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SOM’s Exchange House Wins Big

SOM’s Exchange House Wins Big

Year after year in the early 1990s, SOM’s Exchange House in London won award after award for its design and engineering. Now it’s topped them all – with the prestigious AIA National 25 Year Award. For good reason. It’s something of an engineering marvel – a ten-story building with arches seven stories tall. Four of [...]

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The Art of the Handcrafted Ukulele

The Art of the Handcrafted Ukulele

They call it “Twitch.” It’s named for a beloved cat left behind long ago in Richmond, Va., before a seminal move to the West Coast. It’s an intricately constructed, handmade ukulele, painted exquisitely in a style that defies definition. Years in the making, it’s only the third in a series that the Oregon-based team of [...]

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Setting 2015′s Architectural Barometer

Setting 2015′s Architectural Barometer

First there were the New York Five in the early 1970s. Then came the Chicago Seven, not long afterwards. Then in the early 1980s, Steven Holl’s Pamphlet Architecture. More recently, there were 2008′s Matters of Sensation. Now comes the Jimenez Lai and his Treatise: Why Write Alone, an exhibition and book project sponsored by the Graham [...]

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In NYC, 551W21 by Foster + Partners

In NYC, 551W21 by Foster + Partners

The new 551W21, in New York’s West Chelsea neighborhood, is designed by Foster + Partners. The building has recently topped off and is more than 60 percent sold. We recently interviewed Erin Boisson Aries, director of marketing and sales, about the building: The intent of design? As is the case with much of Foster + Partners’ work, the [...]

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French Mid-Century Modern, on a Roll

French Mid-Century Modern, on a Roll

Like its counterpart in the U.S., French mid-century modern design is now enjoying a heady resurgence. But it’s a little more elegant, as one might imagine. Case in point: At Design Miami in December, Louis Vuitton unveiled 18 pieces designed by Pierre Paulin for a 1972 project conceived by Herman Miller, but never produced. Paulin’s [...]

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A Optimistic View Below Ground Zero

A Optimistic View Below Ground Zero

Before they began designing the September 11 Memorial Museum – recent winner of a National AIA Honor Award – the architects at Davis Brody Bond looked at the void created by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. “It was beyond comprehension,” says Mark Wagner, associate partner at the firm, about his exploration into [...]

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Messages at the September 11 Musuem

Messages at the September 11 Musuem

The AIA Honor Award-winning design for the National September 11 Memorial Museum uses the simplest of materials to deliver its messages, and for good reason: It’s the emotional experience, not the architecture, that’s front and center here. “To preserve the envelope, we used concrete – structural concrete, not architectural concrete,” says Mark Wagner, associate principle [...]

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Defining a Memorial for September 11

Defining a Memorial for September 11

It had to be one of the weightiest assignments of the new millennium: One week after the disastrous events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Port Authority of New York requested that architect Mark Wagner, an associate partner at Davis Brody Bond, scour the World Trade Center site for artifacts. “They asked me to select objects [...]

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Hemingway’s Paris in Words + Images

Hemingway’s Paris in Words + Images

Robert Wheeler picked up his first book by Ernest Hemingway in 1986. It was the posthumously published The Garden of Eden, and on its first page the author vividly described a young couple madly in love. He used color, movement and a foreign language to bring life to his composition. “I thought: ‘I do not [...]

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Art, Life, Literature, and Philosophy

Art, Life, Literature, and Philosophy

It was a classic left-brain, right-brain conflict: Enrique Martinez Celaya struggled as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley – between a future in physics or art. Art won out. That’s because at an early age, as a refugee from Castro’s Cuba, he’d apprenticed to a painter in Spain. “I had little interest in the art [...]

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