Independent Structures

The Industrial Center of the United States once stretched from Chicago to New York City. Built by the likes of Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Schwab, Gould and Ford in ruthless and grand fashion, their efforts catapulted a country left in ruin from civil war into a global super power. Affluence blossomed in cities like Gary, … Continue reading

Democracy Now!

Amy Goodman is a national treasure.  Her dictum, “Speak truth to power,” is practiced each day from the Democracy Now! studios in Manhattan.  She asks tough questions, and does her homework tirelessly.  Walking around the DN! offices, one notices immediately how studious the atmosphere is.  A large bookshelf separates the kitchen from the intern bullpen, … Continue reading

Science Storms: Evidence Design

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago now hosts a 40 foot tornado, almost constantly churning, in the permanent exhibit, Science Storms.  Revelers are treated to a host of natural phenomena that one can actually command with toggle switches, dials and other dynamic controls, much like scientists might in a labratory.  While building and … Continue reading

Loving the Standard/High Line

The Standard Hotel squats muscularly above and over the High Line, a former abandoned stretch of elevated train tracks cutting vertically through Chelsea.  With the development of this much anticipated New York City Park came many prestigious commissions on neighboring properties.  Ennead created an instant landmark in the meatpacking district, a destination to see and … Continue reading

Greenpoint Wastewater Treatment Plant

The largest wastewater treatment facility in New York City is also one of the City’s most striking properties.  Massive digester eggs sparkle in the industrial landscape of northern Brooklyn.  On assignment for TIME, we got the better part of a day to wander about the grounds with Jim Pynn, the plant superintendent. Jim showed us … Continue reading

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Completed in 1993, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca was designed by French Architect Michel Pinseau.  It is the fifth largest mosque in the world and sports the tallest minaret.  The intricate details etched into the mosque’s columns and arches invite visitors to stroll the grounds to get a closer look. I had three days … Continue reading

1111, Herzog and de Meuron

Swiss architectural demigods Herzog and de Meuron completed 1111 last year. The parking garage sits at the end of Lincoln Road, the walking mall designed by the legendary Miami architect Morris Lapidus, who was criticized in his day for introducing too many  curvy flourishes.  Now it’s Herzog & de Meuron’s turn to go up against … Continue reading

Oscar Niemeyer’s Forgotten Masterpiece

In 1963 Oscar Niemeyer was awarded the commission for the Tripoli Fairgrounds in Lebanon.  Work on the 10,000 hectacre site was halted in 1975 when the civil war erupted.  Today the grounds are quasi public, with a solitary guard manning a low metal gate.  Typical of much of Niemeyer’s work, the outlying reinforced concrete structures … Continue reading

B018: Bernard Khoury

Beirut’s most legendary club is literally underground, on the site of the Karantina massacre.  Bernard Khoury, a native of Beirut, knows his city’s history well, having lived through the civil war that raged from 1975-1990.  His first built project was an immediate success, it’s subterranean metaphor not lost on the throngs of Beirutis flocking to … Continue reading

Le Gray Hotel, Beirut

Beirut has been in the process of rebuilding for twenty years.  Once known as the “Paris of the Middle East,” the city’s center was gutted by fifteen years of civil war that dragged on until 1990.  From the ashes of downtown was born Solideire, a mixed-use development of tony addresses fathered by Rafiq Hariri.  Had … Continue reading