Jessica Rubenstein

OLYMPIC ICYMI: Late last month, Hakubun Shimomura, Japan’s minister for education, sports, and science, declared that the New National Stadium, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, would need to be scaled down. As architect Fumihiko Maki told Aaron Betsky last month, the opposition urging restraint with regard to new venues for the Olympics (Maki being the most visible of this set) are asking authorities to plan around a smaller facility, located perhaps elsewhere. So how much larger is the stadium for Tokyo than previous Olympic arenas? ARCHITECT assembled the above graph comparing the gross square footage for every new stadium designed for the Summer Olympic Games from 1996 through the future. So it's bigger—and, according to reports, construction will begin on this stadium (at some scale) as soon as next year. [Associated Press]

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Speaking of Maki, his 4 World Trade Center opens next week: “At 977 feet, it would be the tallest skyscraper in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas or Philadelphia. But here it rises in the figurative shadow of 1 World Trade Center, which claims a height of 1,776 feet.” [Chicago Tribune]

Mark Lamster asks, “Can the Doomed Astrodome Save Modernism?” This sounds hopeful, doesn’t it?: “It is the single most recognizable building in Houston, a symbol of the city, and if it is lost, the city will regret its decision for generations to come.” Alas, Lamster continues: “But for all that, if it is torn down, I strongly suspect it will fail to inspire a movement. I doubt any building could.” He touches off on an ARCHITECT story by Alexandra Lange about preservation in the face of demolition and development; be sure to read that one, too. [Design Observer]

Chris Beam spent a day at the New Century Global Center, the ominously nicknamed “One of Everything,” and reports back. “I wanted to swallow it whole. I therefore set aside a full day to experience as much of the Global Center as I could, to browse its wares, to float in its waters, to ride its escalators and skate its rinks, to get to know each of its 1,700,000 square meters—a maximalist approach to a maximalist structure.” [The New Republic]

Brooklyn’s Loew’s Kings Theater is undergoing a $94-million renovation. [The New York Times]

Artist Greg Shapter put a portrait of Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, on a building in London. []

The Whitney Museum of American Art launched a video series tracking the people involved in the museum’s under-construction Renzo Piano building. [UnBeige]

Two U.S. firms, Integrated Design Group and KMD Architects, formed a strategic partnership to focus on data center design in Mexico. [PR Newswire]

Architect Pieter Stoutjesdijk created an open-source design for emergency housing in Haiti that can be assembled in under five hours. [Wired]

Marvin Meltzer, AIA, announced the merge of his 40 year-old New York firm, Meltzer/Mandl Architects, with Montroy Andersen DeMarco (MADGI). Meltzer will serve as a principal at MADGI. [Real Estate Weekly]

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