Urban Art Museum

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Archive


It should be no surprise to my readers that I have been preoccupied with starting my own practice and working on multiple books, and have been unable to update Critique This! on a regular basis.  This will be the last update to Critique This!, but rest assured a new project is in the works, which embodies all of the lessons that I have learned while developing Critique This! The articles featured on this site have been published in Bauwelt, florida/caribbean Architect and YAF Connection, and have opened up so many other doors into the world of architectural criticism.

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The thought of constructing buildings out of gold may seem like a ridiculous conjecture, but history reveals that this absurd notion is not only a reality of a time past, but that constructing structures of gold in modern times is more tangible than ever. Although many religious structures throughout history contain decorative elements and even domes which have been leafed in gold, none of these structures rival the Bupaya Pagoda and Sripuram Temple in scale. The Bupaya Pagoda located in Pagan, Myanmar is entirely adorned in gold leaf. The spectacle of the pagoda is only outdone by the fantastic Sripuram Temple which is located in India. The temple is the largest gold structure in the entire world and is constructed of 1500kg of gold! Gold has signified wealth and prosperity since the 700BC when the first gold coins were struck. Today modern technology has permitted the re-exploration of gold as a viable treatment for structures throughout the world.

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The nearly nineteen million residents of Florida are currently in a battle to protect their neighborhoods from a number of exotic predators. Burmese Pythons, Gambian Pouch Rats and other exotic species have been released into the wild by their irresponsible owners, and are wreaking havoc on the natural equilibrium of Florida’s ecosystem.  While the population of the Burmese Python in the Florida wild is estimated to be in the thousands, there is an even more damaging and invasive species lurking in Florida. It was first introduced more than 100 years ago, and currently maintains a population estimated to be in the millions. It has infiltrated our culture, and deceptively convinced the millions of Florida immigrants that it is a style that is both responsive to the unique climate of Florida and of the local vernacular. Clients love it, and laymen praise it for its architectural character.

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The REAL Answers to Questions About NCARB Fees Increase
In the spirit of one of my favorite Cincinnati radio personalities Earl Pitts: “Ya’ know what makes me sick? You know what makes me so angry?” Mostly the lack of integrity of every corporation in the United States. I am not talking about BP, which is equally disgusting, but today is NCARB’s day to shine. I, like many of my fellow architects found my self in complete shock when I read the latest newsletter released by NCARB: NCARB’s e-Connection -July 2010: Answers to Questions About NCARB Fees. I am hosting a PDF version of the article on my site, because as I have discussed in previous articles, NCARB has a habit of quietly changing information. The questions and answers should not concern you, because they are as scripted as any interview you might find on a daytime television talk show. In nearly every case fees have doubled! But WHY?

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AIA YAF Temporary/Permanent Relief Housing Competition Results
Have you seen the results of the Temporary/Permanent Relief Housing Competition? It is an ‘ideas competition’ sponsored by the AIA and Young Architect’s Forum. This competition serves as a reminder that the architecture competition system, or lack thereof, in the United States is flawed, and that it is in desperate need of regulation. Before you accuse me of having a vested interest, let me clarify that I have no horse in this race. I am not associated with this competition or any other competition.  So, to clarify, I did not register for, nor did I submit a project to be judged in this competition. A few days ago I received a copy of the winning entries, and I was disgusted with what I saw, as it only confirmed the reasons for which I did not enter the competition and everything that I know to be wrong with the way architectural competitions are run in the United States.

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During a recent trip to New York City I visited the infamous Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was my first time at the museum, and unfortunately the glass atop the atrium was covered. The large volume of space that is normally full of light was a dark void, perhaps for the first time in the building’s existence. Already disappointed with the fact that I would have to make another trip to New York City to experience the true spirit of the structure. I was further disheartened by the quality of merchandise sold in the museum’s gift shop. Most of the items in the Guggenheim gift shop were everyday items with an image of the Guggenheim slapped on it, similar in fashion to the image of Mickey Mouse in a Disney gift shop.

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1111 Lincoln Road by Herzog & de Meuron: The Beauty of Parking

1111 Lincoln Road is part of an addition and upgrade to the existing SunTrust office building, which is a Brutalist concrete relic designed by Adolfo Albaisa that was constructed in the 1960s. At first glance, 1111 Lincoln Road looks like a new museum or a swanky new condo building just beginning construction, but in reality the structure is nearly complete.  1111 Lincoln Road is more than a parking garage, it is a building that serves as a continuation of the street with parking, retail, restaurants, event space and residential components scattered throughout the structure.

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The Ascent by Studio Daniel LibeskindThe Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge shows us the possibility of living in the clouds. The newest prestigious address in the Cincinnati area features distinguished high-rise living, a rarity in this area of hills, valleys and single-family homes. The Ascent presides on its small site in Covington, soaring above its dour postmodern neighbors, the Corporex towers, and takes its design cues (both in form and color) from the adjacent Suspension Bridge, designed by John Roebling. The bridge opened in 1866 and was a dry run of sorts for the Brooklyn Bridge, which Roebling designed but would not live to see completed.

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The Child of the Sun Florida Southern College designed by Frank Lloyd WrightFlorida Southern College is the only campus designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and it is the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings located on a single site, anywhere in the world. However, despite the project’s unprecedented scale and the fact that the campus supports a collection of twelve Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings, this work remains relatively unknown to many architects who visit or even live in Florida. You might be thinking that perhaps these buildings are not given the same respect as some of Wright’s other designs

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No ya-ya, People want Architecture at a Great ValueA few months ago I began to contemplate the effect of the Great Recession on our profession and to define for myself the current, past and future status of architecture in the United States. There have been many movements and styles to evolve in architecture since the implosion of Pruitt-Igoe. It seems that since the death of Modernism that stylistic periods in architecture have increasingly become shorter and shorter, approaching a period of brevity in which we have to question whether or not we should even call these movements architectural styles.

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