Defpoints


Architect as Secretary of HUD
December 15, 2008, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Architecture, North America, Politics, Urban Design

Shaun Donovan, armed with degrees in architecture and public policy from Harvard’s GSD and Kennedy School, is Obama’s nominee for HUD. In 2004 he foresaw the subprime crisis, which means he is a sharper cookie than 99.99% of Wall Street.

New York HPD bio

New York Times profile

Interview with Gwendolyn Wright in the Architects’ Newspaper

And an interview with the Observer.



Obama’s audacious public works
December 15, 2008, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Design, Economy, North America, Politics, Transportation

In the Boston Globe, Bob Campbell comments on Barack Obama’s proposed public works program: “The audacity of hope for better public works.”

In his radio announcement, Obama mentioned roads and bridges, sewer systems, schools, mass transit, electrical grids, dams and other public utilities, windmills and solar panels, and expanded access to the Internet.

Nothing in there specifically about architecture.




McDonald’s, WalMart, Subway, Oh My!
November 9, 2008, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Design, Economy, Green, North America

retailers go green, big time.



Anish Kapoor + Herzog de Meuron = ???
August 7, 2008, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Architecture, art, North America
Barcelona Forum, Herzog de Meuron

Barcelona Forum, Herzog de Meuron

At 56 Leonard Street in Tribeca, New York (corner of Church and Leonard Streets), Herzog de Meuron and Anish Kapoor are collaborating on a new residential tower. Kapoor will design a site specific sculpture for the ground floor.

Millenium Park sculpture, Chicago, Anish Kapoor

Millenium Park sculpture, Chicago, Anish Kapoor



Housing Lenders Fear Bigger Wave of Loan Defaults
August 4, 2008, 8:25 am
Filed under: Economy, North America

More bad news on the housing / economy front from the New York Times.



Sting likes Bob Stern!
August 3, 2008, 3:44 am
Filed under: Architecture, North America, Urban Design
The highest priced new apartment building in New York City. Photo by Todd Eberle, Vanity Fair.

The highest priced new apartment building in New York City, 15 Central Park West. Photo by Todd Eberle, Vanity Fair.

Sting, Bob Costas, Norman Lear, Sandy Weil, and Denzel Washington live in the new Robert A.M. Stern building on Central Park West. In Vanity Fair Paul Goldberger discusses how this retrograde-looking building turned out to be the most successful in recent New York development history:

nothing appeals to people, particularly rich people, like something new that doesn’t look too new. . . . What Stern actually designed, it turned out, was a building in which every apartment looked like an old Park Avenue apartment after someone had renovated it.

Architect Robert A. M. Stern stands on the concierge desk at 15 Central Park West.

Architect Robert A. M. Stern stands on the concierge desk at 15 Central Park West.



Rising construction costs
July 30, 2008, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Economy, North America

What to do about it, from the Observer:

As the economy sours, ever-rising construction costs seem to be an in-vogue subject: Last night, the New York Building Congress released a report on the topic; the

Manhattan Institute put out recommendations for controlling cost escalations earlier this month; and, on Monday, the Bloomberg administration announced a set of initiatives to lower costs of city projects.

The basic problem–costs have been going up at least 10 percent annually for the past few years–doesn’t seem to have any easy solutions, as the reports (both of which involved consultation with the same firm, Urbanomics) recommended a broad array of changes that could lower costs to varying degrees.