A new southwestern mecca in Bisbee

April 1st, 2011

I last visited Bisbee, Arizona 15 years ago with my family. Then, it was almost empty. In the 1970s all of the copper and gold mines closed and the houses were available for $250. I assume hippies came there in the 70s and began to resettle away from the world. It’s about two hours away from [...]

FLW’s vision for the Arizona Capitol

March 31st, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright had a vision for the Arizona State capitol building, topped by a wonderful spire. It was never realized as a building, but, in the past few years, the city of Scottsdale built this wonderful spire in Wright’s honor, along with an associated shaded plaza. The plaza contains some of Heloise Crista’s sculptures [...]

St. Xavier Mission in Tucson

March 30th, 2011

Discovered by Jesuit missionaries from Spain in the late 1600s, St. Xavier Mission was first established as an outpost. The Jesuits were later kicked out and the Franciscans took their place. The mission is a wonderful relic of old Spanish Arizona. The site almost looks as I would imagine it in the 1600, with little [...]

Arcosonti

March 29th, 2011

Arcosonti is the desert encampment of Italian architect Paulo Soleri. Located about an hour outside of Phoenix, I have visited there just about every year for the past 2o years. Over that time, I’m sad to say I’ve seen very little progress on the vision that Soleri had for his self-sustaining community. Like Talliesin West, [...]

A visit to Taliesin West

March 28th, 2011

Taliesin West is the Arizona branch of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s school based in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Wright came to Arizona in 1937–while in his 60s–to establish this experiment in the desert to teach students about architecture. Wright’s students built Taliesin West. He wanted them to live in the open air to learn about building architecture [...]

Little details in Old Town Alexandria

January 26th, 2011

Keeping your eyes open can result in seeing the world afresh. It can allow you to see the subtle colors and textures present in the places you live or visits. In Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, if you look at the ground, you can see a series of paving that evolved over time: from stone to [...]

Modern architecture in Seoul

September 16th, 2010

Seoul is filled with modern structures and some very finely detailed buildings. Visiting a design district, we came upon the Hermes Museum, located appropriately in the basement of the Hermes building. At the entrance to the museum, one feels they are in a surreal forest, a la Alice in Wonderland. No actual products can be [...]

The opulent U.S. Capitol Visitors Center

September 6th, 2010

The U.S. Capitol Visitors Center opened a couple years ago at a cost of over $700 million to construct the entire sub-terranean space. It is an amazing space akin to the reception of the Louvre in Paris. It uses the same materials as the Old Capitol, which is constructed of polished Virginia sandstone, flame-cut (see [...]

Washington, D.C. Metro

September 6th, 2010

The Washington D.C. Metro stations were designed by Harry Weiss of Chicago with suburb graphics by Massimo Vignelli. Together, they are a powerful civic statement in the nation’s capital. They created a series of great civic spaces that owe their design to the ancient bath vaults of Ancient Rome. That said, the system has been [...]

A cathedral of learning

September 5th, 2010

The original Library of Congress was just that: a library for Congress. In 1814 the British used the small number of books in this library to begin the fire at the Capitol, which destroyed it largely. Later, when Thomas Jefferson was having major financial problems, he offered his large library of books to the Congress, [...]