Monthly Archives: December 2015

More on form and function

Here is the first lengthy passage in which Louis Sullivan, writing in his Autobiography of an Idea, unpacks “form follows function,” which has become a mantra of the modernist movement. It had to be misinterpreted for that to occur. So … Continue reading

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Brutalism’s heroic ugliness

Hats off to Jo-Anne Peck for sending to TradArch this amazing article, “In Memoriam: Important Buildings We Lost in 2015,” by Kriston Capps, a staff writer for CityLab. Quoth Peck: “I don’t see any I would miss.” Right on, Jo-Anne! … Continue reading

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Sullivan on the classical

About halfway through his Autobiography of an Idea, Louis Sullivan begins to discuss architecture. He is at MIT, circa 1872. He writes in the third person. Here he receives the received wisdom on classicism: Louis had gone at his studies … Continue reading

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“Suburbia!” – the game!

I added both exclamation points, with full ironic intent. The game Suburbia? How about let’s play another game, Traffic Jam! (exclamation added). There are city-building games already, so why in heaven’s name a suburbia-building game? Maybe it’s a sort of … Continue reading

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Klaustoon pricks Pritzkers

Here’s the latest Klaustoon, by Klaus, which heaps ridicule on the Pritzker Prize jury in its moment of crisis when laureate-to-be Frei Otto dies the day before the announcement, three days before the death of Michael Graves, the famous PoMo … Continue reading

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More reasons to like PoMo

My headline is ironic, of course, like the column capital in the photo above that accompanies “8 Reasons You Will Also Like Postmodern Architecture in 2016.” The article, by René Boer for the website Failed Architecture, is quite a romp. … Continue reading

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Bedford Falls or Pottersville?

I saw George Bailey in Bedford Falls and Pottersville last night. You don’t see It’s a Wonderful Life on television as much as you used to. The film’s copyright lapsed for 20 years beginning in 1974. Last night I saw … Continue reading

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This year’s icy ice hotel

Some perversity inspires me this morning (Merry Christmas! though it’s in the 60s) to take readers to the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi, 200 miles North of the Arctic Circle. My wife, Victoria, has often expressed a desire to stay there, … Continue reading

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Form, function and Sullivan

Am plunging into a 1956 softcover copy of Louis Sullivan’s The Autobiography of an Idea, first published in the early ’20s. The introduction to this edition by University of Illinois architecture professor Ralph Marlowe Line, written with the well-known forward … Continue reading

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Semes on Paris and our cities

Steven Semes, head of the Rome program for the school of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame, and the author of The Future of the Past (one of my bibles) has written a long and, I am sure, brilliant … Continue reading

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