Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I.M. Pei’s Islamic Art Museum

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The Islamic Art Museum was commissioned to I.M. Pei by the Emir of Qatar. Construction finished in 2006, and the museum opened to the public in December, 2008.

The museum is one of Pei’s best projects after the Louvre renovation and the pyramid.

The geometric patterns of islamic patterns fit so perfectly I.M. Pei’s general motif and his structural design for this museum. The patterns, used sparingly in the modern crisp building, are quite elegant. When one comes into the interior, one is confronted with the backside of a grand staircase, which is quite sculptural. Beyond that on center is the Doha skyline “living room,” which frames the new downtown tower district and allows visitors to have a cup of tea and enjoy the space.

Within the lobby is a five-story space that a large circular chandelier and the dome at the center–quite beautiful. The cafe is also beautiful and has a wonderful yellow-tinted glass, as does the new fifth floor restaurant, which is visible from below (but not yet open). The galleries are on floors 1-3. Of course above the ground floor level are wonderfully detailed spaces filled with wood, granite, and metal that form the backdrop for the art exhibits.

The gallery is designed to be quite flexible to allow for changeability of tables and casework. The exhibit designer detailed the casework to fit into the architecture and assist with clean flow from one gallery to the other. The design allows visitors to cleanse their pallette before encountering the new gallery. The galleries are kept at a low light level and the lighting is very tightly integrated into the spaces and each and every artifact.

Great clients make it all worth it

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Despite how exhausting it becomes, I enjoy traveling to China. I visited seven times this year, and am now finishing my first trip of 2012. Our clients there continue to give us incredible opportunities for which we are extremely grateful. (See one of our completed projects–Fish in the Garden in Guangzhou–here.)

I’ve enjoyed spending time with these people as you can see from these rare photos I’m posting of myself and our client in Fuzhou.

Culinary Adventures

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

I’m not one to take pictures of my meals, but, after several sittings during which the food didn’t end up treating me well, I have to share this impressive meal I had with some colleagues in Shanghai.

The tofu topped with scallops and a bit of sauce was beautiful and quite yummy. Dessert was carefully cut fruit slices.

This restaurant certainly knew the importance of good culinary presentation.

I guess the old adage is true: “The eye eats first.”

As a bonus, I’ve also attached a picture of a cup of coffee I enjoyed. See the dragon?

Steven Colbert speaks with architecture critic Paul Goldberger

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I enjoyed watching this interview of New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger by Steven Colbert of the Colbert Report. He spoke with him about his new book ‘Why Architecture Matters.’

Colbert is one of the finest interviewers on TV today. Although he usually focuses on lampooning politicians, he can insert himself into really any niche and draw the most insightful comments out of his subjects.

After a brief laugh, Colbert asks Goldberger what he means when he says architecture can influence us and our aspirations. Our homes, for example, can inspire us.

I think Goldberger could have provided a better example of how architecture can control our actions. Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, made the ceiling low in the foyer area of his homes so people wouldn’t congregate there, and would be drawn into the main part of the house.

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Paul Goldberger
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