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]
posted by peacay
on May 24, 2005 -
's Invisible Cities
is so called because it asserts that what makes up a city is not so much its physical structure but the impression it imparts upon its visitors, the way its inhabitants move within, something unseen that hums between the cracks. This, however, has in no way dissuaded people from attempting to give form to his works
. One such example is the Hotel Tressants
, a building in Menorca, Spain containing 8 rooms named after and inspired by
various cities from the novel. Meanwhile, artists offer illustrations1,2,3
, installations 1,2,3,4,5
, computer programs
, even View-Master slides
, while intellectuals offer readings and commentary1,2
, and critical texts1,2,3
sparked by the man and his writings. It has been dubbed "The Calvino Effect
". Do you know of any more?
posted by Lush
on May 20, 2005 -
The most modern home built in the world.
"From the outside it looks like a spaceship
you cannot enter. But if you go inside, it feels very cozy… very Zen and calming. Maybe because you are floating above the city
, in the sky". John Lautner
's Chemosphere residence
is the product of a fortuitous union of architect
, client, time and place. Leonard Malin
was a young aerospace engineer in late-1950s L.A. whose father-in-law had just given him a plot north of Mulholland Drive, near Laurel Canyon. The only catch: at roughly 45 degrees, the slope was all but unbuildable. Lautner sketched a bold vertical line, a cross, and a curve above it. "Draw it up," he told his assistant.
publisher Benedikt Taschen owns Chemosphere (NSFW)
, and after 20 years of neglect the house has been beautifully restored (.pdf)
by Frank Escher
posted by matteo
on Apr 7, 2005 -
"are living, vegetative roofing alternatives designed in stark contrast to the many standard non-porous roof choices."
posted by dhruva
on Mar 12, 2005 -
Redefining House Music
“The Wege House explores in first steps the integration of site, sight and sound... As a main theme in their newly designed and built house, they have commissioned the creation of architecture as musical instruments. Architect David Hanawalt
and Sonic Installation artist Bill Close
collaborate to bring forth a home that is truly in resonance.” Via Gizmodo
posted by Man O' Straw
on Feb 2, 2005 -
Charles Eames (1907-78) and Ray Eames (1912-88)
gave shape to America's twentieth century. Their lives and work represented the nation's defining social movements: the West Coast's coming-of-age, the economy's shift from making goods to the producing information, and the global expansion of American culture. This Library of Congress exhibit outlines major themes of the Eames' life and voluminous works, including architecture
, and the film Powers of Ten
. It is wonderfully illustrated with artifacts
of their life and work, and examples
from the Eames' collection of 350,000 slides
posted by carter
on Jan 12, 2005 -
World's only revolving building?
The heck with revolving rooftop restaurants, I want to live in Suite Vollard, an entire apartment building whose eleven circular units can each revolve 360 degrees. (Unfortunately for me, it's in Brazil.) More photos are here
posted by Kat Allison
on Dec 23, 2004 -
Only about 350 of the original 400 structures designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright are still standing. As of last week, that number has decreased by one
. The demolition of the 1916 W.S. Carr house
in Grand Beach, Michigan was the first Wright building in over 30 years to be demolished. Mark another loss to the heritage of U.S. Modernism.
posted by ScottUltra
on Nov 16, 2004 -
The Larkin Administration Building.
"It's not too much to say that this was the most significant demolition of an architectural landmark in the United States." A good read on one of Frank Lloyd Wright early masterpieces, and the history of Buffalo, NY architecture.
posted by punkrockrat
on Oct 10, 2004 -
The evocation of dystopian space with contemporary settings. One of the many challenges faced by directors of low- or no-budget SF films is the convincing depiction of futuristic space, especially where it needs to appear oppressive or totalising. What are you to do, when you lack the wherewithal
to create elaborate sets
, and even the cheesiest CGI
is well out of reach?
You use extant buildings and artifacts, and you crop carefully. But which ones? Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center appears particularly popular in this context: here it is
, and here
- the latter a film which also featured the Citroen DS
and Studi Avanti
to precisely evocative effect. (What's so sinister about this poor building? In real life it's stunningly pretty
Jean-Luc Godard had a field day
, with the anomic architecture of mid-60s, high modernist Paris, and again with the same sorts of mainframe installations
Lucas relied so heavily upon in THX
. Even (cough) Logan's Run
found low-rent dystopia in various Dallas and Fort Worth settings, here Fort Worth's Water Gardens
Maybe the poor Marin Center's a bit played out, huh? As an aid to future directors, then, let me ask you: What are some dystopic settings near you?
posted by adamgreenfield
on Sep 27, 2004 -
An Ugly Buildings Hit List
seems to be developing in Scotland. The president of the Royal Institute of British Architects is calling for the demolition of the ugliest buildings in Scotland. The Architects have their list, and the press is asking the public to chime in as well
posted by mmahaffie
on Aug 23, 2004 -
"There's a point where an architect crosses the line to the nether side of celebrity. The projects become less about exploring the unknowns inherent in a new commission and more about giving clients the sort of signature piece they're paying for."
posted by plexi
on Aug 3, 2004 -
Steve Jobs wants to tear down his home.
But there's a problem. It's a George Washington Smith
-designed 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival house (mansion?) in Woodside, California, and preservationists feel it has historical significance. Jobs replies that he'll build something that will eventually become "more historically interesting" than the present property. (Given his penchant for the steel and glass of I.M. Pei
, that seems questionable.) But should he not have the right to do what he wants with his property? Tear it down, paint it purple, or fill it to the roof with Jell-O; whose business is it other than the homeowner? note: first link leads to NYT, registration required
posted by emptyage
on Jul 15, 2004 -