TRIBUTE: RICARDO BOFILL (1939-2022) AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE FANTASTICAL

January 28, 2022

A titan amongst us architects has left this world: Ricardo Bofill. In the zeitgeist of art, design, and individualism, it feels as if Atlas finally shrugged.

In 1986 New York City, I, a young architect bravely stomping the granite cobblestones of SoHo streets, came across one of those suspicious card tables selling random artifacts. The seller and his temporary setting, appearing ready to pack up and run in an instant, had me wonder if his goods were stolen, fake, or both.

THE MOST STRIKING BUILDINGS OF 2021

January 7, 2022

Once again, I look back at the past year in search of stand out projects. Instead of “the best”—which I dare anyone to define—I listed the most intriguing for 2020 and the most seductive for 2019. For closing out 2021, the operative adjective is striking. Common synonyms for ‘striking’ include: stunning, dramatic, prominent, remarkable, unusual, and beautiful.

THE DEMISE OF MENTORSHIP

December 17, 2021

Relative to other industries, mentorship in architecture is scarce. Why? Let’s look at this from the viewpoint of a young architect. If a senior architect approaches the fresh-faced junior architect and offers, “I would like to mentor you. You would be my protégé.”

In many other fields, the young professional would be flattered by an influential industry leader taking him under the wing of mentorship. But not true in architecture. Why would some entry level architects find it demeaning? Is “protégé” such a bad word?

THE NECESSARY EVIL OF PLANNED COMMUNITIES?

November 26, 2021

I have designed within a number of planned communities, meaning neighborhoods where architectural guidelines are provided, sometimes dictated. At such communities, the architectural look and feel—from building height and size to materials and colors, from specific styles to window proportions—are regulated for the sake of “neighborhood compatibility, harmony, and consistency”–and other such righteous words.

NO BED OF ROSES, PART 3 OF 4: THE INTEGRITY OF MISTAKES

November 5, 2021

JEFF HABER: Along with design, you are an accomplished musician. What happened first for you growing up? Did you have a design bug? Did you have a music bug? Did you have any bugs at all? When did it start for you as a child?

ANTHONY POON: I would say I had a creative bug as a child. And it wasn’t specifically music or architecture. It was just the interest to make things, to build things, to take things apart.

NEW MEETS OLD: INTENTIONAL ACTS OF DISRUPTION

October 15, 2021

When adding to an existing building, the conventional agenda requests that the new structure match the old. A typical client request suggests that the point of connection between new and old be “seamless.” But there exists a different school of thought, a provocative one. Here, the new structure not only contrasts the old, but the addition is intentionally disruptive.

© Poon Design Inc.