The Washington Post

David Macaulay: The Art of Drawing Architecture National Building Museum

June 23–Jan. 21, 2008

For more than 30 years, the incomparable designer, writer, and illustrator David Macaulay has lent accessibility and charm to monumental feats of architecture and engineering. Macaulay, who trained as an architect, conveys the complexity of building in books simply named for different building types. His original explanatory drawings for Cathedral (1973), Underground (1976), Castle (1977), and seven more books form the core of the Building Museum's exhibition. Mosques are the latest addition to the illustrator's oeuvre. They are both impressive and important for Western audiences to understand, and this exhibition peels away the exteriors to reveal layers of opportunity for learning.

Fondation Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture Netherlands Architecture Institute

Through Sept. 2

The first major Le Corbusier retrospective since 1987 offers a look at the master as architect, painter, sculptor, photographer, and textile designer. More than 450 original drawings, models, artworks, tapestries, films, photographs, sculptures, pieces of furniture, and elements of interiors will show how Le Corbusier focused on the human dimension, whether at Villa Savoye, while designing a chaise longue, or in creating the luminous interior of the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamps, France. Today, the architect's concept of large-scale utopian housing complexes surrounded by moats of public space has been discredited as demoralizing; unresolved is the need for social equity in the built environment. The exhibition was organized by an august team including the Vitra Design Museum, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Fondation Le Corbusier, in addition to the Netherlands Architecture Institute.

Architecture+Vision, Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler
Architecture+Vision, Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler

Airs de Paris Pompidou Center

Through Aug. 20

Thirty years after its completion, the Pompidou Center's inside-out structural expressionist architecture by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano looks shockingly fresh at the center of Paris. For the hightech icon's anniversary, curators have gathered an assemblage of cutting-edge design, architecture, and art, including a scale-model Mars Cruiser for a future manned landing. The show also includes furniture by Briton Jasper Morrison and the Bouroullec brothers of France—but space-age shelter is so much more avant-garde. The cruiser was designed by Architecture+Vision of Munich, Germany, creators of the inflatable Desert Seal environment that Paola Antonelli included in the Museum of Modern Art's “Safe: Design Takes on Risk” exhibition. The silvery tent is now in the MoMA collection.