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The Stark Fist of Removal

Rem Koolhaas' CRONOCAOS at New Museum, Lower East Side, Manhattan– Architecture is monstrous in the way in which each choice leads to the reduction of possibility. —Rem Koolhaas May 2011: New York City is at its greige gritty best. It is springtime and the promise of a rain is unfulfilled as storm clouds scutter uselessly across a blue sky.  In the lower East Side, where the New Museum now occupies its splendid SANAA designed building of stacked white boxes, the word CRONOCAOS is lettered in white Helvetica Medium on a chrome yellow awning on the museum's homely neighbor, the site of a former wholesale business. The Helvetica poses as a kind of institutional graffiti, jaunty and cool in a "made ya look" way. The signage of the … [Read more...]

Bibliotecture

Seattle Central Library, USA, OMA / LMN – A Joint Venture Commissioned:1999 Completed: 2004 – From the Original Project Proposal 1999 At a moment when libraries are perceived to be under threat from a shrinking public realm on one side and digitization on the other, the Seattle Central Library creates a civic space for the circulation of knowledge in all media, and an innovative organizing system for an ever-growing physical collection – the Books Spiral. The library's various programs are intuitively arranged across five platforms and four flowing "in between" planes, which together dictate the building’s distinctive faceted shape, offering the city an inspiring building that is robust in both its elegance and its logic. … [Read more...]