Techniques for conveying the experience of architecture are more sophisticated. Can they supplant the act of visiting a building? With all the available means to see buildings — through printed publications and images on the web, tablet (iPad, Android), or even better, videos, it may seem as if you don’t need to actually visit a building to know what it’s about. At the same time that electronic media enhance the visual experience, of course, digital advances allow more complicated buildings to be constructed. Architects such as Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, and UNStudio, to name a few, have been enabled by
April 2011 Why we are drawn to those sexy, dangerous houses. Some of our readers call our annual Record Houses issue the “Swimsuit Issue.” It’s not exactly our mission (and we don’t normally equate ourselves with Sports Illustrated), but we’ll take it. Every year since 1956, Architectural Record has compiled and published a collection of houses from across the world — a telling snapshot that captures and reflects the state of architecture at a distinct moment in time. The Fullerton Kit house, as pictured in a 1920s Sears, Roebuck “Modern Homes” catalog. Houses like this reassure us and reiterate what
The Penn Station saga says a lot about our failed public realm. What a mess! Every day as we head to and from our offices atop Penn Station, we push through swarms of harried commuters, disoriented tourists, and fast-moving New Yorkers in the multilevel, underground purgatory that serves Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, and six different lines of the city’s subway system. As nearly everyone knows, this artificially lighted, soul-sapping labyrinth replaced the soaring architecture of McKim, Mead & White’s Pennsylvania Station, which opened in 1910 and fell to the wrecking ball 53 years later. It’s
Design matters, whether in Gotham or small-town America. The view from the Promenade near my longtime home in Brooklyn Heights may be New York’s finest. The city and its waterfront snap into perspective from across the river. Manhattan’s proud towers cluster, then crash toward the water’s edge, their juncture fragmented into a splayed collar of docks and piers, cafés, and bubble-topped tennis courts. From this distance, the city looms whole and iconic, the culmination of heroic materialism. The architecture takes your breath away. Just at my feet, the riverfront is changing, morphing before our eyes from a gritty, on-the-waterfront industrial
Following a Decade of Highs and Lows, America’s Architects Are Asking, “What Now?” Whoa. Wait a minute. That’s not an Architectural Record cover. At least not one I’m familiar with. What’s a person doing there? Where’s the building? Where’s the beef? If you’re confused, thinking that you might be inhabiting a parallel universe, calm down — you’re right. Except for the blurred image of passersby, RECORD has not featured a living soul, except for the portrait shot of the AIA Gold Medalist we’ve run every year since 1999, when Frank Gehry took center stage with a rock-star, black-and-white poster moment.
December 2010 A new work on a past master stuns with its beauty and highlights an important transitional practice for a new generation's scrutiny. The texture of the stonework almost jumps off the page. Such is the quality of the photography and reproduction that the sensuous features of building materials appear tactile, almost hyperrealistic, when rendered in large-scale black-and-white prints. Page after page we encounter the architecture at varying scales: Detailed images of interlaced cast-iron or terra-cotta ornament pull the viewer in, while artful shots of surrounding neighborhoods, with real people, automobiles, and sunlight, from the 1950s and 1960s place