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 , 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.