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Today’s News - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

•   Hawthorne weighs in on Zumthor's latest renderings of LACMA: "the great gray mass could still succeed as a bracingly alien presence - but only if tempered with blasts of color, inventive landscape design and appealing, richly detailed public space at ground level" (fingers crossed!).

•   Kamin has higher hopes for Gang's revised design for the towering Wanda Vista in Chicago that "has moved from disappointing to very promising."

•   It's an Olympics kind of day, with several must-reads, beginning with Berg at his best in comparing London and Athens, "two contrasting examples of what cities can get from hosting the Olympics."

•   Wainwright x 2: a serious (and also humorous) take on London's Olympic legacy: "a suburb on steroids, a cacophony of luxury stumps" - with a sprinkling of "steroidal fairy dust fertilizing muscular slabs of ever more luxurious investment units - as if the athletes weren't the only ones doping."

•   His take on Rio's Olympics: "The buildings are as cheap and not-so-cheerful as you would expect - mostly designed to be dismantled to make way for luxury residential development" (but there is the ever-cheerful "yellow cat-cum-monkey" mascot!).

•   Peters looks at Rio Olympic venues designed "to have a more helpful future. Whether they are actually repurposed is, of course, an open question."

•   Giovannini gives two thumbs-up to "archmodernist" Perrault's "elegant" new, underground visitors' center at Versailles - he "resolved, bravely, 'to bring the present inside, knowing he faced the guillotine of public opinion for any undiplomatic moves."

•   Cholke reports that Obama Library officials have finally "explained why Jackson Park bested Washington Park" - but the losing park will still benefit (and Friends of the Parks will not challenge the project).

•   Lamster considers what a President Hillary Clinton library might look like - except there already is a Hillary library "tucked away on six lush acres of restored forest and wetlands" in Little Rock. "It is definitively 'on the wrong side of the tracks'" (and that's a good thing).

•   Saffron cheers University of Pennsylvania's new-old Perry World House by 1100 Architect: it "is both a thrilling and deeply thoughtful work of architecture" that "isn't preservation as we know it" ("preservation diehards aren't going to like" it).

•   Efforts to save Sydney's 1979 Sirius building that "was influenced by Safdie's Habitat 67" fail to win heritage protection.

•   O'Sullivan reports on Birmingham's fight to save its Brutalist architecture: such buildings "testify to the optimism of post-war Britain. Right now, we need reminders of that optimism more than ever."

•   Meanwhile, before the ink was dry on court ruling allowing demolition of Liverpool's 1912 Futurist cinema, bulldozers were already at work - a "further black mark" as UNESCO considers whether the city will lose its world heritage status.

•   On a brighter note, Bunshaft's 1963 masterpiece, the Beinecke Library at Yale, is ready for its renovated close-up.

•   Grimshaw's Middleton explains why he chooses optimism over pessimism re: Brexit: "Now more than ever is the time for positive pragmatism. We need to be agile, innovative and entrepreneurial."

•   Gumusyan, meanwhile, finds "a certain resonance to Trump's campaign slogan. Architecturally, America isn't great anymore - because we can't build anything anymore" (blame it on red tape and building regulations).

•   AJ Student Survey 2016 "unearths a worrying landscape of stress-related illness" that is taking a "shocking toll on the mental health of the next generation of architects."

•   Williams's reply to AJ's survey findings: "let's have a grown-up conversation about this situation, but the terms of the debate are shifting dangerously towards perceiving of ourselves as mentally damaged, passive individuals rather than people who can deal with and resolve problems."

•   Call for entries: RFP: Fitzgerald Revitalization Project in Detroit + EOI: New Building for the Shepparton Art Museum in Australia.

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