MONU #10: Holy Urbanism

Archinect has a great piece on MONU Magazine's issue #10, titles "Holy Urbanism". The issue focuses on how building by religious organizations, and religious experiences in general, affect cities. It's a brilliant topic rarely discussed ever by anybody, so it's long overdue for the zine set.

Especially thrilling is the fact that you can browse the magazine on Youtube. Stunning.

Pretty Pictures: Under Construction #1




1. Ocho al Cubo House, Toyo Ito, via Arch Daily.
2. The existing conditions concrete shell for Vakko Headquarters and Power Media Center, REX Architects, via Arch Daily.
3. Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture, Steven Holl Architects.

Tropolism Newsletters


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More Meta: Mention In New York Magazine

matrix090209_900.jpgSomeone at New York Magazine is reading us, because we were picked up on their Approval Matrix. You'll find us over halfway to brilliant, over halfway to lowbrow, right where we belong.

Tropolism Lectures: Gentrification Begins

washmews2.jpgGentrification, suburban sprawl, homogenization----we all have our takes on it. Inflated rents, overpriced restaurants, and multiple Starbucks are the clear symptoms. At the Municipal Arts Society talk at the Urban Center on Wednesday night, Francis Morrone takes us back in time to examine the origins of gentrification in New York City. Strikingly, it may have been started by a handful of progressive and socially conscious women.

Click here to read the rest of the lecture report...

OMA Beijing Hotel Destroyed In Blaze

Sad news: fire destroyed the bent-tower hotel in the CCTV complex designed by OMA. The New York Times has video, too. More at ArchDaily.

Yes, More Mies Gas Station News

miesstationboardedup.jpgTropolism means being completists. The Mies Gas Station is getting a new life:

The local council in Verdun, where the station is located recently unveiled a project called the "Maison des générations", "House of Generations" which will give a new use to this important piece of modern architecture in Montreal....The plan is to integrate a Youth Center with a Center of Activities for the Elderly.

Snore. But at least it's not being torn down. I still want to see someone live in it.

Brazilians Tell Niemeyer To Just Chill Already, You're 101 Yo


Oscar Niemeyer experienced the first setback of his career a couple of weeks ago. He is 101 years old. His Plaza of Sovereignty idea, rendered by his office in what looks like Autocad version 1.5, would have added a huge, clunky, view-ruining spire (today is dead spire day?) to Brasilia, which he designed when he was 6. Except now Brasilia is real city and Brazil a country and even though Brazilians think of Niemeyer as a hero, they want him to just stop, already. So they did. This is news because apparently he's allowed to build anything anywhere in Brasilia, by national law or something.

Oscar, baby, we still love you. Just put the tower somewhere else, okay?

Chicago Spire Tower Spawns Chicago Hole


The Chicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava's tower design that would have been the tallest building in the United States, had it been built, has been able to be referred to in the past tense for a little while now. What we didn't know is that where it was to stand is now occupied by a large, round, hole in the ground. That someone built. Oh, Chicago 2005. We still love you. After all, New Yorkers can't create perfectly architected holes. Our holes are simply messy construction sites for a decade or so. We'll respect you again if you find a good way to make money with the hole.

Documenting Disappearing St. Louis Continues


So much of St. Louis's architectural heritage is being destroyed that blogging it is a full-time project. Tropolism favorites B.E.L.T. and Vanishing STL have enough content to post frequently, and with terrifying stories of destruction of great works by the likes of Samuel Marx. Add to this list the tireless Andrew Raimist's Architectural Ruminations, who has created an internet home to a little known (outside of St. Louis) architect from the early 20th Century, Harris Armstrong. Much to explore here, but much of it has already been torn down.

Photo from Andrew Raimist's great gallery.

20 Peacocks Shop

We stumbled on L.E.FT's work while writing for Curbed this week. There's a lot of great work there, but innocuously filed under "Interiors" is project #137, the 20 Peacocks shop on 20 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side. We do love our stores. The shop features a set of flip-down shelves that are at once innovative, efficient, and somewhat unsettling. There's a Kafkaesque quality to the design, like entering a dream where something vaguely menacing is going to happen. The storefront study, which is nothing short of brilliant, extends this sensibility by creating a vision device that is as useful as it is unusual. For those of you who have been underwhelmed with everything retail since Adolf Loos did his best work (and who are looking for menswear!), this is your shop.

Keith Haring's The Ten Commandments

New York fans of Keith Haring tend to get bored easily: his stuff is everywhere, still. His work is an icon for New York Nineteen Eighties. It's subway, tshirt, storefront graffiti, and if you live in New York it is so part of the visual culture it's difficult to separate him from what came after him. Fortunately, The Ten Commandments at Dietch Projects Long Island City snaps you back into the majesty of Haring's work though sheer size. Each of the panels is 25 feet high, and haven't been seen in the United States since they were produced for his first solo show in Bordeaux in 1985. The iconic Haring is on display, of course, but the biblical imagery is filtered through his ambiguous lens. The show is up until February 15th and is a sin not to see it.

Photographs by roving New York photographer Wilson Aguilar.

Gas Station Follies

Mies%20gas%20station%20by%20zadcat.jpgGreg Allen wants to get his hands on the Mies gas station. I suppose there are few remaining options. Turn it into a community center, blah. Turn it into a Starbucks, maybe. Knock it down, not so interesting. Move it and do an OMA-IIT type renovation, very interesting.

In short, crazy but I say more power to him. Just call me for the reno, Greg!

Furniture Friday: Alex Hellum

ah6.jpgIn Tropolism's world, we get excited about furniture when it bleeds into the realms of sculpture and architecture. Added to this group is Alex Hellum, a designer in London whose pieces are whimsical and a little like creatures walking around the living room.

Seated at Designboom.