The Hotel Okura, built in 1962 in time for the 1964 Olympics, is slated to be torn down in September to make way for a bigger, fancier Okura, in time for the 2020 Olympics. (The less-good, less-famous southern wing of the old Okura, added in 1973, will be allowed to stay.) [...]
There will never be this particular hush again in the middle of Tokyo. You will have to have been there to know what you will soon miss. — nytimes.com
Tokyo is known for its mix of modern and traditional architecture, but for long-term residents it is easy to feel like the concrete is winning out. [...]
The buildings done by acclaimed Tokyo-based architect Kengo Kuma are different. [...]
Kuma’s campaign to bring Japanese-ness back to architecture has had fascinating results. — qz.com
The interior of the Four Seasons restaurant, a vision of Modernist elegance with its French walnut paneling and white marble pool of bubbling water, should not be changed, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission decided [...].
The decision was a setback to Aby J. Rosen, the owner of the Seagram Building, which is home to the restaurant. Mr. Rosen had proposed what he characterized as minor changes to the interior that was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson in 1958. — nytimes.com
Phyllis Lambert — part of the group of architects passionately opposing Rosen's revamp plans and personally interwoven with the history of the Seagram Building like no one else — penned this Op-Ed in the New York Times last week: Save New York's Four Seasons.
This modernist villa on the Côte d’Azur, designed by Irish architect Eileen Gray, has witnessed wartime shootings, murder and vandalism by Le Corbusier. Now, at last, it has been brought back to life [...]
Le Corbusier visited and, apparently outraged that a woman could have made such a significant work in a style he considered his own, assaulted it with a series of garish and ugly wall paintings, which he chose to execute completely naked. — theguardian.com
“The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley,” an exhibition at the Center for Architecture, shows how modern landscapes often make a better case for modernism than the architecture itself.
Over a span of 60 years, Kiley (1912-2004), a founding father of modern landscape design, worked for the best architects around, among them Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He was fully versed in architecture’s modernist strategies and overriding focus on form and abstraction. — wsj.com
Terry, 77, is Prince Charles’ favourite architect, a purveyor of classical confections from his drawing board in the quaint Essex village of Dedham. Scruton, 71, a philosopher of aesthetics, is a vocal enemy of modern architecture and author of The Classical Vernacular: Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism (as well as I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher’s Guide to Wine). — The Guardian
Until the advent of cable television and then the Internet, Latin Americans, creators and consumers alike, were often more aware of trends in Europe and the United States than in nations neighboring theirs: Whatever similarities in style that emerged regionally were largely the result of discrete, parallel responses to the challenges of urbanization, poverty and the need to somehow integrate modernity and tradition. — The New York Times
Midcentury architecture and design from the Latin America region seems to be a trend in recent exhibitions in MoMA, MAD, and Americas Society in New York. New York Times writer Larry Rohter compares and contrasts the exhibitions, which shed light on the all-too-familiar tension of integrating...
Prolific Los Angeles Modernist Rudolph Schindler designed dozens of timeless duplexes, apartments, houses, and office buildings, but he only ever designed one church. Bethlehem Baptist Church in Central-Alameda was built in 1944 for a small, black church congregation. Now, just after a much-needed restoration to what was for many years a pretty rough-looking building, the architecturally significant church—an official Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark—is up for sale. — la.curbed.com
“There was an intense flowering of experimental and futuristic architecture in the 1960s and 70s, which the young African countries used to express their national identities,” says [Swiss architect Manuel] Herz, who has curated an exhibition of more than 80 buildings from sub-Saharan Africa, showing at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, until May. “But we simply don’t know about it... we wanted to show this incredible cultural wealth that also exists.” — The Guardian
Usually the projects of African "big man" leaders, the modernist buildings were often constructed for propagandistic purpose and tended to be designed by European architects. Noted architectural photographer Iwan Baan took many of the photographs in Herz's exhibit.
Long accustomed to basing its reputation on the grandeur of its old buildings, the city now finds it almost impossible to agree on how to build new ones.
In recent months, traditionalists have blocked efforts to introduce contemporary architecture in the historic core [...]. Modernists are rolling their eyes at new buildings that copy traditional styles, arguing that they pervert a record of architectural progress long documented in mortar and stone. — nytimes.com
The restoration of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin will cost an estimated €101m [...]. This masterpiece by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which opened in 1968, was closed in early January.
David Chipperfield Architects has been entrusted with the refurbishment project, having found international acclaim for its work on rebuilding the Neues Museum on Museum Island in Berlin. The British architect pledged to “keep as much Mies as possible” at a symposium in late November. — theartnewspaper.com
Sérgio Bernardes was a star of 60s Brazil, a brilliant architect and a mesmerising man. And then almost forgotten. His grandson has made a film to discover what happened — theguardian.com
In a warren of rooms inside a 400-year-old townhouse on the Essex-Suffolk border, a counter-revolution against the most dramatic rebuilding of the London skyline in decades is gathering strength.
Eschewing computer power for sharp pencils and tracing paper, father and son architect team Quinlan and Francis Terry are drafting classically inspired designs for some of the capital’s most prominent sites in a fightback against plans for hundreds of new skyscrapers. — theguardian.com
Two nights before New Year’s Eve, more than a thousand Macedonians gathered in the snow to hold hands and form a ring around a large shopping mall in the capital city of Skopje. That may sound like the beginning to some strange joke, but the crowd was assembled in earnest, to express its love of the modernist building known as GTC, and to protest a government plan to give it a new, baroque façade. — hyperallergic.com
... in a city whose architecture is mostly modernist, all of the Skopje 2014 building is being done in a strictly neoclassical style, from a brand new triumphal arch to a towering sculpture of a man on a horse — presumably, but not explicitly, Alexander the Great — atop a column adorned with...
The undoing of the master narratives of modernism should not be taken as an opportunity for an architecture of spectacle and fantasy, but instead one that, utilizing the lessons of the past, speaks to the complexities of the present and the forces that shape us. It is crucial to deconstruct the idea that design can be universal and instead, to think in terms of an architecture that derives inspiration from the specificity of geography, culture and place. — huffingtonpost.com
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