Saturday, September 30, 2006

the "wow-whatthefuhk?!" factor

la times art critic Christopher Knight aims his scathing, punishing lingistic skills towards the new DAM building by daniel libeskind [opening here october 7th] in the article Tilted Funhouse Ain't So Fun Inside. evidently less inclined to thrill, and more liable to spill [one's guts that is] the most pungent aromas from the western knight's article about the new DAM are these:

Suddenly, the "wow!" factor morphs into the "huh?" factor. Every tilted wall, sharp point and obtuse or acute angle visible on the building's exterior is replicated in the interior rooms, where art is displayed...

This reflects a new reality. In today's art world, big international exhibitions proliferate, while the nonstop, far-flung gallery crawls in cities like L.A., New York, London and Berlin compete with a continuous global calendar of art fairs. The new norm is to scan art in passing, the way one watches scenery from a moving vehicle or surveys fashions on the runway. The Hamilton Building may be the first to institutionalize scanning as an art museum practice.

if we are going this direction, why shouldn't we install some passing lanes on the floors of the galleries, and we can all re-create the famous scene in Bande à part by running through the museum in record time...

image courtesy of

Monday, September 25, 2006

the "cliched" sixth reich in denver

dr. no writes about revitalizing old downtowns[ including denver] in the ny times article If You Build It, Will They Come?

Denver’s solution to this approach seemed to be to pile on more architectural imagery. Fifteen years ago, Michael Graves was hired to design a major expansion for the public library across from Ponti’s museum. As a composition, the project is not Graves’s worst. Its geometric forms (a cluster of cylinders and squares capped by an array of decorative roofs) has some of the haunting qualities of the designs of Aldo Rossi, who saw cities as repositories of memory as melancholy as a de Chirico painting. But the overblown scale of the library gives it a more sinister edge, like a Disney interpretation of Albert Speer’s designs for the Third Reich. When the city hired Libeskind to design the museum addition in 2000, it seemed as if it were trying to heal a deep urban wound by piling on yet more architectural forms. And Libeskind’s plan soon expanded to include an adjoining residential project, one of the clichés of contemporary urban revitalization.

hold on there doctor! who do you think we are? some kind of cowtown wasteland that would commission an artist 20 years past his prime to decorate our public space with kitschy oversized art?

oh crap...

Monday, September 18, 2006

still down to 3

from the RMN:

the short-shortlist:

1] allied works architecture [portland, or]-principal: brad cloepfil, recent works-contemporary art museum in st. louis, renovation to the face of for 2 columbus circle in new york [museum of arts & design].

2] diller scofidio + renfro [nyc], recent works- institute of contemporary art in boston, renovations of the lincoln center for the arts.

3] ohlhausen dubois architects [nyc], recent works- gatehouse performance space at aaron davis hall, & the danese gallery.

fire & brimstone

the westword arts critic, Michael Paglia is on fire and laying waste to anything/ anyone/ any writer/ any object... that stands in his way----except BOB STERN! the libeskind thrashing about his propoasl for the RE-vision of denver's civic center [and more] at WESTWORD.
it might be effective if he didn't first profess his love for the new DAM hamilton building.
special thanks to epicureofepicures for the tip and providing profound insights on meatloaf.

Friday, September 15, 2006

low income housing in downtown denver

first-an anecdote:
there are a lot of homeless people in denver who take shelter under bridges, in alleys, or in a cluster of trees. during the day, some panhandle for change to passersby, and most people choose to look away not even acknowledging their existence [including myself]. the image above is representative of an experience when briefly catching the eyes of a man sitting on the sidewalk. he did not say anything, but kept his gaze fixated, and after looking burnt an image into my memory. what is it we are afraid to discover behind those eyes? what is it we choose to ignore? the desperation of the human condition...a deep psyche within ourselves we hope to never meet.
"The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and Renaissance Housing Development Corp. today announced plans for a $12 million, 100-unit development for the formerly homeless and working poor on the South Platte River in downtown Denver."

christopher carvell architects is heading the design of the new development dubbed the "renaissance riverfront lofts", located at the intersection of park ave and globeville road, near highway 25. it will target the formerly homeless, and people whose income is lower than $30K annually. the project is sponsored by the coalition for the homeless.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

lodo supersized

in keeping with a recent theme of all things XLarge-
a mixed use development in lodo funded by mega developer opus northwest is revealed for $125 million [making it the most expensive magic show ever performed]. the architects are shears adkins architects [opus northwest's own mega-architects], responsible for other lodo buildings like the epa building, the adams mark hotel [addition], and the waterside lofts [of which it will be a neighbor]. we can see the tagline now:

article un
article deux

Thursday, September 07, 2006

scaling the shuttlecock

sculptural artist claes oldenburg has recently completed a mock-up of his piece for the exterior of the new DAM extension by libeskind. a proposed 35 foot tall broom and dustpan, made from painted metal, will sit just below the cantilevered prow over 13th st., potentially diminishing the drama of the one of the only subjective architectural moment on the hamilton building. admire it for the pracical joke it is.
personal note-what ever happened to symbolism & subtlety? have we transgressed so far into literal allegory that we cannot escape? what's next? 13 foot tall cows to remind us of our roots!?
[too late you silly sod]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

upcoming presentations

Architectural presentations for the Denver Justice Center and the Clyfford Still Museum : [Both events are at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St.]
Steven Holl, of New York-based Steven Holl Architects, and Lee Becker, of Washington, D.C.-based Hartman-Cox Architects, will present their schematic designs for the justice center (courthouse and jail, respectively) starting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19.
In case you are not familiar with the process or the teams for the Clyfford Still Museum, the committee has pre-selected 5 firms, these were selected from the proposal submittals:

1. Allied Works Architecture (Portland)
2. David Chipperfield Architects (London)
3. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (NY)
4. Ohlhausen DuBois Architects (NY)
5. Sanaa (Tokyo)

The committee will meet with the firms on Sept. 12 thru 13 & then pick three finalists; these finalists will be presenting on Nov. 6th at 6pm, then the final choice will be determined on Nov. 8th.

thanks to lilhaven for the heads up