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Emil Miller
05-26-2009, 10:52 AM
I am somewhat wary about introducing this thread because I know that people's views on architecture can be as passionte as their political viewpoint.
Nonetheless, the kind of desecration ( see what I mean? ) that has been inflicted on major cities throughout the world, especially since WW11, must have impacted adversely on many an individual's psyche. Although architectural styles have always been imposed on people without their consent it is doubtful if earlier generations felt as disoriented and estranged by buildings, both public and private, as they are today.

BienvenuJDC
05-26-2009, 10:58 AM
One thing that I regret is living in a country that is so young. I'm going to ask a lot of questions about architecture in each of everyone's regions.

What is the oldest architecture where you live? (How old is it?)
What is the oldest architecture still in use where you live? (How old is it?)
...and tell me where you live...

I will have to think about your questions, BB. This is a topic that interests me so much.
Since I work in construction, I will say the things that are being designed these days bore me to no end.

backline
05-26-2009, 01:00 PM
For many years I worked in a small city in California that had no old architecture at all.
It had not been a Mission with a Catholic church at the center or anything like that.

The oldest structures were associated with a roadside attraction called Trees of Mystery, which was a collection of imaginatively spliced trees with odd features. Later, plaster dynosaurs were added by new owners and Trees of Mystery became Lost World.

The whole effect was kind of tacky, but the rest of the town didn't fare much better. Most business establishments had plywood exteriors, or the ubiquitous glass and steel Denny's Restaurant feel to them.

The residential neighborhoods were mostly tract housing, except for the older neighborhoods which were plywood exterior duplexs, etc.

The lumber yard had more interesting architecture in its stacks of product than most of the town.

I could easily see this town transported to some obscure part of "restored" Rt 66 say, in New Mexico. American Truckstop architecture.

I didn't find it a very inspiring place to work my career.

My home was built in 1923, and though not exactly Victorian gingerbread, it is at least inviting and has a warm character.
'Course, it's in another town from the one mentioned above.

Emil Miller
05-26-2009, 02:31 PM
One thing that I regret is living in a country that is so young. I'm going to ask a lot of questions about architecture in each of everyone's regions.

What is the oldest architecture where you live? (How old is it?)
What is the oldest architecture still in use where you live? (How old is it?)
...and tell me where you live...

I will have to think about your questions, BB. This is a topic that interests me so much.
Since I work in construction, I will say the things that are being designed these days bore me to no end.

The oldest building in London is probably the White Tower, commonly known as the Tower of London, or Westminster Abbey, both built during the reign of William the Conquerer following the Norman conquest in 1066 and both being still in use. There is nothing left of the buildings that pre-dated the conquest except for a piece of Roman wall and some foundations that have been excavated in recent times.
Housing was another matter. Apart for some large merchants houses that occupied parts of Elizabethan London, many of the dwellings throughout London's history were, as elsewhere in Europe, mere hovels that disappeared to be replaced by other hovels, especially during the Industrial Revolution when the population exploded causing the city to expand accordingly. For the prestige buildings showcasing the wealth and power of the British empire, such as the neo-gothic Palace of Westminster and the Imperial style architecure of governmental buildings around Whitehall, money was no object but, apart from obviously important buildings such as the Whitehall Banqueting House and Buckingham Palace etc, large parts of London were developed by jobbing builders and, although not so devoid of exterior decoration as modern dwellings, they were pretty uninspiring. Many of the houses built during the 19th century make up a large part of London's suburbs and large pockets of public housing,usually of incredible ugliness, make London one of the scruffiest capital cities in the developed world.

Nightshade
05-26-2009, 03:02 PM
Not sure I fulley understand or percive the OP question


One thing that I regret is living in a country that is so young. I'm going to ask a lot of questions about architecture in each of everyone's regions.

What is the oldest architecture where you live? (How old is it?)
What is the oldest architecture still in use where you live? (How old is it?)
...and tell me where you live...

I will have to think about your questions, BB. This is a topic that interests me so much.
Since I work in construction, I will say the things that are being designed these days bore me to no end.

I will just point out here that if you DON't want people to realsie where you live don't answer these questions :rolleyes:
Im not really sure what the oldest architecture in manchester is, I want to say Chetham library ( but thats just the oldest public library in the English speaking world) I think it may very well be the Hidden Gem (St Mary's church) though.


Edit: Wrong St Mary's the oldest building is a ST Mary's church but not the one I was thinking of, turns out the one I was thinking of is the oldest post reformation Catholic church in the country, founded 1794 as opposed to This st marys which has parts gdating to the 13th centurey.

The village I otherwise live in has structures dating to 653 AD but Im not telling what it is because I dont want people throwing darts at me!

Emil Miller
05-27-2009, 08:14 AM
[QUOTE=Nightshade;727036]Not sure I fulley understand or percive the OP question


The question is implied by the thread's title, which queries the correlation between buildings and people. Interestingly enough, the front page headline on my evening newspaper is about the furore stirred up by Prince Charles's intervention into the controversy surrounding the the new buildings to replace the Chelsea Barracks site in London.
I have to say that although I am not a royalist I am truly grateful that he prevented the building of a totally out of place addition to the National Gallery and has spoken out about similar outrageous acts of architectural vandalism. Cities are for people not for a cabal of landowners, architects, developers and town planners.

oopsycandy
05-29-2009, 05:24 PM
Oh dont get me started on the hideous rows upon rows of little orange boxes that call themselves houses! I understand that starter homes are a necessity I just don't understand why they have to be so ugly!!


Im not sure what the oldest architecture is where I live but I live about 40 minutes away from the roman village Wall (Letocetum) and there are excavated bath house ruins there you can walk around in.

I would imagine that the oldest architecture is likely to be a church or manor house of some kind with this being the English Midlands but I will have to get back to you lol x

Emil Miller
05-31-2009, 08:46 AM
Oh dont get me started on the hideous rows upon rows of little orange boxes that call themselves houses! I understand that starter homes are a necessity I just don't understand why they have to be so ugly!!

One of the most enduring considerations in architecture is cost effectiveness, which means that the cheapest materials are often used for house building. This is one reason for the unattracive houses that are built now but another is the change in building materials that took place in the 20th century. Formerly houses were usually built of brick and had slate or tiled roofs. Nowadays they are likely to built of pre-stressed concrete, plasterboard or cladding which are neither durable or condusive to attractive design. One can understand these strictures being applied to housing but not when considering major developments such as office blocks or public buildings.
As I have mentioned, public consultation is usually skimpy or non-existant depending on who the developer is. About two years ago, an Edwardian public library in my district was to be upgraded and the local authority circulated residents with a choice of three considered projects, all of which were ugly and completely out of keeping with the surounding area. The building still hasn't been altered but sooner or later it will be and another eyesore inflicted on the residents. Much of the problem lies with architects who want to be "with it" and therefore submit outrageous designs to site owners who are urged by the architect to "get with it" and the plans passed over to a planning committee who dont want to be seen as fuddie duddies and quite often allow grotesque structures to be built. The public have the right to protest but property being nine tenths of the law means that the planners usually get their way.

LostPrincess13
05-31-2009, 10:43 AM
We've learned in class that one of our presidents have used architecture and design to achieve his political ends. I'll go consult a Mod first, since I'm not sure if I'm allowed to discuss this. :p I don't think it's about politics really, I mean by the common definition of the word.:p It's really about the location of the buildings, their design, etc. :p

But on a different note, I'd like to ask, would you guys rather the destruction of an old edifice (one that is probably a remnant of a place's past) in exchange for the construction of an infrastructure that may give the locals more jobs? (e.g. shopping mall, call centers)

Emil Miller
05-31-2009, 12:07 PM
We've learned in class that one of our presidents have used architecture and design to achieve his political ends. I'll go consult a Mod first, since I'm not sure if I'm allowed to discuss this. :p I don't think it's about politics really, I mean by the common definition of the word.:p It's really about the location of the buildings, their design, etc. :p

But on a different note, I'd like to ask, would you guys rather the destruction of an old edifice (one that is probably a remnant of a place's past) in exchange for the construction of an infrastructure that may give the locals more jobs? (e.g. shopping mall, call centers)

The connection between politics and architecture is too big a subject to be adequately discussed in a single post but as to why most people prefer older more decorative buildings is because they are easier on the eye and also a part of their past that they don't want to lose.
The trouble is, that ever since the days of Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, architects have known the the best way to get recognition is to do something that goes against the grain of public opinion. Once an architect has caused a stir, he sits back and watches the briefs come rolling in and the rest of the profession follow like sheep. Which is why so many large buildings look the same or very similar and consequently are boring.
These days it is difficult to think about the twin towers of The World Trade Centre without thinking of the evil that led to their destruction but they illustrated exactly what I am saying. They were not only identically boring but they actually detracted from the New York skyline because they had nothing to say in comparison with the Chrysler building or the Empire State building for example.
As for shopping malls, many are identikit constructions with the soullessness that is peculiar to all such developments even if they do provide employment and shopping facilities.

SleepyWitch
06-23-2009, 05:16 PM
hum... what about those horrid 60s apartment blocks? Or tacky Soviet architecture or even Nazi architecture? Do you think those buildings should be destroyed because most people feel they are an eyesore? Or are they worthy of conservation because they represent a particular period of architecture that is part of our cultural heritage, for better or worse?

Virgil
06-23-2009, 06:47 PM
One thing that I regret is living in a country that is so young. I'm going to ask a lot of questions about architecture in each of everyone's regions.

What is the oldest architecture where you live? (How old is it?)
What is the oldest architecture still in use where you live? (How old is it?)
...and tell me where you live...

I will have to think about your questions, BB. This is a topic that interests me so much.
Since I work in construction, I will say the things that are being designed these days bore me to no end.

Bien - Here is a listing of the oldest buildings in the United States: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_buildings_in_America

So I looked up the oldest building in New York City and found it was this little house somewhere in Brooklyn (I wonder where?) that was built in 1652. Of all the great buildings and architecture we have in New York, it's kind of silly for this to be the oldest. :D

http://www.fadingad.com/blog/brooklyn/canarsie_wyckoff08.jpg


These days it is difficult to think about the twin towers of The World Trade Centre without thinking of the evil that led to their destruction but they illustrated exactly what I am saying. They were not only identically boring but they actually detracted from the New York skyline because they had nothing to say in comparison with the Chrysler building or the Empire State building for example.


Yes I know, but there was something about those twin structures. Individually they were boring, but together as twins hovering above the sky line did make a curious architectural statement. Individually they might have been boring, but where else are such twin buildings coupled like that? I think that Indonesian building is the only one that comes to mind and that I might venture to say is alluding to the Twin Towers.

Here's the Chrysler building, by the way. I do think this is the classic sky scraper from which all others pale in comparison:

http://www.freefoto.com/images/1210/02/1210_02_54---The-Chrysler-Building-New-York-City_web.jpg

JacobF
06-23-2009, 10:05 PM
The oldest architecture where I live -- Canada's capital, Ottawa -- is a stone house built in 1827 near the Rideau Canal which now exists as a museum.

Here's a painting of it from 1839:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Entrance_of_the_Rideau_Canal%2C_Bytown%2C_Upper_Ca nada_%28Ottawa%29.jpg

I would have thought the Rideau Canal would have been the oldest, but apparently this stone house predates it by five years. On a side note, I absolutely love looking at architecture and for as long as I can remember I've always been fascinated with Russian Orthodox churches.

Just looking at this structure, I want to spend hours there learning its history and observing first hand the enigma behind its construction.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3165/3085797545_c60505019f.jpg

I don't usually find modern architecture as interesting, however there's the rotating apartment building in Dubai which will be finished by 2010:

http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/21-06-08/new-web_23-06-08/IMG/Dubai_Project/004_DUBAI.jpg

SleepyWitch
06-24-2009, 05:40 AM
I think that Indonesian building is the only one that comes to mind and that I might venture to say is alluding to the Twin Towers.



Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. They are one of my favourite buildings in the world.
I don't think the World Trade Centre was boring. Ok, it was not exactly ornate. Basically it was just two big slim rectangles, but I don't think it detracted from the NY skyline.

Emil Miller
06-24-2009, 07:08 PM
Bien - Here is a listing of the oldest buildings in the United States: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_buildings_in_America

So I looked up the oldest building in New York City and found it was this little house somewhere in Brooklyn (I wonder where?) that was built in 1652. Of all the great buildings and architecture we have in New York, it's kind of silly for this to be the oldest. :D

http://www.fadingad.com/blog/brooklyn/canarsie_wyckoff08.jpg



Yes I know, but there was something about those twin structures. Individually they were boring, but together as twins hovering above the sky line did make a curious architectural statement. Individually they might have been boring, but where else are such twin buildings coupled like that? I think that Indonesian building is the only one that comes to mind and that I might venture to say is alluding to the Twin Towers.

Here's the Chrysler building, by the way. I do think this is the classic sky scraper from which all others pale in comparison:

http://www.freefoto.com/images/1210/02/1210_02_54---The-Chrysler-Building-New-York-City_web.jpg

Obviously, the important thing about the World Trade Centre site is what will be built on it. One design by Daniel Liebeskind, who is an afficionado of the lop-sided look, has already been thrown out, thanks to the intervention of Donald Trump, whose influence is of no small account in these matters. Liebeskind is the same architect who tried to foist on a gullible media a grotesque extension to the London Victoria and Albert museum ( a particularly fine example of Victorian and Edwardian architecture ) which was accurately described by one commentator as looking like a lot of cardboard boxes thrown into a heap.
Prince Charles has effectively stopped the development, that was unacceptable to local residents who petitioned against it, of a major site in London by writing to the owner, the head of the Qatari royal family, protesting against the proposed development, and the Richard Rogers scheme has been thrown out. For those of you living in New York, however, the most horrific, yes I use that word advisedly, scheme among those proposed for the WTC site, is one by another Briitsh 'architect,' Norman Foster. It is ridiculous in its shape, preposterously ugly and would totaly dominate new York in a way that makes the twin towers positively innocuous

Logos
07-02-2009, 03:32 AM
Just a silly little video, but it's got some notable buildings in it by "interesting" architects including Gaudi, Gehry(?) and Piet Blom's yellow cube houses in Rotterdam :)

Can you guess which builds they are?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnkUSF3Wegg

--

Emil Miller
07-04-2009, 03:00 PM
Just a silly little video, but it's got some notable buildings in it by "interesting" architects including Gaudi, Gehry(?) and Piet Blom's yellow cube houses in Rotterdam :)

Can you guess which builds they are?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnkUSF3Wegg

--

I agree, it is a silly little video but although the buildings seem mostly to be located in isolated areas, this is the kind of architecture that some present- day architects would like to inflict on city centres where few could escape them. Thanks to the efforts of people like Prince Charles, we have so far avoided "fun" and "Oh, it's so wonderfully unusual my dear" architecture in London although there are some absolutely repulsive examples of so-called "brutalist" architecture from the 1950s and 60s that currently disfigure the south bank of the Thames. It's indicative of the silliness that reigns supreme in this country that a vacant plinth in Trafalgar square has remained so for decades because various committees, that have been convened to decide on a suitable subject, have been unable to agree and it has been decided that for a year it will be occupied by a selected number of people posing in various ways as a form of living sculpture. All this despite the fact that the plinth stands opposite the National Gallery and a statue to Turner or Gainsborough, or any number of British artists, could have been erected years ago.

Janine
07-04-2009, 03:14 PM
Just a silly little video, but it's got some notable buildings in it by "interesting" architects including Gaudi, Gehry(?) and Piet Blom's yellow cube houses in Rotterdam :)

Can you guess which builds they are?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnkUSF3Wegg

--

Logos, I thought this silly video was pretty neat. I have seen some of those buildings before; the cracked building I believe I have some prior knowledge of the architect who designed it. Some are real 'eye-sores', but one can't deny they sure are interesting/unique. I would love to know where many of those are located. Do you know if the one with the eggs on the roof ledge is a Dali? I have seen something else he designed with egg shapes much like this.

Thanks for posting the video link.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-05-2009, 08:19 AM
Architecture is the quintessential interactive art and like art it is subjective and therefore vulnerable to verbal assaults or admiration as deemed through the eyes of the beholder.
It is functional art on a much larger scale. It is not hung on a wall to be viewed five feet away (or a couple of meters for those so inclined) in a museum illuminated with uniform artificial light. It is more akin to a sculpture; three dimensional, approached and judged obliquely or axially. It may be viewed from great distances or from within, which sets it apart from the canvas. The perception of a building is ever changing throughout the day due to variations in natural light. Is it being judged on a clear day at high noon in June? Or on a gray day in January cloaked in snow? What may appear as an austere hulk at noon may be more pleasing in the early dawn light. Context and vernacular also play a key role in how a building is perceived. Is it located in a dense city center or isolated in the landscape?

However, there is no argument that a proliferation of junk “architecture” exists in this world. Here in the States it is demonstrated in the hodgepodge retail and fast food strips that line the boulevards all of which are entangled in web of power lines and billboards. Like velvet Elvis’s sold on the street corner, these structures are cranked out on a bare minimum budget infesting the urban and suburban environment, obscuring what would be considered at least palatable buildings if not the few celebrated diamonds in the rough.

By the way BienvenjuDC, I see that you are from “Mid Pennsylvania”. Mr. Bean mentioned Wright in one of his earlier posts. I wanted to point out that you are fortunate to have one of Wright’s masterpieces in your own backyard. I am referring to the Kaufman house aka “Falling Water”. You may already be aware of it, but if not you should check it out.

In regards to the oldest building where I live, there is not much to speak of in my immediate community since it is strictly a housing community incorporated in the 1960’s. For Texas, it would be the Spanish mission period architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Mr. Virgil posted link listing the oldest buildings in the U.S. I wanted to take a moment to hi-lite the contributions made by the native peoples throughout the southwestern U.S. Long before Europeans first set foot on any part of what is now the U.S., the native people of the southwestern states, commonly referred to as the Anasazi, had constructed impressive stone and adobe veneered structures over a thousand years old. Some communities contained thousands of inhabitants. Those interested should search Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Canyon De Chelley National Monument.

Gilliatt

wessexgirl
07-05-2009, 08:41 AM
Gilliat, I love "Falling Water", it is one of my all-time favourite buildings. Frank Lloyd Wright's work is brilliant.

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ynkOxvGaV6s/Rqu-dQhSHDI/AAAAAAAABac/_KPiKd03gKs/s1600/fallingwater62.jpg&imgrefurl=http://patriciagrayinc.blogspot.com/2007/07/ode-on-grecian-urn.html&usg=__2Wu9QC7cUq1ox_JOSFNC_UBsPqY=&h=979&w=720&sz=354&hl=en&start=41&um=1&tbnid=pTlCb0O0yFFtsM:&tbnh=149&tbnw=110&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfalling%2Bwater%2Bfrank%2Blloyd%2Bwri ght%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1W1HPEA_en-GB%26sa%3DN%26start%3D21%26um%3D1

Emil Miller
07-05-2009, 04:46 PM
Architecture is the quintessential interactive art and like art it is subjective and therefore vulnerable to verbal assaults or admiration as deemed through the eyes of the beholder.
It is functional art on a much larger scale. It is not hung on a wall to be viewed five feet away (or a couple of meters for those so inclined) in a museum illuminated with uniform artificial light. It is more akin to a sculpture; three dimensional, approached and judged obliquely or axially. It may be viewed from great distances or from within, which sets it apart from the canvas. The perception of a building is ever changing throughout the day due to variations in natural light. Is it being judged on a clear day at high noon in June? Or on a gray day in January cloaked in snow? What may appear as an austere hulk at noon may be more pleasing in the early dawn light. Context and vernacular also play a key role in how a building is perceived. Is it located in a dense city center or isolated in the landscape?

However, there is no argument that a proliferation of junk “architecture” exists in this world. Here in the States it is demonstrated in the hodgepodge retail and fast food strips that line the boulevards all of which are entangled in web of power lines and billboards. Like velvet Elvis’s sold on the street corner, these structures are cranked out on a bare minimum budget infesting the urban and suburban environment, obscuring what would be considered at least palatable buildings if not the few celebrated diamonds in the rough.

By the way BienvenjuDC, I see that you are from “Mid Pennsylvania”. Mr. Bean mentioned Wright in one of his earlier posts. I wanted to point out that you are fortunate to have one of Wright’s masterpieces in your own backyard. I am referring to the Kaufman house aka “Falling Water”. You may already be aware of it, but if not you should check it out.

In regards to the oldest building where I live, there is not much to speak of in my immediate community since it is strictly a housing community incorporated in the 1960’s. For Texas, it would be the Spanish mission period architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Mr. Virgil posted link listing the oldest buildings in the U.S. I wanted to take a moment to hi-lite the contributions made by the native peoples throughout the southwestern U.S. Long before Europeans first set foot on any part of what is now the U.S., the native people of the southwestern states, commonly referred to as the Anasazi, had constructed impressive stone and adobe veneered structures over a thousand years old. Some communities contained thousands of inhabitants. Those interested should search Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Canyon De Chelley National Monument.

Gilliatt

I agree that architecture is interactive art but unlike other art forms which an individual may or may not choose to partake of, architecture is, by its very nature, part of the environment and people often have no choice in the type of buildings they have to live with.
That is why architecture should aim for something that is neither boring nor grotesque e.g. the inverted rectangle or deliberately distorted variants of it.

The Lloyd Wright building you have mentioned is definitely not boring although personally I find its angularity contrasts a little too obviously with the surrounding verdure. However, those who don't like it are not being forced to accept it as they would if it were in a city centre.

The Spanish mission style architecture is of course picturesque and obviously a bonus point for Texas and California, but then it was built in an attractive and decorative style that people could live with, completely at odds with the blandness of modern day buildings in Dallas, Los Angeles and other cities in the USA.

Janine
07-06-2009, 03:59 PM
Great thread, Brian Bean. I love architecture - find it totally fascinating. I think I can come up with some photos of interest. I live not far from Philadelphia and once, as a young art student and photography minor, I walked the city taking photos of architectural elements of interest. Since that time, much has been added to the Philadephia skyline. Back then it was a law that no building could exceed in height the Billy Penn statue on City Hall. Now that is one building, that is entirely unique and interesting. Let me dig up photos of that and the PMA. The Parkway has some old and new buildings of interest.

My own hometown is Gloucester City, New Jersey. Ok, our town goes back to the early Dutch settlers, pre-Revolutionary war. Unfortunately, very little of the architecture from early times has been preserved. They did have this row of houses down by the river, known as the mill-block houses. One burned tragically down one night. However, 4 were refaced and therefore preserved. I think they made them into townhouses and I don't think they really preserved the old look they once had. I think they date back to the 1600's. I will look it up to be certain. If I am down there soon, I will take a photo of them. The tavern by the river is near the site of the Hugg's Tavern, where Betsy Ross was married. I don't know if I can come up with a photo. It burned down in the 1800's, I believe. The tavern now standing has a sub-basement, which is super old and interesting. The owner swears there have been ghost sittings in the building, people have witnessed her as a young woman dressed in colonial garb....so goes the local legend....personally, I have never encountered the ghostly figure, but it's fun to think she might appear to someday.


For now, the other day, I came across an article on Frank Lloyd Wright's - The Ennis House. Personally, I think it's strange, even ugly, looking; but to each his own, right? No one can dispute it's sort of interesting. Apparently, now it's very poor condition. In some shots, I think it looks like a parking garage. These articles are interesting though and so are the photos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ennis_House
http://www.ennishouse.org/
http://www.ennishouse.org/htmls/photo_page.htm
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/wrightennis/ennis.html

Virgil
07-06-2009, 08:38 PM
Oh I had completely forgotten about this thread and return to find some interesting comments. :)


Obviously, the important thing about the World Trade Centre site is what will be built on it. One design by Daniel Liebeskind, who is an afficionado of the lop-sided look, has already been thrown out, thanks to the intervention of Donald Trump, whose influence is of no small account in these matters. Liebeskind is the same architect who tried to foist on a gullible media a grotesque extension to the London Victoria and Albert museum ( a particularly fine example of Victorian and Edwardian architecture ) which was accurately described by one commentator as looking like a lot of cardboard boxes thrown into a heap.
Prince Charles has effectively stopped the development, that was unacceptable to local residents who petitioned against it, of a major site in London by writing to the owner, the head of the Qatari royal family, protesting against the proposed development, and the Richard Rogers scheme has been thrown out. For those of you living in New York, however, the most horrific, yes I use that word advisedly, scheme among those proposed for the WTC site, is one by another Briitsh 'architect,' Norman Foster. It is ridiculous in its shape, preposterously ugly and would totaly dominate new York in a way that makes the twin towers positively innocuous

I'm not sure who the designer of the new world trade center is, but I believe that the proposed design will like something like this, the highlight being that Liberty Tower, tall building in the ceter.

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/10/1015_tallest_buildings/image/slide-13.jpg

I would am really impressed with that design. We'll eventually see how it turns out. I just wish it would get moving. I think some of the smaller buildings have been built, but it would have made a statement if we could have done the whole thing in just a few years. "Take that Mr. Bin Laden. you can tear us down but we'll be right back at you in no time." But alas the political fighting really delayed it all. And I'm sure there were practical reasons too.

Virgil
07-06-2009, 08:44 PM
Mr. Virgil posted link listing the oldest buildings in the U.S. I wanted to take a moment to hi-lite the contributions made by the native peoples throughout the southwestern U.S. Long before Europeans first set foot on any part of what is now the U.S., the native people of the southwestern states, commonly referred to as the Anasazi, had constructed impressive stone and adobe veneered structures over a thousand years old. Some communities contained thousands of inhabitants. Those interested should search Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Canyon De Chelley National Monument.

Gilliatt

Gilliatt, you don't have to refer to me as "Mr." We're not so formal here. :lol: Hey welcome to lit net. I'm not sure I've seen you around. :)

I googled the Anasazi structures and this is what I found:

http://azgenweb.org/navajo/History/indian-history/Indian-Images/cliffplace.jpg

Here's what wikipedia says about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Pueblo_Peoples

I may have seen some of their structures a few years ago.when I visited Arches National Park in southern Utah

Janine
07-06-2009, 09:24 PM
Gilliatt, you don't have to refer to me as "Mr." We're not so formal here. :lol: Hey welcome to lit net. I'm not sure I've seen you around. :)

I googled the Anasazi structures and this is what I found:

http://azgenweb.org/navajo/History/indian-history/Indian-Images/cliffplace.jpg

Here's what wikipedia says about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Pueblo_Peoples

I may have seen some of their structures a few years ago.when I visited Arches National Park in southern Utah

Virgil, I always loved those cave dwellings cut into the side of the canyon. Is that in New Mexico or AZ? They are featured prominently in one of the novels I read by Willa Cather. I think it was My Antonia. I loved that book just for that reason, imagining those dwellings and what it would be like to spend a night in them.

Thanks, also, for posting the photo of the future center in NYC. I love how it looks. I can't wait to see that project completed. The central building is wonderful!

Emil Miller
07-07-2009, 06:52 AM
Oh I had completely forgotten about this thread and return to find some interesting comments. :)



I'm not sure who the designer of the new world trade center is, but I believe that the proposed design will like something like this, the highlight being that Liberty Tower, tall building in the ceter.

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/10/1015_tallest_buildings/image/slide-13.jpg

I would am really impressed with that design. We'll eventually see how it turns out. I just wish it would get moving. I think some of the smaller buildings have been built, but it would have made a statement if we could have done the whole thing in just a few years. "Take that Mr. Bin Laden. you can tear us down but we'll be right back at you in no time." But alas the political fighting really delayed it all. And I'm sure there were practical reasons too.

It seems that Liebeskind has finally won out and it is his design that is going ahead at the WTC site which is scheduled for completion in 2013 . However, despite the angularity that marrs the buildings behind it, the central tower is at least interesting . The scheme isn't as ridiculous as some of his others whose horribleness can be seen on the Wickepedia site.
Some of them are so ugly as to defy belief. I have tried to show some of them below but I don't know if the pictures have transferred over.

Daniel Libeskind, (born May 12, 1946 in Łódź, Poland) is an American architect, artist, and set designer of Polish-Jewish descent. He founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect.[1] His buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, the extension to the Denver Art Museum in the United States, the Imperial War Museum North in Salford Quays, England, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Wohl Centre at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel.[2] His portfolio also includes several residential projects. Libeskind’s work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Bauhaus Archives, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Centre Pompidou. [3] On February 27, 2003, Libeskind won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.[4]

I'm sorry but the pictures haven't transferred but if you check them out on Wicki you will see what I mean, especially the Denver Art Museum and the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabruckwhich induce in me a feeling of repulsion.

pritvi5588
07-07-2009, 07:00 AM
Hi friends,
This is Prithvi. Do anyone know a term in ENGLISH, which has the following meaning "A thing which is used for something else, rather than using it for what it is meant for". If u r not clear, I would explain it in this way, with a example. A Coke tin is actually meant for packing the softdrink, but it can also be used as a penstand or a flower vase. Kindly help me in finding such a term.

Emil Miller
07-07-2009, 08:01 AM
For now, the other day, I came across an article on Frank Lloyd Wright's - The Ennis House. Personally, I think it's strange, even ugly, looking; but to each his own, right? No one can dispute it's sort of interesting. Apparently, now it's very poor condition. In some shots, I think it looks like a parking garage. These articles are interesting though and so are the photos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ennis_House
http://www.ennishouse.org/
http://www.ennishouse.org/htmls/photo_page.htm
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/wrightennis/ennis.html



The building looks more like a mausoleum than a house but if that was what the original owners wanted, or were persuaded by Lloyd Wright to agree to, at least it's out of the way and not something that others 'have' to look at. I have recently been re viewing scenes from Citizen Kane on Youtube and there are some wonderful shots of William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon in California which is now a national museum. Of course, it's way over the top in its various architectural styles but when it comes to interesting buildings it leaves Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, van der Rohe et al. absolutely nowhere. The reason being, that they designed buildings for ther own vainglory whereas San Simeon's architect, a woman by the way, built it for Hearst's.


Hi friends,
This is Prithvi. Do anyone know a term in ENGLISH, which has the following meaning "A thing which is used for something else, rather than using it for what it is meant for". If u r not clear, I would explain it in this way, with a example. A Coke tin is actually meant for packing the softdrink, but it can also be used as a penstand or a flower vase. Kindly help me in finding such a term.

Actually you are on a site dedicated to architecture but I think the word you are looking for is 'multifunctional'

Janine
07-07-2009, 01:39 PM
The building looks more like a mausoleum than a house but if that was what the original owners wanted, or were persuaded by Lloyd Wright to agree to, at least it's out of the way and not something that others 'have' to look at. I have recently been re viewing scenes from Citizen Kane on Youtube and there are some wonderful shots of William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon in California which is now a national museum. Of course, it's way over the top in its various architectural styles but when it comes to interesting buildings it leaves Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, van der Rohe et al. absolutely nowhere. The reason being, that they designed buildings for ther own vainglory whereas San Simeon's architect, a woman by the way, built it for Hearst's.

Brian, Thanks for looking at my links; I came across this house quite by accident one day - Yahoo featured an article on it and I clicked to discover more links. I know...the Ennis House is suppose to mimic Aztec or Myan temples. To me it's truly an odd looking structure. I don't like it personally at all. It's cold, with all the monotomous concrete blocks.

I have been to San Simeon in CA....Hearst Castle, right? Up on the hill overlooking the ocean at a distance? It is one of my very favorite spots on earth. I didn't realise some of the scenes in Citizen Kane were shot there. Now I must watch the film again...wow! I have many photos I took while at the castle and grounds. I didn't see all of the interior - there were different tours, but I saw enough to love the atmosphere and the classiness of the various buildings - very opulent. The two pools, one indoor and one out are extraordinaray. The sculptures surrounding the buildings are lovely; they are scrubbed clean each day. If one hasn't visited it yet, I highly recommend it. It's a fun trip.

Emil Miller
07-07-2009, 02:32 PM
Brian, Thanks for looking at my links; I came across this house quite by accident one day - Yahoo featured an article on it and I clicked to discover more links. I know...the Ennis House is suppose to mimic Aztec or Myan temples. To me it's truly an odd looking structure. I don't like it personally at all. It's cold, with all the monotomous concrete blocks.

I have been to San Simeon in CA....Hearst Castle, right? Up on the hill overlooking the ocean at a distance? It is one of my very favorite spots on earth. I didn't realise some of the scenes in Citizen Kane were shot there. Now I must watch the film again...wow! I have many photos I took while at the castle and grounds. I didn't see all of the interior - there were different tours, but I saw enough to love the atmosphere and the classiness of the various buildings - very opulent. The two pools, one indoor and one out are extraordinaray. The sculptures surrounding the buildings are lovely; they are scrubbed clean each day. If one hasn't visited it yet, I highly recommend it. It's a fun trip.

Yes, Hearst Castle, often referred to as San Simeon where it is located, was partially constructed from original old European buildings that were deconstructed and shipped to California and incorporated into the castle's design. The many sculptures that adorn the building and it's grounds are also originals from Europe.
Citizen Kane, which to my mind is the greatest film ever made, is always worth seeing again. Unfortunately, I don't have a good clip showing San Simeon but to illustrate why it is such a great film, I attach a scene that illustrates just why it is still top of the American Film Institute's best films list.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzhb3U2cONs

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-08-2009, 10:35 PM
Sorry I haven’t chimed in lately as I was, coincidentally, at a building construction site for the past couple of days. By the way Brian, I had failed to thank you for introducing a thread related to architecture. It would seem that you are well versed in the field. As for myself, I have been working in the architectural field for many years, but primarily in a construction observation role.
Now it is to catch up: (I will attempt to post quotes for the first time below. Hope it works)


The Spanish mission style architecture is of course picturesque and obviously a bonus point for Texas and California, but then it was built in an attractive and decorative style that people could live with, completely at odds with the blandness of modern day buildings in Dallas, Los Angeles and other cities in the USA.

I do agree that the vast majority of the buildings in Dallas would be considered purely functional junk, but I wouldn’t broad brush all architecture in Dallas as being bland. There are a few notable works such as the art deco period architecture at Fair Park, Fountain Place tower, the Federal Reserve Bank, several notable residential designs.
It is interesting to note that Dallas has always struggled to justify its mere existence as a city. A happenstance encounter derived from a crude log cabin situated along the banks of the Trinity River. Go figure! It is my opinion that this struggle to find an identity is reflected in the architecture.
Personally I believe that the neighboring city of Fort Worth has much more to offer in terms of pleasing architecture, particularly in the cultural district. Notable buildings include the art museums designed by Phillip Johnson, Tadao Ando and Louis Khan.


For now, the other day, I came across an article on Frank Lloyd Wright's - The Ennis House. Personally, I think it's strange, even ugly, looking; but to each his own, right? No one can dispute it's sort of interesting. Apparently, now it's very poor condition. In some shots, I think it looks like a parking garage. These articles are interesting though and so are the photos.

Yes; admittedly the Ennis house was an odd duck for Wright. The culmination of an odd “Mayan” phase he went through, but by all means do not judge the man by this specific structure or phase for that matter. The Prairie Style and the Usonian periods of Wrights life were far more successful and accepted by the public at large as pleasing architecture.
By the way if you are a fan of the “B” rated movie and a fan of Vincent Price, then you should see House on Haunted Hill which features the Ennis house.


[QUOTE=Janine;746692]Virgil, I always loved those cave dwellings cut into the side of the canyon. Is that in New Mexico or AZ? They are featured prominently in one of the novels I read by Willa Cather. I think it was My Antonia. I loved that book just for that reason, imagining those dwellings and what it would be like to spend a night in them.

“Cliff Palace” is one of several dwellings located throughout Mesa Verde National Park. The National Park is located in Colorado near Cortez. There are numerous ruins around the park. Many are built on grade or above ground if you will, partially submerged and of course the most well know are those that infill the massive alcoves that were shaped in the sandstone many eons ago. I am particularly fond of the southwest and the mystery that shrouds the ruins that the Anasazi left behind. Another site that you would be interested in is Chaco Canyon National Monument in northwestern New Mexico.

I believe I have worn out my welcome for the time being, perhaps Mr. Bean (there I go using “Mr.” again) can share more about the architecture from across the pond.

Virgil
07-08-2009, 10:43 PM
you haven't worn out your welcome. Please stop back Gilliat when you can. :)

Emil Miller
07-09-2009, 07:33 AM
[QUOTE=Gilliatt Gurgle;747383]Sorry I haven’t chimed in lately as I was, coincidentally, at a building construction site for the past couple of days. By the way Brian, I had failed to thank you for introducing a thread related to architecture. It would seem that you are well versed in the field. As for myself, I have been working in the architectural field for many years, but primarily in a construction observation role.

I do agree that the vast majority of the buildings in Dallas would be considered purely functional junk, but I wouldn’t broad brush all architecture in Dallas as being bland. There are a few notable works such as the art deco period architecture at Fair Park, Fountain Place tower, the Federal Reserve Bank, several notable residential designs.
It is interesting to note that Dallas has always struggled to justify its mere existence as a city. A happenstance encounter derived from a crude log cabin situated along the banks of the Trinity River. Go figure! It is my opinion that this struggle to find an identity is reflected in the architecture.
Personally I believe that the neighboring city of Fort Worth has much more to offer in terms of pleasing architecture, particularly in the cultural district. Notable buildings include the art museums designed by Phillip Johnson, Tadao Ando and Louis Khan.[QUOTE=Janine;746692


It would be wrong to say that I am well-versed in architecture, as I haven't made a particular study of it and I have scant knowlege of design criteria. I did, however, work for a group of municipal architects for a number of years and, dealing with them on a day-to-day basis, I got to know something of the architectural mentality. What struck me most about them was a certain arrogance as to what the public would feel about the buildings they were designing and this is a facet that is reflected in Frank Lloyd Wright's life and also Le Corbusier's. Take for example, the use of pre-stressed concrete in post WW11 buildings, which Corbusier and others championed, not on the grounds of cost-effectiveness but for its aesthetic qualities. This material has been around since roughly the mid-nineteenth century but brick and stone were used because concrete is one of the least aesthetically pleasing materials that one could imagine. It's dull in colour, stains in wet weather and its overall effect is depresssing, moreover it tends to develop cracks after a period of time.

I'm sure there are buildings in Dallas that are both interesting and aesthetically pleasing, especially those in art-deco which is a style that most people seem to warm to. As for functional architecture, I am pretty sure that the general public prefer the purely functional to the physically repulsive, as exemplified by many of the Liebeskind buildings already mentioned.
I checked out the architects you mentioned and I thought that Tadao Ando was the most interesting in the typical Japanese understatement of his work, but carried to its limits it becomes so self-effacing as to be almost pointless.

wessexgirl
07-09-2009, 08:55 AM
[QUOTE=Gilliatt Gurgle;747383].QUOTE=Janine;746692


Take for example, the use of pre-stressed concrete in post WW11 buildings, which Corbusier and others championed, not on the grounds of cost-effectiveness but for its aesthetic qualities. This material has been around since roughly the mid-nineteenth century but brick and stone were used because concrete is one of the least aesthetically pleasing materials that one could imagine. It's dull in colour, stains in wet weather and its overall effect is depresssing, moreover it tends to develop cracks after a period of time.



Wasn't it Le Corbusier who used the maxim "form follows function", meaning that his priority was architecture's use, not beauty? His aims and ideals were honourable, and I'm sure the pitfalls of concrete were not so well-known when he was building his "cities in the sky". Apologies if i'm wrong about this, (quoting the wrong architect), but I'm dredging up snippets of knowledge from my architecture classes some years ago. I just remember LC being concerned with housing people in decent accomodation, and although I tend to prefer older, classical buildings, I have nothing but admiration for some of the modernist architects, like LC, and find myself, surprisingly, liking some of their work.

Emil Miller
07-09-2009, 11:10 AM
[QUOTE=Brian Bean;747513]

Wasn't it Le Corbusier who used the maxim "form follows function", meaning that his priority was architecture's use, not beauty? His aims and ideals were honourable, and I'm sure the pitfalls of concrete were not so well-known when he was building his "cities in the sky". Apologies if i'm wrong about this, (quoting the wrong architect), but I'm dredging up snippets of knowledge from my architecture classes some years ago. I just remember LC being concerned with housing people in decent accomodation, and although I tend to prefer older, classical buildings, I have nothing but admiration for some of the modernist architects, like LC, and find myself, surprisingly, liking some of their work.

Corbusier's career went through distinct phases in which his views changed over the years but he was certainly enamoured of concrete from a design perspective as shown in his massive housing project in Marseilles after WW11, his buildings at Chandigarh in India and what must be one of the most repulsive pre-Liebeskind buildings anywhere - Notre-Dame-de Haut, Ronchamp.
He referred to his rough concrete aesthetic as 'le beton brut' in which, according to 'The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of the Arts', used "powerful forms, combined with crude construction and slapdash workmanship."
About twenty years ago, there was a brilliant television documentary about Le Corbusier called City of Towers, in which it was explained that he wanted to rebuild Baron Haussmann's great 19th century reconstruction of Paris and replace it with a new city consisting of enormous tower blocks to house the population, one of which would be a mile high. John Julias Norwich who produced the documentary said that the scheme was a sign of Corbusier's megalomania and I tend to agree. A few years ago I stayed with a friend who had an apartment in La Defense, the recently built ultra modern extension to Paris where some of the housing is quite good but 'Le grande arche' both in its size and misshapen design clearly shows that Corbusier may be dead but he won't lie down. He would have also been pleased with some of the other grotesquerie that litters the business sector of La Defense.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-09-2009, 10:56 PM
[QUOTE=Brian Bean;747513]

Wasn't it Le Corbusier who used the maxim "form follows function", meaning that his priority was architecture's use, not beauty? ...

The quote “Form follows function” is credited to Louis Sullivan, an American Architect who practiced during the latter half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Sullivan coined the phrase; borrowing from the last line of the maxim below ascribed to the sculptor Horatio Greenough:

“It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law. “

Sullivan was a mentor to Wright and was a great influence on Wright’s early works.


[QUOTE=wessexgirl;747519]
Corbusier's career went through distinct phases in which his views changed over the years but he was certainly enamoured of concrete from a design perspective as shown in his massive housing project in Marseilles after WW11, his buildings at Chandigarh in India and what must be one of the most repulsive pre-Liebeskind buildings anywhere - Notre-Dame-de Haut, Ronchamp.

Ouch, you hit a soft spot. I actually admire Notre Dame du Haut if for no other reason than it was such a radical departure from the gray, borderline brutalist pieces like Chandigarh, as you mentioned or La Tourette Monastery that Corbusier was designing during the same time period. Corbusier threw out the T-Square and the triangles for this one and employed the French curve more liberally creating a perfect blend of art and functional architecture. Here is a perfect example of form following function. In this case the function is a chapel, a spiritual goal for faithful. With the softer massing and curved lines the pilgrims arrive to a warmer more receptive destination. Punched openings of various sizes appear to be placed haphazardly without rhyme or reason, but in fact they are strategically placed to capture natural light and focus it on key elements within.

wessexgirl
07-10-2009, 08:58 AM
[QUOTE=wessexgirl;747519]

The quote “Form follows function” is credited to Louis Sullivan, an American Architect who practiced during the latter half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Sullivan coined the phrase; borrowing from the last line of the maxim below ascribed to the sculptor Horatio Greenough:

“It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law. “

Sullivan was a mentor to Wright and was a great influence on Wright’s early works.

[QUOTE=Brian Bean;747573]

Ouch, you hit a soft spot. I actually admire Notre Dame du Haut if for no other reason than it was such a radical departure from the gray, borderline brutalist pieces like Chandigarh, as you mentioned or La Tourette Monastery that Corbusier was designing during the same time period. Corbusier threw out the T-Square and the triangles for this one and employed the French curve more liberally creating a perfect blend of art and functional architecture. Here is a perfect example of form following function. In this case the function is a chapel, a spiritual goal for faithful. With the softer massing and curved lines the pilgrims arrive to a warmer more receptive destination. Punched openings of various sizes appear to be placed haphazardly without rhyme or reason, but in fact they are strategically placed to capture natural light and focus it on key elements within.

Oops! I remember LC's quote of a "house being a machine for living in", (I think), and the form follows function sounds along the same lines - utility first. I love FLW, particularly his prairie style, and I agree with you, I love Notre-Dame de Haut. There is a lot more to LC's architecture than would appear at first sight.

stlukesguild
07-10-2009, 12:12 PM
Fascinating thread. As an artist I he long been enamored of architecture... and for a while even considered it as a career possibility. I understand the frustration many feel with some Modern and Contemporary architecture. It seems many architects forget the fact that (to paraphrase Frank Lloyd Wright) unlike a bad painting or sculpture a building can't be simply put out of view in the closet, but rather someone has to live with it... or even in it.

Architecture should be thought of sculpturally... with a sensitivity to form and relationships of form, materials, colors, etc... but it should also be realized that as a result of its purpose the architect need to be sensitive to the surroundings and to the needs of the public who will utilize it.

One of the worst designed buildings I have seen is that of I.M. (call me Mr. Glass Pyramid") Pei's addition to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. From the exterior the building is innocuous enough... just another Modernist/Minimalist building in which the architect at least paid attention to using the same materials as the main building.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2575/3707537396_1270cf3d87_o.jpg

Of course he had to throw in a few of his trademark glass pyramids which act as skylights to the underground passageway between the Old and the New wing. Unfortunately the design is completely impractical to its purpose. Upon entering the building from the underground walkway one comes out into a sort of cellar that is largely of no use. The museum uses it to sell books, postcards, etc... One then walks up two flights of steps to the main floor where there is... nothing: an information desk, a few sculpture... but with all the windows no place for art. To explore the collection one must travel up and down stairs to the small galleries none of which are connected in such a manner that one might traverse through the collection in any linear manner. Two rooms here, then one needs to double back and across the hall to two rooms there then back again and up a flight of stairs. After having spent a good few hours in the main museum I find I am rapidly exhausted and frustrated by Pei's maze... and its not like I am particularly out of shape, elderly, or confined to a wheelchair. I have nothing against Modernist buildings per se... but I would argue that a work of art designed for public use needs to be considerate of the use (aesthetic and physical) it is designed for.

Emil Miller
07-10-2009, 01:50 PM
[QUOTE=wessexgirl;747519]


[QUOTE=Brian Bean;747573]

Ouch, you hit a soft spot. I actually admire Notre Dame du Haut if for no other reason than it was such a radical departure from the gray, borderline brutalist pieces like Chandigarh, as you mentioned or La Tourette Monastery that Corbusier was designing during the same time period. Corbusier threw out the T-Square and the triangles for this one and employed the French curve more liberally creating a perfect blend of art and functional architecture. Here is a perfect example of form following function. In this case the function is a chapel, a spiritual goal for faithful. With the softer massing and curved lines the pilgrims arrive to a warmer more receptive destination. Punched openings of various sizes appear to be placed haphazardly without rhyme or reason, but in fact they are strategically placed to capture natural light and focus it on key elements within.

Sorry to disagree but if I were a pilgrim arriving unknowingly at Notre Dame du Haut, I would probably convert to Buddhism. It is horribly misshapen and the nearest human equivalent I can think of would be Quasimodo. According to my guidebook to France, it dominates the former mining town of Ronchamp which, unless they like distorted concrete buildings, must be a bane for the inhabitants.
To my mind it looks more like part of the Maginot Line fortfications than a place of worship.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-10-2009, 11:51 PM
One of the worst designed buildings I have seen is that of I.M. (call me Mr. Glass Pyramid") Pei's addition to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. From the exterior the building is innocuous enough... just another Modernist/Minimalist building in which the architect at least paid attention to using the same materials as the main building.

I tend to agree with you regarding Pei. Pei left his boot print on Dallas as well in the form of a City Hall. Follow the URL below. (I don't believe I have photo posting rights yet?)
One can discern similarities in the two buildings; hard angular masses that terminate in knife edges and masses that slope or step outward as the building rises. Ok, I realize that these buildings offer easy targets to revile. Perhaps in their time they were lauded as great or at least acceptable architecture with the key words being “in their time”. Designs such as these were dated, condemned to a short life of appreciation. Now they are listless hulls beached on the landscape.

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/texas/dallas/cityhall/angledistantsm.jpg



Sorry to disagree but if I were a pilgrim arriving unknowingly at Notre Dame du Haut, I would probably convert to Buddhism. It is horribly misshapen and the nearest human equivalent I can think of would be Quasimodo. According to my guidebook to France, it dominates the former mining town of Ronchamp which, unless they like distorted concrete buildings, must be a bane for the inhabitants.
To my mind it looks more like part of the Maginot Line fortfications than a place of worship.

Well, as I said in my first reply; architecture is subjective and I’m quite certain that even the Maginot defensive structures appeal to the solemn sensibilities of its own pilgrims, paying homage to the gods of war and the relics of fallen heroes.

Emil Miller
07-12-2009, 03:43 PM
The first item listed below is the Norman Foster scheme submitted for the WTC site in New York. In my view, it would have amounted to the vandalising of an entire city and thank God it wasn't accepted.

The second shows a ludicrous abuse of sensibilty in the form of Liebeskind's complete disregard of the original building's style and is very similar to what he wanted to foist onto London's Victoria and Albert museum. That it was rejected for being inappropriate for the V&A's original building must be the understatement of all time.


http://www.september11news.com/NightFoster.jpg



http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.creativeandlive.com/article_images/0000/0617/Daniel-Liebeskind-4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.creativeandlive.com/archives/2008/01/08/the-royal-ontario-museum&h=319&w=480&sz=51&tbnid=cXxOcyYmArQanM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=129&prev=/images%3Fq%3DDaniel%2BLiebeskind&hl=en-GB&usg=__9-dzy7FRfn0mpJ9-elvrEd7AazY=&ei=wudZSpP6HsarjAf13_Ea&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-12-2009, 07:12 PM
The first item listed below is the Norman Foster scheme submitted for the WTC site in New York. In my view, it would have amounted to the vandalising of an entire city and thank God it wasn't accepted.

The second shows a ludicrous abuse of sensibilty in the form of Liebeskind's complete disregard of the original building's style and is very similar to what he wanted to foist onto London's Victoria and Albert museum. That it was rejected for being inappropriate for the V&A's original building must be the understatement of all time.


Hello Brian,
I noticed a couple of "deleted" messages from you earlier today (Sunday) and being the novice forums guy tht I am, I thought maybe you were killing the thread. Now I see that you were doing some photo house cleaning ?
Anyway, It's good to see that it is still alive. Hopefully some others will continue to join in.


RE: The Foster concept:
Until now I honestly had not put a lot of thought into the whole Twin Towers replacement movement. (not sure if “replacement” is the proper term) The family included a brief visit to the WTC site while in New York a few years ago and I must admit that the void left behind was staggering. Having not seen the WTC towers prior, I can only imagine the enormity of the loss, though it appears that the wheels have been set in motion to build anew.

I should do some reading on the subject to speak more intelligently. In the meantime, my initial thoughts on the rendered image you attached: It definitely overwhelms the City with the shear height in relation to the relatively uniform heights of the surrounding buildings. Many have criticized the Twin Towers of doing the same thing, although with two towers you begin to blend, if ever so slightly, with the rest of the skyline. If Foster’s premise was to give the middle finger in defiance, then it certainly would have succeeded in that.

In regards to the Ontario Museum;
Wow! Let me pause a moment to regain my composure and blot the beer off of my monitor. It would seem that the Morlocks took a chance on modernism along with a desire to establish another portal to the underworld and found a random weak point in the earths crust. Unfortunately it would appear that 1912 Ontario and in particular the Museum paid a dear price for that random selection. Wells might have found inspiration in this, but most likely depression.
Seriously, that is an atrocious clash.
The names Bregman + Hamann caught my eye. There was a firm in Dallas known as HMBH that practiced in the late 80’s. I believe the “BH” was “Bregman + Hamann”.

Virgil
07-12-2009, 08:20 PM
The first item listed below is the Norman Foster scheme submitted for the WTC site in New York. In my view, it would have amounted to the vandalising of an entire city and thank God it wasn't accepted.

The second shows a ludicrous abuse of sensibilty in the form of Liebeskind's complete disregard of the original building's style and is very similar to what he wanted to foist onto London's Victoria and Albert museum. That it was rejected for being inappropriate for the V&A's original building must be the understatement of all time.


http://www.september11news.com/NightFoster.jpg



http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.creativeandlive.com/article_images/0000/0617/Daniel-Liebeskind-4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.creativeandlive.com/archives/2008/01/08/the-royal-ontario-museum&h=319&w=480&sz=51&tbnid=cXxOcyYmArQanM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=129&prev=/images%3Fq%3DDaniel%2BLiebeskind&hl=en-GB&usg=__9-dzy7FRfn0mpJ9-elvrEd7AazY=&ei=wudZSpP6HsarjAf13_Ea&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image

I remember seeing that first picture as a possibility for the Wrorld Trade. The design selected is defintely better than that. Completely agree about your second picture there. That is horrid. Why would someone pay to build a building like that?

Emil Miller
07-13-2009, 02:28 PM
It appears that the original Liebeskind WTC design was also rejected, probably on the intervention of Donald Trump, and what is now proposed is much more acceptable than the first submission and building is under weigh.
Interestingly enough, it has been announced today that there has been a break between Prince Charles and a leading heritage society in the UK over the use of modern design in restoring some old buildings. He wanted the original designs adhered to but the society want's to incorporate modernistic elements into some buildings. I imagine that Prince Charles has seen the sort of thing that Liebeskind has done to the Ontario museum and want's nothing to do with such inane behaviour.

wessexgirl
07-13-2009, 04:03 PM
It appears that the original Liebeskind WTC design was also rejected, probably on the intervention of Donald Trump, and what is now proposed is much more acceptable than the first submission and building is under weigh.
Interestingly enough, it has been announced today that there has been a break between Prince Charles and a leading heritage society in the UK over the use of modern design in restoring some old buildings. He wanted the original designs adhered to but the society want's to incorporate modernistic elements into some buildings. I imagine that Prince Charles has seen the sort of thing that Liebeskind has done to the Ontario museum and want's nothing to do with such inane behaviour.

What qualifies Prince Charles to stick his oar in on architecture? When did he qualify? He does a lot of damage to the industry with his opinions, which he should keep to himself.

Emil Miller
07-13-2009, 06:38 PM
What qualifies Prince Charles to stick his oar in on architecture? When did he qualify? He does a lot of damage to the industry with his opinions, which he should keep to himself.

What qualifies Prince Charles to "stick his oar in" is the same as that applying to any other citizen who doesn't want the enviroment vandalised by irresponsible architects and gullible landowners. The 700 people living in the area affected by the proposed Chelsea Barracks site who protested against the development were virtually steamrollered by Lord Rogers into accepting the scheme. Rogers used his power as a leading architect to get Westminster City Council to rubber stamp the development but it would seem there are much more powerful forces at play than Richard Rogers.
Furthermore, The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment employs a consultancy which includes architects, urban designers and urban planners who are obviously qualified to decide whether building schemes are acceptable or not. The very fact that Prince Charles scotched Rogers scheme for the National Gallery is something for which we must all be grateful, unless unchecked vandalism is considered acceptable.

wessexgirl
07-13-2009, 08:03 PM
What qualifies Prince Charles to "stick his oar in" is the same as that applying to any other citizen who doesn't want the enviroment vandalised by irresponsible architects and gullible landowners. The 700 people living in the area affected by the proposed Chelsea Barracks site who protested against the development were virtually steamrollered by Lord Rogers into accepting the scheme. Rogers used his power as a leading architect to get Westminster City Council to rubber stamp the development but it would seem there are much more powerful forces at play than Richard Rogers.Furthermore, The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment employs a consultancy which includes architects, urban designers and urban planners who are obviously qualified to decide whether building schemes are acceptable or not. The very fact that Prince Charles scotched Rogers scheme for the National Gallery is something for which we must all be grateful, unless unchecked vandalism is considered acceptable.

He's not any other citizen, (which incidentally, none of us are either, we're subjects), that's the point.

Why do you think it's ok for PC to use his power as a royal to sway people with his opinions regarding architecture, but not someone who's eminently qualified, with it being their profession, to try and do the same? Perhaps Rogers should try butting in on the royals domain. Why should we all be grateful for his meddling? Your last sentence is your opinion, subjective, we don't all agree. As for the fact that the Prince has a foundation with a consultancy containing architects, urban planners etc who are qualified, so what? They're hardly going to disagree with him are they, (the clue's in the name, The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment?). There are eminent architects and planners who would disagree with them. The man's a menace. I find it outrageous and anachronistic in the extreme that there are more powerful forces at work, (i.e. the monarchy), in the 21st century, and you seem to think that's a good thing. Personally, I think the French had the right idea.

Emil Miller
07-14-2009, 06:49 AM
He's not any other citizen, (which incidentally, none of us are either, we're subjects), that's the point.

Why do you think it's ok for PC to use his power as a royal to sway people with his opinions regarding architecture, but not someone who's eminently qualified, with it being their profession, to try and do the same? Perhaps Rogers should try butting in on the royals domain. Why should we all be grateful for his meddling? Your last sentence is your opinion, subjective, we don't all agree. As for the fact that the Prince has a foundation with a consultancy containing architects, urban planners etc who are qualified, so what? They're hardly going to disagree with him are they, (the clue's in the name, The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment?). There are eminent architects and planners who would disagree with them. The man's a menace. I find it outrageous and anachronistic in the extreme that there are more powerful forces at work, (i.e. the monarchy), in the 21st century, and you seem to think that's a good thing. Personally, I think the French had the right idea.

Well those people don't have to advise his organisation so we can assume that they do so because they also are opposed to many of the buildings that Rogers, Foster, Liebeskind et al are responsible for.
Many people like myself who are not royalists will still be grateful that someone is able to prevent the adverse effects of architectural self indulgence on our environment.

oopsycandy
07-16-2009, 11:40 AM
Came across this by accident and thought of this thread.......... look for the red building, oh dear me!!!

http://sneezl.com/only-in-russia/


Speaking of buildings, one that has been causing controversy for some time in the midlands due to being delayed and very over budget

http://www.arcspace.com/architects/alsop/public/public.html

Personally I think its hideous but Ive not actually seen it in real life as it were and that could make a huge difference

Emil Miller
07-16-2009, 01:34 PM
Came across this by accident and thought of this thread.......... look for the red building, oh dear me!!!

http://sneezl.com/only-in-russia/


Speaking of buildings, one that has been causing controversy for some time in the midlands due to being delayed and very over budget

http://www.arcspace.com/architects/alsop/public/public.html

Personally I think its hideous but Ive not actually seen it in real life as it were and that could make a huge difference


The example of decaying Russian residential accomodation, regardless of its colour, is something that can be taken for granted in a country not noted for its non-ecclesiastical architecture, with the possible exception of the Kremlin and St Petersburg. There have, I believe, been some very modern buildings going up in Siberian towns which have a long-term objective of extracting the mineral resources of the region.

The second example is all-too reminiscent of "trendy" architecture that seeks draw attention to itself by gimmicry. I agree that it is hideous but it's positively anodyne compared to some of the buildings mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

Petrarch's Love
07-17-2009, 09:13 PM
Oh boy, an excuse to talk about architecture! I agree with you, Brian, that architecture does make a profound impact on the people who live in a city and that the existing surroundings need to be carefully taken into account when new building is proposed. I can especially see feeling protective of an area like the National Gallery in London, where a bad building could seriously mess up what already works beautifully, and I imagine there are plenty of anonymous run down brick row houses and Brutalist dinosaurs in the city that could be sacrificed to artistic progress instead.

I think when it comes to modern architecture I've been incredibly privileged to live in the city of Chicago for the past few years, which is just an amazing city for architecture. So many places get it so wrong when they add a distinctive building to the cityscape, but Chicago seems to be a city that demonstrates how to do modern architecture right--maybe not 100% of the time, but more often than not. Perhaps because it is a relatively new city by world standards (though relatively old by American standards) and because it has been a city consciously interested in architecture since the rebuilding after the Chicago fire, it is one of the few cities I've been in where I'm aware that innovation and tradition in building style not only don't clash but compliment each other beautifully. There's long been a conscious melding of old and new evident in Chicago architecture, the clearest example being the Tribune building from the early 1920's, which melds the Gothic flying buttress with the modern skyscraper:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/230-1.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/252.jpg

Something that occurs again with the Tudor style elements of this less famous building:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/146.jpg

I've also often been struck by how well the newer glass buildings behind it serve to frame the old American Neo-Classical style public library, with an echo of its columns and the horizontal bands delineating its proportions subtly incorporated into the newer buildings:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/156-1.jpg

We've recently gotten several brand new building in downtown Chicago, one being the modern wing addition to the Art Institute which I had initially dreaded because I was afraid they would do something monstrous to the traditional old lion ornamented facade:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/Art-institute-of-chicago-in-chicago.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/042-1.jpg

However, I was pleasantly surprised both with the way they cleverly tucked the new building behind the old in a space over the metra tracks and with surprisingly clean lines of the building outside...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/076.jpg


...and absolutely stunning minimilist interior lit by the natural light from the high ceiling:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/058-3.jpg

The huge windows of the new museum wing make the city itself one of the most stunning artworks on display as seen through the gauzy window shades. (One of the few instances in which the Ghery structure like the low one in the foreground makes real contextual artistic sense):

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/071-1.jpg

The other just finished high profile building has been the Trump Tower on the river:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/241.jpg

It's set just across from a stunning line of buildings along the river...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/246.jpg

...and next to the old Wrigley building:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/Wrigley_Building-Chicago.jpg

I think it's a fairly attractive skyscraper, but what I love most about it is the way the reflective surface of the building is angled so that it directly interacts with the amazing buildings around it:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/226.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/227-1.jpg


We've also recently seen a new building go up on State street with this really fantastic facade:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/ChicagoDowntown009.jpg

which I can't see without thinking that it perfectly combines the material of the skyscraper with the horizontal lines of Lloyd Wright Prairie style buildings such as the Robie House just across the street from my campus...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/Spring09011.jpg

...with its specially designed unusually long bricks meant to enhance the horizontal lines in the same way that the segmented strips of metal do in the recent building above:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/048-1.jpg

Of course, with all these amazing buildings in the city, what do I have a view of outside my apartment window? This beauty by IM Pei :( (unfortunately I don't have sample photographs that display the enormous cracks all over the concrete that bring it down from Brutalist blah to borderline unsightly):

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/100_1360-1.jpg

Though I suppose even the concrete monster (as I affectionately refer to it) has its points from certain angles:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/ChicagoDowntown033.jpg

If only he had stuck a glass pyramid on it somewhere, perhaps it would have helped.;)

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-18-2009, 09:55 AM
Petrarch's Love,
Those are wonderful images. I wanted to add to your comment regarding the brickwork on the Robie house and your detail shot. If you look closely the mortar in the "head" joint (vertical joint) in the brick has been tooled with typical concave joint, but the mortar of the bed joints are kept flush with the face of the brick to further emphasize the horizontatlity of the building. This was a common practice of Wright during his Prairie Style phase.
I agree; you are fortunate to be in Chicago from and art and architectural standpoint.

orgive me for short circuiting your reply, but I wanted to jump back briefly to Brian and Wessexgirl's comments about the Chelsea Barracks and London in general.

(Question): What is the very latest news regarding Chelsea Barracks development? Obviously I am very far removed from the happenings in London leaving me unbiased in my opinion thus far, so I ask the question purely out of curiosity. I see where Lord Rogers was “sacked”, but I did not see an image giving me a clear idea of what his proposed design looks like.
(Question): Will any interpretation of modernism be tolerated?
I get the impression that Prince Charles’ primary concern with architecture in London regards the height of buildings. (Question): Could a modern (who knows what that really means anymore) concept be accepted for the Chelsea Barracks if the maximum heights were kept in check?

I took a brief stroll through London via the internet and see that a few skyscrapers managed to find a footing in town, one building in particular stands out in several ways and that being the Norman Foster building known as the Gherkin or 30 St. Mary Axe. (Question): What is the general consensus in public opinion among Londoners regarding this building? I realize that is likely a very volatile question, but I am braced for the response.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8e/30_St_Mary_Axe%2C_%27Gherkin%27.JPG/275px-30_St_Mary_Axe%2C_%27Gherkin%27.JPG

A common element found in many of Foster’s buildings, either in the massing or in the façade, is the use of tetrahedra or rhombus shapes. Perhaps this is evidence of Buckminster Fuller’s influence on the younger Foster during their collaborative years. Fuller was somewhat of a renaissance man but whose most enduring (not necessarily endearing) claim to fame was the geodesic dome structures.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8c/Biosph%C3%A8re_Montr%C3%A9al.jpg/350px-Biosph%C3%A8re_Montr%C3%A9al.jpg

Down here in Tejas, Lone Star beer and 105° F (41° C) plays havoc on the brain creating a distorted form of creativity and the interpretation of another’s idea. Fuller’s geodescic dome concept is no exception whether it is a lowly terrestrial bound Myriapoda to the far reaches of space, “to boldly go where no one has gone before!” Enjoy these two gems of Texas architecture.

http://www.monolithic.com/stories/bruco-the-caterpillar/photos

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/images/tx/TXITAstarship_moss.jpg

Gilliatt

wessexgirl
07-18-2009, 11:12 AM
Forgive me for short circuiting your reply, but I wanted to jump back briefly to Brian and Wessexgirl's comments about the Chelsea Barracks and London in general.

(Question): What is the very latest news regarding Chelsea Barracks development? Obviously I am very far removed from the happenings in London leaving me unbiased in my opinion thus far, so I ask the question purely out of curiosity. I see where Lord Rogers was “sacked”, but I did not see an image giving me a clear idea of what his proposed design looks like.
(Question): Will any interpretation of modernism be tolerated?
I get the impression that Prince Charles’ primary concern with architecture in London regards the height of buildings. (Question): Could a modern (who knows what that really means anymore) concept be accepted for the Chelsea Barracks if the maximum heights were kept in check?

I took a brief stroll through London via the internet and see that a few skyscrapers managed to find a footing in town, one building in particular stands out in several ways and that being the Norman Foster building known as the Gherkin or 30 St. Mary Axe. (Question): What is the general consensus in public opinion among Londoners regarding this building? I realize that is likely a very volatile question, but I am braced for the response.

Gilliatt

Hi Gilliatt. I'm not actually from London, so I don't really know the general consensus on Foster and the Gherkin, or the architecture there in general. I just feel strongly about PC interfering.

(Question): Will any interpretation of modernism be tolerated?

Not by PC. He has interfered on other projects, and is an advocate of neo-classicism and architects who support "traditional" architecture. It's not a case of the height with him, but a case of "modernism" full stop. He wants a return to traditional materials and styles.

I actually quite like old buildings and styles, as I have no head for heights, so can't bear skyscrapers. BUT, that doesn't mean I can't see that some of them are beautiful. Some of those buildings Petrarch has shown are wonderful, but if I had the choice I would probably like to live in a quaint, old-fashioned world, with centuries-old architecture. However, in keeping with the real world, that ain't never gonna happen, and nor should it. PC obviously comes from that world, and would like it to stay that way, in keeping with the anachronistic monarchy he was born into. He needs to wake up to the 21st century, and stop lecturing and unfairly influencing people with his opinions on style. Let him live in Poundbury, (his model village), or any of his homes, but keep out of the business of architecture. If he wants to stir up controversies, and give his unwanted opinion, on all sorts of subjects, then he should renounce his title, and become a commoner, whose status does not unfairly sway others, costing many jobs and careers.

Emil Miller
07-18-2009, 02:25 PM
With further reference to the Chelsea Barracks site, it is interesting to note that although Lord Rogers asked the Royal Institutue of British Architects to boycott the site after Prince Charles' intervention, he was roundly ignored and more than forty new designs have been submitted.
I don't know if height is a consideration as far as Prince Charles is concerned although it may be, but his chief concern seems to be that new buildings should blend in with their surroundings, a not unreasonable request I should have thought. Therefore, it would seem unlikely that a modern design, in the sense that has been discussed already on this thread, would be acceptable to him regardless of height.
The rejected design is shown below but more signifcant are the comments of those whose opinions were sought. I think they show that Prince Charles' view is shared by more people than those who were in favour of it.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23475650-details/Revealed:+%A31bn+design+for+Chelsea+Barracks/article.do


I don't know whether public opinion favours the "Gherkin" or not but the Baltic Exchange building that occupied the site was damaged by an IRA terrorist bomb and then dismantled to make way for the Gherkin. An interesting comment on architectural machinations and what followed is given below:


http://www.heritage.co.uk/apavilions/baltic.html

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-19-2009, 09:57 AM
I think when it comes to modern architecture I've been incredibly privileged to live in the city of Chicago for the past few years, which is just an amazing city for architecture. So many places get it so wrong when they add a distinctive building to the cityscape, but Chicago seems to be a city that demonstrates how to do modern architecture right...There's long been a conscious melding of old and new evident in Chicago architecture, the clearest example being the Tribune building from the early 1920's, which melds the Gothic flying buttress with the modern skyscraper:

We've recently gotten several brand new building in downtown Chicago, one being the modern wing addition to the Art Institute which I had initially dreaded because I was afraid they would do something monstrous to the traditional old lion ornamented facade:

...It's set just across from a stunning line of buildings along the river...


Petrarch's Love,
Your skyline river shot (11th photo down from the top) is a great composition that best describes your point. There is a nice blend of old and new, one can discern the respect given to the past with appreciable distances between buildings, sensitive proportioning, heights of the newer towers tend to step down where they are adjacent to the older structures. Chicago’s zoning ordinances obviously play a key role by ensuring certain amounts of natural light reach each structure, maintaining visual corridors, regulating building heights, etc.
However, there something more impressive that strikes me about the photo which is something you don’t see and that is the distinct lack of urban “junk”. I speak of billboards, overhead power lines, haphazard placement and types of light standards, gaudy signs and graphics slapped on the facades. There is an almost pristine quality to the City in this view.
So much of our perception of the environment or architecture, for the sake of this thread, is subconsciously spoiled by the visual intrusion of this urban junk surrounding us to the point that so many are oblivious to its presence.

Pei and Foster have been mentioned a few times in this thread. Petrarch’s image of the Renzo Piano’s museum addition with its high flying trellis structure reminded me of the Winspear Opera House in Dallas designed by Norman Foster & Partners. The structure is still under construction and will include a large far reaching exterior trellis to serve primarily as a sunscreen.
http://media.pegasusnews.com/img/photos/2009/02/19/Winspear.jpg

Pei’s Morton Myerson Symphony Center is located adjacent to the above mentioned opera house.
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/texas/dallas/meyerson/wholeanglesm.jpg

Personally I feel that the two designs are decent or at least innocuous. I’m not overwhelmed but they are plausible given their location and context, which is on a plot of land dedicated as the City’s cultural arts district, separated from the central business district.

Emil Miller
07-19-2009, 02:26 PM
[QUOTE=Petrarch's Love;751108]Oh boy, an excuse to talk about architecture! I agree with you, Brian, that architecture does make a profound impact on the people who live in a city and that the existing surroundings need to be carefully taken into account when new building is proposed. I can especially see feeling protective of an area like the National Gallery in London, where a bad building could seriously mess up what already works beautifully, and I imagine there are plenty of anonymous run down brick row houses and Brutalist dinosaurs in the city that could be sacrificed to artistic progress instead.

I think when it comes to modern architecture I've been incredibly privileged to live in the city of Chicago for the past few years, which is just an amazing city for architecture. So many places get it so wrong when they add a distinctive building to the cityscape, but Chicago seems to be a city that demonstrates how to do modern architecture right--maybe not 100% of the time, but more often than not. Perhaps because it is a relatively new city by world standards (though relatively old by American standards) and because it has been a city consciously interested in architecture since the rebuilding after the Chicago fire, it is one of the few cities I've been in where I'm aware that innovation and tradition in building style not only don't clash but compliment each other beautifully.
QUOTE]

Considering very tall buildings, it is much easier to incorporate them into cities in the USA than those in the UK and elswhere in Europe where the prevailing culture has been that of relatively low-rise structures since Roman times. An example of how distressing the intrusion of individual skyscrapers can be on an urban landscape is the Montparnasse tower in Paris which is generally depised by Parisians. The building itself isn't particularly ugly but its location is grotesquely out of place. Fortunately, it hasn't been joined by others except by those at La Defense on the outskirts of the city which are far enough away to be less of an intrusion. On the other hand, London is pock-marked with tall buildings which give the skyline a half-and-half appearence and a feeling of disorientation from whichever vantage point it is viewed.

Looking at the photos of Chicago, I am wondering how the city planners have avoided the wind tunnel effect created by the notorious winds that blow from Lake Michigan

Petrarch's Love
07-21-2009, 03:56 PM
Petrarch's Love,
Those are wonderful images.

Hi Gilliat--Thanks, I took all of them myself except the one of the Wrigley building since I didn't have a head on shot of that for some odd reason.


I wanted to add to your comment regarding the brickwork on the Robie house and your detail shot. If you look closely the mortar in the "head" joint (vertical joint) in the brick has been tooled with typical concave joint, but the mortar of the bed joints are kept flush with the face of the brick to further emphasize the horizontatlity of the building. This was a common practice of Wright during his Prairie Style phase.
I agree; you are fortunate to be in Chicago from and art and architectural standpoint.

Yes. You have a sharp architectural eye to notice that about the mortar. I had noticed it since I walk past the house nearly every day when I'm in Chicago and thus have had the opportunity to examine it in detail. I didn't, however, know that the mortar technique was a well known aspect of his style more generally, though it makes sense.

I am indeed fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in Chicago from the architectural standpoint. Growing up in the LA area--largely developed in the 60's and thus filled to the brim with concrete and brutalism--had given me a pretty dim view of modern architecture, while the imagination, creativity, and beauty of Chicago has really made me appreciate the great potential new building ideas can have when executed well.

Petrarch's Love,
Your skyline river shot (11th photo down from the top) is a great composition that best describes your point. There is a nice blend of old and new, one can discern the respect given to the past with appreciable distances between buildings, sensitive proportioning, heights of the newer towers tend to step down where they are adjacent to the older structures. Chicago’s zoning ordinances obviously play a key role by ensuring certain amounts of natural light reach each structure, maintaining visual corridors, regulating building heights, etc.
However, there something more impressive that strikes me about the photo which is something you don’t see and that is the distinct lack of urban “junk”. I speak of billboards, overhead power lines, haphazard placement and types of light standards, gaudy signs and graphics slapped on the facades. There is an almost pristine quality to the City in this view.
So much of our perception of the environment or architecture, for the sake of this thread, is subconsciously spoiled by the visual intrusion of this urban junk surrounding us to the point that so many are oblivious to its presence.

Thanks for the nice comments on the river shot. The architecture and urban design around that area of the river near the Michigan Ave. bridge is just stunning.

As for the dearth of urban "junk," that is one of the things that struck me most forcibly when I first visited Chicago and that continues to amaze me. The downtown area is absolutely pristine, which includes not only advertisements and such but actual litter along the streets as well, which is kept to about as much of a minimum as one imagines is feasible in an urban environment.

Much of this, I gather, is attributable to the Daley regime. For those who are unaware, the Daley family has more or less ruled/owned Chicago for the major part of the last half of the 20th and into the 21st century. The current Mayor Daley is very concerned with keeping his city looking gleaming (or at least the high profile parts). Indeed, though I realize that those who were posting their objections as to Prince Charles interfering with architectural affairs are concerned about the politics and problems of a monarchical system that I as an American clearly can't identify with, I could not help but think that at least some of the dynamics that Wessex Girl is objecting to in the case of Prince Charles haven't gone away entirely in a country without a monarchy. I think Virgil posted something earlier about Trump having the power to nix a building project in New York, and mayor Daley certainly has the power to control pretty much everything that goes on in his city. Rich and powerful individuals have a lot greater sway in the molding of a city than the common man. Some people do object to Daley's sometimes heavy regulations and tactics, his pretty much uncontested power in the city, the generally shady feel of Chicago politics but at the same time it's hard not to appreciate the beauty, coherence and cleanliness of Chicago's downtown (with nearly every public area stamped with plaques, engravings, signs bearing the name Mayor Richard M. Daley just in case you forget who to thank for it). It's been working since the Medici in Florence and well before.


Pei and Foster have been mentioned a few times in this thread. Petrarch’s image of the Renzo Piano’s museum addition with its high flying trellis structure reminded me of the Winspear Opera House in Dallas designed by Norman Foster & Partners. The structure is still under construction and will include a large far reaching exterior trellis to serve primarily as a sunscreen.
http://media.pegasusnews.com/img/photos/2009/02/19/Winspear.jpg

Pei’s Morton Myerson Symphony Center is located adjacent to the above mentioned opera house.
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/texas/dallas/meyerson/wholeanglesm.jpg

Personally I feel that the two designs are decent or at least innocuous. I’m not overwhelmed but they are plausible given their location and context, which is on a plot of land dedicated as the City’s cultural arts district, separated from the central business district.

Yes, I agree that those fall into the innocuous category. Not anything to write home about, but not instant eyesores...that is unless they were set into the wrong context. If you set something like that on the Champs Ellysee or the middle of old Florence it could suddenly become an attrocity. Context does mean a lot in architecture, which brings us back to both Brian's initial post and my response to his more recent comment which I make a seperate post below...

Petrarch's Love
07-21-2009, 04:54 PM
Considering very tall buildings, it is much easier to incorporate them into cities in the USA than those in the UK and elswhere in Europe where the prevailing culture has been that of relatively low-rise structures since Roman times. An example of how distressing the intrusion of individual skyscrapers can be on an urban landscape is the Montparnasse tower in Paris which is generally depised by Parisians. The building itself isn't particularly ugly but its location is grotesquely out of place. Fortunately, it hasn't been joined by others except by those at La Defense on the outskirts of the city which are far enough away to be less of an intrusion. On the other hand, London is pock-marked with tall buildings which give the skyline a half-and-half appearence and a feeling of disorientation from whichever vantage point it is viewed.

I completely agree with you in terms of the use of skyscrapers in old European cities. The new Trump Tower, which looks stunning in Chicago, would probably look garish set in the middle of an older city. I especially agree that a city like Paris, which is already so gorgeous, needs to be especially careful about the type of thing they allow to be built. I also think that there are certain historic city centers, and areas of older cities that really do need to be preserved and protected just as they are because the architecture already works well. However, there will--and probably should--inevitably be new construction in some parts of European cities, and it will clearly have to be in some way "modern" and of our own times. The problem I think is both in the degree to which a modern building flagrantly disregards the architectural tradition of the surrounding area and the degree to which the building itself, regardless of style, is simply a failure from an aesthetic point of view. The Montparnasse building is a clear example of both these failings. It doesn't have a thing to do with any other building in Paris--the style, material, color etc.--and it would actually be a pretty ugly building anywhere you put it (though it might be slightly less obviously obtrusive in a place like LA). On the other hand, occasionally modern innovation does just end up working. The Eiffel Tower, once regarded as a complete atrocity, has clearly demonstrated that it has sufficient appeal to not only become incorporated into but emblematic of the Parisian landscape.

I think the main thing is that wherever you are building, the building should have at least one element that coheres with the structures around it. Height might not actually be a problem in a European city if the materials used cohered with the architectural traditions of that city. If, for example, rather than putting up a big black glass and steel monolith in the middle of London, an architect used white stone facing or directly incorporated older elements into a verticle structure the way the gothic is employed in the Tribune tower, then it might fit in quite smoothly. With the beautiful things they can do with glass construction these days, it seems as though it would be easy for a talented and creative mind to incorporate references back to past glass-obsessed architectural styles such as a Gothic cathedral like Canterbury:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/p340578-Canterbury-Canterbury_Cathe.jpg

or even something like Smythson's windowed prodigy house at Wollaton:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/02408.jpg

Surely there are many ways to make a thoroughly modern glass building that also makes a graceful nod to the past and doesn't look as hideous as this picture I found when I googled the Chelsea Barracks project to see what the fuss on this thread was about:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e386/LeonardoD/chelsea2.jpg

Clearly these buildings not only make no concession at all to the traditional architecture of London and are actually just hideous in design. Furthermore, I was amazed at how truly dated looking this controversial "modern" project looks. If you told me that was a building in California from the '60's or '70's I wouldn't blink. I can't see building something that's not only incongruous and unsightly but not even avant garde. The overall plan of the scheme, with the green area and so on, looks really lovely, but when they've got that much money in the development, I think they could afford to go back to the drawing board on those structures. As someone with no political feeling in the matter whatsoever, I've got to confess I'm glad that someone, Prince or not, is trying to make them alter it.



Looking at the photos of Chicago, I am wondering how the city planners have avoided the wind tunnel effect created by the notorious winds that blow from Lake Michigan

:lol:Clearly you haven't done too much walking around Chicago, or you would realize that they haven't. I have, on occasion, received small bruises from flying debris in strong winds (though once that was just walking by the Lake and not anywhere near the big buildings). I suspect that the wind tunnels may also be one reason it always seems colder downtown in the winter, because the accelerated air ups the wind chill, though that's just an educated guess on my part.

Emil Miller
07-22-2009, 08:59 AM
With the invention of self-cleaning glass, there is obviously a greater emphasis on glass as a building material, but many the buildings have been rectangular blocks which, although they have the advantage of symmetry, become tedious when they are too repetative. A very good example of a recently built government building in Whitehall London, which blends in well with others in the vicinity, is given below. It is resolutely traditional in style but, given that anything else would have stuck out like a sore thumb,
it is an example of what Prince Charles and a majority of people who live and work in London would prefer.


http://www.e-architect.co.uk/london/jpgs/london_building_aw050507_338.jpg

prendrelemick
07-22-2009, 09:47 AM
The prodigy house at Woolerton is the ugliest of the three.

A few years ago I was in northern France, travelling around an industrial city. There was a district that was a dogs breakfast of 60s and 70s architectural experimentation. Flats, houses, apartement buildings all different shapes, materials and colours. Individually they were awful, they would never have been built in Britain, but together
they worked. It really is a question of context, putting the right buildinngs in the right places.

Copernicus
07-22-2009, 10:29 AM
Fantastic thread, very interesting. I am working at the moment and don't have the time to read through everybody's posts, I will do so later. I have a particular fondness for churches and cathedrals of all kinds. I will post a selection of photographs from my area this evening.

Taliesin
07-23-2009, 03:05 AM
I know that people are probably going to stone me for saying this, but, when placed rightly, there is a certain charm to Soviet-time "khrustchovkas". Mind you, I live in one, so I should know.
They do have a certain appeal when placed together, for example, when I look out of my window in wintertime, I see this:
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_jrsX6kxv8Sg/SmgJxBD3kjI/AAAAAAAABQw/C_y8_RGPduA/s512/IMGP0557.JPG
(I know, poor quality photo, but there really aren't many of this part of town and it's the only photo I have at the moment)
However, in our town centre, which has a nice old look, they placed one next to a friggin medieval church, totally out of the urban ensemble.
http://paber.ekspress.ee/fotodb/A16A062189379B1EC225716900439170/$file/tn_eefv-6pmgfa.jpg
Thankfully, there is some kind of plan to make the building somehow more fitting to where it is.Hope it works.

Emil Miller
07-24-2009, 07:13 PM
Once again we must thank(indirectly) Prince Charles for stopping another piece of architectural vandalism involving a London landmark. I refer to the British museum and the proposed £130m extension by Lord Rogers. One, but not the only, objector to the scheme is prince Charles's favourite architectural historian, Cambrige professor and writer David Watkins who protested to Camden council "in the strongest posssible terms." He said that the proposals would wreak great damage to the British Museum, a world famous, listed, classical icon". The scheme was rejected by a majority of Five votes to four at a meeting of Camden council's planning committee.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-25-2009, 02:15 PM
I think the main thing is that wherever you are building, the building should have at least one element that coheres with the structures around it. ... ...With the beautiful things they can do with glass construction these days, it seems as though it would be easy for a talented and creative mind to incorporate references back to past glass-obsessed architectural styles such as a Gothic cathedral like Canterbury:

Surely there are many ways to make a thoroughly modern glass building that also makes a graceful nod to the past and doesn't look as hideous as this picture I found when I googled the Chelsea Barracks project to see what the fuss on this thread was about:


Ironically Modernism has already achieved what it is that many desire such as yourself. Louis Sullivan, who was mentioned previously, has been labeled the “father of modernism” and one of the pioneers of the skyscraper. At the height of his practice during the late 19th century, Sullivan was pioneering radical ideas such as curtain wall concept versus the multi wythe load bearing masonry. Sullivan utilized steel framed superstructures in lieu of traditional materials such as heavy timber and wood plank. The curtain wall approach allowed buildings the rise much higher and allow for an increase in amount of glazed area. At the same Sullivan maintained a respectable balance of traditional materials on the exterior facades such as brick, terra cotta and limestone veneers, along with the increase in glass. Sullivan was also noted for his use of ornamentation and filigree.

Advancement in new materials and fabrication along with advancements in structural design eventually led many modernists to abandon the two primitive elements that humans have been conditioned to subconsciously desire in our shelters; stone and or brick.

My point is that perhaps the consensus is coming full circle after flirting with Arts and Crafts, Cubism, International Style, Brutalism, Post Modern, Constructivist, De constructivist along the way. Perhaps that “nod to the past”, as you put it, has already taken place over a hundred years ago and to think that it all started with modernism.

A few examples of Sullivan’s skyscrapers include:

Carson, Pirie, Scott Building- Chicago 1899
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/Carson_Pirie_Scott_building%2C_Chicago%2C_Illinois _-_Louis_Sullivan.jpg/250px-Carson_Pirie_Scott_building%2C_Chicago%2C_Illinois _-_Louis_Sullivan.jpg

The Wainwright Building- St. Louis 1891
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/Wainwright_building_st_louis_USA.jpg/250px-Wainwright_building_st_louis_USA.jpg

Bayard Condict Building - New York 1899
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d0/SullivanNY1.jpg/250px-SullivanNY1.jpg


I know that people are probably going to stone me for saying this, but, when placed rightly, there is a certain charm to Soviet-time "khrustchovkas". Mind you, I live in one, so I should know.
...However, in our town centre, which has a nice old look, they placed one next to a friggin medieval church, totally out of the urban ensemble.


The vernacular and quaint "khrustchovkas" next to the church might not come off as being so out of place if one could do away with the satellite dishes, antennae masts, etc. This is the type of clutter that I speak about that spoils our perception of a building.


Once again we must thank(indirectly) Prince Charles for stopping another piece of architectural vandalism involving a London landmark. I refer to the British museum and the proposed £130m extension by Lord Rogers. One, but not the only, objector to the scheme is prince Charles's favourite architectural historian, Cambrige professor and writer David Watkins who protested to Camden council "in the strongest posssible terms." He said that the proposals would wreak great damage to the British Museum, a world famous, listed, classical icon". The scheme was rejected by a majority of Five votes to four at a meeting of Camden council's planning committee.

After reading a couple of articles, I see that the proposed design was not approved. The rendered scheme I see on The London Evening Standard for example, shows predominantly glazed façades. At the one corner immediately adjacent to the existing building I see what looks like a smooth stone that at least matches the color of the existing building. Perhaps a small bone tossed to the traditionalists. I have to admit, I wasn’t totally shocked when I saw the rendered image as compared to say; the Ontario Museum addition mentioned earlier in the thread. There would have been some separation between the two buildings and the height of the proposed structure does not appear to dominate the existing museum.
By the way who or what is the “English Heritage”? The articles indicate that they supported the proposed design.

Gilliatt

Emil Miller
07-26-2009, 05:28 AM
I have to admit, I wasn’t totally shocked when I saw the rendered image as compared to say; the Ontario Museum addition mentioned earlier in the thread. There would have been some separation between the two buildings and the height of the proposed structure does not appear to dominate the existing museum.
By the way who or what is the “English Heritage”? The articles indicate that they supported the proposed design.



I don't know if you have seen the British museum but as a neo classical building, it would be reasonable to expect something in keeping for a building immediately adjacent to the site. In saying that Lord Roger's design isn't as shocking as Liebeskind's Ontario museum extension doesn't alter the fact that it is still out of keeping with the building even if it is of similar scale.

English Heritage is an organisation commissioned by the British government to oversee ancient monuments and buildings and to advise on activties that may affect them. As a purley advisory body, they have no power to affect the outcome of planning decisions taken by the authorities concerned.

Gilliatt Gurgle
08-02-2009, 10:24 AM
I don't know if you have seen the British museum...

Unfortunately, I have not seen the British museum or any part of England. I have been to Europe twice; once in 1988 and again in 2002, but never made it across the Channel. I made it as far as Paris before I turned east to Germany. If another opportunity to travel to Europe presented itself, then I would ensure a visit to England.

Jumping back to museums, I had mentioned Tadao Ando’s Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth Texas earlier in the thread. I have attached a couple of links regarding the museum with photos below. The Blufftonedu site photos were apparently taken during the fall or winter time and soon after construction was completed. Therefore the landscape was in a dormant and immature state, creating a misleading perception of desolation.

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/texas/ftworth/ando/ando.html

http://www.mamfw.org/building.html

Emil Miller
08-04-2009, 06:34 AM
Unfortunately, I have not seen the British museum or any part of England. I have been to Europe twice; once in 1988 and again in 2002, but never made it across the Channel. I made it as far as Paris before I turned east to Germany. If another opportunity to travel to Europe presented itself, then I would ensure a visit to England.

Jumping back to museums, I had mentioned Tadao Ando’s Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth Texas earlier in the thread. I have attached a couple of links regarding the museum with photos below. The Blufftonedu site photos were apparently taken during the fall or winter time and soon after construction was completed. Therefore the landscape was in a dormant and immature state, creating a misleading perception of desolation.

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/texas/ftworth/ando/ando.html

http://www.mamfw.org/building.html

The Modern Art Museum bears marked similarities with Mies van der Rohe's Neue Nationale Gallerie in Berlin which I visited about thirty years ago, although there wasn't any visible sign of concrete having been used in the construction. I don't find the Fort Worth building to be unattractive although it is less self-effacing than some of the architect's earlier work that you have already mentioned. The water effect is a very attractive feature and one that is not atogether surprising from a Japanese architect. I am wondering how the large flat concrete roof will withstand the weather conditions.

blazeofglory
09-08-2009, 11:24 AM
I am somewhat wary about introducing this thread because I know that people's views on architecture can be as passionte as their political viewpoint.
Nonetheless, the kind of desecration ( see what I mean? ) that has been inflicted on major cities throughout the world, especially since WW11, must have impacted adversely on many an individual's psyche. Although architectural styles have always been imposed on people without their consent it is doubtful if earlier generations felt as disoriented and estranged by buildings, both public and private, as they are today.

This is really an interesting question. I too think that we have monumental buildings, and has downsized man's existence. Man is so petty before big malls and monuments.

But the bigness of buildings is belittling us. Let us not let the building dominate us and let us enhance our image bigger than the building.

Today buildings exist and man is for buildings.

Gilliatt Gurgle
10-09-2009, 10:55 PM
This is really an interesting question. I too think that we have monumental buildings, and has downsized man's existence. Man is so petty before big malls and monuments.

But the bigness of buildings is belittling us. Let us not let the building dominate us and let us enhance our image bigger than the building.

Today buildings exist and man is for buildings.

Blazeofglory,

Your comments bring us back to a philosophical examination of architecture. In fact your statements may be applied to built environment as a whole.

I prefer to say the built environment, including buildings, has downsized our expectations. The majority of the masses pass through their day oblivious to the sensory overload of visual chaotic clutter and junk food architecture surrounding them, particularly in dense urban centers. Buildings as art; pure uncluttered, well proportioned, aesthetically pleasing and fitting within their context, are so often obscured by urban cancer, going unnoticed and unappreciated. “Eyes that do not see”.

You speak of enhancing our image bigger than the building. I believe the building IS our image as reflected through the architect and client. Unfortunately that image can be severely distorted by ego or the power of money in the hands of those who don’t care about the visual eye sores they produce.

Big malls are becoming dinosaurs as I see it, but tall monumental buildings are not necessarily a bad thing. In many landlocked city’s, going vertical is the only option such as Tokyo, New York and they do not consume as much land area, but again the building should suit the context and expectations of the people.

As the population grows so grows the need for buildings.

Gilliatt

The Atheist
10-13-2009, 05:10 PM
I'd never contemplated making a post in athread about architecture; buildings are buildings to me, and as long as they don;t leak, I'm not too fussed.

Then, along comes the Auckland Architecture Awards and I had to have a double take, because what I had also assumed was someone's attempt to stack some rusting construction iron in the city turned out to be a building, and the one which won the supreme award for architecture.

Enjoy:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10603071

A photo gallery link is in the article.

My aesthetic ability is about that of a water-rat, but it seems to me that the uglier you can make abuilding, the higher the chance of winning an award.

Madame X
10-15-2009, 09:55 AM
My aesthetic ability is about that of a water-rat, but it seems to me that the uglier you can make abuilding, the higher the chance of winning an award.

Kinda reminds me of a less sophisticated version of the ‘turning torso’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turning_Torso) building they’ve got over in Malmö. Award winning or no, it seems that nothing else is capable of inducing an almost disabling sense of vertigo in me quite like modern architecture.

Emil Miller
10-17-2009, 03:28 PM
I'd never contemplated making a post in athread about architecture; buildings are buildings to me, and as long as they don;t leak, I'm not too fussed.

Then, along comes the Auckland Architecture Awards and I had to have a double take, because what I had also assumed was someone's attempt to stack some rusting construction iron in the city turned out to be a building, and the one which won the supreme award for architecture.

Enjoy:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10603071

A photo gallery link is in the article.



My aesthetic ability is about that of a water-rat, but it seems to me that the uglier you can make abuilding, the higher the chance of winning an award.

Pretty much to be expected as there a few other professions so capable of giving themselves awards for what many people would regard as an affront.
However, most of the buildings shown in the photo gallery did not appear to be as depressing as what is going up elsewhere and some of them were interesting structures that non architects would probably be able to live with.

Gilliatt Gurgle
05-29-2010, 01:48 PM
Brian Bean and I have recently been discussing architecture via our profile pages. During our conversation I mentioned the building project that has consumed so much of my time for nearly a year is finally complete. With Brian’s consent, I wanted to breathe life back into his thread and share the project with you.
More importantly, I thought this would be great opportunity to check the Litnet world pulse for signs of interest in the subject of architecture in general.

Please share any:
New or existing architecture in your local
Interesting designs?
Atrocities?
Philosophical musings on the built environment
Etc.

Without further adieu, allow me to share our new police facility for a city in central Texas through photographs and brief commentary. The police facility encompasses 81,000 + Sq. Ft (7525sqM) in three levels/ floors and is situated on approximately 15 acre site.

The principal building design originated out of our Chicago office in collaboration with our Dallas office, whose primary role included interior design, production of contract documents, (drafting/ specifications) detailing and construction administration.

Traditional Texas “hill country” vernacular served as the basis for overall design concept. Elements of this style typically include the use of native limestone courtesy of the cretaceous period, sheet metal roofing, wood flooring utilizing native species such as mesquite, oak or pine. The overall massing of the building was influenced greatly by the relatively steep sloping site and application of passive solar techniques. Imagine an asymmetrical “T” in which the vertical leg is off center relative to the horizontal and now imagine the vertical leg curved, in this case, approximate 900 ft. (274M) radius curve! The gently curving mass of the building follows the natural contours of the site.

Sustainable “green” design in the building industry is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception and this facility is no exception. Examples of sustainable features include use of geothermal energy ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heating ) for heating and cooling, optimizing building massing to take advantage of natural light, occupancy light sensors, high reflective (high albedo) horizontal surface materials to reduce heat island affect, use of indigenous plants and grasses for landscaping.

Other quick facts:

Exterior finishes include: local “Leuders” limestone, ceramic tile, high performance insulated glazing, sheet metal roof panels and sandblasted concrete.

Interior finishes include carpet, mesquite wood flooring, ceramic tile, paint, stone counter surfaces along with plastic laminate clad cabinetry and acoustical lay in ceilings.

State of the art security electronics and communication systems
Temporary, short term holding cells for inmates
Evidence processing lab and storage
Administrative, Investigations, crime scene, departments
Fitness room and Break area
Large Community room
EOC (emergency operations center) / 911 center, designed to withstand tornadoes
A memorial plaza dedicated to those who have fallen in the line of duty
Half mile running track and helipad

Note the following photos were taken just at time of completion. The landscaping had just been installed and there are a few lingering items to wrap up in the building:

View from Northeast:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/KPHviewfromNE.jpg


View from Northwest:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/IMG_1490.jpg


View looking down the curved north façade:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/IMG_1500.jpg


View from the southwest side:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/KPHViewfromsouthwest.jpg


Memorial Plaza:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/KPHMemorialPlaza.jpg


Interior view of “grand corridor” on second floor:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/KPHInteriorCorridor.jpg


Interior view of second floor break area:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/KPHIntBreakarea.jpg


Freemasons dedication ceremony:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/KPHMasonsceremony.jpg


A few cretaceous fossils I found on the job site:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/KPH%20and%20Texas/IMG_1565.jpg

Gilliatt

Emil Miller
05-29-2010, 05:28 PM
Thanks for posting the project that you have been working on in central Texas but you have omitted to mention exactly where. Is it Austin by any chance, although it looks more provincial than for a large city ?
My first impression is that it has a similarity to the kind of functional architecture that was a feature of many pre WW11 German buildings.
Being a police station with cells to house those who are charged with criminal offences, it is obviously built along lines of utility rather than aesthetics even allowing for the fact that local materials were used in the construction; in this regard, it seems suited to its function without being entirely evocative of the law enforcement institutions of the past.
I was very surprised to see that freemasons were out in force for the dedication ceremony. Although they are quite active in the UK in relation to building projects, they keep a very low profile and public displays are not their style. The landscaping looks well thought out and will show its worth when the trees are fully grown to soften the angularity of the building.
In short, if you are going to build a police station, this will more than adequately serve its purpose without being a blot on the landscape.
One other point, I was disappointed to see the kind of grey skies that are exactly like those that cover the UK for most of the year, but I suppose that even in Texas,cloud will be seen fom time to time.

Gilliatt Gurgle
05-29-2010, 09:54 PM
ha ha - Failure to mention the city is the result of my natural instinct to fear the internet and a desire to maintain anonymity. Heck, I’m not entirely convinced that we dodged the Y2K bullet!

Thanks for pointing that out. The project is located in Killeen.
Here is an aerial view of the project I found on the City’s website taken in November of 2009. The view is from the southwest looking northeast showing the overall massing of the building:

http://ww3.ci.killeen.tx.us/PD/files/imagemanagermodule/@random4857ee3878a82/NewHQAerials111809.jpg

Regarding the gray skies; that is not typical for Texas. It just so happened that we were in the midst of a two to three day rainy period.

Gilliatt

Gilliatt

Emil Miller
05-30-2010, 04:52 PM
The aerial picture shows it to be a more substantial building than I had realised. I don't think anyone would object to the design which, as I mentioned, seems quite in line with its function. I notice that it seems to be set in spacious surroundings, so presumably it is on the outskirts of Killeen.
It certainly makes a difference to the kind of police HQ found in places like New York, if TV and the cinema are anything to go by.

Gilliatt Gurgle
05-31-2010, 09:24 PM
...I notice that it seems to be set in spacious surroundings, so presumably it is on the outskirts of Killeen


It is funny you noticed that. The remote location has been questioned by some citizens, but in fact this location is actually closer to the geographic center of the City limits. I understand that the primary reason for selecting this location, outside of property cost, is that the projected development of the City will occur in this area, eventually surrounding the facility. Development in this case will entail housing primarily.

In fact housing construction is already underway in the area just outside the top edge of the photo.

Emil Miller
06-02-2010, 12:38 PM
Deleted

Emil Miller
06-02-2010, 12:54 PM
I read recently that the German government is going to rebuild the old imperial palace of Berlin on the exact site that it occupied before the Communist government of the DDR demolished it and built an enormous building called the palace of the republic on the site. This in its turn has now been demolished and the site cleared. Admittedly, the imperial palace was badly damaged in the fighting to take Berlin at the end of WW11 but it might have been restored in the way that many other German ruins were after the war.

Without going into the politcs behind the decision, do LitNet members have any comments on rebuilding historic buildings on sites presentlly occupied by modern architecture?

The attached video shows both buildings as they were before being demolished.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdX_YP9_O3g



It now appears that, as part of its austerity plans, the German government has postponed the rebuilding of the Imperial palace;

The three-party cabinet also made one high-profile cut close to home, when it agreed to postpone plans to rebuild the baroque Stadtschloss palace in the heart of the capital city.

Gilliatt Gurgle
06-07-2010, 10:09 PM
An interesting scenario, “old” replaced by “new” now to be replaced by a pretense of “old”.

Unfortunately in this case absolutely nothing remains of the original Imperial Palace, not even a fraction from which to expand an already established design. It might have perpetuated any nostalgic sentiments for the landmark among Berliners. A piece of history that one could still slap their hand against and proclaim; “This is the Imperial Palace. Your Grandfather worked in…”
As it is, Berlin is left with a clean slate and a generation or two removed from the original Palace. I wonder how many among the living in Berlin, are even aware of the former Palace?

Anyhow, it appears that a direction has been chosen that leads to a pseudo past. I have learned that Italian architect Franco Stella, a protégé of Aldo Rossi, has been selected to design the copy of the Imperial Palace.

I found this article concerning the new Stadtschloss:

New York Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/01/arts/design/01abroad.html?_r=1

Regarding your question. For me personally, I tend to be purest. If there is nothing left of the real McCoy to restore, then don’t attempt to recreate it from scratch with the inevitable use of cheapened artificial ingredients. When I see a building that appears to be 19th, 18th, pick a century, I sleep better when I have determined that the building’s age is authentic. Otherwise, let’s at least consider the chosen architect’s interpretation of what is suitable in a “contemporary” design.

Of course we can always find exceptions, such as the examples discussed further back in this thread, where new construction abuts historic landmarks or infilling a gap within a historic block of buildings.

Over the past decade or so, there has been a trend here in the States, certainly in Dallas / Ft. Worth metropolis, toward “Instant Old Towns”. (my terminology) Instant old towns are an attempt to recreate the charm of the late 19th / early 20th century American small town courthouse square or “main street”. They are completed in a matter of one to two years, typically constructed of tilted concrete slabs applied with thin (2 cm) thick brick. “Lick and stick” is the pejorative term.

The following link will take you to one of the “real McCoy’s of late 19th early 20th century buildings. The example below is Memphis Texas located in the west Panhandle region:

http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasPanhandleTowns/MemphisTexas/MemphisTexas.htm

And here is an example of “Instant old Town”.
Note the article with the heading “History”. Funny thing, the “history” of these buildings goes back no more than ten years.

http://parkersquare.com/History/tabid/252/Default.aspx


Gilliatt

Emil Miller
06-10-2010, 02:11 PM
An interesting scenario, “old” replaced by “new” now to be replaced by a pretense of “old”.

Unfortunately in this case absolutely nothing remains of the original Imperial Palace, not even a fraction from which to expand an already established design. It might have perpetuated any nostalgic sentiments for the landmark among Berliners. A piece of history that one could still slap their hand against and proclaim; “This is the Imperial Palace. Your Grandfather worked in…”
As it is, Berlin is left with a clean slate and a generation or two removed from the original Palace. I wonder how many among the living in Berlin, are even aware of the former Palace?

Anyhow, it appears that a direction has been chosen that leads to a pseudo past. I have learned that Italian architect Franco Stella, a protégé of Aldo Rossi, has been selected to design the copy of the Imperial Palace.

I found this article concerning the new Stadtschloss:

New York Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/01/arts/design/01abroad.html?_r=1

Regarding your question. For me personally, I tend to be purest. If there is nothing left of the real McCoy to restore, then don’t attempt to recreate it from scratch with the inevitable use of cheapened artificial ingredients. When I see a building that appears to be 19th, 18th, pick a century, I sleep better when I have determined that the building’s age is authentic. Otherwise, let’s at least consider the chosen architect’s interpretation of what is suitable in a “contemporary” design.

Of course we can always find exceptions, such as the examples discussed further back in this thread, where new construction abuts historic landmarks or infilling a gap within a historic block of buildings.

Over the past decade or so, there has been a trend here in the States, certainly in Dallas / Ft. Worth metropolis, toward “Instant Old Towns”. (my terminology) Instant old towns are an attempt to recreate the charm of the late 19th / early 20th century American small town courthouse square or “main street”. They are completed in a matter of one to two years, typically constructed of tilted concrete slabs applied with thin (2 cm) thick brick. “Lick and stick” is the pejorative term.

The following link will take you to one of the “real McCoy’s of late 19th early 20th century buildings. The example below is Memphis Texas located in the west Panhandle region:

http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasPanhandleTowns/MemphisTexas/MemphisTexas.htm

And here is an example of “Instant old Town”.
Note the article with the heading “History”. Funny thing, the “history” of these buildings goes back no more than ten years.

http://parkersquare.com/History/tabid/252/Default.aspx


Gilliatt

Thanks for the links they are very enlightening, I checked out the New York times reporter and he has lived in various European cities in his career.
I think he is reporting from a NYC perspective in that, although he has obviously done his homework, Berlin isn't New York. He correctly points out the disparity in Berlin's overall layout without mentioning the reason for it, which lies in the unusual nature of Germany's development. I suspect that he wouldn't have much liked the Chicago of the late 19th century which, because of its large German immigrant population, had quite a number of buildings similar to those in Berlin. However, there were many Germans who expressed views favourable to rebuilding the palace in my video and given the choice between that and some grotesque modern building right next to the cathedral as was the case before, I would support the former even though it is in the heavy teutonic style which leaves much to be desired.
With regard to "Instant old Towns", I see no inconsistency if it is what the people who live there prefer.

Emil Miller
06-22-2010, 07:39 AM
http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss260/brianbean/scan0054.jpg

The French used to build buildings like this but now they call on Russian money and a British architect ( Norman Foster, surprise, surprise!) to build another monstrosity in Paris. At least it is going to built away from the city centre in La Defense where its pointless ugliness will be well at home.

http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss260/brianbean/scan0057.jpg

Zhu
06-22-2010, 09:38 AM
I'm currently residing in Bruges, Belgium. There are a lot, a lot of old buildings here.

But today I was in Ghent (to pick up a few books I had ordered) where I found this medieval castle (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Gravensteen_%28Gent%29_MM_2.jpg) smack in the middle of the city.

There's another great view in Ghent, namely this one (http://www.prinsenhof.com/photos/gent_big.jpg). But I couldn't really enjoy it because they are renovating one of the towers.

Emil Miller
06-22-2010, 10:00 AM
I'm currently residing in Bruges, Belgium. There are a lot, a lot of old buildings here.

But today I was in Ghent (to pick up a few books I had ordered) where I found this medieval castle (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Gravensteen_%28Gent%29_MM_2.jpg) smack in the middle of the city.

There's another great view in Ghent, namely this one (http://www.prinsenhof.com/photos/gent_big.jpg). But I couldn't really enjoy it because they are renovating one of the towers.

Those are marvellous pictures. I have been to Belgium but only passed through the Flemish part when on my way to Charleroi in Wallonia. There are many examples of great medieval architecture in the north of the country especially in Bruges which I haven't visited. I don't know if you have been to Paris but because I went there fairly often, I saw the site clearance and construction of la Defense and eventually stayed there with a friend who had an apartment there. If you like modern buildings, it's the place to be. If, however, you prefer truly elegant and interesting design, Baron Haussman's magnificent 19th century reconstruction of the city makes la Defense look like the abomination it is.

qimissung
06-22-2010, 12:33 PM
I'm not a fan of faux historical buildings. I would be glad to see communities in the U.S. build their towns with squares where people can gather and that are pedestrian friendly. And it would be nice if we could value the actual historical buildings we have. That time does not appear to have arrived, but I still have hope.

ennison
06-22-2010, 12:40 PM
The house designs of the Findhorn community in Scotland are very interesting. Ideosyncratic and probably environmentally "friendly".

Gilliatt Gurgle
06-22-2010, 10:46 PM
The French used to build buildings like this but now they call on Russian money and a British architect ( Norman Foster, surprise, surprise!) to build another monstrosity in Paris. At least it is going to built away from the city centre in La Defense where its pointless ugliness will be well at home.


Hmmm…? At least the contextual location will be appropriate among other taller modern towers versus the city center as you mentioned. Foster certainly is consistent with his continual use of tetrahedrons and rhombus either in the overall building form or as appliqué on the facades. See Foster’s proposal for the World Trade Center, The “Gherkin” tower London, Hearst Tower New York, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearst_Tower_(New_York_City)

Speaking of Paris, here are a couple of photos of Notre Dame (1988)

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/NotreDamebuttresses.jpg

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/NotreDameGargoyles.jpg



I'm currently residing in Bruges, Belgium. There are a lot, a lot of old buildings here.

But today I was in Ghent (to pick up a few books I had ordered) where I found this medieval castle (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Gravensteen_%28Gent%29_MM_2.jpg) smack in the middle of the city.

There's another great view in Ghent, namely this one (http://www.prinsenhof.com/photos/gent_big.jpg). But I couldn't really enjoy it because they are renovating one of the towers.

Zhu
Wonderful photos and architecture.
I did some research for you:

St. Nicholas Church
http://eng.archinform.net/projekte/7666.htm

Even though I did not spot this in your photo, it must be near:

St. Bavo Cathedral
http://eng.archinform.net/projekte/7280.htm

Beyond the beautiful architecture I learned that the Church maintains the added distinction for being the home of Van Eyck’s painting; “The Ado¬ra¬tion of the Mys¬tic Lamb”.



...And it would be nice if we could value the actual historical buildings we have. That time does not appear to have arrived, but I still have hope.

Qimissung

Next time you head out to the Kimbell, you should take some time to tour downtown Ft. Worth and the Stockyards area. Fort Worth has done an admirable job in preserving much of their architectural past. A book you might find interesting is “Cowtown Moderne” by Judith Singer Cohen; Texas A&M University Press.

Detail of Post Office in Fort Worth:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Misc%20Album/FtWorthPostOffice.jpg

From Cottle County Courthouse in Paducah Texas:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Misc%20Album/CourthousePaducah.jpg


Gilliatt

Emil Miller
06-24-2010, 07:35 AM
I agree that the proposed towers will be among other modern buildings but even by the standards of la Defense, they will be ( no pun intended ) well over the top. They are going to be 90 stories high which should make them the highest buildings there. It's amazing that a failed attempt to replace the World Trade Centre with just one of these grotesque buildings has now succeeded in Paris with a proposal to build two.
The Hearst tower in New York looks ridiculously out of place but it is difficult to imagine where it would be suited to as its shape is completely at variance with the original base and the surrounding buildings.
Given W.R.Hearst's liking for traditional architecture, as exemplified by the base and San Simeon, one wonders whether he would have agreed to what has now gone up.

As for Notre Dame in Paris, the detail is at one with the overall design and French architecture has bequeathed to the world some wonderful buildings.


http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss260/brianbean/scan0033.jpg

LitNetIsGreat
06-25-2010, 05:46 AM
I'm currently residing in Bruges, Belgium. There are a lot, a lot of old buildings here.

But today I was in Ghent (to pick up a few books I had ordered) where I found this medieval castle (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Gravensteen_%28Gent%29_MM_2.jpg) smack in the middle of the city.

There's another great view in Ghent, namely this one (http://www.prinsenhof.com/photos/gent_big.jpg). But I couldn't really enjoy it because they are renovating one of the towers.

Great thread all round, but truly wonderful images here, thank you, that shot with the guy going over the bridge is perfect.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-02-2010, 04:49 PM
As for Notre Dame in Paris, the detail is at one with the overall design and French architecture has bequeathed to the world some wonderful buildings.



A magnificent picture and from a less common angle. Most photos you see are from the front (main) façade which is wonderful, but you miss the large rose window at the south transept entry, patina copper roof, fleche (spire) at the intersection of the transept and nave roofs, gargoyles and of course, the delicate flying buttresses.

Seeing images of Notre Dame in Paris naturally calls to mind Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” a wonderful novel and one I would recommend to those who have not read it. If you are familiar with the novel, then you are likely calling to mind Quasimodo, Esmeralda and her goat, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, Pierre Gringoire, Phoebus, et al, and the various sociological dramas playing out amongst them within and against the backdrop Notre Dame in 15th century Paris.
On the other hand, there are a few Parts of the novel where Hugo, true to form, ventures off into tangential sociological essays, diatribes or detailed narratives on historical events. Eyes begin to glaze over, your mind wanders, the hamster running in its wheel suddenly becomes more interesting. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is no exception, yet for me and my interest in architecture, Hugo’s digressions caused me to wake up and take notice.

I’m referring to the following:

Book III, Part 1-“Notre Dame”

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/hunchback_notre_dame/15/

Excerpt from the online text:

“Great edifices, like great mountains, are the work of centuries. Art often undergoes a transformation while they are pending, pendent opera interrupta; they proceed quietly in accordance with the transformed art. The new art takes the monument where it finds it, incrusts itself there, assimilates it to itself, develops it according to its fancy, and finishes it if it can. The thing is accomplished without trouble, without effort, without reaction,--following a natural and tranquil law. It is a graft which shoots up, a sap which circulates, a vegetation which starts forth anew. Certainly there is matter here for many large volumes, and often the universal history of humanity in the successive engrafting of many arts at many levels, upon the same monument. The man, the artist, the individual, is effaced in these great masses, which lack the name of their author; human intelligence is there summed up and totalized. Time is the architect, the nation is the builder”

Book V, Part 1 – “Abbas Beati Martini”

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/hunchback_notre_dame/23/

Excerpt from the online text:

“And opening the window of his cell he pointed out with his finger the immense church of Notre-Dame, which, outlining against the starry sky the black silhouette of its two towers, its stone flanks, its monstrous haunches, seemed an enormous two-headed sphinx, seated in the middle of the city.
The archdeacon gazed at the gigantic edifice for some time in silence, then extending his right hand, with a sigh, towards the printed book which lay open on the table, and his left towards Notre-Dame, and turning a sad glance from the book to the church,--"Alas," he said, "this will kill that."

Book V, Part 2 – “This Will Kill That”

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/hunchback_notre_dame/24/

Excerpt from the online text:

“It is printing. Let the reader make no mistake; architecture is dead; irretrievably slain by the printed book,--slain because it endures for a shorter time,--slain because it costs more. Every cathedral represents millions. Let the reader now imagine what an investment of funds it would require to rewrite the architectural book; to cause thousands of edifices to swarm once more upon the soil; to return to those epochs when the throng of monuments was such, according to the statement of an eye witness, "that one would have said that the world in shaking itself, had cast off its old garments in order to cover itself with a white vesture of churches." Erat enim ut si mundus, ipse excutiendo semet, rejecta vetustate, candida ecclesiarum vestem indueret. (GLABER RADOLPHUS.)”


If you're bored:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5quY17pbQ8&feature=related


Gilliatt

Emil Miller
07-14-2010, 07:38 AM
Thanks for the post with the Hugo extracts. I don't think many of the modern-day architectural commentators can write so tellingly about medieval buildings.
I have taken a number of pictures of the front of Notre Dame but you are right, it is from the rear that the most photogenic views are to be had.
The only other European city I have been to that is as picturesque is Venice but, unfortunately, I didn't have my Nikon at that date.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-18-2010, 12:32 PM
Hugo is a particular favorite of mine as evidenced by my name and avatar.

Lately I have not had time for Litnet as I have been exiled to northern Illinois for the next several months to lend my construction administration experience toward a project here. "Exiled" may be too harsh a word, but none the less, I am away from family. (the company is sending me home periodically though)

However, from an architectural (and art) point of view, I am near utopia, just over an hour away from Chicago. So you may look forward to several postings over the next few months. My new camera will be in tow when I return from my first vist home.

Now I am off to find a trail.

Emil Miller
07-19-2010, 02:58 AM
Hugo is a particular favorite of mine as evidenced by my name and avatar.

Lately I have not had time for Litnet as I have been exiled to northern Illinois for the next several months to lend my construction administration experience toward a project here. "Exiled" may be too harsh a word, but none the less, I am away from family. (the company is sending me home periodically though)

However, from an architectural (and art) point of view, I am near utopia, just over an hour away from Chicago. So you may look forward to several postings over the next few months. My new camera will be in tow when I return from my first vist home.

Now I am off to find a trail.


Have a good time in the Windy City. I'm sure you will be given plenty of opportunity to use your camera.

Gilliatt Gurgle
07-21-2010, 10:43 AM
...The only other European city I have been to that is as picturesque is Venice but, unfortunately, I didn't have my Nikon at that date.

I made it as far as Vicenza in NE Italy, before I headed back west and then north into Helvetia. On the way to Vicenza for a Palladio fix, I visited Verona. The only photo I happened to have in photobucket at the moment is this one (from the “old” pentax):

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Verona01frombridge.jpg


The picture is a view of the Basilica of San Zeno and bell tower as seen through one of the portals on the Castelvecchio bridge over the Adige river. According to the Wikipedia write up, it looks like we have another classic literature connection. “Its fame rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare's “ Romeo and Juliet.”

Link to the Basilica:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_di_San_Zeno

Link to the bridge: (Hey, get it?...link – bridge..haha. Yeah, you’re real clever Gilliatt! )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castelvecchio_(Verona)

I'll make an effort to scan a few more pics of Verona and Vicenza architecture.

Gilliatt

Scheherazade
07-22-2010, 09:06 AM
Stirling prize shortlist 2010 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-10724094)

Emil Miller
07-22-2010, 04:21 PM
I made it as far as Vicenza in NE Italy, before I headed back west and then north into Helvetia. On the way to Vicenza for a Palladio fix, I visited Verona. The only photo I happened to have in photobucket at the moment is this one (from the “old” pentax):



The picture is a view of the Basilica of San Zeno and bell tower as seen through one of the portals on the Castelvecchio bridge over the Adige river. According to the Wikipedia write up, it looks like we have another classic literature connection. “Its fame rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare's “ Romeo and Juliet.”

Link to the Basilica:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_di_San_Zeno

Link to the bridge: (Hey, get it?...link – bridge..haha. Yeah, you’re real clever Gilliatt! )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castelvecchio_(Verona)

I'll make an effort to scan a few more pics of Verona and Vicenza architecture.

Gilliatt

Great shot of the bell tower in Verona. Were you travelling to specific architectural sites on the European trip or making random visits to potentially interesting places?


Stirling prize shortlist 2010 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-10724094)

They say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, the corollary to that should be.....'unless you are a modern architect.'

El Viejo
07-26-2010, 07:45 PM
I am somewhat wary about introducing this thread because I know that people's views on architecture can be as passionte as their political viewpoint.
Nonetheless, the kind of desecration ( see what I mean? ) that has been inflicted on major cities throughout the world, especially since WW11, must have impacted adversely on many an individual's psyche. Although architectural styles have always been imposed on people without their consent it is doubtful if earlier generations felt as disoriented and estranged by buildings, both public and private, as they are today.

Architecture is, as I understand it, like music, or wine. There is supposed to be an overall tune with harmonies, counterpoints, and so on, but I'm not among the cognoscenti and haven't the perception or vocabulary to discuss it.

I do know when I like something, or when something doesn't fit in. I don't find the latter to be too disturbing as I like contrasts. I am disturbed by buildings built on the cheap, or that are following obvious fads.

For example, Seattle has (or used to have) housing their offices and utilities a couple of buildings (one (http://www.tubecityonline.com/almanac/images/090804b.jpg), another (http://www.historylink.org/db_images/CityLightBldg1.JPG)) that were dashed out around the time of, and with a similar theme as, the 1962 world's fair (Century 21). Lots of blue-green glass, thick, straight lines, brushed aluminum, and powerful Ayn Rand-ish murals (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157608220543990/) of people mastering water, electricity, nay, the very forces of nature. I didn't find them disorienting or estranging. I did find them annoying. Those with more developed sensibilities were probably horrified.

The love of this kind of architecture seems to be ingrained in local government. Last I heard they'd built this (http://www.google.com/images?q=seattle%20public%20library&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1920&bih=866) to replace their library. I think my favorite part is the dayglo yellow-green plastic panels zip tied to the railings and the sides of the escalators.

Emil Miller
07-27-2010, 03:48 PM
I just checked out the Seattle Public Library and wasn't surprised to find that the architect is Rem Koolhaas, a man who, along with many of his ilk, has been progressively vandalizing the world's major cities for years.
Misshapen buildings are ugly by definition because they are asymmetrical and look completely out of place among buildings that are symmetrical.
The reason that Local authorities like this kind of architecture is because it is not their own money that is being spent on these buildings but ours. The desire to look 'progresive', a word that often means its opposite, allows architects to foist buildings on a hapless public who have little or no say on what is being built.

Gilliatt Gurgle
11-20-2011, 04:56 PM
The “Painted Churches of Texas”
This past Friday I was in Austin Texas on business related matters. Realizing that the matters would drag into the twilight hours, I planned on staying overnight in a small town southeast of Austin named Schulenburg. Schulenburg is centrally located among several small Czech and German enclaves that are home to what has been coined the “Painted Churches of Texas”, alluding to the ornately painted interiors including murals, trompe l’oeil and tracery.

http://www.klru.org/paintedchurches/

The churches were built during the latter part of the 18th century and early 20th century, by Czech and German immigrants that settled much of south and central Texas. My maternal ancestors were among the many who emigrated from Moravia through the Port of Galveston, although they settled further south near Port Lavaca.
I wanted to share a few images from my heritage tour.

Welcome to Praha (Prague) Texas.
Hmm…“Homecoming” = cemetery

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2141.jpg


St Mary’s Church of the Assumption in Praha
Built in 1895

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2146.jpg


Detail of stained glass window:


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2151.jpg


Detail of vaulted ceilings


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2147.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2148.jpg


View toward the altar and apse:


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2159.jpg



Freyburg Methodist Church
Built 1879
Actually, this church is not one of the “painted churches”, but is included among the cluster churches surrounding Schulenburg, known for their place in the cultural history of Texas. Being a Protestant/ Methodist church, the interior is Spartan white; no statuary, ornamentation, etc.


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2136.jpg



Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Dubina
Built 1911


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2170.jpg


I was not able to enter the Sanctuary, so I had to rely on a shot through the bars of a gate at the narthex:


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2165-1.jpg



Saith Mary’s Catholic Church in High Hill
Built 1906
Considered the “queen of the painted churches”


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2109.jpg



http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2118.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2122.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2125.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2115.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2130.jpg


Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ammansville
Built 1918


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2189.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2172.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2177.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2185.jpg




Cemetery adjacent to St. John the Baptist:


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Painted%20Churches%20of%20Texas%20reduced%20for%20 Forum/IMGP2190BW.jpg

.

stlukesguild
11-20-2011, 07:04 PM
These are indeed splendid buildings. The interior of St. Mary's is indeed a delicious harmony of Victorian design. Unfortunately the old cities of the Northeastern US have been less than careful about preserving their own architectural wonders. I can't even begin to say how many great old churches here in Cleveland lie abandoned as the parish population fell or moved on to the suburbs.

The congregation for this rather unique church, for example, now left standing abandoned in a rather crappy ghetto neighborhood...

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6115/6372324275_3f5c06d678.jpg

... ended up moving to the wealthier eastern suburbs and building this rather bland structure:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6103/6372324329_586b43839d.jpg

Looking at the interiors (and exteriors) of a few old Cleveland churches one cannot help but recognize what is being lost here... and in other cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toledo, Erie, Buffalo, NYC, Washington D.C., etc... across the older cities of the US:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6222/6372324529_2d355984bf.jpg

St. Procop is an absolute stunner from the art nouveau/art deco era... the same period from which Cleveland's Severence Hall (home to the Cleveland Orchestra) and the theaters from Playhouse Square date:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6094/6372324609_76a5547814_z.jpg

St. Stanislaus, a great Polish church came to a near tragic end... on more than one occasion. The church suffered serious damage from a tornado shortly after it was built. It was then suffered extensive fire damage after a priest set fire to cover up the murder of another priest:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6118/6372324847_df2e4d2834.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6216/6372325015_e6b0c31a93.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6116/6372325569_7864ca53ca.jpg

I live around the block from this spectacular Romanesque-style cathedral, St. Ignatius:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6113/6372326843_ac418a6fbe_z.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6222/6372327177_88292666b8_z.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6226/6372325807_e9340ecbe9_z.jpg

This church has fared particularly well because it is in a middle-class neighborhood populated by Police and Fire-workers, city politicians, nurses, teachers, and other city employees who are required by law to live within the city limits. As a result, the neighborhood is well kept and there is a solid population in both the church parish and in the school, which is an alternative of choice for many parents who wish to avoid sending their students to the public schools.

A Russian Orthodox church, St. Theodosius, is one of the most famous churches in Cleveland... thanks especially to its use in the film, The Deer Hunter:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6097/6372328291_29d46183fc_z.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6107/6372328455_1e9bea7a16.jpg

Standing on a hill in a section of Cleveland known as Tremont, the Russian domes can be seen for a great distance from the interstate highway passing by below. Like most Russian Orthodox churches, the interior is overwrought in gold and icons:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6106/6372328939_6f98b3e150_z.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6115/6372329015_24c941a1db.jpg

I worked for a short while for a Ukrainian artist creating icons for the Ukrainian Church in Jersey City, a suburb of New York City. Just out of art school, I thought such works were hopelessly outdated and would not have done it if not for the money. Ironically, my own recent work owes much to stylistic elements of Byzantine and Russian icons.:eek:

Vonny
11-20-2011, 07:56 PM
What a wonderful thread! I've never seen it before. I've thought about this topic a lot, and didn't realize others had also.

In Salem, Oregon (which is older than where I live because the pioneers headed straight for the Pacific Coast) there's perhaps the oldest university in the West, Willamette University, founded in 1842. A couple of very old buildings still stand, and their architectural design is so beautiful. Waller Hall has been preserved, but mostly the old buildings have been replaced by very ugly institutional buildings without windows. It's very sad. You see that all over Salem, where some of the historical homes and buildings have been preserved and they are so beautiful, and then standing next to them, the most unsightly structures.

OrphanPip
11-20-2011, 07:59 PM
Mark Twain said that Montreal was the only city he had ever been to where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window. But, I've never been a big fan of our churches.

http://www.dam.brown.edu/people/glin/Trip_in_Canada/postcards/montreal/st-joseph-oratory.jpg

This is Saint-Joseph's the largest church in Canada, it has the third largest dome roof in the world, behind St. Peter's at the Vatican and some new church in the Ivory Coast.

I've never liked how this church looks anyway.

The Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal is lovely

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs36/f/2008/253/a/2/Notre_Dame_de_Montreal_I_by_chirilas.jpg

http://www.planetware.com/i/photo/notre-dame-basilica-montreal-cdn1140.jpg

The less fancy Irish basilica in Montreal, St. Patrick's:

http://www.worldofstock.com/slides/AOB1500.jpg

http://www.whitepinepictures.com/seeds/parkscanada/photos/photo01.jpg

Although, my favourite buildings in Montreal are the Royal Victoria Hospital:

http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/hospitals/biotxt/biopics/PL006606.jpg

And Habitat 67, just because it's ridiculous:

http://www.coolmags.net/images/Habitat-67-Montreal-Canada.JPG

Gilliatt Gurgle
12-16-2011, 03:15 PM
These are indeed splendid buildings. The interior of St. Mary's is indeed a delicious harmony of Victorian design. Unfortunately the old cities of the Northeastern US have been less than careful about preserving their own architectural wonders. I can't even begin to say how many great old churches here in Cleveland lie abandoned as the parish population fell or moved on to the suburbs.

The congregation for this rather unique church, for example, now left standing abandoned in a rather crappy ghetto neighborhood...

... ended up moving to the wealthier eastern suburbs and building this rather bland structure:

...Looking at the interiors (and exteriors) of a few old Cleveland churches one cannot help but recognize what is being lost here... and in other cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toledo, Erie, Buffalo, NYC, Washington D.C., etc... across the older cities of the US:

St. Procop is an absolute stunner from the art nouveau/art deco era... the same period from which Cleveland's Severence Hall (home to the Cleveland Orchestra) and the theaters from Playhouse Square date:
...
St. Stanislaus, a great Polish church came to a near tragic end... on more than one occasion. The church suffered serious damage from a tornado shortly after it was built. It was then suffered extensive fire damage after a priest set fire to cover up the murder of another priest:
...

I live around the block from this spectacular Romanesque-style cathedral, St. Ignatius:

....

This church has fared particularly well because it is in a middle-class neighborhood populated by Police and Fire-workers, city politicians, nurses, teachers, and other city employees who are required by law to live within the city limits. As a result, the neighborhood is well kept and there is a solid population in both the church parish and in the school, which is an alternative of choice for many parents who wish to avoid sending their students to the public schools.

A Russian Orthodox church, St. Theodosius, is one of the most famous churches in Cleveland... thanks especially to its use in the film, The Deer Hunter:

...

Standing on a hill in a section of Cleveland known as Tremont, the Russian domes can be seen for a great distance from the interstate highway passing by below. Like most Russian Orthodox churches, the interior is overwrought in gold and icons:

...

I worked for a short while for a Ukrainian artist creating icons for the Ukrainian Church in Jersey City, a suburb of New York City. Just out of art school, I thought such works were hopelessly outdated and would not have done it if not for the money. Ironically, my own recent work owes much to stylistic elements of Byzantine and Russian icons.:eek:


Those are wonderful churches and commentary. It is too bad, in many cases, we see older structures that embody such historic, cultural and architectural significance, deteriorate due to the failing community around them. Yes; they could be "protected" if selected as a registered historic landmark which typically includes Federal Funding for preservation. However, that funding I'm sure, is very lean at the moment and secondly, the initial restoration will only last as long as the care that comes from the surrounding community lasts which often includes voluntary maintenance. Who in the ghetto will care for the buildings?



Mark Twain said that Montreal was the only city he had ever been to where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window. But, I've never been a big fan of our churches.

...

This is Saint-Joseph's the largest church in Canada, it has the third largest dome roof in the world, behind St. Peter's at the Vatican and some new church in the Ivory Coast.

I've never liked how this church looks anyway.

The Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal is lovely
...

The less fancy Irish basilica in Montreal, St. Patrick's:

Although, my favourite buildings in Montreal are the Royal Victoria Hospital:

And Habitat 67, just because it's ridiculous:
....



Interesting I wasn't aware of the number of churches in Montreal. Looks like the Architects and Civil engineer had quite a challenge with the site design of Victoria Hospital. The architectural style looks very similar to "Richardsonian" romanesque (H.H. Richardson architect), but I just learned it was designed by Henry Saxon Snell in "Scottish baronial" style.
The Habitat structure is quite gaudy.

.......................................


I wanted to share some architectural photos I recently had converted to didgital from my 1988 summer in Europe

The following photos taken with a late ‘70s Pentax ME Super 35mm film camera. I was travelling solo with one bag and had to keep my burden light, so I opted to bring one lens; a Vivitar 35 to 70mm zoom
Roughly half of my photos were shot using slide film. I recently had the slides converted to digital. It is funny when I think back after returning, many people gave me a hard time for taking slide images. “Why shoot slide film instead of prints?, now you must go through the trouble of setting up a projector and screen to enjoy them, which was true at the time. Twenty three years later, the Photoshop staff informed me of the superior quality of digital conversion from slides versus prints.
This installment covers Pisa Italy.

Pisa

Santa Maria della Spina along the Arno River

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Maria_della_Spina

quick facts:
Originally constructed in 1230. The Church was disassembled in latter part of the 19th century and relocated to its current (higher) position in order to get it out of the Arno flood plain. The church was altered during the reconstruction.

From Wikipedia: “The exterior appearance is marked by cusps, tympani and tabernacles, together with a complicated sculpture decoration with tarsiae, rose-windows and numerous statues from the main Pisane artists of the 14th century. These include Lupo di Francesco, Andrea Pisano with his sons Nino and Tommaso, and Giovanni di Balduccio.”

---Click on the thumbnails to see full size image---

Looking east on the Arno river with Santa Maria della Spina on the right:
http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R01-001.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R01-001.jpg)

The west façade
http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R01-002.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R01-002.jpg)

View across the river
http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-157.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-157.jpg)


The Piazza del Duomo aka Piazza di Miracoli, contains the Duomo Santa Maria Assunta, Battistero di San Giovanni, Torre pendente di Pisa campanile, and Camposanto Monumentale

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_dei_Miracoli

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta:

View of the west façade with four tier open galleries, lunette of Mary with angels above the bronze doors:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-161.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-161.jpg)

Detail of lunette with Mary and angels, above bronze doors. Note the polychrome stone:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-159.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-159.jpg)


Poor shot of the interior. Note the mosaic on the ceiling of the apse which depicts ; Christ in Majesty and the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Evangelist

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-169.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-169.jpg)

Portion of the gilded coffered ceiling:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-168.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-168.jpg)

Battistero di San Giovanni:

View from the campanile. Portion of the Duomo is seen on the right. The Baptistry is centered on axis with the nave of the church, to the west of the church.:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-158.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-158.jpg)

Detail of entrance:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-163.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-163.jpg)

Torre pendente di Pisa campanile
The leaning tower of “pizza”:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-170.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-170.jpg)

Bell at top of the campanile:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-165.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-165.jpg)

The Duomo (foreground) and Baptistery beyond. The alignment of the cathedral and baptistery is evident here:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-164.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-164.jpg)

View of Pisa and the hills of Tuscany beyond:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-162.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-162.jpg)

Camposanto Monumentale monumental cemetery.
Detail of one of two entrances with tabernacle above. The tabernacle includes sculptures of Mary with child and four saints crafted by a follower of Giovanni Pisano:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/th_1820820-R02-160.jpg (http://s963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/Europe%201988%20digital%20conversion%20from%20slid es/?action=view&current=1820820-R02-160.jpg)

Emil Miller
01-03-2012, 03:30 PM
Roughly half of my photos were shot using slide film. I recently had the slides converted to digital. It is funny when I think back after returning, many people gave me a hard time for taking slide images. “Why shoot slide film instead of prints?, now you must go through the trouble of setting up a projector and screen to enjoy them, which was true at the time. Twenty three years later, the Photoshop staff informed me of the superior quality of digital conversion from slides versus prints.


Nice shots of Pisa Gilliatt. A while ago, I was looking at some slides taken by some friends during the 1970s and the most noticeable thing about them was the colour saturation that simply couldn't be obtained from prints.
Similarly, someone I know took some colour slides of Venice and although he wasn't particularly interested in photography, they were among the best pictures of the city that I have ever seen.

Gilliatt Gurgle
03-27-2012, 09:19 PM
.

I have to tip my hat to Google for recognizing yet another notable birthday in the world of art and architecture. Today the homepage honors Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's birthday (March 27th on the 23rd Google recognized Juan Gris' b-day)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Mies_van_der_Rohe


A few pics of Mies' "Barcelona Pavilion":



http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/BP01.jpg


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/BP02.jpg


The Barcelona Chair design by Mies van der Rohe and Lily Reich exclusively for the Pavilion project:


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/BP03.jpg


George Kolbes's sculpture; "Albe" at the Pavilion


http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/Europe%201988%20through%20a%20Pentax%20ME%20Super/BP04.jpg

.

RicMisc
03-28-2012, 05:46 PM
I have a huge interest in architecture and I have seen so many amazing buildings throughout Europe. I have been to Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. It is particularly funny to see the difference between the Northern European buildings and Southern European buildings. I like the Renaissance and Baroque architecture that's found in Italy most of all because of the amazing extravagant buildings that dominate the larger Italian cities. And the medieval Italian villages are the most picturesque things I've ever seen.

I personally live in Flevoland, a province in The Netherlands. This province is man-made and dates back to the mid-70's. The city I live in is The Netherlands' fifth city and became a municipality in 1986, so it's a VERY young city. The city-centre is quite famous (mostly among Japanase people) for its modern architecture. Almere has been able to incorporate some really handy things in the city due to its young age.

We for example have seperate buslanes, as in actually seperated from any other traffic, and on conjunctions where normal roads and buslanes come together there are traffic lights which will always favour the busses. This makes public transport through Almere very comfortable and quick. Another very cool thing about Almere are the bikelanes (since Dutch people love, love LOVE to cycle everywhere), these are again seperated from any other traffic to ensure the safety of cyclists. Describing it correctly is quite hard but if you want to know more just ask and I could even make some pictures so you can have a look for yourself.

Anyway, growing up in this evergrowing modern city has really awakened my interest in architecture. And since we always want what we don't have I have a preference for, as I said, Italian architecture and specifically catholic churches. Since The Netherlands have been mostly protestant for the last couple of centuries there are hardly any beautiful catholic churches here (except for a couple in the south but these cannot be compared to the Italian churches).