Architecture

There Is Something About Pier 17

The South Street Seaport is close to the Financial District, whose silver teeth mark the edge of Manhattan. However, the Seaport is a world apart from the Financial District in terms of its architecture. The Seaport area features some of the oldest, 19th Century commercial architecture in downtown Manhattan. These are low humble buildings in [...]

Diamonds in the Jungle

For the winter holidays, Bvlgari, Harry Winston, and Cartier decided to design their Christmas decorations with the idea of creating exciting gifts for those who can’t afford the experience of owning expensive diamonds. The three jewelers have turned part of the Fifth avenue sidewalks into a whimsical Jungle Wonderland – there is one snake, two [...]

Fly-By Worship: The Typology of the Airport Chapel

Airports have often been characterized as “non-places.” Their architecture may differ on the outside, but the skin merely conceals the same combination of restaurants, shops, restrooms and gates on the inside. While the building itself serves as a connector between you and your destination, one space transcends the otherwise transient airport: the airport chapel. Approximately [...]

Letter From Detroit

I was sitting in the Telway diner around the edge of midnight. The Telway is a story in itself: a chrome island built during the 1940s, floating on a blighted stretch of Michigan Avenue. Telway is staffed by the Appalachian whites who long ago moved to Detroit for work and, more [...]

On Frozen Pond

Before setting foot or skate on the ice at Bryant Park’s Citi Pond, it’s important to put aside any notions of what skating outdoors should be. This is not the place for nostalgic laps under the open sky, or a chance to clear your head from the hectic hustle of the holiday season. This is [...]

Hotel design in British Mandate Palestine: Modernism and the Zionist vision

Modernism in hotel design – at least on a large and popular scale – has been credited as the postwar accomplishment of Conrad Hilton (1887 – 1979), father of the eponymous hotel chain, whose mass-produced formula evolved in the 1950s and 1960s. For the practical-minded Hilton, modern architecture was “oriented to the human scale [without [...]

Party on the Williamsburg Bridge

“Bridge building is more efficient than any other form of architecture as it is accessible to everyone. Bridges are accessible to people who are not interested in art.”
– Architect Santiago Caltrava, 2001
New York City’s social calendar is choked full of exclusive events; expensive and members-only bars, invite-only art openings and prohibitively expensive Broadway shows and [...]

High Bridge

No roads lead to High Bridge and no one is allowed to cross. The first bridge to connect two New York boroughs, the first to span the Harlem River and open up the great island of Manhattan should be celebrated and pedestrian-choked but it isn’t. The credit often goes to the Brooklyn Bridge, a more [...]

The Bridge to Nowhere

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” These words ebb and flow in my mind at two points on my pilgrimage to Wards Island Bridge on 103rd Street and the Harlem River. First, as I exit the train station on Lexington Avenue and see a woman in her 50s [...]

Hands Off Our Houses

Last summer, a business professor and a marketing consultant wrote on The Harvard Business Review’s Web site about their idea for a $300 house. According to the writers, and the many people who have enthusiastically responded since, such a house could improve the lives of millions of urban poor around the world. And with a [...]

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