Monday, June 10, 2013

Airports: They’re about making an entrance!

Madrid-Barajas Airport, Madrid, by Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers’ Madrid-Barajas airport.

Architectural critic Paul Goldberger reckons that airports today are like the great railway terminals of yesteryear: the gateway to the adventure and romance of a new city. In short, it’s all about arrival--something most airports do so poorly.

Where they exist at airports, he says, the more impressive spaces are usually located in the airports' departure halls. Those passengers are rushing to clear security and catch flights and don't have time to appreciate their space. The arrivals hall usually doesn't inspire much.
    "When you arrive, you're shunted to a lower level to baggage claim and go through what feels like a service (exit)," says Goldberger, who regularly flies through New York and New Jersey's bustling but not very beautiful airports.
    Although most airports don't meet his wish for a "grand welcome" -- even the ones he likes -- some architects are designing lovely airports that are worth admiring.
Here are some of the airport designs Goldberger has appreciated or is hankering to see for himself.

Architect Richard Rogers brought beautiful changing colors to Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain. The main terminal's departures area is shown here.
Richard Rogers’ Madrid-Barajas airport, departure area.

Light comes through large skylights into the circulation systems at Madrid-Barajas Airport's check-in and departures area.
Richard Rogers’ Madrid-Barajas airport, check-in and departure.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Coonley House, by Frank Lloyd Wright

Image GalleryBuilt in 1907, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Avery Coonley House went on sale a couple of years ago and sold for nearly US$3 million. More importantly, the sale allowed pictures of the masterpiece in its current state to leak out to the internet.

Image Gallery

It seems that apart from some previous owner having severed the link between the main house and the bedroom wing (which is a very big “apart from”!)  the remaining “main house” is looking in tip-top shape.

Almost as beautiful as the day it was born!

Image Gallery

Architect Garret Eain offers a short overview of the restoration.

This is your way in from the street…