An Amazing 3D Light Show From Russia (watch in 480p)
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.
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]
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]
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.
"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]
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.
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.
The Willard Memorial Chapel is all that remains of the original Auburn Theological Seminary. [more inside]
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]
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.
Take a swim in the Infinity Pool, at the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park. The Sky Park has rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, trees, plants, and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline. The Infinity Pool is the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 475-foot vanishing edge, 200 meters (55 stories) above the ground.
After polishing off a piece of this amazing AT-AT wedding cake, you may need to use a toothpick or two.
The Abandoned Palace at 15 Beekman Street [via mefi projects] (I think it's actually 5 Beekman street, but whatever. The photos are amazing.)
Tomas Saraceno's architectural geometric installations. Some are eerily spider-like. Others are Buckminster-Fulleresque. My favorite is his Flying Garden, in which his geometrical inflatables are covered in grass and other living matter. Anyway, his Lighter Than Air exhibit was organized by the Walker Art Center and is in Houston at the Blaffer Gallery this month. Thanks, Minneapolis!.
Star forts from above (Google Maps links): Alba Iulia, Arad Fortress, Almeida, Bourtrange, Coevorden, Estremoz, Goryōkaku, Naarden, Neuf Brisach, Nicosia, Palmanova, Retranchement, Terezín, Willemstad. More.
The Freegan Establishment. Squatters in Buffalo get a mansion for free.
Shimizu's Dream: the Shimizu Corporation presents a set of "proposals for the benefit of up-coming generations." [via Pink Tentacle]
China is the new Dubai (when it comes to architecture)
So, there's a Japanese artistic concept called a Thomasson. In short, they are "defunct and useless objects, attached to someone's property and aesthetically maintained." But a more nuanced explanation involves artist Akasegawa Genpei, baseball player Gary Thomasson, and a whole generation of Japanese kids who wandered around Tokyo, looking for architectural abnormalities. Now that the book has found its way to English, American readers are submitting some pretty fascinating discoveries of their own . [more inside]
Save The Tonga Room. The beloved Tonga Room in San Francisco, long threatened with extinction, may soon be a City historical resource, giving it a fighting chance at preservation.
Ozark Medieval Fortress – Thirty masons, carpenters and stone carvers authentically dressed, will work all year round for twenty years, the time required to build a fortress in the Middle Ages.
The Worst Of Perth showcases the worst in public art, architecture, design, fashion, car culture, graffiti and suburban landscape in and around Perth in Western Australia, with the occasional public victory over bad art. Substantially NSFW.
A small slide show of partisan monuments on the territory of former Yugoslavia. via: [aesthetic interlude] and [grain edit]
Why don't rabbits burrow rectangular burrows? Why didn't early man make rectagular caves?
Archigram are amongst the most seminal, iconoclastic and influential architectural groups of the modern age. They created some of the 20th century's most iconic images and projects, rethought the relationship of technology, society and architecture, predicted and envisioned the information revolution decades before it came to pass, and reinvented a whole mode of architectural education – and therefore produced a seam of architectural thought with truly global impact.The Archigram Archival Project is an online, searchable database of all the available works of Archigram [and much, much more] for study by architectural specialists and the general public. [more inside]
Ever since Pat and Diane Farla moved into the detached Victorian building three years ago, they'd wondered what lay behind the metre-long rectangle which lay alongside a wall.
The 2010 World Expo starts on May 1st, and The Big Picture has documented the Shanghai's preparations for the event. Highlights include the Seed Cathedral, covered in 60,000 thin acrylic rods that will sway in the breeze; the Sunny Valley, a structure that will harness sunlight for power and rain to water nearby green areas, Joy Street, a Dr. Seussian part of the Dutch Pavillion, and an assortment of other engineering marvels. More information about the Expo available at the World Expo Blog. [more inside]
Russia's Wooden Churches - A century after celebrated Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin called for preservation of Russia's decaying wooden churches, architectural photographer Richard Davies revisits the churches to document and raise awareness of these gorgeous historic architectural treasures. [more inside]
"This strangely shaped structure at Calixtlahuaca represents the wind-god Ehécatl and his ability to pass where he will." Could this enigmatic example of Postclassic period Mesoamerician Architecture be any more fascinating with a dubious ancient Roman head? Archeologist M.E.Smith has some advice for T.V. producers. "And no, the world will NOT end in 2012." [more inside]
The Ancient Theatre Archive: A Virtual Reality Tour of Greek and Roman Theatre Architecture offers photos, panoramas, detailed descriptions, and, in several instances, virtual tours of classical theatre sites across Europe. (Tours require Quicktime to view.) The Met offers a basic overview of the differences between Greek and Roman theatrical architecture. For more theatres and related theatrical imagery, visit John Porter's one-stop catalog of online visual resources, Skenotheke.
Glasgow's Mitchell Library, designed by William B. Whitie, is the largest reference library in Western Europe. Over the past decade, it has been digitising its collection of photographs, which has resulted in the Virtual Mitchell, an unrivalled collection of photographs of Glasgow which covers the last 150-odd years of the city's history. The photographs can be searched by area, street or subject, all of which provide a fascinating insight into life in Glasgow over the past century and a half. Some examples: Charing Cross, 1950s; 1975; The Mitchell Library, 1910; Meadowside Shipyard, circa 1930; New Astoria Cinema, Possilpark; Royal Exchange Square, 1868; Alexander "Greek" Thompson's church on Caledonia Road; East End children in class in 1916
Everyone has fantasized about it, usually while scrubbing a floor or cleaning a toilet. Well, Frances Gabe did something about it: she invented the self-cleaning house, the one the future has been promising us for years. (This 2007 Weird America Interview/Tour mocks her, but it's the only video of the house I could find.) Just imagine: You put your dirty dishes back in the cabinets which double as dishwashers; the closets are laundry machines. Every room has wash, rinse, and dry buttons. [more inside]
If you live in a sufficiently old city in the U.S.,Canada, or the UK you've probably seen these set into concrete sidewalks or the panels of cast iron steps. Termed vault lights in the U.S., pavement lights in the UK, and sidewalk prisms in Canada, the glass insets were originally clear and intended to produce daylighting in subterranean spaces. The ethereal purple color results from the glass's manganese content being exposed to ultraviolet light over time. Many vault lights or sidewalk prisms are in poor condition, but some are being repaired.
George Falconer is a creation of Christopher Isherwood. George's house, as selected by Dan Bishop, is a creation of John Lautner. The house is for sale.
Competition Competition 2010, at Architizer is an entirely new kind of architectural award that chooses its winner from the un-rewarded competition entries of 2009.
Nakatomi Space: On Die Hard, walking through walls, and the Israeli Army.
The Villa Vals, from Christian Muller Architects, is an innovative (and totally cool) house dug into the side of a Swiss alp. More pictures from Iwan Baan.
Brilliant short series of documentaries each dealing with an architect and their signature creations. (each approx. 30 minutes) Frank Lloyd Wright Johnson Wax Building :: Walter Gropius The Dessau Bauhaus :: Alvaro Siza The Siza School :: Renzo Piano Centre Georges Pompidou :: Santiago Calatrava Satolas TGV :: Felix Duban School of the Beaux Arts :: Peter Zumthor The Thermae of Stone :: Emanuele Rocco La Galleria Umberto :: Otto Wagner The Vienna Savings Bank
If you're planning a visit to Stockholm, Munich, Bilbao, Shanghai, Dubai, Tokyo, Prague, Moscow, Toronto, and/or Barcelona, don't miss the chance to check out some of these amazing subway stations.