Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age (Hardcover)

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Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age By Blair Kamin Cover Image
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Description


For more than twenty years now, Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune has explored how architecture captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Kamin treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Terror and Wonder gathers the best of Kamin’s writings from the past decade along with new reflections on an era framed by the destruction of the World Trade Center and the opening of the world’s tallest skyscraper.

Assessing ordinary commercial structures as well as head-turning designs by some of the world’s leading architects, Kamin paints a sweeping but finely textured portrait of a tumultuous age torn between the conflicting mandates of architectural spectacle and sustainability. For Kamin, the story of our built environment over the past ten years is, in tangible ways, the story of the decade itself. Terror and Wonder considers how architecture has been central to the main events and crosscurrents in American life since 2001: the devastating and debilitating consequences of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina; the real estate boom and bust; the use of over-the-top cultural designs as engines of civic renewal; new challenges in saving old buildings; the unlikely rise of energy-saving, green architecture; and growing concern over our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

A prominent cast of players—including Santiago Calatrava, Frank Gehry, Helmut Jahn, Daniel Libeskind, Barack Obama, Renzo Piano, and Donald Trump—fills the pages of this eye-opening look at the astounding and extraordinary ways that architecture mirrors our values—and shapes our everyday lives.

About the Author


Blair Kamin is the author or editor of several books, including Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago and Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age. The Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic for 28 years, Kamin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1999.

Praise For…


"Kamin, the Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, has constructed an elegant and thought-provoking book out of 51 of his timely yet timeless columns. He begins not with the creation of structures but, rather, with their destruction: the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers and Katrina’s assault on New Orleans. In the wake of each catastrophe, Kamin examines reactions predictable and counterintuitive. There’s the ugly and dampening impact of clumsy security measures on architecture, travel, and public life, and the reckless building boom, which stoked the foreclosure epidemic and a plague of generic, bloated commercial and residential buildings, and left two massive skyscraper projects, the Spire and the Waterview Tower, in limbo in Chicago (“the first city of American architecture”). But he also writes of such buoyant successes as Santiago Calatrava’s winged addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum and Jeanne Gang’s “singular” Aqua Tower and celebrates the “blooming of green architecture.” Crisp and colorful, expert and witty, Kamin’s involving essays address the complexities of architecture and how the built world affects every aspect of life."


— Booklist

"In the time Blair Kamin has served as the Chicago Tribune’s architectural critic, building has gone bananas. The Twin Towers fell and the Trump Tower rose, historic preservationists have had to fight tooth and nail for significant buildings, Dubai has gone mile high and the Chicago Spire became the Chicago Pit. His new book, Terror and Wonder, collects his writing from the Trib and elsewhere . . . about everything from McDonald’s to Mies."—TimeOut Chicago
 


— TimeOut Chicago

"Kamin, the Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, has constructed an elegant and thought-provoking book out of 51 of his timely yet timeless columns. . . . Crisp and colorful, expert and witty, Kamin’s involving essays address the complexities of architecture and how the built world affects every aspect of life."


— Booklist

"In the time Blair Kamin has served as the Chicago Tribune’s architectural critic, building has gone bananas. The Twin Towers fell and the Trump Tower rose, historic preservationists have had to fight tooth and nail for significant buildings, Dubai has gone mile high and the Chicago Spire became the Chicago Pit. His new book, Terror and Wonder, collects his writing from the Trib and elsewhere . . . about everything from McDonald’s to Mies."


— TimeOut Chicago

“Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, thoughtfully and provocatively defines the emotional and cultural dimensions of architecture. He is one of the nation's leading voices for design that uplifts and enhances life as well as the environment. His new book, Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age, assembles some of his best writing from the past ten years.”


— Huffington Post

Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age, a collection of [Kamin’s] essays and reviews from 2001 to 2010, takes on subjects as fraught as the rebuilding effort at Ground Zero and the architecture of public housing. But it does so in a style that is approachable, clear-eyed and—perhaps above all—eminently reasonable. If the age was tumultuous, in other words, Kamin’s prose never is.”


— Christopher Hawthorne

"[Kamin] spotlights architecture’s central role in the decade’s main events and trends. . . . [He] is, in the end, our most deeply-humane critic.”
— Architectural Record

“When it comes to architecture criticism in the United States, no one does it better than Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune. A 1999 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kamin has written eloquently, intelligently and passionately about everything from the Chicago lakefront to the National September 11 Memorial in Manhattan. . . . [Terror and Wonder] is an excellent overview of Kamin's recent work, and of the state of architecture worldwide.”
— Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Prescient. . . . colourful. . . . Kamin’s criticism is sharp and readable, more so because he places ordinary people before architects, planners or developers in his appraisal of the changes he has witnessed to the urban environment over the last 10 years.”


— Rakesh Ramchurn

"[The book's] organisational format, combined with Kamin's addition of a postscript for most columns, provides a sense of depth and continuity to what might otherwise appear to be a collection of brief snapshots. . . . Kamin's text enacts its own form of historical contextualization and it is one with considerable explanatory power."

— Oxford Art Journal


Product Details
ISBN: 9780226423111
ISBN-10: 0226423115
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: November 28th, 2010
Pages: 320
Language: English