Architecture

Reading Rem: An Exclusive Q&A with Koolhaas

In May, two days before the Seattle Central Library’s official opening, the building’s architect, Rem Koolhaas, discussed the structure with Metropolis contributing editor Christopher Hawthorne. The interview took place in a staff conference room on the library’s 11th floor; the room’s floor-to-ceiling interior windows offered an exceptionally good view of the building’s dramatic, open central core, and, through windows on…

This Westchester Memorial Is Everything the WTC, Regrettably, Won’t Be

Those seeking succor in architectural monuments—hopeless optimists, surely—might want to skip Ground Zero and take the train upstate.

Quick: think of a good contemporary memorial. No, not that one we’ve all heard quite enough about: Maya Lin’s shrine to the Vietnam War—a wonderful thing, a bolt from the blue, a one-in-a-million shot—a modern design that people actually respond to, but clearly neither a reproducible scheme nor useful as precedent, as the attempts of Lin’s imitators and her own…

Rotare: A Smart, Sexy Lighting Fixture

When Susan Hakkarainen, the president and founder of Ivalo Lighting, set out to create a new line of fixtures, she created the kind of brief that designers salivate over. “The charge was, design me an architectural element,” she says. “Don’t worry about the technical elements. We’ll make it work.” The first result of this liberating brief is Rotare, a graceful…

Interior Designers:Your Image Isn’t Working for You

This keynote address was delivered by Susan S. Szenasy, editor in chief of Metropolis, at the International Interior Designers Association’s (IIDA’s) 3rd annual conference, held Oct. 9-11, 2003, in Mexico City. On June 18, 2001—in those more innocent days before 9/11—I addressed the IIDA College of Fellows. I started that talk with a look at the publications that served or…

Righteous Duo Preserves, Adapts Buffalo’s Architecture

If Ani DiFranco left Buffalo, N.Y., she’d be following a trend: The population of the blue-collar town has been shrinking for years. But singer/songwriter has never followed the crowd. With longtime manager Scot Fisher, DiFranco started an independent music label, Righteous Babe Records, and based it in Buffalo. Thirty releases and 13 years later, she and Fisher are still there,…