Curves and CO2 Reduction Coexist in Chicago’s Colossal Concrete Installation

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι Jan. 28, 2020 Musing on the spiritual and formal predilections of the building materials he used so masterfully, architect Louis Kahn once famously said: “You say to brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, […]

The National Public Housing Museum Eyes a 2021 Opening

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Dec. 3, 2019 When you’re working to establish a museum with such contested subject matter as the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM), it pays to have a few shorthand expressions within easy reach, lest anyone get confused about creating a curatorial platform for an institution many associate with failure. Crystal Palmer, […]

Lunch Break Brutalism

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι November 2019  Shane Coen, FASLA, drops by the newly restored Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis every weekend. One of the first things he notices is how many more people can use it. The sunken concrete plaza is now far more accessible for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, and its […]

At Washington University, A Cluster of New Buildings Enlivens a Neglected Part of Campus

Metropolis Magazine Ι Oct. 18, 2019 A middle-American Oxbridge, the campus of Washington University in St. Louis is staunchly Collegiate Gothic, all nested quads and pink granite buildings. It’s often hard to tell where one building ends and another begins. But traverse the campus to its far eastern edge and this monotony starts to let up: […]

Design for all requires a culture change in architecture

The American Institute of Architects Ι Oct. 14, 2019  In 1978, John Catlin, who’d been a wheelchair user for four years after a spinal injury, began graduate school in architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 1973, federal legislation was passed that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities, including facilities designed, built, altered, […]

This Conservative City Built a $132 Million Park Using One Weird Trick

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Oct. 11, 2019 In the early 1990s, a crisis of confidence—and urbanism—gripped Oklahoma City. Oklahoma’s capital wanted a bustling, active city center that would attract and retain large corporations and the people who would staff them. But the city had mostly been a luckless suitor. Foreshadowing the Amazon HQ2 cage match, in […]

An Activist Architecture Stirs in Chicago

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Oct. 9. 2019 Perhaps the most compelling installation in this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial doesn’t feature a single architectural model, rendering, or image of buildings (or of anything else). It’s a series of short blocks of text, probing the Chicago police’s killing of Harith Augustus on the city’s South Side in July of last […]

A Floating Lab Aims to Promote a Healthy Marine Habitat in the San Francisco Bay

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι Aug. 29, 2019 From a distance, you could be forgiven for thinking the Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab installation is merely a boat. The vessel is actually a product of the California College of the Arts (CCA) Architectural Ecologies Lab. It’s seaworthy, with a fiberglass hull and oblong shape, but meant for a […]

How a Gehry building came back ready for the spotlight

The American Institute of Architects Ι Aug. 21, 2019  In the pantheon of Frank Gehry buildings, his American Center in Paris, completed in 1994, was a decidedly transitional artifact. Gehry was rebuffed from using steel on the building by planners with context-attuned designs for its newly redeveloped district on the banks of the Seine, so instead […]

Bamboo Transcends the Tropics for Carbon-Negative Construction

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι Aug. 7, 2019 It can be argued either way: Bamboo is a building material that’s criminally underused in construction or one destined to remain a quirky, regional curio. Long ignored beyond the developing world, bamboo (a grass, not a tree) has the compressive strength of concrete and the tensile strength of steel. Unlike […]