Modern architecture, during its heyday, was deeply concerned with its civic function; its mission to reform housing and improve the city was a moral imperative. But the failure of this utopian vision has served to...[give] rise to a profession in which its practice is defined increasingly by individual “star” architects and “architecture for architecture’s sake”... — AEI.org
In a piece on the civic benefits of music, literature, and architecture to the public sphere, Rebecca Burgess finds architecture to be somewhat lacking, based on the writings of Michael J. Lewis. Is this a complaint about the good old days in the vein of Prince Charles, or a meaningful critique in...
You’ve always wanted to call Brooklyn home. But it’s complicated. You’re not really the pioneering type. Brooklyn can be rough around the edges. Amenities are lacking. We understand. Industrial-chic finishes are important in life. So are 25-year tax abatements. And European-style, car-sized parking turntables. — failedarchitecture.com
Poland-based studio Zupagrafika has a thing for modernist and Brutalist architecture. And to share that passion, it has created playful illustrated paper cutout models of Brutalist buildings in London; modernist buildings in Warsaw; and a new series, Paris Brut, featuring Brutalist architecture from the 1950s–70s located in the city center and outlying banlieues. — Slate
A brick is an obdurate object of ambiguity that hovers between idea and matter, between life and death. Its texture can be smoothed to glide our touch or left rough and abrade. It can be molded into even shapes for consistent construction or made uneven, presenting individual challenges each time one is laid in a course. But while it can come close to an ideal oblong shape, it never attains perfection, and it can as much be said that it approaches perfection as it resists it. — Numéro Cinq
Earlier this year, photographer Baker took us on an odyssey through two icons of Modernism in the UK by Wells Coates: London’s Isokon building and Brighton’s Embassy Court. Now he’s teamed up with director Alex Simpson to create a mini-documentary, The Legacy of Wells Coates.
The Isokon was once home to Soviet spies, Agatha Christie and Modernist émigrés including the founder of Bauhaus school, Walter Gropius. — thespaces.com
A boxy steel and glass building standing just three stories tall, the Catholic Pastoral Center at 601 Grand Ave. doesn’t command a lot of attention. But among local architects and history buffs, it has a cult following.
“This is a building that appears in architecture textbooks,” said Jennifer James, an architectural historian...
Now, the building is poised for a $10 million renovation that Catholic Diocese of Des Moines officials say will extend its life another 50 years. — Des Moines Register
Public tours of a newly-restored Salvation Army shelter in Paris designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret start in April. The tour guides for the 11-storey building, known as the Cité de Refuge, will be the residents of the building themselves who have been trained by the Fondation Le Corbusier.
The Cité de Refuge, which opened in 1933..., is historically significant as Le Corbusier’s first urban housing project and one of only two completed buildings in Paris. — The Art Newspaper
A group of German architects and planners has started a campaign to rebuild the Wolf House, widely seen as a link between van der Rohe’s early, more conventional designs and his later buildings, like the Barcelona Pavilion and the Farnsworth House, that would redefine modern architecture. [...]
But the plan has run into resistance from other architects and scholars who say that the Wolf House would be too hard to reconstruct [...]. — nytimes.com
On March 18, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens an annex at Madison Avenue and 75th Street in Manhattan, it will be attempting to shrug off the ghost of a museum past.
The specter is the Whitney Museum of American Art, which called the iconic Marcel Breuer building on that corner home for nearly five decades. In an eight-year deal, the Met is leasing the Breuer building from the Whitney— which relocated to its dazzling new Renzo Piano–designed home last year... — Architectural Record
The hotel plan by the Procaccianti Group Inc. [...] is being welcomed by construction-trades unions, city officials and surrounding business owners. But Ned Connors, an architect and historian of the Weybosset urban renewal project, says he will miss the Fogarty building.
It’s not ugly, he said, it’s just … different. At about 50 years old, he said the Fogarty building is in the most dangerous time in a structure's life: when it’s too old to be hip but too young to be venerated. — providencejournal.com
Brutalism lost the good fight in 2015. [...]
Demolition on another building by Johansen began late last year as well: Stage Theater, once known as the Mummers Theater, in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman‘s Steve Lackmeyer called the 1970 project the number-one modernist building in the city that should have been spared. [....] Preservationists had hoped to turn it into a children’s museum. Models of the building show what a delightful museum it might have made [...]. — citylab.com
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