Tag Archives | Architecture
Gawker says what we’re all thinking (aside from the architects perhaps):
“AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!” was probably not the reaction that Seoul-based Yongsan Dream Hub corporation had in mind when they unveiled their plans today for an ambitious new construction project: Two high-rises connected by a “pixelated cloud” structure that, tragically, calls to mind the kinds of images you don’t really want to call to mind when looking at a new set of twin towers…
Full story at Gawker.
Inhabitat takes a tour of Europe’s historic churches built out of bones, including Poland’s Czermna Chapel below. Why was this a recurring trend? Either because clergy and architects imagined that vast, towering walls comprised of human remains would put people in the right humble mindset, or they simply were short on building materials yet had loads of human skulls handy.
Bodies from victims of the Thirty Years’ War and the Silesian Wars adorn the Czermna Chapel in Poland. Built in 1176 by a local priest, bones surround visitors on the walls, and stretching in skull and crossbones over the ceiling- only they are real bones and not pirate décor. Builders of the chapel are especially honored- their skills can be found in the center of the chapel and placed on the altar.
For years, it has been reported that standard homesizes (with the US being the glaring exception) are shrinking. How small is too small? And what is the relationship between liveable space, architecture, community, and sustainability? In this article from the Independent, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) “slams” the (non) architectural standards of suburban house building.
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Architects have criticised the “shameful shoe-box homes” being built in Britain today, saying many are too small for family life. Research by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) found the floor area of the average new three-bedroom home in the UK is 88 sq m, some 8 sq m short of the recommended space.
One-bedroom properties, at an average of 46 sq m, are 4 sq m smaller than the recommended size, the Case For Space study found. This is the equivalent of a single bed, a bedside table and a dressing table with a stool, the report said.
Normally architects organize space to make the experience as efficient as possible. At IKEA though, however, the (almost 'urban') designers deliberately set out to confuse people. See this phenomenon analyzed [with] various (heat)maps, 3D reconstructions and other illustrations, in a talk (the IKEA case in starts at the 24:30 mark), by Alan Penn (University College London). The presentation focuses on how architects use space to sell things, by demonstrating how space creates patterns of movement, bringing people into contact with goods. It starts off with how spatial quality influences spatial behavior, which is then applied on urban environments, retail and shopping spaces in general.
Architecture and design made specifically to control and easily subdue populations is nothing new; architects and urban planners have long recognised the inherent ability of design to affect mood, temperament, and even the physical and social properties of people. Prison design is one such exercise that directly engages the dialogue between space and social control. Via Web Urbanist :
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Should architecture be used as a punishment in itself, made as harsh and cruel as possible in a bid to make inmates sorry for what they’ve done, or should it uplift and rehabilitate them, showing them that there’s more to the world than a life of crime?
While some architects boycott prison design altogether so as not to participate in what is often seen as a corrupt and immoral system, others produce (often controversial) designs that revolutionize prisoners’ relationships with their environment, each other and the world at large – for better or worse.
The landscape of our post-recession country is littered with the carcasses of abandoned malls — fallen, ghostly temples of twentieth-century consumerism and suburbia. In an interesting two-year-old piece, Design Observer wonders what to do with them. Utopian schemes from wild-eyed planners abound:
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Dead malls, according to Deadmalls.com, are malls whose vacancy rate has reached the tipping point; whose consumer traffic is alarmingly low; are “dated or deteriorating”; or all of the above. A May 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal, “Recession Turns Malls into Ghost Towns,” predicts that the dead-mall bodycount “will swell to more than 100 by the end of this year.” Dead malls are a sign of the times, victims of the economic plague years.
The multitiered, fully enclosed mall (as opposed to the strip mall) has been the Vatican of shiny, happy consumerism since it staked its claim on the crabgrass frontier — and the public mind — in postwar America.
WikiHouse is an open source construction set from London architectural firm 00:/. Design a home, “print it out” with a CNC cutter, and assemble, without needing any training or power tools, even. TreeHugger explains:
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Four years ago, I wrote:
Imagine ordering a custom house, connecting lightweight, manageable pieces without a crane, living in a house where the framing is furniture quality and you don’t even want to cover it with drywall. This is truly the future.
That future gets closer every day, and the future will be open sourced with WikiHouse.
You download the plans and cut them out on a CNC router, then bolt them together into a frame, which are set at 2 feet on centre. when you bolt on the exterior panels you have a rigid structure.
Anyone will be able to simply go into Google Sketchup, combine and adapt components, then hit “Make this house” and send instructions to the CNC router.
Many myths of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built include help from extraterrestrial visitors, elaborate ramps and crane machines. Still is remains a mystery. French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin has used a 3D modeling software to explain his theory that suggests “that a ramp was indeed used to raise the blocks to the top, and that the ramp still exists—inside the pyramid!” Bob Brier writes in Archeology:
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Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, only the Great Pyramid of Giza remains. An estimated 2 million stone blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tons went into its construction. When completed, the 481-foot-tall pyramid was the world’s tallest structure, a record it held for more than 3,800 years, when England’s Lincoln Cathedral surpassed it by a mere 44 feet.
We know who built the Great Pyramid: the pharaoh Khufu, who ruled Egypt about 2547-2524 B.C. And we know who supervised its construction: Khufu’s brother, Hemienu.