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.
Upon a visit to Seattle, I confronted three different buildings—all leaving a seductive imprint on the city and my memory.
– Seattle Central Library by Pritzker-laureate Rem Koolhaas,
– Musuem of Pop Culture by Pritzker-laureate Frank Gehry, and
– The Spheres at Amazon by corporate NBBJ.
The first two projects are by two of the most famous living architects on the planet. The third is by an anonymous company without the trappings of a sole Wright-ian genius, giving way to collaboration instead—for better or worse.
JEFF HABER: “Can you share maybe some moments where, ‘Wow, we didn’t really plan that, but that works beautifully.’ And maybe a, ‘Uuh, that worked a lot better on the computer than it’s doing right now’.”
ANTHONY POON: “You’ve touched on a sore spot. Maybe it’s just the curse of being an architect/artist, in that nothing is ever done. Nothing is ever complete. Everything always seems like it could be better.”
Exploring personal interests and college ambitions, Jordan Estes, Santa Monica high school student, interviewed me on a broad range of topics swirling around being an architect. Hope you enjoy this well-rounded primer—from collaboration to fluidity to technology.
Every so often, I see a great design, a building of extraordinary exploration and creativity. Having appreciated the architectural marvel, my first question is this: How did the architect convince the client to build this incredible design? It’s not the bold design concepts with which I am impressed. We all have them, from our early student work to veteran sketches. The challenge is getting said ground-breaking ideas implemented.
“Host Jeff Haber shares conversations with interesting people from all walks of life, using a positive, uplifting and funny approach,” from the podcast series, No Bed of Roses.
JEFF HABER: “The dictionary defines architect as a person who designs buildings, and in many cases also supervises their construction. That definition is fine, but barely scratches the surface as you’ll learn from today’s guest. Anthony Poon is an award-winning American classical pianist, mixed-media artist, published author, interior designer, guest lecturer, and oh, yeah, he’s an architect”