Gehry on Alexanderplatz

It’s official: US investor Hines will go ahead with a Frank Gehry design and build Germany’s tallest residential tower smack in the middle of Alexanderplatz. At the same time, an old master plan is to be revived. What to make of all this?


Gehry’s tower will rise to the right of the Saturn electronics store, across the street from the GDR-era “Haus des Reisens” (with the Sharp advertisement on its top) – here is a rendering

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1964 Transformations

I am planning to pitch a piece on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the urban transformation the Games brought about. Besides some of Manuel’s photos, I want to use a slide I bought on ebay the other day (see below). We look up north across the newly-built expressway connecting Haneda airport with the city centre. The monorail track is to the right. More info here. Article abstract after the jump (comments more than welcome!).


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Lima stopover

To conclude the travelogue writing that has dominated this blog for some time now, herewith some impressions from our brief stopover in Peru. Two nights were too short to venture out of Lima. But there was enough to keep us busy in town.


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As evident from the flurry of posts put up here over the last couple of days (buildings, Puerto Madero, Torre Dorego, Museo Xul Solar, Clorindo Testa and MAMBA/MACBA), my wife and I just got back from ten days in Buenos Aires (plus a short stopover in Lima on the way back). This was my second time in this fascinating city and country. Below some personal observations.


Veronica di Toro, Simetrica No. 16, 2009, on display at MACBA

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Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero is Buenos Aires’s ambitious waterfront urban regeneration project in the old port area, along the riverbank of the Rio de la Plata. While construction is ongoing, the area has already become one of the city’s richest. Herewith some photos taken during a recent stroll.


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Museo Xul Solar

The Museo Xul Solar is devoted to the artist’s extensive work spanning several decades and various media. The building is an architectural masterpiece that connects various old structures, including Solar’s flat at the top, with cast concrete staircases, mezzanine floors and open spaces.


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Clorindo Testa

With Testa, Argentina lost one of its most famous architects last year. Two of his landmark buildings are among the more successful examples of Brutalism globally. I visited the Banco de Londres and the Biblioteca Nacional while in Buenos Aires last week.


Banco de Londres (1959-1966)

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We checked out two modern art museums in San Telmo, Buenos Aires the other day. The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Buenos Aires (MACBA) and the neighbouring Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA) were, while almost completely empty, really worth the visit.

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