May 13, 2006

And Some Have 'Starchitect' Thrust Upon Them

Supposedly reluctant starchitect Rem Koolhaas talked with the NYT's Robin Pogrebin about the mutiny in his firm, OMA's NY office, which is headed by supposedly reluctant starchitect-in-training Josh Prince-Ramus. Since the completion of the office's Seattle Library in 2004, PR [sic] has been the subject of many articles in which he professes annoyance at being the subject of so many articles. "But he [i.e., Koolhaas] said that he didn't seek this status, that stardom had been pressed on him by...
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Posted by greg at 10:16 PM

May 01, 2006

Ouroussoff, Koolhaas, and The Scalable Jane Jacobs

I still can't tell if I was the only one kind of weirded out by the sudden and overwhelming outpouring of nostalgic loss and ruminating over the death of Jane Jacobs. Archinect, Tropolism, Curbed, Kottke, even the Home of the Whopper of Superficiality, Gawker, had a paean to the urban theorist/activist within hours after she died. Not to speak too ill of her or her vital, inspiring ideas and all, but I wonder if someone with a Nexis account can...
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Posted by greg at 12:20 AM

March 18, 2006

0 Yen Houses, 0 Yen Movies

In 2004, Kyohei Sakaguchi published 0 Yen Houses, a book of photographs of street people architecture in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. A burgeoning urban street population, mostly men in their 50's and 60's, is one consequence of the Japanese economic and real estate situation over the last 10-15 years. These men often continue to work, but they're unable to afford housing, so they improvise their own, squatting on public lands (river banks and parks, mostly). They often form the...
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Posted by greg at 02:18 PM

March 11, 2006

Actually, If You Put It That Way...

The 71-year-old scion of a real estate family, Mori inaugurated his latest city, Omotesando Hills, in one of Tokyo's most fashionable neighborhoods last month. There, well-heeled residents can now live just above some of the priciest retail shops on Earth, wandering sparkling hallways where $1,000 Jimmy Choo heels sell alongside $21 ice creams. "What the Guggenheim does with art, we do with shops," Mori said in an interview at Roppongi Hills. "That is the only difference."- Minoru Mori, real estate...
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Posted by greg at 10:09 AM

February 24, 2006

You Can Call Me Rem

If he didn't exist, Rem Koolhaas would have to invent him. Of course, then he'd be included in the Whitney Biennial. Business Week has an interview with Rem's Mini-me, Josh Prince-Ramus, the Gen X starchitect-in-training running OMA's New York office. The Koolhaas Kids Come Of Age [businessweek Josh Prince-Ramus: Don't Make Me a Star [in this glowing media profile]. Really! Don't! [gutter]...
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Posted by greg at 07:09 PM

January 27, 2006

Opening Soon: The Omotesando Airport Embassy Suites

Here's a picture of the interior courtyard of Tadao Ando's Omotesando Hills, which opens in a few weeks. Like everything else on Omotesando these days, the facade is a frosty glass scrim. [image: Harajuku-ss via] previously: Tokyo snapshots 1.4 - Tadao Ando ruins Omotesando...
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Posted by greg at 11:01 PM

January 23, 2006

Needed: 6 Containers Of Pistachio-Colored Drywall

On Saturday, the Rem Koolhaas Prada store in SoHo was either engulfed in flames, soaked in water and smoke, or both. The ostentatiously exposed drywall was Prada green and imported, if not actually manufactured to spec. [What's the stock color of Italian drywall? Anybody?] Watch for the just-arrived merch to show up, freshly drycleaned, at a TJ Maxx far from you, very soon. And what's this? The Guggenheim is still hanging out in the building? Did landlord collector Peter Brant...
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Posted by greg at 02:44 PM

January 09, 2006

When You're A Nail, Everything Looks Like A Hole

A tabloid summary of Herbert Muschamp's long essay on 2 Columbus Circle: back in the day AbEx: straight Historicism, Pop: gay Museum of Modern Art: straight Gallery of Modern Art [aka 2 Columbus]: gay But didn't AbEx evangelizer Frank O'Hara and modernist architect Philip Johnson also work at MoMA? And hasn't Muschamp talked about what a great pickup joint MoMA was in the 70's? Maybe it's not a question of straight and gay, HM, but butch and femme. Or maybe,...
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Posted by greg at 12:34 AM

October 05, 2005

Who Lost Gordon Bunshaft's Travertine House?

Modernist architect Gordon Bunshaft's widow willed his exquisite travertine-clad Georgica Pond home--his only domestic design-- and their carefully installed collection of modern art to MoMA when he died in 1994. MoMA sold it to Martha Stewart in 1994 without any restrictions or covenants. Stewart, caught up in the Minimalist revival of the day, hired John Pawson to redo it. Several years later the house, a gutted shambles on the brink of a poorly conceived expansion and with some of its...
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Posted by greg at 02:15 PM

October 02, 2005

Atelier Bow-Wow House, Blog

The awesome and ingenious Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow (the Japanese translation, Atelier Wan, sounds nicely like "1," too) is keeping a blog of the combination house/studio they're building for themselves in Naka Meguro, a central, dense, and expensive section of Tokyo. The lot they found was affordable only because it's tiny and enclosed on all sides. Still, it's zoned for more than 660 sqm, (including underground) of live/work space. Because of their shape--a square-ish lot blocked in and invisible...
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Posted by greg at 01:44 PM

September 27, 2005

Tropolism: I Read It For The Articles

Although the pictures are nice, too. Turn-ons: urbanism, Meier's third condo tower, Gluckman Mayner's One Kenmare, long walks on sensitively adapted elevated railroad track parks, Gordon Matta-Clark exhibitions. Turn-offs: Freedom Center squabbles, deceptively meaningless master plans, Gwathmey's Sculpture for Living....
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Posted by greg at 12:32 AM

August 31, 2005

FSBO: 5-Sty TH, Vu, Loft-like space, Dbl Ht LR - MVRDV

1ST TIME ON MKT!! Gdn! + outdr spc, [several, actually]Estate Cond. Nds TLC. EUR2.5M obo. Principals only. EXPO-Tower - Pavillon der Niederlande [, via archinect]...
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Posted by greg at 02:20 PM

August 23, 2005

Richard Serra's Go-To Guy. And Gehry's, And Safdie's, And...

Metropolis Magazine's short interview with Rick Smith is so dense with fascinating information, I'd have to excerpt the whole thing, so just got read it now. He talks about convincing Frank Gehry to buy CATIA, the aerospace industry CAD/CAM software that revolutionized Gehry's--and, increasingly, other architects'--practice. He talks about how he helps Richard Serra make those Torqued Ellipses. [I love that Serra makes them by hand, with lead sheets and wooden elliptical forms, then converts them to information -- "height,...
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Posted by greg at 01:59 PM

August 18, 2005

Klein Dytham's Billboard Building

This new building is across the street from my in-law's apt. in Tokyo, in the Minami Azabu neighborhood about 5-min. walk from Roppongi Hills. It just went up a few months ago, and the evening I went over to examine it close up, the young Japanese architect happened to be there with a photographer, taking pictures for the firm's website. These pictures, in fact, at Klein Dytham. The site used to be a tiny parking lot, he said, but then...
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Posted by greg at 07:09 PM

August 10, 2005

Tokyo Snapshots, 2.1: Waketokuyama, by Kengo Kuma

Near where we've been staying in Tokyo is this striking building, which I had to check out. The screen-like facade turns out to be cinder block-colored bricks set on end in a blackened steel frame. A meter back is the entry courtyard and the stark glass box of the restaurant, which feels suspended in the thick forest behind it. Of course, it's on a busy corner of a major street (gaien higashi-doori, if you're coming). The restaurant is called...
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Posted by greg at 10:44 AM

August 04, 2005

Tokyo Snapshots, 1.4: Tadao Ando Ruins Omotesando

This is the Tadao Ando building complex that the ego-mad developer Mori Minoru is finishing on Omotesando, what was once the heart of alternative cultural Tokyo. With a slew of LVMH brand glass curtained flagships all around it, it should really complete the look....
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Posted by greg at 03:18 AM

July 22, 2005

To: The Prada Hataz Crew

A report from the Herzog & deMeuron-designed Prada store in Tokyo's Minami Aoyama neighborhood. I have some good news and some bad news. First the bad news. It was reported earlier that the store smelled like feet cat urine. It appears this is no longer the case. The white carpets seemed freshly--and repeatedly--shampooed, which may explain the lack of odor. Also, I saw no evidence to support reports that the windows were cracking and popping out, and that the clothes...
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Posted by greg at 08:52 AM

May 14, 2005

On Bullshit and The Getty

Michael Bierut's excellent post on design bullshit has gotten a lot of attention. He starts by quoting the artist/gardner Robert Irwin, who hilariously calls bullshit on the man who would be king Of the Getty hill, architect Richard Meier, in a Getty-produced documentary, Concert of Wills. It's a startling moment in what's otherwise a typically institution-stroking hagiography of the "The travertine selected was from Michelangelo's quarry" variety. If it's bullshit Irwin, wanted, Meier apparently thought, it's bullshit he got. To...
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Posted by greg at 05:30 AM

May 09, 2005

Architecture: In The Gutter

Lockhart Steele, of the real estate blogging empire Steeles, has put architects in their place: The Gutter, a new sub-blog of Curbed. "Ill-mannered commentary on the architectural arts" []...
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Posted by greg at 02:25 PM

April 23, 2005

Why is this Calatrava Moment different from all other Calatrava Moments?

According to the Curbed Theory of NY Media Darling Architects, full-force Calatrava-hatin' should've kicked in in January. But here it is April, and there's a snuggly celebration in the Times by Robin Pogrebin, and it's got subtexts packed so tight, I can't figure out what the real story is: It's what New York's all about, baby: reinvention "he considered himself more an artist than an architect." Really? Because he used to be "the bridge guy, the engineer who also did...
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Posted by greg at 08:02 AM

April 18, 2005

Walker Art Center Production Blog

So the Walker Art Center reopened last week in Minneapolis, and the reviews I've seen are great. Did you know they had what amounts to a production blog for the completion of the new Herzog & deMeuron addition? Titled "New Media Initiatives," there are entries about architectural minutiae like sandblasting H&deM patterns on the new sidewalk, testing semi-reflective films for the projected signage, and kiosks. Lots of kiosks. Solid, geeky museum stuff. There's also an education-related blog. New media initiatives...
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Posted by greg at 09:29 AM

March 24, 2005

Torqued Eclipse*

"Ms. Luce gave the design team at Nissan a steel wall to hide works in progress." And then Mr Serra gave Ms. Luce and the design team at Nissan a good legal shellacking. Architecture and Carchitecture [nyt] * I KNOW, it's Mitsubishi. Come up with a good hed using a Nissan model, and I'll change it.]...
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Posted by greg at 08:53 AM

March 02, 2005

This is your brain on Gehry. Any Questions?

Since it was opened, the polished stainless steel roof on Frank Gehry's Disney Concert Hall in LA has been throwing off so much glare, people are getting baked alive in the neighboring condominiums. And on the street, fuggedaboutit. They're frying eggs and dog's brains on the sidewalk. The result: the County Board of Supervisors has ordered a bunch of workers with hand sanders to climb up there and dull the thing down a bit. Meanwhile, some tourist from New Jersey,...
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Posted by greg at 01:59 PM

January 30, 2005

Saint Burns Philip Johnson at Stake

Philip Johnson called himself a whore, partly to diffuse critics who didn't like his constantly changing style or his intense curiousity in pursuit of new architectural ideas. Apparently, though, it didn't save him from an eviscerating obituary in the Guardian at the hands of Andrew Saint. Unlike Homer Simpson--who likes his beer cold and his homosexuals flaming--this venal Cambridge architecture professor prefers his beer warm and his homosexuals safely confined to those four years of British public school, thank you...
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January 18, 2005

Robert Polidori: 'Habitats, Not Architecture'

Check out Michael Bierut's appreciation of the bracing architecture environment photographs of Robert Polidori. Polidori's are not photos for architects, who want their buildings to look their renderings--pristine and perfect, unsullied by unpredictable humanity and the less-pedigreed landscape surrounding them. No, Polidori makes photos that seem real; when you go to Bilbao, it'd actually look--and feel--like his picture, not the postcard. His work appears often in The New Yorker, Architecture Week, and in his books (actually, it appears all the...
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Posted by greg at 10:24 PM | TrackBack

January 13, 2005

Archinect T-Shirts Rock

Archinect's empire just keeps expanding. They just launched their Winter/Monsoon 2005 Collection of limited edition T-shirts. This one's designed by Christian Unverzagt of the Detroit-based M1/DTW. Also available: M/F robots made from old cathedral floor plans and a trippy something or other involving packing tape. Why, they're like getting beat with ten pounds of El Croquis. Archinect T-Shirts related: "beat me with ten pounds of Vogue" [Gawker T-Shirts]...
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Posted by greg at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

December 29, 2004

Remember, There's No 'P' In Architecture

KINKS: The way-finding isn't working. By the second or third day, we had to put up signs to help people. The bathrooms needed signs coming out, instead of being flat on the wall. The library's organization makes complete sense to us. But for the public, it's not obvious. One portion of the seventh floor is six feet higher because it spirals around. So if it says something is on seven, what does that mean?-Deborah Jacobs, Seattle City Librarian, in...
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Posted by greg at 12:57 PM | TrackBack

December 15, 2004

Ada Louise Huxtable on MoMA, Plus Contemporary Art

But we yearn for more than a cloakroom and gift shop in the cavernous entrance; the atrium cries for the really big gesture -- even Barnett Newman's "Broken Obelisk" becomes a decorous gesture that ceases to alarm. This requires a powerful, perception-altering work, a site-specific creation that deals fearlessly with the scale -- something new, provocative and outrageous -- a naughty newcomer that must wait to be judged worthy enough to be invited in. MoMA has never looked so uptight...
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Posted by greg at 11:58 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

So, What Else You Working On, Yoshio?

Here we are, the week before Thanksgiving, stuffed and groggy from consuming so much MoMA-related press, which we probably have to regurgitate on Thursday for our out-of-town relatives. Then comes this new angle for the MoMA-weary: Turns out Yoshio Taniguchi's other silvery, $400 million-plus, urban planning tour de force, tourist mega-destination has recently opened in Hiroshima. It's the Naka Incineration Plant, a 490,000 sf waterfront waste processing center that's open for public tours, in order to encourage Hiroshimans to consume...
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Posted by greg at 01:07 PM | TrackBack

November 17, 2004

A Bridge Too Far Away

Jonathan Glancey gives an invigorating description of Sir Norman Foster & Co's Grand Viaduc du Millau, an awesome bridge on the A25 running from Paris to the Cote d'Azur. Come fly with me [Guardian UK]...
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Posted by greg at 02:26 PM | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

Team France Harvard Opera Police

After the stunning success of Team America World Police [Hey, turns out they got the US political climate right after all...], puppet projects are breaking out all over. At Harvard's Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the artist Pierre Huyghe is staging a puppet meta-opera that tells the stories of Le Corbusier's design for building and Huyghe's production of the opera. [That's the "meta-" part. And yes, the puppets have puppets.] The performance is November 18th at 6pm; a filmed version...
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Posted by greg at 09:54 AM | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

Updating The List: High-End Stores With Unpleasant Odors

1. Barney's, men's side, main floor Coming down the escalator into the underwear/robe department, there's an unbearable funk that's been there since the store opened ten years ago. Drives me crazy. 2. Prada Store, Aoyama, Tokyo [see left] Leave it to a sissy to make fun of how people talk. In his retrograde column in the NY Observer, Simon Doonan reports, "As rumored, this store is bedeviled by a mysterious and unfortunate all-pervading odor of cat urine." My Tour de...
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Posted by greg at 04:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 19, 2004


Archinect has an interview with Nathalie de Vries (the DV in MVRDV), where she talks about the firm's origins and work approach, and about their upcoming building/mountain for London's Serpentine Gallery. Very cool. previous MVRDV posts...
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Posted by greg at 01:09 PM | TrackBack

September 18, 2004

Bad Architecture (in Beijing)

China's building boom may throw up a Rem Koolhaas now and then, but most of the time, it just looks like it's throwing up. Now, bad Chinese architecture has a home, BadJianZhu. Paul Wingfield, co-founder of the site, promises buildings with "a grandiose quality, a fantastical or monumental kind of aspiration that makes them worth recording." Plus plenty of "Copies derived from copies, kitsch derived from kitsch." To be honest, a lot of it looks like the highway from DC...
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Posted by greg at 04:36 PM | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

Rare Mies van der Rohe Interview on BBC

[via archinect] Mies van der Rohe gives a rare interview to BBC Radio. (They've gotten even rarer since he died; this one's from 1959.)...
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Posted by greg at 02:12 PM | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

You mean Rem Koolhaas rides a city bus??

At least that's how I read this anecdote on Defective Yeti. By the way, the Tall Buildings show at MoMA looks great. Excruciatingly sexy models, tons of other information and context. You could spend 10 minutes or half the day....
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Posted by greg at 01:22 AM | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

Looking at Tall Buildings

A correction: Reading Herbert Muschamp's review of MoMA's "Tall Buildings" show, which includes the United Architects proposal for the WTC site. [The 'Dream Team' proposal is in there, too, but I've said all I'll say about that.] Coming after the pissed-to-be-publicly-accountable Meier, United Architecture's proposal was surprisingly moving that morning in Dec.2002. They had made a video (it's still on their site) with cuts of all kinds of happy shiny people looking up from the street, pointing at the...
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Posted by greg at 07:27 AM | TrackBack

July 15, 2004

How To Be an Architecture Critic

[via archinect] On a day when the Times praises his shoplifter-friendly, open-air Prada store on Rodeo (a feature the real customers, who valet park in back, will never see),The Project for Public Spaces pokes a sharp stick in Rem Koolhaas's eye for the deadened, bleak streetscapes he created all around his vaunted Seattle Public Library. Of course, when they hear "lively streetlife," Official Seattle may still think lobster puppet-wielding WTO protestors burning dodwn the Starbucks, so it's understandable. And why...
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Posted by greg at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2004

So We're Rebuilding the WTC After All

Christopher Hawthorne nails this weekend's Pataki Day Celebration, aka the groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower.This is what it has come to at Ground Zero: A premature, election-year press conference held on Independence Day to celebrate the start of construction on a building called the Freedom Tower, which is designed to be precisely 1,776 feet tall and to rise next door to a vaguely conceived but lavishly outfitted museum called the Freedom Center. Who says patriotism is dead?Even though it's not...
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Posted by greg at 09:59 AM | TrackBack

June 25, 2004

Curbed: 'Fear The Lamp'

Curbed has a warning for NYC apartment hunters: "Fear The Lamp." Apparently, ARCO lamps--designed by the late Achille Castiglioni--are turning up in real estate listings with alarming frequency. [One possible reason: they're freakin' heavy. I had a chance to get one from a b-school friend's apartment (where, according to the landlady, it had been abandoned many tenants before), but the solid marble block base was too unwieldy to carry down three flights of stairs. I'm sure it's still there.] Apartment...
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Posted by greg at 04:48 PM | TrackBack

June 16, 2004

Just say you're going to an architecture film series.

If you're in London this Father's Day: The artists Elmgreen & Dragset have put together a short program (49') of film and video works which "examine architecture's complicit role in defining our enactment of psychological states." It will be shown at the Tate Modern, this Sunday at 15.00 (3:00 pm for the yanks). [via kultureflash] Half of that time will be taken up by Jean Genet's long-banned silent film, Un Chant d'Amour. It's from 1950, the Eisenhower Era, when prison...
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Posted by greg at 08:25 AM | TrackBack

June 11, 2004

Word is, Muschamp is Packing his Bags

There are published stories, and unpublished ones. I hear that Muschamp is moving to the Travel Section. Which makes sense to me. His last real architecture review has me planning a road trip to Seattle. Check out these excellent photos of Koolhaas's Seattle Public Library. [thanks, Hap]...
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Posted by greg at 08:53 AM | TrackBack

May 24, 2004

Soon, all bloggers will have brokers, too

It's Real Estate Monday in the blogosphere. The LES's resident WASP, Lockhart Steele puts to rest all those inappropriate discussions about who owns the New York real estate industry with the launch of his new weblog, Curbed. It's the Fleshbot of real estate porn. Meanwhile, on the producing end, Paul, Javier & co have thrown open the doors on Archinect v2.0. The site's as surprisingly massive as Time Warner Center, only good; as technologically advanced as Terminal 2E at Roissy,...
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Posted by greg at 02:22 PM | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

Muschamp/Koolhaas Piss Me Off. Again

But not how you think. I was really getting into my Muschamp- and Koolhaas-weary groove. So when Herbert opened his review of Rem's new Seattle Central Library, with this sentence, I was working up my jaded, righteous indignation: "In more than 30 years of writing about architecture, this is the most exciting new building it has been my honor to review." But not only is the review NOT annoying, it's excellent, enthralling, even. And the building sounds phenomenal. I...
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Posted by greg at 11:24 AM | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

The New MoMA: Straight, but not Narrow

The Times' Sarah Boxer walks through Taniguchi & Associates' soon-to-be-completed MoMA with Glenn Lowry. The early word is, it's straight. "...two huge windows, nearly floor to ceiling, face each other at opposite ends of the Sculpture Garden. Both are topped by anodized aluminum canopies. Both rise straight up from the ground level to the sixth floor. And in this case, Mr. Lowry noted, straight really does mean straight. 'We designed it so that the facade has zero-degree deflection. There's no...
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Posted by greg at 09:17 AM | TrackBack

April 30, 2004

Spongedorm, Not Squaring

Even with all their vaunted number-crunching abilities, it seems no one at MIT can say exactly how much Simmons Hall, their new Steven Holl-designed, sponge-inspired, suicidal plunge-preventing dorm actually cost. Can't? Or won't? Metropolis reports a dispute--and a possible lawsuit against Holl--is brewing over $30-50 million in cost overruns. One inside source says of the whole construction experience, "It’s a terrible combination of hubris and ignorance." Rejecting any assertion that his clients are dissatisfied, Holl said of his work at...
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Posted by greg at 01:09 PM

April 13, 2004


Still damp from that Prada encounter Sunday, Herbert Muschamp barely has time to come up for air before resuming the position he knows so well: kissing Diller & Scofidio's ass. Is this really fit to print? 13Musc gets worked up by the high colonic of glass and plasma screens D+S have planned for Lincoln Center's West 65th St conduit, but he ignores the real news. Apparently, Diller+Scofidio went all HotPR4Third; the firm is now called Diller + Scofidio + Renfro....
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Posted by greg at 09:52 AM | Comments (3)

March 25, 2004

I Love Paris in the Sewer

Lightningfield snaps some fine pictures from his visit to the Musée des Egouts de Paris, the Paris Sewer Museum, which highlights some of the lesser known achievements of a few centuries of l'etat. Very Foucault's Pendulum....
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Posted by greg allen at 08:18 AM

March 04, 2004

Cantilever House

! Herbert Muschamp calls it a "stairway to heaven penthouse paradise," which is odd, since it looks more like a zipper than a staircase. The zipper on the fly of lower Manhattan. ["Chicka-boom!" indeed, Herbert.] What is it? It's Santiago Calatrava's latest project for New York, a 1000' residential tower of cantilvered cubehouses on South Street. (yes, as in Seaport. NYC zoning laws now require super-luxury buildings to be built adjacent to cornball-laden malls.) Each cube will be a single...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2004

I Heart The Time Warner Mall

If you need me, I'll be at the Time Warner Mall, getting in line for the escalator to Whole Foods, where I'll be bellying up to New York's only Jamba Juice. "Whata Juice?" you say? Soon enough, you will be surrounded by seemingly rational people discussing the merits of Power-sized Bounce Back Blasts with Vita Boost. You can join in, or you can take your mall-snobbery and chain store disdain, grind it into a powder, dump it into your (Stick-in-the)...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2003

Herbert Muschamp, Leg Man

Continuing in my apparent "interesting, but what does it mean for The Matrix?" vein, here's a quote from Herbert Muschamp's TMI review of the Men in Skirts exhibit at the Met's Costume Institute: I knew the Wachowski Brothers had lost it when Keanu Reeves showed up in their film The Matrix Reloaded dressed in that floor-length black soutane. If you're fortunate enough to have a leading man of Mr. Reeves's slim, agile physique, you do not — not! — cover...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2003

SWAT team blames Gehry architecture for delay in trapping Cleveland shooter

It took police more than seven hours to shoot and capture the gunman who opened fire in the newly opened Peter B. Lewis Building for Case Western's business school. It was "almost a cat and mouse game," said Cleveland Police Chief Edward Lohn. Why so long? "As the SWAT team entered the building, they were constantly under fire," Lohn said. "They couldn't return fire because of the design of the building. They didn't have a clear shot." The design,...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2003

Architectural Survivor 3: See Who Gets Voted Off The Island

It's architectural reality TV, with so many last-minute campaigns, twists and turns, you'd think Fox was running it, not the Port Authority. The final two bachelors, er architect groups in the design "competition" for the WTC site have been workin' it hard, according to design reporter Julie Iovine's NYTimes article, even turning up on Oprah. Herbert Muschamp weighs in, too, slightly chastened. Meanwhile, Edward Wyatt's report of a LMDC committee's surprise recommendation of THINK over (the Pataki/Bloomberg-favored) Libeskind sounds like...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2003

What're THINK Thinking?

Team THINK's winning WTC design: lattice towers with a, um, museum? embedded in it image: Goin' to hear THINK architect/model Rafael Vinoly at Urban Center tonight (as suggested by Gawker)? Ask him if the reason he was a no-show yesterday on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show was that listener's early comment, which surprised Lehrer, about how THINK's towers appear to have an airplane embedded in it? Listen to the exchange is in the "3rd audio clip. [Note: If you...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2003

On WTC Site Designs

What I hope doesn't carry through from the plans the LMDC selected from Daniel Libeskind and THINK Team: Needlessly symbolic height (1,776 feet) Why not two 911' high towers? Duh, because. Single high-profile elements that completely draw attention away from the plan and architecture of the rest of the site. What I hope does carry through: "The Bathtub" as part of the memorial (Read Edith Iglauer's 1972 New Yorker article about its construction, as discussed here.) Paul Goldberger's called-for "Eiffel...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2003

Herbert Muschamp: Think THINK!

Herbert Muschamp, the Professor Emile Flostre of architectural empathicalism, gives his blessing to the THINK team's proposal to build a World Cultural Center at the former WTC site. There are several things to like about the proposal, not the least of which is to turn the emphasis from the overwhelming commercial interests on the site, which the market can take care of just fine, thanks. Think's proposal most closely ressembles Paul Goldberger's call for an "Eiffel Tower for the 21st...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2002

How To Tell Me and Brad Pitt Apart

Took a whirlwind trip to the Yale School of Architecture to see an exhibition (mostly) of the theoretical works of the Rotterdam architecture firm, MVRDV. Ivory tower academics? Nope. They actually build. Alot. And Yale dean Robert Stern rightly praises "their belief that invention grows out of knowledge is refreshing in a profession too often mired in fashion." Through projects like Metacity/Datatown to Pig City to the 3D City Ballet, the firm's just-the-facts analytical approach to the problems of...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2002

On why Rem Koolhaas should wake up every day thanking his mother

Usually, when you get googled for "I went to high school with Ben Affleck" or "red vines and hidden meaning," you're left to wonder who the hell that was, and what's going on in those folks' heads? So imagine my thrill when the guy searching for "Rem Koolhaas architecture and Matt Damon" sends a confessional email and includes a link to his weblog, Laughing Boy. Check it out [Mom, this doesn't include you.] Of course, I still have no...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)