Category Archives: Architecture

An Invisible Crown Tops the New Hearst Tower

hearst tower1The Hearst Tower marks a fresh start for building and for New York City.  Its ambition has many layers, all of which are healthy, deep seated, and admirable.  The new structure is located on the west side of Eighth Avenue near 57th Street and rises 44 stories above an original, 1928 building at its base.  The tower was completed in 2006 and was the first skyscraper to sprout in New York after 9-11 as well as the first to earn the distinction of LEED Gold Certification by the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.  Carefully considered, the Hearst Tower is a stirring symbol of resurgence, the pursuit of excellence, and social progress through innovation.  It is an unqualified success and is the work of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster. Continue reading


The Therapeutic Spiral

arkinetia_santiago_calatrava_torre_turning_torso_en_malm___suecia_qqqartid0000000105-img001_r681“in wildness is the preservation of the world.” –Henry David Thoreau

The spiral has been a popular motif in the arts for centuries but it resurges today as a result of a renewed awe of nature. The areas of fine art, industrial design, and architecture provide strong examples of this trend. A good jumping off point is Santiago Calatrava’s 54-story Turning Torso building erected in Malmø, Sweden.  Continue reading

Libeskind: An Architect Indeed

404px-daniel_libeskind1A verbose Daniel Libeskind spoke tonight at the Strand bookstore in New York to promote his new book Counterpoint.  The standing-room-only crowd was enamored of the charm, drive, and mostly canned wisdom that flooded the room in waves of anecdotes and rhetorical flourishes.  It was a good show, but odd that New Yorker critic Paul Goldberger didn’t attend as scheduled.  Libeskind bounced between many subjects and penetrating ideas, revealing the extraordinary agility of his mind, a penchant for music metaphors fired off in 16th notes, and a supernatural drive that is appropriate both to the profession and the city. Continue reading

Veritas: Then and Now

harvard_logoThe meaning of truth has changed since John Ruskin’s time.  Veritas, the Latin word for truth is the slogan of Harvard University and appears on its seal.  In Ruskin’s time, this seal spelled out the word Veritas across the images of three books, two of which faced outward while the third faced away form the viewer.  This very conscious graphic choice suggested that a part of truth remained unknowable to reason. Continue reading