• Architect Oscar Niemeyer Dies At 104

    Modernist Brazilian Pioneer Influenced 20th Century Design

    By: Mark Favermann - Dec 06th, 2012

    Oscar Niemeyer passed away just short of his 105th birthday on December 5, 2012. A Brazilian, he was one of the most prolific and influential architects of the 20th Century. Influenced by Le Corbusier, however Niemeyer championed the curve over the right angle. His portfolio included the major buildings of Brasilia, the planned new capital of Brazil, the United Nations complex in New York City and several significant museums and headquarters buildings.

  • Urban Branding in the Civic Environment

    Creating the Essence of A Sense of Place

    By: Mark Favermann - Oct 03rd, 2012

    Urban branding is the urban design and planning set of tools and techniques that develops character and personality for a civic entity, institution, major event or neighborhood. It is the essence of a sense of place, a literal welcome mat for visitors to experience a location and connect on many levels with it. Urban branding makes a place whole and adds to a shared sense of experience.

  • Architecture As Sculpture in 2012

    From PS 1 to China to the London Olympic Park

    By: Mark Favermann - Aug 05th, 2012

    Architecture as sculpture was a 20th Century concept embraced by many modernist architects. This year there were several major examples of noteworthy sculptural architectural statements. This is architecture as form. Unlike many other less imaginative Olympic games, the London Olympics showcased several wonderful structures. Perhaps the worst one was by sculptor Anish Kapoor who created a bad piece of architecture as a piece of grandiose functional sculpture. Other fine examples are a wonderful temporary piece at PS 1, a new design museum in Shenzen, China and one at London's Serpentine Gallery.

  • The Glass House: Philip Johnson's Masterpiece

    From Its Inception A 20th Century Architectural Icon

    By: Mark Favermann - Jul 08th, 2012

    Conceptualized in 1945 and completed in 1949, architect Philip Johnson's Glass House almost immediately became a 20th Century architecture icon. Used by Johnson as a weekend retreat for 58 years, it is now shared with the public as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is a pilgrimage mecca for architecture buffs to see the eccentric outer structures and contemporary art collection of Johnson and his longtime partner art curator/critic David Whitney. This is a visually-compelling experience of an architectural masterpiece.

  • Controversial Design By Maya Lin For Newport, RI

    Park Memorial to Doris Duke Sparks Heated Debate

    By: Mark Favermann - Apr 24th, 2012

    The most famous memorial designer of our time, Maya Lin, was commissioned to create a place to celebrate the contributions of philanthropist Doris Duke in traditional Newport, RI. The Queen Anne Square project has brought criticism and upset to several prominent members of the Newport community. The controversy and tension among the old guard has shaken up the notion of what fits and does not fit in venerable Newport. Last December (2011), the Newport City Council approved the $3.6 million privately funded design. It will be completed by early summer.

  • Architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe At 126

    A Modernism Founder Reconsidered

    By: Mark Favermann - Mar 29th, 2012

    Considered one of the true pioneers and early practitioners of Modernism or the International Style, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has influenced several generations of architects and designers. Mies work was ridiculed and reacted against. At the worst, it was soulless design; at the best, it was corporate American architecture, the sleek style of the establishment. Today, Mies work is being reassessed. Perhaps less is sometimes more?

  • The Esplanade Vision Unveiled

    Vision To Make Esplanade Best Park in The World

    By: Mark Favermann - Feb 13th, 2012

    It is where the Boston Pops play on July 4th each year. The 101 year old beautiful 2.5 mile linear waterside park hugging the Charles River has been in part loved, if not to death, then to decrepitude. It needs to be enhanced-- refreshed, refurbished and restored. With this in mind, a number of like-minded designers led by The Esplanade Association decided to do something about it. After 25 months and countless hours of research, design and meetings, the Esplanade 20/20 vision is finally unveiled.

  • New Gardner Museum Expands Isabella's Mission

    Brilliant Architectural Addition By Renzo Piano

    By: Mark Favermann - Jan 15th, 2012

    The gleaming new wing at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum demonstrates how great design can preserve a historic structure. Through great vision, hard work and patient persistence, Executive Director Anne Hawley, her staff and board worked over seven years to complete a brilliant reconfiguration of a venerable art institution. Starchitect Renzo Piano masterfully created a gem.

  • Chicago's Magnificent Millennium Park

    Iconic Green Space Punctuated By Public Art

    By: Mark Favermann - Nov 26th, 2011

    Set near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline, Chicago's Millennium Park covers a 24.5-acre section of northwestern historic Grant Park, a vestige of the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Massive public art and architectural statements make this open space wonderfully original and exhilarating. Millennium Park was opened on July 16, 2004, four full years behind schedule. Far exceeding its original budget of $150 million, it cost around $500 million to complete. Beyond the cost overruns, controversy and criticisms, it is a civic design that is a joy to behold by all visitors.

  • Building the Revolution

    Soviet Architecture and Art 1915-1935 At Royal Academy

    By: Mark Favermann - Oct 30th, 2011

    Examining the Russian avant-garde architecture made during the brief but intense period of design and construction from 1922 to 1935, Building the Revolution is a rare exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London. The designs were directly inspired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia starting around 1915. Architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state. Alas, it did not last very long.

  • Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art

    Museum of Fine Arts Creates Contemporary Home

    By: Mark Favermann - Sep 17th, 2011

    Transforming a user-unfriendly I.M. Pei designed (1981) West Wing into a permanent location for its contemporary collection of art, decorative objects and design, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has unveiled a new comfortable setting for visitors. With care and sensitivity, seven new gallery spaces have opened up the possibilities of contemporary art and craft never before presented in such depth and variety by the MFA. Kudos to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

  • 9/11: Ten Years After

    Remembering by Design

    By: Mark Favermann - Sep 11th, 2011

    After many years and much delay, the 9/11 Memorial was unveiled to the public at the 10th Anniversary of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in NYC. The ceremony was dignified and sadly beautiful; the memorial is a legacy to those who perished. The rest of the structures to be completed on the site may be anticlimactic.

  • American Folk Art Museum May Close

    Architecture, High Debt and Bad Choices Cause Crisis

    By: Mark Favermann - Aug 20th, 2011

    Founded in 1961 and opened in 1963, the American Folk Art Museum is considered the premier institution in the US devoted to the appreciation of traditional folk art and self-taught "outsider" artists. Unfortunately, about a decade ago, its reach exceeded its grasp. The museum commissioned and built a building that it could not pay for. After having sold its building to the adjacent MoMA to pay off its construction debt and recently moving to much reduced quarters, it now faces closure. Here is a case where more became much less.

  • The BMW Guggenheim Lab

    Why A Mobile Urban Laboratory Traveling to Major Cities?

    By: Mark Favermann - Aug 15th, 2011

    Continuing to spread its wings around the world, in collaboration with BMW, the Guggenheim Foundation and Museum has embarked upon a six year urban dialogue project that appears to be more about the institutional brand than any ultimate urban product. Opened August 3, the NYC BMW Guggenheim Lab aims at developing new ideas for urban living. The space will host events and programs directed at making the city more livable. The City more livable? With reduced global financial resources and economic pessimism dripping from buildings and streets, there is one major question: Does the Lab really matter?

  • Temporary Structures

    Architecture As Minimalist Functional Sculptures

    By: Mark Favermann - Jun 27th, 2011

    Traditionally, architects showcased their skills or made their professional bones by designing a house. Usually these were created for close relatives or more often their parents or wealthy patrons. Today, there seems to be a widespread trend of emerging architectural firms and practitioners to want to design functional sculptural forms that are often temporary. Sculptors working closely with structural engineers also build impermanent functioning structures. The results are often provocative and sometimes spectacular.

  • Whitney Museum: Limits of Iconic Architecture

    Buildings As Unique Sculpture Stifle Institutional Expansion

    By: Mark Favermann - May 16th, 2011

    For the past few decades, cities and prominent institutions have focused on creation of iconic buildings by star architects to underscore their prominence. After three major attempts in the last 25 years, The Whitney Museum of American Art has given up on building expansion of their Marcel Breuer designed iconic structure and are building a new museum downtown in NYC's Meatpacking District. This is a major statement about institutional icons.

  • Charles Holden, London Underground Architect

    Victoria & Albert Showcases Great Contribution to London

    By: Mark Favermann - Apr 15th, 2011

    On recent view (Oct 2-Feb 13, 2011) at London's Victoria and Albert Museum was a wonderful exhibition celebrating architect Charles Holden’s (1875-1960) designs for London Transport, Underground Journeys: Charles Holden's Designs for London Transport. The compact show included a beautiful selection of original drawings, photographs, posters, film, journals and models. His Piccadilly Line stations, such as Arnos Grove, Boston Manor and Southgate are regarded as modernist icons.

  • Peter Zumthor to Create Pavilion

    Serpentine Gallery Hosts Swiss Pritzker Prize Winner

    By: Mark Favermann - Apr 09th, 2011

    London's Serpentine Gallery celebrates the art of architecture like no other institution. For 11 years, it has "commissioned" some of the best-known architects in the world to create temporary pavilions on its grounds for a few warm months. The Swiss architect Peter Zumthor is creating the 2011 structure. He is a true minimalist who uses materials in the most experiential ways.

  • Victor Horta's Art Nouveau

    Belgian Master of Organic Sinuous Designs

    By: Mark Favermann - Apr 07th, 2011

    Known for his Whiplash organic style, Victor Baron Horta (January 1861 - September 1947) was a master of Art Nouveau in Brussels. He influenced many other architects and designers throughout Europe, and his existing architectural work is now cherished. His former house and studio in the chic Brussels neighborhood of St. Gilles are now the Horta museum, a place of pilgrimage for architects and designers.

  • A Cold Morning's Walk At Stonehenge

    Looking At Ancient Cold Grey Stones

    By: Mark Favermann - Mar 18th, 2011

    Last December, after over 28 years and 18 visits to England on a quest to finally visit Stonehenge, Mark Favermann saw the ancient stone complex at sunrise on a bitterly cold day. He shot this series of images with cold fingers and red cheeks. To him, this ruined structure is great public art and ancient architecture, a sacred and visceral visual experience.

  • New Arts Building At Brown University

    Architects Diller Scofidio+Renfro Create Elegant Center

    By: Mark Favermann - Mar 13th, 2011

    Since designing Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art in 2006, architects Diller Scofidio+Renfro have become something of the architectural flavor of the decade for art institutions and universities. Their latest project which opened in February at Brown University in Providence is another one of their bold visual statements that says as much about the multi-arts center that it houses as the aesthetics of the designers. It is an edifice visually to embrace.

  • The Mount Receives $300,000

    Anonymous Gift Addresses May Crisis

    By: Mount - Jan 19th, 2011

    Under dynamic executive director, Susan Wissler, The Mount, the former estate of author Edith Wharton, has struggled to stabilize the National Historic Landmark. While there has been progress in debt reduction a tipping point is approaching. In May a $1 million principal repayment is due. In this tough economy that's a daunting amount to raise in the next few months. When news of the crisis was reported an anonymous donor stepped forward with a donation of $300,000. Hopefully that will inspire further giving to meet the imminent deadline.

  • A Guggenheim Museum for Helsinki

    NY Museum in Dialogue with Finland

    By: Guggenheim - Jan 18th, 2011

    Yet again the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is developing plans for a satellite museum. This time in Helsinki Finland. Former Guggenheim director, Tom Krens, initiated expansionist ambitions. Now they appear to continue under his successor Richard Armstrong.

  • Hancock Shaker Village Receives Grant

    $1 Million from Kresge Foundation

    By: Shaker - Jan 10th, 2011

    Hancock Shaker Village (HSV) has received a $1 million grant from the Kresge Foundation. The grant was awarded as part of its Sector Leaders investments, an invitation-only component of the Kresge Arts and Culture Program’s Institutional Capitalization initiative.

  • Searching for the Origins of Austgralian Art and Culture

    By: Jean-Marie DelverdieAstrid Hiemer - Dec 01st, 2010

    anything over 255 chars will be deleted.

  • << Previous Next >>