The New Yorker’s architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, takes a brief look back at the buildings that made us gasp in 2008. He predicts 2009 and 2010 will be slim years for new buildings, so now is the time to cherish what’ve we got.
In time for the 2008 Olympics, the world saw the fruits of China’s decision to put aside nationalism, hire the greatest architects from around the world, and let them do the kind of things they could never afford to do at home. That brought us two of the greatest buildings of the year, Herzog and de Meuron’s extraordinary Olympic Stadium, the stunning steel latticework structure widely known as the Bird’s Nest; and Norman Foster’s Beijing Airport, a project that was not only bigger than any other airport in the world, but more beautiful, more logically laid out, and more quickly built. And the headquarters of CCTV, the Chinese television network, by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture – a building which I had thought was going to be a pretentious piece of structural exhibitionism – turned out to be a compelling and exciting piece of structural exhibitionism.
He goes on to list these other buildings: The California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco, by Renzo Piano (pic); The New Museum, on the Bowery in New York, by SANAA Architecture (pic); the Art Gallery of Ontario expansion, in Toronto, by Frank Gehry (pic); the new Cathedral of Christ the Light, in Oakland, by Skidmore partner Craig Hartman (pic); Paul Rudolph’s Art and Architecture Building, at Yale (now renamed Paul Rudolph Hall), by Gwathmey Siegel (pic); The Eldridge Street Synagogue, on the Lower East Side, by Walter Sedovic (pic); and finally, Olafur Eliasson’s extraordinary New York Waterfalls Project (pic).
My biggest complaint? No photos with the article. Not sure how you can have an article about architectural design and not include a slideshow or photos.