Jacobs still knows what’s best for city life

Why are the rich flocking back into cities all over the world? Convenience has a lot of appeal, specifically, the freedom to walk to a destination and avoid the tyranny of fighting for a parking space. It should come as no surprise that urban theorist Jane...

“Outraged” gave voice to architectural debate

Sixty years after British architectural critic Ian Nairn expressed “Outrage,”  that post WWII English cities had lost their identities to look-alike architecture, the debate continues — and  the BBC is asking citizens to report — was Nairn...

Iconic sea level architecture: risky vs. sensible

With last week’s news confirming that sea levels are rising at a faster rate than predicted, shouldn’t new buildings be moved to higher elevations?  Notably, many new “iconic” structures  built in coastal cities are going up, but not on the uplands. Some cities are...

Defining “iconic,” why it matters

Rowen Moore and I are activists on a mission to stop the spread of the term “iconic” in architecture. Moore, The Guardian’s architectural critic, opened his review of “Walkie Talkie” (20 Frenchchurch Street, London) with this plea, “When, for the love of God, will the...

St. Louis’s infamous iconic landmark: Pruitt-Igoe

When I was researching Modernist architecture for my Master’s thesis, the name Pruitt-Igoe was often cited as the symbol of the Modernist’s Movement’s greatest failure. Completed in 1956, the architect, Minoru Yamasaki’s government subsidized complex of 33 buildings...