COLUMNS

  • Atelier Bow-Wow

    “TO CHANGE the Japanese government, you could begin by altering the seating arrangement in parliament,” says Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, one of the partners, with Momoyo Kaijima, behind the Tokyo-based Atelier Bow-Wow. Linking grand ambition to small-scale gesture marks the ideology of these architects who, like many of their colleagues, move through the realms of art and politics with as much relish as when they build houses. For them, architecture is about rearranging the ordinary so that moments of epiphany, strangeness, and beauty can slip into a home or museum like an uninvited but welcome guest.

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  • Peter Eisenman

    WAGING WAR ON FORGETTING is the task of all memorials, which are places where different kinds of memory and concepts of representation collide. In contemporary Berlin, the politics of memory are particularly vexed. Since the end of the cold war Berlin has tried, with varying degrees of success, to knit its divided halves together and reconnect with its past—or parts of it. Out of the rubble of war and discarded ideologies, the German capital has reestablished the old city center around the stately Unter den Linden, displacing the hubs of East and West Berlin from Alexanderplatz and Kurfürstendamm,

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  • m7red

    WHAT IS THE role of urban architecture in a natural disaster? As Hurricane Katrina showed, buildings have few options—weather the storm or collapse. The drowning city has become a familiar and terrifying international reality: Witness not just Katrina and Rita but the recent floods in central Europe, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, and even the floods that submerged Dresden and Prague in 2002. In the wake of such catastrophes, architects and urban planners are called on to anticipate emergencies and find solutions for reconstruction. The Buenos Aires–based architectural collective m7red, run

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  • Herzog & de Meuron

    FOR ALL THE ATTENTION being paid to the boom in museum construction and the intense competition among blockbuster exhibitions, the emergence of a new way of organizing the permanent collections at the heart of major institutions has received little press. While the Centre Pompidou, Paris, claims that their current “Big Bang” reinstallation of their collection is the first thematic grouping of its kind, encyclopedic museums around the world have recently been experimenting with innovative presentations of their vast holdings. In London, the Tate Modern’s attempt to use themes rather than chronology

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  • Yves Klein’s air architecture

    YVES KLEIN’S ARCHITECTURE is ignored in most discussions of his work, which tend to dwell on his deep blue monochromes and his daredevil photomontage Leap into the Void, 1960. But a broader view shows that, before his life was cut short at the age of thirty-four in 1962, Klein was increasingly drawn to larger-scale visions. In 1957 he began to generate schemes for buildings and cities—indeed, entire civilizations—in a long-term project he called “air architecture.” The project took many forms—paintings, drawings, plans, construction details, installations, films, lectures, performances, even

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  • green design

    IF HISTORICAL ANALOGIES offer any guidance, green design will emerge as the modernism of the new century. There is more than a passing similarity between recent eclecticism in architecture and the stylistic free-for-all that characterized the early twentieth century, which saw a succession of neohistorical and decorative styles come and go rather quickly. Neo-Gothic, neo-Tudor, Beaux-Arts classicism, Art Nouveau: All had their brief moment before modernism crystallized (at least in the minds of the architectural establishment) as an “appropriate” aesthetic. It is now fashionable to talk about

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  • Deconstructivist architecture in 2003

    IN 1988, when the Museum of Modern Art mounted the “Deconstructivist Architecture” show, curated by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley, the seven architects assembled beneath this ambiguous banner— Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, and Coop Himmelb(l)au—were unambiguously seen as “theoretical,” dismissed as such, and excoriated by both proponents of various “postmodernisms” and conservative anti-intellectuals. Any idea that “Deconstructivism” was a movement of consequence beyond the art gallery was rejected out of hand. Yet nearly

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  • Anthony Vidler on Dia:Beacon

    THE RECENTLY OPENED DIA:BEACON, its permanent collection installed in galleries inside a converted box factory, is by all accounts a major success. Despite the obvious gaps in the collection, tied to the vicissitudes of the last twenty years of collecting, critics have cited a number of factors contributing to the exhilarating effect of a visit: the appropriateness of the huge former printing sheds for art that demands a spacious setting, the ability for living artists to collaborate in the installation and in some cases provide new site-specific work, the elegant gardens designed by Robert

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  • Brasília

    THOSE MERCURIAL FORCES behind the global design/fashion/media complex have annointed a new mecca of fabulousness: Brasília. Forty years after its dedication, photographers, advertising directors, and design junkies of every stripe have rediscovered Brazil’s monumental experiment in utopian modernism, finding amidst the heroic architectural forms of the made-from-scratch capital city the stuff of which glamorous fashion shoots and gallery exhibitions are made. Both Wallpaper and The New Yorker have paid homage in recent issues. Now the art world is following suit. An exhibition this spring at

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  • Edward Durell Stone and Paul Rudolph

    AS WE APPROACH THE MILLENNIUM, in architecture as in fashion, our appetite for salvaging designs from recent decades grows ever more voracious. But would some artifacts do well to simply remain in the closet? Many fail to see how critically maligned buildings might get better with age, and on the short list of most endangered mid-’60s structures are Edward Durell Stone’s Huntington Hartford Building and Paul Rudolph’s Beekman Place triplex.

    The city’s recent selection of David Child’s proposal for replacing the Coliseum on Columbus Circle has cast a spotlight on its vulnerable neighbor, Two

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  • Gordon Matta-Clark

    NO ONE WENT TO FOOD FOR THE FOOD. One evening the menu might consist of hard-boiled eggs stuffed with live shrimp. Another night it might be necklaces of boiled meat bones. The cuisine, in other words, was often conceptual. But the sense of community was Four Star.

    It was a Romulus and Remus thing, the city as substitute mother for orphans who would create a new city of their own. The founders and patrons of Food—the restaurant at Prince and Wooster opened in September 1971 by Gordon Matta-Clark, Tina Girouard, Suzanne Harris, and Rachel Lew—were orphans of America and its paranoid political

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  • MoMA's Architectural Competition

    INSTITUTIONS MOVE FORWARD by renegotiating their own history. Drawing on its legacy of architectural provocation and promotion, beginning with the International Style show of 1932, the Museum of Modern Art is nearing the final stages of preparing for its renovation and expansion. Though a number of recent museum statements describe the expansion as simply the next logical step in MoMA’s historical growth and development, deputy director for curatorial affairs and chief curator at large John Elderfield goes so far as to call the scope of the project “a reconceptualization of the entire facility.”

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