Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The best Architect nobody ever heard of

O'Neil Ford did not dream up the San Antonio River Walk, but he sure did his damndest to publicize the thing, and with his buddy Lady Bird Johnson he was into Trees, Plants and Birds. He celebrated a sense of place in Texas and among the best architects of the time he was much revered.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Suburban Sprawl and utter MADNESS

In Northern California, from the outskirts of San Francisco Bay to the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada a Stucco and Asphalt slum has been created so vast that to reach any place of humanity or genuine relief from the madness one must retreat to the historic centers of the city or old towns engulfed in this foul plague of architectural crap.

Various people and organization have spoken out about this stucco sprawl, but organization such as "The Great Valley" are basically worthless because of their associations with this sprawling madness. In short, organizations dedicated to fighting sprawl become self perpetuating bureaucratic organisms feeding off the creation of more sprawl.

Politicians such as Phil Angelides, "The Environmentalist", create their own mindless stucco slums, such as he did at Laguna West, ably assisted by Angelo Tsakopoulos. These gentlemen actually trumpeted the notions of "New Urbanism" while actually producing Stucco Sprawl that was worse than the adjoining typical suburban neighborhoods.

Examples of New Urbanism
The creation of New Suburbia, but with hints of old town centers surrounded by new housing preferably in a grid pattern. Cars are parked off alleys, parking courts or recessed.

It may not be perfect, but it does offer an alternative to the Phil Angelides desecration of the environment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chicken or the Egg?


Would have been interesting to hear Diebenkorn explain his landscape ideas to Thiebaud,
but then maybe it was not done verbally

Downtown Condos

If you have the money, this is the place for you

Yowza, yowza, yowza
can Richard Meier Tango, or what?
Recent Museum Design

Besides the expressionistic and structurally incoherent nonsense being designed by Gehry and Libeskind for museums (they both have ego problems) most current museum design by Brad Cloepfil, Holl, the Japanese, the Europeans and others has emphasized fitting into the environment, whether it is natural or man made, and the display of art or museum pieces

Sacramento is getting a new museum designed by Architects of the old New York "Five" or "Whites"....and the design is basically out of the late 60s or early 70s...and presumably will be "white"...while not bad design it is open to question whether the design fits into the pattern of the existing old museum or that of the tree lined streets of Sacramento
Even the method of presentation show a disdain for the existing environment

Saturday, June 16, 2007

North American Architectural History
The Short Course


Tom Jefferson

H H Richardson

defines an age, Richardson Romanesque, Shingle Style

Louis Sullivan

Frank Lloyd Wright

Lou Khan