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100 years of the roundel

London's iconic transportation symbol, the roundel, is 100 years old this year and a new online exhibit at the London Transport Museum features some amazing galleries of architecture, promotional material, livery and a great illustrated history of the mark.
posted by salishsea on Dec 4, 2008 - 10 comments

One Pair of Eyes

Architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham loved Los Angeles. (Last link is a BBC documentary, circa 1972, 52 minutes -- NSFW at 47 minute mark) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 1, 2008 - 2 comments

seier + seier = (architecture + comment) x excellence

Jørn Utzon, the architect who designed Sydney Opera House despite the project being plagued by controversy and scandal, died today. While the rest of us are posting photographs of our drunken friends or the poetry of a plastic bag caught in the wind, one Flickr user is busy with pithy, insightful, considered and often witty architectural commentary supplementing exquisite architectural photography. This obituary for Utzon captures the cost of that project to the man himself and to the world. [more inside]
posted by carbide on Nov 29, 2008 - 21 comments

We don't need no straight lines.

50 strange buildings of the world. What it says on the tin. via.
posted by jokeefe on Nov 27, 2008 - 45 comments

Burj Dubai BASE Jump

World Record BASE Jump: from 650 meters up the Burj Dubai. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 22, 2008 - 47 comments

The call is coming from INSIDE the Pyramid!

A hidden room sealed inside the Great Pyramid may hold the explanation for how the pyramids were built. Previously, it was believed that the construction took place from the outside, but evidence points to the building starting on the inside and working out. Do you want to build your own pyramid at home? Well, that's considerably easier. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Nov 16, 2008 - 27 comments

Architecture, Sampled And Remixed

Dionisio González makes photographs of imaginary favelas, Filip Dujardin makes photographs of imaginary buildings.
posted by jack_mo on Nov 9, 2008 - 6 comments

The Big Chart

We need a way to have, buy, and sit on fewer and better things. — from the CICINA, a 20 minute video presentation on their effort to compare all things in a massive bracketed set of 214 binary judgements. Which is better: Apples or Oranges?
posted by blasdelf on Oct 30, 2008 - 22 comments

Modular

Origami inspired bamboo and paper modular buildings for use as temporary shelters, by Ming Tang.
posted by Artw on Oct 24, 2008 - 17 comments

om sweet om

Contemporary architecture in India, a little look: Odd and unusual buildings l Mumbai 1, 2, 3 l Kerala backwaters l Kolkata l Architectural renderings from the Indian Skyscraper blog. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 12, 2008 - 12 comments

Devils in the Details

A luminous dragon climbing the side of a building is almost certain to be fearsome; but, when executed properly, even a sculpture of a bunny rabbit can threaten.... Gargoyles and Grotesques. (some nsfw stonework) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Oct 10, 2008 - 5 comments

Prefabricated Housing

Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling comprises a selective survey of prefabrication in architecture, represented by a timeline, and a building project of contemporary prefabricated homes on the MoMA west lot that is available until October 20th. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Oct 6, 2008 - 2 comments

Termite Mounds

Busy Bugs: Termite Mounds vs. the Burj Dubai Tower.
posted by homunculus on Sep 30, 2008 - 34 comments

Why is Paul McKee ruining the north side?

Blairmont: The Final Dose. Yesterday Rob Powers of Built St. Louis (prev.) completed a 189-post tour of the North St. Louis properties bought and left to ruin by developer Paul McKee's Blairmont Associates LLC. Residents trying to rebuild in this area have had to deal with nearby Blairmont properties catching fire, collapsing due to brick rustlers, and obstructing their efforts to improve their own homes. Four years this has been going on and still nobody knows what McKee is up to. Much more information at Ecology of Absence.
posted by tss on Sep 24, 2008 - 15 comments

Photographs of Abandoned Places

24 Stunning HDR Photographs of Abandoned Places. 42 Essential Flickr Abandonments Groups Dedicated to Abandoned Places, Properties and Buildings.
posted by homunculus on Sep 22, 2008 - 39 comments

That giant fountain projection thing

Primal source at GLOW (video), Burble London (an implementation of Open Burble) (video), Evoke (video) - the transformative artworks of Haque Design and Research. Interview with Usman Haque. Previously.
posted by Artw on Sep 21, 2008 - 6 comments

The Islamic art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Islamic art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has beautiful objects to delight every fancy, whether you seek manuscript illustration (more), calligraphy (more), glassware (more), archetectural elements (more) and much, yes, more! If you want some knowledge to go with the beauty then you are in luck because on the site there is an overview of Islamic art history from inception to the now.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 21, 2008 - 5 comments

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2008

Kieran Long in The Architects' Journal: "The 2008 biennale is the year that the avant-garde finally disappeared into its own darkest recesses. Let's hope the recession finishes the job."
via
posted by johnny novak on Sep 20, 2008 - 18 comments

John Travolta's custom built home with runway

"I moved here, primarily, to have the bigger, stronger, runway," Travolta explains, "then built a taxiway to the house that would endure the weight of the 707."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 11, 2008 - 85 comments

The body of the city

Visualizing Early Washington. A project at the Imaging Research Center of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County has reconstructed the original landscape of Washington DC before its radical transformation into a modern capital city. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 2, 2008 - 21 comments

Bigger than a breadbox.

Tiny Houses - Design Boom compiles a nice list of tiny residences around the world.
posted by dobbs on Aug 31, 2008 - 25 comments

How Buildings Learn

How Buildings Learn--Stewart Brand, 1997, BBC, 6 Parts; Flow, The Low Road, Built For Change, Unreal Estate, The Romance of Maintenance, Shearing Layers. "What happens after buildings are built? Why do some buildings get better over time and others get demolished? Stewart Brand says architecture is a prediction, and all predictions are wrong, so the more monumental the architecture, the more wrong the building is. The buildings that thrive are those that can adapt to how people actually use them. The worst buildings for inhabitants are usually statement architecture -- buildings that look like art. The best buildings are often non-descript, and pick up character as they evolve. In other words they grow into art." Kevin Kelley
posted by vronsky on Aug 27, 2008 - 15 comments

Ancient Oases

10 Incredible Ancient Oases.
posted by homunculus on Aug 24, 2008 - 21 comments

Not-so-faded glory

Perhaps you think you've had your fill of photographs of decaying architecture and abandoned buildings. If so, the rich color and play of light in Michael Eastman's beautiful body of work from Cuba, Europe, and the U.S. may change your mind. His site is flash - for non-flash folks, the Duane Reed Gallery has additional works, including his B&W portfolios on horses, landscapes, and succulents. (no relation to the Kodak family; via BB-Blog)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 23, 2008 - 15 comments

Thomas Jefferson Papers

The Massachusetts Historical Society has a nice collection of Thomas Jefferson's papers online. It includes two catalogs of Jefferson's books, a draft of the Declaration of Independence and his Garden Book. Architectural Drawings too! [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Aug 22, 2008 - 6 comments

Morgues for an era that well knows what to do with them

Atlantic Yards is the largest project Frank Gehry, now seventy-eight, has ever undertaken. And if it proves to be his last large project, it will be a fitting capstone to a career utterly blind to the public function of architecture. For how better to assert your dedication to personal expression over context than to have your distinct visual style serve as the emblem for the death of two Brooklyn neighborhoods?
Charles Taylor discusses the anti-humanism of Modern architecture. [Via] [Previously]
posted by Sonny Jim on Aug 21, 2008 - 61 comments

Reaching for the Heavens

Mimar Sinan; 16th century Ottoman Architect Mimar Sinan born a Christian in Anatolia, from either a Greek or Armenian background, was conscripted into Ottoman service in 1511, and converted to Islam. He was the chief Ottoman architect to four sultans. Sinan worked in seismic, as well as political, fault zones, and his buildings are famous for their earthquake resistance. His extraordinary output included 146 mosques. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Aug 14, 2008 - 7 comments

Sky-high gardens and rooftop oases

Rich people's rooftops in NYC offers a fun birds-eye view into a few sky-high secret decks and gardens. Roofs are the new frontier for innovative urban architects, but they aren't exclusive to the wealthy. All kinds of people and organizations are starting rooftop gardens. See the impressive results that two Chicago denizens had growing heirloom vegetables on their roofs (2). [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 9, 2008 - 39 comments

The Colors of Decay

Keith Thorne has stunningly colored pictures of decaying urban spaces on his Flickr stream, including some taken at an abandoned German military hospital that once treated Adolf Hitler. A few pictures feature himself. Via.
posted by Hollow on Aug 4, 2008 - 26 comments

Art Deco

Art Deco was the dominant style of the interwar era, coming out of Paris in the 1920's and ruling the roost until World War II broke out. Randy Juster's Decopix - The Art Deco Resource has enough pictures of Art Deco architecture to send one hurtling into The Gernsback Continuum. If that's not enough then there's always the 11000+ images of the Flickr Art Deco Pool. But Art Deco wasn't just about architecture. On the Victoria and Albert Musem's Art Deco site one can view Art Deco objects in great detail, rotating them and listening to audio lectures on each object. But before Art Deco was a design aesthetic it was an art-style. Illustrations for the Art Deco Book in France has more than 170 images from the proponents of that then-new style (some images are not safe for work, especially in the George Barbier section).
posted by Kattullus on Jul 22, 2008 - 23 comments

Urban farming, Architecture, and Art

P.F.1 (Public Farm One) is a project designed by WORK Architecture Company for MoMA and P.S.1's Young Architects Program. P.F.1’s intent is to "educate thousands of visitors on sustainable urban farming through the unique medium of contemporary architecture." An artist in Providence, RI developed a similar installation called Green Zone, "an organic vegetable, herb, and flower garden planted in the detritus of wartime consumption: used tires, shopping bags, shoes, and other repurposed containers" at local venue Firehouse 13.
posted by lunit on Jul 16, 2008 - 5 comments

728 ton pendulum

728 ton pendulum in action: Taipei 101's tuned mass damper during the Sichuan earthquake. [Via The Long Now Blog]
posted by homunculus on Jun 26, 2008 - 51 comments

World's Biggest and Most Expensive Ship

Project Genesis - "It's destined to be the world's largest cruise ship—when launched next year, Royal Caribbean's US$1.24 billion Project Genesis will be 1,180 feet long, and carry 5400 passengers (6,400 at a pinch). It's the most expensive ship in history, and it's longer, wider and taller than the largest ocean liner ever built, (Cunard's QE II), 43 per cent larger in size than the world's largest cruise ship, (Freedom of the Seas [previously]) and remarkably, bigger than any military ship ever built, aircraft carriers included. In a world where choice of amenities count, Project Genesis has yet another trump card—in the the center of the ship is a lush, tropical park which opens to the sky." cf. The Lilypad
posted by kliuless on Jun 24, 2008 - 81 comments

Amazing Tree Houses

10 Amazing Tree Houses from Around the World: Sustainable, Unique and Creative Designs. 15 (More) Amazing Tree Houses from Around the World: Unusual, Ecological and Inspired Designs.
posted by homunculus on Jun 23, 2008 - 18 comments

I Have Seen the Elephant

It's 1881. You're real estate speculator James Lafferty, and you've just bought a large parcel of empty, scrubby shoreside land just south of Atlantic City. Problem is, it's cut off from the AC streetcar line by a deep tidal creek. How do you entice potential buyers to make the trek over the inlet and look at your property? Build a giant elephant, of course. Capitalizing on the celebrity of P. T. Barnum's famous Jumbo, Lafferty built 65-foot tall Lucy the Elephant, the first of three giant elephants Lafferty built (followed by Cape May's Light of Asia and Coney Island's Elephantine Colossus). He even took out a patent on the very idea of buildings shaped like animals. Though threatened by decades of neglect and rot, the Save Lucy Committee began preservation efforts in 1970, moving her to her present site and giving her a complete restoration. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jun 22, 2008 - 21 comments

Remembering Tony Wilson

The late, great Tony Wilson is being honoured today with a 24-hour long "intelligent" conversation in Manchester, England. Wilson was a musical Svengali par excellence. He co-founded Factory Records, helped discover both Joy Division and the Happy Mondays and has been credited with reviving the city that was cradle to the industrial revolution. [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot on Jun 21, 2008 - 16 comments

Forgotten Architects

Forgotten Architects: In the 1920s and early 1930s, German Jewish architects created some of the greatest modern buildings in Germany, mainly in the capital Berlin. A law issued by the newly elected German National Socialist Government in 1933 banned all of them from practicing architecture in Germany. In the years after 1933, many of them managed to emigrate, while many others were deported or killed under Hitler’s regime. Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects is a survey of 43 of these architects and their groundbreaking work. [more inside]
posted by sveskemus on Jun 16, 2008 - 10 comments

Interactive 18th century Rome

Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome is a rich and innovative geographic database that projects Vasi's 18th century engravings of Roman architecture onto the contemporary map of Giambattista Nolli [previously] with supplementary modern satellite, photographic and mapping overlays together with copious background detail. The work was undertaken by researchers at the University of Oregon (announcement) [via]
posted by peacay on Jun 11, 2008 - 3 comments

Boullée in North Dakota

The Safeguard system consisted of three primary components, a Perimeter Acquisition Radar, Missile Site Radar and Remote Sprint Launchers. Boullée in North Dakota [via]
posted by xod on Jun 5, 2008 - 12 comments

"Everyone can be constructive even in tiny ways"

Humble abode: Loftcube // Rucksack House // Micro-Compact Home // Superadobe // Zigzag Cabin // Tree Sphere // Mirador // La Petite Maison du Weekend _ all via.
posted by nthdegx on Jun 4, 2008 - 17 comments

Home Turned Upsidedown

Open House, Home Turned Upsidedown "This house at 15 S. Putnam has stood victim to the elements – it’s been vandalized, looted, and its leaking roof has made it uninhabitable. In June 2006, the structure was condemned by the city due to structural problems, destined for demo. But now – thanks to cooperation between the University of Buffalo School of Architecture, Harvey Garrett, and home owner Dennetta Stikkel – new, and decidedly unique, life will be breathed into the otherwise abandoned house. Under the direction of Professors Frank Fantauzzi and Brad Wales, the project architect, 14 graduate students will be working creatively to revitalize the structure. It is a unique opportunity for the students to use their classroom architecture training in a real-life application." Quoted from Buffalo Rising Story Longer story on the completed project at Artvoice.
posted by doug3505 on May 30, 2008 - 5 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Come, take a ride and look at some of the Islamic Art of the past. Or, you could call it Art of the Islamic World if you're so inclined. If not, then how about taking into account some of the major milestones of Islam throughout the centuries, from past till present (more examples here), including the art of Calligraphy and Architecture. Not to mention the Arab world's contribution to music, both old and new. [Previously mentioned, here, here, here, and here, with a wonderful comment from nickyskye as usual]
posted by hadjiboy on May 29, 2008 - 28 comments

City of the Future, Taiwan 1960s

City of the Future, Taiwan 1960s
posted by socalsamba on May 27, 2008 - 13 comments

Grand Theft Auto IV graphical comparison with real life

Liberty City vs New York City
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 14, 2008 - 42 comments

Dan Dare and the Birth of Hi-Tech Britain

Dan Dare, pilot of the future, scourge of the Venusian Mekon menace, and modernist architectural inspiration?
posted by Artw on Apr 28, 2008 - 12 comments

Skyscrapers or Souks?

Two visions of the ideal city rise in the Persian Gulf: "Waterfront City will probably be where a lot of Middle Eastern investors will put their money—and where international architectural stars will build their putative landmarks—but if little Masdar develops successfully, it may hold much more important lessons for us all."
posted by Non Prosequitur on Apr 27, 2008 - 23 comments

Gravity Defying Homes

Gravity Defying Homes Image gallery of some pretty funky homes. {via Daily Dose of Architecture}
posted by doug3505 on Apr 26, 2008 - 19 comments

Interactive Architecture

Interactive Architecture is for both geeks and design freaks. Lots of interesting and WTF stuff here, like SandScapes, Funky Forests, Swarming Structures, Colour Responsive Chairs, and Jelly Architecture. Not to mention the amazing Touch, a tower with 4200 windows equipped with RGB color LEDs that can be controlled by passersby.
posted by desjardins on Apr 26, 2008 - 2 comments

A Shed By Any Other Name...

"As a great architect once said, 'Buildings should look like what they are'." John Jessop became so frustrated with the red tape required for his company to get permission to build a farm shed, he submitted a sarcastic application . Read his full "Planning Application for Erection of Agricultural Implement Shed" here [pdf, 3 pages]. No word yet on whether the shed was approved. Via.
posted by amyms on Apr 24, 2008 - 27 comments

A Candle On The Water

The Lighthouse Directory. An information portal for over 9000 lighthouses, and sites of former lighthouses, all around the world. Photos, histories, technical specifications, etc. Most of the links are very thorough, with some including excerpts from keepers' logs. The site also includes links to current news stories and general historical articles related to lighthouses.
posted by amyms on Apr 22, 2008 - 28 comments

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