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STICKS & STONES
James S. Russell on architecture


    My Books

    On the Job: Design and the American Office
    Donald Albrecht and Chrysanthe Broikos, editors
    Princeton Architectural Press

    Essay in this handsome book accompanying an exhibition at the National Building Museum, Washington DC: "Form Follows Fad: The Troubled Love Affair of Architectural Style and Management Ideal." Find an excerpted version here.

    The Mayorsí Institute: Excellence in City Design
    James S. Russell, editor; Mark Robbins, series editor. Essays by James S. Russell, Christine Saum, Robert Campbell, Richard Sennett, Allan Jacobs, Donovan Rypkema, Alex Krieger, Rosalie Genevro
    Princeton Architectural Press

    Explains the invaluable contribution of the Institute in furthering design literacy. Itís also an entry-level primer for any locality or institution interested in getting the best value from design professionals

STICKS & STONES

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About James S. Russell
The subject of my 15-year-plus career in journalism has been architecture, but it is certainly not a confining one. Iím fascinated by the sociology of the workplace, the design potential of ordinary infrastructure, the politics of housing, the meaning of suburbia, the expressive conundrum of memory. More


About STICKS & STONES
Architecture is hot these daysóas well as curvy and glassy, frolicsome and intimidating.This frequently misunderstood and most public of arts is being talked about. That in itself is new. For better and worse, architecture entangles itself in the key issues of culture and urban life. S&S will dig into them. More


My Books
I'm working on a book, called "After Suburbia," on emerging patterns of urban growth and their consequences. Then there's .... More

Write Me:
jrussell@artsjournal.com

Website
www.jsrussellwriter.com


Search S & S

TOP FIVE

New Museums
Do dramatically architectural containers serve the art they display? Recently completed museums offer their own distinct take on this long-debated question.

Five
Cincinnati: The blocky forms of Zaha Hadidís Contemporary Arts Center appear ready to burst out of the confines of its tight downtown site. Inside, spectacular ramps criss-cross to access the unusually shaped galleries. Does this architectural bravura overwhelm the art or stimulate the visitor to appreciate it?

Four
Beacon, New York: If only architecture could vanish, Dia:Beacon seems to argue (some images here). It speads over a vast space, converted from a package plant. The extraordinary collection, much of it Minimalist, frequently uses architectural means to artistic ends, and Dia didnít want design to get in the way.

Three
St. Louis: The architect, Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works, speaks of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis as a "vessel." You know itís there, but its purpose is to "prepare the visitor for the experience of art." Can an environment that is assertively unassertive succeed?

Two
Fort Worth: Paired to Louis Kahnís great masterpiece, the Kimball Art Museum, is the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, by the Japanese master, Tadao Ando. He built three pavilions as hushed reliquaries for art. Ando takes you on a journey, and you see what he wants you to see.

One
Dallas: Many think Renzo Piano strikes just the right balance between art and architecture. Though elegantly proportioned and authoritatively crafted, the exhibition pavilions at the Nasher Sculpture Center neither upstage the art nor the gorgeous garden setting theyíre placed in (by landscape architect Peter Walker).

ELSEWHERE

Conserving Everyoneís Energy But his Own
An oval that appears to droop woozily to the south like a melting ice cream cone may not be the average person's idea of what a city hall should look like, But this is approximately the shape the architect Norman Foster gave the home of London's new local government, the Greater London Authority. More

The Mouse That Soars
Frank Gehry anticipated that the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles would be thought just another variation on the Bilbao Guggenheim theme. When one of the countless cost-reducing sessions in this structureís tortured 16-year path to fruition resulted in the substitution of stainless steel for the limestone cladding Gehry had long desired, he correctly predicted that the building would be seen as "son of Bilbao." More

BLOGROLL


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Architectural Record
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Storefront for Art and Architecture
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Heinz Center at Carnegie Institute
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