Flickr/Matt Johnson

My Metro Car: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority debuted the new 7000-series cars for the Metrorail trains in Washington, D.C. More comfortable and advanced than the older, retiring Metrorail cars, the 7000 line features lumbar support and info-screens. They’re also safer than the old trains, with some two-dozen updates mandated by the National Transportation Safety board following the deaths of nine people in a 2009 Metrorail accident. On hand for the rare celebration of improved Metro performance were several D.C. luminaries, including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). [Washingtonian]



Gehry Cooper: The National YoungArts Foundation is giving away a Frank Gehry–designed Mini Cooper. There are only 150 tickets available in the raffle, and the minimum suggested donation for a raffle ticket is $500. Now, let’s do the math: There’s no maximum cap on purchasing tickets, and supporters may buy at least 20 at a time. Ostensibly—and for a good cause!—a fan could buy a Gehry-designed Mini Cooper by buying all 150 raffle tickets for $75,000. That’s a sight above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $19,700, and there’s no way to know at this time what a Gehry-designed Mini Cooper looks like. There’s not much time to decide, either: The drawing takes place on Jan. 11. []

More News:

Oliver Wainwright shares 10 New Year’s resolutions for architects. Number one: Don’t melt things. Number four: Be nice to skateboarders. So it goes without saying: Don’t melt skateboarders. [The Guardian]

Authorities in the city of Valencia sue Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava as his City of Arts and Sciences Complex begins falling apart just eight years after its inauguration. Pieces of the mosaic façade in the opera house fell off in high winds, causing authorities to cancel shows and close the facility until further notice. [The Telegraph]

In other Calatrava news, a cat at the Florida Polytechnic University site has been named after him. (The architect designed the school’s master plan and the campus’ first building.) [The Ledger]

MakerBot’s Bre Pettis pledges a “pivotal change” to the 3D-printing industry at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That’s got to mean a MakerBot 3D printer, right? [BBC]

Architect Jim Torosyan has died. [PanARMENIAN.Net]

Brooklyn’s New York Methodist Hospital releases latest renderings for expansion project. [DNAinfo New York]

These renderings show how different San Francisco could look with several major projects completed. [The Huffington Post]

The Atlantic Cities reviews the 10 most important buildings lost in 2013. [The Atlantic Cities]

Dan Gilbert has purchased a building across the street from the site to be designed by SHoP Architects in downtown Detroit. [Detroit Free Press]

“Starchitects” are taking over the New York skyline, with new residential projects by London-based firms Zaha Hadid Architects and Foster & Partners. [The New York Times]

The Los Angeles Times reports that about 1,400 buildings in the area are in close proximity to the Hollywood and Santa Monica faults, making them especially vulnerable to earthquake damage. They report that 18 of these projects were built in the last decade. [Los Angeles Times]

PNC moves into Pittsburgh's historic Mellon bank building, restoring the 1924 building and undoing some changes Lord & Taylor department store made to the interior. The building, formerly nicknamed “the Cathedral of Earning,” referencing the Mellon empire, will now serve as a PNC call center. [The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

FIFA President Sepp Blatter criticized Brazil’s preparations for this year’s World Cup soccer tournament after missed construction deadlines on four stadiums. Construction was delayed after two accidents killed a total of three people at the site. [Business Week]

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