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Category Archives: architecture

콜린의 한국 이야기: 세운상가

한국에 큰 관심이 있는 나는 일본에도 오랫동안 관심을 기울려 왔다. 요즘에 나한테 가장 재미있는 일본에 관련된 것은 건축이다. 좋아하는 일본 건물과 쿠로카와 키쇼나 탕게 켄조 같은 건축가들이 꽤 많아서 언젠가부터 한국 건물과 건축가에 대해서도 알아가게 되었다. 건축에 관심이 있는 사람의 대부분은 일본에 비교하면 볼만한 좋은 건물들이 거의 없다고 생각하지만 서울을 살펴보면 의외로 흥미로운 것들이 풍부하다. […]

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: the 63 Building

Last week I joined Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for a journey around, through, and all the way up the observation deck of the 63 Building. Known locally as the “gold tooth,” this iconic, gold-glassed skyscraper beside the Han River opened in time for the 1988 Olympics, providing a piece of the background for […]

Read the Issue of Boom: a Journal of California I Guest-Edited Free Online

Boom: A Journal of California has completed the online roll-out of “Re-coding California,” their spring 2016 on architecture, planning, and the built environment that I guest-edited (and which contains my essay “Our Car Culture Is Not a Problem; Our House Culture Is”). You can read it all at the issue’s page on Boom‘s site, or you can […]

Boom: Our Car Culture Is Not a Problem; Our House Culture Is

Like so many fascinated by Los Angeles, I grew up worshiping the Case Study houses. With their crisp edges, clean lines, muted colors, and vast planes of glass, they struck me as the perfect objects of aesthetic desire, especially when seen through the loving, era-defining eye of architectural photographer Julius Shulman. I think of the […]

Los Angeles, the City in Cinema: the Bonaventure Hotel

What building most clearly signifies Los Angeles? In a built environment with few easily legible architectural icons, the Bonaventure Hotel has come to stand for the city as no other building does. Since opening in 1976, John C. Portman Jr.’s quintet of reflective cylindrical towers atop a stark concrete base has played in urban Los […]

Diary: The Gardens of Little Tokyo

I had lunch not long ago with Geoff Nicholson at Mr. Ramen, Little Tokyo’s finest perpetually reggae-soundtracked noodle shop. He reminded me of the existence of the James Irvine Japanese Garden, a fixture of (and fairly well-known wedding venue at) the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. Built to the side of the JACCC’s not-particularly-loved gray […]

All my pieces for the Guardian’s History of Cities in 50 Buildings

The Guardian just finished putting up its series A History of Cities in 50 Buildings, seven of which I wrote about. I come out of the experience with few regrets indeed, though I do wish I’d written up something in Los Angeles; my friend Nate Berg honorably beat me to the out-of-the-box idea of approaching the city’s four-level […]

The History of Cities in 50 Buildings: The Sampoong Department Store

Observers tend to describe the rise of South Korea as a miracle, and the actual story makes the word seem only a minor exaggeration. Having emerged an utter wreck from the Korean War in the early 1950s, by the 21st century the country had become a rich, infrastructurally impressive, technologically forward-thinking global economic and cultural […]

The History of Cities in 50 Buildings: The Renaissance Center

No one has taken as much blame for Detroit’s woes as the major American car companies who, through the early 20th century, concentrated themselves there to such an extent that the city’s name became a byword for the industry. Despite the contradiction of an urban metropolis owing so much to an explosion in car ownership, […]

The History of Cities in 50 Buildings: The Original Starbucks

With more than 21,500 stores in 64 countries and territories, the Starbucks coffee chain has enjoyed the image of omnipresence for so long that jokes about walking across the street from one branch straight into another have themselves become clichéd. In certain cities, it’s simply the reality: Seattle, for instance, where the now universally recognised […]