Tagged: Architecture

Photo Diary: A visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

It’s impossible to take a bad picture of Milwaukee Art Museum’s atrium (designed by Santiago Calatrava). This museum is all kinds of killer. I couldn’t get enough. (As always, click on images to supersize.)

Would look smashing with a plastic cover: a mid-nineteenth century sofa attributed to John Henry Belter.

A sculpture by Donald Fortescue and Lawrence LaBianca in the museum’s New Materiality exhibit, up through June 12. This piece had a very subtle audio component to it: stand under the trumpet and you could hear the faint sounds of water sloshing. It was the kids there who pointed this out to us.

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The Digest. 03.23.11.

Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK. Now slated to become a boutique hotel. (Photo by C-M.)

Grey Lady Burlesque.

The New York Times Building, at center, by Renzo Piano. (Photo by C-M.)

When Renzo Piano’s New York Times building went up a couple of years back, I can’t say I was exactly enchanted with the new addition to the city’s skyline. The grey ceramic rods that cover the exterior are cold, especially on cloudy days, when they provide about as much visual stimulation as cement. But, I have to confess, I’ve grown to like the structure’s exterior – principally at dusk, when this lumpen tower of grey starts to blend with the slate-colored sky and its innards are slowly illuminated. The ultimate big reveal.

See the NY Times slideshow. Plus: Renzo Piano’s website.

The Digest. 07.24.09.

The 1973 addition to Miami’s Bacardi building, by architect Ignacio Carrera-Justiz. The design is based on a painting by German artist Johannes M. Dietz. (Photo by C-M.)

Calendar. 06.30.09.

Shiki Community Hall, 2002, in Kumamoto Japan, designed by Hitoshi Abe. (Image courtesy of Atelier Hitoshi Abe.)

Architecturespeak, novel edition.

So many words. (Photo by v.max1978.)

The finest piece of writing I read in all of 2008 was, without a doubt, Zaha Hadid Architects’ parametricism manifesto, released during the Venice Architecture Biennial in September:

That the parametric paradigm is becoming pervasive in contemporary architecture and design is evident. There has been talk about versioning, iteration and mass customisation for quite a while within the architectural avant-garde discourse, formulated at the beginning of the 1990s with the slogan of ‘continuous differentiation.’ Since then, there has been both a widespread, even hegemonic, dissemination of this tendency, as well as a cumulative build-up of virtuosity, resolution and refinement within it.

I think that basically says it all. But what, I’m not sure. What I do know is that this would make for some super snazzy fiction. So, I’ve taken a crack at the beginning of a novel:

Chapter One.

She iterated on the couch, optomizing her version of reality. Outdoors his car idled, a cumulative dissemination of all that was gravitating towards its natural culmination. She looked up. A question versioned. But there was no differentiating these events. Even a hegemonic dissemination of this tendency could neither resolve nor refine their inevitable swagger towards catastrophe.

Feel free to submit Chapter Two below. There’s no better way to start the year than by taking a dump on architectural pretension.