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How Green is My Home?

“Oh, it’s all bullshit. The high design? That has nothing to do with reality. That’s just architectural self-indulgence.” The greening of architecture is quite a contentious subject. Because of a renewed emphasis on traditional home-building methods, The Green Home of the Future is in many respects not dissimilar from The Green Home of Yesterday. A tornado in Greensburg, Kansas provided the impetus for a vote to decide on what green methods would define the movement in that small town. The competition's results stymied many architects' conceptions of what "green" should mean. But in New Orleans, larger-scale destruction by Hurricane Katrina has provided a unique opportunity for proponents of distinct conceptions of green innovation to bring their ideas to life. Opinions among residents are mixed.
posted by jefficator on Nov 2, 2009 - 43 comments

"Because no one will ever care whether anyone hits a home run out of the 'new Yankee Stadium'"

Why Yankee Stadium sucks: "Its design is profoundly un-American. Baseball has traditionally played a unifying role. The ballpark is where people of different classes and races and religions actually mingled. The box seats, where the swells sat, weren't physically separated from the proles. The new stadium is like an architectural system of class apartheid."
posted by bardic on Oct 30, 2009 - 89 comments

Lawrence Halprin: July 1, 1916 - October 25, 2009

Influential landscape architect Lawrence Halprin has died at the age of 93. "He was the single most influential landscape architect of the postwar years," said Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. "He redefined the profession's role in cities." Noted projects include The Sea Ranch a 5,000-acre residential development on the coast of Sonoma county in northern California; Ghirardelli Square, the first major adaptive re-use project in the United States, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C; and a new trail from which to experience Yosemite Falls. [more inside]
posted by otherwordlyglow on Oct 27, 2009 - 10 comments

Bucket list made easy!

Want to see Trajan's Column, Michelangelo’s David (with or without fig leaf), and Notre Dame all in one room? (Well, two rooms.) The Victoria and Albert’s “Cast Courts” are an amazing example of Victorian plaster casting, allowing those who couldn't afford the Grand Tour a chance to see great works of art and architecture.
posted by JoanArkham on Oct 26, 2009 - 22 comments

Best/Site

Wonderful documentary on the art inspired chain of Best retail stores designed by Site architectural firm in the '70s and early '80s. 1::2::3::4
posted by vronsky on Oct 12, 2009 - 17 comments

Gardens By The Bay

The Gardens will put in place a pervasive garden ambience and quality living environment from which Singapore's downtown will rise, and steer Singapore to the forefront of the world's leading global cities. (via)
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 5, 2009 - 11 comments

Colossal Green Volcano Rises In Italy

"A jaw-dropping feat of architecture has risen in the Italian city of Nola, just a stone’s throw away from the cataclysmic Mt. Vesuvius. Designed by Renzo Piano, Vulcano Buono is an epic cone-shaped commercial center crowned with a gorgeous sloping green roof. Piano’s 'good volcano' contributes a vital new space to the southern edge of the Nola commercial district, which is the most most important freight terminal complex in southern and central Italy."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey on Sep 24, 2009 - 20 comments

Long live The New flesh!

"All of which is a long way of saying that, to construct a new church of anatomical horror and to do so out of stone, as Al-Mehdari seems to be suggesting, is a fascinating idea. " - Body Baroque
posted by Artw on Sep 23, 2009 - 24 comments

Architecture through the cinematographic lens. The visual fusion between the third and the seventh arts.

The "Third&Seventh" project is "A full-CG animated piece that tries to illustrate architecture art across a photographic point of view where main subjects are already-built spaces." In other words, Alex Roman has created a series of CG images and short films, based on real places (like this short film that depicts Louis Kahn's library at Phillips Exeter Academy), with a remarkable level of realism and beauty. (via)
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 21, 2009 - 5 comments

The Other Architect of 9/11

While newly released images of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have brought "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" back into the public eye just before their anniversary, it was his skyscraper-hating lieutenant Mohamed Atta who had trained to be an architect before becoming an airborne suicide terrorist. Slate's Daniel Brook goes on a three-part expedition in search of Atta's architectural education, from despised tourist projects in Cairo's dilapidated Islamic Quarter to utopian urban planning for an idealized "Islamic-Oriental City" like Aleppo. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed on Sep 11, 2009 - 56 comments

Somethin' New From Chemistry

Graphic Concrete is a process with which textures, patterns, typography, images, or works of art can be "printed" on concrete surfaces, with subtle and dramatic results. Invented by Finnish designer and architect Samuli Naamanka, Graphic Concrete is being used in projects all over the globe.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 10, 2009 - 21 comments

Let's ride bikes!

Ride a Bike through an Architectural Drawing: no, really.
posted by leotrotsky on Sep 10, 2009 - 33 comments

Shoutout To All My Eichler Homies

Eichler homes! Most Eichlers are located in northern California, but you can find a few developments in the southland. People restore and renovate their Eichlers, write magazine articles about them, and take lots of photos of them. Even Mr. Incredible owned an Eichler. But owning an Eichler is not for everyone. Want to buy an Eichler? Join the Eichler Network or tour an open house.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 6, 2009 - 36 comments

Living Small

With the economic downturn and a steady downward trend in family sizes, the end of the McMansion could be at hand. Some people are living in and building tiny houses (previously) to decrease their impact on the environment, while others can't afford more (or wish to own something small instead of paying off something big). Sergio Santos saw his small budget and limited space as a challenge (gallery), maximizing his 77 square foot space as a bedroom, office, and mini-kitchen. Claire Wolf lists the four pieces of living small: building, gadgeting, decorating, and coping. If these spaces are too small for you, Dan Maginn suggest 900 square feet for a 2 bed, 2 bath house, and outlines how to design your own small home (his tips: think "events" more than "rooms," and don't forget the cupboards and water heater closet).
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 1, 2009 - 95 comments

Brick House

James May built his own house with Lego.
posted by mattdidthat on Aug 31, 2009 - 123 comments

Knossos

Knossos: Fakes, Facts, and Mystery. "The masterpieces of Minoan art are not what they seem... The truth is that these famous icons are largely modern. As any sharp-eyed visitor to the Heraklion museum can spot, what survives of the original paintings amounts in most cases to no more than a few square inches. The rest is more or less imaginative reconstruction, commissioned in the first half of the twentieth century by Sir Arthur Evans, the British excavator of the palace of Knossos (and the man who coined the term 'Minoan' for this prehistoric Cretan civilization, after the mythical King Minos who is said to have held the throne there). As a general rule of thumb, the more famous the image now is, the less of it is actually ancient."
posted by homunculus on Aug 30, 2009 - 16 comments

The Loss of Human Scale: Old Hong Kong vs New Hong Kong

For the last two years, Flickr user HK Man has been collecting old photos of Hong Kong, finding the exact spots at which they were taken, and taking them again. The result, from his first photo of Victoria Harbor to a more recent one of Nathan Road, comprises a chronicle of Hong Kong's unrestrained vertical development over the past few decades. In a similar vein, Gwulo is a community site for "for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong" and includes photos, mysteries, and discussions -- such as this one about old Kai Tak Airport. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast on Aug 30, 2009 - 28 comments

Historic Bridges of the U.S.

Historic Bridges of the U.S. This is the most complete database of historic bridges I've seen. The front page is blog style that seems to have an emphasis on preservation, and which links to a database that is actively being updated & expanded. You can search by state or by county, and look at each bridge's individual page, including a wealth of stats, and a high-res photo, when available. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on Aug 17, 2009 - 31 comments

Exploring and trespassing

Bearings explores old buildings, and photographs the insides.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 16, 2009 - 6 comments

Dear Mandir

When you think of Hinduism, you probably don't think of suburban Lilburn, Georgia, yet it is home to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, at over 30,000 square feet the largest Hindu temple in the world outside of India. The beautiful temple was assembled from 34,000 pieces of Turkish limestone, Indian pink sandstone, and Italian Carrara marble hand-carved by some 1500 craftsmen in India, then shipped to Georgia, where about 900 volunteers put in over a million man-hours to bring the architects' vision to fruition (YT), at a cost of about US$19m. [more inside]
posted by notashroom on Aug 12, 2009 - 36 comments

A Fair To Remember

Concept proposals for Seattle's Space Needle. More sketches and images, from the University of Washington's image database. Erecting The Needle, a four-part series about the Space Needle's construction: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, with a picture of the rarely-seen gas-flame beacon in action. And this morning, the Space Needle was briefly for sale!
posted by mattdidthat on Aug 11, 2009 - 40 comments

Pattern in Islamic Art

Pattern in Islamic Art - thousands of high quality, free pictures of various motifs, patterns and architectural elements of mosques and other structures from Asia to West Africa. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 6, 2009 - 31 comments

"America's Imaginary Medieval Period"

NPR: American Castles. With interactive map. Previously. Also, on Flickr.
posted by Miko on Aug 1, 2009 - 28 comments

Search Patterns

Peter Morville is widely recognized as a father of the information architecture field, and he serves as an advocate for the critical roles that search and findability play in defining web user experience. His recent project titled Search Patterns, is a sandbox for collecting search examples, patterns, and anti-patterns; for example spime search, the ability to query objects in motion and find things in the real world. Morville is also on the editorial board of the new Journal of Information Architecture.
posted by netbros on Jul 31, 2009 - 4 comments

Detroit schools urban exploration & reclamation.

Urban exploration has been featured here once or twice before, but Jim Griffioen's site photo-documenting his discoveries in and around Detroit deserves a look. Griffioen was recently interviewed [direct mp3 link] on the American Public Media radio program The Story. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 25, 2009 - 14 comments

Blowing up the Rocca Malatestiana

Tetragram for Enlargement is an architectural video installation by Apparati Effimeri that decorates, distorts, and eventually explodes the fortress Rocca Malatestiana. [Italian] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jul 17, 2009 - 4 comments

Eternal sunshine

RIP Julius Shulman, iconic photographer of modernist architecture.
posted by WPW on Jul 16, 2009 - 13 comments

Bruxellisation

Top 10 comic book cities
posted by Artw on Jul 13, 2009 - 45 comments

Deciding to sell, but not die.

Champions of Reversible Destiny, architects Arakawa + Gins believe that people die because they're too comfortable. Having lost their life savings through Bernie Madoff, their bewildering East Hampton Bioscleave house - and, presumably, immortality - can now be yours for only $4million. [via the always awesome It's lovely! I'll take it!]
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady on Jul 10, 2009 - 57 comments

Danvers

A website has been launched to preserve the history of Danvers State Insane Asylum. The Asylum, which opened in 1878 in Danvers, MA (site of the Salem Witch Trials) and closed in 1992, was featured in the horror movie Session 9, and may have been the inspiration for HP Lovecraft's Arkham Asylum. Its Kirkbride Wings, which once held the institution's living quarters, now house a 400+ unit apartment complex. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 30, 2009 - 35 comments

But where are the wretched hives of scum and villainy?

The Architects' Journal (home of British architecture) has recently listed their top 10 architectural features of Star Wars. The article cites the Sandcrawler of Tatooine (possibly inspired by the Hôtel du lac in Tunisia, and in turn may have influenced Casa da Música [virtual tour, requires Quicktime] ), gave Bright Tree Village an honorary rating of BREEAM Excellent (top marks for environment-friendliness and sustainability), then embrace the Ecumenopolis that is Coruscant. This is not the first discussion of the architectural styles of the Star Wars universe. George Lucas once said "I'm basically a Victorian person," referring to his love of "all kinds of old things," including sort of Art Deco or Art Moderne-type. The retro-futuristic styles of Star Wars has gone on to inspire others.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 25, 2009 - 12 comments

A spectre is haunting Western academia

Slavoj Žižek recently gave five talks under the title Masterclass - Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture. It sez 'ere, "The master class analyses phenomena of modern thought and culture with the intention to discern elements of possible Communist culture. It moves at two levels: first, it interprets some cultural phenomena (from today’s architecture to classic literary works like Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Heloise) as failures to imagine or enact a Communist culture; second, it explores attempts at imagining how a Communist culture could look, from Wagner’s Ring to Kafka’s and Beckett’s short stories and contemporary science fiction novels." Audio of Zizek's talks and subsequent discussion is now online: Part I Utopias; Part II Architecture as Ideology; Part III Wagner’s Ring as a Communist narrative; Part IV Populism and Democracy; Part V Environment, Identity and Multiculturalism. Those who like to watch the beard in motion will find links to video of some of the talks posted here.
posted by Abiezer on Jun 22, 2009 - 29 comments

The New Acropolis Museum

After more than 30 years of competions and planning and eight years of construction, the New Acropolis Museum officially opens today. The museum, designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, provides a dramatic new home for the many historic treasures of the Acropolis, including the marbles of the Parthenon frieze. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Jun 20, 2009 - 21 comments

The dead hand of neo-traditionalism

Controversy has erupted in Britain after it emerged that Prince Charles used his personal influence with Qatari royalty to sack modernist architect Richard Rogers from a development in London. Charles has been an outspoken critic of modern architecture and advocate of neo-traditionalist styles, and even created a model village to showcase his ideas about "proper" architecture. Charles' preferred replacement for Rogers is Quinlan Terry, known for his neo-classicist leanings. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jun 16, 2009 - 95 comments

Saddam's Palaces

Breach. Photographer Richard Mosse's pictures of Saddam Hussein's palaces.
posted by homunculus on Jun 10, 2009 - 11 comments

The High Line, Transformed

The first stage of New York City's High Line redesign was opened to the public yesterday, and reviews are generally favorable. The city's newest park (whose concept is similar to Paris’s Promenade Plantée,) transforms an abandoned, above-ground, elevated freight train track into a nine block "lofty expanse of walking and green spaces that stretches 60 feet wide in some spots". It also provides visitors with a unique look at some of the city's architecture and layout. (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 10, 2009 - 51 comments

India and South Asian resources

Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, has created a superb online collection of resources, all about India and South Asia, its art, history, literature, architecture and culture. Her Indian Routes section (the Index page) is a particularly rich resource. Her vast, colorful and informative site also has many great images. Check out her "scrapbook pages" on the Princes l the Ghaznavids l British Rule l Women's Spaces l Perspectives on Hinduism. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jun 9, 2009 - 14 comments

Nature's Elegant Solutions

Imagine nature's most elegant ideas organized by design and engineering function, so you can enter "filter salt from water" and see how mangroves, penguins, and shorebirds desalinate without fossil fuels. That's the idea behind AskNature, the online inspiration source for the biomimicry community. The featured pages are a good starting point. Cross-pollinating biology with design. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 5, 2009 - 13 comments

The Past is Another City

Photos of 1940s New York City.
posted by Miko on May 28, 2009 - 28 comments

Frank Lloyd Wright Legos

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum now available in Lego.
posted by pashdown on May 20, 2009 - 42 comments

Evil Lairs

Game developers are unconstrained in their designs for the enemy. Such designers will be punished with poor sales, not death in the gulag, if their designs for the overlord are unpopular. They could go anywhere with the homes of evildoers: halls of electric fluorescence, palaces carved from corduroy, suburban back yards. And yet, in spite of this freedom, most videogame designers choose to make a definite connection to familiar – or real-world – architecture ...
posted by jim in austin on May 15, 2009 - 11 comments

Zero carbon emission living: ingenuity and woolly hats

The Reas' previous house was destroyed in a winter storm - such are the perils of living on Unst - most northerly of the Shetland isles. On re-building the pensioner couple have constructed what they claim is the world's first occupied zero carbon emission house - using off the shelf materials. Here is a video interview with them and a few more details about the house. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on May 11, 2009 - 8 comments

One Flat Thing, reproduced

Synchronous Objects - Exploring choreographic structures using objects and data, creating stunning visualisations. [flash]
posted by tellurian on Apr 19, 2009 - 10 comments

old, weird america

Roadside Architecture. "I have been passionate about commercial architecture and roadside related things all my life. I grew up in California but New York City has been my home since 1980. I started this website in 2000 simply as a way to organize my own photos. Since then, it has become a bit of an obsession and grown to well over 1,000 pages." flickr. blog. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Apr 14, 2009 - 11 comments

The Eighth Wonder of the World

3D laser scanning offers a fly-through view of the Eighth Wonder of the World. Carved directly into volcanic bedrock, the churches of Lalibela were built during the Zagwe Dynasty (1137-1270). YouTube video of the church and local villagers.
posted by desjardins on Apr 9, 2009 - 11 comments

MegaCity-One

An epic blog post on the evolution of the architecture of Megacity-One, the futuristic comic-book home of Judge Dredd, by Matt Brooker, showing influence of artists such as Carlso Esquerra, Mike McMahon and Ian Gibson over the years. Judge Dredds cover appearances on 2000ad from 1977 onwards (when each Prog cost 8p), and plenty other images from the world of Judge Dredd. As for that movie... [more inside]
posted by Artw on Apr 4, 2009 - 23 comments

100 Abandoned Houses in Detroit

100 Abandoned Houses. A photo essay from Detroit-based photographer Kevin Bauman.
posted by dersins on Apr 3, 2009 - 71 comments

Hugh, Pugh, Barley, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Chuck

Prince Charles has been a notable critic of architecture over the years. Now he's had a go himself, designing a fire station in the village of Poundbury. Whilst the reception to the Prince's efforts has not been overwhelmingly positive at least the commentators at the Daily Mail like it
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 31, 2009 - 110 comments

Julius Shulman, photographer of iconic California architecture

NPR article and slide show of the works of Julius Shulman. If you've seen anything by Shulman, you've seen this one. Gas station buffs probably favor this. And, if this one wasn't in Playboy, it should have been! And, bunches more though a google image search. And, at 98, he's still capturing images!
posted by HuronBob on Mar 26, 2009 - 5 comments

It aint where you're from, it's where you're at

In Portland, Oregon sits the Wilkinson residence, designed by Robert Oshatz. It is kind of neat. [via]
posted by cashman on Mar 20, 2009 - 30 comments

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