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Urbanicide

A serial killer of cities is wandering about the planet. Its name is UNESCO, and its weapon is the “World Heritage” designation
posted by spamandkimchi on Aug 22, 2014 - 80 comments

Top Five Architecture Maps

Top Five Architecture Maps: [via Google Maps Mania]
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 20, 2014 - 2 comments

Okay, angry owls it is

One of the great things about medieval art and architecture is that people just went in and did things. They didn’t build models and scale them up. Building great cathedrals and abbeys was a learning process as much as anything else. This means many of these apparently perfect aspirations to the Heavenly Jerusalem have some often quite comical mistakes, corrections and bodge-jobs that once you see, you can’t unnotice. Great Mistakes in English Medieval Architecture.
posted by verstegan on Aug 17, 2014 - 44 comments

Sirens of the Sea

Wave instruments: San Francisco's gurgly Wave Organ; Blackpool's moaning High Tide Organ; Zadar's hypnotic Sea Organ. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Aug 14, 2014 - 10 comments

A metaphor for the tensions and hopes of the entire city

Mr. Phelan's Building. Medium's Sarah Agudo and Marcin Wichary investigate the building they work in: "Ancient and modern at the same time; multiple slices of time meeting under one penthouse-sporting roof." [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 28, 2014 - 9 comments

Piety and Perversity: The Palms of Los Angeles

Parisians claim that in Paris, one is never more than 400 yards away from a Metro station. In Los Angeles, I am equally certain that one is always within 400 yards of a palm tree. Scores of streets are lined with them; they are ubiquitous in domestic and public gardens; they rise from hilltops; they tower above cemeteries; they front museums, movie studios, hotels, hospitals, municipal buildings, modest apartments, and lavish villas; they are clustered around swimming pools; they dominate the skyline — they are everywhere, and have never been more popular. The city’s 200-year love affair with palms has never ceased, and rather than waning, the affair is waxing. From the first palms planted by Spanish padres to the city of Beverly Hills, which recently, in an act of cosmetic alteration, created a palm-lined, palm-bisected thoroughfare on upscale Rodeo Drive, the palm has been the tree of choice for Angelenos. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 28, 2014 - 38 comments

L.A. noir to now

A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 26, 2014 - 22 comments

He Who Loves an Old House Never Loves in Vain

CIRCA's "You Should Move to ..." series is a charming exploration of "beautiful, under-the-radar old house towns where big charm can be had for little cost." [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Jul 24, 2014 - 19 comments

Mine is the beige house. No, the other one. No, the one next to that.

In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 5, 2014 - 50 comments

Eichler, Cliff May and the invention of the California Ranch Style home

The post-war boom gave rise to new concepts of modernity in domestic architecture and, of course, massive suburban development. One such concept was the California ranch-style home, pioneered by Cliff May (1909-1989). Another contemporary architect, Joseph Eichler (1900-1974), had his own vision of modernity in America's new suburbs, but both styles used similar language. At the time, these new designs for living were seen as modern and at the cutting edge of sophistication, but sophistication within reach of the average professional, middle-class family. They were designed to have a practical as well as an aesthetic value. Welcome to mid-century modern. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 4, 2014 - 29 comments

Anything that has to be laid straight, she asks someone else to do.

Melissa Leo's fabulous house, built with Constant van Hoeven.
posted by xowie on Jun 28, 2014 - 11 comments

Architecture for One

Mountain Lab: An Interview With Scott McGuire
"As a form of minor architecture," the resulting short article explained, "tents are strangely overlooked. They are portable, temporary, and designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, but they are usually viewed as simple sporting goods. They are something between a large backpack and outdoor lifestyle gear—certainly not small buildings. But what might an architect learn from the structure and design of a well-made tent?" Amongst the group of people we spoke with that day was outdoor equipment strategist Scott McGuire, an intense, articulate, and highly focused advocate for all things outdoors.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 21, 2014 - 14 comments

Witches, dragons not included

Imbued with asymmetrical charm and handcrafted whimsy, Storybook Style houses evoke the aesthetic of classic fairy tales, inside and out. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on Jun 20, 2014 - 13 comments

The Near-Death of Grand Central Terminal

"[S]tock jobbers[,]... confidence men,... an impecunious transportation entity", politicos, judges, scoundrels and Jackie O.: the near-death of Grand Central Terminal, and how it foretold the 2008 financial crisis. [sl Harper's]
posted by killdevil on Jun 19, 2014 - 5 comments

Celsus: A Library Architecture Resource

Celsus is a collaborative wiki for articles related to the history, design, construction, and renovation of libraries. [more inside]
posted by carter on Jun 17, 2014 - 1 comment

TRUMP'd

How do you destroy the aesthetic integrity of the world's fourteenth tallest building? All you need are five massive letters.
posted by Iridic on Jun 6, 2014 - 76 comments

Glasgow School of Art destroyed

The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and recently voted Britain's favorite building of the past 175 years, has been devastated by fire. While the stone exterior of Mackintosh's greatest architectural masterpiece may survive, Mackintosh's interiors are presumed lost.
posted by scody on May 23, 2014 - 70 comments

Love Letter to Libraries

“When a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.” Maria Popova calls the new book The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, which took eighteen years to photograph and compile, "a wistful yet hopeful reminder of just what’s at stake if we let the greatest bastion of public knowledge humanity has ever known slip into the neglected corner of cultural priorities."
posted by Rykey on Apr 9, 2014 - 36 comments

In Situ

BXL swings in the cracks is a "Collective who up-cycles waste (scrap wood, discarded domestic furniture, ...) into parasite interventions with the aim to vitalize public spaces." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 4, 2014 - 1 comment

Thousands of photographs of Tibet

Gorgeous photographs of Tibet, thousands of them by Jan Reurink with excellent, informative captions. Exceptionally detailed, clear photographs of a huge variety of Tibetan landscapes, architecture of all kinds, flowers, wildlife, cool details, monastic cities. Of course, all kinds of Tibetan people, from a high plains cowboy in a dusty town, monastic staff, nomads to kids. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 4, 2014 - 11 comments

The city as clip art

The "White City" of Tel Aviv is a World Heritage site with the world's largest collection of Bauhaus ("International Style") buildings. In his blog TLV Buildings Israeli artist Avner Givelter depicts these buildings' facades with local colors and typography in the style of the similarly-charming Windows of New York. [previously] [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 1, 2014 - 3 comments

Building hope

Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker win proves that building hope is finally in vogue
The architecture world has a new laureate, and he builds in cardboard. Japan’s Shigeru Ban was named this week as the winner of the Pritzker Prize, an annual award that is often called architecture’s Nobel – and his win sends a clear and timely message. Social change, sustainability and improving the lives of the many: This is what matters now to the world of architecture. With Ban’s Pritzker, the global design elite is marking that shift.
Take a Tour of Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban's Paper Tube Structures [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 31, 2014 - 9 comments

Not your traditional tree house

“Just as leaves in a tree are naturally arranged to get the maximum sun, we’ve mathematically arranged these balconies and cantilevers to catch and shade the sun.”
posted by bswinburn on Mar 30, 2014 - 29 comments

Palisades del Rey (Surfridge ghost town)

Surfridge is a ghost town in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is now home to 125,000 El Segundo blue butterflies.
posted by xowie on Mar 29, 2014 - 20 comments

UTBAPH

A catalog of places that used to be a Pizza Hut. The iconic "Red Roof" design was the subject of a recent episode of 99% Invisible (previously).
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 9, 2014 - 74 comments

a clear, logical, geometrical ending

After 12 years of anticipation, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere is ready for its close-up. How 10,000 workers lifted 104 floors, gave new life to an international symbol and created one spectacular view.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 8, 2014 - 47 comments

Welcome to Bell Labs

The legendary Bell Labs Complex in Holmdel, New Jersey was designed by Eero Saarinen and is a gargantuan example of modernist architecture. Though it was shuttered in 2007, there are plans to revitalize it into a mixed use commercial area. However those plans eventually play out, it's fun to have a look at the place both then and now. As a bonus, feast your eyes on a pair of back-to-back videos that first show the construction and opening of the facility in 1962 and then (starting at the 2:35 mark in the second video link) a commemoration of the facility's 20th anniversary in 1982 (Part one, Part two, Part three).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Feb 24, 2014 - 28 comments

Planning Love

V-Day cards for planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation engineers, and those who love them.
posted by parudox on Feb 14, 2014 - 15 comments

Walking City

Walking City - "Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architecture practice Archigram, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. The language of materials and patterns seen in radical architecture transform as the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting to the environments she encounters."
posted by codacorolla on Feb 9, 2014 - 5 comments

A place to hang your cape and anti-telepathy helment

Supervillian House For Sale.
posted by bswinburn on Feb 8, 2014 - 68 comments

The ethics of Prison Architect

Is it possible to create a prison management game without trivializing or misrepresenting the issue of mass incarceration? So begins a critique by Paolo Pedercini, developer of "games addressing issues of social and environmental justice," of Introversion Software's upcoming game Prison Architect, currently in still in development but available as an early access beta. Prison Architect's producer, Mark Morris, and its designer, Chris Delay, respond in a lengthy youtube video. [more inside]
posted by whir on Jan 31, 2014 - 38 comments

Exploring the Architecture of Doom and Urban Failure

Architecture of Doom is a Tumblr that collects images of "bleak/ gloomy/ forbidding/ desolate/ unfortunate and totalitarian architecture" from sources like Fuck Yeah Brutalism and Failed Architecture. The latter bills itself as a "research platform that aims to open up new perspectives on urban failure – from what it’s perceived to be, what’s actually happening and how it’s represented to the public" and offers some interesting essays and case studies – for example: Hotel Jugoslavija: Spacio-temporal Mosaics of Memorabilia, Function Follows Form: How Berlin Turns Horror Into Beauty, and The Poetry of Decay.
posted by milquetoast on Jan 28, 2014 - 34 comments

"The Simplicity And Banality of Paper"

Shigeru Ban: ‘People’s architect’ combines permanence and paper"
Generally speaking, an architect’s style is defined by particular forms or shapes. There’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s prominent horizontal lines, for instance; Le Corbusier’s simple white boxes; or, more recently, the deliberately abstract masses of Frank Gehry — of Guggenheim Bilbao fame. But in the view of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, such formal elements are ultimately little more than reflections of current trends — in the first two cases above, Modernism, and in the third, “blobbism,” or the recent taste for irregular shapes made possible by computer-aided design. According to Ban, the only way for architects to keep their work free from the influence of such transient fashions is to come up with new ways to actually build things — new materials, for example, or new approaches to structural engineering. His own answer? Paper — or, to be more precise, cardboard tubes.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 26, 2014 - 2 comments

The Museum With a Bulldozer’s Heart

The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless.
"MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB. [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Jan 18, 2014 - 85 comments

Raleigh Mystery House

What's inside this mystery house in North Carolina? It looks like an average 1970's home with "a landscaped yard, white columns, and green shutters." But look closer and you'll notice there's no driveway, no walkway leading up to the front door, and no mailbox. The truth behind this mysterious building in Raleigh, NC might surprise you.
posted by capricorn on Jan 18, 2014 - 60 comments

The Architecture Of The Incredibles

At first glance, you might think The Incredibles is just a fun superhero movie. But remove the capes and tights and you're left with an in-depth architectural narrative with its own beginning and end.
posted by gnutron on Jan 10, 2014 - 70 comments

Like the Champs-Élysées!

Ernest Flagg (1857-1947) was an architect in the United States, who worked mostly in New York, and in 1904 had a radical plan to remake Central Park.
New York's Central Park That Never Was [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2014 - 16 comments

Leisure living is twice the fun in a second home

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association presents Second Homes for Leisure Living . . . here are 18 new leisure-time homes, built with fir plywood for comfort and economy. [via]
posted by Think_Long on Nov 24, 2013 - 31 comments

Bridging design techniques

Beijing and Amsterdam-based studio NEXT architects have won first place in a bridge design competition for Meixi Lake near the Changsha capital in Hunan, China. The shape was inspired by the Mobius Strip and Chinese knotting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 14, 2013 - 17 comments

The question was whether the mast was now just a broadcast antenna

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat ruled today that its Height Committee has determined that One World Trade Center’s height to its architectural top is 1,776 feet (541.3 meters), which will eclipse Chicago's Sears "Willis Tower" as the tallest building in the western hemisphere. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 12, 2013 - 64 comments

Open Sesame!

You live in Haight Ashbury. You'd love to install a garage in your historic home but there are architectural restrictions against doing so. Well, with the right group of guys, there are ways around it.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 3, 2013 - 46 comments

Unsteady As She Goes, Mate

Containership’s Structure Visually Flexing in Heavy Seas — Underdeck time lapse video (16x normal speed) of the 294 meter MOL Excellence as she rolls, pitches, and yaws during a voyage from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Large ships are designed to flex while underway, but when seas get rough they can break like the MOL Comfort on June 17, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 2, 2013 - 37 comments

Mud, Concrete, Glass, Home

A Short History of the Highrise A four-part NYT interactive documentary by Katrina Cizek on apartment buildings through the ages, part of the National Film Board of Canada's HIGHRISE project (Previously).
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 8, 2013 - 5 comments

Coal Camps USA.

Coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains. An encyclopedia of coal towns.
posted by xowie on Oct 7, 2013 - 17 comments

How to Design a City for Women

In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city's ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. "Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes," says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. "But the women couldn't stop writing."
posted by cthuljew on Sep 21, 2013 - 38 comments

DC May Look to Raise the Roof(s)

Washington DC has had restrictions on the heights of its buildings since the first year of its existence, thanks to its namesake -- George Washington himself laid down a limit of 40 feet in 1791 (and then suspended the limits, as did several of his successors). The limits waxed and waned over the next century or so until the U.S. Congress, in its capacity as the over-government of America's capital, laid down the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910, setting the upper limit of any building at 130 feet. Now that the city is gaining population again (for the first time since the 1950s), developers and officials may be looking to release the federal height restrictions and give control to the city government (which already has zoning limits in various areas that further restrict heights). The WaPo provides a visualization demonstrating what the skyline might look like if the limits are raised, or even if areas filled out to the current Height Act maximums.
posted by Etrigan on Sep 14, 2013 - 65 comments

pardon me, but your building melted my car.

"The owners of the 37-story tower known as the Walkie Talkie in the City of London financial district are investigating a light beam cast by the building that’s so intense it melted parked cars." Jaguar owner Martin Lindsay was none too pleased by this evidence of the laws of physics. And architect Rafael Vinolyapparently hasn't learned from his previous hair-scorching design error in Las Vegas.
posted by Annie Savoy on Sep 3, 2013 - 125 comments

Be sure to zoom out....

Buildings in the Netherlands by year of construction is a map worth getting lost in.
posted by oulipian on Sep 1, 2013 - 19 comments

The Long Trip to Treasure Island

Unlike its original namesake or famous sibling, the new Eastern span of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge opens with little fanfare on Labor Day. Even governor Jerry Brown, once mayor of Oakland and the political force [1998] behind its groundbreaking signature design, is skipping the party.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 29, 2013 - 44 comments

“It is very good here, I can drink here everyday and nobody bothers me.”

For Anting New City, China asked for an idealized theme park of a Teutonic village, but instead they got a modern Bauhaus inspired ghost town. Only about 1,000 people live in this Shanghai mega-suburb that was built to be home to 50,000 residents. (via)
posted by spamandkimchi on Aug 29, 2013 - 45 comments

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