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Moneymaking Machines #8: Marylebone Square

Moneymaking Machines #8: Marylebone Square
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The advertisement was one of those inescapable ones inserted into a news website. The one, two and three bedroom dwellings were called “suites” because the word flats must have had connotations of something too downmarket, the word condominiums something too American and apartments having connotations of both. Whatever these suites are, they were refined, elegant […]

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Career Case Study #12: Albert Speer

Career Case Study #12: Albert Speer
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A draft of this post lay in my drafts folder for almost four years. The problem was that I thought something could be said about the career of Albert Speer but what? The architect Albert Speer (1905–1981) of this post is the one you might expect, the one whose only client was Adolf Hitler, and […]

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Modern Tropes

Modern Tropes
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Some architectural fixations are easily achieved, some boundaries easily pushed. For example and whether by accident or design, the world has always had and always will have a tallest building. I’m guessing it was the Great Pyramid at Giza 4,500 years ago but I’m more sure of recent tallest buildings such as the World Trade […]

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The Beauty of Everyday Things

The Beauty of Everyday Things
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The Beauty of Everyday Things is a book of essays written by Soetsu Yanagi between 1920 and 1959. The title essay is not as well known as In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki, first published in Japanese in 1933 and first translated into English in 1977. I initially had doubts about why another book […]

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Career Case Study #13: John Cyril Hawes

Career Case Study #13: John Cyril Hawes
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It’s not often we find architect and priest on the same CV but that’s the case with John Cyril Hawes. There’s a website, Monsignor John Hawes, from which I’ve summarized much of the following biographical information. Hawes was born in 1876 in Richmond in London but Canterbury Cathedral in the town of Canterbury where he […]

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Houses for Sale

Houses for Sale
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Two posts ago when I was searching for more information on Arata Isozaki’s 1980 house project House of Nine Squares, all references led to this article on Art Forum. You can also read it here. https://www.artforum.com/features/pastiche-prototype-purity-houses-for-sale-208677/ Actually, the ArtForum article is a reprint of this next one, and might come from the second of three […]

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The Houses of Arata Isozaki

The Houses of Arata Isozaki
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The Nakayama House is Isozaki’s first recorded house, completed in 1964 one year after he left Tange’s office to start his own. It was later demolished and a facsimile built in 1998 at Akiyoshidai International Art Village. By 1964 it was already expected of Japanese architects to have elliptical theories about their work and how […]

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3D or not 3D?

3D or not 3D?
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We haven’t heard much about 3D printing lately. Maybe it’s quietly become mainstream and therefore not sexy anymore? Or maybe it’s gone quiet because it hasn’t delivered on its early promises? Or maybe the new future it promised has simply been replaced by something else that’s the new future? The truth is probably a bit […]

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The Floating World: Part II

The Floating World: Part II
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It’s not just houses. No building is spared from Japan’s memory loss when it comes to its own architectural history. Earlier this year, there was a bit of a stir when it was announced Kenzo Tange’s 1964 Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium would be demolished, the given reason being that the then innovative suspension roof was in […]

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The Floating World: Part I

The Floating World: Part I
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The rate of building stock churn in Japan is well documented and the architectural churn it generates more so. This very real manifestation of the Futurist concern for neverending newness meshes perfectly with the post-WWII belief in continuous growth that architects are, on the whole, inclined to accept. Toyo Ito isn’t alone in decrying the […]

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Writing By Numbers

Writing By Numbers
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The WordPress blogging platform now has an AI assistant to answer questions, correct spelling and grammar, etc. to make a blogger’s life easier. I’m going to use last week’s post and take it for a spin. I’ll try Expand first. My original paragraph in black and its expansion in red. [Correct grammar] Expand “As a […]

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A Career in Architecture

A Career in Architecture
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In her book, American Architects and the Mechanics of Fame, Roxanne Williamson hinted at such a thing as a “creative spark” being somehow “transmitted” to an employee in an office of an architect who was either just-about-to-be-famous or flush with the success of their first highly acclaimed project. Williamson contains her study to American architects […]