Video: Robert A.M. Stern on Designing Background Buildings and The Limestone Jesus

“We have lots of silly buildings being built, in my opinion. The buildings should not look like Lady Gaga,” stated Robert A.M. Stern in the latest installment by the Louisiana Channel.

Fifteen Central Park West, what many know to be the “world’s most powerful address,” was designed by Stern with one intention: to fill in the wall of Central Park West with a single, well articulated “background building” rather than a “twisting and turning isolated” structure. As Stern describes in the video above, the building, known as the “ Jesus,” is praised in the real estate world for it’s high-priced apartments.

“Almost every building that is new has a built-in history. We are architects that build on the shoulders of the past. I think is is much more exciting to enter into a dialogue with the past and also to take things from the past and restudy them, their theme and variation. Architecture is made up of many languages in my view and if we have a modern language that is evolved but it doesn’t mean that the other languages can’t also continue to be spoken.”

Robert A.M. Stern Reportedly Set to Retire from Yale in 2016

After serving as dean at the for nearly two decades, Robert A.M. Stern is reportedly stepping down. According to Yale Daily News, faculty and administrative staff members have indicated that Stern will be retiring when his term as dean concludes in Spring 2016. “[Stern] took [the school] from a place where people were not paying attention to it many years ago — he has brought incredible international attention to the school,” Professor Michelle Addington stated in regards to Stern’s widespread influence as dean. “He has given me the opportunity to rethink my subject, and that doesn’t happen at too many places.” More information, here.

Robert A.M. Stern Remembers Charles Moore

Moore House, Orinda, California, 1962. Image Courtesy of Morley Baer

Robert A.M. Stern, founder of his eponymous firm and dean of the Yale School of Architecture, remembers his colleague and friend Charles Moore in this article originally published by Metropolis Magazine. Stern writes about the details most would never know — including what it was like to be a guest in Moore’s home and his eating habits. Read on to learn about and their relationship over the years and Stern’s admiration for Moore.

As an architecture student at Yale editing Perspecta 9/10, I first met by telephone and through correspondence. I had come across his amazing early projects in the Italian magazine Casabella, and was intrigued by what I read about him and his partners — especially in a provocative essay by Donlyn Lyndon. I got in touch with Charles and he volunteered that he was interested in writing about Disneyland for the journal, leading to the publication of his justifiably famous article, “You Have to Pay for the Public Life,” as well as a portfolio of projects by his firm Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, Whitaker.

Happy Birthday Robert A.M. Stern

Robert A.M. Stern, founder of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, is turning 75 today. Stern is a self-proclaimed modern traditionalist – and no, in his eyes, that is not an oxymoron. When asked about the seeming contradiction in a PBS documentary, he replies by musing, “Can one speak the local languages of architecture in a fresh way?” Unlike most, Stern sits on the fence between modernists and traditionalists. His work at both his firm and the Yale School of Architecture reflect his desire to connect these two polarized worlds. For more on Stern, continue reading after the break.

Robert A. M. Stern Advocates the Return of the Garden Suburb

Disney-backed garden suburb, Celebration, Fla.. Image Courtesy of via NYT

The modern suburb has become an unruly sprawl, homogenous in style and over-dependent on the automobile. However, according to Robert A. M. Stern‘s new Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City,” there is a superior alternative for suburban development that could attract millennials and preserve quality of life in terms of health, economic savings, and physical safety: the centrally planned, pedestrian-friendly garden suburb. You can learn more about Stern’s 1,072 page manifesto on the garden suburb in this article by the New York Times.

Robert A.M. Stern on His Latest Publication: The “Definitive Text” on Suburbia

Jardim América, 1911–29, Brazil. Developed on 260 acres of land on São Paulo’s southern and western outskirts, the neighborhood remains highly desirable. Image Courtesy of Monacelli Press/ Architects

In this interview, originally published in Metropolis Magazine as “The Charms of Suburbia“, Martin Pedersen interviews Robert A.M. Stern about his new book, “Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City“. Pedersen’s interview delves into the history behind the Garden Suburb – a typology that is distinct from the stereotype of suburban sprawl.

Robert A.M. Stern is nothing if not counterintuitive. How else do you explain—in an increasingly digital and urban-centric world—his recently released book, a 1,072-page tome, containing more than 3,000 images, on the history of the garden suburb? Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City (the Monacelli Press, 2013) was written with longtime, in-house collaborators David Fishman and Jacob Tilove, who also worked with Stern on the fifth volume of  the architect’s epic New York series. 

Paradise Planned is similarly expansive. “The book grew like Topsy,” Stern says. “We’d think we had all the examples down, and a new one would pop up. So it just got bigger and bigger. And I thought: if we’re going to do this book, we really ought to do it as the definitive text. Now, it’s not forever text. People will always be adding things. But this is a pretty comprehensive view.” I recently talked to Stern about his new book, the folly of “landscape urbanism,” and the lessons learned from the garden suburb.

Read on for the rest of the interview

Robert A.M. Stern: Old-Fashioned yet Unfazed

Robert A.M Stern. Image

In the mutable world of architecture it’s easy to get distracted by the trendy new thing, be it the tallest tower or the “blobbiest” form. Robert A. M. Stern (Dean of the and a practicing architect in his own right), on the other hand, remains purposefully old-fashioned (to the point of becoming obsolete). In an exquisitely written article for the New York MagazineJustin Davidson reports that, despite the mockery of his colleagues, Stern seems unfazed. If his architecture has the power to inspire, he says, then he’s done his job. Read the full must-see article here. 

The Glass House: “Conversations in Context”

The Glass House just concluded their second annual Conversations in Context, which presents visitors with the opportunity to join in a weekly evening tour and intimate conversation with industry leaders, including Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, and more.

Since the 1940s, The Glass House has served as a place of inspiration, education and conversation across creative disciplines. Its 49-acre landscape, 14 architectural structures and world-class art collection continue to draw members of an international creative community to participate in its rich story. Conversations in Context continues Philip Johnson’s legacy of using the Glass House as a place to conduct ongoing seminars with architecture students and present emerging and established architects the opportunity to discuss the current state of the industry.

The video above features Architect, critic, and historian Kenneth Frampton, along with Dean Mark Wigley from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Follow us after the break for a few of our favorite conversations from this year’s series.

Venice Biennale 2012: The International Jury has been Named

American architect Robert Stern, Dutch architect and Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue will join BBC creative director Alan Yentob and German journalist and curator Kristin Feireiss as members of the international jury for the 2012 Venice Biennale. The decision was made by the Board of Directors, chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon the recommendation of Director David Chipperfield.

The international jury will nominate the President of the Jury at the first meeting. Together, they will select the winners of the Golden Lion for best national participation, the Golden Lion for best project in the international exhibition and the Silver Lion for a promising young architect in the international exhibition.

Continue after the break to review more information on each jury member.

Architect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the Past

Watch Profile of Robert A.M. Stern on . See more from Architect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the Past.

PBS producer and host Geoffrey Baer tells the story of Robert A.M. Stern – a Brooklyn boy who grew up to be self-proclaimed Modern traditionalist architect who has not only significantly impacted the streets of Manhattan but the architectural profession as a whole. Many of his close friends and colleagues describe “Bob” as an intelligent, witty, sarcastic provocateur who is warm, giving person that is always an architect first. Stern has also greatly influenced the profession with his many publications. He believes writing gives architects the opportunity to contribute by describing and explaining the principals behind ones ideas. When referring to his passion for writing, Stern comments, “What would I do on Saturday? I don’t play golf.”

Be sure to check out the complete documentary here on the PBS website and learn about Stern’s influence on transforming a seedy version of New York’s beloved 42nd street into the glamorous place it is today.

Architecture City Guide: Atlanta

This week the Architecture City Guide series heads south to warm up a bit, featuring . We’re looking forward to hearing from you, what are your can’t miss buildings? Add them to the comment section below.

Follow the break for our Atlanta list and a corresponding map!

Driehaus Prize / Robert A.M. Stern

2011 Driehaus Winner

We’re always excited to bring you news on the latest awarded architects for their contemporary achievements and advancement of the field – whether it be our coverage of the Pritzker, AIA Honor Awards, or the Aga Khan awards, to name a few.   Yet, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize is one prize that recognizes architects whose work embraces the ideas and theories of the past.  Specifically, the prize is bestowed upon those who work  ”embodies the principals of traditional and classical architecture and urbanism in contemporary society.”   Robert A. M. Stern, dean of and principal of his firm, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Driehaus Prize for his commitment to incorporating classical theories into his projects of all scales.  According to Stern, the firm is grounded in the belief of “…continuity of tradition and strive in our work to create order out of the often chaotic present by entering into a dialogue with the past and with the spirit of the places in which we build.”

More about the award after the break.