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The chronicle of architecture in competitions, polemics, commercials, trivia, and other nonsense.

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E b l o i d
x p r e s s

(*****) much-hyped, in general press


*** nyt_99.12.12
*** nyt_99.12.15

[LVMH Tower, Manhattan]    
  • old chapeau
    "The slender tower sets no records for the biggest or glitziest building in New York ... In fact, you may have to know a little about architecture to fully understand the design and structural savvy ..." (Ada Louise Huxtable, wsj_00.01.10)

    • canard
      "The building's openhanded corporate sponsorship is sure to prompt the old real-estate mantra that good architecture is more expensive than bad, ..." (Ada Louise Huxtable, wsj_00.01.10)

  • exquisite overkill
    "Dinner was served across the street in the atrium of the IBM Building ..." (Cathy Horyn, nyt_99.12.12)

    • black pantsuit
      "De Portzamparc also staged a light show, involving, among other things, images of the French and American flags fluttering on the LVMH Tower and a parachuting dress with a 60-foot train. But with so much else going on, the rich food, couture dresses that cost $50,000 and then some, not to leave out an appearance by Hillary Rodham Clinton, well, ..." (Cathy Horyn, nyt_99.12.12)


  • crevasses
    "The frequent comparison of the building to an unfolding flower is based on a misunderstanding, the architect said. He meant the reference to apply only to a box that sits on a setback halfway up the facade, a feature tinted blue to appease the chairman of LVMH, Bernard Arnault." (Julie V Iovine, nyt_99.12.15)

  • a 23-story glass flower
    " ... most innovative building to rise in Manhattan in decades" (Herbert Muschamp, nyt_98.09.13)



[The Austrian Cultural Institute, New York]
  • rigorous gawk
    "a rigorous piece of architecture that will have people making detours to gawk, admire, laugh at, love and debate over it for years to come" (Muschamp H, nyt_98.09.13)

v e d e t t e   b a n k   c u r r e n c y   i n d e x

f r i e n d l y   p l u g s
(*****) manic-ly promoted, in architectural press  

*** wired_02.08.00

[The Slow House]
  • painstakingly
    "The Slow House was never completed (as the foundations were poured in 1991, the art market took a dive and the client's finances went with it) ..." (Jessie Scanlon, wired_02.08.00)

  • kinetically
    "In a way, Diller + Scofidio are masters of the fun house, inventing buildings that mirror - and distort - the world around them." (Jessie Scanlon, wired_02.08.00)

(*****) massively-ballyhooed, in architectural - and general - press

ambushed h o s t i l e   f i r e
(*****) intensely scrutinized, in general - and architectural - press

o f f   t h e   r a d a r
(*****) (deliberately) shunning/shunned from publicity


s u p e r m o d e l
h y p e r c a r d b o a r d

u l t i m a t e   m e d i a   h y p e

b_a_r_e_l_y -- on front-pages/front-covers of general press


p e n u l t i m a t e   h y p e

barely drawn -- on coverpages of non-architectural/design/art press - prior to construction



[Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain]
  • pharaonic
    "the beast" ... "The Boat" ... "The Flower" (Riding A, nyt_97.06.24)

  • super association
    "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's superman. It's a ship, an artichoke, the ... rose." (Muschamp H, nytm_97.09.09)

    • stage prop
      "'the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe' ... empty, unhappy ... self destructive person inside, where it matters" (Nikitas S, Letter to the Editor, nytm_97.09.28)
    • edifice
      "a major meltdown of nuclear power plant ..." (Alston A, Letters to the Editor, nytm_97.09.28)

    • monster
      "The negative introduction to the city of Bilbao ... leaves me to wonder why it was chosen for this 'miracle.' Can it be that no one else wanted this montrosity?" (Cividanes R, Letters to the Editor, nytm_97.09.28)

    • glowing paean
      "deeply moved" - "trancended the future and taken us into the eternity" - "fantastical constructs" - ... (Letters to the Editor, nytm_97.09.28)

  • demoGehry
    "The world under democracy creates chaotic cities and we don't know how to live with that image yet ... It's like these forces are coming at me and I'm trying to resolve them. Like if you were doing jujitsu and the guy comes at you; you catch him and you use his energy to solve the problem ..." (Frank Gehry, 'a 68-year-old native of Canada who still enjoys playing ice hockey,' abcn_97.10.09)

    • weak friends
      "All my friends in Hollywood, they're dying to live in the 19th century ... That's one way but it's not honest and it's telling your kids, 'Hey kids, I'm weak. I don't have any ideas. I've got to go back there, because it's safe. I don't have anything to offer.'" (Frank Gehry continues, abcn_97.10.09)


  • flower pots
    "Blood was shed on museum grounds Monday, when a policeman was shot and killed by three men he was questioning as they unloaded flower arrangements from a van. Police later found machine guns and grenades hidden among the flower pots." (Rolfe P, ap_97.10.17)

  • kitchen-speak
    "cosmic cauliflower ... Fritz Lang, Brancusi, Matisse, Chevalier ..." (Aspden P, ft_97.10.18)


  • taste the difference
    "Duopolies are usually about the appearance of choice and the actuality of sameness, which raises the possibly offensive idea that Gehry's wobbliness and Meier's grids represent no difference more profound than that of Pepsi's blue and Coke's red." (Moore R, blp_Sep97)


d u s t - i n d e x

barely built -- on trade rag covers - prior to occupation


p e e r   p r e s s u r e

barely dry -- trade rag blankets



[MoCA, Los Angeles --Arata Isozaki]
  • voluptuous politics
    "But, in fact, the museum's forms evoke clean, barren landscapes--not Marilyn." (Ouroussoff N, "A New Look, A Look Back ..." lat_97.10.24)

c o v e r   b ' s

upon completion


a d v e r t i s e m e n t  -   f o r   -   a r c h i t e c t u r e


i s

--   r a n d o m   f o r t n i g h t l y   s n a p s h o t   --



  • master plan
    "But much more than the sale of memorabilia is involved here. There is a Grateful Dead master plan. Most of the revenue coming in is being earmarked for an enormous project ... It is called Terrapin Station, to be built in San Fransisco, a $60 mil museum, amusement park, gathering place, concert hall, research center and possibly even a hotel for Grateful Dead fans ..." (Strauss N, nyt_98.01.06)


  • fibro shack
    "Australian Home Beautiful claimed in 1961 that "some of the nation's best architectural ideas are going into what used to be called 'week-enders' ... A quick survey of architects' prize-winning houses reveals a preponderance of beach houses and other weekenders.

    Whether architect-designed or owner-built, weekenders and fibro flourished together. ... The spread of brick and tile suburbia to the beachside is not merely an aesthetic problem - it is also a denial of ... architectural experimental space." (Pickett C, smh_98.01.06)


  • biggest elephant
    -- built in 1985, modelled after London's famous Crystal Palace, which burned down in 1936. Developer Trammell Crow envisioned a huge wholesale market where makers of personal computers and all their accessories would display wares to buyers from across the country. Instead, the sprawling 1.6 mil sf building with 225,000 sf floorplates, 10 times the size of typical office building, turned out to be one of the biggest white elephants in the real-estate world. (Templin N, wsj_97.12.03)


  • context protest
    "When the architect wanted to paint some of the brick exteriors to more closely duplicate a real block of row houses, residents protested ...

    The facility's appearance has caused an unexpected problem for property manager Les Kirk. He is always careful to tell potential customers what if looks like before they come over, but many still can't find it." (Templin N, wsj_97.12.03)


  • croon
    "The grandest of all ... might be the nearly $2 billion Venetian ... It will have 6,000 suites and will be a re-creatian of Venice, complete with canals and gondoliers who croon in Italian." (Pollack A, nyt_97.11.13)
    [The Venetian Casino Resort]


  • homey signature
    "The maker of hand-woven, wooden baskets and other homey crafts is moving to a new $30 mil headquarters: a giant, free-standing replica of the company trademark basket. ...

    The handles -- an engineering feat that took a year and a half to finish -- are two 300-foot-long pieces of assembled, galvanized steel that rest on 18-inch-thick pins, just as a real basket's would." (Quintanilla C, wsj_97.10.15)

    • homey client
      Because of the basket 'weave' carved into the stucco, Longaberger was limited in the number of windows it could install. Architects suggested other ways ... Each time, Mr Longaberger sent them back to the original basket look. 'I knew if I wavered one little bit, they would jump on that like crazy,' he says." (Quintanilla C, wsj_97.10.15)

      [Longaberger Co Headquarters, Newark OH]
      - NBBJ Columbus (Friederich KM Bohm)


  • themed
    "Coming soon: a $1.8 billion, 6,000-room 'Venetian themed' resort."
    [Demolition of the Sands Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas 1952]
  • Mmart
    "Kmart was so determined to take Manhattan that it lopped two and a half feet off some of its trucks" [to fit Manhattan bridges and tunnels]. (nyt 10.96)

    "I am a New Yorker because I hate the rest of America: ..." ("Keep Malls in Suburbs" - Letters to Editor, nyt_96.26.10)

  • absolutely not
    "I think it's safe to assume the architect had some mental relationship with Absolut and this is the product of it ..." (Richard Lewis, in charge of Absolut vodka account, wsj_97.05.28)
    • "I'm sure that EMC, being a casualty insurer, probably would just as soon not have the publicity" (Rod Nelson, in charge of the project, nyt_97.09.28)

      [EMC Insurance Co Headquarters, Des Moines, Iowa]
      - William Anderson, Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering

  • . . .   (continued from)
  • . . .   (ctd. from) previous snapshots

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