1. The 8th June “issue” of the NYT Mag was quite splendid, and free of course. It gathered Nicolai Ouroussoff (architecture critic of NYT) and others to pitch in for its Architecture Issue: an interview with Bernard Tschumi, discussion about film sets’ cities and LOT-EK, there’s something for everyone. But it is through this issue where we learn about Ouroussoff’s story behind One-North, and Front Inc.‘s “exuberantly baroque” winning scheme for a new LV store in Singapore featuring a curtain wall of completely curved glass.
“[..] Several years ago, the London-based, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid received a phone call from a Chinese developer asking if she might be interested in designing a 500-acre urban development on the outskirts of Singapore. [..] With more than 20 blocks now complete, parts of the city look surprisingly conventional.”
2. The Lifestyle-Elephant & Coral Creative Writing Contest yielded its final winner, Perry Ho, whose endearing entry captured a side of architecture that was startlingly rare and refreshing. “The Apartment” is an anthropomorphic representation of the Apartment, with soul and many canny references to our built reality. Allegorical and definitely worth reading! Here I reproduce it in its entirety.
“Other buildings envied her Shiseido #119 ceiling. The Jesus she hung at the door (of her heart) gave her strength. Jade bangles around her ankles trapped the essence of her youth. You could hear them holding on for dear life whenever she got up and ran, ran with the other Apartments and Factories into the night. No one knew where she went, returning only when her ankles ached to keep up the night’s display of high spirits. Come morning, some proud Apartment would be seen wearing a night’s old #119.
One morning, after a night out with the concrete army, the Apartment got home tired and weary, ankles swollen. She took off her bangles, and in the hours that passed while she slept, they were stolen from her. The wind only whispers of words no one cares to claim. That it was another high-rise, was merely wind-work: she had been seen dancing, like a Portuguese Gypsy, her cheek pressed against the night…
The Apartment still stands with her chin in the clouds and Jesus close to her heart. The years have washed away her make-up and advanced the arthritis to her wanderlust. Cracks, and an address keep her where she will always be. Once, a lover came to her. He could have made her young again, but light would get lost along the corridors, and she had too many empty rooms.
Now, she watches her children grow. First playrooms, then study-rooms. The hearts in each room get smaller as the walls get bigger. The doors never open. One day, they will leave this nest, and she would not even know. She tries to glow in the kitchen, in the company of toasters, ovens and stoves. In the bathroom, she hides her daytime mask under damp towels. It is her that her skin is forever slippery and cold. Here, something is always dripping.
Every afternoon, her windows reflect a great migration of clouds. In her belly, a projector loops. Vignettes of her children tugging at the hem of her best summer dress, dragging her across gravel, and running through her hair with muddy boots breathe life into the dancer in the dusty basement. She interprets the cinematic moments, moving without music. The Apartment waits for the day when clouds drift by the other way. The Cranes will return… and the scaffolds fall away… Until then, the table will only be set for two: Jesus, and herself. Even then, he rarely ever comes by.”