Terror and Wonder

Terror and Wonder

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For more than twenty years now, Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune has explored how architecture captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Kamin treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Terror and Wonder gathers the best of Kamina€™s writings from the past decade along with new reflections on an era framed by the destruction of the World Trade Center and the opening of the worlda€™s tallest skyscraper. Assessing ordinary commercial structures as well as head-turning designs by some of the worlda€™s leading architects, Kamin paints a sweeping but finely textured portrait of a tumultuous age torn between the conflicting mandates of architectural spectacle and sustainability. For Kamin, the story of our built environment over the past ten years is, in tangible ways, the story of the decade itself. Terror and Wonder considers how architecture has been central to the main events and crosscurrents in American life since 2001: the devastating and debilitating consequences of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina; the real estate boom and bust; the use of over-the-top cultural designs as engines of civic renewal; new challenges in saving old buildings; the unlikely rise of energy-saving, green architecture; and growing concern over our nationa€™s crumbling infrastructure. A prominent cast of playersa€”including Santiago Calatrava, Frank Gehry, Helmut Jahn, Daniel Libeskind, Barack Obama, Renzo Piano, and Donald Trumpa€”fills the pages of this eye-opening look at the astounding and extraordinary ways that architecture mirrors our valuesa€”and shapes our everyday lives.From Wabash Avenue, its long ends seemingly sheared off by the buildings on either side of the street, the tower bursts ... As a result, the Trump Tower simultaneously blends in and stands out, as notable for its subtle, ever-shifting luminosity as for its strong ... Its toothpick-thin spire halfheartedly complies with Mayor Richard M. Daleya#39;s edict to put a spire on top; ita#39;s no more than a flagpole without a flag.

Title:Terror and Wonder
Author:Blair Kamin
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2010-10-15


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