Renzo Piano

Beautiful Posters Celebrate Museum Architecture Around the World

We may go to museums to see art, but how often do we stop to appreciate the beauty of the buildings that house these works? In the series of posters below, illustrator André Chiote reminds us that many of the world’s great museums are also architectural marvels, celebrating everything from Zaha Hadid’s Riverside Museum to Oscar Niemeyer’s Whitney. Click through for some of our favorite posters from the collection, which we discovered via Fubiz, and visit Chiote’s website to see more of his work. … Read More

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A Survey of Awesome Aquarium Architecture

As science fiction author and prophet of the space age Arthur C. Clarke once said, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Society’s stewardship of all things aquatic comes in the form of an exceedingly fascinating, niche building typology: the aquarium. After seeing the first photos of an absolutely stunning design in Copenhagen inspired by a swirling whirlpool, we wanted to explore what other wondrous, underwater experiences await around the world. From the largest aquarium in Europe to Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid’s breathtaking proposal inspired by a starfish, click through to check out some of the most awe-inspiring aquariums of today, including three in progress projects to get you excited about what’s in store for the future of maritime design. … Read More

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Spectacular Hotels Designed by Famous Architects

When Frank Lloyd Wright said that “a great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart,” surely he was alluding to the fact that travel and exploration are important aspects of any designer’s process. Seriously, what better way to feed your soul and get the creative juices flowing than a fabulous get-away in an inspiring and culturally significant hotel?

A testament to the splendor of heart-driven design, we’ve married two of our favorite things – extraordinary hotels and stunning architecture – to bring you our guide to the most architecturally significant hotels in the world. From Frank Gehry’s iridescent design set against a medieval backdrop in Spain’s Rioja wine region to a recently renovated mid-century icon by John Lautner to Renzo Piano’s whimsical update of an old Fiat factory in Italy, click through to check out these visionary and inspiring designs. Let us know in the comments which one you’ll be booking for your next creative crusade! … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Apparently Amy Winehouse’s father was unhappy with Jean Paul Gaultier’s catwalk tribute to the late singer, which took place last night in Paris. “We’re proud of her influence on fashion but find black veils on models, smoking cigarettes with a barbershop quartet singing her music in bad taste,” he reportedly told The Sun. “It… Read More

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The World’s Most Eye-Catching Modern Museums

With the rise of starchitect culture in recent decades, there has been a subsequent rise in the number of museums designed by celebrity architects. (It was believed that if a big name was behind a building, it would attract more attention, and in turn, visitors. Makes sense.) Click through to check out 10 of the most eye-catching modern museums on the planet — including a few that are still currently in progress — and we think you’ll see why it works. … Read More

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Horses, Dogs, and Psychopaths: Maurizio Cattelan in Houston

Controversial Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is infamous for his sculptural portrayals of Pope John Paul II being felled by a meteorite and a childlike Hitler kneeling and praying, as well as a performance piece at the Museum of Modern Art, where he had an actor don a giant Picasso head and engage visitors. Although it’s been seven years since the 50-year-old Pop-conceptualist has had a solo show in America, Cattelan has been busy in Europe, as witnessed by the survey show of recent works at the Menil Collection in Houston. Integrated by the artist into the museum’s collection of medieval and modernist works, the show presents a dialogue between the present and the past that ironically comments on religion, politics, and art history. … Read More

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“King Kongs” of Architecture?

Despite the clunky moniker, we read with interest as The Independent UK rattled off the seven — count ’em, seven — relevant starchitects in the world, constrasting them with commercial building firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. SOM is a workhorse firm (established in 1936) that has put up major projects from Dubai to Beijing including five of the ten tallest buildings in the world — in other words, America’s first “super practice.” What SOM hasn’t hammered down is the je ne sais quoi of its flashier architectural contemporaries. A primer on the heavy hitters after the… Read More

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More Than Just a Pokerface: Lady Gaga as Architectural Cipher

“I don’t feel like I look like the other perfect little pop singers. I think I’m changing what people think is sexy.” Immortal words from Lady Gaga, 2009’s poster child for avant-garde pop and the Ambassador of No Pants Land. Surrounded by a latex-clad coterie nicknamed Haus of Gaga (loosely modeled after Warhol’s Factory), Gaga’s remarkable wardrobe is like architecture from outer space. So what cutting-edge designers and architects might the Lady be referencing? Our speculations after the… Read More

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DFW’s Speech, Kevin Smith’s Rant, & 9 to 5’s Total Domination [Morning Links]

Books: David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address [via NYT]
Dance/Opera:  Tune in for Bach, get sports scores? [via The Awl]
Design: Great battles in architecture [via Guardian]
Film: Why Kevin Smith’s Superman movie went bye bye [via Boing Boing]
Music: An NYU alum we’ll claim — Nyle,… Read More

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Great Critics Help Us Get Inside the Eye Candy

Every so often, one of our friends will turn to us and say something like “I really don’t know anything about architecture…but I like that building.”

To which we develop critical apoplexy and argue, as we have in various forms since at age twelve discovering the ineffable thrill of good architecture on a summer trip to Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp that no one should ever have to know anything about architecture in order to like — or dislike — a building. Anyone can be a critic. But what makes a good critic? … Read More

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