I know you were busily reading the newspaper cover to cover this weekend, so you won't have missed the exceedingly important piece by Nicolai Ouroussoff on the Barnes Foundation, the Getty and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: three museums built in America by wackos that have since (after their founders' deaths, of course) been taken astray of their intentions by their current managers. The Barnes (which has on exhibit more Cezannes than you can see in all of France, should that be a thing you would ever want) is currently in the last gasps of a long legal fight, which seems to be ending badly for the [...]
In praise of Penn Station: "The city beneath our city is a delightfully ill-lighted, incomprehensibly organized, low-ceilinged, viewless labyrinth. Harried people surge through its concourses and tunnels in perpendicular lines, mean salmon in puffy coats going always upstream. Soldiers with combat weapons lurk outside the city’s most unhygienic group lavatories. There is nowhere to sit. The 'talking kiosk' that serves the visually impaired has been heckling Long Island Rail Road customers with chirping for so long that we have begun to associate birdsong with the most terrible things."
The "American Institute of Architects… has branded The New York Times Building as the city's 'ugliest' building." Now, that being said? The American Institute of Architects is fronting this building on their website right now. It is a building at Central Michigan University and it is a horrible insane piece of strip mall garbage. So.
Here is how Frank Gehry designs a hat, which is pretty much like how he designs a building: "Gehry said that he had done the initial drawing on his iPhone, which an assistant then produced: a violet scribble with a black-and-blue iris at the center." SCAM ARTIST.
We always love renderings of things that are allegedly going to be built, particularly those things that probably won't, as happens in these cases. We don't think you should hold your breath for "BOOM," which is a proposed development in Southern California for community living for the gay "retiring" population. (And before we enjoy the fun architect porn, may I somberly and joylessly point out that there are huge, monster, enormous issues facing the gays, particularly those between 35 and 55? The next generation will likely have family structures not dissimilar to straight people to assist in aging issues; the previous generation often just died in silence, particularly prematurely. [...]
"Dubbed the 'Electric Razor' for its three huge wind turbine blades at the summit, the Strata has been equated to a piece of 'chav' architecture that wears its environmental credentials like a Fred Perry logo. It has been criticised for its brashness and its 'stridency', two descriptions which, in the past, would have been proud synonyms for high-rise structures. Today, however, this flagrant behaviour is as unacceptable in our civic architecture as anti-social behaviour is in our civil society, it seems." —Architects in Britain are debating "beauty," and also debating the debate about "beauty."
Fast Company took a look recently at some offices of the 'future,' which, ha, who's going to work in offices in the future? Among others, they look at Macquarie, which is where Prison Island trading floor drones watch porn while their coworkers are doing live TV spots. One bit that is of interest is making plans that deal with the fact that, in offices, people don't actually work so much! (Hence: the existence of blogs!) The average complete workforce turnout is 50% of headcount. So they are underbuilding office plans now: "At Macquarie, 50% attendance translates to 85% occupancy in the new office." So, some day in [...]
It's an understandable thing that Manhattan is being recast as a shiny, silver-and-glass futureworld in these first thirty years of the Bloomberg era. Still, the antiquated vintage looks from many disparate decades that seem to be overtaking everything from restaurants to license plates to mustaches isn't really helping anything, such as our City's sense of self. Don't get me wrong, I like many of the establishments in the Frankie's Spuntino empire! And I got sick of feeling like I was in the Jetson's every time I walked past Astor Place, too. But when the zeitgeist gets a-rolling like this, people need to chill out. With all the [...]
Architect Charles Gwathmey is the second of the New York Five to die. Made famous in the 70s, Gwathmey's work over the years was extremely erratic in quality. Unfortunately, he will forever be remembered for the awful, hideous Astor Place Tower installed in New York City's East Village a few years back, except not for "forever" because it will probably be torn down within ten years, thank God.
Miami Beach now, unexpectedly, has two of the most exciting buildings in the world. The first was a parking garage, by Herzog & de Meuron, which serves little public benefit except beauty. (Though it is a boon to the wedding and party industry, and it also serves much private benefit to its owner, and no doubt it will be converted entirely into rich people lofts in the future.) That the owner calls it a "civic space" is pretty ridiculous; his penthouse is on the roof of the building and the flat rate for parking is $15. But the new home of the New World Symphony, reviewed today [...]
"I don't think that any iteration of modernism was ever intended to convey coldness, though it's certainly been codified that way in various pop cultural vehicles, Hollywood movies among them. I suppose it's funny, in the end, that even these happy, vibey California homes can somehow be retrofitted to house vice. And that the filmmakers would deem them appropriate containers for villainy in the first place is something I can't help but smile at." —Benjamin Critton discusses his "tabloid treatise," Evil People in Modern Homes in Popular Films, now on sale at Printed Matter. (via, via)
Holy Jesus, they're really going to build this Anish Kapoor structure in London for the Olympics. Higher than the Statue of Liberty! I unabashedly love Kapoor and think he's a genius and this is kind of amazing-bonkers! I wish it wasn't red though? But that's useful, because it'll disguise all the blood from the many knifecrimes that shall occur upon it.
"When people ask me why the world still does not have a single vertical farm, I just raise my eyebrows and shrug my shoulders." I can't think of what's wrong with the ideas Dickson D. Despommier writes about in his New York Times op-ed either. (I definitely can't think of anything wrong with his name. It's like a character from a porn Three Musketeers-which does, of course, exist.) So now, sites like Weburbanist and Trendhunter offer cool round-ups of design proposals that let us see what urban vertical farms-"skyfarms" is a sexier name-could look like.
This fine Hamptons home has been chopped down to $4 million-down from $5.5 mil last week! It has only been sitting on the market for a year, and OMG, it is like Pee-Wee Herman threw up Play-Doh everywhere inside Barbie's Dream House.