Daily Showcase of Pretty Buildings & Architecture
Norwegian Storehouse - Norway
architect - Vernacular (Vernacular refers to buildings whose design is determined by an informal local tradition, rather than by a particular designer.)
dates - 1200 to 1900
style - Scandinavian Vernacular
notes - A timeless vernacular timber building type
"Right up to the present, building in timber has played the main role in dwellings, not only in Norway but in Northern Scandinavia as a whole, Finland, Russia, the Balkans and Poland. This corresponds to a continuous belt of coniferous wood running further north than 55 degrees Lat., within which timber houses have proved themselves to be the type of dwelling best fitted to the climate and surroundings. Two farms, Tofte in Dovre and Bj�lstad in Heidal—both in Gudbrandsdalen—spring to mind. In Norwegian folk tales both are referred to as 'the kings' palaces.' In the nordic manner, they consist of numerous buildings, dwelling houses, 'lofts' and outhouses, most of which date from the latter half of the 18th century and belong to the double courtyard type ..."
—Guthorm Kavli. Norwegian Architecture, Past and Present. p78-9.
Erectheion - Athens, Greece
architect - Mnesicles
dates - -421 to -405
style - Ancient Greek, Ionic
notes - has Caryatid Porch with figural columns. On the Acropolis. uses grade change.
"The most exceptional Ionic building on the Acropolis is the enigmatic Erechtheum, to the north of the Parthenon. Built about 420 B.C., the temple was regarded with special veneration. Its site was particularly sacred, for it included the tomb of Cecrops, the legendary founder of Athens, the rock that preserved the mark of Poseidon's trident, and the spring that arose from it. In a walled area just to the west of the temple stood the sacred olive tree of Athena. The building's complexity of plans and levels can be partly understood from this complicated archaeology, as well as from its having housed not only a shrine to Athena Polias, but also altars to Poseidon, god of the sea; Hephaestus, god of fire; Erechtheus, a mythical king of Athens, who had battled unsuccessfully with the sea god; and Butes, brother of Erechtheus and priest to Athena and Poseidon. Moreover, spoils from the Persians were kept in the temple, as well as the famous golden lamp of Callimachus, which burnt for a year without refilling and had a chimney in the form of a palm tree."
— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p94.
Located on the right side of the entrance to the Acropolis.
okay kids, as an aside, you may wonder why a community for achitecture and those who love it would be so strict about letting people join - everyone should love architecture, right? well no, nazis shouldn't. i was browsing down the list of all the people who wanted to join (2) and i like to look at their journals... you know, just to get a flavor of who is looking at achitecture. well, one journal belonged to some neo nazi. suffice to say, they were denied membership. scary stuff. i guess they like achitecture too. okay, on to the good stuff.Habitat '67 - Montreal, Canada( open space in among the modulesCollapse )
achitect - Moshe Safdie
dates - 1967
style - Modern
notes - Cubical family of forms composition. Hill town look, built with expensive modular forms.
"Safdie's dwelling complex 'Habitat' was designed to give 'privacy, fresh air, sunlight and suburban amenities in an urban location.' It was designed as a permanent settlement and consists of 158 dwellings, although originally it was intended to provide 1,000 units. The resulting ziggurat was made up of independent prefabricated boxes with fifteen different plan types."
—Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p281.( more on this astounding structureCollapse )
Dome of the Rock - Jerusalem, Israel( exterior mosaicCollapse )
architect - unknown
dates - 684
style - Early Islamic
notes - earliest Islamic monument, begun 684. octagonal plan.
"A compact, exterior octagon enclosing a domed cylindrical core, the Dome of the Rock in its geometry and in its parts—octagonal format, vaulting, columns, piers, arches, ambulatories, rich mosaic decoration, and fenestrated dome of gilded wood, rebuilt in the eleventh century—represented the Muslims' acquisition of a near-complete Romano-Byzantine architectural program..."
"...the Dome of the Rock is an atypical Islamic religious structure. The more characteristic Near Eastern mosque—an early example being the Umayyad Great Mosque built within and incorporating the ruins of the walls of a Roman temple precinct in the capital city of Damascus—was developed to function, as had the Roman basilica, as a large assembly place."
— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p216.
In the old city, above the Wailing Wall.
Academic Bookshop - Helsinki, Finland
architect - Alvar Aalto
dates - 1962 to 1969
style - Modern
notes - subtle facade modulation, sculptural roof lights.
"Externally the building is a relatively straightforward copper-clad curtain wall. The brighter character of the Pohjois-Esplanadi is recognised by lining the window frames with strips of white marble. The two entrances off either street converge under an array of light fittings, from which leads the three-storey space of the bookshop tucked in behind other buildings. Three crystalline rooflights bring light into this volume, and indeed appear to have embedded themselves in the roof. The vertically striped balustrades of white marble seem to attenuate the height of the space and dominate the colourful display of books."
—David Dunster, ed. Architectural Monographs 4: Alvar Aalto. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984. p63.
Hearst Castle - San Simeon, California
architect - Julia Morgan
dates - 1922 to 1939
style - Historicist Romantic
notes - "Hearst Castle" for the publishing magnate. By the California coast near San Luis Obispo.( more images hereCollapse )
Built on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean two hundred miles south of San Francisco, San Simeon, the villa estate of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, was designed and built over a period of 20 years.
The Main Building was placed on the highest part of the site with two towers, modeled after towers in Ronda, Spain, flanking a gabled projection with a central entrance. Lower on the slope, large 'cottages', terraces, pools and gardens make a hilltown-like complex.
The buildings are poured in place reinforced concrete with tile roofs, fireproof and braced for seismic forces. Craftsmen, carpenters, plasterers, stone casters, tile layers and skilled wood-carvers added the stylistic ornament, which made settings for numerous art objects, collected by Hearst in travels abroad. The eclectic whole is basically southern Spanish Renaissance in style with Gothic influences integrated.
The interiors similarly incorporate works of art with crafts interiors of plaster, tile, cast stone and wood carving. Gardens, pools and terraces, are articulated by colonnades, pergolas and carefully positioned art as well, including a Greco-Roman temple facade and a wellhead from Verona.— JY( many more detailsCollapse )
Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris, France
architect - Maurice de Sully
dates - 1163 to 1250
style - Early Gothic
"Notre-Dame (is) probably the most famous image in French Gothic art. The Paris facade (1200-50) seems locked into a severe pattern, with restrained formal shifts and restricted movement in depth. Rather than generating strong vertical energy, the portals, windows, and tracery gallery of its main block are gathered into a square, subdivided by a few strong vertical and horizontal elements into a gridlike pattern with the rose window at the center. The monumental strength of the façade is unforgettable, but its progressiveness is less than obvious. Yet, it is present in the intellectual rigor, concentrated sculptural density, and subtle progression of weight and texture from the lower to the upper parts."
—Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p242. ( more detailsCollapse )
Hysolar Research Building - Stuttgart, Germany( alternate viewCollapse )
architect - Gunter Behnisch
dates - 1986 to 1987
style - High-Tech Modern
notes - at Stuttgart Technical University. purposefully chaotic, improvisational, anti-orthogonal arrangement.
Austrian Cultural Forum Tower - New York, NY
architect - Atelier Raimund Abraham
Twenty-five feet wide and 81 feet deep, glazed with dramatic glass panels, the 24-story tower soars upward 280 feet, occupying the full width of its footprint from street level to pinnacle.
The narrow skyscraper is the new venue for presentation of contemporary Austrian arts and Austrian-American collaboration in many disciplines: music, visual arts, architecture and design, digital and Web projects, literature, film and video.
Abraham divided the building into three vertical parts; "the Mask", "the Vertebra" and "the Core". The most visible segment, "the Mask", is the facade of teal-colored glass that tapers upwards to comply with zoning laws. The diagonal steel braces are visible behind the glass skin. A protruding box-like volume, containing the director's office, cantilevers over the space housing the institute's glass enclosed Library.
Next comes "the Core" that contain the main structural elements and enclosed spaces and, to the rear of the building, "the Vertebrae", the metal-sheathed double fire stairwell that lines the back of the building.( more pictures, more infoCollapse )
Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey( up close and personalCollapse )
architect - Isidoros and Anthemios
dates - 532 to 537
style - Byzantine
notes - A tremendous domed space.
"If there is one work that realizes the 'ideal' Byzantine model, it is the astonishing church of Hagia Sophia built as the new Cathedral of Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian...He intended it as the keystone of his vast architectural campaign...
"Hagia Sophia was built in the amazingly short time of five years...The daring of the design, and perhaps the speed of the construction, made the structure unstable. Its first dome fell after an earthquake, and its replacement (in 563, with a higher profile than the original) had to be repaired after partial collapses in the ninth and fourteenth centuries."
— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p171.
"The choice of plan was...decided and imposed by Justinian himself. Santa Sophia does not have the basilical plan generally adopted for large buildings, but is on the centralized pattern....
"The architectural form of Santa Sophia is concealed by the richness of decoration. The walls, from the ground up, are covered in identical manner. Plaques of red, yellow and green marble blend with the mosaics, and these are further embellished by the capitals, imposts, architraves and friezes."
— Mitchell Beazley. The World Atlas of Architecture. p180.
The church was built 532 to 537 and the dome replaced in 563 after an earthquake.