Tag Archives | Architecture

One of America’s Most Famous Architects Was a Nazi Propagandist

Philip Johnson.2002.FILARDOThat would be Philip Johnson, who once said “[t]he people with money to build today are corporations – they are our popes and Medicis.” Matt Novak details Johnson’s fascist beliefs, his Nazi sympathizing and hatred for Jews, whom he described as “a different breed of humanity, flitting about like locusts,” at Gizmodo:

American architect Philip Johnson designed some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century. Johnson, who died in 2005, has long been hailed as one of the greats. But there’s one fact about the man that many people in the architecture community don’t like to talk about: Johnson was a fascist who openly supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazis for nearly a decade.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair opening, so special attention is being paid to one of Johnson’s most beloved buildings: the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Way People Think And Act Is Affected By Ceiling Height

ceilingIs your mental range of possibility being stifled by the ceiling above you? From a little while ago, via ScienceDaily:

Recent research by Joan Meyers-Levy, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, suggests that the way people think and act is affected by ceiling height.

“When a person is in a space with a 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly,” said Meyers-Levy. “They might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics.”

The research demonstrates that a higher versus a lower ceiling can stimulate the concepts of freedom versus confinement, respectively. This causes people to engage in either more free-form, abstract thinking or more detail-specific thought. Depending on what the task at hand requires, the consequences of the ceiling could be positive or negative.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Facebook Building Walled Corporate City For Employees

Via Valleywag, Silicon Valley workers will have the opportunity to disappear inside Facebook, for good:

If Facebook staffers opt to move in to work, they’ll be getting a very sweet deal out of it: the Anton Menlo project includes all the comforts of suburbia and college combined. What 20-something engineer wouldn’t want to live in a walled compound?

Work is only five minutes away—and thanks to mediocre or non-existent public transit options, no one from The Outside will be able to easily visit. It’ll be like you never existed on Earth before joining Facebook.

To really finesse that You’ve-been-removed-from-the rest of society vibe, a six-foot wall surrounds most of the project.

facebook

Read the rest

Continue Reading

NSA Chief’s “Information Dominance Center” Designed To Look Like Star Trek

ifWe are officially living in someone else’s fantasy. The Verge writes:

Foreign Policy describes NSA head Keith Alexander’s data-processing “Information Dominance Center” in Virginia as a high-tech homage to Star Trek.

Alexander reportedly had his operations center redesigned to mimic the Enterprise bridge, “complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed.”

“The Center’s primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies,” says a paper by designers DBI Architects. “The futuristic Commander’s console gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship.”

The officials and lawmakers who were apparently treated to presentations at the center, however, seemed duly impressed. “Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,” says an officer who helped coordinate the visits.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

London Skyscraper Melts Car

20_Fenchurch_street,_April_2013In a story straight from a 20th Century comic, sun rays reflecting off the curved glass of a London skyscraper nicknamed the Walkie Talkie building have melted a parked car. From BBC News:

A new London skyscraper dubbed the “Walkie-Talkie” has been blamed for reflecting light which melted parts of a car parked on a nearby street.

Martin Lindsay parked his Jaguar on Eastcheap, in the City of London, on Thursday afternoon.

When he returned about two hours later, he found parts of his car – including the wing mirror and badge – had melted.

Mr Lindsay said he “could not believe” the damage. The developers have apologised and paid for repairs.

The 37-storey skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, which has been nicknamed the “Walkie-Talkie” because of its shape, is currently under construction.

‘Dangerous’
Mr Lindsay, director of tiling company Moderna Contracts Ltd, said: “I was walking down the road and saw a photographer taking photos and asked, ‘what’s happening?’

“The photographer asked me ‘have you seen that car?

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Ideal Mental Hospital Designed Using LSD

Kiyoshi IzumiVia Motherboard, Brian Anderson explains how groundbreaking architect Kiyoshi Izumi employed LSD trips in order to create a more humane psyche ward:

Kiyoshi Izumi was part of a small, federally-granted team of visionaries tasked with developing a province-wide psychiatric hospital overhaul that addressed the affects that clinical environments had on patients. The trick? Get inside the heads of the mentally ill.

The success of the Saskatchewan Plan hinged on mimicking the psychomimetic experience. He’d have to conjure up not only hallucinations but also delusions and perceptual distortions distinct to psychoses. He’d have to eat acid.

It was a bold move. The insights he gleaned from levelling with patients and their surroundings, if we’re to take his word for it, found Izumi envisioning what’s gone on to be called “the ideal mental hospital”, the first of which was raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, in 1965.

To the untrained eye, Izumi’s final building likely appeared decidedly non psychedelic.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

MAGNASANTI: The Totalitarian Buddhist Utopia

Behold: The Totalitarian Buddhist civilization MAGNASANTI!

We all saw what a “hellish nightmare” the future could be in Civilization II, what with all the constant war and nuclear holocaust. Well, if that world wasn’t your cup of tea, here’s the perfect world you’ve been waiting for: MAGNASANTI. Constructed in Sim City 3000, MAGNASANTI is “The Final City” built entirely on the basis of perfect equilibrium, using the “Flower of Life” (Metatron’s Cube) for the foundation, MAGNASANTI is as much of a work of art as it is a disturbing glimpse into the future of urban planning.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Architectural-Utopia Desert Commune Of Arcosanti

arcosantiVisionary architect Paolo Soleri died in April at 93. His landmark work is the domed utopian village Arcosanti in Arizona, a communal, hippie-futurist “human laboratory” created in 1970, where hundreds of people still live with the purpose of developing new ways of physically organizing human life. ArchDaily writes:

Paolo Soleri spent a lifetime investigating how architecture, specifically the architecture of the city, could support the countless possibilities of human aspiration. The urban project he founded, Arcosanti, 65 miles north of Phoenix, was described by NEWSWEEK magazine as “the most important urban experiment undertaken in our lifetimes.”

Continue Reading

Robot Discovers Unknown Passageways Below The Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl

quetzalcoatl

The hidden chambers could contain the corpses of the ancient civilization’s rulers, about whom very little is known. Via the Daily Mail:

A tiny robot has made a momentous archaeological discovery deep under the famous Temple of Quetzalcoatl, it was announced on Monday. The robot has spent months exploring the tunnels under the celebrated temple, which lies about 37 miles north of Mexico City. The temple is best known for the towering Pyramids of the Moon and the Sun.

Experts expected to find just one ancient chamber at the end of a stretch of 2,000-year-old unexplored tunnel at the Teotihuacan site. Instead, the remote-controlled vehicle has beamed back images of three mysterious caverns.

The complex of pyramids, plazas, temples and avenues was once the center of a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants and may have been the largest and most influential city in pre-Hispanic North America at the time. But nearly 2,500 years after the city was founded, very little is known about the identity of its rulers.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Kansas City Police Uncover A Subterranean Suburb Inhabited By Homeless

subterranean suburb homeless campIn the coming years, expect living in the tunnel cities with the outlaws, rejects, and copper bandits to become an increasingly popular lifestyle option. From Kansas City’s KMBC:

Kansas City police uncovered an underground suburb used by the homeless on the city’s northeast side. KMBC’s Haley Harrison reported that a homeless outreach group said it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The subterranean refuge has caves and tunnels.

Police were evicting the homeless because of the squalid conditions. “We’re working to find out if in fact they’ve got kids down here because this is not a safe environment for that,” Cooley said.

Cooley told Harrison that he first went to the area because of a rash of crime. Police said copper thieves have repeatedly struck a nearby grain mill, most recently swiping a valuable piece of equipment and now millions of dollars worth of grain is in danger of going bad.

Read the rest

Continue Reading