After 25 years away, I've recently moved back to the metropolis of my birth, Houston, Texas, and have been reminded that a lot of my favorite buildings here are from the Modern Movement
in architecture. However, many of these buildings--much less than a century old!--are now giving way to newer ones, and many unique residences
fast being replaced with McMansions
. Even the Astrodome
's fate is in the air. HoustonMod
is trying to preserve these buildings and their place in history. More power to 'em.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Apr 23, 2004 -
A gently melancholy collection of photographs of abandoned shops, hospitals, housing estates, public lavatories, and much more. See also Britannia Moribundia
, on the national obsession with dinginess and decay. This is where England most truly excels: in all the characterful shabbiness of its drizzled parks, soiled launderettes, frayed tailors, abject chemists .. and cowed solitary cafes.
posted by verstegan
on Apr 16, 2004 -
As the Wiki
Insecula: L'encyclopédie des arts et de l'architecture is a French language art website containing images and descriptions of thousands of works of art from major museums and collections in France and elsewhere, including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Palace of Versailles, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA.
But it's not just museums and art. It's got Mayan ruins
, and of course lots of Paris streets
. I can't believe plep hasn't posted this already...
posted by languagehat
on Apr 10, 2004 -
Art In Ruins
chronicles the economic and cultural transformation of Providence, Rhode Island through the eyes of artists, architects, and urban planners.
posted by PrinceValium
on Feb 7, 2004 -
The Mushroom House
in Whistler, Canada, is the result of 22 years of work by artist/creator Zube. "The interior design is based on the anatomy of a tree. All aspects of the décor reflect this motif, from the womblike hues of the Jacuzzi room in the 'roots' to the vivid leaf greens on the walls in the 'canopy'." [Via Boing Boing
posted by homunculus
on Dec 9, 2003 -
Pick your poison: highbrow
(virtual tour of 10 Downing Street), or lowbrow
(virtual tour of the White House). Hint: one of these is funny.
posted by taz
on Oct 25, 2003 -
Is This All There Is To Modern Design?
Although Design Within Reach
is a commercial website, it's well put together, with interesting features
that provide biographies
and a a potted history of modern furniture design. However, like the plethora of coffee-table books on the subject, the uncomfortable (!) feeling remains that it crystalizes the accepted and the historical - the so-called modern classics
- rather than engage with what is truly contemporary. This is, after all, highly traditional
modernism and post-modernism. And it's rife
. Where is the avant-garde? Is there one on view to ordinary mortals? You end up feeling that the truly new designs - this century's, after all - are being swept under the carpet, awaiting some boring committee process of consensus and approval.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Sep 29, 2003 -
"Buildings of Disaster
are miniature replicas of famous structures where some tragic or terrible events happened to take place. The images of burning or exploded buildings make a different, populist history of architecture, one based on emotional involvement rather than scholarly appreciation."
posted by MrMoonPie
on Aug 11, 2003 -
(Farsi) or barjeels
(Arabic) are windcatchers
that work as low-tech air conditioners. The city of Yazd, Iran
is probably best known for them. Badgirs are built so that they can be opened to catch the wind from different directions, the air is then cooled as it travels down the tower, and in turn cools the rooms below. When there is no wind, air in the tower is heated and rises, which draws cooler air from the courtyard into the house. (There is no URL to link to for the search result for “badgir” on Encyclopaedia Iranica
, but I recommend checking out their definition and diagrams even though you’ll have to go through three different PDF pages.) Badgirs have been around in some form “since the New Kingdom (1500- 300 BC) in Egypt”, but global warming might make them ineffective.(scroll down to #16-#18)
Variations, such as malqafs
, can be found from Egypt
. You can get a modern one
for your own house. You can win an award
shaped like one for advancements in sustainable development.
Or you could just stay in the Fairmont Dubai Hotel which is shaped like a huge badgir
. So even after all this, I still don't know what those sticks sticking out of the sides are for.
posted by lobakgo
on Jul 10, 2003 -
The Vertically Inclined Photographer:
Shooting Paris, Rome, the French Riviera and the Loire Valley from a low-flying plane is Patrick Durand's
photographic obsession. It's an interesting flat
alternative to Horst Hamann's
[click on "Gallery" and go to "New Verticals"
] tall vertical New York
. There's something very exciting about looking at familiar sights from an unfamiliar point of view. [Both sites very, perhaps too Flash.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jul 4, 2003 -
Images of medieval architecture.
A great site put together by Alison Stones, Professor of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. There are two large gazetteers, one for Britain
, and one for France
. Besides photos, there are many plans, sketches and elevation drawings, which help to give an idea of the sheer scale of gothic cathedrals such as the cathedral of Saint-Étienne at Bourges
(scroll down for the human figures at the bottom).
posted by carter
on Jun 29, 2003 -
Greek Temple Architecture
: They were houses--houses for cult statues, storehouses of treasures given to the gods--they were not churches. Worship consisted, by and large, of sacrificial ritual
: killing animals and eating them
, for the most part--and, hence, it was done out of doors. The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook's Accounts of Hellenic Religious Beliefs
and Accounts of Personal Religion
give additional flavor and context. Greek religious architecture evolved from wooden structures
and was tradition bound--they built in stone as they had in wood according to variations on a traditional canon called the orders
, first and foremost, the Doric Order
, the Ionic Order
and the Corinthian Order
. Here are some restorations
. I love restorations, on paper or models rather than at the actual sites. The first in a series.
posted by y2karl
on Jun 19, 2003 -
(Geocities) ... is the compulsion, upon seeing a long crane boom reaching skyward in the distance, to drive over and see what's holding it up.
The crane capital of the world is Germany, where Demag, Gottwald, Krupp, Liebherr and others make some cranes with eye-opening numbers: more than 60 feet long, with 10 axles, and able to lift 1,000 tons.
Now sometimes cranes tip over
, touch power lines and so on; and there's a website for that too.
posted by kurumi
on Jun 12, 2003 -
Libeskind's "wedge of light" WTC design isn't what you thought.
Specifically, if you thought that sunlight would shine down on the plaza at precisely the interval between the time the first tower was hit, and the time the last tower fell...no. That's not what Libeskind meant after all. Actually, there would be shadows, it turns out. From other buildings! So funny, so pathetic.
posted by luser
on May 1, 2003 -