The critic whose passion and insight changed the way we look at the built world. Last month, the world of architecture lost the best critic of our time. Ada Louise Huxtable set the standard for architectural journalism, not only because of her many firsts–first architecture critic for the New York Times, hired in 1963; first cultural critic to win the Pulitzer Prize, in 1970–but because of the powerful influence of her voice, both on the public and on writers who followed her. The digging and research that informed her opinions is legendary: her articles were built on deep layers of
The storm and its aftermath. As journalists, we at Architectural Record are by nature outside observers–writers and editors who consider the content of the magazine as objectively as possible. But a month ago, all of us who work here in New York City were caught up in the enormous and disturbing story of Hurricane Sandy. Awaiting the storm on a Monday, with offices and schools shut, and the transit system–the lifeblood of the city–closed, we each hunkered down at home, staying connected through the Internet, posting on our website, and working on the issue of the magazine you're now reading.
Using high technology and low, architects are pushing new ideas in design and construction. Every year at this time, a new crop of students is busy assembling applications and portfolios for architecture school. In this issue of record, we're publishing our annual rankings of the best graduate and undergraduate programs in the United States, from research conducted and analyzed by the DesignIntelligence group. Despite the costs of higher education-and the hammering the profession has taken in this economy-becoming an architect is still a powerful aspiration. In 2011, enrollment in architecture schools was down only 1.1 percent from the previous academic
Designing great interiors calls on architecture's best. Architectural Record's annual Interiors issue is a favorite among readers both inside the profession and out. Who doesn't enjoy ogling photographs of a room's rich finishes and furnishings, such as those on display in the pages ahead? Yet frankly, even we acknowledge it's a little weird to consider interiors apart from “architecture.” Clients often divide duties between architect and interior designer, but the essential values should be no different: the artful creation of space and deployment of light; the careful designation of materials and details. Eero Saarinen, who designed chairs, master plans, and
Western architects are beginning to design all over the swiftly urbanizing continent. We all know that American architects are finding work in China, Korea, and Qatar—but Angola, Botswana, and Burundi? Africa is booming: The continent is home to seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund. It is also urbanizing at astonishing speed, with rapidly rising education rates and a burgeoning middle class. Yes, in parts of Africa there are tragic clashes of violence, desperate refugees, and entrenched poverty—and growing development may only widen the socioeconomic chasms. But news reports rarely paint the
How the 2012 Olympics became the “alibi” for reclaiming a derelict swath of the city. After the gold medals are carried home and the frenzy of each Summer Olympics dies down, what becomes of the much-televised architecture and urban designs created for the Games? Beijing’s Bird’s Nest from 2008—that spectacular blend of artistry and engineering by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei—is mostly visited by tourists these days, who grab a shot of themselves in front of it, but its vast interior is only intermittently filled with shopping stalls or the occasional athletic event or concert. In Sydney, the
Architecture isn’t always an equal opportunity profession. Later this month, the Pritzker Architecture Prize will be awarded to the Chinese architect Wang Shu at a ceremony in Beijing. It’s an exciting choice—though it’s worth noting that the prize did not include Lu Wenyu, his wife and architectural partner in the firm they founded together, Amateur Architecture Studio, in Hangzhou.