Good morning, architects. For London's Evening Standard, architecture critic Kieran Long weighs in on the Stirling Prize, the winner of which the Royal Institute of British Architects will announce on Saturday. Long says that Populous's Olympic Stadium will be the inevitable winner, observing that, beyond being inevitable, it is also a decent building. He'd be a lot more enthusiastic about giving the Olympic Stadium the nod if it didn't mean giving the award to Populous, it would seem, for reasons that he does not elaborate, except to note that Populous doesn't need the prize money. Perhaps there is a sting involved with giving an award to an American firm for designing the symbol of British excellence in sport. Long's column may read as though he doesn't actually like the stadium, and as though he likes awards even less, but make no mistake about it: This is how it reads when Long doesn't like a building.
STOMACH TURNED. "The design for Clemson University’s new architecture center at George and Meeting streets is guaranteed to turn heads," writes Robert Behre for The Post and Courier, weighing in on a design proposal by Allied Works Architecture's Brad Cloepfil, AIA. "Whether it gets built will depend on how many stomachs it turns as well." Here's one stomach turned—by that turn of phrase. Cloepfil's design for the proposed Spaulding Paolozzi Center is a serious one, yet here's the paper of record for Charleston, S.C., equivocating at the first sign of debate. Maybe it's the prospect of challenging design in the Holy City. Or maybe Behre is still exhausted from the last go-round: About five years ago, Clemson abandoned a design by Kennedy & Violich Architecture for a Clemson Architecture Center at another site in Charleston, following a two-year battle with local NIMBYs. But whatever the reason: Suck it up, Behre! The debate deserves better than a wishy-washy position from the city's architecture columnist.
HBD, MARIN CIVIC CENTER. On Saturday, California's Marin County Civic Center turns 50, and the San Francisco Chronicle is celebrating with a handsome slide show. Chronicle architecture critic John King signs the birthday card, describing the building by Frank Lloyd Wright as his "last major work" and also his "most accessible." The iconic San Rafael, Calif., building, King writes, once offended Marin County conservatives, who "attacked the Civic Center as a needless extravagance." Hollywood likes it: It features prominently in both THX-1138 and Gattaca, making it a landmark of Cali-dystopia. Netflix queue updated accordingly.
GET IN THE +POOL. For The New York Observer, Kit Dillon interviews Dong-Ping Wong, founding partner of the New York firm Family and one of the people behind the +POOL project, which would place a self-filtering swimming pool in the East River ... because why not. The people at +POOL hope to raise $1 million over the next six months. Whether they hit that mark or not, their work with Arup engineers and One Nature ecological consultants appears to have won them some friends abroad: Dillon reports that Tokyo, London, Cape Town, and Sydney have all dipped their toes in the water, asking the +POOL team about bringing +POOLs to their local waterways.
JULIA MORGAN, FTW. The San Jose Mercury News' Linda Zavoral writes up the Julia Morgan 2012 Festival, a series of events taking place through October and into November to honor California's first licensed woman architect. And with good reason: Morgan designed some 700 buildings in California alone, including the Hearst Castle and the Hacienda. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1894, making her the first woman to matriculate from that school with a degree in civil engineering. A few years later, she became the first woman to attend the École des Beaux-Arts. Then she walked on the moon! Okay, maybe she didn't do that, but I wouldn't put it past her.
... AND REMAINDERS. Time-lapse video of Studio Gang's new exhibit going up at the Art Institute of Chicago; Australia's brick-industry architecture award is called the Horbury Hunt Award, a fantastic name; "Russia's greatest living architect" Alexander Brodsky reviewed by The Guardian; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects designing a 19-story high(ish)-rise for Newport Beach, Calif.; why settle for a houseboat when you could have a cityboat?