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Anthony Paletta

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A Look at Pierre Chareau, the Mysterious Man Behind the Maison de Verre

09:30 - 11 February, 2017
A Look at Pierre Chareau, the Mysterious Man Behind the Maison de Verre, Pierre Chareau (French, 1883-1950) and Bernard Bijvoet (Dutch, 1889-1979), Maison de Verre, 1928-1932. Image © Mark Lyon
Pierre Chareau (French, 1883-1950) and Bernard Bijvoet (Dutch, 1889-1979), Maison de Verre, 1928-1932. Image © Mark Lyon

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "New Retrospective Glimpses the Man Behind the Maison de Verre."

Pierre Chareau was an architect whose buildings have almost all been demolished; an interior designer whose designs have all been remodeled; and a film set designer whose films you cannot see. These are not the most auspicious circumstances on which to mount a retrospective, but an ongoing exhibition at the Jewish Museum, imaginatively designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), attempts it nonetheless.

Chareau, who is best known for his one surviving building, the Maison de Verre in Paris, defies neat classification. Without any sort of architectural training, he worked briefly as a furniture designer for a British firm then struck out on his own, creating an idiosyncratic corpus of furniture, interior designs for life and cinema, and even several homes.

The second-floor balcony of the house that Pierre Chareau designed for Robert Motherwell in East Hampton, New York, 1947. Image Courtesy of Miguel Saco Furniture and Restoration, Inc., New York Table and bookcase (MB960), c. 1930, designed by Pierre Chareau, walnut and black patinated wrought iron. Image © Ken Collins, image provided by Gallery Vallois America, LLC An installation view of the exhibition Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design. The exhibition design was executed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image Courtesy of Will Ragozzino/SocialShutterbug.com Pierre Chareau, Office, 1924, pochoir print; 8 13/16 x 10 x 7/16 in. Private Collection. Image © John Blazejewski, Marquand Library, Princeton University + 11

The High Line's Final Chapter is Complete; But Don't Close the Book Just Yet

00:00 - 6 October, 2014
The High Line's Final Chapter is Complete; But Don't Close the Book Just Yet, View looking west along one of the Rail Track Walks. Image © Iwan Baan, 2014 (Section 3)
View looking west along one of the Rail Track Walks. Image © Iwan Baan, 2014 (Section 3)

With the opening of the final section of New York's High Line last month, the city can finally take stock on an urban transformation that took a decade and a half from idea to reality - and which in the five years since the first section opened has become one of the great phenomena of 21st century urban planning, inspiring copycat proposals in cities around the globe. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The High Line's Last Section Plays Up Its Rugged Past," Anthony Paletta reviews the new final piece to the puzzle, and examines what this landmark project has meant for Manhattan's West Side.

The promise of any urban railroad, however dark or congested its start, is the eventual release onto the open frontier, the prospect that those buried tracks could, in time, take you anywhere. For those of us whose only timetable is our walking pace, this is the experience of the newly opened, final phase of the High Line. The park, after snaking in its two initial stages through some 20 dense blocks of Manhattan, widens into a broad promenade that terminates in an epic vista of the Hudson. It’s a grand coda and a satisfying finish to one of the most ambitious park designs in recent memory.