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Category: HISTORY


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1927: The Competition

1927: The Competition
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1927 was the year of the Weissenhoff Exhibition mainly remembered by history and architecture students for showcasing products by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Mercedes Benz. Depending on who you believe, LC’s Maison Citrohan was a compact, low-cost house for three people, a cook and a driver, or an artist, two guests, someone who sleeps next […]

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Old Ideas for New Architectures

Old Ideas for New Architectures
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This part of a two-part post will quickly revisit some ideas used to lend credence to some of last century’s new architectures – in preparation for part two to follow. Radical Functionalism. The idea of a building being configured according to certain useful criteria relating to buildings and their occupants’ needs didn’t last very long. Functionalism had an essential humanism at its core but this […]

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The Buildings Of YEMEN

The Buildings Of YEMEN
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This post is about buildings for Yemeni by Yemeni. This is the town of Al Hajarayn. A bunch of boxy brown buildings covering a barren hilltop ought to be ugly but it’s not. What we’re seeing is the beauty not of repetition but of variations on a theme. We’re seeing similarities of colour, of patterns […]

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Kazuo Shinohara’s Houses

Kazuo Shinohara’s Houses
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The 1950s in Japan were a time of rediscovery and renewal in art, graphics, furniture, photography, ceramics, woodblock prints, cinema, literature, textile design, and architecture. Kazuo Shinohara was a Japanese architect who lived 1925–2006. This is his first house, House in Kugayama, completed 1954. It was very much of its time, as was Kenzo Tange‘s first […]

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Game Changers

Game Changers
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The Empire State Building made a mark on New York’s skyline, but was no game changer since buildings had been getting incrementally taller for a while. SOM’s 1957 One Chase Manhattan Plaza was a game changer for reasons that can be easily understood from this next image. The World Trade Center was also a game changer. It wasn’t incrementally […]

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Gone, Mostly Forgotten

Gone, Mostly Forgotten
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Here’s one last look at those buildings the memories of which, long unrefreshed, are now almost totally gone. Each of these buildings once had a place in history books. First up is Hofatelier Elvira by August Endell, 1898. My undergraduate history book said it was an example of German Art Nouveau and I’m sure it was. It’s just […]

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SAVE THE WORLD!

SAVE THE WORLD!
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Not that world! That one’s already got a Facebook Group with 3,801 members last time I looked. So that’s all sorted. I’m talking about the other The World. It’s ENDANGERED. © Nakheel; 2006-ish, judging from the size of Burj Khalifa People, listen! One of Nakheel’s lesser-known inventions was a new service charge for the residents of Palm […]

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History Scrapheap

History Scrapheap
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The only thing these photographs have in common is that you’ve probably not seen them before. They’re not part of the narratives constructed around the respective buildings. They’re photographs that got lost along the way. They remind us that our knowledge of certain buildings sometimes has little to do with where they are built, what […]

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Glass and Other Houses

Glass and Other Houses
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Following on from my previous post about The Kiss Principle and miscellaneous tidbits about the Farnsworth House, I was poking around the internet looking for information about the mechanical services at Philip Johnson’s Glass House. After all, it has no mechanical room. The fireplace looks a bit more the business though. While we’re over here, […]