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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Dec 6 2011

Architectural Record: Playing Catch-up

In December’s edition we have a great roundup of hotels. Andersson-Wise’s W Hotel in Austin takes its inspiration from minimalist artwork—the facade is all simple lines and shiny surfaces—and opens into a soft, cushy grotto of a center with a “secret” bar and enough couch space to lure cocktail sippers away from downtown’s old standby, the Driskill Hotel.

In Vienna, Jean Nouvel’s Sofitel is a multifaceted glass prism lit up with glowing fabric ceilings in a kaleidoscope of colors by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. It’s as tough on the neck as it is easy on the eyes.

November was devoted to universities. In Beirut, Y.TOHME’s campus for the Université Saint-Joseph turns a city block into a kind of modernist urban playground in monochrome perforated concrete, with stairs leading up to the rooftops and a system of plazas and gardens in the sky.

In Ithaca, New York, Baird Sampson Neuert’s welcome center for Cornell’s botanical garden hews closer to the ground. The wood-and-glass pavilion follows the logic of the landscape, wrapping itself around a glacial knoll. It’s one of those rare projects that aims so well at subtlety and carefulness that it winds up at power.

Here’s the full November roundup.

© Lamar Clarkson Anderson 2018