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Plazas and Piazzas - 01
Plazas and Piazzas

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POMPIDOU-METZ BY SHIGERU BAN

Shigeru Ban has recently been spending almost three-quarters of his time outside Japan, and one main reason for this pattern is the fact that he was building the Centre Pompidou-Metz, an ambitious extension that the Parisian institution has undertaken in the eastern French city of Metz. — Published 2011.0622

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ULM MÜNSTERPLATZ

Just over 100 miles (170 kilometers) from Freiburg, Germany, the city of Ulm straddles the banks of the Danube River, and although the two cities' cathedral squares — Münsterplätze — have slightly different birthdates, they are virtual twins. They grew up over the same five-and-a-half centuries, only to be laid low in the same bombing raids of 1944. — Published 2010.0929

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BECHTLER MUSEUM BY BOTTA

Clad in a glazed terra cotta tile that lends it an orange hue and a sleek feel, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, shows Swiss architect Mario Botta shifting subtly from his signature brick and stone. — Published 2010.0217

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PARISH CHURCH IN LECCE

The city of Lecce, located in the southern heel of the Italian peninsula, is associated with highly ornate baroque palaces and churches, their facades overlaid with elaborate decorative carvings in the local limestone. — Published 2009.0902

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CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Renzo Piano demonstrates a mastery of light throughout his work. At the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, he exhibits the same care lighting a museum of the natural world as he has in lighting some of the world's finest art collections. — Published 2008.1112

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GREAT PUBLIC MARKETS

The activity of buying and selling food has shaped our cities and towns for centuries, since an urban population by nature depends on others for agricultural production. At the heart of this activity stands the public market the buildings and spaces in which vegetables, meat, and other commodities intended for human consumption are sold by diverse persons from numerous spaces or stalls, all under a common authority. — Published 2008.0709

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BROAD CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has traditionally been known for two things: its status as the largest encyclopedic art museum in the western United States, and its schizophrenic campus.

Bolstering the former and addressing the latter, LACMA has unveiled a long-awaited free-standing addition to its collection: the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM), designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in conjunction with executive architect Gensler. — Published 2008.0507

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PIANO TONE

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia now bears the signatures of two living masters. Richard Meier designed the original in 1983; the expansion by Renzo Piano opened in November, 2005. The new addition reinforces Piano's reputation as a designer of cultural palaces that are distinctive without being ostentatious and spare without an overly minimalist chill. — Published 2005.1130

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SOUTHERNNESS IN ARCHITECTURE

If John F. Kennedy did indeed call Washington, D.C., "a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm," it was a statement characterized less by its deadly accuracy and double-edged sharpness than by the startling lack of ambiguity that went with it. The American North is prized for its efficiency and the opulence of its progress. The American South is seen to lack those qualities and to rely instead on more leisurely (and more charming) ways. — Published 2004.0901

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JUVARRA IN TURIN

The Duke of Savoy was in search of an architect to help him transform the city of Turin in the Italian Piedmont. The duke wanted his capital to be a modern, successful city of his Late Baroque period, that would show that the powerful House of Savoy stood at the forefront of world architecture. — Published 2003.1029

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