Finally, a witness to the expansive (and as exhilarating as it had been written and photographed since 1985) double-height 20th floor of Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Headquarters - where triangular suspension structures meet aluminium-clad steel masts. Until Hong Kong has its version of Open House, I will owe much to random meetings in such a building.

Finally, a witness to the expansive (and as exhilarating as it had been written and photographed since 1985) double-height 20th floor of Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Headquarters - where triangular suspension structures meet aluminium-clad steel masts. Until Hong Kong has its version of Open House, I will owe much to random meetings in such a building.

It’s heartening that one of Yung Ho Chang’s unbuilt works had recently been realized. Though it remains an issue how projects with such experimental bent could only manifest under the aegis of art-architecture biennales. Even if it is, perhaps having it built, and now highly circulated as an image, and an idea, online allowed Chang to disseminate his past fertile imaginings that resulted from a critique of architecture’s trope of horizontal transparency.It is even more fascinating to discover that the design based on a competition submission entitled “Vertical Transparency - An Urban Glass House 2001” for the Shinkenchiku International Housing Competition had originated from a series of watercolor and charcoal drawings of domestic scenarios depicting strong figure-furniture-space relationship. They seem to suggest the control dwellers could have over their perception and use of a space characterized by the intimacy of completely walled interiors with visual continuity across floors that affords a view of both basement and sky. Having these earlier conceptual drawings alongside the sections and plans would have told a better story. 

It’s heartening that one of Yung Ho Chang’s unbuilt works had recently been realized. Though it remains an issue how projects with such experimental bent could only manifest under the aegis of art-architecture biennales. Even if it is, perhaps having it built, and now highly circulated as an image, and an idea, online allowed Chang to disseminate his past fertile imaginings that resulted from a critique of architecture’s trope of horizontal transparency.

It is even more fascinating to discover that the design based on a competition submission entitled “Vertical Transparency - An Urban Glass House 2001” for the Shinkenchiku International Housing Competition had originated from a series of watercolor and charcoal drawings of domestic scenarios depicting strong figure-furniture-space relationship. They seem to suggest the control dwellers could have over their perception and use of a space characterized by the intimacy of completely walled interiors with visual continuity across floors that affords a view of both basement and sky. Having these earlier conceptual drawings alongside the sections and plans would have told a better story. 

A rather overdue review of an exhibition that is sure to have a lasting impact. The Getty’s “Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future 1940-1990" has provided a research and curatorial methodological model for a critical and more diverse and inclusive approach to studying, collecting and displaying architecture and urbanism, that bridged the “high” and “low”, art and infrastructure, the local and global. 
Above: Electrical Transmission Towers by Will Connell, ca. 1935. Gelatin silver print. 50.8 x 40.6 cm Stephen White, Collection II © Will Connell  Image courtesy of The Getty Research Institute

A rather overdue review of an exhibition that is sure to have a lasting impact. The Getty’s “Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future 1940-1990" has provided a research and curatorial methodological model for a critical and more diverse and inclusive approach to studying, collecting and displaying architecture and urbanism, that bridged the “high” and “low”, art and infrastructure, the local and global. 

Above: Electrical Transmission Towers by Will Connell, ca. 1935. Gelatin silver print. 50.8 x 40.6 cm Stephen White, Collection II © Will Connell  Image courtesy of The Getty Research Institute

"…we’re very interested in the idea that there are patterns and activities that should also be part of our functionalism…here is a beach…look hard at how each of these groups are so evenly spaced as if even if you add 25 more people, the evenness would be the same but the spacing will get closer…there’s their own little cluster…that’s a pattern of behavior people take up not because they’re told to…look at the shadows…they are all trying to get the sun…others try to face the ocean. All those determinants make that pattern. That’s something that interests me tremendously in urbanism that I take right into the design of a lab building, or even cities and campuses," says Denise Scott Brown while presenting the above image from her collection of photographs at a lecture entitled "Mayhew’s Architecture" at the Harvard GSD (22 Oct 2013). Revisiting observations which formed the seeds behind the influential and canonical is always a needed and worthy effort. 

"…we’re very interested in the idea that there are patterns and activities that should also be part of our functionalism…here is a beach…look hard at how each of these groups are so evenly spaced as if even if you add 25 more people, the evenness would be the same but the spacing will get closer…there’s their own little cluster…that’s a pattern of behavior people take up not because they’re told to…look at the shadows…they are all trying to get the sun…others try to face the ocean. All those determinants make that pattern. That’s something that interests me tremendously in urbanism that I take right into the design of a lab building, or even cities and campuses," says Denise Scott Brown while presenting the above image from her collection of photographs at a lecture entitled "Mayhew’s Architecture" at the Harvard GSD (22 Oct 2013). Revisiting observations which formed the seeds behind the influential and canonical is always a needed and worthy effort. 

Simply-illustrated poster by Michael Beirut and Jessica Svendsen of Pentagram for the symposium "Exhibiting Architecture: A Paradox" couldn’t be more apt in expressing architecture as, and on, display. 

Simply-illustrated poster by Michael Beirut and Jessica Svendsen of Pentagram for the symposium "Exhibiting Architecture: A Paradox" couldn’t be more apt in expressing architecture as, and on, display.