Monday, September 04, 2006

Carnival of the Architects and Urbanists, 3rd Edition

It's been a while since I rounded up a whole host of postings from the architectural blogosphere. Below are some more interesting items from my other blogs you should visit:

* While the major media outlets have devoted many resources covering the after math of Hurricane Katrina one year after, there is still a big hole in the ground in Manhattan five years after 9/11. Lawhawk looks at the ongoing conflict between the World Trade Center's main tenant, Larry Silverstein, and the government hierarchy represented by Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg. I find that many aspiring architects forget the fact although they are part of a creative profession, they do not initiate the will to create the built environment. That is the privilege of the client, whose vision and energy is facilitated by the achitect.

* Care for some Singaporean wisdom on rejuvenating your home? Visit the Home Rejuvenation Blog. As a note of disclosure, I lived in the "City of the Lion" as a child for six years. It's probably one of the best places in which a kid could grow up: clean, crime-free, the most exotic food around, the most courteous people, and great family diversions (zoos, bird sanctuary).

*Architecture should often be comfortable. And yet so many designers forget the value of ergonomics.

*Mark Waldo shares his experience with OMA's new Seattle Public Library. For those readers unaquainted with the current trends in architecture, the Office of Metropolitan Architecture founded by Rem Koolhaas is responsible for some of the most stimulating if bizarre architecture in recent times.

*An example of a building ahead of its time, or was it? Asplund's Stockholm Public Library exhibits a pared-down neoclassicism that looks almost downright Post-Modern a la Michael Graves.

*All architecture students strive to assemble the perfect model for their projects. But what if one's models could be transformed in the same way as old cars are revamped as in the show "Pimp my Ride"? Welcome to "Pimp My Model"... Hattip: Mirage Studio

*East Coast Architecture Review highlights the latest innovations in skyscraper design as demonstrated by SOM's projects in China. I've visited the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings and Merrill recently and can attest to the breathtaking designs that have been commissioned by Chinese developers.

*There's a gorgeously elegant new Miesian glass pavilion in Toledo, of all places. Life Without Buildings cites the building's glowing reviews. Progressive Reactionary shares more photos and thoughts on Japanese firm SANAA's new gem.

*Mad Architect of Architechnophilia provides the straight dope on Jamaican Modernist architecture.

*New Orleans architect Kinch declares: "As I have posted before, the rebuilding of New Orleans should be driven by the residents and the planning process, slow as it may be, is going about it the right way. This city is almost 300 years old and it wont be rebuit in one." Read on his insights regarding the planning process in Post-Katrina New Orleans.

*When Wright can be Wrong- Archizoo links to an articles on the flaws typical in many Frank Lloyd Wright houses as well as to another blog (BELT) argues that Wright was one of the twentieth century's greatest artists as opposed to one of its greatest architects. Ecology of Absence reconsiders Wright's achievements and compares them to his mentor, Louis Sullivan.

*Why can't Architecture be evaluated like the Fine Arts? "Do You Want Coffee?" offers an explanation.

*Norman Blogster invites you to vote in an informal poll as to which nominated project should win the Stirling Prize. He's interested to see how mere fancy pictures can influence one's opinion on an unfamiliar building. Hattip: Archidose

*BLDGBLOG examines the potential of airports becoming the center of new and highly effician urban agglomerations. The geometry of the layout of most airport terminals seem to have an unintended neo-lithic quality--fascinating...

*The architecture of mosques embodies pure prismatic volumes, an austere interplay of light and shade, and meticulous detail. Mercedes Afshar shows you what to look for when appreciating this building type.

*Although I have never been sympathetic to Russia's October revolution, the ferment in architectural ideas during that transitional period has proved to be influential in understanding current formal trends. Alas, the eccentric home of one of Russian Constructivism's most prominent visionaries is under threat to be demolished. I'm sure some good private funds could renovate this unique building.