has some interesting stories and characters. Here's two to get you started:
Robert de Montesquiou - "Tall, black-haired, rouged, Kaiser-moustached, he cackled and screamed in weird attitudes, giggling in high soprano, hiding his little black teeth behind an exquisitely gloved hand – the poseur absolute. He was said to have slept with Sarah Bernhardt and vomited for a week afterwards."
posted by unliteral
on Dec 13, 2012 -
Lord Berners - "As a child, having heard that if you throw a dog into water it will learn how to swim, he threw his mother's canine companion out of the window on the grounds that if one applies the same logic it should learn how to fly. (The dog was unharmed, and he was "thrashed" by his mother.)"
Word from Rio de Janeiro is that Oscar Niemeyer, celebrated Brazilian Modernist architect, co-architect of the UN headquarters in New York, and designer of its capital city, Brasília, has passed on at the age of 104
. The NYTimes obituary has links to his famous buildings in Brazil, but a more comprehensive link of Brasília can be seen at a 50th anniversary retrospective at Wallpaper
posted by stannate
on Dec 5, 2012 -
No one expected the force of the tempest that hit the New York Public Library in late 2011—not its new president, Anthony Marx, and maybe not even the literary lions up in arms over plans for an ambitious, $300 million renovation. Will the “palace of culture” on Fifth Avenue become a glorified Starbucks, as some fear? Interviewing all sides, Paul Goldberger walks the controversy back to its flash point: the nature of the library’s 21st-century mission and the values at the center of the Norman Foster–designed project.
- Paul Goldberger, Firestorm on Fifth Avenue
posted by beisny
on Nov 17, 2012 -
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: The thing that strikes me about your friend's building -- if I understood you correctly -- is that somehow in some intentional way it is not harmonious. That is, Moneo intentionally wants to produce an effect of disharmony. Maybe even of incongruity.
PETER EISENMAN: That is correct.
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: I find that incomprehensible. I find it very irresponsible. I find it nutty. I feel sorry for the man. I also feel incredibly angry because he is fucking up the world.
— old, but still relevant — between architects Christopher Alexander (whose new book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth
depicts the struggle between his worldview and Eisenman's at length) and Peter Eisenman (who here
discusses his frustrations with liberals and the avant-garde).
posted by Rory Marinich
on Nov 4, 2012 -
Sometimes walls, windows, door and a roof just isn't enough. Why be boxed in by four walls when you can make your home or business look just like your favorite critter? Here's a collection of animal-shaped buildings from around the world
, including the trailblazing Lucy the Elephant
whose creator got a patent in the 1880s giving him exclusive rights to make animal-shaped buildings up until the turn of the century. [more inside]
posted by julen
on Oct 5, 2012 -
has announced details of their New Utøya
project, ‘a strategy for re-establishing a political camp on the island of Utøya
. "Our ambition has been to reflect and reinforce values such as commitment, solidarity, diversity and democracy, both through form and function. In short we have done this by establishing a small village with small streets, belfry and a town square on the very top of the island. The village consists of many small units that together ad up to a bigger community: A symbol of unity and diversity." say the project leaders, Erlend Blakstad Haffner and Håkon Matre Aasarød, who won the Iakov Chernikov International Prize in 2010
. The 22 July Fund of the Worker's Youth League raised $68 million to build the memorial to the 69 victims of Anders Behring Breivik's attack on the island. Via Things Magazine
posted by parmanparman
on Sep 9, 2012 -
Master Builder Uncovers Striking Similarities In Indian and Incan / Mayan Sacred Structures:- It is Sthapati's theory that Mayan, the creator of Indian architecture, originated from the Mayan people of Central America. In Indian history, Mayan appears several times, most significantly as the author of Mayamatam, "Concept of Mayan" which is a Vastu Shastra, a text on art, architecture and town planning. The traditional date for this work is 8,000bce. Mayan appears in the Ramayana (2000bce) and again in the Mahabharata (1400bce) - in the latter he designs a magnificent palace for the Pandava brothers. Mayan is also mentioned in Silappathikaram, an ancient Tamil scripture, and is author of Surya Siddhanta, one of the most ancient Hindu treatises on astronomy.
(Original ca. 1995
) [more inside]
posted by infini
on Aug 31, 2012 -
is both a free-lance photographer and an internationally recognized historic preservation consultant specializing in the use of architectural photogrammetry to document existing buildings." [more inside]
posted by Namlit
on Aug 12, 2012 -
A wall with large buttons that trigger voices, mellotron-style; An Indonesian gamelan xylophone orchestra played with a arcade game-like control panel; A leslie speaker that amplifies whatever a stethoscope touches. These are just a few of the instruments
built into a unique New Orleans musical architecture installation called Dithyrambalina, or simply, The Music Box. [more inside]
posted by umbú
on Jun 29, 2012 -
5 Pillars of the Abandoned World is a tour through lost landscapes and shrugged off citadels. From the Gothic, Disney villainness ominousness of Miranda Castle
to the distant splendor
(photo by Cédric Mayence
) of the abandoned Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Don't feel left out, North Americans: the US has plenty of holy, holey structures to sweep you off your feet. Fan favorite for urbane decrepitude, Detroit has lots to see. The St. Agnes Catholic Church
is the place to be
for the religiously inclined ramshackle rambler. Need a place to put up your feet? The Book
offers a cozy spot to spread out your tour guide
and relax. When you're ready to move on, just head over to Michigan Central Station
and hop on the last train to forever.
The world's an awfully big stage. There's a lot to take in
, but don't worry about a thing. Just enjoy the show
. There's no hurry; what's already gone isn't going anywhere. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername
on Jun 13, 2012 -
Factum Arte in Madrid has made an animation film
based on Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzione prints; and have also built many of his pieces
which shows the workings of his imagination, merging his architectural ambitions with his obsessive interest in antiquity.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
was a source of inspiration for, among others, Goya, Poe, Escher, Max Ernst, De Chirico. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco
on Jun 13, 2012 -
About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound!
Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers
, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Mar 19, 2012 -