Of Memorial and Musuem

Aaron Betsky Goes Back to Ground Zero

To my amazement, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is a place of memory and meaning as powerful as anything this country has produced since the Vietnam Memorial. It works because there is almost nothing there. Its emptiness is what impresses and weighs on you.

At Ground Zero, two reflecting pools memorialize the sites of the former Twin Towers.



New Wooden Cityscapes Sculpted with a Bandsaw by James McNabb

Furniture-maker-turned-sculptor James McNabb opened a new exhibition of work titled Metros at Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami. McNabb continues his exploration of architectural shapes using an improvised form of woodworking frequently described as “sketching with a bandsaw.”

New Wooden Cityscapes Sculpted with a Bandsaw by James McNabb wood sculpture architecture


Sketching with a Band Saw: James McNabb’s Scrap Wood Cityscapes

For his MFA Thesis Exhibit last September, Pennsylvania artist James McNabb created a beautiful collection of architectural wonders using discarded wood: Long Nights, Big City.

Sketching with a Band Saw: James McNabbs Scrap Wood Cityscapes wood sculpture architecture


McNabb and Co. | STUDIO

The City Series is a collection of wood sculptures that represent a woodworker’s journey from the suburbs to the city. Each piece depicts the outsider’s perspective of the urban landscape. Made entirely of scrap wood, this work is an interpretation of making something out of nothing. Each piece is cut intuitively on a band saw. The result is a collection of architectural forms, each distinctly different from the next.


Exquisite Manipulation: Architecture of Illusion

Artist Creates Mind-Blowing Illusion of a Levitating Building in London

This surreal architectural sculpture, entitled Take My Lightning But Don’t Steal My Thunder, is a mind-blowing piece in which a section of a building appears to be levitating in mid-air. Created by British artist and designer Alex Chinneck, the large-scale optical illusion sits directly in Covent Garden in London and was modeled after the original architecture of the184-year old Market Building.


Is the Era of Big Museums Over?

Looking at data from a recent study on museums, architectural critic Aaron Betsky asks whether or not the era of big museums has ended.

Museums are expensive buildings, but not as expensive as I thought: On average, they’re about $450 per square foot. The United States is the second most expensive place in the world, after Norway, to build a museum. In the last decade, Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA, has designed more built museums than any other major architect (and his are also the most expensive per square foot), with Tadao Ando, Hon. FAIA, running second. Most new museums are indeed new, rather than additions or renovations. The peak of new museum construction occurred right before the 2008 recession. Most museums are boxes……We are building museums at almost the same scale and with the same purpose as the cathedrals that sprang up in a fifty year period in Northern France and England, or the churches newly rich American cities built in the last quarter of the 19th century: we use them to assert and solidify our wealth and achievement, to mark our landscapes, and to anchor our communities.

The Milwaukee Art Museum, by Santiago Calatrava, FAIA.


International Spy Museum Pulls Out of Carnegie Library Redevelopment Project

The organizers decided not to pursue their proposed redevelopment of the 1903 structure in Washington, D.C.

The Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.


Memory, Justice, Healing

Zaha Hadid Architects Designs Cambodian Genocide Memorial

London’s Zahah Hadid Architects have released designs for the Sleuk Rith Institute, a new complex and genocide memorial to be sited in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Institute sits within a 68,000-square-meter (731,946-square-foot) memorial park.


The Sleuk Rith Institute

A Monument to the Past…..A School for the Future….Memory, Justice, Healing:

“A Society cannot know itself if it does not have an accurate memory of its own history.”


Good refreshing move for ZAHA

Zaha Hadid unveiled her first wooden building – a genocide research centre in Cambodia – a design readers hailed as a “smart” move for the architect…..[this] new Cambodian institution made up of five interwoven wooden towers to house the largest archive of genocide-related documents in Southeast Asia….

“The best memorials are not objects we visit once, contemplate, and file away. The best memorials evoke reflection and commemoration, but are also living, dynamic public places that engage with all generations in the community.”

Sleuk Rith Institute designed by Zaha Hadid Archiects


Art [i] tects

Silhouettes Pose Inside Iconic Windows

The silhouettes of architects including Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Zaha Hadid are each depicted within a window from one of their buildings…..

Archiwindow by Federico Babina


Environmental Interventions

Maya Lin combines sculpture, environmental research

For anyone who still needs convincing, “Art/Act: Maya Lin,” on view at the Brower Center, addresses the climate change crisis with work that digs into the Bay Area’s fragile resources. This is not a conventional art exhibition but more like an immersive sketchbook of ideas. Further, the Brower Center presents an unusual gallery; it is essentially a lobby displaying extraordinary art by Lin, best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., whose larger body of work is about environmentalism.

“Silver San Francisco Bay,” is Maya Lin’s 2012 sculpture of the bay and various waterways cast from recycled silver. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle / ONLINE_YES


Maya Lin Studio: What is Missing?

Maya Lin is currently working on what is her final memorial, What is Missing? which focuses on bringing awareness to the current crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss…she has maintained a careful balance between art and architecture throughout her career, creating a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials.

"What is Missing" (2009) bronze, reclaimed redwood, laminated glass & single-channel video with sound by Maya Lin 8' 6" x 10' 8" x 19' 2" Listening Cone Installation at the San Francisco Academy of Sciences Designer: Maya LIn Studio Location: San Francisco, California Photo: Bruce Damonte Photography, S.F. Arts Commission


Maya Lin Awarded the 2014 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize

The artist and designer will be formally presented with the award on Nov. 12.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art commissioned a work by Maya Lin entitled "Silver Missouri," crafted out of recycled silver, which was installed in the Museum's Bloch Building in Nov. 2013.