Oculus - Winter 2015 - (Page 36)

in print Raves + Reviews the mysteries of the mall and Other essays By Witold Rybczynski This collection of essays written between the early 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s deserves our attention. Short, pithy, and insightful, the essays represent Rybczynski's observations on planning and design by category: how we live now, the state of cities, the state of buildings, the prospects and miseries of planning, and architects he admires and doesn't. The title essay, a discussion of the work of John Brinckerhoff Jackson, focuses on vernacular spaces that are routinely used but don't receive much design attention or scrutiny (e.g., food courts). The author also ruminates on how small buildings (such as houses for parents) may have disproportionate effects on a young architect's reputation, but be a poor predictor of one's ability to handle more complicated projects. Rybczynski admires balanced design that blends a strong image with good functional design and quality. In this age of excess, the Vitruvian virtues are still his core beliefs. Although this collection has a few observations I do not share, we could all benefit from spending some time with this book. the dakota: a history of the World's Best-known apartment Building By Andrew Halpern, with contributions by Christopher S. Gray and photographs by Kenneth C. Grant The Dakota was the first true luxury apartment house in New York, and even after 130 years it is among the most desirable places to live. Alpern's narrative explains how the Dakota came to be, who made it happen, how it evolved from earlier multi-dwelling types, its role in the evolution of the Upper West Side, and its influence on the development of middle-class and luxury housing types. The first true New York apartment house that was not a tenement was the Stuyvesant House of 1869, designed by Richard Morris Hunt. This prototype had clearly defined living spaces separated from servant spaces. During the 1870s, developers and architects experimented with this new type of socially acceptable dwelling unit for the upper middle class. r eviews BY s tA n LeY s tAr K, fAiA Edward Clark, an attorney and later a partner with Isaac Merritt Singer in his sewing machine enterprise, developed the Dakota on Central Park West between 72nd and 73rd Streets, creating an essential element that has propelled New York's real estate market ever since - the luxury apartment house. His architect, Henry J. Hardenbergh, had previously worked with Clark on the Van Corlear apartment house on 7th Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets, whose features would be further developed in the Dakota. Constructed between 1880 and 1884, the 10-story Dakota, a hollow square arranged around a courtyard, was designed in the German Renaissance style and infused with a palatial level of luxury. The book is filled with plans, photos, original documents, early reports and reviews, and photo spreads of some of the most notable residents. Its sumptuousness complements its subject. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. 336 pp. $27 New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2015. 224 pp. $55 Noted but Not Reviewed architecture from the Outside in: selected essays by robert Gutman Edited by Dana Cuff and John Wreidt Sociologist Robert Gutman was one of the first social scientists to examine architecture as a discipline, a practice, and an enterprise as a social system. He holds up a mirror we should all deeply look into. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. 344 pp. $40 designed for the future: 80 Practical ideas for a sustainable World By Jared Green This is a brainstorming session in book form, full of useful and stimulating ideas. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2015. 176 pp. $24.95 hypernatural: architecture's new relationship with nature By Blaine Brownell and Mark Swackhamer Forty-two case studies of the biomimicry design movement, design methods, materials, and built results. Stanley Stark, FAIA, served as chair of the Oculus Committee from 2005 to 2007. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2015. 176pp. $24.95 36 Oculus Winter 2015 Reinventing Architecture: Design in a Digital World

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2015

First Words Letter from Two Presidents
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Practical Attitudes
ICE in the River: Cornell Tech’s Center of Connectivity
Restoring – At Least Virtually – One of England’s Greatest Lost Buildings
At the Corner of Past and Present
The Design-Fabrication Dynamic
How Big Data is Reshaping Architecture
Architecture at the Digital Edge
3D for the Defense
Thinking Beyond the Flat Page
In Print
51-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Winter 2015