Blurred Lines…

The Guggenheim, already a world-renowned institution, was propelled in the stratosphere with the opening of its Frank Gehry-designed Bilbao institution.

© commons.wikimedia.org

© commons.wikimedia.org

The architect took his talent for sensuous and curved titanium materials and applied it in ways we had never seen.  Along the way, it also put Bilbao, Spain on the map in the world of cultural institutions.  And even though Gehry adapted his trademark look for Walt Disney’s Concert Hall in Los Angeles, nothing could approach the groundbreaking look of his Guggenheim original.  Imagine then the skipped heartbeats that took place when the famed museum launched a search for someone to design its latest location–in Helsinki, Finland.

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Gehry’s Spruce Street building in New York City.
© commons.wikimedia.org

Kudos belong to the winner Moreau Kusonoki Architects which managed the same feat Gehry did but only by going in a completely different direction–that of understated, minimal elegance.  Taking local materials and the Scandinavian art of simple, minimalist lines, Kusonoki’s winning design becomes part of the Finnish landscape, blending harmoniously in her surroundings.  I’m counting the days to its opening so I can visit and experience first-hand this achievement.

© cnn.com

© cnn.com

© guggenheim.org

© guggenheim.org

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Through the Looking Glass…Smartly.

The Whitney, the formal name of which is The Whitney Museum of American Art, has transformed itself, not just in terms of its new location, between New York City’s High Line and the Hudson River, but also because of its new home, designed by none other than Renzo Piano, an architect who recently designed the headquarters for the New York Times.

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© The Whitney

Rather than taking his usual minimal approach and giving the museum sleek lines and wrapped in glass, the renowned architect went in a different direction altogether.  It has received a lukewarm reception as the exterior appears like a hodgepodge of partially completed ideas which never are fulfilled.  Missing is what many expected to be a grand statement, like Hearst Tower, for example, which rises in dramatic and modern fashion from it’s historically protected, street level entrance.

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© commons.wikimedia.org

Herein lies Piano’s genius, however.  What he has achieved is only appreciated once you enter the building.  Missing are narrow and jumbled corridors and galleries separating people from one another.  Instead, huge spaces and generous amounts of natural light flood greet you.  In other words, don’t stand outside and simply admire the great architecture.  Come in and experience the great art.  Brilliant.

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© The Whitney

No longer is The Whitney the adopted little step sister to the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s greatest art institutions, or The Guggenheim.  Now, she sits at the dinner table on equal footing with the others.

The Journey is as Important as the Destination…

…and for the City That Never Sleeps this has never been truer than with the opening of the spectacular, new Fulton Center Station at Fulton Street and Broadway.  Not content with a simple transit hub, the city’s MTA, the local agency with oversight of the project, has unveiled a glass and steel marvel, the centerpiece of which is the Sky Reflector Net.

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© The New York Daily News

Built by Arup, James Carpenter Design Associates and Grimshaw Architects, the Sky Reflector is an eight-story dome comprised of glass prisms designed to refocus natural sunlight and illuminate the station.  How impressive is it ?  New Yorkers who have already used the station did the unthinkable…

They looked up.  And marveled.

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The City that Never Sleeps…

…has arguably the most recognizable skyline in the world.  And it’s about to become even more unique.  An unsightly area, a scar if you will, on the City’s West Side is about to be transformed.

Hudson Yards

© 2015

When the ambitious and massive project is completed, the unused and run-down area will morph into the new Hudson Yards redevelopment, creating a brand new neighborhood, to be known not only for the glass prisms marking its boundaries but also for its noteworthy green initiatives :  there is an onsite generator, a car and pedestrian traffic efficiency system, and trash recycling center to be completed underneath.  Sixteen new towers will surround a new mixed-use plaza bordering the Hudson Boulevard and Park.

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© Bloomberg News

For those who are struck by wanderlust…

…on a regular basis and travel as a result, it’s a safe bet your flight will be characterized by two items.  The first is your ability to recall the airline safety demonstration verbatim, and perhaps even in another language.  And the second is the realization most people have adopted slovenly attire when they travel–as if they’ve just rolled out of bed with little to any consideration to the fact they’re sharing a cabin with others.

There’s nothing saying you can’t be comfortable and stylish.  Victorinox has the ideal solution, i.e., their Travel Blazer, a garment so comfortable and sharp it should be as indispensable as your dark jeans and razor kit.  With multiple pockets for your passport and iPhone, water-repellent cotton and Nylon fabric, metal grommets for ventilation, and the finest tailoring imaginable, you won’t look like just another passenger.  You’ll look like you own the airline itself.

 Mens travel blazer

© Victorinox

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has struck not gold…but titanium.

The City of Brotherly Love has bragging rights to one of the world’s greatest art museums and its about to undergo a 10-year expansion project–overseen by none other than Frank Gehry himself.  The renovation will vastly expand the museum’s space and features a tremendous underground construction project.

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© 2015 commons.wikimedia.org

The famed architect will create a series of exhibition halls lit by natural light but the ultimate question on everyone’s mind is, of course, will the new space feature the architect’s signature curved titanium hallmarks, so brilliantly used in the Guggenheim’s Bilbao outpost or L.A.’s Disney Concert Hall ?  It’s too soon to tell but there is a new exhibition devoted to the project opening 1 July called “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

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Rendering © Gehry Partners, LLP