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The postman who delivered a palace

The story begins in 1879. Cheval, then 43 years old, had been working as a rural mail carrier in the southeast of France for 12 years. Because his daily routine involved walking about 20 miles (32km), mostly in solitude, he did a lot of daydreaming. One day (perhaps while his mind was elsewhere), he tripped over a small limestone rock. He picked up that stone and over the next 33 years went on to build his dream, Le Palais Idéal, an amazing fantasy palace. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 21, 2011 - 18 comments

I just need one more 4x2 brick.

"Day by day we pass by vacant lots downtown ... Neighbourhoods that, although having a huge potential, have more and more unused spaces ... Sometimes, the tourists are the ones who open our eyes by mentioning or questioning whether this situation is normal. On other occasions, we pay attention to it for a moment only because the secondary problems that those spaces imply affect us directly. But in most of the cases, they are only a part of our way."
Habit Makes Us Blind is a series of colorful images by Spanish studio Espai MGR that seeks to draw attention to the problem of wasted space in urban environments (specifically, in the city of Valencia) -- by building conceptual LEGO structures in them. [via]
posted by bayani on May 9, 2011 - 8 comments

Ultra Local Geography

Ultra Local Geography documents the everyday architecture of Chicago with detailed drawings and neighborhood historical research. [more inside]
posted by enn on May 4, 2011 - 12 comments

Westminster Abbey

How is abbey formed?
How is abbey formed?
How girl get regnant?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 27, 2011 - 256 comments

Old Architecture

Images of times past: abandoned monuments in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet era architecture in Bulgaria. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Apr 27, 2011 - 49 comments

Michael Hansmeyer: Computational Architecture

Michael Hansmeyer: Computational Architecture. Subdivision: Ornamented Columns -- "A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core." [more inside]
posted by Gator on Apr 26, 2011 - 17 comments

Atlantropa: Dam in the Straits of Gibraltar and Flood Africa

The Canal des Deux Mers connected the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the Zuiderzee Works reclaimed part of shallow inlet of the North Sea to expand the Netherlands, so why not try taming the Mediterranean and irrigating Africa? Part ocean reclamation, part power generation (the "white coal" of falling water), Atlantropa wasn't simply the stuff of science fiction. First called Panropa, it was the long-term goal of a German architect and engineer named Herman Sörgel, a dream that lasted until his death in 1952, and the Atlantropa Institute continued on another 8 years. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 22, 2011 - 17 comments

Skeletal Archiporn

Scaffoldage. If you like construction, with particular reference to terrifyingly lashed-together metal or bamboo rods reaching dizzyingly up into the sky, then you've come to the right thread.
posted by The Discredited Ape on Apr 5, 2011 - 23 comments

Venice, how does it work?

How does Venice work? Short Vimeo documentary on the practicalities of Venice's architecture and civil engineering. More at Venice Backstage.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 4, 2011 - 25 comments

The Ballroom Under the Lake

The Ballroom Under the Lake [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Mar 28, 2011 - 31 comments

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

"Completed in 1954, the 33 11-story buildings of the Pruitt-Igoe housing development was built as an attempt to address the housing crisis the poor faced in St Louis, Missouri. Only twenty years later, at 3pm on the 16th of March, 1972, the buildings were leveled, declared unfit for habitation because of unsafe and unsanitary conditions, coupled with rampant crime. The story of Pruitt-Igoe is a tragic urban fable, a complicated and loaded story of ambition, hubris and failure." (src)
"The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" is a documentary directed by Chad Freidrichs that dives into the complex history of the famed housing project (YouTube or Vimeo trailer). RustWire has an interesting interview with the documentary's creator. More information from Architizer, Homo Ludens, and Magical Urbanism. Be sure to check out the collection of pictures from the area and from the documentary in the creators' Flickr stream. [via Archinect and Mefi Projects] [more inside]
posted by spiderskull on Feb 28, 2011 - 29 comments

I live in a rectangle, but I like these anyway

Vincent Callebaut has been pursuing visionary architectural projects; Coral Reef housing in Haiti, Urban Jungles in Hong Kong, high-flying Algae Airships for the South China sea, and Lilypads for global warming.
posted by twoleftfeet on Feb 27, 2011 - 18 comments

Intelligent Dance Music Dancing

London Boys vs Autechre [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 20, 2011 - 7 comments

Christopher Alexander would have a fit

Freakish, otherworldly Soviet architecture. (previously)
posted by shii on Feb 15, 2011 - 49 comments

Christian Hubert Studio

Christian Hubert designs beautiful residential spaces, like this fantastic 10,000 square foot home, and chic commercial projects. He design aesthetics are sensitive to the relation between art and architecture, and he has worked on some wonderful galleries and exhibition spaces. His practice is informed by a thorough knowledge of philosophy, and his site includes a comprehensive and accessibly written encyclopedia on important concepts in art, aesthetics, and critical theory.
posted by Saxon Kane on Feb 10, 2011 - 15 comments

"It's the old houses in Rhode Island."

"I have never done a story in a shopping mall because, even if I'm not drawing it myself, I don't want to see somebody draw a shopping mall." Mike Mignola talks to BLDGBLOG about the influence architecture has on his work. Also includes a link to a USA Today exclusive Hellboy story that appeared previously on these pages.
posted by yerfatma on Feb 9, 2011 - 15 comments

Simply Incredible

Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2011 - 24 comments

Martello Tower house

The Martello Tower is the definitive 19th century small coastal fortification, built in large numbers around the coast of the British Isles and elsewhere between 1805 and the 1870s. Many have been lost to the sea or demolished, but some have been converted to private residences (you can even stay in this one). The most recent conversion of a Grade II listed tower, by Billings Jackson Design working with Piercy Connor Architects, has produced this very interesting modern home, set in a wetland.
posted by wilful on Jan 30, 2011 - 31 comments

Guerilla architecture in Bucharest

"studioBASAR is an architectural studio established in 2006 by Cristi Borcan and Alex Axinte. studioBASAR is a ’search and rescue’ team, acting as an agent of architectural observation and intervention." [more inside]
posted by Mooseli on Jan 25, 2011 - 1 comment

Mountain House

Mountain House, the first project in the U.S. from genius Japanese design firm Atelier Bow Wow. Designed for Mike Mills and Miranda July. [via]
posted by puny human on Jan 17, 2011 - 24 comments

Lead Pencil Studio

Lead Pencil Studio is an architecture+art collaboration between Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, based in Seattle. Featured last month in FastCoDesign: Billboard advertising clean air. Lots of Google links to their work. [Main site = mildly annoying interface YMMV]
posted by yoga on Jan 16, 2011 - 3 comments

Sharing, Celebrating and Enhancing the World's Visual Language

The Noun Project collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language, so they may be shared in a fun and meaningful way. The goal is to collect and organize all the symbols that form our language into one easy-to-use online library that can be accessed by anyone. All the symbols on their site are completely free to download, and can be used for design projects, architecture presentations, art pieces — just about anything.
posted by netbros on Jan 11, 2011 - 23 comments

Random Bits of Vintage Ephemera

Flickr user ElectroSpark collects and shares “random bits of vintage ephemera from mid-century vacationers,” with many in the form of charming round-cornered Kodachromes. In particular, his Fairs & Expos set with its collection of holiday snapshots from Brussels ’58, New York ’64 and Expo ’67 in Montreal, are all from a by-gone era. The collection includes both vintage graphics and photos.
posted by netbros on Dec 24, 2010 - 5 comments

Labyrinthine

Labyrinths – not to be confused with mazes – are being rediscovered as tools for contemplation, meditation, reflection, and community well-being, as well as inspiration for architecture, music, dance, ritual, business, and visual art. [more inside]
posted by velvet winter on Dec 20, 2010 - 19 comments

Stephen Kanner, a quiet cosmopolitan

Stephen H. Kanner, FAIA. The late architect Stephen Kanner made wonderful buildings in Los Angeles.
posted by xowie on Dec 12, 2010 - 7 comments

Fantastic Journal

"Fantastic Journal is a blog about architecture, design and other things too," written by Charles Holland, a director of London-based FAT. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton on Dec 8, 2010 - 1 comment

Remember the seed-germ

Shortly before his 1924 death in penniless obscurity, architect Louis Sullivan was commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago to produce his final work: A System of Architectural Ornament According with a Philosophy of Man's Powers, a series of intricate illustrations, unfolding diagrams, and accompanying descriptions outlining Sullivan's somewhat opaque aesthetic theories. In 2006, Giles Phillips interpreted these plates into a shape grammar of 23 rules with which Sullivan's elaborate forms may be distilled into a series of basic transformations. Moreover, he helpfully put the entire book online for your viewing pleasure. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Nov 16, 2010 - 18 comments

Inspiring Photos of architecture, people and art from Istanbul and Turkey

Istanbul Photos If you love Istanbul like I do, and can't visit often enough, this is a fine place to get a virtual glimpse of all of it.
posted by sandrach on Nov 15, 2010 - 9 comments

Largest (in 1971) Geodesic Dome in the world for sale

The Buckminster Fuller dome of the former Dutch aerospace museum is for sale. In 1971 it was the largest in the world and housed most of the aircraft on display. The dome has a height of 23 meters and a 2700 m2 floorspace. It is currently dismantled and stored in 27 seafreight containers. At the site (in Dutch) there's a wonderful set of photos on the construction in 1971 and dismantling in 2004.
posted by knutmo on Nov 5, 2010 - 15 comments

The Largest Home In The World

The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s superrich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city. There are nine elevators, a spa, a 50-seat theater and a grand ballroom. Hundreds of servants and staff are expected to work inside. And now, finally, after several years of planning and construction, the residents are about to move in. All five of them. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 29, 2010 - 84 comments

Extremity

Triangulation Blog is done by industrial designer, art director Emilio Gomariz, and covers photography, art installations, product design, architecture, animation, technological and digital projects. Gomariz also does Base Times Height Divided By 2, an experimental, scientific and technologic extension of Triangulation Blog.
posted by netbros on Oct 25, 2010 - 4 comments

Your morning Goffee

Bruce Goff (1904 - 1982) was either a creative genius or the worst architect of the 20th century. At best, his astoundingly diverse body of work resembles a cross between Frank Lloyd Wright and The Gobbler; at worst it recalls Middle-Earth or industrial storage. His designs, many of them unbuilt, run the gamut from geometric abstraction to organic imitation. Forgotten for years, Goff retains a small following, particularly in Oklahoma, where he spent most of his career. Today he's experiencing a minor resurgence in popularity. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Oct 21, 2010 - 22 comments

Zaha Hadid's first school.

"Zaha Hadid is a celebrated architect. You have probably read the articles by now: most famous woman architect in history, Pritzker prize winner, forceful character, born in Iraq or possibly, if the journalist hasn't done their research properly, Iran. She has just completed her first school, a powerful, singular object in Brixton, south London." Story. Slideshow. Some photos from Flickr. [more inside]
posted by lapsangsouchong on Oct 16, 2010 - 53 comments

I love the smell of burning hair in the morning.

Hottest Spot in Vegas? Vdara hotel features an unintended reflection of the sun that some are calling a "death ray."
posted by Brian B. on Sep 27, 2010 - 49 comments

ScoutingNY profiles an imperiled treasure

"Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves…We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture."
posted by jefficator on Sep 13, 2010 - 38 comments

Lviv and the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe

Lviv Interactive, a project of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, is mapping the history, architecture, and human landscape of the City of Lions - including locations no longer there. [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Aug 29, 2010 - 10 comments

An Amazing 3D Light Show From Russia

An Amazing 3D Light Show From Russia (watch in 480p)
posted by empath on Aug 28, 2010 - 31 comments

Las Vegas architectural drawings

Las Vegas as it almost was, as it was going to be, as it never will be, and as it still might.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 19, 2010 - 40 comments

Why Architects Drink

In all my years of architecture school and practice, there seems to be a pervasive myth that my job is pretty and easy. Here, I reveal the painful, ugly truth about why it takes so long to build a building, what it is exactly that we do, and why that's not creamer you smell in my coffee.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 15, 2010 - 47 comments

Architectural Stationary

Around the late 1800s and early 1900s, receipts, envelopes, letterheads, and other corporate correspondence often featured drawings of a factory or storefront. Columbia University's Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery contains over 1600 examples. Why not browse through? [more inside]
posted by Guernsey Halleck on Aug 11, 2010 - 15 comments

Brutalism and Ballard

The term Brutalist Architecture comes from the French term for raw concrete, beton brut. The style resonates strongly in the works of JG Ballard. (previously, previously) [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Aug 9, 2010 - 85 comments

Perspective

Extracts of Local Distance combines fragments of existing architectural photography into multilayered shapes, so the resulting collages introduce a third abstract point of view alongside the original views of the architect and photographer. Joseph Egan is a student at Chelsea College of Art & Design, and he's been experimenting with anamorphic typography.
posted by mattdidthat on Aug 6, 2010 - 5 comments

Dark. Gloomy. Creepy. Claustrophobic.

Other than its former residents, few mourn the demolition of San Francisco's Transbay Terminal.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 4, 2010 - 39 comments

Paul Madonna draws San Francisco.

"I never know what to call myself really. I call myself a cartoonist because it's what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember, it's what I always return to, and it's how I think. But I don't really work in that field. I think I'm an artist and a writer, or more appropriately, an artist who writes." [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Jul 31, 2010 - 5 comments

The Longest Photographic Exposures in History

The Longest Photographic Exposures in History
posted by brundlefly on Jul 29, 2010 - 42 comments

You're a big man, but you're in bad shape

RIP Trinity Square, Gateshead - a Brutalist car park made famous for it's appearance in the classic British crime drama Get Carter is being demolished this week.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 29, 2010 - 50 comments

The Ultimate Bugalow

The Pasadena architectural firm of Greene & Greene was one of the foremost exponents of the Arts & Crafts movement. Their "ultimate bungalows," including the Gamble, Thorsen, and Blacker Houses (and a host of modern-day disciples) stand testament to the enduring elegance of their work, but for a fuller examination of the brothers' design process, delve into the thousands of blueprints, drawings, and photos at the Greene & Greene Virtual Archives.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 26, 2010 - 25 comments

Tiffany treasure

The Willard Memorial Chapel is all that remains of the original Auburn Theological Seminary. [more inside]
posted by Mblue on Jul 20, 2010 - 4 comments

Happy 115th, Mr Fuller!

When he was 32, his life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Buckminster Fuller embarked on "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity." If the architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller were still alive, he would be 115 years old today. Though he died in 1983, his legacy grows on through recordings of his ideas and the Buckminster Fuller Institute. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 12, 2010 - 32 comments

A Wing And A Foyer

Francie Rehwald said she wanted a curved, feminine-shaped house for her Malibu lot overlooking the Pacific Ocean, so architect David Hertz designed her a home built from a scrapped 747.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 28, 2010 - 41 comments

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