Monday, March 21, 2005

The Mayne event

Congrats to Thom Mayne for winning the Pritzker Prize, one of the top awards in world architecture. From the number of interesting and out-there commissions he's done, you'd think his name would be more well-known. Perhaps now he'll rightfully join the ranks of today's "star-chitects" -- Gehry, Koolhaas, Calatrava and Libeskind, etc. Mayne's work includes the Caltrans District 7 HQ in L.A. which looks like he crossed a futuristic raceway grandstand with a government building and added touches reminiscent of the highway. His design for the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau evokes a planetarium as well as the wide-open Alaska sky. Closer to home he has proposed designs for the NYC 2012 Olympic Village, which would infuse Long Island City with more of that MOMA-QNS-esque spirit, as well as a new academic building for Cooper Union.

An interesting tidbit about Mayne's S.F. federal building: Most of its elevators don't stop on every floor, but instead on every third floor -- to save energy while encouraging interaction and walking.

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