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Architecture critic attempts to eat dinner, but is distracted by giant dome

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Restaurant critics often pontificate about the design of the space as well, but Blair Kamin, architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune, doesn't return the compliment. He sticks strictly to the architecture in his lengthy review of Donald Trump's latest enterprise, the restaurant Sixteen, perched on the 16th floor of his 92-storey tower in the city.

Kamin analyses architect Joe Valerio's design for the restaurant, from the foyer through a sequence of spaces. 'The spaces don't reveal themselves all at once. You experience them in time. Architects call this sort of thing "procession",' Kamin notes drily.

The main event is a dining room able to dwarf any diner, with a soaring dome-like ceiling of West African wood (sustainably sourced, we hope). Valerio deals cleverly with the fact that only half the diners will be facing the stupendous view by placing mirrors in the dome in such a way that everybody will see it, even if only in reflection.

Kamin has some reservations, but believes in general terms the space works well. He concedes though that many are less positive about the Trump Tower itself. In which case, he suggests they emulate the French writer Guy de Maupassant, who hated the Eiffel Tower so much, he dined there every day so he didn't have to look at it.

Those interested in conspicuous display on a different continent may prefer to read the Guardian's article on St Petersburg, where Steve Rose asks 'Is St Petersburg about to be ruined by a skyscraper designed by a UK firm?' This of course is RMJM's much heralded Gazprom tower, now referred to as the Okhta Centre. Tony Kettle of RMJM explains rather sweetly that 'It really is very delicate, quite a small object on the horizon. It's only when you get close that it is obviously visible.'

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