ArchiWEB Explorer: World Trade Center

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The Post Is Hating Contemporary Architecture

The New York Post published a couple pieces over the weekend that openly criticize projects dedigned by famous architects. First is an editorial on the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, DC, designed by Frank Gehry. The yet-to-be-built project has been mired in approvals and budget cuts, and hampered by some neotraditional opposition with the Eisenhowitr family on its side. But for the Post the Memorial is marked by "a design process flawed from the outset," leading to a design that "ignores Ike’s achievements as both general and president," and ultimately "obscure[s] rather than enhance[s Ike's] historic achievements."

More premature criticism (before the project is completed) comes from Steve Cuozzo, in an opinion piece where he blasts Santiago Calatrava's Transportation Hub under construction (my photo is from Friday) at the World Trade Center as a "4 billion boondoggle, ... a hideous waste of public money." More than the admittedly bloated budget, Cuozzo hates what the design looks like: he calls it "The Calatrasaurus" with "scary 'wings'" and describes it as "LOL-ugly." This is hardly nuanced architectural criticism.

A couple statements stand out in Cuozzo's piece: "a self-indulgent monstrosity wildly out of proportion to everything around it, and 100% aloof from the World Trade Center’s commercial and commemorative purposes." And: "today’s 40,000 daily PATH riders make do very well with the current temporary station." I'd argue respectively that, while the skeletal form contrasts with everything around it, the building bridges between the voids of the Memorial and the tall skyscrapers above (it's actually close in scale to the St. Paul's Chapel across Church Street); the site is in need of some relief from commerce and commemoration; and just because the temporary terminal served its purpose, that doesn't mean it should do so indefinitely or not be replaced with something more uplifting.

Sky-High Ski Jump Penthouse: Win a Night at Historic AirBnB

[ By Steph in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

ski jump penthouse 1

‘Please do not apply if you’re scared of heights,’ warns AirBnB about this private sky-high chalet located at the very top of the Holmenkollen ski jump, where some of the world’s top skiers have launched themselves onto the slopes. The fully-furnished apartment is 250 steps above the world’s first ski museum, and features the highest roof terrace in all of Oslo. Tell AirBnB why you’d like to stay here in 100 worlds or less, and you could win the chance to experience it yourself.

ski jump penthouse 9

ski jump penthouse 3

Libeskind's Master Plan for WTC Site "Coming to Life"

On Wednesday, September 7, just days before the opening of the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, master planner Daniel Libeskind, developer Larry Silverstein, and a host of other officials gathered at 7 World Trade Center to report on construction progress at the site.

Curvaceous Skyscraper: Beyoncé Inspires High-Rise Down Under

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

curved skyscraper shapely tower

Architects in Melbourne cite the cloth-clad dancers in the music video for Ghost by singer, songwriter and performer Beyoncé as the source of this newly-approved building, tall, slender and full of curves. Indeed, the whole building looks like an undulating figure on a pedestal, rectilinear below and organic above.

beyonce ghost video

curved vertical skyscraper design

One World Trade Center is Set to Open in 2014

1 world trade center, 1 world trade center opening, 1 wtc, eco design, green design, lower manhattan, one world trade center, skidmore owings and merrill, sustainable design, Tallest Building in the United States, wtc

We’ve got a lot to look forward to in the new year, including the opening of the long-awaited One World Trade Center. The tower’s construction has faced many obstacles over the past few years, but developers say it will finally be set to open some time in 2014.

Listening to Leslie

Structural engineer Leslie Earl Robertson will be talking at the Skyscraper Museum on Thursday about his book recently published by Monacelli Press, The Structure of Design An Engineer's Extraordinary Life in Architecture. Details from the Skyscraper Museum are below.

Leslie Robertson Book Talk
The Structure of Design: An Engineer's Extraordinary Life in Architecture
The Monacelli Press, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017 6:30-8:00 pm

In The Structure of Design, Leslie Earl Robertson offers a personal and accessible chronicle of the partnerships and problem-solving that forged so many classics of modern architecture. He recounts his famous collaborations with architects, including Minoru Yamasaki, Philip Johnson, and I. M. Pei, among many others, and his delight in working with leading sculptors such as Richard Serra and Beverly Pepper. Join us for an illustrated talk that combines personal refections and professional insights on "An Engineer's Extraordinary Life in Architecture."

Today's archidose, now with Instagram

Since starting the "Today's archidose" feature in 2006, when I asked readers to contribute photos of contemporary via Flickr for consideration on this blog, I've done 777 posts. Given that Flickr isn't the primary means for people to share photos online, I've decided (somewhat well after the fact) to open the Today's archidose feature to Instagram.

It basically works the same way as the Flickr instructions, but instead of joining a group, just tag your Instagram photos #archidose (I'd link to the tag here, but Instagram only allows clicking on tags that through their app) and I'll dig through them as I consider what to post. It helps that a number of proactive Instagram users have already been using the #archidose tag.

To start, here is one of my photos, of SOM's One World Trade Center as seen from West Street:

To contribute your Flickr images for consideration, just:
:: Join and add photos to the archidose pool
To contribute your Instagram images for consideration, just:

:: Tag your photos #archidose

Book Review: Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers: A History of the World's Most Extraordinary Buildings by Judith Dupré
Black Do & Leventhal Publishers, 2013 (revised and updated)
Hardcover, 176 pages

Over at World-Architects I posted a roundup of 10 supertall towers either recently completed or under construction – most under construction and to be completed in the next few years. I used a few references when putting the piece together, mainly the architects' own web pages, The Skyscraper Center from CTBUH, and this book by Judith Dupré. I'll admit that the last, with its most recent update coming at the end of 2013, is already a little bit dated when it comes to the insatiable race to build taller, but it hits on the important notes regarding supertall and even megatall skyscrapers: China is building the tallest buildings at the fastest pace, AS+GG's kilometer-high Kingdom Tower will be the tallest skyscraper when it's done in 2018, and tall buildings are being designed with increasing sustainability, important considering that more and more towers are being built each year. Dupré's tall book (18" high by 9" wide) is a good historical and contemporary view of skyscrapers that celebrates this race to the top but also puts today's boom into context.