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, […]

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: […]

New Composite Building Materials Are Redefining Modernism at Exhibit Columbus

Redshift Ι July 2, 2018  Since the advent of modernism, architects have dreamed of the perfect material to unify structure and surface. Steel beams and glass windows were the 20th century’s solution, combining the elements holding up buildings and the elements covering buildings into one tidy duo. This century, academic researchers are throwing out this […]

Can Artist Theaster Gates Help Bridge a Town-Gown Divide?

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι April 5, 2019  The newly renovated Keller Center, home to the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy on Chicago’s South Side, is crafted from a 1963 building designed by the architect of New York’s Radio City Music Hall and D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Edward Durell Stone. On the outside is a […]

‘Dimensions of Citizenship’ Dreams of Belonging Best at the Smallest and Largest Scales

Architectural Record Ι March 19, 2019 The opening of “Dimensions of Citizenship,” shipped from the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale to Chicago, was delayed by the government shutdown in January, caused by President Trump’s insistence on funding for a border wall. Which was an unanticipated irony: it’s a show whose politics are also our […]

Let My Rivers Go

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι May 2018  On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam east of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, gave way after a day of heavy rain. The dam had hemmed in the waters of Lake Conemaugh, a weekend retreat for western Pennsylvania’s Gilded Age industrial barons (the Carnegies, the Mellons, the Fricks). Despite their means, the […]

Hurricane-Proof Construction Methods Can Prevent the Destruction of Communities

Redshift Ι Nov. 9, 2017 The four hurricanes that slammed into heavily populated areas from the Caribbean to Texas this summer are inching toward a half-trillion-dollar price tag in damages—to say nothing of the work and wages missed by shutting down entire cities. Buildings are the most visible marker of a place’s resilience after a disaster […]