“Architecture Needed to Be Liberated from Itself”: In Conversation with James Wines

James Wines, a New York architect and environmental artist, has been on a mission of sorts. He believes that architecture needs to be liberated from itself. This act of liberation is expressed in many radical projects that he and his company, SITE (Sculpture In The Environment) realized in 11 countries. Wines is world famous for such projects as Ghost Parking Lot (Hamden, CO, 1977), Highrise of Homes (theoretical project, 1981), Highway 86 (Vancouver, Canada, 1986), Fondazione Pietro Rossini Pavilion (Briosco, Italy, 2008), and Off-White Showroom for Virgil Abloh (Ginza, Tokyo, 2021). The very essence of the architect’s work is expressed in his fascinating stores for BEST Products Company, the key focus of my conversation with the architect that took place over Zoom on August 10, 2022, following many of our in-person meetings.

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