Category Archives: Current

Wowie Zowie: The Other Kind

BEFORE the architecture world settled on “the Iconic building” as the best marketing term to sell shiny towers to the global super-rich, UK Deputy Prime Minister John Preston used to talk about “the Wow Factor” when talking about what London … Continue reading

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Bike Shares I Have Known

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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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The voices are rising, on both sides of the Atlantic

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“Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants”

IF TROMBONE SHORTY were an architect, his fellow architects would say his music is “nostalgic” and “pastiche,” because he draws so heavily on the musical traditions of New Orleans. Luckily for us, musicians are smarter than that. The White House loves … Continue reading

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The Good Kind – Bilbao

I WENT TO BILBAO just to see the Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum. I’m glad I did. Gehry may be our greatest living architect, and the Guggenheim is the best of the 6 or 7 of the buildings designed by him … Continue reading

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The Good Kind – 150 Charles Street, Cook + Fox

I’VE NOTICED this new building a few times from the Hudson River Greenway. It always gets an automatic, “Oh, that’s pretty good.” Other architects have told me they’ve had similar “blink” reactions. Why? It’s well proportioned, it has pleasant massing, … 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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Selling Snow To Eskimos Part II (BIG Photobombs Tribeca)

UPDATE: I rode a bike from Lafayette Street to the Hudson River today. At the beginning of the ride I looked up Broadway and saw the top of the Chrysler Building. At Fifth Avenue the Empire State Building came into … Continue reading

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Why Is A Private Company Allowed To Close And Design Public Streets?

UPDATE: The good news is that this has been to the Community Boards, which endorsed the plan—I don’t know why I didn’t find that in my searches or calls around this morning. It is good that there is some public … Continue reading

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Selling Snow To Eskimos

More proof, if proof were needed, that Starchitects are very good at that.* Daniel Libeskind is even better than Ingels—although Ingels is obviously great at it too. “Seven Leading Architects Defend the World’s Most Hated Buildings”

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The Medium Is The Mechanism

Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting … Continue reading

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“The Placemaking Handbook”

“This book should be mandatory reading for anyone entrusted with the design of outdoor public space.” Download the Review (PDF)

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The Good Kind—The New York Municipal Building

McKim, Mead & White, New York Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, Manhattan, 1907-1914. ONE-HUNDRED YEARS AGO, when the New York Municipal Building was one year old, McKim, Mead & White were known across the country as the best architects in … Continue reading

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Honestly, isn’t this building giving New Yorkers the finger?

UPDATE: When I first published this quick post in September 2014, for some reason it attracted comments from young architects who not only wanted to defend the building, but who saw my comments as ridiculous. In retrospect, it’s obvious that … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Classical, Culture, Current, Egotecture, Global, New York, Street Design, The Other Kind, Urbanism | 33 Comments

Mystery City No. 2

No. 1: Guess The City (without using Google image search)

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Posted in Architecture, Current, Global, The Other Kind, Urbanism | 5 Comments

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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