Cities

Venice’s ‘Moses’ Dam: Salvation or Curse?

The topic of conversation this summer in Venice, Italy, is the $3 billion MoSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), a series of 78 hinged movable steel gates that officials hope will stop the flooding that is destroying the fabled city. The gates…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Rockwell Shines in Hairspray

Tracy Turnbald is asleep in her bed. But hers is no ordinary bed. This bed is seen from a bird’s eye view of Tracy’s room, with 45-rpms and other, familiar ’60s teenage paraphernalia scattered about. Tracy unzips the bed covers,…

A Day in the Country at our Printing Plant

My first job, in the summer of my 14th year, was in a New Jersey baby clothes factory. Though this was to be a short engagement—someone reported me to the child welfare people who put an end to my working…

The New ‘21’ Club

On a recent hot summer night METROPOLIS and a host of New York’s design insiders gathered at the R20thcentury gallery to celebrate the magazine’s 21st anniversary. Surrounded by the cool lines of vintage mid-twentieth century furniture, METROPOLIS staff and friends…

What Exactly Is a Design Study?

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) held a strange press conference today at the New York Design Center. The accompanying press release announced “an invitation to the most innovative architects and planners around the world to participate in an LMDC…

New Wadsworth Worthwhile

If a museum expansion were measured by its Bilbao effect alone, UN Studio’s design for the expansion of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., would register only a small blip on the iconographic radar screen. It doesn’t rise up from…

The Not-So-Loyal Opposition

Saturday’s [July 20, 2002] event at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City was almost a case study in what the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and developer Larry Silverstein face…

Who’s Listening to Whom

I arrived at the “Listening to the City” event at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City on Saturday [July 20, 2002], armed with my notebook and my cynicism. I was anxious to see the reaction of the…

Tschumi Steps Down

On June 30, 2002 Bernard Tschumi, dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation announced he will step down from his position next year. “Fifteen years is an architectural generation,” said Tschumi in a press release put out…