Archive for June, 2005

360 of Tadao Ando’s new Tokyo Shibuya subway station


Ando’s proud of this. 30 meters – about 100 feet – down and natural ventilation!

(Click and drag down to see the roof.)

As his buildings make you aware of the wind, he told me he wants this station to make you aware of the air currents caused by the trains.

image via Coudal


Putting up the Sol Lewitt Wall Paintings at MASS MoCA


Better than Stomp
The artists at work call this “dance” “the Boom-Boom.”
Click on the arrow.

More on this great exhibition soon. The Sol LeWitt retrospective that you see going up at MASS MoCA is beyond stunning. I’d seen the spaces empty and had been told what would go up, but you can have no idea of their splendor and impact and how they transform your being until you see them.

One hundred works, each wall size, created over forty years. Together they cover almost an acre of wall space at MASS MoCA. Where else would have the space for this? This will open in November and they’ll remain in place for at least twenty five years. Sol LeWitt was involved with the exhibition, too bad he didn’t get to see it before his death in April 2007.

And from “dance music” to one of the “quietest” buildings you’ll ever visit.

Where everything is at rest. I’ll also post soon on the very peaceful new Tadao Ando Clark Art Institute galleries in the woods; and the adjoining Williamstown Art Conservation Center. Together with the Ando terrace you see below, from which to contemplate the beautiful Berkshires.

But right now, on this Sunday morning, I’m just enjoying this.

More new Mies


And while we’re on the subject of Mies, this book comes out in paperback today, from Princeton Architectural Press:

Conversations with Mies van der Rohe

In this collection of interviews Mies talks freely about his relationship with clients, the common language he aimed for in his architectural projects, the influences on his work, and the synthesis of architecture and technology that he advanced in his designs and built works.

Conversations with Mies van der Rohe makes an important contribution to the corpus of Mies scholarship. It presents a vivid picture of a master of modernism, bringing his artistic biography to a close while completing the scope of his style in terms of techniques, scale, use of materials, and typology. An essay by Iñaki Ábalos provides a context for these interviews and looks at Mies’s legacy from a contemporary perspective.”

And this November 1st will bring the publication of another book,

Mies and Modern Living
Helmut Reuter and Birgit Schulte, Editors

“Gathering the proceedings of a 2007 symposium on Mies, this publication takes the Barcelona chair as a starting point to address his progressive ideas on interior space and continuities between architecture and furniture design. Experts trace the highlights of Mies’ career and flesh out a context for his innovations in the ferment of 1920s and 1930s Berlin. Also included is a series of previously unpublished photographs of Mies’ work.”

Mies and Judd


Don’t Mies’ towers in the photo below, seen in that era’s tint,
remind you more than ever of Donald Judd boxes?

Minimalism – the simple expression of complex thought, as Judd said.

Mies on a Hot Tin Roof


I’d never seen this photograph before. Mies in 1960 with his 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments. (Where I live when I’m in Chicago.)

by Slim Aarons.

Funny, like the Barcelona Pavilion, which for so long was known only from memory and black and white photos, until it was “reconstructed;” it is (as “cityofparis” says in a comment to this post) very odd to see a color photograph of Mies. It does make him come alive in a more modern way. The color even makes him seem a little less dour than we think he is in most of the black and whites.

And from the angle, he is floating. As his buildings do.

Calatrava’s Chicago Spire – sales


Garrett Kelleher, the developer of the Chicago Spire – designed by Santiago Calatrava – says he has sold 30% of the building’s condo units, which he says is proof that the Spire – the world’s tallest residential structure – will be built.

But quotes The (Singapore) Straits Times:

Two-thirds of Singapore buyers have backed out of their purchases of units in the much-hyped Chicago Spire in the United States.

A number were apparently spooked by the near-collapse of US investment bank Bear Stearns, which took place a week after the Chicago Spire was launched in Singapore.

Mr Colin Tan, the head of research and consultancy at Chesterton International, said it made sense for the buyers to pull out of their deals.

‘Housing prices in the US are coming down, and while some properties may look like a good investment now, you can probably get it cheaper later,’ he said.

Experts said those who had seen their purchases through are likely to be more serious buyers who may, for example, have children studying in Chicago.

Most of the units that were sold were reported to be one- or two-bedroom apartments that averaged US$1 million each, or US$1,000 per sq ft.

About half the buyers were said to be Singaporeans or permanent residents, and the rest were expatriates.

It is understood that to date, about 10 of the Singapore buyers have inked their purchase agreements. At least two of them are believed to be Indonesians.

Sources said the Chicago Spire’s exhibitions in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which followed its launch in Singapore, received a lukewarm response as the turmoil in the US financial markets deepened in March..

The Spire is designed with 1,194 units, including a $40 million penthouse, which is still for sale. It is scheduled for completion in 2012.