Category Archives: Vernacular

Past Tragedy: MVRDV’s ‘cloud’ comes under fire

Past Tragedy is a new Concrete Aspirations series examining architecture that responds to and commemorates 9/11.

MVRDV's elegant 'Cloud' towers.

There are but a few moments when the wider world takes an interest in architecture, and this seems to be one of them. MVRDV’s new ‘Cloud’ tower to be constructed in Seoul, South Korea, is under fire from many for its alleged resemblance to the World Trade Center attacks. My views after the break. Continue reading


On repurposing old factories

At least where I live, this has been all the craze for the last ten to twenty years. New England is full of old brick factories and mills — buildings just classical and decorated enough to be considered charming enough for renovation and yet unconventional enough to give their repurpose-rs the idea that they’re doing a wonderful and holy service to humanity be renovating an old mill.

An old factory in Boston, MA.

More after the break. Continue reading


Personal Project: Stargazing Tent

The project: to create a space for late-night snacking and stargazing. The site: a lawn outside a pretty average house in the mountains of western Pennsylvania near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. The constraints: six hours of building time, and very few materials — sticks, rope and sheets.

There it is. I responded to the sloping site by angling the tent to face down the slope of the site towards the most visible mountains, towards the west — the sunset. The billowing forms of the roof are intended to play off the slope of the hill and give the tent a sense of movement, augmenting the traditionally static, calming act of looking at the starts. The door at the back is small in order to create a pronounced sense of entering a new space. Thus, the tent actively focuses its users on the mountains, the sky and the stars.

More after the break.

Continue reading