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Michael Kimmelman: The Latest Architecture and News

Michael Kimmelman Wins 2014 Brendan Gill Prize

00:00 - 11 March, 2014
Michael Kimmelman Wins 2014 Brendan Gill Prize, Penn Station, Re-Imagined. Image Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Penn Station, Re-Imagined. Image Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York has announced New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman as winner of the 2014 Brendan Gill Prize, a cash award presented annually to the creator of a specific work that “best captures the spirit and energy of New York City.” Kimmelman is being recognized, as President Vin Cipolla described, for his “insightful candor and continuous scrutiny of New York’s architectural environment” that is “journalism at its finest.” See why they singled out his coverage on the challenges of Penn Station, here.

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Design Ice Rink for NYC

00:00 - 26 October, 2013
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Design Ice Rink for NYC, Courtesy of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects / Dbox
Courtesy of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects / Dbox

After sitting derelict for years, the Kate Wollman Memorial Rink in Brooklyn's Prospect Park is poised for something of a rebirth. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's plans for a sports complex, known as Lakeside, is expected to restore the rink's role as the park's chief attraction. Michael Kimmelman recently stopped by the site to explore the project as it nears completion - click here to read his thoughts on what he calls one of the last "parting gifts of the Bloomberg era to the city."

Could Libraries Offer More in the Aftermath of Storms?

00:00 - 18 October, 2013
Could Libraries Offer More in the Aftermath of Storms?, Hurricane Sandy Aftermath. Image © Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath. Image © Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen

Zadie Smith recently suggested that libraries are “the only thing left on the high street that doesn’t want either your soul or your wallet." Michael Kimmelman has put forward the argument in the New York Times that local libraries could be far more important than we think in the aftermath of large storms, suggesting that "places that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes" by fostering congregational activity and offering well-needed warmth, power and friendly faces. You can read the full article here.

Kimmelman Drafts To-Do List for Next NYC Mayor

00:00 - 18 October, 2013
Kimmelman Drafts To-Do List for Next NYC Mayor, © Richard Perry/The New York Times, via "Building a Better City"
© Richard Perry/The New York Times, via "Building a Better City"

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year reign has left an undeniable impression on the built environment, which transformed “whole swaths of the city” but also made it “increasingly unaffordable to many.” According to architectural critic Michael Kimmelman, “The next mayor can keep architecture and planning front and center or risk taking the city backward.” Understanding that “the social welfare of all cities is inextricable from their physical fabric,” Kimmelman has laid out a comprehensive, mayoral “to-do list” to “building a better city.” Read it here on the New York Times.

Foster Responds to Kimmelman’s “Offensive” Diatribe Regarding the New York Public Library

00:00 - 6 February, 2013
The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg.. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg.. Used under Creative Commons

When applying “major surgery” to a beloved, 20th century “masterpiece”, you’re going to face some harsh criticism. Such is the case for Norman Foster, as the legendary British architect has been receiving intense backlash from New York’s toughest critics for his proposed renovation to the New York Public Library. First, the late Ada Louise Huxtable exclaimed, “You don’t “update” a masterpiece.” Now, the New York Time’s architecture critic Michael Kimmelman claims the design is “not worthy” of Foster and believes the rising budget to be suspect.

More on Kimmelman's critique and Foster’s response after the break...

Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman's proposal to save Prentice Women’s Hospital

15:00 - 24 October, 2012
Image courtesy of Studio Gang Architects; Illustration, Jay Hoffman
Image courtesy of Studio Gang Architects; Illustration, Jay Hoffman

The preservation battle continues over the fate of Bertrand Goldberg’s 1970’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital. As we reported in July, an ever-growing community of prominent architects – such as Frank Gehry, Jeanne Gang, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien – have joined preservationists in the fight to save the late modernist structure that is at risk of being replaced by a new biomedical research facility for Northwestern University.

The seven-story concrete cloverleaf, cantilevered 45 feet from the supporting core and floating atop a glass and steel box, is an engineering feat ahead of it’s time as well as an important icon within the Chicago skyline. As architecture critic Michael Kimmelman argues, “Great late-Modernist buildings, innovative and ruggedly beautiful, deserve respect and, increasingly, careful custody. Prentice is a good example.” However, it is not suited for 21st-century research labs and many Chicagoans hate it. Currently, Northwestern University is leading the debate by arguing that a new building would “bring to the city millions of investment dollars, create jobs and save lives”.

Could there be a compromise? Solutions are rarely black-and-white. Kimmelman has consulted Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to envision a proposal that would satisfy both opposing sides. Continue reading to learn more.

"Freedom of Assembly: Public Space Today" by AIA Panel

19:00 - 3 January, 2012
© david_shankbone - http://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
© david_shankbone - http://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/. Used under Creative Commons

On December 17, 2011, the New York Chapter of the AIA held a panel discussion about the Occupy Wall Street events that have spurred people from all over the country into political involvement. The discussion featured nine panelists with introductory remarks from Lance Jay Brown and Michael Kimmelman and closing remarks by Ron Shiffman (all listed below). It focused on aspects of the built environment, public spaces and how they reflect the way in which people assemble.

Follow us after the break for more about this discussion, including video.