Architecture News and Notes

A few architecture tidbits for you on this sunny day in Dallas.  One on the ultimate in adaptive reuse.  Reports/reviews from around the world on the newAmerican Embassy in London.And an artistic offering from Herzog and de Meuron.

First up, the most creative re-purposing of a structure we’veheard about in a long time.  The Punta CarretasShopping Center in Montevido, Uruguayis the town’s most upscale mall.  Butbefore its role in commerce, it was a notorious prison, known for a 1971 prisonbreak of 106 urban guerillas.  Thisstory points out that the mall “is doing a much better job of keepingshoppers in than it had with prisoners.” Perhaps the state prison on the Trinity can undergo a similartransformation?  We’re just saying…

 One of the biggest international architecture stories of thelast couple of weeks has been the reaction to the designs by Philadelphia-basedarchitecture firm Kieran Timberlake which have been selected for the new U.S.Embassy in London. ThisWashington Post article describesthe design competition (only the fourth time the State Department has had sucha selection process) and its goals to end up with “a modern, open and secure”building. Christopher Hawthorne of the LosAngeles Times takes amore critical lookAndThe New York Times’ Nicolai Ouroussofjust doesn’t like it. Neither do the locals and their architects, going sofar as to say that their view of the Thames isbeing ruined “bythis boring glass cube.”

And architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron arefacing a different kind of critic for their sets for the MetropolitanOpera’s production of Atilla.  Soundslike Santiago Calatravahas some competition in the set design arena, no?

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