Each edition of CLOG poses a particular challenge to the reader: by showcasing such a variety of distinct view points, teasing out the central, connective themes is far from an easy task. It requires analysis, thought, and most of all time - which is, of course, entirely the point. CLOG seeks to “slow things down” so that the greater issues of architectural discourse are mulled over and explored.
The latest CLOG, however, Unpublished, has two central points that quickly, easily emerge. Pick up CLOG: Unpublished if you want to learn two things: (1) about how and why certain publications choose the architecture they publish (ArchDaily included); or (2) about works that have, for their geographical location or problematic nature, been forgotten from the “idealized narratives” of architecture
The relationship between what is published and what is forgotten is one that is intimately connected--and highly relevant to us at ArchDaily. When we emerged, architectural publications had been operating under a particular bias for years. CLOG:Unpublished cleverly displays this bias through a graphic representation of Architectural Record covers since 1964.
As the CLOG editors say: “examining the cover projects that have appeared on the oldest architectural periodical in the United States provides a telling indication of which projects, locations, typologies, and architects have been front and center over the years and, by extension, who and what has historically been less celebrated, and in some cases entirely absent.“
The results aren’t terribly shocking (although, perhaps, they should be). New York leads the city category, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago; when it comes to countries, the USA extends leaps and bounds ahead of its runner-up: Japan. Filling out the top six most represented countries are Germany, France, Canada and the UK. IM Pei, Gehry, and Herzog de Mueron are the most prevalent Pritzker winning architects to grace Architectural Record’s covers; however, rather surprisingly, neither Oscar Niemeyer, Kenzo Tange, Souta de Moura, nor Wang Shu have ever been given the honor.
This is entirely why ArchDaily began to publish: to break the mold of traditional architecture media and shine a light on projects from every corner of the world, putting well-known names side by side with emerging unknowns, impressive luxury houses next to small public-interest design projects. Today, most architectural publications strive to do the same. The essays written by the editors of Architect’s Newspaper, Mark Magazine, Blueprint Magazine, arcspace.com, and - of course - us at ArchDaily - all emphasize this shift in focus.
The interviews at the end of CLOG: Unpublished further crystallize this change in priorities, emphasizing how critics have - more than ever - begun to analyze architecture and assess it in terms of its context and social good. The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman expresses this clearly: “my agenda is to broaden the conversation and to reintroduce to architecture social factors that I think had traditionally always been a part of the conversation” (110). New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson emphasizes that, for him, a building must address a certain important issue or at least relay a story for it to be newsworthy. Paul Goldberger echoes the sentiment, saying “Think - before you try to get something published - of its relevance to a broader world” (115).
Architectural Record’s Cathleen McGuigan, beyond offering some sage advice (“invest in photography” - we second that motion, by the way), explains this shift in plainest terms: “I think we’re all getting a little less interested in object buildings. Among the things we try to do now more than we used to is to publish pictures with people in them. As I always say (jokingly) when I’m speaking to a group, if you put a dog in a picture, you’ll definitely get your project in Architectural Record!”
Of course, just as important as what editors choose to publish is precisely what they don’t publish, the projects that - for one reason or another - have been “left out of the conversation” (5).
In the words of Emilia Terragni, an editor for Phaidon who worked to compile the works in their 20th Century World Architecture: “Of course, you start with the classics—the Le Corbusiers, the Mies van der Rohes, even the Post-Modernists. The challenge comes when researching the forgotten masterpieces, the remote regional icons, or unknown marvels” (35). Many of CLOG: Unpublished’s essays seek to reclaim these “forgotten” projects - those ignored due to their geographical location, or for representing (often awkward) in-between phases of an architect’s development, or for just “complicat[ing] the discourse.”
Professor Dietrich Neumann, for example, describes an early work of Mies Van der Rohe: House Ryder. He explains what makes this architectural oddity, this “missing link,” worth remembering:
“What makes it interesting is not its architectural quality but its ability to complicate the discourse. Biographers are easily lured into idealized narrativeswhere one masterpiece follows another, with little room for mediocrity, half-hearted efforts, or failures. Mies’s path towards his key role in twentieth century architecture was not as straight and purposeful—nor as solitary—as is generally assumed” (57).
For her part, Terragni chooses to highlight the Dahinden Church in Uganda, a “forgotten masterpiece” that illustrates the marvelous exportation of ideas and geographical exchanges that played a major role in 20th century design. Keith Eggener writes about Louis Curtiss, and architect who worked in Kansas City and, as a result, never entered the canon of American architectural history. John Cantwell discusses the Temporary Temple constructed for the Burning Man Festival; Eric Jenkins examines an unusual office building in which the corner office is an elevator (with all the odd implications for the distribution of power structure that that implies).
What all of these projects reveal is the tenuousness of architecture: how strongly location, context, or political/economic forces play in the remembrance, forgetting, or removal of a building. This becomes even clearer in Danny Willis’ article on the Núñez-Galvez Tomb (1957) in Cuba, which, due to political reasons, was never finished and sits in ruin, like many Modernist buildings in Cuba. However, it is precisely its unfinished character that makes it so interesting. To quote J. Brantley Hightower in his article on the Muskogee Building of Memphis, “The perfect acts of architecture that were published and placed within the pantheon of twentieth century design are compelling, but many are also naive. Far more persuasive are the scarred survivors that more accurately reflect the inherent messiness of the real world.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 PUBLISHED TO DEATH
12 WARNING: THE WORD “NOT” APPEARS TEN TIMES IN THIS PIECE
14 MAKING KNOWLEDGE AVAILABLE TO THE ARCHITECTURAL WORLD
16 TO BE OR NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
18 THE SURFACE OF BORROMINI
20 THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD
22 THE SCALE OF THE CRETTO
24 MISSING LINK: BEAUX-ARTS TO SKYSCRAPER CITY
26 SEA RANCH CHAPEL
28 50 YEARS OF ARCHITECTURAL RECORD COVERS: BY LOCATION
32 50 YEARS OF ARCHITECTURAL RECORD COVERS: U.S. VS. INTERNATIONAL
34 DAHINDEN CHURCH IN UGANDA
36 SELJAVALLALAUG, A SWIMMING POOL IN SOUTH ICELAND
38 LOUIS CURTISS AND THE BOLEY BUILDING40 THOUGHTS ON PICKING AND CHOOSING
42 DIME STORE ATMOSPHERICS44 NÚÑEZ-GÁLVEZ TOMB (1957)
46 THE MUSKOGEE BUILDING OF MEMPHIS
48 PRESERVING IGNORANCE
50 ERASING THE EDMISTON WING
52 50 YEARS OF ARCHITECTURAL RECORD COVERS: PRITZKER PRIZE WINNERS
54 PAY TO PLAY
56 HOUSE RYDER, WIESBADEN: LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE, 1923
58 HEADQUARTERS PRADA USA (AKA PRADA PIANO FACTORY)
60 SILO, MEMORY AS THEATER
62 50 YEARS OF ARCHITECTURAL RECORD COVERS: BY BUILDING TYPE
64 A DISTANT ARCHITECTURE
66 CITY OF LEISURE
68 BOILING NUCLEAR SUPERHEATER REACTOR
70 THE TEMPORARY TEMPLE
72 A MACHINE FOR GOING
74 TOO MUCH STUFF
76 THE CORNER OFFICE IN THE BATA SHOE COMPANY’S SYMBOLIC UNIVERSE
78 THE REMARKABLE DIVERSITY OF ROMAN ARCHITECTURE
80 CONSECRATED COMMUNITY: THE INDIAN FIELDS METHODIST CAMP GROUND
82 TOWARDS AN INELOQUENT ARCHITECTURE
84 BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
86 NON-AESTHETIC CONTEXTUALISM
88 AN ICON BUILDING IN A HISTORIC CONTEXT: THE TELFAIR MUSEUM OF ART
90 MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH
92 REVISING PEDREGULHO. A PARABLE OF LONGFORM
96 ENDANGERED ARCHITECTURE: NYBERG’S LANDSARKIVET
98 THE MINOR TONALITY OF ARANTZAZU
102 EXERCISES IN POP: THE VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE104 FOOL’S GOLD
106 FROM ABU DHABI TO THE WORLD
108 A BUILDING WITH A THOUSAND ARSEHOLES
110 INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL KIMMELMAN
112 INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN DAVIDSON
114 INTERVIEW WITH PAUL GOLDBERGER
116 INTERVIEW WITH CATHLEEN MCGUIGAN
118 INTERVIEW WITH SUZANNE STEPHENS