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pritzker architecture prize, Stephen Breyer

Pritzker Architecture Prize Committee Now Led By Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been named as the chairman of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize committee by the family that sponsors the prize. He will head a seven member jury of experts from around the globe. Tom Pritzker, executive chairman of the Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp, stated:

“His devotion to civic-minded architecture underscores the mission of the prize and his unparalleled ability to guide a group deliberation is essential in creating a unified voice within this diverse and internal panel of jurors.”

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honor a living architect or those architects who have distinguished themselves through work that displays commitment, talent and vision in architecture. The award was founded in 1979 by Jay and Cindy Pritzker and is funded by the Pritzker family, with the Hyatt Foundation serving as a corporate sponsor. It is most often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture and has a steadfast reputation for recognizing architects irrespective of race, nationality or ideology. Some of the most notable architects who have received the coveted award include Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco in 1938 and attended Harvard Law School, where he joined the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1964. He went on to teach as Harvard Law for over two decades. He subsequently served as an assistant prosecutor during the Watergate hearings and was sworn in to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Justice Breyer has never studied architecture, but has a long-standing devotion and interest in the field. In 1999, he was one of  the two judges who served as advisors to the architects of the federal courthouse in Boston which opened in 1999. He has been a distinguished member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury since 2011.

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grand canyon, mary colter, american architecture

American Architecture – The Grand Canyon and Mary Colter

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

One of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the first national parks in the United States, the Grand Canyon receives millions of visitors every year who view the steep gorge carved by the Colorado River into the Colorado Plateau. Most visit the easy-to-access South Rim, and some hike to its depths or traverse its length river-rafting.

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was an architect and designer. She was one of the very few female architects of her day. She was most notably the designer of many landmark buildings and spaces for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad, notably in Grand Canyon National Park. Her work had enormous influence as she helped to create a style, blending Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Revival architecture with Native American motifs and rustic elements that became popular throughout the Southwest.

Colter created a series of renowed works in the Grand Canyon National Park. Among her work is the 1905 Hopi House, the 1914 Hermit’s Rest and observatory Lookout Studio, and the 1932 Desert View Watchtower, a 70-foot-tall rock tower with a hidden steel structure, as well as the 1935 Bright Angel Lodge complex, and the 1922 Phantom Ranch buildings at the bottom of the canyon. She also decorated the park’s El Tovar Hotel. In 1987, the Mary Jane Colter Buildings, as a group, were listed as a National Historic Landmark.

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Our new sconce for Tiffany Harris Design

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olympic architecture, tokyo, architecture, architecture design, adg blog

Olympic Architecture: How Much Influence Will the 2020 Games Have on Tokyo?

According to experts studying the phenomenon, dozens of major urban development projects are slated or in progress for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. From hotels and sports complexes to cloud-piercing skyscrapers, new architecture is poised to transform the vista of Tokyo by the time the city raises the curtain for the 2020 Olympic Games.

As an example, The Shinagawa Station complex, a structure that will be impossible to miss, will be a steel-and-glass roof inspired by traditional Japanese origami, hovering above a light-flooded train station and a sprawling subterranean city. It will be an opportunity to design the whole area surrounding the station. It will be a great project because it will connect the sea and the hill of Tokyo, which will create a new face to the city.

Bloomberg estimates that 45 new skyscrapers will be constructed within the city limits. If estimates are correct, there would be mean a 50% increase in high-rises between now and 2020, compared to the previous three-year period.

The Tokyo Bay area, where a number of Olympics-related facilities are being constructed, is also seeing significant growth. A comprehensive set of physical, social, environmental and international legacies will result from Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Games. The citizens of Tokyo and Japan will benefit from significant environmental and infrastructural improvements, such as new green spaces and sport and education facilities centered on the revitalizing Tokyo. This will create a zone with strong appeal for Tokyo’s future development and growth.

Fortunately for Tokyo, there is a broader goal. Planning is going well beyond the 2020 Olympics. Architects are considering how the city wants to evolve in a more broad sense. A great deal of big-scale development projects are going on at the moment, with the vision of 2020 and beyond. Such a massive level of development will no doubt concern some residents. Experts predict that Tokyo’s architectural transformation is likely to be less dramatic than the revitalization witnessed in some other cities. There is a niche school of experimental architects in Japan that dominate the media, but it’s a conservative environment architecturally for the most part, governed by corporate firms and construction companies.

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The Pop Pendant

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Mid-Century Modern Architecture: Refreshing the Classic Hotels

The mid-century modern movement was an American reflection of the international and Bauhaus movements, including the works of Gropius, Florence Knoll, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. American designs of mid-century architecture were frequently employed in residential structures with the goal of bringing modernism into America’s post-war suburbs. This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor plans, with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in.

Without doubt, mid-century hotels are popular both with nostalgic travelers and with millennials who admire the timeless modern design and the casual ambiance it embodies. Recently, several iconic mid-century hotels in the U.S. have been reinvented and given a facelift, while still retaining the essence of the era. These structures cheerfully embraced their mid-century heritage with a renewed vibe and updated feel, welcoming guests to enjoy a glimpse of stylish history while enjoying modern comforts and amenities.

The Monkey Tree Hotel – Palm Springs, CA

The heart of mid-century architecture, Palm Springs is known for its numerous examples of both private residences and hotels. Showcasing its well-defined mid-century history, the boutique Monkey Tree opened its doors in 2016 as a revitalized version of its former inception, which was designed in 1960 by famed Palm Springs architect Albert Frey. A renowned celebrity hangout in years past, guests of the Monkey Tree have included stars Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Eric Clapton, Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn.

The Diplomat Beach Resort – Hollywood Beach, FL

A rekindled beachfront property, The Diplomat Beach Resort was a hip Southern Florida hangout for Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack buddies in the 1960s. After a grand re-opening in April 2017, the Diplomat celebrates its illustrious past with a multi-million dollar renovation and distinctive design elements.

Andaz West Hollywood – West Hollywood, CA

A prime location in the heart of the famous Sunset Strip, the Andaz WeHo’s clean lines and minimalist exterior instantly became a legendary property. Nicknamed the Hyatt “Riot” House during its heyday in the early 1970s, it was a raucous home away from home for major rock bands including Led Zeppelin and The Who.

Watergate Hotel – Washington, D.C.

Infamously known for its’ role in the 1970s political scandal, the Watergate Hotel’s classic architecture is considered the finest example of mid-century hotel design. Located on the banks of the Potomac River, the iconic property was revitalized in 2016, after being shuttered for over a decade. Today, the hotel today is reinvigorated, following extensive renovations and major luxurious upgrades.

ADG has worked on a number of major hotels and resorts worldwide. Check out our portfolio of hospitality clients.

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Inspired collections through the centuries by Gerald Olesker. Onyx and bronze lantern.

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Nature Architecture: Traditions Steeped in Japanese Architecture

The line between nature and architecture is a blurred one in Japan. The country’s leading architects are using this concept to create innovative and cutting edge designs.

While the designs are innovative, they have their origins in a tradition, which are deeply rooted in Japanese culture. The practice of architecture in Japan has always been to work in harmony with the natural surroundings. Buildings are built around trees, in trees and as trees.

Japanese Architecture in Harmony With Nature

Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world. It is achieved through design approaches that aim to be sympathetic and well-integrated with a site, so buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition.



With an indigenous religious sensibility that long preceded Buddhism, the Japanese perceived that a spiritual realm was manifest in nature. Rock outcroppings, waterfalls, and gnarled old trees were viewed as the abodes of spirits and were understood as their personification. This belief system endowed much of nature with numinous qualities. It nurtured, in turn, a sense of proximity to and intimacy with the world of spirit as well as a trust in nature’s general benevolence.

The symmetry of Chinese-style temple plans gave way to asymmetrical layouts that followed the specific contours of hilly and mountainous topography in Japan. The borders existing between structures and the natural world were deliberately obscure. Elements such as long verandas and multiple sliding panels offered constant vistas on nature — although that nature was often carefully arranged and fabricated rather than wild and real.

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Our gigantic mercury ball triple threat pendant!

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Are You Ready to Build the Guggenheim In Your Living Room?

Need a challenge? How about building the Guggenheim in your living room? For all of you who are fans of architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright or the Guggenheim, you day has arrived! You can hone your best architectural skills and creativity and build the Guggenheim in your own home. LEGO architecture debuts its latest ‘brick building challenge’ featuring the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Guggenheim.

LEGO Architecture series has released its newest model from a collection that features some of the best-known buildings of the world. For all of you LEGO fans, there was a much loved edition released in 2009, featuring 208 pieces to challenge LEGO and architecture fans. This edition was released just in time for the 150th birthday of the renowned architect.

This edition will feature 744 pieces, which will allow architecture fans the ability to create a more realistic and accurate depiction of the famed Guggenheim. This offering will feature more accurately the eight-story office tower, green rotunda roofs and Wright’s lettering across the front of the structure. It even offers yellow taxi cabs that accent 5th Avenue. The kit will also offer a detailed booklet that details the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Guggenheim.

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called the best all-time work of American architecture. He was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home in Broadacre City, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.

His creative period spanned more than 70 years. In addition to his houses, Wright designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums and other structures. He often designed interior elements for these buildings as well, including furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles, and was a popular lecturer in the United States and Europe.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as the Guggenheim, is an art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. In 1959, the museum moved from rented space to its current building, a landmark work of 20th-century architecture. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the cylindrical building, wider at the top than the bottom, was conceived as a “temple of the spirit.” Its unique ramp gallery extends up from ground level in a long, continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building to end just under the ceiling skylight. The building underwent extensive expansion and renovations in 1992 (when an adjoining tower was built) and from 2005 to 2008.


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