Photo of MOCA Cleveland used with permission under a Creative Commons license with Flickr user Mmm…Bacon!
Good morning, architects. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a bonanza of stories on Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened on Columbus Day. Steven Litt has a story focused on Farshid Moussavi's elemental building for the museum, which rises from a six-sided base to a pyramidal point. "Then there's the crinkle: Moussavi deliberately specified that the stainless-steel panels would rumple a bit—producing odd, uneven reflections—rather than being flat, mirrorlike surfaces," Litt writes. "On the inside, MOCA's architecture is all around you. The museum is a series of compressed spaces that can be exhilarating and dizzying, often at the same time." Litt isn't alone in focusing on the building: MOCA Cleveland's inaugural exhibit features artists who are responding to the building, including Katharina Grosse, whose four-story painting installation is part of the premier. There's still more: on Moussavi, on the building's development, on the museum's director, and on the opening gala.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. The UK's Architects Registration Board has acknowledged that Renzo Piano, FAIA, and Daniel Libeskind, FAIA, are, in fact, architects. The government architecture watchdog (!) apologized for asking BD to refrain from referring to Piano and Libeskind as architects. The ARB received a complaint, it would appear, that the two were not listed on the UK Register. Which is fantastic. BD editor Amanda Baillieu had the appropriate response for Dezeen: "The whole thing is ludicrous. Renzo Piano is an architect. He trained in Milan. You can read it on Wikipedia."
PHAIDON SOLD. Phaidon Press, publisher of lavish coffee-table books on fine art and high design, has been sold to Leon Black, The Wall Street Journal reports. Black is the billionaire head of Apollo Global Management. Pro tip for publishers in search of an angel investor: Consider giving your print a name drawn from Greek antiquity.
PHILLY ANGRY. ARTINFO reports that a petition to put a city-sanctioned mural smack-dab on the side of the William Lescaze and George Howe–designed PSFS Building is drawing angry responses from Philadelphians. But the whole thing reads like a send-up. "Yesterday I started a petition to ask the Mayor (and whoever else needs to be asked) to fund a mural to be painted on the back of the PSFS Building," writes the author of the Streets Dept blog where the petition was raised. "With already over 50 signatures in only 24 hours, I’m beginning to get excited that I might not be the only one who sees this as a real possibility and a really awesome opportunity for Philadelphia to make a HUGE statement about the role of the arts in our city, and I wonder how you might envision this mural-to-be…" (How's it a send-up? The tell: When has someone from Philadelphia ever sounded so enthusiastic about anything?)
LOS ANGELES VICTORIOUS. The Los Angeles Times's Christopher Hawthorne observes that it's pretty sweet that both Michael Heizer's gargantuan "Levitated Mass" and the space shuttle Endeavor have both taken awesome parade victory routes through L.A. before arriving at their final destinations. Welp, that does sound pretty great, Chris. Thanks for letting everybody know about your fantastic parades that celebrate art and innovation.
GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT RUST AIN'T ONE. In last week's The New Yorker, music critic Sasha Frere-Jones writes up Jay-Z's eight-night opening (!!) of the Barclays Center. Contrary to popular belief, Jay-Z owns neither the Barclays Center nor the Brooklyn Nets, at least not outright. As S. F-J explains, the real mogul behind the Barclays Center is the Cleveland-born developer Bruce Ratner, and there's much better reason for Brooklynites to be mad at Ratner than the rusted-steel exterior designed by SHoP Architects for the arena.
"Ratner has not always done right by downtown Brooklyn. In 1993, he established the MetroTech center, a bland and functional series of buildings that exists on Flatbush Avenue down toward the city a few blocks, housing mostly business and educational facilities," Frere-Jones writes. "It serves a concrete purpose, so it is hard to either celebrate or dismiss. Less happy is the Atlantic Terminal mall, which opened almost exactly eight years ago and sits directly opposite Barclays. This series of chain stores seems to have been designed by someone using a landline (maybe in Cleveland) and paying more attention to Excel than the neighborhood’s needs. We needed a Chuck E. Cheese and a mock amusement park? No."
... AND REMAINDERS. Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye gets the LEGO treatment; no one wants Andrew Kikoski's apartment; semi-finalists to be announced in the competition to find a designer for Kent State University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design; New York's Pratt Institute turns 125.