The latest from Beach Week, our effort to send you to the shore in style this summer.
“We believe in the beauty of industry. The glory of manufacturing. We know there’s not just history in Detroit. There’s a future.” —from the Shinola website
“Detroit may be bankrupt, but if Shinola is any indication—and I think it is—the story of America’s great city’s revival has already begun.” —David Hershkovits, Paper
“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.” —Daniel Burnham
As we speak, the David Whitney Building (a 1915 architectural treasure constructed by Burnham’s firm) is being converted into a downtown Detroit boutique hotel. And Shinola, a two-year-old Detroit watch- and bicycle-making outfit, is settling into its shiny new flagships in the Motor City and NYC.
They were pillars of the modernist aesthetic (and sound) that’s been experiencing a renaissance lately—from the show Mad Men to that credenza your favorite Tumblr just posted a few minutes ago—Brubeck for creating a new offbeat-but-on-beat sound and Niemeyer for bending concrete into curvaceous monuments. And we’d like to take a moment to salute these visionaries who helped shape styles that still influence our lives to this day. Farewell, gentlemen—it’s been a good-looking run.
File this one under “cool things we saw on our iPad.” This beautiful white box is in the seventh issue of Edition29 Architecture, one of the more attractive programs on our tablet. If you’re ever driving through the outskirts of Valencia, you can check it out in person. In the meantime, we’ll stick with the electronic version.
The world of shoe designers is crowded enough without star architects trying to horn in on their racket. But that’s never stopped them before…
We just heard a rumor that Frank Gehry has whipped up a special shoe for the French cobblers at J. M. Weston. There’s no word on the whether they’ll be men’s or women’s, but since most of their stock is on the men’s side, we’d say the odds are with us. Of course, designing a brogue is quite a bit different from designing a museum, so there’s no telling what he’ll come up with.
Let’s just hope all the sharp angles are on the outside.
A good rule of thumb: any discipline that throws around the term “brutalism” isn’t something you want to traverse without a native guide.
So it’s nice to have an architecture prize let us know what’s happening. The Pritzker Prize is more or less the top honors, known within the industry as the Nobel Prize of architecture, and apparently it’s just been nabbed by a clever Swissman named Peter Zumthor.
Not bad, for a kid from Basel…
The internet is atwitter lately over one aspect of the Bond movies you might have overlooked: the architecture.
The UK *Guardian*’s in-house pontificator Steve Rose takes some time out from the usual culture warring to point out all the lovely hideouts the Bond villains have set up—usually with the help of an unnamed post-modern architect or two. It’s quite an education, even if most of those lovely concrete angles are in ruins by the end of the film.
As you may have noticed, things are a bit different in Japan. An American storefront means the usual hole in the wall—maybe one with a little history and exposed brick if you’re lucky. But apparently Japan has a little more flexibility on the retail end.
A.P.C. finally finished up their Kita-Aoyama store (with help from architecture firm Wonderwall), and it’s quite a sight. It’s less a store than an all-encompassing bungalow, with a touch of feudal-palace thrown in for good measure. It’s not quite as location-appropriate as their industrial-throwback Brooklyn outpost, but we know where we’d rather spend an afternoon. And if you want to pick up those pajamas in person, we can’t think of a better place to do it.
…and the desert boots keep coming.
This latest one is from the west coast (where, coincidentally, there are actual deserts), via Seavees, previously our source for summer-colored sneakers.
The model (named 12/62, after December 1962) takes its cues from something they call “Desert Modernism.” There are a handful of architectural influences, including the Coachella Valley’s Maslon House, but we’re just glad to see leather laces on something that’s not a boat shoe.
This one’s our favorite so far…but we imagine we’ll see a few more before the year’s through.
If it hadn’t been for a certain dapper Swiss genius named Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris—Le Corbusier to you—the likes of Richard Meier and would still be playing with Legos. Perhaps the very first starchitect—and way cooler than Frank Lloyd Wright—the dapper fellow in the bowtie and black specs masterminded the Modern movement and laid the foundation, literally and figuratively, for all avant-garde design to come.
The Phaidon Press has just come out with a $200, 20-lb., 2,000-image tribute to this towering talent, entitled *Le Courbusier: Le Grand*. In it you can see how came up with groundbreaking designs for everything from chairs to skyscrapers, dressed to the nines all the way.
It is an established rule that the farther Karl Lagerfeld ventures outside the stabilizing influence of Paris, the more troubled and chaotic he becomes. Driven mad by weight loss, he’s capable of anything, so when we heard he was headed to Dubai—which seems to occupy its own sphere of madness—we got very, very worried.
Apparently Big K has been contracted to build 80 homes on Dubai’s *Isla Moda*, a fashion-specific outcropping of The World, a man-made island. Each house will likely be decked out in Chanel-ery, fitting with Dubai’s ultra-luxe tendencies, but we can’t help but wonder why Karl got the nod.
Look deep into his eyes. Do you really want to buy a house from this man?
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