Notes On The Two Dozen List


In 2005 I fleshed out an idea I first proposed in 2004: that a slew of midsized residential buildings would be built, all designed by celebrity architects. And so the Two Dozen List was born.

The mid 2000's in New York City have seen a unique confluence of money, skyrocketing real estate prices, hyper-demand, and cheap credit. The competition between developers, combined with a rise in interest in architectural design by the general public, has led to the hiring of our beloved celebutantes as brand novelties to distinguish one development from another. The moment is now passing: credit is tight, leading to projects down the pipeline being shut off. While the competition for buyers will certainly continue, it is likely that high-priced talent, or at least the famous names, will not be invited to create design masterpieces quite as often.

The similar size, shape, and sites give us a unique opportunity to compare these talents, and ask some great questions. How powerful were these architects in the development process? How well did they redefine what is possible in this context? How many boundaries did they push? How did they approach, and solve, the great problems of the New York Skyscraper: the slab and the curtain wall?

I will post my personal version of this list this week. Tropolism will begin to review the projects on my list that have not been reviewed to date. In addition, guest writers will post their own lists, here and elsewhere. Finally, we invite you to submit your own entries for a reader's choice list, which will of course be published here. Enjoy!

Florescent Field


Pruned points us to an awesome installation by Richard Box, called Field. The project involves unwired florescent tubes arranged in a grid under high-voltage power lines. The EM field powers the lamps to an ambient glow. It's like a 00's reply to Walter De Maria's 1977 Lightning Field. Except Lightning Field for the LCD monitor generation.

Arbre de Flonville


From Lausanne: a steel and wood tree furniture/architecture piece designed by Samuel Wilkinson & Oloom. Interior design for outdoor rooms. Via architechnophilia.

City Colors


One of the things we like to celebrate is color. Certain design professions have more sophisticated approaches and dialogues about color than architects: interior designers and graphic designers, to name two. The latter category, in the person of Todd Falkowsky, has created a series of color strips for each of Canada's provincial and territorial capitals. The result is interesting, particularly the observation about how intuition informs the process. What we'd like to see is a whole color pallette, not just a test strip of three, for each urban area. Huge samples that would represent each city.

Via Brand Avenue.

Olafur's Tokyo Tiles


Olafur Eliasson is apparently conquering the world. From Archidose comes the news of an installation of around 7,000 platinum-glazed ceramic tiles in a courtyard of a house by Tadao Ando, in Tokyo. You already know of our love for golden legos; this just brings us one step closer to our dream.

The original article at Architectural Digest focuses more on the building, and has a good slideshow of the project.

Gerhard Richter's Cologne Cathedral Window


There have been many articles and images of Gehard Richter's design for the stained glass window in Cologne Cathedral since it was unveiled last August. Our favorite was pointed out by Greg Allen: it's by Ralf Stockmann.

Andrea Zittel A-Z


In our short list of artists we like, we would like to add Andrea Zittel and her ever-expanding A-Z project. The project explores many basic aspects of domestic life: storage, lounging, sleeping, more storage, food prep, clothing, and shelter. While some of the projects edge toward the cutely didactic (I think we were the only ones in NYC who didn't like 1996's Escape Vehicles show), projects like Homestead Unit With Raugh Furniture (pictured) cross boundaries between architecture and furniture. The distinctions are expertly blurred using surrealist techniques, without letting the project cross over into sculpture territory. A must for architects and interior designers looking to push the boundaries.

Olafur's Waterfalls Revealed


Pictures and coverage of Olafur's New York City Waterfalls were published by Bloomberg yesterday. Curbed tipped us off to this, and to a photo gallery of Olafur and the mayor doing official announcing stuff.

Our favorite part: that the waterfalls are not only powered by the river current, but they are supported by exposed scaffolding mimicking the kind used to build New York over the last century. Looks like we won't be traveling away from NYC this summer.

Eliasson Tops The Gates


Up for tomorrow: Mayor Bloomberg will announce Olafur Eliasson's city-sponsored installation "New York City Waterfalls", consisting of four waterfalls near lower Manhattan, in the East River. Until we get renderings, we will picture "Reversed Waterfall" from 1998.

Special add-on Olafur bonus for this summer: "The Parliament of Reality" at Bard College, a circular lake opening in June.

Art: Culture In The Age Of Supply And Demand


Sorry to be so tardy on this. Greg Allen gives us another insightful article on the effect of an Art World with lots of rich people buying up everything in sight. And he is searching for the art that is going to be around when the rich folks stick to investing in real estate.

And, he links to a huge and interesting PDF document from the Olafur Eliasson studio. Just in time for the holidays!

Maya Lin Systematic Landscapes


Forgive us for being so slow on the ball on this; a travelling exhibition of Maya Lin's gorgeous new installations, Systematic Landscapes, opens at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis this week. Pictured from the show is Water Line, as captured by Jen S on flickr.

Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen Serpentine Gallery Pavilion


From Future Feeder:

0lll’s exhaustive photo diary of the Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2007 by Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen

Brilliant as ever.

Tunnel House

tunnel.house12.jpgFrom Design Verb, an architectural installation by artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck. Very Gordon Matta-Clark, except with a dash of imagination from someone who built models of the Death Star's surface when they were kids.

Guggenheim 5th Avenue: Cracking


Yesterday's New York Times served up some technicolor imaging of Frank Lloyd Wright's cracking Guggenheim facade. For anyone that has seen a set of historic preservation documents, this kind of documentation is routine. However, the image from the times takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.

Serra Installation At MoMA


Our Midtown sidewalk correspondant Sah Surattanont captured the wonderful moment of a Richard Serra sculpture being hoisted into place. In this case, into MoMA's courtyard. Click Continue Reading for the full filmstrip.

Olafur Eliasson Lecture Report


A report on a lecture at the NAI appears in translation at Eikongraphia. Of particular interest is the discussion around Olafur's focus on being critical of the marketplace, and the difficulty he has working with architects.


Graffiti Research Lab

dripsessions.jpgOne of the reasons we love Gordon Matta-Clark is that his presence in the art world is so unique. He did things to buildings that were disruptive, in a direct, physical way. He played with the very stability of structures, as well as the psychological stability of the interiors.

Graffiti Research Lab may seem more up Coolhunting's alley, but we were turned on when a fellow architect sent along the link to The Drip Sessions, which incorporates a lot of DIY technology, from paint bottles to high-power projectors, all in service of creating light graffiti on New York City buildings (pictured). This project is our favorite, because it is one of the most beautiful. It can be interpreted as an act of defacement, or enhancement, depending on your perspective. Perhaps the best part is that the video is like an instruction video. I want a drippy paint bottle too.

Some of the other projects are more guerilla, like the brilliant and politically charged Threat Advisory Tower. Although the guy leaning over the parapet freaked us out. Life/safety, yo, we have a license for a reason. We received a more unadultered thrill watching the Light Criticism project in action, when hoodie'd artists walk up to and tape up black masks over those stupid moving billboards that endlessly repeat the same ad for television shows, and in the process create a moving work of art.



The exhibition "Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines", on view now at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, is in our world the perfect exhibition: about rare architectural publications, and curated by Beatriz Colomina. The show is only up until February 24th, so rush down. There can never be enough architectural book love.

Until you get there, you may soak up the magazine goodness at the show's excellent (and simple, yo. Take note architects!) website. Mr. Ourousoff from the Times has also reviewed the show today.

Cardboard Monday Part 2: Melbourne


It's cardboard from the other side of the globe: the Australian design firm DireTribe constructed a full-size replica of a classic Parisian apartment in cardboard. Then, they let kids with crayons take over, imagining what it would be like to live on the other side of the globe. You can read more about the project on their website. Click on the cardboard chair, marked "Pen Plan Paris" when you mouse over it.

What we want to know is does anyone have crayons in São Paolo?

Cardboard Monday Part 1: São Paolo


This morning our parent site Cool Hunting unleashes upon the world pictures of Daniela Thomas and Felipe Tassara Architecture at São Paulo Fashion Week. Their installations in the Bienale building by Oscar Neimeyer are entirely composed of white cardboard. The casual nature of the material offsets the coolness of Neimeyer's famous sculptural white concrete to create new spaces and functions inside the existing building.

For more cardboard love, see some more pictures at Moto-à-Porter.

For even more cardboard love, check back here later today.