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Category Archives: architecture

일기: 건축탐구생활

외국에 살든 아니든 간에 외국어를 공부하는 사람들은 똑같은 도전에 직면하게 된다. 그 도전은 외국어를 구사하고 싶으면 무엇보다도 방대한 양의 그 언어에 노출되고 또한 소화해야 한다. 옛날에는 언어 습득을 위해 충분한 양의 언어를 듣는 것은 힘들 수 있었지만 소위 뉴미디어가 풍부한 오늘날에는 많이 쉬운 일이 되었다. 한국어를 배우는 나만의 독특한 방식은 매일 한국어로 된 뉴미디어의 일종인 […]

Los Angeles in Buildings: Scientology’s Pacific Area Command Base (a.k.a. “Big Blue”)

It isn’t always obvious who owns Los Angeles’ notable old buildings, but 4833 Fountain Avenue requires no research more intensive than an upward glance. There, in sixteen-foot letters, its current stewards have mounted — lest the symbolism of the eight-pointed cross at the tip of the rooftop pyramid prove too obscure — the word “SCIENTOLOGY.” […]

Architectural Review: Amorepacific headquarters, Seoul, by David Chipperfield Architects

The world has come to know South Korea, one of the most rapidly developed countries in human history, through its exporting industries, but none of the Korean-made products that first won wide international use — ships, automobiles, electronics — presented the world with much of an image of Korea itself. In fact, Samsung, Hyundai, LG, […]

Los Angeles in Buildings: City Hall

The thin spread of development over great distances; the strict separation of residential buildings from those of commerce and industry; the caps on height and density: these conditions may now look like Los Angeles’ most crippling and intractable disorders, but they once promised a cure for all that ailed the American city. The bigger Los […]

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of one of Seoul’s urban spaces. This time we visit the very first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, a months-spanning celebration and an exploration of how cities across the world have found innovative ways to use, preserve, and improve […]

From my interview archive: Los Angeles graphic designer and dingbat appreciator Clive Piercy (RIP)

This year, I’m listening again to selections from the archive of long-form interviews I conducted on the public radio program The Marketplace of Ideas and podcast Notebook on Cities and Culture between 2007 and 2015. I started Notebook on Cities and Culture in large part as a way of understanding one city in particular: Los Angeles, to which I’d just moved a […]

Guardian Cities: How to Make a High Line

Every city wants a High Line. When Joshua David and Robert Hammond first dreamed of turning a long-disused elevated railway track overgrown with weeds into a linear park for Manhattan, they could scarcely have imagined the day – about 10 years and more than $180m later – when fellow urbanists in Miami, Seoul, Toronto, London and […]

Los Angeles in Buildings #7: the Central Library

Stand outside any entrance of Los Angeles’ Central Library, look up, and you see only tall buildings, all of them clearly dating from the mid-20th century and later. 611 Place, Aon Center, the twin towers of City National Plaza, and the Citigroup Center all bear the marks of the late 1960s and ‘70s; in the […]

This week’s city reading: New York’s housing crisis, Philip Roth’s Newark, the alt-right on architecture

Tenants Under Siege: Inside New York City’s Housing Crisis (Michael Greenberg, New York Review of Books) “At the town hall meeting, the mayor, trying to explain why he hasn’t set aside more units for those near the poverty line, said, ‘There are swamps of people who make less than $40,000 a year. People who make $50,000 […]

This week’s city reading: coffee shop as gentrification battlefield, knocked-down Seoul neighborhoods, and Los Angeles’ newest skyscraper

Now I Am Become Mall, Destroyer of Cities (Silvia Killingsworth, The Awl) “The mall of the future is an amusement park of a food hall, where we can easily and deliciously follow the quickest path to setting our money on fire—converting money into immediate kilocalories consumed on the spot. It’s no accident we call it […]