Edward James (1907 - 1984) was a millionaire Scottish, art patron and surrealist who moved to Mexico in 1947 to grow orchids. After the orchids were destroyed by a freak snowstorm in 1962, he decided to switch to experiments in architecture. He built a monument to surrealism called Las Pozas, just outside of Xilitla. [more inside]
Abandonded buildings: photos of.
Live in Thames Town, and enjoy the distinctly English atmosphere of this unique place! (Thames Town is in Shanghai.)
The Works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi: high-resolution scans of all of Piranesi’s etchings. Also, the plates from Les Ruines De Pompei by François Mazois (1812-38), and, the complete 9-volume Le Antichità di Ercolano Esposte (The Antiquities discovered in Herculaneum) published in Naples from 1755-62. Also, at the same site (UT-PICURE: the Center for Research on Pictorial Cultural Resources, at The University of Tokyo), images from the Stibbert Collection of Japanese costume.
"If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated".
The Jackie Robinson of architecture. An orphaned African American boy from downtown Los Angeles, Paul Revere Williams wanted to be an architect, and when he mentioned his career goal the high school guidance counselor ”stared at me with as much astonishment as he would have had I proposed a rocket flight to Mars... Whoever heard of a Negro being an architect?”. Therefore, Williams learned to read and draw upside down -- he knew that white clients would not sit next to him -- graduated from USC and in 1924 became the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi. In a 50-year long extraordinary career, he designed landmarks like the Theme restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport (with Welton Becket), the LA County Courthouse, the Hollywood YMCA, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, restored the Beverly Hills Hotel. Some of his most interesting buildings, like the La Concha Motel in Las Vegas have either been razed to the ground or, like the "Batman house", aka 160 S San Rafael mansion in Pasadena, have been destroyed by fire. Now, Williams' historic Morris Landau House has been cut into 21 separate pieces and sits in a Santa Clarita storage yard, rotting away. More inside.
Design. Architecture. Football.
The awe-inspiring sight of the entire Argentina team moving fluidly as if to some pre-ordained ballet was simply Liquid Football. 24 passes throughout 8 of the 10 outfield Argentines, ... was largely improvised in real-time, entirely determined by the context of the opposing team - which cannot be accurately predicted at all.
Utopian Modernism In London: A Series Of Drifts... is a tour of modernist landmarks, tying architectural practice to politics and movements in art. Author Owen Hatherley also keeps a weblog chiefly concerned with art and utopianism in Weimar Germany and the early Soviet Union. Photographer Ludwig Abache's site contains more architectural imagery, from London and beyond. (via newthings)
The Kingston Bridge, a neglected urban bridge in Glasgow was recently resurrected as a public work of art by Leni Schwendinger. Lighting was added under the bridge to highlight the architecture but it also reacted to use. The more traffic flowing on the roads above, the more red is displayed, as the tide rises, blues dominate, resulting in some pretty cool, ever-changing public art on a grand scale.
New York City has been trying to revamp its street furniture for nearly a decade and last Fall, deals were struck between a British architecture firm and a Spanish outdoor firm in a 1 billion dollar deal. Recently the designs for public toilets, bus stop shelters, and (my favorite) a modernized clean newsstand were released.
A growing crop of towers pushing 2,000 feet: though just shy itself, the much-redesigned Freedom Tower is finally under construction for completion in 2011; but there is also the stunning Fordham Spire, approved in Chicago, that will rise to 2,000 feet by 2010. Moscow is planning the tallest tower in Europe, while there are a number of sightseeing and radio towers under construction in Asia. In Dubai, two towers under construction (despite worker protests) are racing to be the world's tallest, both are keeping their final heights secret, but will likely be over half a mile in height -- the Burj Dubai and the Al Burj. As previously discussed, there are great illustrations comparing buildings both built and under construction. Bring on Frank Lloyd Wright's The Illinois!
The Katrina Cottage is economical, rather charming, and can serve as a "grow" house. At $35,000 for 308 sq ft, it compares favorably to the $75k FEMA trailer. Not a totally new idea - some of the 1906 earthquake refuge shacks are still in existence in San Francisco. Might tiny houses be the future for disaster relief? (via The Blues and Then Some)
Postwar architecture of Berlin. Photographing architectural icons before they disappear. Some I kind of like. Some I don't. Others, I just don't know what they were thinking.
FOVICKS - Friends Of Vast Industrial Concrete Kafkaesque Structures - a photo essay on the concrete geometries of the Los Angeles River flood control channels. [via inhabitat]
Maya Ruins - Nice images of Maya ruins in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, indexed to site plans. See for instance Uxmal: the Grand Pyramid, the House of the Doves, the Nunnery Quadrangle, and the Pyramid of the Magician. See also: the Meso-American Photo Archives.
Welcome to Urville, the city that autistic Frenchman Gilles Trehin has been designing since he was 12 years old. The drawings, in particular, are incredible.
Curating the City A Flash exhibition exploring the past and present urban landscape of Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. A modest topic explored in depth - which is perhaps what makes it so fascinating. The site includes a pdf guidebook, in case you want to check out the bricks-and-mortar version.
A restaurant. A cathedral. A research center. Welcome to the Canadian territory of Nunavut, "where high winds, freezing temperatures, and the difficulty of transporting raw materials pose some interesting architectural constraints."
The Site of Reversible Destiny is an "experience park" conceived on the theme of encountering the unexpected. By guiding visitors through various unexpected experiences as they walk through its component areas, the Site offers them opportunities to rethink their physical and spiritual orientation to the world. [via]
Creative Home Engineering is a registered contracting company that adds value to homes by integrating silent, automated, hidden passageways. [note: flash]
Rephotographing Atget: Eugene Atget photographed Paris from 1888 until his death in 1927. Christopher Rauschenberg retraced Atget's steps in 1997 and 1998, photographing the same scenes, and documents his project in a gallery at Lens Culture. The gallery includes an audio discussion of the project. [more inside]
The "D" stands for Demolition. In an attempt at building awareness of Detroit's rotting, decaying neighborhoods(as if one needed further awareness), the Detroit Demolition Disneyland project finds long-abandoned, neglected structures that the city has failed to demolish and paints them with Tiggerific Orange paint.
Room With A View. Has the view out of your living room window become boring and stale? No problem, build yourself a million dollar Rotating Home. A former office manager, self prclaimed "hobbyist" Al Johnstone has built quite the technological feat [PDF] despite having no engineering background, obtaining around 30 patents in the process.
Carlo Mollino [Polaroids section NSFW] A student of the occult, he was an Architect, Designer, race car enthusiast and photographer [NSFW]
Frank Lloyd Wright's Beth Shalom Synagogue - Cool photo essay about a beautiful building
Kirkbride Buildings. 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]
This apartment is so cramped. I wish I could find a little extra space.
The Alvin Lustig Archive - "Alvin Lustig's contributions to the design of books and book jackets, magazines, interiors, and textiles as well as his teachings would have made him a credible candidate for the AIGA Lifetime Achievement award when he was alive...Lustig created monuments of ingenuity and objects of aesthetic pleasure." The archive collects over 400 examples of his book, architectural, and ad-design work (see also AIGA's list of Lustig's Top-10 designs). Via HOW magazine...
Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was responsible for the design of quite a few of London’s public buildings (and to some extent, its phonebooths). His home, now a museum, is filled to the brim with architectural relics, sculptures, paintings, drawings, stained glass, and assorted curiosities. Almost unchanged since his death, it also contains the gravesite of his wife’s beloved dog Fanny, a mummified rat, an Egyptian sarcophagus, and an imaginary monk named Padre Giovanni. Best of all, on the first Tuesday of every month the museum has a candlelight tour which enhances the spooky splendor of the rooms.
Yee is a Canadian Artist. His company Yee's Job is located in Montreal. He designs & handcrafts all kind of paper craft, such as a working V-8 engine made of paper, a paper biplane clock, the Cathedral at Notre Dame and more.
Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete (Flash). A nice round-up of contemporary concrete architecture, with some stunning pictures, from the National Building Museum. Be sure to follow the "Featured Projects" link on the right.
How to use your prosthesis (quicktime). Ed Van Den Brouck hosts the first in our "how to use your prosthesis" series. apologies to Julian? Also cool architecture.
Soft Cinema is a software+video project by media-theorist Lev Manovich, which 'mines the creative possibilities at the intersection of software culture, cinema, and architecture.' While perhaps more intriguing in prospect than in practice, it seems at least a noteworthy attempt at making something new. A DVD version of the project was released earlier this year.
American Castles. There are a few famous American castles: Bishop Castle (discussed previously here), Coral Castle, and Boldt Castle come to mind. However, this site lists them all; from the impressive to the mundane. If you're interested, you may be able to buy your own.
Angkor Wat guide. "Published in 1944 in Saigon, republished in 1948 and again in Paris in 1963, The Monuments of the Angkor Group by Maurice Glaize remains the most comprehensive of the guidebooks and the most easily accessible to a wide public, dedicated to one of the most fabled architectural ensembles in the world." Now online, updated, with maps and photos. (More Angkor Wat links in this previous post.) Via Plep.
Everything I Know-Buckminster Fuller During the last two weeks of January 1975 Buckminster Fuller gave an extraordinary series of lectures concerning his entire life’s work. These thinking out loud lectures span 42 hours (audio and text available) and examine in depth all of Fuller's major inventions and discoveries from the 1927 Dymaxion house, car and bathroom, through the Wichita House, geodesic domes, and tensegrity structures, as well as the contents of Synergetics.
LA Bars & Restaurants of the 30s 40s 50s 60s as well as motels on Route 66, movie palaces, Vegas motels and all things Googie [previously discussed]. If I ever make it to the States this will be my guidebook.
Risen from the ashes. For nearly half a century, the ruins of the Dresden Frauenkirche lay untouched, as a memorial to the Allied bombardment in February 1945 that devastated the city. Over the past decade, the church has been painstakingly rebuilt, with assistance from former enemies. Today it was reconsecrated.
Under Foot and Between the Boards in the Laurential Library "Within the Laurentian Library, the enigmatic masterwork of Michelangelo, there exists a complex geometric pavement that is hidden from view, little known about and shrouded with mystery...Why had an immensely complicated pavement been constructed, only to be covered over?"
Peter Feigenbaum is a model train enthusiast and Yale architecture student who designed & built a more realistic urban world for his train to go through. Full photo gallery here.
Secrets of the Mystery House. If you like the Winchester Mystery House, you might be interested in a tour guide's insider view, presenting fascinating tidbits that you don't see on the official tour. Or these old-timey photos of the house, allegedly dating as far back as 1906. The less skeptical among you might enjoy these guaranteed authentic ghost photographs taken in the House, as well.
Who Lost Gordon Bunshaft's Travertine House? 1) Widow of Lever House architect Gordon Bunshaft wills art filled modernist house (+ 2.4 East Hampton property) to The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). MOMA takes art, sells modernist house to Martha Stewart. MS guts house, lets rot, transfers ownership to daughter who sells it. New owner tears down modernist house, left with 2.4 acres of waterfront property.
pointingit comments on links between an architectural photo database and Google Earth. (Windows only, at the moment). Mac users will have to content themselves with looking at the galleries.
Welcome to EUROBAD '74, an exhibition of Europe's worst interiors of 1974.
Inside metros. Cities with interesting stations [with links]. Some have works of art. Some are works of art. I notice Sydney, Australia is not on the list - no surprise there.
Industrial and architectural photography. With both black and white and colour. I wish I could read German.