Even more so than usual, few people will be receiving buildings as gifts this season. They're too expensive, you can’t return them, and, notwithstanding Barbie’s Dream House, they probably won't fit under your tree. But still, this Yuletide affords ample opportunity to take stock of the works that have arisen in this most momentous of decades.
See the building and the walls in the lower left? They're designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. They're part of the ensemble he designed at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Mies and his office designed this corner around the same time they were designing the masterpiece on campus - Crown Hall.
With the Olympics nicely coinciding with my vacation, I think I’ve watched more coverage of the games than the average human should. Prior to the start of the games, I followed with interest the story of how Beijing was re-fashioning itself to host the games. Much has been written on this subject from the loss of the city’s “hutongs” to the “distorted” messages conveyed by the starchitecture. Some have referred to Beijing as a “Houston on steroids.”