Book as Coffee Table

December 31st, 2012

Nothing quite drives the last nail into the coffin of an architectural movement like a tombstone-sized retrospective.  Did Corbu even design a coffee table capable of supporting this 21-pound volume?

et tu Boulee?

March 19th, 2012

Boulee’s monument to Newton, seems also to have been influenced by ancient mausolea, as I surmised while exploring the roots of Mario Botta’s SFMoMA. This time a spherical top over a windowless cylindrical base, and again, rings of Cypress trees. There’s something in these arrangements that draws together the earth and the heavens, the worldly […]

Art, Death, and the Museum

June 20th, 2009

Early features of Mario Botta’s San Francisco Museum of Modern Art bear resemblance to those of the Mausoleum of Emperor Augustus in Rome. Parallels between museums and mausolea are rife in the history of the de Young as well. What is it about art and death that moves us to inter them so?