“IT ALL SOUNDS THE SAME TO ME”

March 3, 2017

I often hear, “Yeah, that song is okay I guess. I think all the songs of [insert band name] sound the same to me.” In architecture, similar criticism is imposed on our most famous creators.

Is sameness a bad thing? Most of The Beatles songs sound similar, with those peppy lyrics and obvious chord progressions, as do much of Beethoven’s music, with his mishmash of beauty and rage.

IS TV FOR REAL? PART 2

February 17, 2017

Potential clients have come to my office asking for three free designs from which to pick—“the way we saw it on HGTV.” My anger aside from how reality TV twists reality, the client’s request compromises the integrity of the architectural process.

MY FIFTEEN FAVE BUILDINGS

February 3, 2017

“Hey Anthony, what is your favorite building in the world?” I am often asked.

I might reply obnoxiously but with reason, “What is your favorite painting, favorite book or favorite ice cream?”

Just as there is no one favorite piece of music, there is no one favorite work of architecture. There are hundreds. But here I try. In this list of some of my favorites (in no particular order), I selected different building types and sizes from a house to a parliament building, from a public plaza to a winery. I have also included a few of The Usual Suspects.

THE COMPLEXITY OF SIMPLICITY

January 20, 2017

Many have heard the instructional 1960’s acronym from the U.S. Navy: K-I-S-S.

It stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. These days, this pithy recommendation is delivered from anyone in the role of doling out advice, from architecture professors to life coaches, from advertisers to attorneys, from editors to campaign managers.

But life gets complicated, and keeping things simple is not so easy. So what do we do?

EIGHT THINGS I LIKE ABOUT ARCHITECTURE

January 6, 2017

ONE. The social importance of what we do. Architects design everything from a retreat home to a veterinarian office, from a homeless shelter to a public school, from a park to a temple. Doctors have been plagued by insurance headaches. Bankers have confronted corruption. Well, lawyers? Not too much new to say there. What fields still have nobility?

THE MEEK AND THE MIGHTY

December 23, 2016

I recently had the joy of visiting two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: a modest design and his most ambitious.

The cozy Pope-Leighey House in Virginia totals a mere 1,200 square feet. In stark contrast, the visionary estate known as Fallingwater in Pennsylvania has a 2,900 square foot residence, 2,500 square feet of terraces, and a guest house of 1,700 square feet. Surrounded by 5,000 acres of the Bear Run Nature Reserve, this house cantilevers over a waterfall.

When historians speak of Wright’s homes as being intimately scaled, was this because Wright had a unique interpretation of domestic life, or was it because he was petite? Only 5′ – 7”.

© Poon Design Inc.