From the Editor’s Desk is a round up of news and events from throughout the week brought to you by WAN News Editor Niki May Young.
This week there has been no escaping news from the Big Apple with the anniversary of 9/11 fast approaching. WAN lead with the continued story of falsified concrete tests (first announced in WAN in January) which have left the safety of 82 New York buildings, including 1 World Trade Center, in doubt. The revelation that Testwell Laboratories not only skimped on their safety records but purposefully falsified test records is one that will be looked upon with particular venom in the United States, perhaps this week’s announcement by Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, that buildings affected by Testwell’s illegal dealings are to be thoroughly tested, will set some minds at rest - but it is sure to be a sore issue as New Yorkers look back to events 8 years ago of which many safety questions were raised.
More questions arose from the devastation of 9/11 and these are the subject of our featured comment this week, penned by Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. While it would be easy to dismiss Gage’s opinion, that the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was in fact caused by controlled demolition techniques, as nothing more than conspiracy theory, the scientific approach to Gage’s evidence is surprisingly compelling and worthy of consideration. Armed with photographic and even video evidence, Gage calls for questions to be answered in an open forum to find out what exactly caused the unprecedented collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7.
While this week will prove to be one of remembrance, within the WAN pages new life is bred. The now-live Urban Design Awards gallery plays host to over 100 projects, including plans for the regeneration of New York’s downtown Buffalo district. Resulting from 15 years of community heave-ho, the plans outline the aspirations of a spirited generation of New Yorkers, reflecting the can-do attitude of all of the city. While WAN are busy ensuring that the talents of architects big and small are brought to the fore, we too have been preparing our own showcase for entry into this year's International Building Press Awards. Last year we relished being recognised as Website of the Year and we plan to make it a double whammy, a feat that we hope you agree is entirely possible (well, we do just get better don't we?!)
As architects and architecture press together strive to be the 'best practice', it's worth noting that 'best practise' should be a part of that achievement - something that west London's Archetype Associates should have paid attention to before being caught with underlicenced CAD software and fined £10,000. It's not a small sum, particularly in current times, but their penalty acts as a stark reminder to the industry that fake just isn't fair!
It's a sentiment that I'm sure the new RIBA President, Ruth Reed, would echo. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome Ruth as the first ever female president of the UK's eminent architectural body. As the 73rd President, Ruth's appointment is a sign that the architecture profession is well on its way to reflecting the progressive ethos embodied in its craft. Ruth's manifesto promises greater member investment and so she is currently embarking on a tour of several UK locations to get closer to the core of architecture in the UK. I hope you enjoy News Review this week as WAN's attempt to do the same for the rest of the world.
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