Today’s News - Thursday, March 25, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, March 30.

●  Brussat pays tribute to "classicism's philanthropist: Richard H. Driehaus - beloved among architects and historic preservationists for his stewardship of old buildings" who founded the founded the $200,000 Driehaus Prize for "a single architect for a lifetime of work in the classical and traditional languages of architecture" (with link to NYT's Sam Roberts obit).

●  Steven Bingler lays out the 6 key principles that serve as a "blueprint for authentic public engagement" for a "collaborative and empathic approach to placemaking" (a.k.a. "community co-design).

●  Cailin Crowe reports on "new roadblocks" cities may face in their "quest to decarbonize buildings" as the International Code Council "removed the rights of local governments to vote on future energy efficiency building regulations" - giving the construction and gas industries more control over energy codes" (oh joy).

●  Jean Nouvel beats 17 star-studded teams in the competition to design the Shenzhen Opera House.

●  Welton talks to Daan Roosegaarde re: his "Urban Sun," recently unveiled in Rotterdam - "backed by scientific research, the one-meter sphere, glowing yellow-gold proves a new, specific light can safely clean up to 99.9% of the coronavirus."

●  Jack Crager cheers Frick's historic collection in its "new digs" - Breuer's Whitney: "It's a bold, unprecedented experiment in art curation - the masterworks have new room to breathe."

●  Shannon Mattern delves into how "many pandemic maps depict the macro-scale forces that produced the 'Great Pause.' What's harder to show are all the under-appreciated actors that are enabling our protected isolation, the pulsing activity powering the pause."

●  One we couldn't resist: Stuart Fowkes marks the 1,600th anniversary of Venice today with "Venezia 1600 - the sounds of La Serenissima" that "celebrates the incredible soundscapes of the most unique-sounding city on Earth" created by artists from around the world.

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  Wainwright gives thumbs-up to "Aalto," a new feature-length documentary that reveals "the less sympathetic sides" of the Finnish architect as "a domineering philanderer deeply indebted to his talented wives" (fave building description: "a sylvan parliament for Ewoks").

●  James S. Russell eloquently parses MoMA's "Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America" that confronts "architecture's complicity with racism - it is not the polite parade standard fare of exhibits on architecture."

●  Hugo Lindgren remembers Michael Sorkin on the anniversary of his passing, and revisits his book "Exquisite Corpse": Michael taught me how to look at New York" being "plain brutal on the architecture profession's cravenness" - but cheering on "obstinate geniuses that he offers as the soul of the profession" like Ranalli, Rudolph, Hadid,

●  Kevin Baker cheers Thomas Dyja's "New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation" - "a tour de force, a work of astonishing breadth and depth - quite a high-wire act he pulls off - his reasoning is a joy, an outstanding work."

●  Pedersen's great Q&A with Roberta Brades Gratz re: "It's a Helluva Town: Joan K. Davidson, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, and the Fight for a Better New York": "When everyone in every city and town is figuring out how to rebuild after Covid, the lessons of New York's rebirth in the 1970s is a useful playbook."

●  Cajsa Carlson givers thumbs-up to Denise Scott Brown's life being turned into a manga comic created by the non-profit Vilcek Foundation - it stars "the Zambia-born South African architect as part of the foundation's mission to raise awareness of immigrants' contribution to the US."


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