Saturday, 25 June 2022

8x8

morning chorus: a suspended hotel suite in Sรกpmi cladded with three-hundred fifty birdhouses 

meanwhile margaret atwood says hold my beer: teach and student, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, spar over which dystopian vision is more plausible  

don’t say g*y: Disney introduces its first openly closeted cast of characters  

makeup and monobrow: a quick survey of the female eyebrow in art 

border and backsplash: the mosaic tile museum of Gifu—over ten-thousands exemplars, many rescued from buildings slated for demolition 

i had hoped that god would work one of his signature miracles and spare me from is also signature “horrible pain in childbirth” curse: the Virgin Mary reclaims her nativity narrative  

stonk-and-go: the US Securities and Exchange Commission weighs sweeping change to curtail meme-driven trades  

a doghouse for eddie: charmingly, Frank Lloyd Wright (previously) builds a home for a canine and his human companion

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

5x5

amelia bedelia: reading suggestions for adults informed by one’s favourite children’s literature  

the suwaล‚ki gap: Lithuania blocks some supply trains that transit its territory to the Russian exclave Kaliningrad  

mall rats: a huge collection of 1990s consumer aesthetics 

fluxburgh: a selection of offerings gamifying architecture  

children’s television workshop: a lost, pulled episode of Sesame Street with the neighbourhood terrorised by Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West—via Super Punch

Saturday, 4 June 2022

7x7

2slgbtqia+: a calendar of Native American and First Nations’ Pride events—the 2S is for “Two-Spirits”  

about the damn end: DJ Cummerbund (previously) mixes Lizzo and Linkin Park—via Waxy  

sacred modernity: McGregor Smith explores Europe’s superlative post-war churches—via Things magazine

why ernest saves christmas: wholly machine-generated articles on any number of topics—the logorrhoea of infinite neural networks producing infinite copy, via Web Curios  

signature sound: a 1957 musical horoscope album (see also here and here) orchestrated by Hal Mooney  

the endangered california bumbletrout: court declares bees are fish to afford them better defence under the state’s species protection act  

night of a thousand judys: a tribute concert for charity on what would have been Garland’s one-hundredth birthday

Friday, 3 June 2022

bergpark wilhelmshรถhe

H and I had visited the sprawling landscaped park outside of Kassel some time ago but neglected to blog about it here, so we were happy to have the occasion to revisit and share impressions of the Baroque giardino all’italiana built for Landgraf Karl I von Hessen beginning in 1696 on the anniversary of the presentation of the water elements (Wasserspiele) by Giovanni Francisco Guerniero in 1714, switching on the cascades and waterfalls for the first time. The landgrave had met the architect in Rome whilst on a Grand Tour and engaged him to realise his grand plans for the largest garden on the continent, and though making a solid first impression which delighted his patron, Guerniero fled back to Italy once it became clear that planning errors and cost-overruns meant that the project could not be finished. Atop a pyramid, atop on octagon, is a copper statue of Hercules, surveying the watercourse. Successive occupants of the palace expanded and contributed to the character of the park over the years, adopting new styles and eventually veering away from the French formal style to more of an English garden and it was finally completed after a century and a half of construction. Open to the public, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

Monday, 30 May 2022

let us discard all these things and unite as one people

Dedicated on this day (the then fixed date for the Memorial Day federal holiday, also known as Decoration Day) in 1922 at the western terminus of the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Beaux-Arts neoclassical temple by architect Henry Bacon and featuring colossal marble statue of the United States sixteenth president by Daniel Chester French and executed by the Piccirilli family, the Lincoln Memorial has always been a draw to visitors and since its early days throughout the past century has been a symbolic focus for race relations and social justice in America. Planning begun in 1910 to erect a suitable monument to the individual whose administration and sacrifice helped preserve the union and ended chattel slavery as a government sanctioned institution and many felt that the Doric temple was too ostentatious for an individual of humble character and championed a log cabin shrine though Paris’ proposal ultimately passed. Chief Justice William Howard Taft (who had been appointed president of the memorial’s planning commission during his term as president of the United States), president Warren G Harding and Robert Todd Lincoln, the statesman’s eldest son, officially opened the venue with a delegation of prominent Black politicians of the day, including Mississippi congressional representative Perry Howard, journalist and editor Emmett Jay Scott and real estate businessman Whitefield McKinlay, invited—only to discover that they were cordoned off in a segregated section guarded by a contingent of marines. Its reputation as a sacred and aspirational place has since been established, with one of the first instances being Eleanor Roosevelt offering the venue in 1939 to contralto Marian Anderson when the Daughters of the American Revolution refused her to perform to an integrated audience at Constitution Hall.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

land of fire and ice

Architect Arnhildur Palmadottรญr revealed a monumental lavaforming proposal that would harness and redirect volcanic eruptions in order to create durable and sustainable buildings and pavements. While there are scaling and technical hurdles—plus ensuring that these controlled eruptions don’t release more carbon into the atmosphere than they save and sequester, this radical reassessment of geothermal potential as something bold and innovative, engineering a closed system, like a reverse Dyson Sphere.

Friday, 6 May 2022

blitzcrete

Via the always intriguing Things Magazine, we quite enjoyed this introduction to the architectural vernacular of John Outram with news of his long overdue revival. Active since 1974 and producing a series of polychromatic public spaces that reference the temples of Antiquity. Commissions include the Pumping Station on the Isle of Dogs, projects for Cambridge and Rice University in Houston, Texas, the refurbished Old Town Hall of the Hague plus an unrealised shopping promenade for Battersea Power Station.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

8x8

saved: Diane Keaton’s coffee table book of quirky photography  

broadacre city: Frank Lloyd Wright’s experimental community of the future—via Nag on the Lake  

23 skidoo: enhanced footage of flappers from 1929 

senator palpatine needs to flip just five seats to take back power: a fund-raising solicitation from the galactic majority leader (previously)

spelunking: surveyors discover the largest cave system in North America 

 they’ve got an awful lot of coffee in brazil: the novelty song as performed by Frank Sinatra  

homage to the squares: a rhythmic revisiting of the art of Josef Albers via Pasa Bon!  

vacansopapurosophobia: an assortment of very cromulent vocabulary

Sunday, 1 May 2022

7x7

chairportrait: thirty iconic designer styles of seating depicted minimally by Federico Babina  

der pate technos: a celebration of the career and legacy of Klaus Schulze (RIP)  

recursive: vending machine gachapon—see previously  

the wretched, bloody and usurping boar: architecture and monumental authoritarianism in places like the Battersea Power Station—via Things Magazine with more on the property 

reverspective: the illusory paintings of Patrick Hughes   

eye-chart: JWST is now fully-focussed and calibrated and primed for new discoveries (previously)  

lookbook: a collection of sculptural furnishings that match their residence

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

kodak moment

Whilst preparing for renovations, the new owners of an ensemble of buildings on the Eastman-Kodak Business Park campus in Rochester, New York have uncovered a brilliant mosaic hidden behind the drywall of a conference room in an R&D building out of sight for decades. Absent any living memory of the installation to consult, architects and employees of the film company are realising that the hand-hewn tile decoration is an homage to photography with references to exposure and developing. The new tenants will showcase this work in their own research hub.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

bridgehead and bastion

Taking another stroll around the neighborhood during my lunch break (see previously) and with the subterranean pedestrian passage reopened I explored the Reduit—the redoubt that originally hosted the soldiers’ barracks of the fortress of Mainz across the River Rhein—the connected to rest of the Palatinate via a pontoon bridge of ships lashed together at the time of completion in 1834 when the garrison hosted troops of the German Confederation which included forces of Austria and Prussia

 The semi-detached caponier, separated by the inner courtyard, is a defensive feature to extend the protection of the fort’s curtain to outbuildings and beyond—and is derived from the French term caponniรจre for chicken coup. 

Damaged during World War II and not fully restored, today it is the seat of several local clubs and organisations and an open-air venue. The connecting tunnel is reserved as the Brรผckenkopf Kastel Graffiti Hall of Fame and features more gigantic street art murals.

Monday, 4 April 2022

substation

Via our fellow internet peripatetic, we learn that there are police boxes (obviously dimensionally transcend chariots with functional chameleon drives) distributed throughout Japan called kลban (ไบค็•ช). Diverse in styles and suited to match the architecture of their surroundings, these small structures are staffed by uniformed officers and act as a base for community policing activities, supplementing the work of main stations. Aside from emergency services, kลban also provide directions, concierge referrals and act as a lost and found.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

8x8

catwalk: the home of architect of Vittorio Garatti in Milan—via Messy Nessy Chic  

inktrap: a Japanese typeface design book from 1957—via Present /&/ Correct  

operation danube: the Soviet invasion of Prague (see previously) in pictures—via Everlasting Blรถrt  

east-enders: a retrospective look at women protesting for peace in the 1980s in London  

river antban country club: blindly, an AI tries naming golfing ranges (see previously

carrousel: Logan’s Run plus spin-offs—see previously

bones mccoy: a compilation of Deforest Kelley pronouncing  

not chav: a fresh perspective on London’s council houses

Sunday, 6 March 2022

8x8

wayfinder: Polynesian palm frond and seashell navigational charts  

zoned for resimercial: reaction offices and the future of the workplace  

the final nail in the coffin: a proposal for a casket one drills in the ground  

such freedom: a convoy of truckers whose grievance is less clear picks up some hitchhikers along the way in the form of a la carte conspiracy theories 

fashion forward: RIP to Elsa Klench (*1930) host of the long running Style segment on CNN  

don’t know much about geology: James Sowerby’s 1884 illustrated study of catastrophic British mineralogy  

the neutra house: the hilltop compound that belongs to Red Hot Chilli Pepper Flea has strong evil villain lair energy—and is on the market—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

glonass: mapping tools and satellite imagery as a prelude to the information war over Ukraine

Monday, 28 February 2022

draughting board

Via Things Magazine, we are enjoying this introduction to graphic artist Charles Young through the lens of these daily animated architectural vignettes collected as Paper Holm, which aside from these models include projects for Toyota, Sony, Google and the City of Los Angeles. These monochrome to four-colour palette swatches of building models progress in series spanning multiple years up to the present.

horodecki house

Via the always excellent Everlasting Blรถrt, we learn about the remarkable Art Nouveau structure that has been the backdrop of President Zelenskyy’s latest dispatches to the nation and the world, opposite his office at № 10 Bankova Street in Kyiv. Also known as the House with Chimaeras, it was created by architect Wล‚adysล‚aw Horodecki in 1902 as a luxury apartment block and features a number of ornate decorative elements of rhinoceros, elephants, lotuses, giant catfish grotesques and frog battlements by sculptor Emilio Sala, earning the collaboration high praise and comparison to Anton Gaudรญ. With occupants including a safari club, sugar baron and exclusive clinic for party elite, it is presently used as a governmental residence and conference centre. More at the links above.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

chipping norten

On the heels of London’s announcement to belatedly amend for years of courting and suffering oligarchs parking their money in real estate that’s out-priced everyone else and another leak regarding the secreted bank accounts of the wealthy and powerful, Things Magazine presents a medley of tone-deaf and ill-timed revelations on past injustice and the debut of a planned, Palladium Garage Mal Hal neighbouring Blenheim Palace, which is only in the range of said above bad actors.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

7x7

desert fox: play-through for a complex, WWII-themed board game, The Campaign for North Africa, that requires over fifteen hundred hours to complete  

hill house: a giant drying-box that preserves an Art Deco marvel by Charles Rennie Mackintosh—via Things Magazine 

the greatest thing since sliced bread: a satisfying video showing the steps in production in an industrial bakery in South Korea  

lightsaber flavour: alternative designations from young people that far surpass their proper names—via Miss Cellania’s Links 

rip: a celebration of the life and vision of Douglas Trumbull, special effects artist behind Silent Running, Close Encounters, 2001 and many others

multiple arcade machine emulator: after a quarter of a century, the MAME project is still releasing monthly new additions for home play—via Waxy  

ltee: the E. coli long-term evolution experiment has been running since 1988 and monitoring the mutations in twelve original strains over tens of thousands of generations

Thursday, 3 February 2022

7x7

1:12: a 1983 architectural magazine’s call for dollhouses  

way-finder: a friendly reminder about the most important app ever made 

i can’t hear you—i’m wearing a towel: dated New Yorker cartoons whose punchline has become a depiction of the everyday—via Waxy  

fisheye lens: a floating exhibit platform showcases Norwegian aquaculture practises 

philately: a brilliant abecedarium (see previously) of vintage postage stamps from around the world  

tensor strength: researchers engineer new material that can absorb and release enormous amounts of energy—like super-charged rubber band, via Slashdot  

the vault of contemporary art: a collection of architectural sketches and schematics from a Things Magazine omnibus post on the subject

Thursday, 20 January 2022

brearley architects + urbanists

Elevated above the marshes of the Yuandang estuary of Shanghai, a Chinese-Australian design group called BAU has created a graceful, sliver of a bridge to connect two areas of wetlands. With a pavilion and observation platform in the middle of the span, the structure integrates infrastructure with ecology and aesthetics. Much more from Dezeen at the link above.