Today’s News - Wednesday, November 1, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Our hearts go out to - and grieve with - our city and the victims of yesterday's truck attack in Manhattan.

It's a Stirling Prize kind of day (so newsletter is a bit longer - and later - than usual):

●  Wainwright weighs in on dRMM's Hastings Pier (which also won the public vote): the "stark wooden wonder" is "the most obviously appealing building on an unadventurous shortlist. For its ingenuity and public-minded story, the pier makes a worthy winner."

●  Ijeh applauds "dRMM's heroic reworking of Hastings Pier" as a "genuine example of urban renewal" (that the "shortlist was largely uninspiring helped").

●  Reactions to the "bookies' favorite" to win the Stirling Prize are (mostly) positive (with a touch of wit: "How many Hasting piers do we need to reach France? Give dRMM a Stirling prize for every 280m").

●  Waite's Q&A with dRMM's Alex de Rijke re: Hastings Pier: "Sometimes you don't need a building. Sometimes you just need architecture that is made possible by other means."

In other news:

●  Moore finds miles of "metaphors and allusions" easy to come by in the "Republic of Bloombergia" (a.k.a. Bloomberg European HQ): London "hasn't seen such an ambitious homage to corporate power in decades. It is biobloombergology - it is Starship Enterprise and baroque palazzo at once, somewhat Ian Fleming, the interior of the personal volcano of a benign Blofeld" (as well as being "the id and the superego of the city").

●  New renderings of Zumthor's $600 million LACMA expansion project via the newly-released environmental impact report: William Pereira, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, Renzo Piano, Bruce Goff buildings still bite the dust (but it's looking like a sand-colored swoosh - no longer a black blob!).

●  King parses Perkins Eastman's winning redesign of San Francisco's Harvey Milk Plaza that "would recast the neighborhood's Muni subway station," but the "transformation of the plaza is by no means assured - $10 million will need to be raised privately," and will be "subjected to more scrutiny as the proposal moves" forward.

Of politics, policies, zoning, smart cities, gentrification - oh - and architecture:

●  Finch explains why, "if you think that architecture isn't about politics, think again. From memorials to the housing crisis, the profession is intrinsically tied up in political machinations."

●  Budds delves into a new study that finds "the key to solving cities' biggest problems" is thinking small (and "an added benefit to this approach: It cuts out politics").

●  Florida looks at "the flip side of NIMBY zoning: Yes, land-use restrictions make cities unaffordable. But they also keep inequality between regions from becoming even worse."

●  McMurrian explains how electric companies, state utility regulators, consumer advocates, and community leaders working toward similar goals can ensure smarter communities.

●  Peters parses a new study that finds that "as people in cities file more patents, the gap between rich and poor starts to increase" (blame it on "innovation intensity").

●  Bliss looks at the up- and down-sides of how Columbus, Ohio, is handling its $50 million Smart City Challenge grant for transportation innovation that's supposed to "help its most vulnerable families. Now some worry their needs are fading into the background" (is it "an urban renewal scheme in the worst sense of the term"?).

●  Jirku talks to Missika, the deputy mayor of Paris, re: Réinventer Paris, "his passion project - and why he believes shared spaces are the future of the city": "Sharing is not a fad, it is a movement."

●  Louisville, Kentucky, launches the $14.5 million Green Heart project that "will study the connection between urban green space and human health" (and do a lot of good for at least one neighborhood).

●  A look at the rise of the wooden skyscraper from Vancouver to Vienna: "insurance companies aren't delighted, but a small band of renegade architects is determined to lead us into a wood renaissance."

●  Che looks at "why timber towers are on the rise in France": "concrete is losing its cachet" with architects and developers "increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes."

Winners all!!!

●  "Flatiron Reflections" wins this year's Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, where you'll "see NYC through a 'bundle of shimmering tubes.'"

●  Great presentation of the AIA Innovation Award winners "that highlight collaboration between design and construction teams to create better process efficiencies and overall costs savings."

●  Voters choose the AIA 2017 I Look Up Film Challenge People's Choice Award winner: Paul-Vincent Alexander's "A Roof of Their Own" (with links to all the winning videos).

●  Fast Company's Innovation By Design Award winners in 13 categories - we highlight the Spaces, Places, and Cities - projects "that improve the urban fabric."

●  Flying Pigs on Parade, Chicago's Union Station, and a Coney Island restaurant are among the winners of the Association of Licensed Architects 19th Annual Design Awards.

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