Architecture

Modernism Mummified

The Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Company building at 510 Fifth Avenue, New York. The lower levels are being renovated. The ancient Egyptians were the ur-preservationists, but I have always thought that there was something perverse about their method of immortalizing dead kings. The first part of the process, carried out by skilled professionals, was to extract all the internal organs of…

Q&A: Rosalyn Cama

When I heard that Rosalyn Cama, principal of the New Haven firm, CAMA, Inc., was about to speak at Lightfair (Philadelphia, May 17-19) I jumped at the chance to engage her in conversation about the relationship of light and health.  My motivation was strictly personal. I’ve spent enough time in hospitals, both as a patient and frequent visitor, to know…

Minnesota Students in Haiti

We are among six students and one professor, from the University of Minnesota Architecture School working in Haiti on the Collège Mixte LaConcorde Orphanage project, under the auspices of Architecture for Humanity (AFH), to design a school and orphanage complex from site-work to construction documents in Carrefour, Haiti.  AFH’s relief efforts here are currently being operated out of the Petion-Ville…

The Rocky Road to Green Design

Photo: Morley Von Sternberg. It’s ironic to think that some of the most pleasant and appealing structures in the U.S. have had some of the most painful births. Take Yale’s Kroon Hall. This $33.5 million LEED Platinum flagship building of the University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES), opened last spring, has the comforting exterior of a classic Connecticut…

Q&A: David Benjamin

Pioneering architect and teacher David Benjamin tinkers at the crossroads of design and biology, exploring the possibilities of both mimicking and literally harnessing life to create dynamic, responsive structures. He has orchestrated research workshops for his graduate students and initiated interdisciplinary collaborations with scientists and software developers. David is interested in synthetic biology in particular: a branch of the field…

Pomo Returns (Or Maybe it Never Left)

Mocked, maligned, misunderstood, it’s the movement that no one wants to claim membership in—even retrospectively. And yet, might we still be in its grip?

Mocked, maligned, misunderstood, it’s the movement that no one wants to claim membership in—even retrospectively. And yet, might we still be in its grip?

From Passivhaus to Our Haus?

Is the Passiv Haus movement really accessible to the mainstream? The following projects give us all hope the answer is yes.

Why the funny title?  Well, I went to a conference a few weeks ago in Burlington, Vermont and came away wondering if the Passiv Haus movement is really accessible to the mainstream. The phrase is a play on words from the presentation, “From Bauhaus to Passivhaus”, given by Ken Levenson during the Better Building by Design Conference, hosted by Efficiency Vermont….

Remembering “Edgar T”

Edgar Tafel, who recently died at the age of 98, was the last surviving member of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original Fellowship.

Edgar Tafel, who recently died at the age of 98, was the last surviving member of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original Fellowship.

Designing to Heal: Luxury Healthcare

Where can one find world class doctors, highly customized medical plans, a five star spa, health club, and restaurant? The Chaum Center, in Seoul, Korea, designed by KMD architects, combines all these things in an attempt to transform health care. Housed in a futuristic building with lavish amenities and design elements, the Chaum Center is certainly a far cry from…

Baby Rems

In 1975 Rem Koolhaas, together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp, founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Today OMA is one of the most influential architectural practices in the world. Not only has the firm designed some of our era’s most important buildings—Maison à Bordeaux, the Seattle Public Library, and the CCTV headquarters, to name just a few—but…

A Confusing Design Decade

Design award categories are often unfortunate anachronisms. Most awards are given in categories based on disciplines — “Furniture Design”, “Consumer Products” – and then the organizers resort to lengthy definitions to try and force today’s exciting, interdisciplinary work into these outdated boxes. And as we saw with the I.D Annual Design Review, the results are not very convincing. The recently…