Architecture and Beauty

Another book that sounds like it is right in my sweet spot: Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects about a Troubled Relationship, by Yael Reisner. Ah, beauty… It continues to be an issue of dispute in every contemporary m├ętier—visual art, music, literature. This topic continues to engage, divide, provoke, perplex. I know a bit about […]

Human Rootedness

The dominance of the eye and the suppression of the other senses tends to push us into detachment, isolation and exteriority. The art of the eye has certainly produced imposing and thought-provoking structures, but it has not facilitated human rootedness in the world. The fact that the modernist idiom has not generally been able to […]

Volumetric Light

7 World Trade Center: Lucid facades of glass, designed by James Carpenter (Photo: Wired New York) James Carpenter was a glass artist for 30 years (and studying/collaborating with Dale Chihuly while he was at RISD) prior to his more recent involvement in architectural projects. His approach involves using glass not to just create enclosures but […]

More Advocacy Like This, Please

Dutch architects MVRDV’s design for a cantilevered holiday home in Suffolk, UK. We all admire heroic acts, but this is one I hadn’t expected. Author Alain de Botton (Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel, among others) is commissioning architects to build purposefully experimental homes that he will make available for holiday rentals on a […]

Greatness, with Grace

Architect Jeanne Gang (Photo: Chicago Tribune) Paul Goldberger wrote about architect Jeanne Gang and her new shimmery addition to the Chicago skyline (a tower named Aqua, which is quite evocative isn’t it?) in a recent issue of the New Yorker. Goldberger is particularly impressed with the distinctive 82-story apartment building, citing its remarkable blend of […]

The Ideal of Emptiness

The ideal of emptiness: Not there yet, but moving in that direction, the Fisher Center at Bard College designed by Frank Gehry I’ve written previously about the slim but beguiling book that I found at the William Stout bookstore in San Francisco, Poems for Architects by Jill Stoner (my earlier post is Poetry and Space). […]