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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quote | Budget

Now you know what architects do, we worry about the budget.

- Philip Johnson

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Changes at Eleven Madison Park

The New York Times reported on the changes being made at Eleven Madison Park. The article is titled, "At Eleven Madison Park, Fixing What Isn’t Broke." I disagree with the title because there are problems and they should be fixed.

I wrote about my disappointing experience at the restaurant in an earlier entry. In short the lunch experience was definitely not four-star. I am glad to learn that Chef Daniel Humm and General Manager William Guidara agree with me. As they said in the Times article, the à la carte menu that was served for lunch was a "disservice to the diners who make a gastronomic pilgrimage to the restaurant." Mr. Guidara went on to say, "they might have a completely different experience than they would have at dinner. That doesn’t feel appropriate.” It is nice to see them contradict many bloggers' glowing reviews of the lunch at the restaurant.

According to the Times, they knew about the problems for quite some time and decided to make the changes early this year. It was too bad the change didn't come early enough for me. Nevertheless, I applaud their decision to change course and fix the problems. I am glad they convinced one of the owners, Danny Meyer, to support them. While the restaurant isn't broke, it can and should be better. Just when I thought I would never go back to the restaurant for lunch, now there is a reason to. Hopefully the next time, they will serve us some petits fours.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Recently I went on a business trip to Qingdao. It was my first trip back to the city since 2007 when I was still working at Tsao & McKown. I used to go to Qingdao periodically as I was the Project Architect for the IMC Centre.

The last time when I was at the site, the project was just starting to come out of the ground.

The design of IMC Centre actually started at the end of 2004. This large project, roughly 200,000 square meter in total floor area, consists of four levels of basement, and above grade, a 51-story office tower and a 29-story residential tower linked by a four-story retail podium. It is a very difficult and complicated project. Nevertheless, I was very happy to see the project again. Below is a picture of the project taken in August by my former colleague, who is still on the site trying to get what we designed built properly. Construction will probably continue until early next year.