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 designed, funding is uncertain, there are no tenants, and market demand is less than zero, Pataki’s pushing the tower forward out of some mix of ambition and political narrative desperation. “All this is looking more and more like the process that brought us the original Twin Towers in the late 1960s and early ’70s.”
Related: Hawthorne nails the WTC Memorial competition

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 buyers, sure to ask if The Lamp conveys; if it does, you may get a price break. But if you’re the guy in the apartment without The Lamp, a vintage 60’s version can be found on ebay or wherever for around $1,000-1,500, about half the cost of a shiny new one.

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 buyers, sure to ask if The Lamp conveys; if it does, you may get a price break. But if you’re the guy in the apartment without The Lamp, a vintage 60’s version can be found on ebay or wherever for around $1,000-1,500, about half the cost of a shiny new one.

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 sex and erotic power-tripping guards was still considered an import, not an export, in the US.
It’s one of the landmarks of gay cinema [the DVD Times UK translates: “it contains possibly the earliest images of erect penises seen on a cinema screen.”]. The film influenced Derek Jarman, inspired Todd Haynes’ Poison, and lives on in every Calvin Klein perfume commercial you can think of.
Whether you take your father with you is none of my affair.

Michael and Ingar, from Louisiana, via tate.org.uk
And they look so innocent…Elmgreen (l) and Dragset (r)

Related: Press coverage and reviews of Elmgreen & Dragset’s exhibit at the Tate Modern through July 4th. They created a tiny animatronic sparrow which appears to be stunned and dying after flying into the window. Favorite stupid quote: “It took two artists to design the sparrow.”

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 sex and erotic power-tripping guards was still considered an import, not an export, in the US.
It’s one of the landmarks of gay cinema [the DVD Times UK translates: “it contains possibly the earliest images of erect penises seen on a cinema screen.”]. The film influenced Derek Jarman, inspired Todd Haynes’ Poison, and lives on in every Calvin Klein perfume commercial you can think of.
Whether you take your father with you is none of my affair.

Michael and Ingar, from Louisiana, via tate.org.uk
And they look so innocent…Elmgreen (l) and Dragset (r)

Related: Press coverage and reviews of Elmgreen & Dragset’s exhibit at the Tate Modern through July 4th. They created a tiny animatronic sparrow which appears to be stunned and dying after flying into the window. Favorite stupid quote: “It took two artists to design the sparrow.”

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, only still standing.
And not last or least, Chicagoist launched today, too; since architecture’s one of the few cool things going in Chicago [the cows were bad enough, people. HELLO!], they post a lot about architecture and buildings both significant and otherwise.

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, only still standing.
And not last or least, Chicagoist launched today, too; since architecture’s one of the few cool things going in Chicago [the cows were bad enough, people. HELLO!], they post a lot about architecture and buildings both significant and otherwise.

Muschamp/Koolhaas Piss Me Off. Again

koolhaas_library_program.jpeg

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 AM SO PISSED. The diagram above, for example, shows how OMA transformed the client’s activities and requirements into the structure of the building–which it does, and with dramatic, remarkable and usable effect. Damn. Fine stuff.

Muschamp/Koolhaas Piss Me Off. Again

koolhaas_library_program.jpeg

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 AM SO PISSED. The diagram above, for example, shows how OMA transformed the client’s activities and requirements into the structure of the building–which it does, and with dramatic, remarkable and usable effect. Damn. Fine stuff.

The New MoMA: Straight, but not Narrow

moma_garden_taniguchi.jpeg image: taniguchi & associates, nytimes.comThe TimesSarah 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 bow.'” Walls, ceilings, joints, mullions, floors, all were designed by T&A to be crisp, rectilinear, minimalist, straight.
But not narrow, Lowry assures. With multiple doors, stairs, escalators and views, the straight new museum will offer a mind-expanding number of alternative experiences of the collection–and, by extension, through the history of art.
Evoking an unintentionally [?] Hitchcockian mental image, Lowry explained, “We don’t want people to feel they’re on a train.” Unless, of course, they’re into that sort of thing.

Musc4ArchBJ4Now

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?
Brad Renfro in Larry Clark's Bully, image:moviemaker.com13Musc 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. [italics mine; you never know with these design types.]
That’s right, the expert on the “problematization of media spectacle in public space,”– and hot teen actor–Brad Renfro has joined the firm. No wonder Herb is swooning and lilting so hard.
Related:
Brad Pitt to study architecture with Frank Gehry. [via towleroad]
Brad Pitt’s top 3 architects: [greg.org, 10/02]

Cantilever House

Santiago Calatrava, Turning Torso, Malmo SE, image: sweco.se!
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 10,000 SF residence, with a 2,000 SF terrace on the roof of the cube below.
The form is based on sculptures Calatrava has been noodling with in his garage, and on technology used in the Turning Torso tower [left] he’s completing in Malmo, Sweden (aka the Jersey City of Copenhagen).
If all goes according to plan, this architectural marvel will sit across the East River from Jean Nouvel‘s 1999 cantilevered glass-floored hotel, and will overlook Frank Gehry’s cloud-like floating Guggenheim. Oh, downtown will become an architectural paradise at last. Somehow, I think we’ll see WTC Memorial Ice Rinks in the footprints before then.
Related [?]: “A New Twist” for getting around lower Manhattan–entirely underground

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) Mud Truck coffee, plant your crabby ass on the IND, and slink home to watch Channel J.
Related:
“This is like a piece of Stamford in Midtown…It’s really nice that they brought the suburbs into the city.” [NYT]
Lockhart Steele, too, drinks the Kool-aid Jamba Juice
Felix Salmon worries rightly that this mall foretells the coming of a WTC Mall
Related to that:
“when they came for my greek-lookin’ coffee cups, I said nothing” [greg.org 7/02]

Looking at The Sun

You know how, on a cloudless afternoon, when you’re working in your orange grove, or driving your airboat in search of alligators, or maybe settling into lounge chair with a just-before-five cocktail on your unusually prominent, screened-in veranda–which the gal over in the developer’s office calls an “outdoor room,” but which, to the unindoctrinated northern eye, really looks like the marmoset habitat at the zoo, just minus the trees–and, for a fleeting instant, the glint of the sun reflecting off the belly of a jet flying north at 41,000 feet catches your eye and causes you to look up?
To a man on that plane, for a few minutes, anyway–at least three, but not more than five, it’s really hard to say when it began, since staring out the window is a somewhat novice, absentminded activity to which the man, a very frequent flier, rarely resorts, unless it’s a flight going into LaGuardia around magic hour, in which case he hopes the approach is across Brooklyn if he’s in A/C and up the Hudson if he’s in D/F (and yes, in addition to the Delta Shuttle, which offers but one class of service, there are planes where the first class seats are lettered A/C and D/F, so you can’t jump to the conclusion that the guy’s always flying coach, poor bastard, even if this particular plane is operated by an airline called Song, which is Deltan for “Southwest,” and which eschews a first class section for all leather seats in colors–plums, pumpkins, chartreuses and AOL blues–that signal “edgy” and “hip” and “out of the box” in the suburban Atlanta corridors of brand management power, corridors where the same self-defeating imperative to prove one’s corporate coolness explains locals’ fervor for “Hotlanta, which is a lot like New York. Really.” and the commissioning of flight crew uniforms from their daughters’ must-have bag designer Kate Spade, which are, with an enthusiastic lack of awareness, bespangled with Office Space-style “flair”), not that either side will offer a view this trip, what with his plane flying either over, around, through, or into a hurricane, a phenomenon which looks stunning from the international space station but which is turns the plane’s rows of windows into more than enough lightboxes to preview simultaneously every slide of every grandchild of every tanned, facelifted, tennis-braceleted busybody on this plane–that glint is revealed to be a perfectly round, white reflection of the sun itself, which pans across the dark green Evergladian landscape 41,000 feet below, like a helicopter searchlight on Cops, only much faster and wider and in daylight (by definition, duh), or like the moon, hanging low enough on the horizon when you drive along the unlit freeway at night that it ducks behind trees, warehouses, and billboards.