Good morning, architects. And welcome back from the holiday break, for those of you who are back and for those of you who took a break. The week between Christmas and New Year's still constitutes the holidays, so there's still time to display some holiday cards, like this one from MVRDV. The award for best architectural holiday observance goes to Snarkitecture for this broken ornament, which you can still pick up for next year. Then there's NCARB's holiday card.

DOWN THE DRAIN. It's really too bad that Michael Kimmelman and The New York Times decided to drop this review of the new Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam during the pre-Christmas readership void, because it's a review that people should see. Here Kimmelman situates the new museum, an over-budget and difficult design by Benthem Crouwel, amid the multiple design disasters that have marred the growth of Amsterdam in recent years, in particular in the design district. ARCHITECT's own Aaron Betsky writes that the Stedelijk works for housing the museum's art collections. He's right that it is an airy design for such a central and bulk massing, a success in the face of almost certain failure. But why would Benthem Crouwel stack the deck against the design in this way? Kimmelman notes that a great deal of the museum's galleries are below grade, a surprising decision given the difficulty of building underground in Amsterdam.

AT&T -> SONY -> ? Elsewhere in The New York Times, Charles V. Bagli reports that the asking price for the Sony Building, née the AT&T Building, may rise as high as $1 billion. It may not get that much, but the firm that wins the pivotal building by Philip Johnson and John Burgee is unlikely to resemble the previous owners. The real estate may simply be too expensive for a corporate headquarters. 

DESIGNING FOR SCI-ARC. Marcelo Spina, a faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, has designed a new pavilion for the university that will serve as a tent for graduation, among other things. Los Angeles Times writer Larry Gordon notes that the pavilion serves as an important proof that university faculty are doing what they ask their students to do: Compete with design in order to build new and innovative structures.

...AND REMAINDERS. From Architecture for Humanity, 12 days of architecture... Snow-fort architecture... the Associated Press on Norman Foster's design for the renovated New York Public Library... Modest modernist homes in the Hamptons... Positive magazine likes the Louvre-Lens... The AIA Students Forum 2012 is coming to the Savannah College of Art and Design on Dec. 29 through New Year's Day.