lasky talks to U.S. Pavilion architect Biber re: what you'll find: "It is the very best and very worst of design you're going to see in its concentrated form."

•   Bernstein x 2: a lively Q&A with the New York-based architect who designed China's pavilion: "winning the invited competition was easy compared to getting the pavilion built" (but it looks cool!).

•   He parses the details of what's going into New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium getting a steel "umbrella," and the "Zen garden" that will soon top SHoP's Barclays Center (not all are convinced).

•   Eyefuls of Snøhetta's four-story outdoor play tower and playground, part of the Swarovski Crystal Worlds expansion in Austria: "a contrast between Swarovski crystal shapes and organic curves."

•   Yoon's Sean Collier Memorial at MIT "has a powerful physical presence - but also a sinuous form that yields a sense of light and openness" (pix by Baan).

•   Barcelona-based BCQ is remaking a "tired, old" pedestrian bridge into a glow-in-the-dark, self-cleaning, smog-eating sustainability machine" (hanging gardens included).

•   How a chemist accidentally invented "an eco-friendly alternative to cement" that traps CO2 like a carbon sponge (but will it be viable for large-scale construction?).

•   One we couldn't resist: Eyefuls of No Man's Land Fort off the coast of southern England, a water-bound Victorian-era fort transformed into a luxury hotel (a nightclub, a mall, and heliports included).

•   Designers & Books has high hopes to reprint "Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action," an "iconic 1961 book by the modernist graphic designer and pioneer of information design."

•   Call for entries: Solar Embodied Environment Design/SEED for Future Competition to design a small, light and impermanent habitat + Call for Abstracts for the 8th International Urban Design Conference: "Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects" in Brisbane in November.


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