A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then: [more inside]
is a collaborative wiki for articles related to the history, design, construction, and renovation of libraries. [more inside]
The ABC of Architects.
A bouncy animation of 26 well-known buildings.
- some urban architectural history in a nice online format. [more inside]
National Register Photostream
— Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places
is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
Clarke Quay Singapore,
The Cement Factory,
Rolex Learning Centre,
Walt Disney Concert Hall,
Containers of Hope,
Museum of Liverpool,
Busan Opera House,
The Meera House,
is an collaboration community dedicated to architecture where you can browse buildings
, city guides
or their vicinity to you
In 1972, Washington, DC opened the doors
to the HD Woodson Senior High School. It was the city's first new school in twelve years, and the first to be constructed after riots devastated
the city in 1968. Like its sister school across town, it had been built to withstand
another riot, and protect its students within its fortress-like walls. For a time, it stood as the pride and joy of the city's school system, featuring a diverse range of academic and vocational programs in a state of the art 8-story building complete with escalators, science labs, and a six-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community. By 2008, however, things had gone horribly, horribly wrong.
The building was literally crumbling, many of its original facilities had closed due to neglect, only 13% of sophomores were proficient in reading or mathematics, and violence was a daily concern. Facing no other choice, the city closed the school in 2008, and demolished
the brutalist structure shortly thereafter.
After a three year series of delays
, next week, students will begin classes
in the newly reconstructed
HD Woodson High School; a 3-story state of the art building complete with elevators, science labs, and an eight-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community -- leading many to question: Will it work this time? The correlation between architecture and academic performance is not well-studied, and previous efforts
have been inconclusive at best.
Beautiful Buildings Club
is a comic about politics, the Cold War, and the eternal conflict between beautiful buildings and the evil Bauhaus empire.
If you like construction, with particular reference to terrifyingly lashed-together metal or bamboo rods reaching dizzyingly up into the sky, then you've come to the right thread.
is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections
, Incredible Explosions
, Incredible Body
, and many more
. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers
in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books
, educational games
), interactive history sites
, and animation
. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries
on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]
. [more inside]
Whole Tree Architecture
- if you'd like a house built by pioneering architect Roald Gundersen
, your first step might be to hike in your nearby woods to choose some young, wind-bent, and diseased "Charlie Brown" trees
. Small diameter round trees have 150% the strength of milled lumber and twice the strength of steel in tension. Besides structural and environmental advantages, whole trees make for some beautiful
. [more inside]
has been featured here once
before, but Jim Griffioen's site
photo-documenting his discoveries in and around Detroit deserves a look.
Griffioen was recently interviewed [direct mp3 link]
on the American Public Media radio program The Story
. [more inside]
The Reas' previous house was destroyed in a winter storm - such are the perils of living on Unst - most northerly of the Shetland isles. On re-building the pensioner couple have constructed what they claim is the world's first occupied zero carbon emission house
- using off the shelf materials. Here is a video interview with them
and a few more details about the house
. [more inside]
100 Abandoned Houses.
A photo essay from Detroit-based photographer Kevin Bauman.
It's 1881. You're real estate speculator James Lafferty, and you've just bought a large parcel of empty, scrubby shoreside land just south of Atlantic City. Problem is, it's cut off from the AC streetcar line by a deep tidal creek. How do you entice potential buyers to make the trek over the inlet and look at your property? Build a giant elephant
, of course. Capitalizing on the celebrity of P. T. Barnum's famous Jumbo
, Lafferty built
65-foot tall Lucy the Elephant
, the first of three giant elephants Lafferty built (followed by Cape May's Light of Asia
and Coney Island's Elephantine Colossus
). He even took out a patent
on the very idea of buildings shaped like animals
. Though threatened by decades of neglect and rot
, the Save Lucy Committee
began preservation efforts in 1970, moving her
to her present site and giving her a complete restoration
. [more inside]
, pilot of the future, scourge of the Venusian Mekon
menace, and modernist architectural inspiration
- "a collection of tiny buildings handcrafted from business cards, packaging and other nice papers."
: a gallery of photgraphs by Chuck Hutchinson
. "a gallery of houses, barns, automobiles and businesses that have become the ruins on the landscape of America."
An interview with Lebbeus Woods
-- designer and illustrator of speculative futuristic landscapes and buildings
. Woods just set up his own website
, which has an amazing quantity of drawings, photographs, and text focusing on his lesser known projects [for those willing to deal with a frustrating flash interface and sound. It's better in IE than Firefox.] [more inside]
A Paternoster lift
] is a cyclic elevator
with "an endless chain of cabins moving at a moderate speed; some passing downward past a line of entrances and other cages moving upward past another set of openings. Passengers may embark or alight at any floor whenever they please, without delay. " (As seen on TV
!) They're still in use in the the Czech Republic
, and the UK
among other places
. (Via this list
of interesting elevators.)
Abandoned places: A satellite facility
. A drag strip
. A sports arena
. A factory
. A highway
. A school.
. An industrial park
. A missile site
. A church
. A brewery
. And much more at Abandoned But Not Forgotten
. (Warning: Web 0.2 site with very large photos of variable quality...)
Helix — a 1D skyscraper with a single corridor.
The principle is a cylindrical building with a helical shape for the floor. The slope of the floor is 1.5% (it rises by 1.5 cm every meter), thus hardly noticeable. The height of each ’storey’ is 3 meters, so that when you walk 200 meters along the corridor, you have walked a full circle, but you end up one ’storey’ above or below your starting point.
Americas Favorite Architecture
- The American Institute of Architecture lists its 150 most favorite buildings as ranked by its members. Zoom-able photos and building information herein. You can also rate your top five.
Unintelligent Design. The History Images
of Sze Tsung Leong
. "Then there's the other type of history that is recorded in the fabric of cities. This includes the houses that are being destroyed; it has to do with the history of quotidian things, really, the layers of history that have slowly accumulated. The loss of this fabric the spaces and histories particular to different cities means that the particular cultural value and artistic qualities they contain, are lost."
Frank Lloyd Wright's Beth Shalom Synagogue
- Cool photo essay about a beautiful building
Once state-of-the-art mental healthcare facilities, Kirkbride buildings have long been relics of an obsolete therapeutic method known as Moral Treatment. These massive structures were conceived as ideal sanctuaries for the mentally ill in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
AKA:The Kirkbride Plan
. [more stuff inside]
Action Squad – Urban Adventurers
"In a nutshell, Action Squad explores. This generally occurs late at night, to aid in avoiding other people, particularly those with badges and funny blue uniforms. We climb buildings, sneak into factories, crawl through all kinds of tunnels, spelunk old brewery caves, poke around abandoned buildings, and run across the rooftops."
Missions of the Action Squad are fully documented with descriptions, photographs (historical & intraoperative) and sometimes maps but always with a sense of wonder at the urban flotsam they enjoy exploring. This is my particular favourite
but poke around, there's a fair bit in this gem of a site worth exploring from the armchair. [via]
60 photographs of Singapore architecture.
Modern architecture, by name, for you.
I So Want This House It Hurts.
Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House
is up for sale. If price was no object and location wasn't a problem, where
would you choose to
? What architect
, living or dead; what building
, available or not, would you choose? [NYT reg. required for main link..
Future of Sky Scrapers?
Is this the future of sky scrapers, or are they now irrelevant with the current threats that are presented? Would you work in this building?
The New Yorker
wonders whether the new Westin
hotel at Times Square is the ugliest building
in NYC. What do New Yorkers think? Is ugly architecture anything more than just poor business? What is the state of architecture in this country? (more)
A Fruit Has Been Built. A unique architectural piece
that pokes your senses in creative ways, is also good-humouredly called the "Durians
" by local Singaporeans. Durians, or otherwise titled King of fruits, are beloved by millions of South East Asians. The spiky building, officially known as "Esplanade-theatres on the bay
", started construction in 1996 and will open
(flash) to the world on the 12th October 2002.