First lecture from modern architecture class

The rise of Modern Movement/ International Style

in 1945, a serial of work introduce the Modern movement, which is also referred to as International style, to the history of architecture. Several important figures, Le Corbusier, Bauhaus and Mallgrave proposed theories that are dominant in the pre-war era.

the style of architecture is referred to as International style because architecture built under the influence almost carries a unique mark of ethic: one that is non-distinguishable and universal and can be applied to everywhere. Opponents to the Modern movement pointed out that the universally non-distinguishable and adaptable style contributes to the loss of local specificity. They argued the hubris claim of Modernist in which one design plan can be answer to the world fail to recognize the one of important aspect of an architecture, which is to reflect the culture and history of the location.

Indeed, Le Corbusier’s plan voision for Paris (1925) is bold: Eracting half of Paris just to design the urban space as shown the following plan?

Le Cobrusier’s Plan Viosion for Paris

His idea here is to pack everything a human needed for life into one building. Therefore, each building is turned into a small world, containing retail space, residential places as well as working space. From this we can tell that architects here are no longer just designer of the building, they become the designer of a life style.

A concern for the lack of sunlight as well as the lack of variance in the mundane repetitiveness  is also mentioned. The similar concern can be applied to Ludwig Hilberseimer’s High rise city (1923), in which the buildings are also highly identical and abstract.

High rise city by Hilberseimer

Perhaps one of the most influential architecture from the pre-war Modern movement is the Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus building (1925). It is a great example of how technical innovation enable architects put their philosophy of ‘form follows function’ into practice as  the transparency of the glass wall enable the students to get sunlight easily. The exterior design become less important and the looking of the building become straightforward and honest.

Water Gropius and Bauhaus

The Fall of Modernist Movement

Minoru Yamasaki, the designer of World Trade Center as well as many famous building across the world (he designed Olin in Carleton College because his son went to Carleton for education. Amusingly, it looks pretty identical to the music hall in Oberlin College and the library in Butler University) experienced colossal failure in Pruitt-lgoe project in St. Louis, Missouri. Within 10 years of build, Pruitt-lgoe community become famous for its crime, segregation and and poverty. This cast doubts on the lifestyle Modernists promote. Indeed, should function alone be the ultimate answer to the purpose of architecture? How does the space of an architecture create affects human experience? 

Apparently, Yamasaki’s approach to the question, which is to pack as many people as possible into the building, does not always work perfectly.

Pruitt-lgoe, known as the architecture failure

(the following is a comparison of buildings  Yamasaki designed for different college campus in the US, including Carleton College)

Irwin Library at Butler University (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Music hall in Oberlin College

Olin Hall in Carleton College

Thinking out of the box

In May 1968, art students in Paris shut down the city for about a month to present their anger towards the conservative architecture education. The original education system ignore the changing reality of the world and blindly and arrogantly follow its old-fashioned claims. the students proposed for a institution where more dialogues about issues they care can be hosted (Art students nowadays apparently lack the anti-authoritarian spirit). They challenge the notion of the permanence gesture of architecture and claim tents that are temporarily set up to be the new form of architecture 

more contents regarding other forms of architecture (such as flyhead, grid by super studio, etc would be discussed later)

Baohaus: Straight Frush Combo (3 baos and a drink)

I can’t believe they make everyone who orders this combo say, “Straight Frush.” Must be hilarious for the waitress/cashier to see everyone speak with an Asian accent.

I chose the Haus Bao (hanger steak, crushed peanut, cilantro, relish, taiwanese red sugar), Birdhaus Bao (chicken brined overnight and fried to order, spicy seasoning, salt, cilantro, crushed peanuts), and the Chairman Bao (braised Berkshire pork belly, crushed peanut, cilantro, relish, Taiwanese red sugar).

Chairman was the classic so it was of course yummy. But it is a lot fattier than the Momofuku or Ippudo buns. Birdhaus Bao reminded me a bit of Chinese KFC (which is a really good thing! Another post on this some other time). Haus Bao was okay but a little too salty. Go for the bird.

The 10 Essentials: Eddie Huang

If you’ve followed the world of food this past year, you’ll recognize Eddie Huang as the next big celebrity chef. The former lawyer turned Baohaus founder becomes a memoirist this month with Fresh Off the Boat, his story of growing up Asian-American. As sharp as Anthony Bourdain (a man he’s often compared to), as marketable on TV as Guy Fieri (a man he’d rather not be), he’s fresher than both, with a backwards-cap swagger and no doubt of what’s dope and what’s dumb. After shooting him a direct message on Twitter, Eddie got on the phone with us to talk about the ten things that are Huang-approved.

I’m bustin’ at em, BAO BAO BAO

I am SUCH a fan of this place. To channel my inner chigga, baohaus is my fucking jam. It gets points for the Rick Ross and Ying Yang Twins playing over the speaker system. Extra Extra points for the Kate Moss Supreme poster adorning the walls. Oh yeah, and I suppose the baos are worth a mention to: they’re fucking moist and dericious and worth every penny.

Chairman Bao: Braised All Natural Berkshire Pork Belly. Served with crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar.

Birdhaus Bao: All Natural Fried Chicken Brined overnight and served with spicy seasoning salt, cilantro, crushed peanuts, and Taiwanese red sugar


238 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003


By the time his first memoir, Fresh Off The Boat, came out in 2013, Eddie Huang was really hitting his stride. His New York restaurant, Baohaus — which serves gua bao, or Taiwanese hamburgers — was doing really well. His TV show, Huang’s World, was taking him all over the world.

… and then he fell in love with a white, All-American woman, and his world turned upside down. Huang began to question his American-Chinese identity, to fret over how Chinese he was. To figure it all out, he and his brothers, Evan and Emery, headed to their ancestral homeland, to reconnect with their culture, to eat lots and lots of food — and to cook.NPR’s Audie Cornish spoke with Huang about these adventures, which he has documented in his new book, Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China.

Check out their conversation (and hear the unforgettable phrase “Chinese intestine sticky rice hot dog) here.

– Petra