Saturday, May 30, 2009


pavillion city

The Pavillions of national show-offs are being built. Most European countries show their interest in rather architecturally 'provocative' ways.
UK Pavillion looks like an 'ass' (human butt.)

See them here... EXPO 2010 Shanghai, China

Sunday, May 24, 2009

OMA: Cornell's New Architecture School


After delays, doubts and economic difficulties and 'put on hold' close calls, Cornell University Board approves moving forward on Milstein Hall. The future building for Cornell's Architecture Dept., and as designed by OMA, under Rem Koolhaas' lead. There are many stories and past coverage on how the School got there and the selection of the project. One thing is sure, it will be a new type of architecture school that goes beyond the examples of such, among its rivals. Cornell University finally integrating the craft, politics, public participation, and perhaps a new placement of ‘architecture school.’
The project doubles up on Mies' National Museum in Berlin, Germany. First, it makes itself a room among the existing buildings and creates a pedestrian friendly web of a building inside. Once you are in, the proposed building functions with both permanent and the transportive spaces, via its placement and connections. This is all speculative but expected...


At this point and ideally, there is an architecture school, bursting with energy, audience and live wired connections to the world. The school as the active block of in between space, connecting Sibley and Rand Halls. And making The Foundry, the building housing the sculptors, not only come alive but almost put a timely and effective stop to cantilever's gallant move in danger of becoming little too much. I give architects a big point for playing the arithmetic when it comes to the Foundry.
Building's ability to inject such 'circulatory' function indeed surpasses the National Museum's one ended loop and organize the building inside as both permanent school program and the transient people mover, giving the dean of the university to walk over the architecture school and watch the students without their knowledge and perhaps be more informed about what they do.
This is all open architectural broadcasting from the department.
What more an architecture could ask for? Integrate with everything else.
If successfully completed, the Milstein Hall might be programmatically most integrated project. Both physically and conceptually concerning architectural education. Sort of a wake up call to other schools to open up and emerge in a literal sense.
The days of reclusive architecture school is being changed with a space that is the conceptual equivalent of a live public news broadcasting like TV station as a storefront show, once under one of the now sadly gone WTC Towers.

What more, at the end, we will also see a tongue in cheek love bite for the National Museum that Rem Koolhaas has been talking about for a while. Making a building from the buildings of his own, which in turn buildings from other buildings, putting the pieces of floating ideas of several buildings together and pulling all in . Here is your intelligent building and proposition to recalibrate the academic environment of architecture and the public face of the architect in the making.

This is an ultimate manifestation and sure way to increase the volume from the new platform for architecture. This is an opportunity to show architecture is relevant, socially connected, worthwhile, participatory and beneficial to welfare of the public. If there will be any fine-tuning left, this interaction between the public and the architecture should be further blurred. In that regard, one can only wish the premise of the design fulfilled. Starting with the construction of the Milstein Hall, the new set of conditions for architectural education must also start. After the project has built, its effectiveness will be depending on the inventive leadership, curriculum, and the efforts of faculty and the students.

This building will add more value for the Dept. The OMA takes Cornell? Dutch?
This much should be obvious.


images from Milstein Hall website

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NNDB = Tracking Everybody

Obama's Bankers

New meaning of surveillance is tracking the well connected people... Who sits on the Board of Directors and for whom he is donating money? Has the owner of Men's Wearhouse George Zimmer aka "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it," been to rehab? How many times? How intricate is Barbara Walters' web of business and friends?
Is there a connection between Henry Kissinger and postmodern architect Frank O. Gehry?
How Obama is connected to the international banking scene?
Is there a triangle between Barack Hussein, Michelle and Hillary?
Who else the Flamboyant Scientologist Tom Cruise is talking to?
Was Jacques Lacan white, catholic and straight?
What are you doing in the Bushes?
Try Brad Pitt's connections, only 1/3 of them! The ten nodes of Mick Jagger. Romance and Brigitte Bardot? Sure 7 out of 9 "voulez-vous danser avec moi?"

Funeral: Diana, Princess of Wales. OA, mapper

Frank Lloyd Wright was a member of 'America First Committee,' a Grassroots antiwar organization founded in 1939 at Yale. Over the next two years, the AFC grew to a membership of 800,000. The group dissolved soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This was all shortly after early modernist master Louis Sullivan's sexual orientation disputed..!
Literature? Sure here is the world of sex and drugs and letters;
William S. Burroughs slept with Allen Ginsberg, who, in turn, slept with Jack Kerouac and earlier Jack slept with Gore Vidal.

dt copyDonald Trump's buddy language... OA, mapper

More to gaze and find out... Post your own reconnaissance...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Las Vegas, Rem Koolhaas, Dubai and a Winner, as lights were dimmed before...

First Prize: Dubai Frame by Fernando Donis (Netherlands)Photos via Bustler

Claes Oldenburg and Coosja van Bruggen's’s Flashlight sculpture in UNLV campus is one of the best critiques ever installed as a sculpture in that city . Their carefully placed giant flashlight indeed is on and from close up one can see its dim radiation of light as well as what the the famous strip radiates beyond, not so dim, and restive like the sculpture, but more get up and go and play. It is a summary on scale, consumption, pop, and a very appropriate commentary for a city as a commercial development, busting out visible energy as if there is tomorrow if you keep playing and spending. When noise of Las Vegas Strip thrives and shines on the nightlife, the lights are dim at the University...

Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Flashlight, UNLV Campus 1981. Image from

Here is a quote from Claes Oldenburg from the website.

The first treatment of the subject was a tower-like open construction which could be climbed by stairs inside to a platform where lights would be directed up into the sky. The proposal was approved May, 1979, but fabrication was put on hold when Coosje developed strong doubts about the concept during the summer that followed, finding this lighthouse version of the Flashlight too mechanical in appearance and the light shining up into the sky too clichèd and reminiscent of authoritarian spectacle. Moreover, she felt the design did not reflect the overwhelming, mysterious presence of Nature all around. Coosje proposed a more original approach: making an analogy to the monumentalization of tiny plant forms in Karl Blossfeldt’s Urformen der Kunst, she compared the flashlight to a cactus which led to a very different formulation of its appearance, creating a daylight identity which had been neglected in the lighthouse approach.

Enter ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award.

The International, open, single stage, public, anonymous, preliminary design competition
for the conception of a tall emblem structure, to promote the new face of Dubai.

Perhaps unknowingly, the jury selected the best project (i am talking about the published ones) and there is a huge outcry coming from losers of the 900 strong participants. Some seeking apology, re-appropriations, recognition and and flat out denounecement of the Winner.
This is absurd, blinded and really naive.
What the runner uppers reflect are no more than derivative iterations of boring public spectacles, banal light shows and Disneyland like entertainment.

sunset dubai
What designer night frame is the second place winner suggesting,

light dub
or what about the flying colors of Benetton the tie place represents,

scorebd dub
another third place tie with a floating score board perhaps broadcasting the time lost by not purchasing a condominium in half price in Dubai?

lightshow dub
As far as the another tie ‘the Mirage” is concerned, I wonder if it was pitched to some other destination first and anyway, whatever. Changing colors and textures where you kiss your partner and say ‘welcome to Dubai?’

Unlike the few complaints on the discussion part of the Bustler article on the Competition, I think the winner, clearly reflects upon series of undefined tears about the feelings of dealings on Dubai. The winning entry not only puts Dubai in its place of framed kitch but also disarms everything else. Not unlike OMA's famous diagram of decorated and simply mundane hi-rise apartments shown in their analysis of Dubai skyline.

dubai skyline

I think the winner spent enough time on realizing the drawing and design proposal. The losers can’t get it because it shows that what they been trying to further embrace etc.., Dubai, is already a spectacle as of now and will always remain so. Too bad for people, who are trying to make a winningest of the all the spectacles and being totally moralistic about their expensive labor, and unrewarded renderings, after all, beautifully passed by a one liner in a Delirious New York way... A one liner about 'all liners.'

Go home, look in the mirror and tell us you have done nothing critical, but further drank on the sweet desert milk. Hoping to canquer Dubai, yet being framed.
Go home and don’t look onto Dubai close because you can’t take it. Your colleagues created a city that is better from a distant frame, look but don't touch, Twisted Towers re-framed... The expat firms that Dubai built.

The winner is like the wheel and there is no point of rediscovering. The rest tries and ends up as cake decoration.
If Rem Koolhaas ever twisted someone's arm for the prize winner, he did it brilliantly. You'll thank him later...

Addendum: After seeing the other non winning entries at Bustler, my initial view stands solidified.