Amsterdam neoliberal city?

Amsterdam is investing hundreds of millions of euros in the Zuidas, the new business district south of the city (corporations will also invest in the project, but if it fails, their losses will be compensated with taxpayers’ money). Despite the scale of the project, there has been almost no public debate. Decision-making is an opaque process dominated by government officials, banks and other potential investors.

Nieuws uit Amsterdam.

Moscow rises to Foster’s space-age vision approved

Moscow planners have approved Lord Foster’s design for the world’s biggest building – likened by critics to an alien spacecraft and a “dahlia stuck in a string bag”. The British architect’s £2bn “city within a city”, Crystal Island, will be built on the banks of the Moscow river, with a total floor area of 2.5m square metres, making it the largest enclosed space ever to be constructed.

Crystal Island’s steel mega frame is to feature a “smart skin” to buffer against extreme temperatures and is expected to contain 3,000 hotel rooms, 900 apartments and a school for 500 pupils. Its 620m-wide base will taper to a spire almost 500 metres high, giving it the form of a vast transparent wigwam.

Moscow rises to Foster’s space-age vision | Art & Architecture | Guardian Unlimited Arts.

ICA’s new space is honored as a work of art

This year’s Parker Medalist is the Institute of Contemporary Art, on the South Boston waterfront. No surprise here, since the ICA is probably the most praised new Boston building in years. The architects are the New York firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with local associates Perry Dean Rogers.

ICA’s new space is honored as a work of art – The Boston Globe.

Wysing Arts Centre revamp ready to be unveiled

The visual arts in Cambridge are set to receive a boost, with the opening of the revamped Wysing Arts Centre this week.

The £1.7m centre, incorporating a total of nine buildings, has been in development for three years, with design by architect Hawkins Brown, while London branding consultancy OSB Design has created a signage system and graphics.

£1.7M Wysing Arts Centre revamp ready to be unveiled – Design Week.

Ealing urged to reject Penny Whistle tower

Plans to build skyscrapers in the suburbs were dealt a blow as English Heritage attacked proposals for a 40-storey tower in west London.

The Government’s advisory body believes the centre of Ealing is the “wrong location” for the 469ft block of flats, nicknamed the Penny Whistle.

Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation, said: “Once again London’s vague planning system is giving rise to a pointless and expensive debate. Is it okay to build towers in suburbs? Yes. But how big is too big? It is up to the Mayor to give a lead, which he has failed to do.”

Ealing council expects to decide on the application next month.

Ealing urged to reject Penny Whistle tower | Evening Standard.

Making material connections with ‘New West Coast Design’

Curator Ted Cohen will start laying out a show called “New West Coast Design: Contemporary Objects,” which will start Jan. 18 in San Francisco, only after he returns from a two-week vacation lounging by the beach in Cabo San Lucas.

Among the larger objects are a surfboard by Thomas Meyerhoffer, a bicycle by Bruce Gordon and a tricycle by Portland artist Sacha White.

Some of the other objects come from San Francisco landscape architect Marcel Wilson; furniture designers Derek Chen, Mike and Maaike and One & Co;

Making material connections with ‘New West Coast Design’.

CABE Champions Design Competitions in New Exhibition

A CABE exhibition opening at New London Architecture in London on 17 January 2008 will show what design competitions can achieve – and that they are one of the best ways to procure well-designed buildings and places.

Competitions Work will feature the winning projects and runners-up for the three UK sites for Europan 9, Europe’s leading housing and urban design competition for young professionals. The sites in Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent are actual developments and the winners will be announced on 16 January 2008.

Design News – CABE Champions Design Competitions in New Exhibition – TAXI Design Network.

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