Balcony Seats to the City: "Officially of course, the urban fire escape is primarily an emergency exit, but in New York, this prosaic adornment of countless five- and six-story apartment houses has assumed myriad other functions: faux backyards, platforms for criminal getaways, oases for marginalized smokers and makeshift bedrooms popular during an age before air-conditioning." [more inside]
In the midst of Portland, Oregon's ongoing building boom, one property in the Eastmoreland neighborhood has drawn special notice, as it’s home to three giant sequoias over 100 years old. When a local developer announced plans to cut them down to build two new homes, a coalition of neighbors and tree lovers banded together to raise $900,000 to buy the property. (A tree-sitter, perhaps unsurprisingly, has also been involved.) Things weren't looking good until an unexpected ally stepped in: South Park’s Matt Stone.
Even though Lorenz, who, like Downey, is blind, can't see the space before her, she knows exactly what to expect. On her desk at the ILRC's current office on Mission Street, she keeps a tactile floor plan that Downey printed for her. The plan's fine web of raised lines looks like an elaborate decorative pattern, suggesting a leaf of handmade stationery or a large sheet from which doilies are about to be cut. Though Downey has consulted on other architects' projects since going blind six years ago, this one marks a turning point for him. The community center is the first space he's designed since losing his sight. The center recently opened its doors to the public with a celebration to inaugurate the new space, located on Howard Street in the city's Yerba Buena district, just down the block from the Moscone convention center. But on this May afternoon, the walls are just beginning to go up.
Some short videos from a Japanese construction shop that practices traditional joinery techniques. The tools are modern, but the components and joinery techniques are traditional. For instance, joining two beams end-to-end. [more inside]
The European Parliament building regularly makes visitors and employees break down and cry. The disorienting effect probably wasn’t an accident. “Our buildings offer themselves to their inhabitants and to the city as ‘mysteries,’ or stories for which we provide ‘keys’ and signs so that they can be deciphered,” is how Architecture-Studio’s website describes its approach.
Top Five Architecture Maps:
- Iconic Houses is an international network connecting architecturally significant houses from the 20th century that are open to the public as house museums. The Iconic Houses website includes a useful Google Map showing the location of architecturally significant houses around the world.
- Archilovers is a social network for architects, designers and lovers of architecture. Users of the network can post projects, exchange opinions and interests, and get to know designers and architects around the world.
- The World Architecture Map (WAM) is a database of architectural information that uses Google Maps to show the locations of architectural interesting buildings around the world. It is possible to search for buildings on WAM by location, building type, architectural style or by tags.
- Arti-Fact is great collection of architecturally important buildings and sculptures that can be found on Google Maps Street View.
- MIMOA is a Google Maps based guide to modern architecture around the world. It is possible to browse the collection of modern architectural gems by location and by type of project.
In 1929, the Indiana Bell Telephone Company decided to build a new office building. Rather than demolishing the old building, on the advice of Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., they moved it. [more inside]
Axon: A Neuron building game.
The book on Wood-Frame House Construction (with diagrams) is brought to you by the USDA Forest Service. Here is the full online index of USDA Agriculture Handbooks. They're public domain. [more inside]
This video shows the process of building a log cabin. It was shot in Finland. The narration is in Finnish, but you can turn on the English subtitles.
Huge collection of books related to permaculture, natural building, food, energy etc. at United Diversity.
After the demolition accident caused the death of 6 people in Philadelphia in the beginning of this month, it was brought to light that a resident issued a complaint with Licenses and Inspections regarding unsafe working conditions at least two weeks prior to the building collapse. Tragically, the LNI inspector took his own life, feeling responsible for the accident. Now Philadelphia City Council is denying liability for the accident stating it is not responsible for the work of private contractors, despite the flawed LNI inspection of the demolition site as well as the laughable demolition requirements established by the city,
The Accumulation Of Ruin Space
In Between The Ruins On The Edge Of The Salton Sea (Salton Sea, previously)
Inhabiting Construction [more inside]
In Between The Ruins On The Edge Of The Salton Sea (Salton Sea, previously)
Inhabiting Construction [more inside]
abandonedography.com is a seemingly-endless photo collection of abandoned places and things. Explore random sites, check out the favorites, see everything at once in the archive, or submit your own.
How to Build a Kinetic Sculpture: "The original idea was actually to call these next few paragraphs “How to build.” How silly! That would be like declaring “Everything A Man Should Know About Women.” It would be impossible, and still wrong half the time. One of the attractions of this sport is precisely that there are infinite ways of doing most everything. So what we have here are hints and notes, thoughts and ideas—to be revised and added to as experience dictates." [more inside]
For your enjoyment: detailed floor plan drawings of popular TV and film homes.
How good is Zaha Hadid's new building? So good it's already being copied. And the copy may be finished before the original. [more inside]
"Zhang Yue, founder and chairman of Broad Sustainable Building, is not a particularly humble man. A humble man would not have erected, on his firm’s corporate campus in the Chinese province of Hunan, a classical palace and a 130-foot replica of an Egyptian pyramid. A humble man, for that matter, would not have redirected Broad from its core business—manufacturing industrial air-conditioning units—to invent a new method of building skyscrapers. And a humble man certainly wouldn’t be putting up those skyscrapers at a pace never achieved in history." [Meet the Man Who Built a 30-Story Building in 15 Days]
Empire State of Pen — 80 second timelapse video of artist Patrick Vale drawing the view of the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building.
Freedman Home For The Elderly in the Bronx had an unusual purpose at its outset in the 1920s: to house retirees who used to be wealthy but had lost their money. Now it is mostly empty. ScoutingNY.com went inside and took pictures. The abandoned upper floors are especially creepy. [found via curbed]
The purpose of the Super Power Building has been stated as providing a dedicated center for delivering the Super Power Rundown, a high-level Scientology training course that has not yet been released.
Here is Jeff Sanders, who builds things with Legos. Round things. Here's his blog, featuring videos of his work. Here's a Discovery News post on Sanders, with more pictures of his work. This Oregon Live article shows more round Lego creations on his wall.
A Pattern Language explores the living structure in good and bad buildings, human artifacts, and natural systems, discussing the presence of the same living order in all systems. [Christopher] Alexander proposes that the living order depends on features which make a close connection with the human self. The quality of works of art, artifacts, and buildings is defined not merely in terms of living structure, but also in their capacity to affect human growth and human well-being.
Ozark Giraffe Rock architectural exteriors are a common sight along Route 66 in the Ozarks region of the United States, as they were a popular building choice between 1910 - 1940. The construction materials for giraffe rock exteriors were inexpensive and produced locally from materials found in plentiful supply in the Ozark Mountains, and the style was most predominant on small houses, usually bungalows. [more inside]
"Broken Angel isn’t architecture - it’s outsider art." A profile of Arthur Wood, whose lack of formal training did not prevent him from adding six stories of wild additions to the two-story Brooklyn tenement building he bought for $2,000 in 1971. [more inside]
Kevin Kelly describes how a clock designed to run for 10,000 years will function and the efforts behind its creation and building.
Many people have described the popular freeform game Minecraft as "kind of like Lego", so a few enterprising stop-motion animators have decided to jump on that idea.
250-year-old birch bark canoe found in barn to be returned to Canada. While we are on the subject, you could do worse than to spend an hour today watching this fascinating 1971 documentary on a Birch Bark Canoe builder. (Not terribly often you come across a video captioned in Cree.) More YouTube Birch Bark Canoe building goodness.
A 275 tower slated for demolition ... falls the wrong way. The former Ohio Edison Mad River Power Plant’s 275-foot tower was demolished, but fell the wrong way, snapping power lines and destroying buildings. No one was hurt. But the MSNBC video shows that maybe Take Your Daughter to Blow Up the Tower at Work Day was a bad idea.
The stately James Farley Post Office on 8th Ave in Manhattan is being converted into the long-awaited Moynihan Train Station. Almost the entire block-long building has been emptied to prepare for the conversion and Mefi's own nycscout (previously, previously, previously) was there to take pictures. [via mefi projects]
The hidden wonders of a British landmark. Long before Pink Floyd floated a pig above its 340ft chimneys, Battersea Power Station was an iconic landmark, described from the start as a 'temple of power': a brick cathedral to rank alongside St Paul's. Its four-pillared outline is as familiar as the building's sad decline since being decommissioned in 1983. After numerous failed redevelopment attempts from various owners, Battersea Power Station is now on the 'buildings at risk' register. Photographer Peter Dazeley set out to document the legendary building as part of a personal project. [via]
There are Real Fake Buildings, Real Fake Watches, real fake books, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!" But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes in Southern Italy, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany." "The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
A giant lego machine which builds a small lego airplane. A 10 min video of lego building lego... I couldn't make it through without fast-forwarding, but as a lego enthusiast, I was intrigued by the way the assorted pieces were provided to the machine and moved along to the final creation.
Achtung! Alles Turisten, Teknischen Und Nonteknischen Lookenpeepers! Relaxen Und Watschen Der Blinkenlichten!
Projekt PIWO (Poland): video Mikontalo Lights (Finland): video Schönherz Matrix (Hungary)
Project Blinkenlights (Germany, France, Canada...) (previously)
Building Codes for the US by state.
Behold the N Building, a new structure in a Tokyo shopping district that at first glance looks kind of like a giant Tetris screen until you realize that the fancy geometric design on its facade isn't merely ornamental: It's code—QR code, to be exact. What that code allows passersby to do is quite unique. [via, via] [more inside]
So you want to build your own Eiffel Tower. Then you'll need 7,300 tons of iron, 2.5 million rivets, and some blueprints. (You may also need a copyright lawyer.)
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