Category Archives: Craft

The Best Building At Columbia

THIS IS a difficult building to photograph, and a Northern Italian Renaissanc church with a loosely Byzantine interior wouldn’t normally be my favorite. But it is so well done. The perfect proportions, the details in the entrance in antis, the … Continue reading

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The Biggest Cornices in New York

Above & Below: Astor Court, 209 West 89th St, Charles Platt, 1915. Below: United States Rubber Building, 1790 Broadway, Carrère & Hastings, 1912. The Residential and Commercial Champions. Leave suggestions in the comments if you have alternative candidates.

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Leon Wieseltier on Modern Cliches

IF you apply for a grant today and want to be successful, you’d better use the words “innovate” and “innovative” in your proposal. In art and architecture, words like “challenging,” “transgressive,” and “disruptive” are among the most used. So I … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Craft, Culture, Current, Egotecture, Global, New York, Quote of the Day, The Other Kind, Urbanism | Tagged | 1 Comment

We Moved

To the Broadway Chambers @ 277 Broadway, on the corner of Chambers Street—Cass Gilbert’s first building in New York City. Here’s the view from my desk:

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The Best Smelling Lobby In New York

YOU CAN FIND some of the best bread and pastries in New York in this Tribeca office building lobby—and in the year 2016, that’s saying a lot. The story is that a New Yorker who’s roamed the world learning how … Continue reading

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God is in the details

I’m working on a project in Connecticut where the team is proposing a “Slow Zone” in the center of town. An engineer on a project is a little worried about some of the details I’ve proposed. He wrote, “I think we … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Bicycle, Craft, Culture, Current, Good Kind, Materials, Pedestrian, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

Quotes of the Day – Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas in Metropolis: For a couple of years now,I have been … well, I don’t know what the best word is, but it is somewhere between bored and irritated, by the current course of architecture forcing people to be … Continue reading

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There are two types of architecture—Category I and Category II

I’VE TWEETED this post by Witold Rybczynski, and I’ve put it on FaceBook. But I don’t think it’s getting enough attention, so here it is again: Category I and Category II, by Witold Rybczynski: You can divide residential architects into … Continue reading

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New Building for New Orleans

MANY ARCHITECTS will call this design “kitsch,” “pastiche,” or “nostalgic.” Pastiche means “an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period,” so it’s not really a criticism, although they mean it to be. For that matter, … Continue reading

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Swedish Streets

THE EXCELLENT NEW BOOK SWEDISH GRACE has this interesting sidebar: I’m just starting the book, but it looks great. And note that the streets that look like cul-de-sacs actually connect through the buildings to the next street. Street Design: Buildings That … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

“On the screens of my sharpest young students are no longer the parametric pinwheels or blobby billows that were a digitally enhanced memory of the last self-consciously curated consensus style, so-called Deconstructivism. Instead it’s all 1986, all the time: James … Continue reading

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CLASSICAL CAD

UPDATE: I’M TOLD that Renaissance Revit is a good book: USING CAD for Classical Architecture is both logical and intelligent—but the image that prompted to write this brief post is ugly, so I put it after the jump, Now I … Continue reading

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Craft, Beauty, Materials, Local

Craft, beauty, materials, local — these are all words of the moment — but we rarely see them in media stories about architecture, which emphasize shiny glass curtain walls assembled from thousands of identical pieces as mechanically as possible. The walls, … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Bicycle, Craft, Current, Global, Good Kind, Local, Materials, New York | 4 Comments