Anthony Paletta

Snøhetta Makes the Daily Lunch Break the Central Focus of Its Workplace

Fewer than 20 percent of U.S. office workers take a lunch break, partly because the average workplace lacks a lunch room. Architecture firm Snøhetta bucks that trend.

Fewer than 20 percent of American office workers take a lunch break, partly because the average workplace doesn’t have a lunch room. Architecture firm Snøhetta has designed its own offices to accommodate this important activity and make it the central focus of the workday.

The Condo, A Kind of Housing Model Every American Can Love

Between the co-op and the condominium, innovative housing solutions responded to problems of property, enclosure, and urbanity.

Mies Van Der Rohe’s 860-880 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago (c/o Wayne Andrews/Esto) The subtitle of Matthew Gordon Lasner’s High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century (Yale University Press, 2012) might suggest a story of determined residential heterodoxy. Could this book be about the rare, defiantly urban souls opting for the sleek new high-rise as the rest of the old…

Phaidon Releases Compendium of Concrete Architecture

Concrete, a new book published by Phaidon, does ample justice to both concrete's "greatest hits" as well as its least-admired manifestations.

Concrete, edited by William Hall with an essay by Leonard Karen, $49.95 US/CAN, Phaidon March 2013, www.phaidon.com When I encounter a book dust jacket that’s textured to the touch I usually assume that it’s a willful distraction from the contents within; not so with Phaidon’s Concrete. Its striated cover perfectly evokes its complex subject.  Concrete, despite its historical roles from the…

Pockets of Long Island Once Went Crazy for Modernism. Why?

The simple answer is wealth and enlightened tastes. New York elites grafted Bauhaus and Taliesin ideas onto picturesque spots in an empty countryside.

Long Island at the mid-twentieth-century, you might have heard, was a place of explosive growth. Most of this was not very interesting. Sprawl. Tract housing. Billy Joel. They came with the island’s rapid suburban development. For a brighter look at the considerable architectural benefits of the period, there’s Long Island Modernism 1930-1980 by Caroline Rob Zaleski. The book is an…

The Prudential Center: A Bright Exception to a Dark Age of Urban Planning

The story of Boston's Prudential Center is one of highway mania and sweetheart corporate preferment. But it’s emerged with a surprising ending.

An overly co-dependent couple, as any dinner party guest knows all too well, can cast an alienating pall over nearly a whole table. In the world of postwar urban planning this noxiously self-absorbed pairing was played, more often than not, by the conjoined duo of the highway engineer and the forward-thinking corporation. Whether their plans involved mass destruction or not,…

The Socialist Car & Its Impact on Soviet Cities

The new book, The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, examines a culture of automobile use distinct from the western world's.

To get one large point out of the way: In the new book, The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, several contributors rapidly acknowledge the oxymoron of the title as well as the practice of owning a car in the former Soviet Empire. The private automobile, that avatar of western individualism, is difficult to square with collectivist notions. And…