Cities

Brooklyn, From Top to Bottom

When Open House New York convinced the owners of more than 80 rarely seen architectural spaces to pry apart their doors for a weekend and welcome public visitors for free, I didn’t rush to rubberneck at swank townhouses (though neither…

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…

Wits—and Beer—Determine NYC’s Best Bourough

When I agreed to take part in the Municipal Arts Society of New York’s “Better Borough” competition, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Was the event going to be a friendly debate? A round-table discussion? Some trash-talking that ended…

The Design Public Speaks

Metropolis editors surveyed notable people in and around New York City, including architects, designers, politicians, and writers, to hear their reactions to the December 18, 2002, plans for Ground Zero presented by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) and the…

An Unlikely Village Marked by Eco Prowess

“Ecovillage” is not a term that comes to mind when describing Shaw, a low-income neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C. For starters, there aren’t any lush vistas and protected natural areas—this is the inner city—nor are there brightly colored roofs with…

Gae Aulenti’s Theater of Italian Design

Architect, industrial and interior designer, curator, urban planner, lecturer, theorist, and author: There are few design professions that Gae Aulenti has not practiced. Among the prodigious Italian’s works are the FIAT showrooms in Brussels and Zurich (1969-70); the Musée d’Orsay…

Architecture Takes Center Stage

Regardless of what you think of the schemes presented on December 18—whether you find them glorious or ominous, whether any of the ideas make their way into the final plan or are used to distract—last week’s unveiling of new plans…

Preserving Asbury Park’s Progressive History

By the appearance of its waterfront, the doldrums seem to have a clenching grasp on Asbury Park, N.J. Abandoned entertainment palaces of the late Victorian era and hotels of the early automobile age sit amidst cracked asphalt parking lots that…

Splish Splash: Water Recycling for Kids

Thanks to a New York City Department of Environmental Protection grant of $500,000 and some ingenuity at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, play fountains at Seward Park, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, ran throughout the drought-stricken…

MVRDV: Beyond the Burbs

MVRDV, in case you haven’t heard, is actor Brad Pitt’s favorite architecture firm. If such a designation doesn’t brand the Dutch trio—Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, and Nathalie de Vries—as hip in your book, then their work will, based on…

Star-Struck Furniture Design

The furniture designer to the stars, Charles Hollis Jones, is enjoying his first retrospective at the R 20th Century’s R Gallery in New York City. Entitled “Seeing Clearly,” the exhibit runs until December 31. Hollis Jones is situated between mid-century…

Two Shows, Similar Messages

Jeffrey Kipnis, the curator of architecture and design for the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, defines a perfect act of architecture as an “innovative design tool, as the articulation of a new direction, or as a creation…

Engine Co. 22, Ladder Co. 13

After taking the kids to school this morning, I decided to mark the anniversary of 9/11 at my local firehouse. By 8:30 a.m. a large group of Upper East Siders had gathered on both sides of 85th Street. The station’s…

Point and Counterpoint with Andy Warhol

If one image persists from “Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol’s Personal Collection,” it may be of endless cookie jars. Anchoring one wall of the exhibit, which first opened at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the cookie jars are…

At Last: Enlightened Ideas for the WTC Site

When the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. first released six plans for redeveloping the World Trade Center site in August, New York was served a heaping portion of mediocrity. The Port Authority asked us to embrace a tangle of structures surrounding…