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Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age Hardcover – November 28, 2010
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"Kamin threads a thoughtfully curated selection of his columns with meaningful introductions and satisfying postscripts that...present a compelling and unsettling exploration of...our last decade." --Zurich Esposito, Chicago Architect
Kamin "urges us to grasp fully the state of design since 9/11...He has done so masterfully, in language that is at once understandable and gracefully written." --J. Michael Welton, Architects+Artisans
"Kamin's prescient reflection...isn't just about the new buildings that went up here...[the] book gives his columns...greater meaning through their ability to pinpoint what went well, and what didn't, under Daley."
--Ella Christoph, Newcity
"Chicago is lucky to have Kamin, whose architectural criticism in that city's Tribune continues the spirited tradition of Allan Temko and Ada Louise Huxtable." --John King, San Francisco Chronicle
Top Customer Reviews
There were many opportunities to visit Chicago,
so I really wanted to know about many history & even behind stories, too...
Because I'd need to teach in my country.
This book is exactly that I wanted..
The "terror" that Kamin refers to are the 9/11 attacks, which brought down two of the world's most famous buildings. "Famous", yes, but not particularly architecturally significant. Terror also refers to the natural kind; Hurricane Katrina which wrecked much (but not all) of New Orleans and areas along the Gulf Coast. But, terror could also refer to an economic downturn that occurred in the years from 2007 to 2012. Kamin gives plenty of examples of projects started and then let go when financing has fallen through on a project. One of the main examples of this was the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava's, "Chicago Spire", he was commissioned to build for an Irish developer.Read more ›
architecture writings of Blair Kamin, who is an architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune
and has won the Pulitzer Prize.
This book is not organized in a choronological order, but rather in a thematic order.
The book has five chapters; beginning with the 911 and Katrina, the book tells the readers how
the sense of security and the rebuilding energy has reshaped the airports and public areas; then the book
talks about architecturally significant high-rise buildings in Chicago; the third chapter is
about museums and campus buildings; the fourth chapter is about preservation issues; and the
book ends with the rise of President Obama and future predictions.
The time frame of the book is more or less a decade, the destruction of WTC (2001) and
the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (2010, the world's tallest building), which gives
the title of the book "Terror and Wonder." It is in this decade that the world was under immense
In Chicago, during this era, major high-rise commissions were executed by the star architects;
the Milennium Park (Gehry and Piano), the Trump Tower (Adrian Smith), the Aqua Tower (Gang),
and the contentiously unbuilt Spiral Tower Calatrava, and the campus buildings of IIT (OMA, Jahn, Mies)
is covered in the book. The major works of Mid-West, Milwaukee Art Museum by Calatrava,
Denver Art Museum by Libeskind, Kansas Nelson-Atkins Museum by Holl, etc is covered in the book.
The major preservation issues and urban design issues are also covered in the book.
I personally enjoyed reading his writings on Chicago high-rise buildings.Read more ›