Perl's Architecture Weblog

2003 Fall Semester

Associate Professor Robert D. Perl, AIA



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 Texas Tech University  College of Architecture  Robert D. Perl 


updated July 13, 2005


Architecture: Invasion of the super-blobs

Financial Times October 9 2003

"Modernism has always had two strains, the functionalist and the organic. The former was effectively victorious, while the latter has traditionally popped up every few years like a kind of mad cousin in the attic, only to be locked safely up again by successive generations of the architectural establishment.

At the start of the 21st century, however, the victory of rationalist modernism is looking less certain. As post-post modern architecture continues to fragment into factions and isms, the organic, or biomorphic strain is beginning to make its influence increasingly, and radically felt. The hottest trend, certainly in the UK, is the super-blob, the intrusion of organic forms into orthogonal structures. It is at this moment that the V & A in London has mounted Zoomorphic, an exhibition purporting to show the links between animals and architecture."


Architect repels TV attack

Building Magazine October 10 2003

Building appraisal expert Malcolm Hollis singled out the £112m Worcester Infirmary as particularly bad. He said: "I think it's the worst [of the three hospitals], with muddled design and layout."

The programme alleged that there were too few beds, that operating theatres overheated, that corridors were too narrow and that it was a confusing "maze". It also claimed that patients were in danger of infection because hygiene standards were unsatisfactory.

Catalyst and RTKL rejected the criticism. An RTKL spokesperson said: "The design priority was to minimise the length of patient movement." She said that if a hospital this size was built to a standard NHS layout, patients would have to walk up to 250 m from the entrance, whereas at Worcester the maximum distance was 50 m."


Trailer Park Class

Ski Magazine October 2003

"Scott Lindenau owns Studio B Architects in Aspen and designs single-family homes as well as affordable housing condos in Aspen. However, his own home is the first he's designed that's fit for a trailer park. In 1989, he and his wife, Beyron, decided to buy a home, but with home prices hovering around the $1 million mark, little was within their means. Refusing to sacrifice a downtown location, the Lindenaus settled for a 14-by-60-foot trailer and the lot beneath it for $57,000.

Let's face it, an architect living in a trailer is like a chef eating SpaghettiOs...

He was determined to depart from the cowboy-and-mining architecture that many Aspen homes embrace and instead used cinder blocks, wood, corrugated metal and plastics—all of which remain in their raw colors, exposed and functional."


Holocaust center built on emotion

Detroit Free Press October 10 2003

"All this uncomfortable imagery is by design, says Ken Neumann, the Southfield-based architect responsible for this intense new entry on the Detroit architecture scene. The memorial to the slaughter of European Jews during World War II is deliberately not pretty. Rather, the architectural aim is to keep the historical wounds as raw as possible, both as a cry for tolerance and as a stark reminder of past crimes against humanity.

There's no doubt this building will generate controversy. Some will say the memories are too painful. But good architecture is nothing if not challenging."


Revering an artist's creativity

Times of India October 10 2003

"Visualising and creating to perfection are the two things that come to mind on mentioning the name of Padmashree winner Bal Kishen Doshi. By bringing architects like Kahn and Le Corbusier to Ahmedabad, he was responsible for putting the city on the world’s architecture map. Now, soon after he celebrated his 76th birthday, one of his students, Snehal Shah, has displayed models of his master’s works, together with a catalogue describing what went through the great architect’s mind while designing some of his renowned buildings.

Doshi has been giving importance to the making of models with the setting up of a special workshop to design models and employs two carpenters who are paid as much as a senior architect."


Art of architecture expressed in new Ratner Center

University of Chicago Chronicle October 9 2003

"The center is a collaborative effort between Cesar Pelli & Associates and the Chicago firm of OWP/P. Pelli explained how he and OWP/P arrived at the building’s concept. “The building connects with the traditional Gothic structures at the University at a deep intellectual level,” he said.

“The essence of Gothic structure was in its expression of structural forces external to the body of the building, most notably in the form of flying buttresses that allowed for exceptionally tall and luminous spaces. In the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center, the structure also is external to the body of the building: it is its most salient characteristic and the primary maker of the image of the building,” said Pelli.

A massive construction project that required 2,000 tons of steel alone, the new center features 125-foot-tall steel masts that support approximately 2 million pounds of roof. The masts, imported from Germany, are tied together by 120 high-strength steel cables, which add up to nearly 6,500 feet in length. Massive counterweights containing 2,500 cubic yards of concrete—with some as large as 50-feet long, 25-feet wide and 13-feet thick—are buried in the ground and counteract the weight of the roof."



Gym Elevation


Vanderbilt's orientation confuses

Yale Daily News October 10 2003

"The architects in charge of the renovation, Herbert S. Newman and Partners, strove to execute a renovation that appears to be a restoration. Challenged to embed technological and safety improvements without compromising the integrity of the original building, the design succeeds admirably. The renovated building boasts seamlessly integrated wiring, plumbing and information technology.

Due to its relatively modest scale and scope, the Vanderbilt Hall project only hints at the charged issues latent in renovation work. These projects reveal a tension between renovation and restoration, between historical accuracy and progress. In Vanderbilt, the appearance of historical accuracy superceded true restoration. But we value more than just the appearance of history."


Making Harvard modern

Harvard Gazette October 9 2003

"While to the casual eye, these cast-concrete structures towering above the older red-brick and wood fabric of the surrounding environment may seem defiant singularities, they were in fact, as the GSD exhibition makes clear, designed to integrate themselves with their surroundings. It was Sert who in 1959 established the degree program in urban design at the GSD, and in his own architectural work he never lost sight of the contextual role of the buildings he created.

The Holyoke Center's arcade, for example, was meant to function as a covered walkway linking Mt. Auburn Street with Harvard Yard. The Science Center is built around two intersecting corridors that meet at a central crossroads, creating, in Sert's vision, an academic village that would reinvigorate the relationship between students and faculty."

  Peabody Terrace exterior

Venturi, Scott Brown Associates Receives Top Honor in 2003 Architecture Web Site Awards


"The visually captivating website for the firm Venturi, Scott Brown Associates was awarded the Gold Medal in this year's Architecture Web Site Awards program. With 116 websites entered by architecture firms and students from countries around the world, the jury had an arduous task reviewing all of the sites. In the end, the sites that rose to the top were the most absorbing and best organized, with features that encouraged the viewer to probe deeper into the site.

Venturi, Scott Brown Associates' redesigned website ( was produced by Picture-Projects, a New York City-based design studio using new media technologies."


The East Building: Celebrating 25 Years

National Gallery of Art

"This special installation explores the history of the East Building and its unique site from 1967 until the building's opening in 1978. Highlights include copies of the architect's drawings, photographs, and other archival materials, many never seen before. A three-dimensional model of the West and East Buildings provides additional insight concerning the building's design and relationship to the surrounding city."


Press Release October 6 2003

"A special installation at the National Gallery of Art marks the 25th anniversary of its acclaimed East Building, designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei and voted one of the top ten buildings in the United States by the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects."

  Early Pei sketch of NGA East Building


Late Pei sketch of NGA East Building

Students design Cambodian museum

Batallion Texas A&M University October 9 2003

"Because of the College of Architecture's reputation for "architecture for health" projects, Fitoussi invited A&M students to join the effort by developing proposals for the new museum's design. Junior architecture major Kim Le said the project took on a greater meaning than a typical assignment. "All of us took it so personal that we put in 110 percent," Le said. "It's real; it's for a good cause."

Lindsay Gavos, a junior architecture major, said she used a peace sign as the inspiration for her design. "It's a very emotional project," she said. "I realized this building would be more than a structure. I wanted it to have a subtle symbolic meaning."

Senior Lecturer in the College of Architecture Julie Rogers said students' ideas for the project were well-thought out. "I've never seen a project that has developed to this extent," she said. "I think it's because the students are so dedicated to the cause."

Fitoussi is working with an architect in Toronto and plans to use the students' designs when developing the final plan for the project."

  Sharon Wells, a senior architecture major, works on her museum design. Photo by Melissa Gentry

Shaping the City

Washington Post

Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and a professor of architecture at University of Maryland. Recent Columns:

"Stridency of Anti-Developer Camp Hinders Debate Over Land-Use Priorities"

"For the New World Model in Urban Architecture, Look Beyond Washington's Borders"

" 'We the People, in Order to Preserve the Environment . . .' "

"Could Unusually Lavish Praise of Cincinnati's Art Center Be Just a Bit Premature?"

"While the Architects Had Their Heads in the Clouds, the Students Got Downright Practical ...That became clear to me two weeks ago in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the conclusion of a four-week study program in which I participated. A team of 10 University of Maryland architecture and urban studies students and 12 Russian architecture students presented a proposal to develop 22 acres of underused industrial land near the center of the historic city."


Mansion stolen

Inman Real Estate News October 7 2003

"Hablinski, a Los Angeles-based architect who has designed distinctive luxury homes for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Warren Beatty, was more furious than flattered when he realized a near-exact replica of the custom Sands home was being built just a few miles away...

The lawsuit alleges copyright and trademark infringement, among other charges. Building plans are protected by copyright laws. That means homeowners, realtors and builders should know the original source of any building plans they intend to use. Hablinski's lawsuit highlights a little-known fact that specific design elements of building plans and buildings cannot be copied without the architect's permission."


Contemporary Māori Architecture

Wellington City Gallery

"Shane Cotton (Ngapuhi: Ngati Rangi, Ngati Hine, Te Uri Taniwha) originally trained as an architectural draughtsperson. His layered and compartmentalised early paintings were often read as architectural plans, elevations and sections. Most recently, Robert Jahnke has described Cotton's paintings as "voices beyond the pae" (boundary of the marae).

On the occasion of the exhibition Shane Cotton: Survey 1993—2003 join leading Māori architects Prof. Rewi Thompson, Lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Auckland (Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa) and Director of Architecture Design Tribe, Auckland and lecturer in the School of Architecture at Unitec, Rau Hoskins (Ngapuhi) with curator, art historian and senior lecturer in Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury Dr Deidre Brown (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu) for a panel discussion on traditional and contemporary Māori Architecture."

  Kenehi III, 1998

Working to develop the Volkswagen of solar homes

Grist Magazine October 7 2003

"Oak Ridge is working with the DOE to come up with a prototype house that, by 2010, will cost the same to build as a conventional middle-class home while being 50 to 70 percent more efficient and functioning as a net-zero-energy home (meaning it can produce as much energy per year as it consumes). "Right now, all too frequently, the typical solar home is something akin to a customized Cadillac," said Jeff Christian, director of the Buildings Technology Center at Oak Ridge and the man in charge of the Habitat for Humanity project. "What we're trying to do is come up with the Volkswagen of net-zero-energy homes." "


'Small-World' Networks and the Fractal City

Planetizen October 8 2003

"Living cities have intrinsically fractal properties, in common with all living systems. The pressure to accommodate both the automobile and increased population growth led twentieth-century urbanists to impose anti-fractal geometrical typologies. The fractal properties of the Traditional City were erased, with disastrous consequences for the urban fabric. I will use lessons learned from the evolution of biological systems and the Internet to discuss the distribution of sizes, inverse-power scaling laws, and 'small-world' networks. These concepts show us that extreme densities favored in contemporary urbanism--suburban sprawl on the one hand, and skyscrapers on the other--are pathological."

  Figure 3

Architects Offer Milstein Design

Cornell Daily Sun October 7 2003

"If Frank Barkow, Visiting Critic and architect of Milstein Hall, ever needs a reminder of how cramped for space the College of Architecture, Art and Planning is, he need only glance at his office address: "Trailer #1, Office #1," situated at the edge of the parking lot behind Sibley Hall. Barkow and Regine Leibinger's design for the architecture department's new home is near completion, and, according to Barkow, promises to alleviate the space crunch by more than doubling the space available to the department."


Barkow Leibinger Architects

Click link above then English, Work, Current Projects, Cornell Architecture Department

Critics attack 'technically insane' cathedral restoration

Guardian UK October 6 2003

"Although he describes himself as "naturally extremely conservative ", he says it is not practical to spend years flaking off the 19th century paint with a scalpel to reveal the badly damaged remains of the original. His solution, the most radical of the four options he presented is to add an acrylic separation layer to distinguish clearly the new paint from old, and then to paint on a new decoration in traditional materials based on the evidence of the original."


Chandigarh is 50 and young!

An icon of modern architecture

Belief, Freedom define city’s design

It makes us think, Again

Tribune India October 7 2003

Charles Correa: "The golden jubilee of City Beautiful brings back so many memories of the time when we were young architects, and the very special significance that Chandigarh held for us. In those days, we would come like pilgrims at least once a year to visit this city, from all over the country-- in fact, from all over the world. Now and then, (only occasionally, and if one was particularly fortunate) you got to meet Le Corbusier himself...

What did we learn from Corb? I think there were at least three areas in which his impact was crucial. The first was the extraordinary power of his architectural language. This language of Corb's was the easiest lesson of all to learn, and so it influenced architects all over the globe. Yet it was perhaps the most unnecessary--and dangerous--lesson of all. In fact, his language is so compelling, it takes one many years to climb out of the box-- and does one ever manage to get out of it completely?...Later, while struggling with your own work, you could recall the expressionistic power of his architecture --the decibel level, so to speak--as a kind of benchmark against which you could understand how far you still had to travel...

The second stems from his astute awareness of the consecutive projects that make up one's life...

The third lesson we learnt from Corbusier concerned one's attitude to the client..."


Turning the pages of city’s history

‘I-am-50’ goes Chandigarh’s birthday tune as years roll by

Indian Express October 6 2003

"Corbusier was widely known for his revolutionary ideas and was striving hard to demonstrate his theories for the future cities and reconstruction of the war-torn Europe...

Corbusier’s first meeting with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru got him instant recognition and patronage at the highest level...

Corbusier would visit Chandigarh twice a year, mostly in April and November to oversee the work. While the days would slip by working like a ‘‘donkey’’, the beast of burden Corbusier compared himself to, some evenings would see invigorating discussions at Jeanneret’s residence in Sector 5."

"Of course, Le Corbusier’s birthday would also get celebrated in style — incidentally. After all, he was born on October 6 in Paris, just a day and 116 years before Chandigarhian’s blow off the candles as they celebrate half-a-century of his creation which still gets bouquets and brickbats, but always succeeds in stimulating live wire debates about urban planning and town architecture."



Le Corbusier with Pt Jawaharlal Nehru


A  sketch


Swiss currency note bearing Le Corbusier’s photograph

Jacuzzi U.? A Battle of Perks to Lure Students

New York Times October 5 2003

"Whether evident in student unions, recreational centers or residence halls (please, do not call them dorms) the competition for students is yielding amenities once unimaginable on college campuses, spurring a national debate over the difference between educational necessity and excess.

Critics call them multimillion-dollar luxuries that are driving up university debts and inflating the cost of education. Colleges defend them as compulsory attractions in the scramble for top students and faculty, ignored at their own institutional peril. And somewhere in the middle sit those who have only one analogy for the building boom taking place.

Colleges have become so attuned to the amenities race that the University of Vermont's architects, a firm called WTW that has worked on about 50 such projects in the last decade alone, took the trustees on a tour of other campuses to survey the competition."


For WTW Architects, designing student centers is a hot market

Pittsburgh Business News

"When designing a student center, it's common for Mr. Knell and Mr. Schultz to meet with building committee members, the faculty as well as students, to get an understanding of what they want to see in the building.

Sometimes, Mr. Knell and Mr. Schultz will find themselves acting as referees, but in most cases they find themselves acting as consensus builders."

  Wooing Students

DesignShare 2003 Awards

DesignShare International Forum for Innovative Schools

Click to see "Project Narrative, Educator Narrative, Facility Data, Team, Images, Diagram, Products, and Description"

"The design will support the pedagogical change if it meets the following criteria:
1. We would like to divide the school into three age groups. Each age group will have a distinct "home" with its private entrance, private internal spaces and private court for play and outdoor study.
2. We do not want the conventional closed classrooms studying in the conventional frontal system. We rather prefer the "open space" approach for its openness and ability to enable all sorts of groupings.
3. Yet, we think that openness should be controlled so that the pupils will not loose their concentration under an overwhelming avalanche of impressions.
4. Every cluster should have a common multipurpose resource space, for individual and non formal studies."


Work on Gaudí's masterpiece ahead of schedule

Gaurdian UK October 3 2003

"It has taken 121 years so far, but the good news is that the builders of Barcelona's colourful Sagrada Familia cathedral are now confident they can finish the job in 20 more years.

The new target date of 2023 is a considerable advance on the previous completion date for Spain's slowest-moving building project - started by the eccentric Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí in the 1880s - of around the middle of this century.

Although only just over half the work has been completed since the first stone was laid in 1882, teams of builders are now preparing to add a further 10 spires to the eight already there. The tallest will eventually reach 170 metres. The half-finished cathedral, with its soaring spires, mushroom-like roof adornments and bright ceramic decorations, has long been emblematic of a city which has come to revere its obsessive, pious and batty architect."

  Sagrada Familia

Modern architecture meets essential need in a North Carolina field

Raleigh News & Observer October 6 2003

"Next spring, after a long day of planting tobacco, eight migrant farm workers in Sampson County will wash the grime from their hands in a bathhouse featured recently on the glossy pages of a national architecture magazine.

The bathhouse, a few feet behind the spare, four-room house where the men will sleep, was designed and built by 14 N.C. State University students under the direction of Bryan Bell, head of a Raleigh nonprofit organization called Design Corps.

Bell, pictured in front of the bathhouse in the September issue of Dwell magazine, is striving to bring the privileged, refined world of modern architecture to a group on the margins of society."


Living small: Thinking big

Ft. Worth Star Telegram October 4 2003

"Michael Graves did it with the toilet bowl brush.

Ikea did it with the TV cart.

Now Christopher Robertson and Chris Krager are doing it with the single-family home.

Bringing great design to the masses.

Robertson, 34, and Krager, 35, are the founders of the Austin design-build firm KRDB, which, in a mere two years, has found itself at the center of a newly energized movement: one to bring an affordable, livable and beautiful modernist aesthetic to home building.

What, exactly, does that mean? Think cubic shapes, flat roofs and sparse architectural adornment; homes with open floor plans (interior doors optional) and abundant natural light; copious and thoughtful use of windows that allow a dialogue between interior and landscape.

Think the direct opposite of the many-gabled McMansion."


Historic Mies van der Rohe house on auction block

Chicago Tribune October 4 2003

"The Farnsworth House, a masterpiece of 20th Century modernism in Chicago's far southwest suburbs that was designed by renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is being put on the auction block, stoking fears that the steel-and-glass house could be moved, insensitively altered or closed to the public.

"I'm terribly concerned," said John Bryan, the former Sara Lee Corp. chairman who helped persuade state lawmakers to set aside $7 million to buy the house in 2001--only to see the deal fall apart when the state budget went into red ink. "I'm concerned that a buyer could move it. A buyer could put additions on it, could put a house right next to it, could do whatever they wanted to do with it."

The auction is to occur Dec. 12 at Sotheby's in New York City, and the expected sale price is $4.5 to $6 million, sources said.

Located on a sylvan riverfront site outside the Kendall County town of Plano, 58 miles southwest of Chicago, the Farnsworth House was completed in 1951. Initially a weekend retreat for the late Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a Chicago nephrologist, it is one of the finest realizations of Mies' philosophy that less is more--a one-story structure, raised on white piers that frame a single room sheathed almost entirely in glass."


Architect at the Apex

Washington Post October 5 2003

"The East Building of the National Gallery of Art turned 25 this year, and its celebrated architect, I.M. Pei, is giving a quick assessment.

"The thing that has to be looked at is, is it still relevant?" he says. "Or should it be torn down?"

Pei has staked his career on bold visions and controversial stands. But this one is most unexpected. Architects have voted the building one of the 10 best in America. Pei has just admitted to "great affection" for his creation, as well he should. The East Building's extraordinary geometries and modern spirit established Pei as a 20th-century master. Success here also propelled him on to the challenge of his career, the historic remaking of France's grand Louvre museum."


New Khmer Architecture: 1953 to 1970

Cambodia Community Forum (thanks to Joe Aranha)

"At the time the style was acclaimed in international architecture magazines around the world and attracted the admiration of statesmen in the region who hoped to emulate the country's success in the 1960s. It was a preoccupation of those who lived in the capital.

"The newspapers in the 1960s talked about architecture all the time," says Grant Ross.

But today there is little recognition of its significance either among young architects or the public in general."


Building Cambodia: New Khmer Architecture 1953-1970 Abstract


Calatrava’s Tenerife Auditorium Plays a Musical Feast for the Ears and Eyes

AIArchitect October 6 2003

"Calatrava’s dramatic design form of curved white concrete shells capped by a cresting, crashing wave of a roof, enhances a five-acre oceanfront site in one of the world’s great vacation spots. Much of the concrete surface is inlaid with broken ceramic tiles—a traditional material in Spain—to create a gently polished surface. The project offers a 1,660-seat concert hall, designed with an unconventional conical ceiling and equipped for opera and stage productions; 428-seat chamber music hall; 140,000-square-foot public plaza; underground parking garage; and an annex building for the offices of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra."


Call to the Rescue: World Monuments Fund Issues List of 100 Endangered Sites

AIArchitect October 6 2003

"The World Monuments Watch list for 2004 encompasses sites on all seven continents, from ancient palaces in Iraq to an early 20th-century explorer’s hut in Antarctica, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis Brown House in California, and historic lower Manhattan. The 100 places on this year’s endangered list, say officials from the World Monuments Fund, reflect a broad geography and cultural scope, giving wide definition to the term 'cultural-heritage monument.'

Most people associate historic preservation with buildings that are hundreds of years old and are surprised to see buildings constructed during their lifetimes on the list. But modern architecture is now a part of the spectrum of cultural heritage."



2004 World Monuments Watch List

Prairie School Architecture And Con Artists In The Caribbean

Puerto Rico Herald October 3 2003

"Nechodoma's works in Puerto Rico during the early 1900s are the foundation of local modern architecture. His style was defined by low horizontal lines and open indoor spaces that blended with the surrounding environment and allowed air circulation.

The only problem was that Nechodoma's style wasn't his at all, it was Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie style copied line by line, literally. The father of Puerto Rican architecture was a man who boasted being Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentice, when in fact he never met the man."


Fire in the belly of an architect

Sydney Morning Herald October 4 2003

"Col James, 67, architect

There are two projects on the boil: the redevelopment of The Block in Redfern for Aboriginal housing and getting the first CRASH (Construction Industry for Relief and Assistance for Sydney's Homeless) projects under way - the latter being the beneficiary of Thursday's "Open Practices" day, where architects across the state will offer their services for a nominal $50 fee, which will go to CRASH.

James is optimistic that, this time, it will work. "Architects should work for the anonymous clients, people who don't have a voice, who couldn't afford architects. That's where I thought architects could make a difference." "


Final funding for Taichung museum to be approved

Taipei Times October 3 2003

"The museum, designed by Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-born architect based in London, would be 119,600m2.

"It's like nothing I've ever seen," Krens said of Hadid's design. "It's a brand new vocabulary for museum architecture." "


Plans for Guggenheim in Taichung unveiled

Taiwan News

"The proposed museum, designed by noted architect Zaha Hadid, includes several sections of the museum that can change position on demand. The entire West Wing, a two-story structure with a 3,583 square meter base is designed to move either through a rail or air cushion system into three different positions, while the East gallery includes a 440 square meter platform which can move between the first and second floor galleries like a gigantic elevator. Patrik Schumacher, an architect with Zaha Hadid's firm, described the concept, saying, "The scale of the elements moving is so large that you might lose perception of whether you are the one moving, or the building around you." "


Zaha Hadid's model of the Taichung Guggenheim


Guggenheim may open in Taiwan


Zaha Hadid Architects

Students offer colorful ideas for Cobb Field

Billings Gazette October 3 2003

"Nobody is likely to accuse a group of architectural students who studied the neighborhoods around Cobb Field of being afraid to think outside the box.

The eight students who developed the proposals are all in their fifth year of architecture school at Andrews University in Michigan. This is the seventh year that their professor, Philip Bess, has brought his fifth-year students to various communities to work on real-world urban design problems."


Inauguration: Frank O. Gehry, Maggie's Centre,

Ninewells NHS Hospital, Dundee, Scotland


"The philosophy behind Maggie's Centres is that your immediate environment affects your well-being.  These intimate buildings are the first stage in helping sufferers manage their fears.

Built on the landscaped grounds of  Ninewells NHS hospital this is the third Maggie's Centre to be built from a list of 10 commissioned from leading-edge architects  including Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Richard Rogers Partnership.

The financing for Maggie's Centre in Dundee  came from charitable donations and  local fund raising.  Frank Gehry, who was a close friend of Maggie Jencks, waved his fee."


The question is: Renovate or eliminate?

Corpus Christi Caller-Times October 2 2003

"City Council members said Tuesday with a resounding consensus that they saw no reason to renovate the old building because it has no functional municipal use. But preservationists in Corpus Christi and other cities say the thinking of City Council members is shallow if the first thought they have is to bring in a bulldozer to a site that has such sentimental value to so many area residents.

Colley designed the coliseum to echo the shape of Corpus Christi Bay, and the building has won national recognition for its intersecting, metal cross-truss, vaulted roof design, which provides 60,000 square feet of unobstructed floor space."


America's Town Square

Time Magazine October 6 2003

"Rockefeller Center is one of the world's most elegant places. How it got that way wasn't pretty.

The Rockefeller who built the place was not John D., the great, striding patriarch, but John Jr., his self-minimizing son. Ultra-prudent, teetotaling and possessing what Okrent calls a "clenched psyche," Junior — almost everybody called him that or, worse, Mr. Junior — nonetheless managed to launch the massive Rockefeller philanthropic operations.

Next to him, the major figure behind the Center was the great architect Raymond Hood, linchpin of the design team. Brilliant, charming and not infrequently pixilated, Hood was one of the pioneers in the transition from Gothic Revival and Beaux Arts skyscrapers to the sleek, mostly unadorned towers of the 1930s. Did Junior want his new buildings crowned with arcades, wreaths and maybe a nice pergola? You bet he did. But Hood, who died before the Center was completed, gave him, with the RCA Building, a modern masterpiece that Rockefeller never fully comprehended."


Victory at Bunker Hill

New York Review of Books October 23 2003

"The sobering story of Gehry's commission, which will culminate with the auditorium's opening on October 23, is told in Symphony: Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, a collection of essays largely descriptive and celebratory. Most interesting among them is the account of the project by Richard Koshalek, a former director of MoCA and another member of the architecture subcommittee, and Dana Hutt, an architectural historian. Koshalek and Hutt tell cautionary tales of ballooning budgets, economic crises, conflicting constituencies—reflecting, among others, the different interests of the Disney family, competitive donors, and local politicians— and attempts to interfere with Gehry's conceptions. Their account ought to be mandatory reading for civic groups in search of an architect. It confirms how all-important the aesthetic perception of a selection committee can be in the sponsorship of great architecture."


Lightly on the land

Los Angeles Times October 2 2003

"The environmentally sound, energy-efficient result is a monument to what Bravmann calls their shared desire "to preserve nature and conserve Earth's limited resources." And, not so incidentally, to seriously cut down on utility costs. The energy tab for their 3,000-square-foot, two-story house averages $30 per month.

The West Hollywood house has walls and windows of dual-pane glass, 32 75-watt solar panels on its steel roof, a "passive" air-conditioning system that allows hot air to flow diagonally up and out from the living room floor to the upstairs ceiling through banks of strategically placed small windows. And the most energy-efficient appliances available in the world."

  Exterior elements

What's sprawling is our worship of comfort

San Francisco Chronicle October 2 2003

"The notion that suburbia deserves a warning label is a staple among such fevered opponents as author James Howard Kunstler, who seized on the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 to dismiss the home of 55 percent of the nation's residents as "a vast and evil setting for American life to take place in."

The new wrinkle is the use of statistics to buttress the case. Take "Measuring the Health Effects of Sprawl," released in August by Smart Growth America. It called itself "the first national study to establish a direct association between the form of the community and the health of the people who live there," warning that "people living in counties marked by sprawling development are likely to walk less and weigh more than people who live in less sprawling counties." "












Sprawl Scores for Texas Counties, How Sprawl Is Related to Health for each Texas County pdf

Architect Trio Alights to Join Zero All-Stars

New York Observer October 2 2003

"Mr. Libeskind appears to be more and more the odd man out in the redevelopment of Ground Zero. Initially, many New Yorkers had the impression that the new World Trade Center would look much as Mr. Libeskind’s model had in the public display in the Winter Garden. But increasingly, Mr. Libeskind has ceded the top design spots on major portions of the site—first on the transit hub, which will now be led by Mr. Calatrava; then on the signature 1,776-foot-tall spire, a project on which Mr. Childs is now taking the lead; and lastly on at least three other structures to be designed by Messrs. Foster, Maki and Nouvel."


A New Function for a Landmark of the Jet Age

New York Times October 2 2003

"Perhaps America's most lyrical monument to the dawn of the jet age, it has nevertheless been a dead end for two years, its coves and bridges lacking the swirling crowds that brought a vital fourth dimension to the Saarinen landmark.

Now a revival may be at hand for the 41-year-old building, known as Terminal 5, which has been empty since T.W.A. closed operations in October 2001. An aggressive young airline, JetBlue Airways, would like to use the landmark for a small part of its operations. That proposal appears to have broken a longstanding impasse over whether the building would be best preserved as a functioning terminal or as a museum piece."



Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen

A Building With a Song in Its Heart

New York Times October 2 2003

"I associate freely because the McCormick Center was made for precisely that. It is a place where our private memory screens are brought together in a public setting, the better to check them out. In fact, this building goes far toward explaining the excitement contemporary architecture has been generating in the United States for a decade.

The most significant buildings produced in this period are not unified by style. Designed by individual architects or collaborative teams, they differ greatly in appearance. If some of the best are linked by a common theme, the link is conceptual rather than visual. It is the idea that we live perpetually on the threshold between our inner and outer worlds. This is a psychological bond, not a visual one, but the link is no less cultural for that. It reflects the view that architecture is a philosophy of urban life."



Rem Koolhaas and OMA

Architects could play a major role in saving energy

Albuquerque Tribune October 1 2003

"Santa Fe architect and internationally influential solar energy expert Ed Mazria told the American Institute of Architects symposium on architecture and climate change in Santa Fe that architects could not wash their hands of responsibility for global warming. The built environment itself accounts for 48 percent of all CO2 emissions annually - almost twice as much as any other economic sector, Mazria says. When put all together, each year some 10 billion square feet in new construction and renovation of building spaces goes on in the United States.

Mazria says that, with education, new building materials and site planning, a 50 percent cut in energy use is possible. And with such a massive lowering of energy consumption would come a lowering in greenhouse gases released by the building industry."


The Roster of Ground Zero Architects Grows

New York Times October 1 2003

"Lord Norman Foster, of London, Jean Nouvel of Paris and Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo joined Daniel Libeskind, the master planner, and David M. Childs and T. J. Gottesdiener of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which will design the first, and tallest, building, Freedom Tower, with Mr. Libeskind. Larry A. Silverstein, who chose all but Mr. Libeskind, said, "They're the best in the world."

In addition to the architects who gathered with Mr. Silverstein, Santiago Calatrava of Spain is working on the new transit hub with DMJM & Harris and the STV Group. A memorial design has yet to be chosen."


IIT architect would love encore

Chicago Sun-Times October 1 2003

"Sipping the first espresso served at his shiny, new high-tech IIT student center Tuesday, architect Rem Koolhaas revealed one of his most unfulfilled desires: to design a high-rise in Chicago.

"I would love to stay here," said Koolhaas, an internationally acclaimed architect who lives in Rotterdam. "The best skyscrapers in America are here. I would be deeply excited about building a high-rise here. Any architect would love to work in Chicago."

Despite his lust for tall buildings, Koolhaas chose to design the Illinois Institute of Technology student center as a one-story building which slopes under a concrete and corrugated steel tube wrapped around the L. Trimmed in a whimsical black and burgundy zebra pattern, the design has three main goals: attract attention along State Street, allow visitors to sum up the building in 12 seconds and give tribute to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the architect who populated much of the IIT's campus with glass and steel box buildings."



More Koolhaas at IIT :

Koolhaas Rock

Chicago Sun-Times September 30 2003


Details mar the extraordinary in Koolhaas' IIT campus center

Chicago Tribune September 28 2003


The McCormick Tribune Campus Center Opens at IIT First Koolhaas building in U.S. sets new standard for innovation; Unifies Modernist Mies Campus With 21st Century Design


Famous Architects Shape IIT Main Campus

Architecture: Recognising the unsung heroes

Financial Times UK September 30 2003

"But the most encouraging thing is the sudden proliferation of mass house-builders who had previously been seen as the forces of darkness in the despoliation of the nation's countryside. Sharp young developers like Manchester's Urban Splash and London's Baylight Properties have shown that there is a widespread desire for architect-designed, urban properties and the big developers, sniffing out margins, have come rushing in their wake. George Wimpey City is the perfect example, commissioning solid architects to design urban housing, although Wimpey's larger housebuilding arm continues to churn out sub-suburban housing. Why is it felt that good modern architecture is an urban prerogative?

By acknowledging the pivotal role of the client in the building process these awards may help deflect some of the glory from architects to developers. The relationship between architects and clients is improving as developers begin to understand the value of good design"


What is missing?

message from Edward de Bono September 29 2003

"When two of the most intelligent groups on the face of the earth believe that reciprocal violence is the only way forward, we have to wonder at the adequacy of human thinking. There is no lack of intelligence on either side. So what is missing? Perhaps constructive and 'design' thinking. There is a huge need for a 'design conference' on the issue."


Master’s advice for students of architecture

Evening Telegraph September 26 2003

"Internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry, in the city for the opening of the Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, at Ninewells, which he designed, today accepted an honorary degree from the University of Dundee. He was the sole recipient during the degree award, attended by academic staff and local dignitaries as well as a clutch of young people.

Addressing these young people, Mr Gehry said they would inevitably succeed if they followed their own individuality and didn’t try to be someone else."


The secrets of Fallingwater

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 25 2003

"As accessible as it is cultured and scholarly, "Fallingwater Rising" presents Kaufmann to the world as the civic leader Pittsburgh knew him to be, the man behind the men behind the city's first Renaissance. But it also reconstructs him as a highly educated man deeply involved with design, both as head of Kaufmann's department store and as an astute and important patron of architecture, including two iconic modern houses. And it fleshes out the often difficult familial relationships and personalities of the Kaufmann triumvirate -- E.J., his wife and first cousin Liliane, and their son Edgar -- and weighs how each impacted Fallingwater's design...

In 1999, 10 years after Jr.'s death, Toker spoke with Mayen for four hours in the Manhattan apartment he had shared with Kaufmann. "It was a highly delicate interview; I was asking a lot of extremely personal questions," Toker said."


Fallingwater Rising:Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufmann, and America's Most Extraordinary House

Franklin Toker author website

"Fallingwater Rising asks three basic questions:

  • By what process did Wright create the design?

  • What drove Kaufmann, an architectural conservative, to suddenly embrace such a radical and risky project?

  • And why, having together created one of the most important houses of the twentieth century, could Wright and Kaufmann never build anything again?"



2003 September Perl's Architecture Weblog

2003 Summer Perl's Architecture Weblog


 Texas Tech University  College of Architecture  Robert D. Perl 


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Associate Professor Robert D. Perl, AIA

AH 1002D Office Hours: T 1:30-4:30 pm or by appointment

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