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Paul Goldberger: The Latest Architecture and News

Paul Goldberger on Ballpark: Baseball in the American City

08:00 - 19 May, 2019
Paul Goldberger on Ballpark: Baseball in the American City, Orioles Park at Camden Yards by Bob Busser
Orioles Park at Camden Yards by Bob Busser

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Paul Goldberger has a new book out, released just this week, entitled Ballpark: Baseball in the American City. Taking a page from the Ken Burns playbook, the book looks at a particularly American building type as a lens for looking at the broader culture of cities. Goldberger’s premise is a good one: Ballparks do parallel, to a remarkable degree, trends in American urbanism. They start as an escape from the city, then the city builds up around them. Post–World War II, they escape to the suburbs, then decades later return to the city. Today, privatization of the public realm and real estate development are driving the agenda. Recently I talked with Goldberger about the new book and a whole slew of magical ballparks, both living and long gone.

Denise Scott Brown to Receive the 2018 Soane Medal

16:00 - 7 September, 2018
Denise Scott Brown to Receive the 2018 Soane Medal, Denise Scott Brown in front of The Strip, Las Vegas, NV, US, 1966, Photo by Robert Venturi, courtesy of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.
Denise Scott Brown in front of The Strip, Las Vegas, NV, US, 1966, Photo by Robert Venturi, courtesy of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.

Next month, American architect Denise Scott Brown will receive the 2018 Soane Medal, an award given to "architects who have made a major contribution to their field, through their built work, through education, history and theory." A powerhouse jury that included Sir David Chipperfield, Paul Goldberger, Farshid Moussavi, Alice Rawsthorn, Oliver Wainwright selected Scott Brown for the second edition of the award. The 2017 Soane Medal was given to Rafael Moneo.

Sir David Chipperfield, Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum, said: ‘The jury considered many outstanding candidates; however Denise Scott Brown stood apart and was the jury’s unanimous choice. Scott Brown’s contribution across architecture, urbanism, theory and education over the last fifty years has been profound and far-reaching. Her example has been an inspiration to many, and we are delighted to honour her with the awarding of the Soane Medal.’

Tod Williams + Billie Tsien Win 2017 LongHouse Award, Discuss Design Ideas for Obama Presidential Library

17:05 - 17 February, 2017
Tod Williams + Billie Tsien Win 2017 LongHouse Award, Discuss Design Ideas for Obama Presidential Library, The Barnes Foundation / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Image © The Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Image © The Barnes Foundation

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have been selected of the recipients of the 2017 LongHouse Award for their “for their outstanding body of work in architecture.”

At Wednesday evening’s ceremony, the husband-wife team opened up about the conceptual ideas driving their yet-to-be-revealed design for the Obama Presidential Library. In a lively discussion with Vanity Fair architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the architects revealed the nature of their working relationship with the President and First Lady, and how their upcoming library may draw from what TWBT learned in designing the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Reflections on Architecture, Society and Politics: Social and Cultural Tectonics in the 21st Century

03:30 - 20 October, 2016
Reflections on Architecture, Society and Politics: Social and Cultural Tectonics in the 21st Century

Reflections on Architecture, Society and Politics brings together a series of thirteen interview-articles by Graham Cairns in collaboration with some of the most prominent polemic thinkers and critical practitioners from the fields of architecture and the social sciences, including Noam Chomsky, Peggy Deamer, Robert A.M. Stern, Daniel Libeskind and Kenneth Frampton.

Frank Gehry and Paul Goldberger in Conversation

18:00 - 2 April, 2016
Frank Gehry and Paul Goldberger in Conversation , Frank Gehry, photo by Alexandra Cabri
Frank Gehry, photo by Alexandra Cabri

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), will host a public panel discussion about the life and work of architect Frank Gehry. Mr. Gehry will join Paul Goldberger, architecture critic and author of Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, in conversation with moderator Harry Cooper, curator and head of modern art at the National Gallery of Art.

With the Opening of the WTC Transportation Hub, Has Santiago Calatrava Been Vindicated?

09:30 - 4 March, 2016
With the Opening of the WTC Transportation Hub, Has Santiago Calatrava Been Vindicated?, via WTC Progress
via WTC Progress

After 12 long years and a series of construction headaches, Santiago Calatrava’s $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub has finally opened to the public. Once widely regarded as a symbol of hope for post-9/11 New York, the project’s ballooning budget and security-related revisions gradually soured the opinions of the public and top design minds including Michael Graves and Peter Eisenman, and provoked a multitude of mocking nicknames ranging from “Calatrasaurus” to “squat hedgehog” to “kitsch dinosaur.” All the while, Calatrava urged critics to reserve their opinion until the project’s opening. Now that day has arrived - did Calatrava receive the vindication he was insistent would come? Read on for the critics’ takes.

Paul Goldberger: "Frank Gehry Really Doesn’t Want To Be Remembered as Somebody Who Just Did a Few Iconic Buildings"

09:30 - 2 December, 2015
Guggenheim Bilbao (1997). Image © Ivan Herman (ivan-herman.net) licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0
Guggenheim Bilbao (1997). Image © Ivan Herman (ivan-herman.net) licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0

After he achieved celebrity status at the turn of the millennium, in recent years the conversation around Frank Gehry has switched tones, going from near-universal admiration to widespread controversy. Yet according to Paul Goldberger, whose biography of Gehry was released in September, both adoration and critique of the architect might engender an overly simplistic interpretation of his long and storied career. In this interview originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Q&A: Paul Goldberger on Frank Gehry's Life and Work," Goldberger delves into the many ways Gehry has been misunderstood over the years, and how his work, his psyche, and the interplay between the two have made him one of the most conversation-worthy architects of a generation.

Frank Gehry isn’t just the world’s foremost architect; he is, by all public standards, also one of our greatest living artists. Paul Goldberger’s new biography (his first), Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, acknowledges the architect’s celebrity status but doesn’t acquiesce in it. Rather, Goldberger interrogates the peculiar psyche and restless contradictions of the man to shed light on the motivations behind the architecture. Metropolis editor Samuel Medina speaks to the newly minted biographer about defying genre conventions, unpacking the ambiguities of Gehry’s work, and giving reporters the finger.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, 2003. Image © Gehry Partners, LLP The very first sketch Gehry made of the design for the Guggenheim Bilbao. Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners Fondation Loius Vuitton, Paris (2014). Image © Todd Eberle New World Center, Miami (2011) . Image © Wikimedia user Alexf licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 + 10

Video: Frank Gehry, Paul Goldberger and Charlie Rose on the Art and Science of Architecture

18:00 - 30 November, 2015

Frank Gehry and critic Paul Goldberger sat down with Charlie Rose to "the art and science of architecture and Golberger's new biography, Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry." You can watch the full 34-minute discussion above.

Critical Round-Up: Renzo Piano's Whitney Museum

09:30 - 22 April, 2015
Critical Round-Up: Renzo Piano's Whitney Museum, © Paul Clemence
© Paul Clemence

Depending on how you measure it, Renzo Piano's new building for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (designed in collaboration with New York practice Cooper Robertson) could be the most long-awaited museum of the 21st century. At just a fraction under seven years since the first designs of the building were released, the incubation period has been long enough on its own - but in fact the project has its roots in a scrapped 1981 design by Michael Graves, when the Whitney was instead planning an extension to their previous home in Marcel Breuer's 1966 masterpiece on Madison Avenue. With such a highly anticipated building, the Whitney could hardly have a better man for the job; Piano is one of the most prodigious museum builders of our time. Yet despite this, since construction began in 2011 the design has been beset by criticism for its ungainly external appearance.

Ahead of the Whitney's grand opening on May 1st, this past Sunday saw a slew of reviews from New York's many reputable art and architecture critics, who attempted to make sense of the institution's long-overdue move from their idiosyncratic but endearing former home. We've rounded up some of the best of them, after the break.

© Flickr CC user Payton Chung © Flickr CC user Steven Severinghaus © Flickr CC user Steven Severinghaus © Flickr CC user Bill Benzon + 6

Paul Goldberger on the High Line

00:00 - 22 September, 2014
Paul Goldberger on the High Line, Courtesy of Instagram User: highlinenyc
Courtesy of Instagram User: highlinenyc

This past Sunday, New York celebrated the opening of the High Line’s final section. More playful and untamed than its counterparts, the elevated park’s northernmost segment seems to have pleased the critics. As Paul Goldberger explained, the High Line at the Rail Yards is “stunningly refreshing” and “gives you an altogether new, relaxed, low-key way of being on the High Line.” You can read Goldberger’s take on the new portion of the High Line here on Vanity Fair.

Shelf Life: 33 Book Recommendations From Architects & Designers

01:00 - 4 August, 2014
Shelf Life: 33 Book Recommendations From Architects & Designers, Three Love Problems from George Eliot's Middlemarch, by Stephen Doyle. ​Photo: Stephen Doyle
Three Love Problems from George Eliot's Middlemarch, by Stephen Doyle. ​Photo: Stephen Doyle

Architects often don’t make time to read. Students and professionals alike will admit that the unread books on their shelves outnumber the ones they've read - which is unfortunate because literary contributions to the field of architecture, from Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, have shaped the way we build and use buildings for centuries. With this in mind, ArchitectureBoston polled their readers, asking them to share their favorite architecture and design titles, to compile a list of important architecture books you should set aside some time for. The list covers a wide range of subjects, from historical theory to the practicalities of starting a firm. See all thirty-three titles, after the break.

The Role of the Architectural Discourse in the 'New Media Age'

04:00 - 9 June, 2014
The Role of the Architectural Discourse in the 'New Media Age', Paul Goldberger
Paul Goldberger

In an interview with Julia Ingalls Paul Goldberger, former architecture critic of the New York Times and forthcoming biographer of Frank Gehry, discusses the critical relevance of architecture in what he dubs the "new media age." According to Ingalls, Goldberger has thrived "by writing informed narratives that examine not just the trendy cladding of a building, but the deep historical, social, and political environments that invariably give rise to it." Goldberger is a writer who has embraced Twitter, using it as a platform for discussion and debate just as, in prior years, his writings in print media would act as less immediate provocations.

Are the Palisades Too Pure for LG's Headquarters?

00:00 - 15 April, 2014
Are the Palisades Too Pure for LG's Headquarters?, Courtesy of Michael Kimmelman's Twitter Feed (@kimmelman)
Courtesy of Michael Kimmelman's Twitter Feed (@kimmelman)

Responding to the bevy of critics slamming LG Electronics for building their new headquarters in the Palisades in New Jersey (half an hour north from NYC), Lee Rosenbaum, the Palisades-resident and architecture blogger known as CultureGrrl, maintains that "When it comes to preserving the 'pristine Palisades,' the boat has already sailed." Since LG's planned strip will be located on what is, according to Rosenbaum, already "a very commercial strip," she suggests that "that the incensed defenders of the purportedly unspoiled beauty of the Palisades [...] haven’t actually set eyes on them." Check out the images of her neighborhood as well as her very interesting Twitter tussles with The New York Times' Michael Kimmelman, Vanity Fair's Paul Goldberger, and New York Magazine's Justin Davidson at her blog, and let us know what you think of the debate in the comments below.

Unpublished / CLOG

01:00 - 17 March, 2014
Unpublished / CLOG, Courtesy of CLOG
Courtesy of CLOG

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

Zumthor: "Apostle of the Real"

00:00 - 6 September, 2013
Zumthor: "Apostle of the Real", Peter Zumthor at the Steilneset Memorial.. Image © Andrew Meredith
Peter Zumthor at the Steilneset Memorial.. Image © Andrew Meredith

In an article for Vanity Fair Paul Goldberger unravels the Swiss Mystique surrounding Peter Zumthor's personality and work, describing him as a "cross between Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Proust, with perhaps a tiny bit of Bob Dylan thrown in." With completed projects few and far between, but executed with intense experiential thought and craftsmanship, the article explores how Zumthor's motives has informed his rigorous attitude to architecture. Having recently been awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, the "cult following" that Goldberger described in 2001 seems to only be getting stronger. You can read the full article here.

Preserving Modern Architecture in the Midwest

00:00 - 8 April, 2013
Preserving Modern Architecture in the Midwest, Rauh House / John Becker via Cincinnati Preservation Association
Rauh House / John Becker via Cincinnati Preservation Association

On April 24th and 25th, Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) will celebrate the gift and the restoration of the Frederick and Harriet Rauh House, designed by pioneering Cincinnati Modernist John Becker in Woodlawn, by hosting “Preserving Modern Architecture,” a two-day symposium at the house. In September 2011, CPA launched the restoration of the 1938 Rauh House with a festive celebration honoring Emily Rauh Pulitzer, donor of the house and funder of the work. A year later, the restoration of this pioneering International Style residence is complete.

Robert Venturi and Rem Koolhaas Side with Denise Scott Brown on Pritzker Debate

00:00 - 4 April, 2013
Robert Venturi and Rem Koolhaas Side with Denise Scott Brown on Pritzker Debate, Denise Scott Brown outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown © Frank Hanswijk
Denise Scott Brown outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown © Frank Hanswijk

Robert Venturi has joined nearly 4,000 advocates in the call to retrospectively acknowledge Denise Scott Brown as a joint Pritzker Prize laureate, stating: “Denise Scott Brown is my inspiring and equal partner.”

His support was then quickly followed by Rem Koolhaas, who stated: “I totally support this action. The fact that one of the most creative and productive partnerships we have ever seen in architecture was separated rather than celebrated by a prize has been an embarrassing injustice which it would be great to undo.”

More updates after the break...

Architectural Criticism in the Age of Twitter / Paul Goldberger

00:00 - 27 November, 2012
Paul Goldberger © James Callanan
Paul Goldberger © James Callanan

There’s a saying that goes “Those who can’t do, teach.” But many could also claim: “Those who can’t do, critique.” Criticism, particularly Architecture Criticism, tends to get a bad rap for being subjective, impenetrable, and - ultimately - useless. But Paul Goldberger, a champion of the craft, would disagree.

In his acceptance speech for the Vincent Scully Prize earlier this month, Goldberger, the long-time architecture critic for The New York Times and current contributor to Vanity Fair, suggests that Architectural Criticism isn’t just vital - but more important than ever before.

With the advent of visually-oriented social media like Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, it’s never been easier for the architectural layman to observe, share, and consume architecture. However, in the midst of this hyper-flow of image intake, Goldberger argues, meaning gets lost. 

That’s where the critic comes in.