In an age that celebrates transparency and openness, it's fashionable to disparage gates. They have become symbols of elitism and exclusion, or just plain ugly instruments of control. Cue the gated subdivision.
But the 25 gates that rim the perimeter of Harvard Yard tell a different story: Gates are expressions of beginning, of belonging, of entry into something larger than oneself. — Blair Kamin
Blair Kamin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, has a new book out today, The Gates of Harvard Yard. Here, Kamin presents why the illustrious university's gate designs are worth investigating in an exclusive intro for Archinect, followed by an excerpted piece...
...it's tempting to turn cartwheels over the Chicago City Council's vote to grant permanent landmark status to Marina City, the city within a city best known for its iconic corncob-shaped towers.
Marina City was a landmark building that lacked official landmark status and was therefore vulnerable — if not to demolition, then to insensitive additions that chipped away at the sculpted beauty of its curving concrete. — Chicago Tribune
Since the process began last July, Chicago City Council unanimously voted 48-0 (with the absence of two aldermen) to designate Bertrand Goldberg's midcentury icon as a historic city landmark as of Wednesday, according to Loop North News."Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, deserves credit for championing...
Architectural photography is supposed to be different from the airbrushed images of nude women that are about to disappear from the centerfold of Playboy magazine. But what if an edited photograph of a building doesn't just crop out visual clutter like street lights but alters the contours of the building itself? What should we think about an architectural award that was bestowed on the basis of such a doctored image? — Blair Kamin | Chicago Tribune
In his column, Kamin scrutinizes the recent awarding of an honor award to El Centro, a building designed by Juan Moreno, by the Chicago branch of the AIA. Apparently, the architects provided the jurors with a photoshopped image of the building, notably erasing the clunky air circulation machines...
You may recall an entertaining Twitter spat that broke out between ... Donald Trump and Pulitzer-winning Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. [...]
Kamin got off easy compared to his predecessor, the late Paul Gapp, who was also a Pulitzer-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune. [...]
But [Gapp's] achievements were overshadowed by his run-in with The Donald: a $500 million lawsuit over one column, about Trump’s plan to build the tallest building in America in Manhattan. — chicagomag.com
More news from Trump and the Windy City:Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin on why his profession isn't deadOld Guy Fight! Tribune’s Blair Kamin vs. Donald TrumpBlair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developmentsChicago Mayor blasts Trump sign as 'tasteless'
Clearly, the days of the critic’s hegemony are done. [...]
Yet as I know from years of blogging and tweeting, there is often wisdom in the crowd. The people who live in a neighborhood or work in a building often know more about it than the lazy critic who makes only a cursory inspection.
My take on all this is that architecture criticism is not dead ... They fail to recognize that the circumstances of our time offer promise as well as peril. — niemanreports.org
In a speech delivered this past spring at Chicago's Society of Architectural Historians, Blair Kamin, architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, addressed the nature of architecture criticism in today's media landscape. The talk came after Kamin's contentious Twitter exchange with "comb-over...
This is a tale of two new West Loop high-rises and what they say about Chicago's apartment building boom, which has restored construction cranes to the skyline but has yet to give us architecture with a capital "A."
The buildings — the underwhelming Arkadia Tower in Greektown and the better-than-average JeffJack Apartments west of Union Station — are the latest products of the construction surge [...]. — chicagotribune.com
Watching two grown men in a social media hissy fit over a building sign is actually a lot more amusing than one might think.
In this corner, Donald Trump, rich guy, who, in the view of one esteemed newspaper critic, has defiled our fine city by slapping his name on the side of his silvery, shiny building.
In the other corner, Blair Kamin, decorated architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune and defender of building aesthetics. — chicago.cbslocal.com
The upstart exhibition, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to announce Tuesday, will be called the Chicago Architecture Biennial, a nod to the prestigious Venice Biennale, which just opened its 14th international architecture exhibition.
Chicago is billing its biennial as North America's biggest survey of international contemporary architecture, but the event faces a crowded field. — chicagotribune.com
Architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin, writes about China's building boom in his story, "Designed in Chicago, made in China." [...]
"Chinese developers lack the expertise to do great skyscrapers," he says. "During the Cultural Revolution their architectural profession was decimated. It really became more about purely engineering. So if you're a Chinese developer, you go to Chicago." — Public Radio International
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