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
Architecture pilgrimage. Sketches of the world's great architecture.
The Churchmouse: Ecclesiastical Architecture, Stained Glass, Church Monuments and other Funerary Monuments such as Cast Iron Grave Markers.
Could this revolutionize architecture? A robot that can "print" a 2,000 sq-ft house in one day without the use of a single human hand. What sort of effects will this have on the future of houses?
Virtual tour of the new Seattle Central Library. Built from a critically acclaimed design by Rem Koolhaas, this library opens Sunday. The design makes me want to paint my staircase bright yellow, or maybe move to Seattle.
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.
Draft machine parts, not people! The Industrial Art Gallery is a collection of vintage engineering drawings. Perfect cover art for all you emo/math rock types. [via mimi smartypants]
Kampung: 60 photographs of Singapore architecture.
Derelict London. 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.
Loftcube. I saw this in Playboy and had to look it up. [Flash and music].
Insecula. As the Wiki says:
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, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and of course lots of Paris streets. I can't believe plep hasn't posted this already...
arcspace. Modern architecture, by name, for you.
Psychophysical spaces - the tuberculosis sanatorium of Paimio, Finland from the beginning of thirties. Explore Alvar Aalto's soothing Scandinavian functionalism on a detailed virtual tour.
Art In Ruins chronicles the economic and cultural transformation of Providence, Rhode Island through the eyes of artists, architects, and urban planners.
L'Oeuvre Notre-Dame cathedral, Strasbourg (in English). History, virtual tours, and Gothic architecture.
"Although the Holtans had never visited Italy, they wanted a house that looked authentically Tuscan." Lake Las Vegas, NV may be even tackier, and more aesthetically insidious, than its famous namesake 17 miles to the west -- it's a planned village of million-dollar fake villas, indoor waterfalls, and elevator buttons for dogs. (NYT/RR)
The Futuro House - designed in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, this funky place is an example of space age utopian architecture. Made largely of plastic, the oil crisis nipped the design in the bud. Should you decide to build along these lines, here's some ideas for '70s decor.
Tokyo design for the softly blind. Interior to industrial.
Farnsworth house saved! Friday's auction resulted in a successful campaign to save the Farnsworth house. While Miguel will not be able to live there, we can all at least visit.
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.]
Mitsubishi Virtual Design Museum - look at the past, present, and future of industrial design in Japan. :: via Yesterday's Tomorrows::
Welcome to ArtServe: Art & Architecture mainly from the Mediterranean Basin and Japan.
The Courtald Institute of Art, via Art and Architecture, has made 40,00 images, and much else besides, available online. One more reason to love the web.
"We have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive," says architect Paolo Soleri. "And I'm proposing that might not be the final answer. So I'm saying, why don't we try a leaner alternative?" (via PBS; more inside.)
Pick your poison: highbrow (virtual tour of 10 Downing Street), or lowbrow (virtual tour of the White House). Hint: one of these is funny.
Craig and Yvonne are in the process of renovating their 1891 Victorian House. Progress can be followed on their site. Be sure to check out the before and after pics, which are pretty impressive.
Construction of the Scottish Parliament in Pictures. The site was way over its budget even before they'd started building it, but it's nice to see they're at least doing something creative with the design. Being a lucky soul, I get to walk past this monstrosity every single day.
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.
The Blur Building. Now you can spend your day in a literal fog.
The Most Phallic Building In The World? Cabinet Magazine collected assorted nominees, both circumcised and not. Of course, these days we prefer our erotic architecture to be user-friendly.
Asian Historical Architecture. 'Here you can view over 6500 photos of 462 sites in seventeen countries, with background information and virtual tours. '
Ever wonder what Utopia might look like? So have 300 years of Russian architects.
"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."
Chinese Pop Posters. More :- Guangzhou's racing track, patrolling despair, Cuba, under New York, Bombay bazaar, and Chinese rural architecture. All from the excellent Atlas magazine - more here.
A pole in the ground + an old Plane on top of it = home sweet home. A company in Tennesee is selling old airplanes as homes on ebay. I wonder if the new homeowners ever get tired of eating those little packets of peanuts every night.
Stone inhabitants and extraordinary houses of Prague. More at the Praha experience.
If you like this, you might also like fifty doors of Paris and San Francisco.
If you like this, you might also like fifty doors of Paris and San Francisco.
The monstrous fauna of the cathedrals... although less polished than the prev. mentioned A Love of Monsters, this collection of gargoyle photographs - largely from British churches - more than makes amends with its enthusiasm for its subject.
Badgirs (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 to Pakistan. 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.
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.]
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).
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--animal sacrifice: 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.
Cranespotting (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.
Built St. Louis. The historic architecture of St. Louis, Missouri, its ruins, and its wondrous anachronisms.
Eyesore of the Month is a monthly look at architectural monstrosities. Sample critique: "A total lack of skill meets a total rejection of history. The result: all the charm of a packing crate and none of the structural integrity." [via Good Experience]
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 really live? What architect, living or dead; what building, available or not, would you choose? [NYT reg. required for main link..]