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Back issue for magazine - Architectural Review 2011/5 (1371)

Architectural Review 2011/5 (1371) As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) gathers for its annual convention in New Orleans, it seems appropriate that a perceptible, glinting seam of American ingenuity and ideas runs through this issue. Most obviously this is expressed through critiques of two major new projects – Morphosis’ Giant Campus in Shanghai, which transforms what could have been another big, dull building into a complex, topographical landscraper, and Eric Owen Moss’s Samitaur Tower in Culver City, a truly madcap beacon of Californian Constructivism that animates and energises its surroundings.
There are also reflections on the changing dynamic of the American city. William Menking looks at the symbiosis behind New York’s recent urban evolution and the relationship between patrons and buildings. Meanwhile, Frances Anderton examines how notions of environmentalism and a humanly scaled urban realm are finally conspiring to modify the civic DNA of car-centric Los Angeles. Elsewhere, on a less optimistic note, Michael Spens reports on developments surrounding James Stirling’s Sackler Museum at Harvard University, a masterpiece of its time, but which now faces an uncertain future as the university considers redevelopment.The loss or modification of the Sackler would be seriously unfortunate, and a rebuttal to the bold spirit of its conception and execution. So it must be hoped that the better part of the American architect/patron mindset – fearless, far-sighted and eager to embrace new ideas – will prevail.


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