Archive for the ‘Unity Temple’ Category

If Barack Obama were a building…

01/20/2009

what building would Barack Obama be?

I was inspired to ask this after appearing on Frances Anderton’s Design and Architecture on KCRW radio to talk about Barack Obama and design. Since, well, you know, this.

One Beautiful! reader suggested

Steven Holl’s addition to the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City.
I like the comparison. This is contemporary, yet well rooted. Shining forth. Full of culture. Energy efficient. Holds many ideas and is capable of doing many things at once. Works with nature. Very open.
Another reader suggested something like this

Infrastructure
If so, I hope it’s high-speed rail, well-designed infrastructure, plus broadband and alternative energies.

Would he be

a Louis Sullivan? Every inch “a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation” as Sullivan wanted his tall buildings to be? Sullivan, a transplant to Chicago, like Obama, certainly gave us optimism and the highest American democratic ideals. But his late nineteenth-century work came at a time of prosperity; and he wanted his tall buildings “without a single dissenting line.” Not sure that’s Obama.

How about

Unity Temple
Frank Lloyd Wright
Oak Park, Illinois
1905

Historic, new, original. A hybrid of two cultures, east and west. Tall, looks outward, radiates energy outward across the land. Radical, yet rooted. Modern yet traditional. Like Sullivan, Wright proclaims Emersonian American ideals. Seems to keep a lot to itself, kind of cool on the outside, a heck of a lot going on in the inside.

Let’s compare Obama to a more contemporary building.

What building do you think Barack Obama would be?

— Read part two here. —

A few months ago, I wrote about Obama and columns.

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03/31/2007

Today! at 2 pm.


Meet me in the hallowed space
of Unity Temple in Oak Park

I’ll be with the great storyteller on architecture and architects,
Tim Samuelson.

Tim will bring some old records and his Victrola.
It’s just five years younger than Unity Temple itself.

We’ll show you how great buildings
are one-of-a-kind
musical instruments.

Saturday, March 31st, 2007 2-4 pm

At Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple
875 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL

$15 members / $20 non-members

For more information call 708.383.8873
or click here.

Help them raise money to restore Unity Temple.
Now that’s a good cause.

I’d love to see you there. It’ll be fun.
-Edward

02/20/2007


Rafael! The Return of Vi
ñoly

Starchitect Rafael Viñoly has designed a production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses. It will open March 28th at Chicago Opera Theater.

COT’s marketing department writes, “His flair for breathtaking drama shows in his buildings…. Now the renowned architect Rafael Viñoly unleashes his creativity on Homer’s story of Ulysses.”

Vinoly returns to Daleyville, after his much-praised

Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (across the street from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.) Vinoly is also working on a hospital building for the University of Chicago, scheduled to open in 2011. It’ll feature a “Sky Garden” with broad views of Washington Park and the University of Chicago campus.

I’m always interested in the confluence of Architecture and Music. In fact, I’ll be talking about it at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple on March 31, in a benefit for the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.

I’m looking forward to seeing Vinoly’s Ulysses three days earlier. A happy coincidence .
Architects and Opera? In 2002 I saw

Daniel Libeskind’s Saint Francis of Assisi (Messian) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I found that a little too mechanistic in design and movement, and less revealing or supportive of the music.

I’m curious to see what Vinoly will do. His
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia is musical architecture.

Chicago Opera Theater run by Brian (“[I managed to catch Vinoly] for a moment during his crazy schedule of zooming around the world as architects do these days,”) Dickie, with Jane Glover conducting, is one of the top cultural organizations here. Their Nixon in China last year was unforgettably, mind-blowingly searingly good culture. They brought out the drama in that repetitive work by John Adams with superb singing, staging and many tv sets in a line across the stage. They made the normally pallid Harris Theater stage sing. Their contemporary staging worked well in that simple straightforward space.

Of course, the most symbiotic relationship would be between


Tosca and the church in Rome in which it opens,

Sant’Andrea della Valle.
Try walking into there and not hearing music!

St. Francis photo © Bernd Uhlig

02/20/2007


Rafael! The Return of Vi
ñoly

Starchitect Rafael Viñoly has designed a production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses. It will open March 28th at Chicago Opera Theater.

COT’s marketing department writes, “His flair for breathtaking drama shows in his buildings…. Now the renowned architect Rafael Viñoly unleashes his creativity on Homer’s story of Ulysses.”

Vinoly returns to Daleyville, after his much-praised

Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (across the street from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.) Vinoly is also working on a hospital building for the University of Chicago, scheduled to open in 2011. It’ll feature a “Sky Garden” with broad views of Washington Park and the University of Chicago campus.

I’m always interested in the confluence of Architecture and Music. In fact, I’ll be talking about it at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple on March 31, in a benefit for the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.

I’m looking forward to seeing Vinoly’s Ulysses three days earlier. A happy coincidence .
Architects and Opera? In 2002 I saw

Daniel Libeskind’s Saint Francis of Assisi (Messian) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I found that a little too mechanistic in design and movement, and less revealing or supportive of the music.

I’m curious to see what Vinoly will do. His
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia is musical architecture.

Chicago Opera Theater run by Brian (“[I managed to catch Vinoly] for a moment during his crazy schedule of zooming around the world as architects do these days,”) Dickie, with Jane Glover conducting, is one of the top cultural organizations here. Their Nixon in China last year was unforgettably, mind-blowingly searingly good culture. They brought out the drama in that repetitive work by John Adams with superb singing, staging and many tv sets in a line across the stage. They made the normally pallid Harris Theater stage sing. Their contemporary staging worked well in that simple straightforward space.

Of course, the most symbiotic relationship would be between


Tosca and the church in Rome in which it opens,

Sant’Andrea della Valle.
Try walking into there and not hearing music!

St. Francis photo © Bernd Uhlig