Monthly Archives: February 2017

Cement plant for living in

Ricardo Bofill has long been known for bombastic and gargantuan pseudoclassicism – his take on postmodernism’s ironic dismissal of the classical orders and traditional ornament. In 1973, the Spanish architect purchased an old abandoned cement plant near Barcelona, and has … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Behold the GPS landscape

In his recent essay in New York Magazine, “I Used to be a Human Being,” on how social media almost killed him, Andrew Sullivan wrote: Our oldest human skills atrophy. GPS, for example, is a godsend for finding our way … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betsky goes ballistic

Originally posted on Architecture Here and There:
CCTV tower in Beijing – known as “Big Pants,” it seems intended to crush the people. (nytimes.com) Let the establishment – in this case the New York Times – allow to be uttered…

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Corbusier’s nasty drivel

Anthony Daniels wrote in 2015 a masterful defenestration of modern architecture’s chief founder, “The Cult of Le Corbusier,” for Quadrant, an Australian magazine. I offer this one quote, along with my assurance that the essay in its entirety will comfort … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Our buildings, our selves

Originally posted on Architecture Here and There:
Details of Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston. (Photo by David Brussat) Ann Sussman, author with Justin Hollander of Cognitive Architecture, has an article in Planning magazine, “Planning for the Subconscious,” that suggests that…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Milwaukee trigger warning

The building pictured in the renderings above was proposed for downtown Milwaukee last year. The Hammes Co. real estate firm expects to move from its current site in the suburbs. The design ran into a buzzsaw of opposition. Members of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Jane Jacobs cornucopia

Here is an excellent review of recent books published by and about Jane Jacobs in the past year, which was the centennial of her birth. “What Jane Jacobs Saw,” by Michael Lewis in the upcoming March issue of First Things, … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Urbanism and planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tour Providence by the book

Tomorrow a bunch of us know-it-alls have been invited to the Providence Preservation Society for a private session to suggest changes for a second edition of PPS’s 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture, written by Mack Woodward and photographed by Warren … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Kunstlerfest in Chicago

James Howard Kunstler’s magisterial book The Geography of Nowhere lays waste to the ideas that laid waste to America, but his thoughts on suburbia – crudscape and all that – come after the book’s “opening monologue” about the history of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is this possible anymore?

Above is a photo of a town, Sémur-en-Auxois, in the Côte-d’Or, a department of northeastern France. Below is Sarlat-la-Canéda, in the Dordogne, another deparment, in the northeast. They are both beautiful, and it makes sense to wonder whether there is … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments