The State of Architecture

The New York Times recently published an article titled “Optimism Breeds Opportunity.” The title was a little misleading, the only opportunity they talked about in great detail were the buildings being erected on other side of the world. Although they briefly mentioned Frank Gehry’s New World Symphony building opening next month in Miami, the majority of the focus was on the Middle East and China. According to Nicolai Ouroussoff at the NYT, “architecture, generally speaking, is in a slump worldwide, and no one knows for certain how or when it will emerge from its doldrums. When it does, it is not likely to be in the United States, but in China, South America or the Middle East.”

StudioM-Miami.com. A rendering of Frank Gehry’s New World Symphony building in Miami.

What do you think about the above statement?

The Art of Craft

Marc Kristal’s new book Re:Crafted: Interpretations of Craft in Contemporary Architecture and Interiors features 25 architectural projects that challenge the traditional view of craft.  Kristal is the contributing editor of Dwell and has written for Metropolis, the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor as well as numerous of other publications.  When describing his latest book, Random House states that “this volume looks at what constitutes the craft influence in contemporary architecture and design. By turns luxurious and simple; time-honored and leading-edge; small-scale and monumental; unabashedly beautiful, surprisingly witty, socially adroit, and sublimely poetic, these projects are sure to give us a new appreciation of the pleasures of making—and enlarge and enrich our understanding of the presence, and importance, of craft in all our lives.”

Fastcompany.com lets us take a look at some of these projects featured in Kristal’s book.

Orchard East- Chicago, IL
Wheeler Kearns Architects

Fastcompany.com states that, “Architect Dan Wheeler’s firm created a structure whose second floor is nearly windowless, but instead look inward into transparent light courts that are open to the sky and the elements. The first floor is just the opposite–it’s enclosed in glass, which can be opened almost entirely to the garden outside.”

Ini Ani Coffee Shop- New York, New York
Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis

We love how this coffee shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side designed their space using 479 plaster casts of coffee cup lids and two-inch-wide strips of cardboard.

Central Park West Apartment- New York, New York
Architecture Research Office

Last but not least, these fiberboard panels easily breaks up the room allowing its occupants to make the most of the space.