Luxurious details and faux finishes that allude to a grander image do not hold up to the true material expression, whether it be organic elements taken straight from nature or even unfinished, manufactured building materials like plywood. Not to get all philosophical or however you may characterize this statement, but to me honest design and material expression displays a sense of confidence that I don’t often see in designs that view materials as ornament rather than as tools whose properties can aid in informing the final form.
An ingenious detail.
Boat’s House at Millstätter Lake by MHM Architects [for article & more images]
i mean, technically it’s attached to a building, so it’s tangentially architecture? right?
well, maybe i just have too broad an idea of what constitutes architecture, as i’ve included pictures of clouds and lizards on this site. but i’m a college drop-out, so what do you expect? an erudite and reasoned consideration of exceptional buildings? or pictures of lizards and graffiti? how about an erudite and reasoned consideration of lizards and graffiti? and buildings, too, on occasion.
i also have a really hard time spelling words with double consonants. like: ‘occasion’. is that right? it looks like it should have 2 ‘s’s’.
so: graffiti. you have to admit, this graffiti is pretty remarkable. and it defines and establishes the space, far more than the building upon which it’s been painted. the building itself is kind of egregiously unremarkable. it’s only the graffiti that distinguishes the building from the few million other generic buildings in l.a.
i especially like the scary blue baby doll playing bongos. and the scary clown.
Architecture, as well as graffiti, ‘defines and establishes’ space. Though the buildings themselves leave much to be desired architecturally speaking, I believe the graffiti that adorns them does a much better job at establishing a sense of place because it is participatory. It is more of a direct reflection of the community because it’s created by the community, rather than an artistic interpretation of its essence and functional needs created (more often than not) by someone from the outside.
Good design that facilitates community involvement in the evolution of a building/space - by creating spaces and surfaces for public art, planning of walkways by following the beaten pathways that show the natural circulation through a space, flexible universal spaces to suit many needs and functions, or what have you - is what architecture should and has the capability to be.
ok, so there’s an architectural style from the early/mid 20th century that is either called ‘moderne’ or ‘streamline moderne’ or ‘houses that look kind of like grounded ocean liners’.
and l.a has a lot of these ‘streamline moderne houses that look vaguely like ocean liners from 1930’. not enough, as they’re pretty great, but still: a lot, comparitively speaking.
and this one is arguably the prettiest of the bunch.
because it also sort of looks like a corbusier inspired french/parisian house from 1930, but with palm trees sitting in the background (and uninspiring beige houses on either side of it).
also, i’m advertising my ignorance here: i know nothing about this house. i don’t know who designed or built it. nor do i know when it was designed or built. but it’s beautiful. and it looks like like a grounded and amazing ocean liner. albeit a modest/small grounded and amazing ocean liner.
it does sometimes make me sad that when people/developers put up new buildings they rarely seem to aspire to put up beautiful and interesting buildings, but rather throw up (apt choice of words) a handful of generic beige vaguely missionary houses.
i apologize for editorializing, but the world doesn’t really need any more generic beige houses. but the world would benefit from having more houses that look like grounded, futuristic, art deco ocean liners. like this one.
there, i’ve editorialized.
dear developers: please make more houses like this. and fewer generic, beige houses. if possible.
oh, ps. here’s the wikipedia page on ‘streamlined moderne’. oh, and i’m not sure why they tacked the extra ‘e’ on the end of ‘modern’. but it makes it almost impossible to say out loud and not sound really pompous. try it, say ‘moderne’ out loud. see, it’s pretty awkward, huh. like you need a cigarette in a 10” long cigarette holder and noel coward playing in the background.
Architects have received this memo about generic beige houses. Unfortunately they are often not the ones in control of making these projects happen. :/
Security made beautiful. Upon seeing this, I immediately thought of the potential of a storefront on a dense city street utilizing a gate like this as an alternative to a generic garage style door. A security gate like this can add another layer to the facade (in regards to the design and, well, literally). Perforated metal comes in an infinite number of forms, so even when closed up and abandoned for the night a storefront can be visually lively. To go one step further, the gate can serve as a shading device when propped open. If the wall of glazing shown here wasn’t protected by an overhang, the gate could protect the interior space from harsh direct sunlight by filtering it through the perforated metal screen panels.
One downside I see right off the bat, however, is the lack of protection against graffiti and tagging as is seen on nearly every storefront security gate in a city.
I wrote this way back in August and lo and behold - I happen upon Andre Kikoski Architect’s Wyckoff Exchange in Brooklyn. (I guess I was onto something!) BIG fan of the corten steel used in their design. The oxidation process of the facade lends yet another layer to the life of the design.
Doors as delineators of spaces have greater design potential beyond their traditional role as objects that define this room versus that room, indoors versus outdoors, your space versus my space. (Ha, Myspace. Millennials will get it! But I digress.) Using materials that continue from the fixed wall to the door - in a sense almost disguising it, designing an entire plane to be a movable element (like the swiveling glass door above), using a screen to denote a transition between spaces while maintaining visual permeability; these are all ways of using a three-dimensional object to create a fourth dimensional element to a design, an experience that evokes or enhances the particular feeling for the space on the other side.
Think about the use of a single material from wall to door like the wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia. (Stay with me here! I swear this comparison makes sense.) The visual downplaying of a door can evoke the sense that whatever is on the other side is mysterious, forbidden, (magical?), and only for those in the know. This can be especially powerful in dense urban settings where there’s simply not enough space to create a large physical barrier between the public and private realm, or for minimizing visual clutter in small spaces - apartments or a commercial office, for example – where visual and aural barriers may be desired.
“Architects are able to draw both conclusions and rectangles.”
Theoretical renovation of the Holmberg household || Angela Holmberg
Converting the largely unused sun room & extra bedrooms into a studio apartment
Process sketches, Fall 2011
To do: finish this design
Red Pyramid - Dahshur, Egypt - Winter 2009
Photo by Angela Holmberg