"It's as close as humanly possible" to Kahn's original drawings, Rubenstein told me. Also: â€œThis is probably the most important thing I've ever done."
As spring flies by, a last chance to catch Patrick Blanc's incredible orchids at New York Botanical Garden
Just as Blanc intended, the greens of the foliage accentuate the richness of the blossoms, while its relative flatness emphasizes the flowers’ often dynamic shapes. And yet, the space occupied by the supporting plants is not entirely negative—as one looks closer, it becomes clear that these areas have their own rhythm, with, for instance, the small sharp leaves of the Myers Asparagus Fern contrasting its softer Delta Maiden cousin.
Paul Goldberger on his now-former editor, David Remnick:
"David’s level of interest rose in proportion to—in inverse proportion to the presence of something in The New York Times. If The New York Times had not covered it yet, and did not appear to be likely to cover it soon, he became more interested and more engaged.
“I like to be first; it feels good, but at the end of the day I think it’s more important to have confidence in your ability to say things better, or differently, or in your own way, than to be first."
On Friday, we told you about new plans for Pier 17 at South Street Seaport presented by the downtown architecture firm SHoP. It was remarkable in part because of the almost unanimous praise the community board, usually stingy with compliments to architects, gave the renderings presented by firm partner Gregg Pasquarelli. We've got a few more renderings to show you.(1)
At N.Y.U., faculty form a group to protest big 2031 expansion, and the Sexton administration stays mum about it
"Here's a project where just to service the debt would cost as much as the entire tuition revenue of the school," a professor in N.Y.U.'s Stern School of Business, who has joined the faculty group, told Capital. "And that seems completely absurd."
And at the other end of that debt repayment, some faculty see a bleak future.
"What we're looking at," professor Mark Crispin Miller said, "is turning the institution into a school for rich dummies."
"Clearly, the work is terrific," said Roger Byrom, chairman of the community board's Landmarks Committee, at the meeting.
"We applaud this, and we don't applaud a lot of things," said another.
It's true. Plans to revamp the area between the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery have attracted famous architects before, and they haven't always fared so well. More than a decade ago, a plan to locate a downtown branch of the Guggenheim Museum in the neighborhood, with a design by Frank Gehry, was memorably likened to a cherry bomb exploding in a Diet Coke can by a community board member.
All of these critics said that the idea that the entire architectural press had become caught up with the star architects, and object architecture, was not accurate; but that to the extent it was true, it was a monster the Times created over the last decade or more. The Times, the panelists seemed to agree, had the most influence over how the public perceived what was happening in architecture. And hiring Michael Kimmelman may make the pendulum swing too far the other way.(2)
John Hill was on a roll. It’s a John Hill roll, which is to say it rolls fairly quietly, and very smoothly. The 38-year-old architect, blogger, and author was in the McNally-Jackson bookstore in Soho on Monday night, treating a small audience to a voyage around the five boroughs by way of a slideshow based on his just-released Guide To Contemporary New York City Architecture (W.W. Norton). The crowd, a good mix of old and young, was predominantly local (evidence the accents during the Q&A session) and distinctly not design-world-looking (viz., dressed normally), and as the slides flipped past each new-built, glass-enclosed edifice, Hill gave a capsule-length taxonomy while listeners nodded and issued satisfied little noises of recognition. The Hearst Building: “Hmph.” 497 Greenwich: “Ahmpf.”
The building is made of 280 million pounds of concrete, and supported using a now-familiar "core-and-outrigger" method. The building's core makes up the main structural support, but at each level of the building arms reach out from the core and "grab" pillars near the perimeter of each floorplate.
But there is an important variation in the core-and-outrigger construction method involved here, because the shapes of the floorplates are so jagged, and so different from each other, that there is no straight line near enough the perimeter of the building that can rise consistently for the building's entire height.
Martin Finio of Christoff:Finio Architecture said, “Frank Gehry and Richard Meier, they have to be dead in 12 years." This elicited laughter, and he continued: “They’ve got to be gone by then, no?”
An audience member shouted, “Don’t count on it!”
“Retired,” Finio said, “Let’s call it retired. So that’s all we can hope for in the next 12 years.”
If nothing else, it is unusual, and definitely cool; that’s part of why a number of reviews have been sort of ambivalent. It does look like a massive, bottom-heavy pyramid from some angles, but from the street it looks more like a sail. It’s asymmetrical; a pyramid that twists, one that has, seen from the side of the river, a gash that permits more apartments with good lighting. The design is supposed to maximize the building’s potential for Hudson views, including from the courtyard, and to provide most apartments a terrace. The idea is that the building is a hybrid between the European perimeter block, with the buildings surrounding a central courtyard, and a traditional Manhattan high-rise, the tower in the park, with the park not always making it in.
Lots about the advance press for the event seemed to be pressing Viñoly to label everything that's come since the postmodern movement in architecture and explain it; what's not in dispute is that postmodernism is over.
In architecture, unlike in other disciplines, "postmodernism" is identified with a pretty specific period, and a pretty specific and identifiable kind of building, that most architects are happy to agree is behind us.
Much of the city-building taking place nowadays is subject to and generated from a new ethos about what belongs in the civic sphere. Significant building of architectural importance is dominated by the idea of public-private partnerships and has arguably had its foremost expression in the U.S. in the mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg and his deputies, who are rewriting the rules of how the city functions, and how it's built.
These problems and technologies, though, aren't just creating jobs for the new generation of architects&mash;they are shaping the aesthetic these architects are bringing forward. The city of the future will look very different, and these are the people whose vision will shape it.(1)
New York’s last great period of architectural achievement, during the 1950s and '60s, was bolstered by a massive postwar public works and jobs drive fueled with money from the federal government, which made possible public-facing projects like the United Nations complex and Lincoln Center. It was also a period in which architects like Frank Gehry, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius were designing buildings with distinct and memorable profiles, like the Guggenheim Museum, the Seagrams Building, and the Pan Am Building for corporate clients, in those days when expressions of corporate power on such a scale were applauded by the public with an almost jingoistic fervor.(1)
Ranging from building a school in Burkina Faso to refurbishing modernist housing projects in Paris, all the plans included are supposed to in some way improve quality of life in the place where they are built; it would be hard to argue that any of the 11 do not.
The "radical pragmatism" of some, like building environmentally sound schools using local materials and labor in underserved regions (two of the 11 projects fit this description) sound like projects the viewer suspects are going on already all over the world at the behest of organizations like The Peace Corps. The majority, however, are innovative—and more likely to teach us something new.