Archive | May 2013

Book Review: A New Kind of Bleak by Owen Hatherley

Cover "A New Kind of Bleak" - Owen Hatherley

Cover “A New Kind of Bleak” – Owen Hatherley

Owen Hatherley is on his way to become a force in architectural criticism in the United Kingdom. I prefer his shorter pieces on his blog and in magazines to his books, as he has the tendency to become repetitive in the books. I found that when he assesses European modernism this is done through a particularly British lens, perhaps in the same way as I look at British modernism with incredulity at times. This review was intended to encourage Hatherley to ground his thesis better, to do deeper and more original research and, perhaps most of all, that the narrative and argument will follow an arc throughout his future books.

I say this from a position of modesty, however, as I have yet to write my first book myself.

On a funny note, there is a soundtrack to accompany the reading of the book, by the collective GOLAU GLAU ->

On a final note, to underscore that Hatherley does address the right issues, read this article in the Guardian.


Book Review: The Architectural Model – Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia

Book Review: The Architectural Model - Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia

Clusters in the Air, 1962, a Metabolists project for Tokyo by Arata Isozaki


This book review covers “Das Architektur Modell / The Architectural Model – Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia” by Oliver Elser, ed. The book is a sumptuous record of the collection of architectural models of DAM, the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt. It covers a wide range of beautiful models and projects from all the important architects of the 20th century. Very inspirational if you would like to learn more on the creative process of architects, or if you would like to improve your model-making skills.

Book Review: Sketchbooks by Souto de Moura and Wang Shu

Sketch by Souto de Moura

Sketch by Souto de Moura

The photo links to a book review on two sketchbooks by Souto de Moura and Wang Shu, published by Lars Müller Publishers.

Book Review: Bernard Tschumi, Kengo Kuma, HHF Architects, Luc Deleu

vipcity TOP Office / Luc Deleu

vipcity TOP Office / Luc Deleu

Book Review: Bernard Tschumi, Kengo Kuma, HHF Architects, Luc Deleu

Follow the link for a review on the latest monographs of Bernard Tschumi, Kengo Kuma, HHF Architects & Luc Deleu (TOP Office).

Book Review: “Building Seagram” by Phyllis Lambert

Book Review: “Building Seagram” by Phyllis Lambert

Building Seagram_Shorpy

Phyllis Lambert, the client representative and (later) architect who was intimately involved in the building of the Seagram building of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, has recently written a book in which she explores the history of the building on many different levels. Worth a read.

Image: courtesy of Shorpy, Samuel H. Gottscho

UK: Stop demolishing your Brutalist architecture: Preston Bus Station

UK: Stop destroying your Brutalist architecture! Preston Bus Station

Petition to prevent demolition of Preston Bus Station

The Preston Bus Station is the last in a long line of Brutalist buildings which the UK government has prevented from listing and is subsequently threatened with demolition. In spite of architects and architectural critics voicing their concern, again and again this kind of architecture is treated as sitting ducks in the UK. A factor which may explain this willful neglect, of course, is that this architecture often had a specific social agenda and reflected the belief that society could be changed for the better through architectural intervention. With the deliberate and ongoing deconstruction of the welfare state and budget cuts left and right it is now easy to argue that you can no longer afford a ghost of the past and to duck responsibility for not maintaining the building properly in the first place.

The building was designed by the Building Design Partnership (BDP), was built to last, and was intended as a social hub, with shops, ample waiting areas, parking etc. Testament to its social success is the fact that it was voted the most popular building of Preston.

The case for demolition does not stack up from a financial as well as an environmental point of view. Shockingly, however, the Lancashire County Council is adamant to continue with demolition in spite of the offer of a local millionaire to invest!

The question has therefore rightfully been asked by the architectural critic Owen Hatherley as to what the motives of the Lancashire County Council really are.

If you want to keep up to date follow this blog.

Please help to save Preston bus Station by signing the petition.

Anarchitektur – was hat passiert?

Anarchitektur - was hat passiert?

Anarchitektur, a collective promising to lift our spirits with alternative architecture proposals, has not published anything since 2010? The death of print? The demise of the Occupy movement? What happened?
The wrecking ball cannot change the world alone!

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