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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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We could have filled today's (the week's) newsletter with architects' and pundits' jeers (and some cheers) for Brexit; we chose the AJ's round-up of such, instead. -- Kamin minces no words about how Lucas's "intransigence" resulted in his reaping the "bitter fruits of arrogance" in the failure of his Chicago museum plans: "that bizarre design was never right for the lakefront. It was an icon wannabe - a preening object." -- Bernstein on Calatrava's WTC transit hub, "a crowd-pleaser the likes of which New York hasn't seen in generations": "The Oculus is a large bauble on a very frail finger. But the city wanted a bauble." -- Dickinson disagrees with critics of Yale's two new (very expensive!) Stern-designed residence halls: "it's not the cost that caused controversy. It was the fact that they reproduce reproductions" - he considers them "a remarkable effort." -- Princeton University rejects the gift of three Graves properties, so Kean University, "home of the nascent Michael Graves College for architecture and design," gets them - for $20. -- Murphy offers a most engaging take on why "we might just be seeing the beginning of brutalist aesthetics entering the mainstream again": in a world of cheap construction, "the thickness and roughness of brutalism is catnip." -- Smart parses Sony's plans to replace its flagship store in Tokyo with a temporary park: "Is this an attempt to modernize the brand - or just another nail in the coffin for Tokyo's postwar architecture?" -- Word is that the Waldorf Astoria will be mostly luxury condos soon (we wonder if we will still be able to make dates to meet under the glorious clock). -- Gallagher reports on plans for Little Caesars HQ in Detroit that "orders up a 'pizza-slice' façade." -- Hawthorne takes us on a ride down L.A.'s new Skyslide - 70 stories up: he's not "in a hurry to try it again. But it was an architectural experience of a kind I don't think I've ever had. Bouncy-house urbanism is on the rise." -- Wainwright wends his way down the "178m corkscrew thrill-ride" now attached to London's ArcelorMittal Orbit (Kapoor's "zombie pylon"), which "has finally given this knotted steel monster a use." -- Birnbaum reports on NYC's Parks Without Borders Summit: "park porosity, connectivity, and accessibility are being raised across the country. The top down dictates are being replaced by bottom up, community oriented decisions." -- Welton cheers Duke University's decision to go for "smart landscape architecture" for "a pristine environmental gem" of a pond instead of just a hole in the ground filled with water. -- Pedersen ponders the importance of hand drawing: "It's impossible to know exactly what we've lost in the transition from hand to mouse. But it feels like something essential, something almost primal, is slipping away." -- Corrected link: on Thursday, we ran a Q&A with Judith Dupré re: her new book "One World Trade Center: A Biography of the Building" - with the wrong link; correct link here, and apologies for the error. -- Winners all (w/great presentations): CTBUH 2016 Tall Building Awards + Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize MCHAP 2014/15 finalists + USC American Academy in China's "Napavilions" winners for "perfect snoozing spots" in China's Jade Valley Vineyard. -- Call for entries registration deadline reminder: Iceland Trekking Cabins International Architecture Competition.


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