FEATURED THIS WEEK : JIM WILLIAMSON
"For most people, this is a story about Texas; for some, a story about architecture. To a few who know about both Texas and architecture, it is a sort of myth: an intersection of human beings with place. . . . It is also a coming of age story, the story of my first job and my first project. And as most stories do, it has an ending, and the ending is so strange that I will break with convention and reveal it now: They buried her in a martini shaker . . . and a Dixie-cup." So begins Jim Williamson's recollections of his early days as an architect in Midland, and of an unexpected moment of memorable beauty.
"If I have learnt anything, it is that life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?" In assembling his latest portfolio of photographs for Places, Ken McCown was inspired by this passage from the great dancer Margot Fonteyn's Autobiograph
y. Here his subjects range widely, from prominent buildings (by Richärd + Bauer, OMA, Antoine Predock, Weiss/Manfredi, West 8, et al.) to natural landscapes (including the Imperial Sand Dunes of California) to the art installations of Marfa, Texas.
This is Places' last feature of 2010. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
JESUS DE FRANCISCO
In December 2001 the German writer W.G. Sebald died in a car crash in East Anglia, where he had lived for years. Sebald's extraordinary fiction, mixing the personal and the historic, probing the wounds of mid-20th-century history, is the kind that gets under your skin. For art director Jesus de Francisco, it's inspired an ongoing project of photographing marginal and neglected spaces, from Southern California to the former East Germany.
MARK LAMSTER AND ALEXANDRA LANGE
Columbia University recently opened an interdisciplinary science building at the northwest corner of its McKim, Mead and White-designed Morningside Heights Campus in Manhattan. The 14-story building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo, with Moneo Brock Studio and Davis Brody Bond Aedas, completes the perimeter of the campus. After a tour of the building with Moneo and his associated architects, Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster sat down for a sandwich in the cafeteria of Avery Hall, home to Columbia’s architecture school, to review what they’d seen.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 1989
In 1989 Phoenix, Arizona, commissioned one of the first public art master plans. The city now has one of the strongest public art programs in the country.
Pratt Institute, School of Architecture
The work of the students here at Pratt shows a clear appreciation and understanding of the possibilities of architecture today, as the mission of the school is dedicated to design and a complete understanding of the making of cities and buildings. The spirit of advancing architectural ideas in terms of both form and technique is at the essence of the transformation of contemporary design.