Search results for "Richard Meier"

Placeholder Alt Text

#MeToo

Former employees accuse Richard Meier of sexual harassment and assault
Multiple women have come forward to accuse Richard Meier, founding principal of Richard Meier & Partners, of sexual harassment and assault. The allegations, mostly from women who worked at the firm, span four decades and detail inappropriate touching and indecent exposure. They also include a designer who detailed an attempted sexual assault by Meier. Speaking to the New York Times, multiple employees stated that Meier exposed himself to them at his home and suggested they pose nude for him. One former employee said Meier, now 83, grabbed her underwear through her dress at the firm's holiday party in 2003. One woman, who did not work at his firm, stated that Meier dragged her to his bedroom and laid on top of her, ignoring her "no"s and her attempts to push him away. When reached for comment, a spokesman for the firm sent The Architect's Newspaper (AN) a press release that responded to the allegations.
“I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions,” Meier said in the release. “While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior." Meier is taking a six-month leave of absence from the office. In the meantime, he is leaving operations to four partners: Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan, Dukho Yeon, and Bernhard Karpf will oversee day-to-day operations at the New York office, while Michael Palladino, partner-in-charge of the firm's Los Angeles office, will supervise projects and operations.
Placeholder Alt Text

$chool $pirit

Richard Meier funds architecture chair at Cornell
Richard Meier has endowed the chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP), his alma mater. Andrea Simitch, associate professor and chair of architecture department who graduated with a B.Arch. in 1979, will be the first to work under the title. "Architectural pedagogy at Cornell is fundamentally rooted in processes of making, and Richard Meier's creative process—one that moves freely between art and architecture, drawings and sculpture, collages and models—is one that has deeply informed that pedagogy," Simitch said in a press release. "His capacity to imagine architecture both as abstract composition and occupiable space is a continuing part of his legacy today at Cornell." In addition to the endowed chair, which includes a disbursement for research grants, the architect has donated money towards an associate professorship he established in 2010. Along with his daughter Ana, Meier has also funded a scholarship for women in the M.Arch program. Way before he founded the firm that bears his name, Meier graduated with a B.Arch. from Cornell in 1956. While Richard Meier & Partners' work can be seen the world over, he has also designed one building for the school: Weill Hall, a 263,000-square-foot biology building—clad in the architect's signature white—that debuted in 2008.
Placeholder Alt Text

Window Room

Vitrocsa debuts a sleek and motorized showroom in Los Angeles
Slim profile window and door manufacturer Vitrocsa recently opened the doors to a new showroom and gallery space located within its Los Angeles–area factory and headquarters in Culver City, California. The new showroom features sliding doors, retractable windows, and pivot apertures that utilize the company’s Invisible Wall technology, deploying the Vitrocsa MODULAR and MODULAR+ model window and door system profiles for architects to view and test out in person. The product lines are built from aluminum alloy components in the factory located behind the showroom and offer a higher degree of energy efficiency than previous versions. The system’s horizontally-sliding components come with a 1 ¼-inch or1 ¾-inch thick insulated glass panel design, depending on size and required wind load. The showroom deploys several window options throughout, including a 12-foot-tall flush-mounted, floor-to-ceiling sliding door system with an "invisible sill" that conceals the door's track below the floor. The showroom also contains a mechanically-controlled vertical pocket sliding system, a new model that can be sized up to 200-square-foot panels. The profile systems are the latest available for the 25-year-old company, which was founded in Switzerland in 1992 and has pioneered thin-profile glass assemblies by merging “precision Swiss watch technology” with structural glazing. Vitrocsa windows are used by architects Tadao Ando, Sir Norman Foster, Richard Meier, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, and Eduardo Souto de Moura, according to a press release. Vitrocsa custom builds each door and window it sells, so the showroom serves to not only display its latest wares, but also to highlight the firm’s precision-driven manufacturing process. James Tschortner, CEO of Vitrocsa USA, said via press release, “All moving components of this luxury product are manufactured by a Swiss watch component manufacturer with the precision of 1/100 of a millimeter.”  The showroom is open to architects and potential clients by appointment. Visit the Vitrocsa website or contact Vitrocsa's Technical Sales Team for more information.
Placeholder Alt Text

And the winner is...

2018 AIANY Design Awards winners announced!
AIA New York announced the recipients of their 2018 Design Awards tonight at the Center for Architecture, and the winners were once again varied across project type, scale, and country. Narrowing their scope from the 35 winners chosen last year, this year’s group of distinguished AIA New York members presented exceptional examples of work the world over, with only 12 of the 32 projects based in New York. The jurors were as varied as the projects they were judging, and included the following:
  • Gro Benesmo, Partner, S P A C E G R O U P
  • Ila Berman, DDes MRAIC, Dean and Edward Elson Professor, UVA School of Architecture
  • Aaron Forrest, AIA, NCARB, Principal, Ultramoderne
  • Walter Hood, Creative Director, Hood Studio
  • Tom Kundig, FAIA, Principal and Owner, Olson Kundig Architects
  • Debra Lehman Smith, Partner, LSM Studio
  • Meejin Yoon, AIA, Co-Founder, Höweler + Yoon Architecture LLP, Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The biggest award of the night went to the collaborative efforts of Adjaye Associates, Freelon Group (now Perkins+Will), Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR, for their work on the ethereal Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which both references its surroundings while integrating African and American historical references. BEST IN COMPETITION Architect: Freelon Adjaye Bond / Smithgroup Landscape Architect: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Project: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture Location: Washington, DC ARCHITECTURE HONORS Architect: Architecture Research Office Project: Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group Landscape Architect: Bach Landskab Project: Tirpitz Museum Location: Blåvand, Denmark Architect: LEVENBETTS Landscape Architect: Marc Peter Keane Project: Square House Location: Stone Ridge, NY Architect: MQ Architecture Project: Magazzino Italian Art Location: Cold Spring, NY
Architect: NADAAA Associate Architect: Adamson Associates Architects Restoration architect: ERA Architects Project: University of Toronto Daniels Building at One Spadina Location: Toronto, Canada MERITS Architect: Desai Chia Architecture Architect of Record: Environment Architects Landscape Architect: SURFACEDESIGN Project: Michigan Lake House Location: Leelanau County, MI Architects: LTL Architects and Perkins+Will Landscape Architect: Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects Project: Cornell University Upson Hall Renovation Location: Ithaca, NY Architect: nARCHITECTS Project: NYC DOT Harper Street Yard Structures Location: Corona, NY Architect: N.E.E.D. Architecture Project: The Book Company Headquarters Location: Seoul, South Korea Design Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop Executive Architect: Davis Brody Bond Associate Architect: Body Lawson Associates Landscape Architect: James Corner Field Operations Project: Columbia University Lenfest Center for the Arts Location: New York, NY Architect: Richard Meier & Partners Architects Associate Architect: RAF Arquitetura Project: Leblon Offices Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Architect: Selldorf Architects Architect of Record: C + D Architects Landscape Architect: Bureau Bas Smets Project: LUMA Arles Location; Arles, France
Architect: Studio Libeskind Landscape Architect: Claude Cormier + Associés Project: Canadian National Holocaust Monument Location: Ottawa, Canada Architect: StudioSUMO Architect of record: Obayashi Corporation Project: Josai International University i-House Dormitory Location: Togane, Japan Architect: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners Associate Architect: Ballinger Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Project: Princeton University Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Location: Princeton, NJ Architect: WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism Architect of Record: Richard L. Bowen + Associates Landscape Architect: Knight & Stolar Project: Kent State Center for Architecture and Environmental Design Location: Kent, OH Architect: WORK Architecture Company Project: Queens Library at Kew Gardens Hills Location: Flushing, NY CITATIONS Architect: David Scott Parker Architects Architect of Record: Bosch Architecture Project: Williamsburgh Savings Bank Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Michielli + Wyetzner Architects Project: Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage Location: New York, NY INTERIORS HONORS Architect: N H D M / Nahyun Hwang + David Eugin Moon Architect of Record: ALab Architects Project: Nam June Paik Art Center Renovation Location: Yongin, South Korea
MERITS Architect: LEVENBETTS Project: Cornell University Rhodes Hall Location: Ithaca, NY Architect: Peter Marino Architect Project: The Lobster Club Location: New York, NY Architect: Rice+Lipka Architects Project: Parsons Making Center Location: New York, NY Architect: A+I Interior Architect: SheltonMindel Project: New York Family Office Location: New York, NY CITATION Architect: Young Projects Landscape Architect: Future Green Studio Project: The Gerken Residence Location: New York, NY PROJECTS HONOR Architect: LTL Architects Project: Manual of Section MERIT Architect: APTUM Architecture Project: Thinness Pavilion Location: San Francisco, CA CITATION Architect: Studio Joseph Architect of Record: Foster + Partners Project: London Mithraeum Location: London, UK
URBAN DESIGN MERITS Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates Project: One Vanderbilt Location: New York, NY Architect: NADAAA Project: Justice in Design Location: New York, NY Architect: ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers Project: Houston-Galveston Area Protection System (H-GAPS) Location: Galveston Bay, TX
Placeholder Alt Text

Space and Form

A Miami exhibition explores Frank Stella and Richard Meier's long friendship
When Frank Stella moved to New York in 1958 he frequented the Cedar Tavern, a University Place hangout of the Abstract Expressionists and Beat writers. At the same time, he met Richard Meier, and he agreed to let the young architect draw and paint in his painting studio while he was at the tavern. This studio share began a nearly sixty-year friendship between the two that has lasted to this day. A small but captivating exhibition, Richard Meier And Frank Stella: Space And Form documents this friendship and traces their professional collaboration. The exhibition was organized and curated by Terence Riley and is currently on view at the Meier Gallery, a small white box exhibition space in The Surf Club, the architect’s new residential building in Miami Beach, Florida. Riley begins the exhibition with a reproduced rendering of a jointly designed water fountain and public sculpture submitted for a 1963 Philadelphia competition. This project was never built, but Riley makes the point that Meier, at his own insistence, continued to place Stella wall reliefs, paintings, or sculptures in his presentation renderings, even though clients never purchased the works along with the completed building. Later, Stella took up residence in Meier-designed apartment, and the architect hung his friend’s work in prominent spots in both his office and home. They did collaborate on the Giovannitti family home in Pittsburg where Meier’s rigid white geometric facade included a series of Stella designs that look like an architect’s French curve. Another project, Meier’s 2000 Church of the Year sketch for Rome, clearly shows the influence of Stella’s abstract drawings. Riley focuses on their years-long dialogue with displays of photographs of joint projects, drawings, collages and a model of a Stella museum proposal. A black maquette by Stella is, Riley claims, a preparatory object that might be a museum. The model is more sculpture than finished building, but is it a physical proposal? “That is the $64,000 question,” Riley said. “Frank refers to it as a sculpture and architecture interchangeably. I think, as a maker, he sees things incredibly fluidly until it becomes something.” The exhibit has several of Meier’s architecturally-themed collages and several fuzzy photographs of old renderings of building projects, but never mind the lack of archival material in this show: what matters is Riley’s commitment to showing how the two masters have influenced each other throughout their careers. The small exhibit was a highlight of the recent Art Basel and Design Miami week, and it will remain open at the Surf Cub through March 4, 2018. Richard Meier And Frank Stella: Space And Form The Meier Gallery at the Surf Club 9011 Collins Avenue, Miami Through March 4, 2018 More information is available here.
Placeholder Alt Text

California Dispatch

After the fires, the Monterey Design Conference offers a chance for reflection
When the Sonoma and Napa fires of 2017 tore through the Bay Area design community, several thousand structures were destroyed, and as many as 15,000 people were left without homes. Architects whose families and clients lost homes made it to the Monterey Design Conference last October to find comfort and to connect. Every year, I buttonhole attendees to seek out their favorite presenters. Sou Fujimoto won my informal poll, so I’ll start with him. Fujimoto began his presentation with a photo of a tree and a Tokyo city scene. The title of his lecture, “Between Nature and Architecture,” turned out to be the unintended theme for the conference. In all his work, Fujimoto questions obvious assumptions. This was true with two relatively small houses, House N and House NA, where he redefined the interior/exterior boundary. As with Richard Meier, most of his work is white. But unlike Meier’s work, his strives to almost disappear. He even questions assumptions about how to design a public bathroom in Ichihara, making the structure completely transparent and the landscape wholly private. Weiss/Manfredi’s opening lecture addressed the “binary reading of the natural and artificial.” Their low-rise projects express inventive ways to weave structure and landscape together, like Seattle’s Olympia Sculpture Park (2007) or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Center (2012). This approach reaches its apogee in the Novartis Visitor Center (2013). I can’t remember a high-security checkpoint being so graceful—like the spirit of one of Calatrava’s birds rather than the remains. They reminded us, with their handsome portfolio, that our experience of nature is largely constructed. An unexpected surprise was a last-minute replacement, the tall and very funny Jeff Goldstein from the Philadelphia based firm DIGSAU. Without a written script, he showed us a modest not-for-profit center that trains at-risk youth. Students helped build the wood collage wall. It was a glorious example of how to create authentic community engagement. Shohei Shigematsu, the head of the OMA’s New York office, showed us that there is a future to OMA beyond Rem Koolhaas. Milstein Hall, the expanded center at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning reminded of some of the big moves architects employed in the 60s. OMA’s diagrams are ingenious, but the spaces are not inviting. One of Shigematsu’s most interesting projects is his collaboration with artist Taryn Simon at the Park Avenue Armory. The concrete columns have a stillness that some of the jazzier permanent buildings do not. My spectacular visuals award goes to Dominique Jakob of the Paris-based Jakob + MacFarlane. Their design appears to be rooted in digital technology and seemed far removed from the mundane requirements of our West Coast digital overlords. On the river in Lyon, two office buildings, the “Orange Cube” and the “Green Cube,” with bold color and grand cutouts, make Apple’s and Facebook’s new buildings look almost banal. The firm’s 100-unit social housing project in Paris doesn’t follow the form of typical Parisian apartment blocks, and Jakob’s use of ETFE film for balcony curtains gives the building a wrapped Christo look on each floor. What was called the “Tribal Elders” slot at previous conferences was filled with the Los Angeles graphic and exhibition designer Gere Kavanaugh. Noted architect and writer Pierluigi Serraino, a raconteur and interviewer of some skill, could not contain Ms. Kavanaugh. While her presentation of modernist graphics did go on too long, Gere was entertaining. Another determined Angeleno, Julie Eizenberg, talked about Urban Hallucinations, her new non-monograph. Her firm Koning Eizenberg has focused on Los Angeles. They are unafraid of the quirky, the cheap, the historic, the imaginary, the gritty, or the glamorous. This is an architect who thrives on constraints and, as she says, “stretches the limits.” One of my favorite new projects was the Pico Branch Library, which allows everybody to connect to the larger digital universe while staying grounded in the very nonimaginary neighborhood. The “Emerging Talents” included Laura Crescimano, a founder of SITELAB Urban Studio with the late Evan Rose. She charts the course for design professionals engaging disadvantaged communities. Heather Roberge of Murmur and Jimenez Lai and Joanna Grant of Bureau Spectacular reminded us that Los Angeles’s up-and-coming architects are just as bold as the earlier generation. Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects alum Alan Tse stole the show. In the few minutes he was allotted, he made us laugh and admire his considerable talent. His restaurants and interiors are sublime, and his construction budgets are what other architects would charge in fees. He made architecture real in a way I’ve rarely seen. We all needed some levity and inspiration as we returned home to question how or even whether we should rebuild so close to the wildland/urban interface. As with most Monterey Design Conferences, we came away with more questions and few answers.
Placeholder Alt Text

Lunch n' Learn

Lord Richard Rogers discusses continuity and change at landmarks lunch
On October 5, the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation hosted its annual Lunch at a Landmark at a historic building in midtown Manhattan. As always, the event was well attended by prominent architects, preservationists, and designers, as well as experts, supporters, and enthusiasts of those fields. New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik introduced Lord Richard Rogers warmly—so much so that when Rogers took the microphone, he joked that “we should all just go home now.” Gopnik focused on Rogers’s approach to human-centric design, saying, “The core idea of liberal humanism is not that man is the measure of all things, but that all things can be measured by man and by woman.” This focus was in conjunction with Rogers’ new book A Place for all People, which further explains the architect’s approach to modernism, civic value, and urban design. Modernism is a funny word, artistically and architecturally speaking. Once the modernists dubbed themselves as such, either in a stroke of hubris or marketing genius, the rest of us were stuck with postmodernism, and even post-postmodernism. In his talk at “Lunch at a Landmark,” Rogers reframed the word, explaining: “Modernism is good architecture of its time, advanced by technology, by changes in economics, and by changes in sociology. What is happening at that time? What is the zeitgeist?” He proceeded to walk through a brief timeline of architectural works, from the primitive hut and Brunelleschi’s dome, to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, and Piazza San Marco in Venice, citing the different styles and renovations along the way. Through these examples he identified two types of architecture: “Architecture that is challenging, that is different, and architecture that just disappears within its current state,” Rogers said. “I’m not saying one is better than the other, but it is important to concede the two differences.” In particular, he focused on the five main iconic buildings in the Piazza San Marco, highlighting how the Renaissance elements set off Medievalism and how each building relates to the others, despite the many elements at play. In his own work, he initially found some difficultly relating architecture to its surroundings. When designing the Lloyd’s building and thinking about how it would fit in with its neighbors, Rogers was concerned. “Fifty percent of the City of London has been rebuilt in the last forty years, so what am I meant to be relating to? How do you relate to the existing conditions when you are aware that they might not be there in a few years’ time? And you mourn the fact that the buildings do not fit their purpose for any length of time—it’s about sustainability, it’s about energy, and it’s about waste of energy. One of our goals was to make the Lloyd’s building last into the next century (which we accomplished). We wanted a building that could change, that could adapt—a big flexible space. When we started designing Lloyds the height of technology was the Xerox machine. We have to interpret, or try to interpret the conflict of continuous change.” He faced a similar quandary with the Centre Georges Pompidou he did with Renzo Piano, which partially informed the building’s open layout, external structure, and the revered piazza that Rogers described as “a cross between Times Square in the 1970s and the British Museum…. A place for people, a place for all people.” Now, it is undergoing renovations to update the HVAC systems and such, but still remains a relevant structure. Rogers touched on other projects as well, from Las Arenas in Barcelona to Three World Trade Center in New York. He concluded by good-naturedly hoping that at the very least, it won’t earn a moniker of 'cheese grater,' like the Leadenhall. “Londoners are very creative with their nicknames,” he quipped. He doesn’t take it too personally though, as this is just one of many jabs at modernism endured by all top architects. “Prince Charles once said the Luftwaffe did less damage than I did…. He might be right.” We have a hunch that Rogers won’t let the royal architecture criticism affect him, or his modern buildings, too much.
Placeholder Alt Text

Instagram Eavesdrop

Adjaye's Studio Museum, a view from Mexico City, and other updates from the architects of Instagram
At The Architect’s Newspaper, we’re plain addicted to Instagram. Sure, we love seeing Brutalist concrete through “Inkwell” or “Ludwig” filters, but there’s also no better place to see where architects are getting their inspiration, how they’re documenting the built environment, and where they’ve traveled of late. Below, we bring you some of the best Instagrams of this past week! (Also, don’t forget to check out our Instagram account here.) Richard Meier & Partners unveiled a dual pedestrian and vehicular bridge in Alessandria, Italy, suspended from an enormous white steel arc. Sleek, Richard. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZgzzhAAhEe/?taken-by=richardmeierpartners Adjaye Associates released new, more detailed renderings for the new home of the Studio Museum in Harlem this week – along with this gorgeous model (via Field Condition). The five-story building block structure will increase the museum's space by 115 percent. It will break ground next year. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZg5koFFWWi/?taken-by=field_condition Not to over-saturate your feed with Iwan Baan, but he's just ... so good at what he does. Here, an aerial of BIG's big new LEGO House in Billund, Denmark – a terraced, colorful playground for adults and children alike. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZl7egsBk2t/?taken-by=iwanbaan Any excuse for a garden wall. Steven Holl Architects here tried a mock-up vertical sedum for the Kennedy Center expansion.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BZWMirrAprB/?taken-by=stevenhollarchitects You thought you could escape Thomas Heatherwick for a second – but here he is again, haunting your weekend. The Heatherwick-designed Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa opened in Cape Town last week, featuring immense sections cut out of concrete grain silos to form a central atrium. We demand receipts. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZV0CXohcx9/?taken-by=zeitzmocaa Finally, from Mexico City-based architect Michael Rojkind and his firm Rojkind Arquitectos, a sobering view of the future of reconstruction needed in the aftermath of the city's most recent earthquakes. He will be at a MAS Context fundraiser in Chicago to provide an update from Mexico City. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZha3qXF0M_/?taken-by=rojkindarquitectos That’s it for today, hashtag archilovers and quote-on-quote gallerinas. See you next week for more drama.
Placeholder Alt Text

It's All White

A look at Richard Meier's completed Tel Aviv tower
A white building from one of the New York Five? That's hardly surprising, but it is perhaps fitting that Richard Meier's latest work has gone up in Israel's White City, an area famed for its modernist and Bauhaus architecture. Known as "The Whites," the New York Five comprised Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier. Their work, bound together by the now career-defining "Five Architects" which was published in 1972, riffed on Corbusian ideals and produced white forms in their early careers and indeed much of Meier's career in general. Richard Meier & Partners' Rothschild Tower, which officially opened last week in Tel Aviv, is a continuation of that form. Located on Rothschild Boulevard in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of White City, the 42-story tower is a residential building that offers balconies on every corner as well as a swimming pool, spa, and wine cellar. This is the firm's first project in Israel. "The great thing about the site is that it's related to the whole city; it's related to all of the wonderful buildings of the 1930s and to the historic buildings of Rothschild Boulevard. It makes me very happy to be in such company," said Meier in a press release. Drawing on Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, Rothschild Tower sits above the street, supported by a set of piloti. A double-height lobby bound by a glass curtain wall facilitates openness at street level. White louvers horizontally span each level where residential units are located and comprise a double-layered facade. "The transparency and lofty openness of the ground floor lobby, garden and retail spaces contribute to a vibrant streetscape," said Reynold Logan, a design partner at Richard Meier & Partners who headed the project.
Placeholder Alt Text

Mind Over Matter

AN remembers Diane Lewis

To walk the streets of a city with Diane meant to be move slowly and with focus, and to often come to a complete standstill when the discussion at hand was primary over all else. This immersion was in striking contrast to her gait and quickness in the halls of Cooper Union and her brisk efficiency in the orchestration of a construction site. She lived in accord with the tenets of her practice and her teaching, and her intellectual rigor and intensity were applied to all endeavors. She believed deeply in the necessary confrontation of the existing with the ideal. The rub of dueling conditions as the source of artistic inspiration was a concept for Diane that spanned from Dante’s Divine Comedy (the introduction to our course at Pratt) to how she engaged the eccentricities of building within a given condition. To work alongside Diane on the job site was a demonstration of architecture as both an art in form and a theater piece with a unique casting call and stage directions in a whirlwind toward exquisite results. In the center was Diane, always a cutting sight in her effortless, yet careful wardrobe and its accents; the most important were her eyeglasses. She had wanted glasses since an early age and was thrilled when they became a necessity.

Diane’s ability to enjoy life was to make the best possible conditions for living, eating, thinking—whatever happened to be the pursuit of the moment. She had a gusto for food and ate with the same enjoyment and abandon as when she watered the garden at one of her many 9th street studio locations, a bit messy but with pure joy, flinging water so that it hit not only the plants but also the table she designed and the chairs and cushions. She was a talented cook and brought recipes from all over the world back to the studio, where she would regret that we did not have a dedicated chef on staff as Scarpa had when she visited his Venetian studio in the ’70s. Decades later when we visited Venice she insisted the first act must be to go immediately to Harry’s Bar, which was filled with Carnival revelers.

Wherever Diane lived it was always in a work of architecture, whether by her own hand or by selection. She would spend the summers in Long Island renting the guesthouse from Charles Gwathmey’s mother, and she lived for many years on a floor in William Lescaze’s townhouse on 48th street, where she was later married. In a metropolitan style, she had simply stopped by and made an inquiry to his widow if there were rooms for rent; Diane later designed an addition to her D.C. residence. Diane would note that she saw the principals of Hejduk’s Wall House in the Lescaze townhouse. Her intrinsic ability to see the lineages of work and continuity of thought allowed her to absorb, project, and hypothesize. She created a literary a-chronological world of architecture that is both deeply engaging and spectacularly liberating.

As a professor she preserved the sanctity and dignity of the students and adhered to the highest aspirations of academic sovereignty. She treated us with respect and demanded a critical forum for the discussion of work, investing in each student close readings as well as the independence to shape our studio projects. Under her teaching team, our class, and many others, created spectacular work from both expected and unexpected sources. Her gravitational field pulled people from near and afar: My friend and classmate Jack immediately applied to Cooper after having Diane during her tenure in the Hyde Chair at the University of Nebraska. Diane herself applied to Cooper as an art student at the recommendation of George Segal, whom she met in Syracuse in a high school summer program. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners’ Everson Museum of Art was in construction nearby; they would be second firm she would work for after initiating her professional career in the office of Richard Meier.

Most striking about Diane was her precise language, her careful articulation and her prescience to the gulf between thought and speech. Her unrelenting attention to meaning and complete absorption in structure were a means to penetrate through the contrived and conventional. Diane demanded that we engage the world not as it is, but as it should be. She entitled an unfinished book, Mind Over Matter.

Placeholder Alt Text

R.I.P.

New York architect and professor Diane Lewis passes away
[UPDATE 5/5/2107, 5:40 pm EST] A mid-June memorial is being planned to celebrate Diane Lewis's life in architecture, art, and literature. Additional details will be released at www.dianelewisarchitect.com as plans are finalized. [UPDATE 5/2/2107, 12:25 pm EST] This article has been updated to include a statement from Nader Tehrani, dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union. Diane Lewis, recipient of the 1976 Rome Architecture Prize in Architecture and the 2008 Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, passed away this morning. She was a prominent figure in the contemporary New York architecture scene and distinguished tenured professor at the Cooper Union. Lewis founded her eponymous firm in her native New York City in 1983 after working in the offices of Richard Meier, I.M. Pei and Partners, and Jim Freed, leading projects such as the Jacob Javits Convention Center, MIT Center for Arts and Media, and 499 Park Avenue. Her firm’s projects include the 2006 residence for the dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, the Perlman Conservatory and campus for Paul Rudolph’s Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, the Gauchos Basketball Foundation in Harlem, New York, and the HCK Charter School in San Antonio, Texas, as well as art galleries such as Kent Fine Art, Paul Kasmin, Claude Bernard, American Fine Art, and SPOT. She received a Knoll International Modern Main Street award in conjunction with World Monuments fund for the master plan for Riverview High School. In 1982 she was the first woman architect appointed to the full-time faculty at the Cooper Union and also served on many university faculties including Yale, Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Technical University of Berlin, the Architectural Association in London, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She co-edited the Education of an Architect, a book on the work of Cooper Union from 1975 to 1982; in 1989 she received a Graham Foundation grant for her lectures and essays on architecture and surrealism. She was also the task force director of the Urban Institute at the Cooper Union. In addition to this, Lewis also taught at the Pratt Institute in New York. There she taught undergraduate architecture students, working as a visiting professor. After 25 years of independent architecture practice, a monograph was published of her work, entitled DIANE LEWIS: INSIDE-OUT: Architecture New York City in 2007. Her drawings of plans for the Astor Place parking site and others can be found in the Museum of Modern Art permanent collection. Nader Tehrani, dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, released the following statement early this afternoon:
Diane H. Lewis, 2017 It is with profound grief and a heavy heart that I share this communication with my students, colleagues, and alumni of The Cooper Union. Today, we lost one of the most beloved and influential voices of our community, architect and professor Diane H. Lewis. Diane Lewis came to The Cooper Union as a student in the Art School in 1968, transferring to Architecture in 1970, and completing her studies in 1976. Immediately upon graduation, she was awarded the Rome Prize in Architecture, making her one of the youngest members to be honored by the American Academy in Rome. Upon her return to the United States, Lewis joined the offices of Richard Meier and Partners and later, I. M. Pei and Partners where she received her early training—this, while also launching her teaching career. Initially a professor at the University of Virginia, Lewis went on to teach as a visitor in many respected programs including Yale University, the Technical University of Berlin, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the University of Toronto, where she held the Frank Gehry Visiting Chair in 2006. But it was here at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture that she planted her foundations as a radical and committed educator; Lewis was the first woman architect to be appointed to the full-time faculty, and later tenured in 1993. In an age when few dedicate themselves to teaching as a craft, her focus on creating a transformative space of learning will be a central part of her lasting legacy. Indeed, as much as Lewis was a product of Cooper Union, today we can look back at more than thirty years of her contributions and come to realize that we are, in fact, defined by the culture of her teaching. As a practicing architect, Lewis set up her own office in 1983 under the banner of Diane Lewis Architects PC, and she has since led a focused and critical practice concentrating on competitions, urbanism, and built projects known for their exquisite refinement in both plan and detailing. Of those projects, the Studiolo for Colomina and Wigley, the Mews project for Professor Dworkin, and the Kent Gallery all demonstrate the nuance and skill that Lewis brought to her sense of materiality, figuration, and occasion. With a protean intellectual profile, Lewis’s work spoke to the panoramic range she held within her scope; a writer, designer, film-maker, and urbanist, Lewis brought passion to her many activities, often synthesizing her investigations into the many publications she edited and authored. Her most recent book, including the work of several generations of students, Open City: Existential Urbanity is one such example, featuring not only her written work, but also her research on Neo-realist cinema, the role of the civic institution on the making of urbanity, and even book design as a central part of its argument. The practice of Diane Lewis served as a conduit for her inter-disciplinary interests, and she seamlessly navigated between professional practice, scholarly work, and her teaching projects as part of a larger commitment to the discipline. Naturally, as co-editor of the Education of an Architect, Lewis shared a vision about how the commitment to teaching was also part of a social contract to give back to society in productive ways. Exhibited widely, including at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, the Van Alen Institute, and the Galerie Aedes in Berlin, Lewis also gained many accolades such as the John Q. Hejduk Award and nominations for the National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt and the Daimler Chrysler Award. Diane Lewis was widely recognized as a consummate architect and professor. Loved by students, respected by professional colleagues and debated by academic peers, Lewis defined architecture with equal parts passion and erudition. In recent years, her Design IV urbanism studio was known for its often twelve-hour long final reviews—each one of them a marathon discussion of critical precision and clarified architectural thought. On a more intimate note, I can only say that I will personally miss Diane dearly, most especially the tenacity with which she engaged in fierce architectural debate. Diane’s persevering intellect and commitment to leadership were so ever-present in the School, I can only imagine that both John Hejduk and Anthony Vidler felt her almighty strength in the administration of the school. She led the school symbolically, and when things did not go her way, she led a parallel school of thought alongside the very deans that gave rise to her platform. Her agency represents the very ethos of the key protagonists that a school would want inside its walls. She had a voice, she used it, and she led with it. In the past days and weeks, I have been touched by the many students, alumni, and academic associates who have reached out to me inquiring about her well-being. Diane was loved by many and respected by all. She was fiercely loyal to her students, and she made no secret of her advocacy of the many friends she held dear in both personal and intellectual complicity. To that end, I can only see that this loss is shared far and wide by many. As the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, I have the honor of bringing words to the collective sentiments that I believe everyone has voiced to me, and yet, I know that these words do not suffice in face of a deep, collective grief. The presence of our beloved family and friends is real and profound, but in their absence, we also discover that their every lesson, their words of wisdom, humor, and sensibility is something that takes on even more vivid presence precisely because they are no longer here in body. Diane may have left us in person, but her presence will be very much part of the education of many architects to come, and she will continue to speak with strength and clarity in the halls of this institution. As we miss her deeply, we will also have the benefit of her ongoing guidance, the fulfillment of over thirty years of generous giving.
Placeholder Alt Text

Pricey Stuff

Miami's jet-set mixes art, design, and luxury, leading to a new wave of high-design condo projects

This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.

Miami has a certain glitzy, glamorous character unique to its shores and streets. In recent years, the tropical climate and Latin flair have brought an influx of foreign investment and international attention. South Beach, the Design District, and events like Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami/ have attracted not only a moneyed crowd of beach-goers, but one that—in a new wave of spending and development—not only wants nice things, but cool things. This new attitude about art and design as an essential element of luxury has spawned a wave of condo projects that incorporate “starchitects” as part of the sales pitch—from Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid to Isay Weinfeld and Renzo Piano.

“Having an extremely high caliber of art, design, and architecture elevates the entire property to a work of art itself. This creates timeless value that speaks to a very niche type of buyer and has the ability to supersede shifts in the market,” Edgardo Defortuna, founder and president of Fortune International Group, said.

Many of the condo projects are based on the old hotel-apartment model, where the most affluent guests would simply live in a resort. But today private, all-residence buildings come equipped with all the amenities of a Florida resort, and then some.

Take a look at the latest batch of residential towers:

Eighty Seven Park 8701 Collins Avenue, Surfside Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop with West 8 Status: Under construction Units: 68 Floors: 16

After controversially razing Morris Lapidus’s Biltmore Terrace Hotel, the developers at Eighty Seven Park not only enlisted Renzo Piano to do the building, but they also tapped West 8 to landscape a 35-acre, public oceanfront park. The Towers by Foster + Partners 1201 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami Architect: Foster + Partners Status: Approved Units: 660 Floors: Unknown Announced in November 2016, this 1,049-foot-tall building got FAA clearance and is poised to be one of the tallest towers in Miami—it could be the city’s first completed supertall. Parking will be submerged and it will feature 56,0000 square feet of open space at ground level, including a through-block arcade. The Surf Club | Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences 9011 Collins Avenue, Miami Architect: Richard Meier & Partners Status: Under construction Units: 150 residences Floors: 12 The historic Surf Club is one of the most famous low-rise hotels in Miami Beach. It is being converted into a large block of residences, but will include 77 hotel rooms. Parts of the old resort will be saved, including the ballroom, which will become the new reception area.

SLS Brickell Hotel and Residences 1300 South Miami Avenue, Miami Architect: Arquitectonica Status: Completed 2016 Units: 124 Floors: 55

This combination condo tower and hotel features an iconic mural on its exterior, painted by Brooklyn-based artist Markus Linnenbrink. The hotel interiors are designed by Philippe Starck and the tower is host to Bazaar Mar by Chef José Andrés, a tile-clad seafood joint closer look on page 6). Grove at Grand Bay 2675 South Bayshore Dr, Miami Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Status: Completed 2016 Units: 96 Floors: 20 This spiraling stack’s structure is left exposed with raw concrete columns that slightly lean askance. The concrete floor plates are also exposed and a lush garden by Raymond Jungles complements the canopy and planters made of concrete, which Jungles called “the natural stone of South Florida.” One Park Grove 2701 South Bayshore Drive, Miami Architect: OMA Status: Under construction Units: 54 Floors: 20 Three towers are rising on the Coconut Grove Bank site, where a charming mid-century bank will be demolished and replaced by a new, OMA-designed facility as part of the area’s makeover. The project also includes performance spaces on the ground level. OMA won a high-profile competition for the project, beating Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Christian de Portzamparc, and Atelier Jean Nouvel. Jade Signature 16901 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach Architect: Herzog & de Meuron Status: Under construction Units: 192 Floors: 57 Every inch of this Sunny Isles Beach tower is designed, from concrete skylights in the common areas to the double height “Sky Villas” just below the $32.9 million penthouse. One Thousand Museum 1000 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) Status: Under construction Floors: 62 Units: 83 The layouts of the units change as this massive sculptural facade weaves its way up the structure. At 709 feet, it will be the tallest ZHA project to date and one of Miami’s altitudinous when completed. Fasano Miami Beach 1901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach Architect: Isay Weinfeld Status: Approved Units: 67 residences Floors: 22 The Shore Club has a long history as one of the iconic hotels on South Beach. This stylish renovation—by HFZ Capital—will convert the hotel into condos, but the public pool and hotel spaces will remain under the label of Brazilian hospitality superstars Fasano. The pool will be surrounded by five two-story beach homes.