Archive for October, 2008

From darkness to light

10/31/2008

Needing a return to beauty


I’ll post SAANA’s project Torre Neruda.

Click to better its beauty. I think Pablo Neruda would be pleased.

Tower Of Light

O tower of light, sad beauty
that magnified necklaces and statues in the sea,
calcareous eye, insignia of the vast waters, cry
of the mourning petrel, tooth of the sea, wife
of the Oceanian wind, O separate rose
from the long stem of the trampled bush
that the depths, converted into archipelago,
O natural star, green diadem,
alone in your lonesome dynasty,
still unattainable, elusive, desolate
like one drop, like one grape, like the sea.

Pablo Neruda


On this twenty-five story speculative office tower the top three floors will be reserved for full-floor residences. One meter setbacks as the building rises. This creates terraces. Reminds one of SANAA’s New Museum in New York, and like it, this will have some perforated aluminum on the facade. I think I’d prefer the skin of this one which seems to have more glass than they could put on a museum. (Although they do pretty well with glass at the Glass Pavilion of the Toledo Museum of Art, but again, that’s not meant to contain paintings.) In Guadalajara the windows will slide open. This pure beauty should be always good to look at in the strong sun and changing light of Guadalajara.

Torre Neruda
Guadalajara, Mexico.
Design 2007 – 2008. Construction 2008 – 2009

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Happy Halloween O Architects of the Past!

10/31/2008

“It would appear that the typical architect dies from heart failure at the age of 73.”

-From Of This We Are Sure

via our friends at Coudal

Studs Terkel has passed.

10/31/2008


Sing a spiritual for Studs.

I’m so glad I called him the other day. He sounded so good.

Not long ago, I posted this on Studs.

“It will be always howdy howdy
It will be always howdy howdy
It will be always howdy howdy
and never goodbye.”

-One of Studs’ favorites – “Move on Up a Little Higher.”

With love,
to Studs.


It’s a shame Studs didn’t get to see Obama president. Studs did take us close to the Promised Land.


Bottom photo: Chicago Tribune /Chris Walker. With a lovely remembrance by Rick Kogan.

The last interview

Mies’ Lake Shore Drive Apartments being restored

10/30/2008

I’ve written a lot about the restoration going on at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe. It’s time to start showing some pictures of the buildings that look better than they have in years. Here’s one of the new plaza being laid down.


I’ll try to post more photos over the next few days, culminating in a spectacular shot of the two buildings, taken from Olive Park, across the water, showing just how crisp and jet black the new paint job looks. The two buildings really pop out now, as they should. After these two zen-like high-rises, the rest is background.

Big thanks to Marc Boxerman for the photos.
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Mies’ Lake Shore Drive Apartments being restored

10/30/2008

I’ve written a lot about the restoration going on at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe. It’s time to start showing some pictures of the buildings that look better than they have in years. Here’s one of the new plaza being laid down.


I’ll try to post more photos over the next few days, culminating in a spectacular shot of the two buildings, taken from Olive Park, across the water, showing just how crisp and jet black the new paint job looks. The two buildings really pop out now, as they should. After these two zen-like high-rises, the rest is background.

Big thanks to Marc Boxerman for the photos.
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A more transparent Farnsworth House

10/23/2008

Amazing. The Farnsworth House with all the furniture and the teak wardrobe at the east end removed. The wardrobe was taken away for restoration after the flood. We get a chance to see Miesian space flow in new ways.


I think Mies didn’t want that cabinetry there, his client Edith Farnsworth convinced him she needed it.

Photos courtesy of Whitney French and Landmarks Illinois. Every historic house should have site manager who is such a good photographer!


Three more photographs here. And you’ll find out how to visit the house, and/or help pay for restoration.
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Unsweetened concrete blocks

10/23/2008


In case you were wondering…

Sweet concrete blocks!

10/23/2008


From Spiceship
via the one and only Mister Jalopy at Dinosaurs and Robots

Sarah Vowell on Chicago Architecture

10/22/2008

I am very gung-ho on the history of Chicago architecture. It was a great joy to attend the School of the Art Institute as a graduate student, to get out of the El every morning next to Louis Sullivan’s Carson Pirie Scott building. I can never get enough of the buildings of Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. And I loved being able to go to the Art Institute every day—how sort of grandmotherly it is, in a good way. It was always so endearing to watch the school children tramping through there like they owned the place. And I do miss the music as well. I’ve never been able to find a live band in New York as consistently thrilling and funny and fun as the Waco Brothers.

read more here

And in this New York Times video, Sarah Vowell tells why Sullivan inspires her, artistically and politically.

“It’s not just, you know, roccoco frippery.” – Sarah Vowell


Thanks to Lynn Becker of ArchitectureChicagoPlus for the video link.

>—+—<

If Sullivans inspire so in Chicago, and your town had one, would you not cherish it?

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa stands

Louis Sullivan’s Peoples Savings Bank of 1911. It’s about a block from the river, and suffered greatly in last summer’s floods. Damage to the main floor and basement are reported.

So what do you do about this? Pauline Saliga of the Society of Architectural Historians writes,

Apparently the city fathers of Cedar Rapids are considering endorsing a plan to build levees in downtown which would require demolition of many historic structures, including City Hall, a county courthouse and the SULLIVAN BANK.

Below is an email from one of the people who is spearheading an effort to find alternate solutions. She has created a blog www.redefinecr.org where you can sign a petition protesting the potential demolition of their historic downtown. Please take a moment to express your outrage at the thought of demolishing Sullivan’s bank for a flood wall.”

>—+—<

In happier Sullivan news, the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin has the story on a newly discovered Louis Sullivan building in downtown Chicago!

(I like that this post on Sullivan is tripartite – “base, shaft, attic.” Like his tall buildings. The blog, like the skyscraper, must be, “every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line.” And good that it all rests on that quote. I guess Sarah Vowell’s head would be the capital. Not bad.)

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photograph of the bank: Einar Einarsson Kvaran
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Learning from a homepage

10/21/2008

Have you visited lately the website of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates? Its signage and fonts and billboards, etc is so them; and only them.


Full of signs and systems and competing symbols. Check it out here.
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