Perl's Architecture Weblog

2005 Spring Semester

Associate Professor Robert D. Perl, AIA



What's a blog?

Web log defined

Blog defined

Blogging for Dummies

Freshest postings at top.

Go to the bottom of the page for links to 500+ earlier Weblog entries.



 Texas Tech University  College of Architecture  Robert D. Perl 


updated 13-Jul-2005


GOING UP: Making a Statement: No longer cartoony, Las Vegas architecture takes on sophisticated air

Las Vegas Review-Journal March 6 2005

"Not all that long ago, "Las Vegas architecture" meant gaudy, cartoony or circusy. Today, Southern Nevada architects say, it's apt to be synonymous with sophisticated, classy and elegant.

How sophisticated is Las Vegas' architectural scene these days? So sophisticated that internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry -- whose works include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles -- last week announced that he'll be designing an Alzheimer's disease research center proposed for downtown.

David Frommer, an architect and assistant director of planning and design at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, adds: "Our cycle of development is robust enough that you have the opportunity to develop these things and refine them a lot quicker than if it was a slower development cycle.""


"Wynn Las Vegas offers a curving, classy counterpoint to the skyline of the northern Strip."

Design Innovations in Manufactured Housing

Field Museum Chicago February 4, 2005—January 16, 2006

"Contrary to popular belief, manufactured homes have long been an affordable and high quality housing option. The history of these pre-fabricated dwellings transcends time and cultural boundaries, reflecting a long and colorful history. Native American teepees, yurts in Central Asia, Sears and Roebuck “kit houses,” and the mobile home are but a few examples.

In the last decade, almost 25% of new home construction in the United States is pre-fabricated or uses pre-fabricated components. The exhibition’s designers seek to dispel the stigma associated with the “trailer” home, using cutting-edge technology and innovative design concepts to accommodate consumer’s unique lifestyles.

Especially commissioned for this exhibition, the featured designs present creative solutions to fill the demand for affordable, high-quality housing. The exhibition also reveals many similarities between contemporary designs for manufactured homes and other mobile structures from around the world."

Beyond the Trailer Park

Lynn Becker Repeat March 2005

"During the first half of the 20th century, Chicago was home to one of the great engines of manufactured housing. In 1908, Sears, Roebuck published a specialty catalog, Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans, that sold 22 styles of houses. In 1915, Sears began selling kit homes, consisting of up to 10,000 numbered parts and a set of instructions showing the buyer how to put the whole thing together. The catalogs promised substantial savings: "$945 Builds This $1,500.00 to $1,800.00 Eight-Room Bungalow Style House," read one typical ad. Although a number of other companies - including Montgomery Ward - sold houses by mail, Sears was the most successful. By 1925, it had sold 30,000 homes."

  The LaCan Project - The Mainframe

A Le Corbusier Building Belatedly Nears Completion

Artforum March 7 2005

"One of the last buildings designed by Le Corbusier is finally being completed. As Le Monde's Grégoire Allix reports, the Saint-Pierre Church in Firminy, France will be finished by February 2006, almost forty years after the architect's death. The church first commissioned the building in 1960 as part of a larger project for Firminy, a city located in the Loire region. Le Corbusier designed a four-level concrete structure, topped by a monumental cone, but he died in August 1965, before construction began."


Quarante ans après la mort de Le Corbusier, l'église Saint-Pierre voit le jour à Firminy

computerized translation: Forty years after the death of Corbusier, theSaint-Pierre church is born in Firminy

Disney Concert Hall to Lose Some Luster

KTLA March 1 2005

"Construction crews are set to take a hand sander to the some of the shimmering stainless steel panels that have wowed tourists and architecture lovers but have baked neighbors living in condominiums across the street.

Beams of sunlight reflected from the hall have roasted the sidewalk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to melt plastic and cause serious sunburn to people standing on the street, according to a report from a consultant hired by the county.

Architect Frank Gehry's firm agreed to make the fixes...

The effort is already setting off a debate about whether it's right to alter one of Los Angeles' architectural icons — especially just two years after the $274-million building was opened."


Dome-shaped Capitol design selected

Anchorage Daily News March 1 2005

"The California architectural firm Morphosis, whose design concept featured a controversial egg-shaped dome, on Tuesday won the competition to create a new state Capitol in Juneau.

But a new state Capitol could be further than ever from becoming a reality. Legislators don’t want to pay for it and the public, particularly in Juneau, condemned all four of the design visions that competition finalists submitted.

All were futuristic and didn’t resemble the more traditional Capitols that most other states have. The Morphosis design was the only one of the four finalists with a dome."



Illustrations of the finalists and winning design

The New Serenity

ArtNewsOnline March 2005

"In 1997 Frank Gehry pulled off what many critics still see as an architectural miracle. His ebulliently sculptural Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, transformed a declining industrial city in the Basque region into a global tourist attraction. Art-museum trustees and directors in other cities quickly tried to imitate the so-called Bilbao effect. They hoped that a spectacular cultural facility would inspire a similar success story: rebranding their communities, boosting the local economy, and attracting tourists in droves...

But eight years after Bilbao, a reaction is setting in. While art museums in the United States are expanding at a breathtaking pace, the desire to emulate Gehry’s Spanish miracle looks increasingly like the exception, not the rule. And while museum directors continue to justify large expansion projects in terms of the tourism and attention they attract, they’re talking less and less about spectacular architecture as a primary goal. Instead, they emphasize the importance of showcasing collections, creating larger spaces suitable for the demands of contemporary art, and serving local audiences rather than attracting tourists."


Perl's Architecture Weblog January 2004

Perl's Architecture Weblog earlyDecember 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog late November 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog mid November 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog early November 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog late October 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog mid October 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog early October 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog September 2003

Perl's Architecture Weblog Summer 2003


 Texas Tech University  College of Architecture  Robert D. Perl 


copyright © 2003


Associate Professor Robert D. Perl, AIA

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

742-3169 x248