Since the beginning, there was a certain amount of awe at Michael Kimmelman’s rejection of the boldface designers and celebrity architects that make up the world of starchitecture. There was little sign of the flash and panache that had defined architecture criticism in the pages of The Times for many moons. In fact things were quite gritty, even grim, if uplifting in their earnest and realism. By and large, the city(s) and profession has been better off for Mr. Kimmelman’s critical eye.
Still, there has been a clamoring in many quarters for more. At times it felt like Mr. Kimmelman was ignoring certain notable projects worthy of, even demanding notice. There have been but a dozen newsworthy developments in New York alone, from the Signature Theater to Brooklyn Bridge Park. What did Mr. Kimmelman—really, what did The Times, what did the paper of record, the voice of god–think of these important projects? With the exception of the divisive NYU expansion, to which Mr. Kimmelman had an ingenious (and thus far ignored) solution, we still do not know.
But now, at least, he has graced us, after seven months on the job, with his thoughts on one of the world’s most renowned architects.
BLDGBLOG’s cri de coeur regarding architectural criticism pushes the theory that saying “Gee, the new Home Depot really sucks” isn’t given the importance it deserves. Drop Le Corbusier from your vocabulary, and check out the new games from Electronic Arts if you want to engage ordinary Americans in the architectural game. Otherwise, Read More
Nehru and Le Corbusier.
Last weekend, Sonnabend Gallery opened its doors to an exhibition of work by the architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret.
Organized by Galerie Patrick Seguin, the show traces their modernization project in India, which began shortly after independence.
Nehru wanted Le Corbusier to be “expressive, experimental Read More
Yesterday, The Real Estate called attention to Christopher Caldwell’s criticism of the architecture of Le Corbusier as being responsible for the Paris riots, in The Times magazine.
Today, Clay Risen responds to the blame-Le Corbusier-first crowd on the New Republic’s website.
He concludes his defense with Read More
The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Austin, Nichols & Co. Warehouse at 184 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg a landmark yesterday. The building sits smack on the East River, making it a distinctive part of the Brooklyn skyline when viewed from Manhattan. The six-story building, built in 1915 and designed by Cass Gilbert, was used to Read More
The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture. Phaidon Press, 824 pages, $160.
The joke about Phaidon’s new Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture is that, at 809 pages and 16 pounds, it’s less a coffee-table book than a coffee table. But every ounce is justified, as Phaidon’s editors have assembled a beautiful, thorough overview of Read More