One of the most exquisite works of recent architecture seeks to fade into its bucolic surroundings. From a ridge at the high point of an 80-acre former horse farm in New Canaan, Connecticut, a pathway protected by a breathtakingly thin roof hairpins around mature trees as it glides down a slope. The roof broadens to cover five pavilions, each one a curved-wall bubble of floor-to-ceiling glass. Grace Farms, hunkering amid forested exurban splendor, is a spare-no-expense destination for … [Read more...]
Architectural Record Sale: Wane or Gain of Architects’ Influence?
It’s hard to see the sale of Architectural Record magazine (and its sister publication ENR) to BNP Media as anything but a shift downmarket, since it joins a portfolio that includes Stone World and Floor Trends. It is Record's second sale in less than a year, having been already spun off from its longtime corporate parent, the McGraw-Hill Companies. Record and other publications aimed at architects are not immune from the struggle of condescendingly termed “legacy” publications that teeter in … [Read more...]
Historic Preservation: Fighting the Wrong Battles?
The Frick Collection’s formality is as astringent as a dry martini. We marvel at the works of great art hung within rooms of impersonal splendor. Yet the Frick is rather contrived, an elegant knockoff of a French country seat, by Thomas Hastings, of Carrère and Hastings, carefully re-proportioned to fit on a New York City block. Its horizontality and stiff front garden set it defiantly in contrast to the much larger buildings that surround it. Does it lose its relevance if it can’t evolve and … [Read more...]
Facebook, Whitney Museum, Eli Broad, Merging Architects
I would like to think I am a writer adept enough to tie together the assorted items in the headline. I'm not. These are simply several writing projects that have stretched over months but which coincidentally appeared almost at the same time. They are collected here for your convenience. I have had a long fascination with architecture that helps organizations reach their aspirations. This would seem like a no-brainer except that architecture that deeply explores and expresses work culture … [Read more...]
Chipperfield is Game Changing Architect for Met Museum
An extraordinary transformation of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art could happen now that the museum has selected the London architect David Chipperfield to redesign its massive Modern art wing. It’s a dramatic new direction for the museum, which I wrote about in The Economist. The Met has worked with a single architecture firm over 40 years: Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. That in itself is extraordinary. It built out the firm's 1970 master plan over 20 years in beefy ranges … [Read more...]