Berlin may be Europe's new culture capital, but small and midsize cities across the former East Germany have been ravaged by plummeting populations and rampant disinvestment. Now, 19 of these shrinking cities are being reinvented thanks to Germany's legendary IBA building program.
The Architect's Newspaper, 30 November 2010
Remembering Louis Sullivan, Seed Germ Savant
It's a boom time for architectural documentaries, but few are as touching as Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture. This tragic film profiles the man who aspired to create an American style of architecture, yet was left behind by a century that he himself did much to define.
The Architect's Newspaper, 29 November 2010
Wealth of Health for Chickasaw Nation
With a health care system serving 40,000 Native Americans annually, the Chickasaw Nation, based in the central Oklahoma town of Ada, puts the rest of the U.S. to shame with its commitment to universal, patient-centered care. The tribe's latest laurel is a $145 million monument to humane hospital design.
The Architect's Newspaper, 21 September 2010
Miller Time at Riverside South?
The Miller Highway has long blemished a stretch of Riverside Park on New York's Upper West Side. But unbeknownst to passing rollerbladers, Extell Development has been quietly completing a $60 million tunnel shell to bury the blighted highway and craft a monumental 3/4-mile-long public space.
The Architect's Newspaper, 7 September 2010
Fallingwater's New Bedfellows
For years, overnight visitors attending Fallingwater’s educational programs have bunked down in a cramped, four-bedroom house near Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterwork in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. But Wright devotees will soon have the luxury of Patkau Architects’ low-impact, energy-efficient cottages.
The Architect's Newspaper, 16 June 2010
All the Way to the Bank
In a surprisingly little-noticed move on Capitol Hill last month, Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut introduced a bill to establish a national infrastructure bank. But missing from the chorus of support for the bill was a group with more than a passing interest in the matter—the American Institute of Architects.
The Architect's Newspaper, 3 June 2009
A Landmark Ruling?
Preservation alarms are ringing at the specter of Chicago’s architectural patrimony—Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright—being pummeled by the wrecking ball in the wake of a court challenge that has raised constitutional questions about the city’s 41-year-old landmarks ordinance.
The Architect's Newspaper, 15 April 2009
Qatar's Crown Jewel
When the cultural ambassadors of Qatar asked I.M. Pei to design the new Museum of Islamic Art—destined, they hoped, to be the emirate’s answer to the Guggenheim in Bilbao—the 91-year-old architect eyed the proposed site up and down. Too cramped, he finally said. Then he gazed out at the glittering Persian Gulf. Why not build me an island?
Modern Painters, 1 November 2008
London has its Thames Barrier. Dutch cities are fortified for the 10,000-year storm. Now America is facing its soggy future as architects and ecologists grapple with a hybrid of structure and landscape called aquatecture—a new, blue wave of sustainable urban design.
The Architect's Newspaper, 19 March 2008
Builders of the future, get your robot on. On the not-too-distant horizon machines are tooling up to mill, drill, and build otherworldly new forms.
The Architect's Newspaper, 5 December 2007
Flush with civic ambition, a gargantuan new arena, and fresh planning talent, Mayor Cory Booker is betting big on this long-struggling city's future.
The Architect's Newspaper, 17 October 2007
Rising Up Against Teardowns
Got serendipity? Check. Mettle? Check. You’ll need ’em to save a cherished piece of history in metro New York City, where old buildings are being bulldozed to make room for newer, bigger homes.
The New York Times, 16 July 2006
The Darth Vader of traditional architecture—leader of a backward-looking empire pitted against modernism’s flight to the future (Frank Gehry as Luke Skywalker?)—Christopher Alexander may be the world’s most dangerous architect.
The Village Voice, 24 May 2006
Amid the Facades, Furrowed Brows
Real-estate roulette and a booming population have put the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in the middle of a land-use maelstrom.
The New York Times, 19 March 2006
Romance of the Wrecking Ball
When Pennsylvania Station met its sorry end 42 years ago, Ralph Stephenson, a counterman at Savarin restaurant, wryly marked the moment. “This city’s got the right name -- New York,” he said. “Nothing ever gets old around here.”
The New York Times, 22 January 2006
True to form in the Motor City—mythic land of the annual new model—Detroiters got a head start on the coming century as the rubble met the road.
LOST Magazine, January 2006
Let Libeskind Be Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind’s got Itzhak Perlman in his past. He’s got the gestapo on his mind, a Jabberwock in his pocket. And—dare we say it?—dude’s got mojo.
The Village Voice, 19 October 2004
There are no entrails in Paris. Guts, innards, sweetbreads—they’re all gone, by municipal fiat. I’m not talking a plate of haggis over at some boîte in Montmartre, either. I’m talking vast, redolent, gobsmacking entrails. Viands, man. By the kilo.
The Village Voice, 10 May 2004
Everything Falls Apart
Of all the screwball architectural passions—gingerbread-house fetishes, say, or the mania, in the suburbs, for turreted tilt-wall chateaux—surely none are more feral than the hankering for heaps of broken stone.
The Believer, June 2003
Maps and Chaps
Kropotkin was a geographer? You betcha. Practicing a rowdy cultural politics and sizing up space through a neo-Marxist lens, the New Geography takes a hard left turn.
The Village Voice, 1 August 2001
Tales of the Kefir Furnaceman
On a frigid February morning in 1985, Berkeley sociologist Michael Burawoy punched in at Hungary’s Lenin Steel Works and came belly-to-brimstone with the flame-belching maw of an 80-ton furnace. Don’t even ask about the slag drawer.
The Village Voice, 11 April 2001
Fortysomethings on campus are wedding old-school critique with new-school chops. “My generation can have its foot in both camps,” says geographer Andy Merrifield. “We read Capital, but also understand the need to put bricks through Starbucks’ windows.”
The Village Voice, 17 January 2001