Archive for the ‘Discussion’ Category

Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh.

Tagore Theater: Essence Is In Its Interior Design and Layout

Tagore Theater of Chandigarh in India, designed by Ar. Aditya Prakash, is one of the master prices of modern architecture and symbolic of Chandigarh’s architecture style.

Dr Vikramaditya Prakash of University of Washington shares the very interesting story of how the Tagore Theater of Chandigarh was designed,  built, and named. The key players here were Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret along with famous film personalities Prithviraj Kapoor and Zul Vellani.

Story of its Design

Tagore Theater: Story of its Design

Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and Pierre Jeannerete

Conversation: Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and Pierre Jeanneret

Tagore Theater has been redesigned. However, should it or rather can it still be called ‘Tagore Theater’? What defines building’s identity?


Read Full Post »

Construction plans for the site of Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut (1954) in Ronchamp (France) commissioned by the Association Oeuvre Notre Dame du Haut (the same organization that commissioned the chapel by Le Corbusier), has ignited a serious debate and disagreement between organizations seeking to preserve Le Corbusier’s legacy.

Notre Dame du Haut (1954) in Ronchamp, France

The New Plan. The new plan calls for the replacement of an existing visitor’s center and asphalt parking lot with a new visitor center dug into the hillside and a landscaped parking lot. It also features a new facility to host 12 Poor Clare nuns and their visitors. The convent—to be located primarily underground, about 300 feet west of the chapel—would contain small, independent residential units and an oratory open to pilgrims. According to the association, the overall goal of the project is to rehabilitate the site and ensure it remains a place of worship.


Read Full Post »

I have never heard of a profession being related to a particular community or country. Never heard, “Oh, this country produces maximum architects,” or “Architects of this country are the best,” or “This is a country of Architects”, or even “This country loves her Architects.”

Though I have heard about particular communities or countries becoming famous travel destinations because of their architecture. Italy, Greece, India are a few examples falling in the latter category.

Says Christian Lander, “If you ask white people what they love about cities they don’t live in, they will say “restaurants,” “culture,” and “architecture.” They just can’t get enough of old buildings or ultramodern buildings next to old buildings.

If you want to fit in with white people you need to learn about IM Pei, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, and a whole swath of others. Also, be prepared to say “Bauhaus” a lot…

…The reason white people love architecture so much is that deep down they believe that they could have been a great architect. They feel the same way about other professions including: professor, writer, and politician.

Read Full Post »

A sports business model that originated in America and is now spreading across the globe. Hungering for the kind of revenue needed to field top teams, a wave of stadium construction is sweeping through sports. But not just any stadiums. Super-stadiums.

The formula: Build new facilities with fewer seats and more luxury boxes, charge higher prices, earn more revenue, hire better players and reap more wins. Then turn around and raise ticket prices. Teams are finding it’s a circle you have to be a part of.

Click on the picture to take a peek into 10 New Super- stadiums.


Read Full Post »

general_motors_building.jpg$3 billion-one, $3 billion-two, and $3 billion- its is. A building to sell for $3 billion does sound insane but this insanity is nearing to become a reality. Larry Silverstein, developer of ground zero, has bid $3 billion for General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue, in the Manhattan District in New York.

Indeed, with its commanding view of Central Park and its Fifth Avenue address, the building is a trophy property and a symbol of New York corporate power since General Motors moved its boardroom and some 3,300 employees there 40 years ago. Since then, though, G.M.’s presence has shrunk to three floors from 26, and its contractual naming rights for the property expire in 2010.


Read Full Post »

This week in news we find two of Frank Gehry’s projects declared obsolete- Winton Guest House in Minnesota, and Santa Monica Place mall in Santa Monica.

In early 2007, the University of California, Irvine, razed one of his buildings—a computer science center—to make way for a new engineering complex, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported at the time.Winton House

Mike and Penny Winton, the original clients of Winton Guest House, sold the guest house as well as their main residence, a 1954-vintage house by famous architect Philip Johnson, to Kirt Woodhouse, a real estate developer, in 2002. Woodhouse divided the 12-acre property into three separate lots, and was able to sell Johnson-designed residence but not one by Gehry’s . It stayed on the market for too long with no buyers.


Read Full Post »

Building that moves. Building that generates energy. Building that is green. To some it may appear that I am describing some building from a science fiction. Well, architecture in four dimensions belongs to the real world. We are talking about Dubai’s Green Environmental Towers which has become popular as ‘the Dynamic Architecture Building’. CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A VIDEO.

Dynamic Architecture- general schemeArchitect David Fisher, Italian Architect and Town Planner, incorporated dynamics in his buildings first in Italy, followed by Dubai, London, Moscow, Paris,and Hong Kong. According to Fisher, time is the most powerful dimension of life. “Time”, says Fisher “is the dimension of relativity”. His new skyscraper, the tower in motion, is shaped by “life designed by time”.


Read Full Post »

New York HotelsIs it fair for one architect to design 36 hotels in a prestigious urban district like Manhattan, especially when New York is home to some of the finest architects and designers of the world?

Architect Gene Kaufman is designing 36 hotels in Manhattan, including three that will share a single building on West 39th Street near Times Square, right, and three more on West 40th Street.

The developer of most of Mr. Kaufman’s projects is the McSam Hotel Group, which is based in Great Neck, N.Y. Its chief operating officer, Gary Wisinski, said Mr. Kaufman “has a wonderful and deep knowledge of Manhattan, and is well respected at the Buildings Department.”

Fred A. Bernstein of New York Times reports the architecture design trends diverting from aesthetics to economics in Manhattan.

What he brings to the table, he said, is the ability to maximize the number of hotel rooms on a given site. Recently, he said, a client showed him another architect’s plans for a hotel in Lower Manhattan; Mr. Kaufman was able to alter the plans to squeeze in 25 percent more rooms. In the current market, a mid-range Manhattan hotel room — typically 250 square feet — is worth $400,000 to $500,000 to the developer.

To hoteliers, Mr. Kaufman provides entree into the sui generis Manhattan market. But to architecture and to the city of New York, is he providing compromised aesthetics suppressed by self-centered motives of a few businessmen?

Read on: In Hotel Design, He’s Mr. Prolific

Read Full Post »

Recession is the word nobody wishes to hear. But here it is. Economy has to go full cycle- it now has to heal itself after leaps of growth. Panic will spread. Will architects’ world feel the tremors of the recession that is going to brace the country in 2008?

Ned Cramer, editor-in-chief of ARCHITECT and ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING, advises to Resist the Urge to join the panic procession.

The profession’s learned a lot since the recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when giant firms laid off people by the hundreds. For one thing, large and small practices today are alive to the benefits of a diversified portfolio. The strategy is practically a business-world cliché at this point, but it seems to work. In the coming months, the going will get toughest for firms that haven’t diversified—particularly, given the subprime situation, those that specialize in single- and multifamily housing.

Layoffs may be inevitable. But it does not cost a fortune to keep talent happy and pumped up till it is boom time again.

Read on: Resist the Urge on ARCHITECTONLINE

Read Full Post »