Today’s News - Thursday, May 4, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday are no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, May 9.

●   We are so pleased to bring you the preface to Shane O'Toole's "One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture": "Historians always place great weight on contemporary accounts - a work of architecture is not complete until it has been written about."

●   Kamin offers his preliminary take on Tod Williams Billie Tsien's preliminary design for Obama's presidential library: it's "a promising, populist start" with "assorted urban delights - but the architecture isn't yet persuasive."

●   Bozikovic is a bit more upbeat re: no-drama Obama's library: "The architecture works hard not to be pushy - and yet it will cut a dramatic figure. It says: This is change you can believe in."

●   Sweet says the Obama Center design "reflects the Obamas. Splashy. Tasteful. Sleek. Modern. In a part of the city that one day will be called Obamaland."

●   Grant Associates, along with WilkinsonEyre and Atelier Ten, wins the competition for the 41-hectare Tianjin Sino-Singapore Friendship Park for "the world's largest eco city in northern China."

●   Leers Weinzapfel completes UMass Amherst's new Design Building, "the first academic building in the U.S. to use CLT as its primary structure."

●   AIA Upjohn Research Initiative awards 5 projects a total of $100K in grants for projects "ranging from lighting for occupant well-being to walls made of trash."

●   Call for entries: Urban SOS 2017: hOUR City international student competition to strengthen connections between cities and their surrounding regions.

Weekend diversions:

●   Wainwright gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "Citizen Jane": it "brings home the enduring relevance of her ideas," yet "the pantomime goody-baddy narrative has become drastically oversimplified, a problem that this film does little to address."

●   One we couldn't resist: Walker wonders "who should star in a Jane Jacobs biopic?" (Plimpton, Bacon & Cumberbatch, anyone?)

●   "Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music" at the Getty in L.A. explores connections between Scharoun's Berlin Philharmonic and Gehry's Disney Hall: "both were pivotal in fostering a strong resonance between architecture and the city."

●   Gendall talks to Kapoor about "Descension," an "endless whirlpool" embedded into Brooklyn Bridge Park: "It's a bit like watching a fire - it's always changing."

●   Budds cheers "The New Inflatable Moment" at Boston's BSA Space: "inflatable architecture has grown up, cut its hair, and moved from an artistic pie-in-the sky pursuit to something more practical and applied" (fab pix!).

●   Pearman praises O'Toole's "One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture": it is "delightfully different from just about any other architecture book."

●   Cuozzo forgives Davidson's "embrace of bike lanes" because his "Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York" lends "nuance, texture and historical perspective to my impression that NYC has never been so appealing or life-affirming as it is today."

●   Moore gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Dyckhoff's "The Age of Spectacle": "His tone is jaunty, anecdotal, engaging, sometimes personal" (though sometimes "he can be too much of a mall rat with his material)."

●   He hails Saumarez Smith's "East London": his "tour of the East End is enjoyable but unashamedly whimsical. If you want social realism - look elsewhere."

●   Landscape architect Kullmann has a few issues with "Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook": "It's a beautiful, insightful book, but its sense of gravity is all wrong."

●   Shulman's "Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity" traces the company's "affair with design - calling it a coffee or cocktail table book would do little service to his research."

●   Kuehn's "Architects' Graves: A Serendipitous Guide" uncovers "the often surprisingly humble" final resting places of some notable names.

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