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Category: PERFORMANCE

milestones in the pursuit of better performing buildings


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The building is not trying to be a mountain

The building is not trying to be a mountain
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The City of Mishima in Japan is twinned with Pasadena in California. Pasadena Heights is the name of a housing complex in Mishima and designed by Kiyonori Kikutake, completed 1974. I remember it from Japan Architect, the English language version of 新建築. Here it is now, still at 35° 6’53.68″ 138°57’38.37″ Its description on housingprototypes.org doesn’t do it justice. […]

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Waste . . . zzzzt . . . Energy.

Waste . . . zzzzt . . . Energy.
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Waste disposal’s suddenly gotten sexy! Here’s the lowdown, with much thanks to waste-management-world.com. Plasma arc gasification is a high-temperature process whereby the waste solids (a.k.a. carbon-based material, organic matter, shit, etc.) are superheated in the absence of oxygen and converted into a synthesis gas – syngas – that is mostly carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Leftover inorganic materials and minerals produce a vitrified […]

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The Snail is Not Trying to Look Beautiful

The Snail is Not Trying to Look Beautiful
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Trying to find out the name of this little sea creature was one of the most vexing internet searches I’ve ever performed, each likely search term taking me into some scary world of decorative objects involving seashells. Take my word. Never. Ever. Put the word “decorative” into a search engine. Even “spiral stone pattern on seashell” threw up images of crochet, […]

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Architecture for Fascists, by Fascists

Architecture for Fascists, by Fascists
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Notice how Dezeen is now calling it it “a Zaha Hadid building in Azerbaijan” rather than the Heydar Aliyev Culture Centre as they did back November 2013? Who was Heydar Aliyev and what did he ever do that was so bad? Find out. Buildings in countries with a ‘poor record of human rights’ are a dime a dozen. Foster+Partners’ Palace of […]

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New Radical Pragmatism

New Radical Pragmatism
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Ev’rybody’s talking about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m. Art: Classicism, Romanticism, Expressionism, Impressionism, Primitivism, Futurism, Cubism, Purism, Abstractionism, Minimalism Literature: Classicism, Romanticism, Expressionism, Futurism, Post-Modern, Deconstructivism Architecture: Classicism, Romanticism, Historicism, Eclecticism, Expressionism, Constuctivism, Futurisim, Functionalism, Rationalism, Modernism, Brutalism, Metabolism, High-Tech, Post-Modernism, Deconstructivism, Minimalism, Parametricism. I left out Art Nouveau, Art […]

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Not the Sagrada Familia

Not the Sagrada Familia
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Antoni Gaudí is credited with having a school built on the site of La Sagrada Familia. That’s it bottom right. Nobody’s telling us if this school is there out of true concern or the display of concern in order to boost donations. You may think this cynical of me, but if I were soliciting donations from the pious in order to fund a […]

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1945

1945
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For architects, 1945 is eight years after FW’s Fallingwater and four before either Philip Johnson’s Glass House or the Eames’ House. The year 1945 doesn’t link to much architecturally but was it really such a slow year? WW2 was over but surely there must have been a bit more architectural interest in what kind of world it […]

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SHELTER

SHELTER
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Meet James Lovelock, the man who invented the Gaia Hypothesis: The Earth is a self-regulating organism [which, incidentally, has no any inherent need for us humans nor any particular obligation to provide us an environment we find pleasant]. In his 2006 book, The Revenge of Gaia, [he] predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the […]

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Lapatie House vs. Fifth Avenue Apple Store

Lapatie House vs. Fifth Avenue Apple Store
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Increasingly, it seems to me, the world of architectural production is influenced by two forces only: the forces that try to make buildings more expensive, and the forces that try to make buildings less expensive. Obviously, the former produces buildings that are testimony to clients’ power, wealth and sophistication. This is all about branding and […]

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The Undecorated Shed

The Undecorated Shed
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I recently subscribed to the searchdatacenter.com newsfeed but, after a fortnight, had to unsubscribe. The amount of news was simply too much to process! A sample. WHICH DATA CENTER TRENDS NEED TO CATCH ON Don’t let data center fads fool you — some are here to stay by Robert McFarlane, Contributor Could your data center […]

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Unsung Hero: Yoshikatsu Tsuboi

Unsung Hero: Yoshikatsu Tsuboi
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Yoshikatsu Tsuboi (1908 – 1980) Many of these images in this post were taken from the book Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World, Edited by Seng Kuan and Yukio Lippit, in cooperation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design. For me, the most interesting chapter was the one written by Mamoru Kawaguchi, project leader for Yoshikatsu Tsuboi, Chief Engineer for […]

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The Building is Not Trying To Look Beautiful #2: New Monte Rosa Hut

The Building is Not Trying To Look Beautiful #2: New Monte Rosa Hut
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This is New Monte Rosa Hut, in Zermatt (the German-speaking part of Switzerland) by Bearth & Deoplazes Architekten. Their other projects are simple and dignified with hardly any funny stuff and well worth a look. All these excellent images are taken from their site. This particular project is what misfits’ likes to encourage. It was featured in the […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science #8: Repetition

It’s Not Rocket Science #8: Repetition
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IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT BETTER THEN MAKE IT THE SAME! Uniqueness is overrated, the quest for uniqueness unjustifiable. With buildings or any other product, there’s nothing inherently wrong with making the same thing exactly the same way again if it’s good, or trying to improve it if not. Many a fine building landscape developed just […]

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The Suitcase Is Not Trying to Look Beautiful

The Suitcase Is Not Trying to Look Beautiful
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The story of the modern suitcase is the story of modern travel and thus the story of technology applied to changing circumstances. Nowadays, we think of travel as a leisure activity and not as the exploration or emigration it once was. Early travellers travelled by steamer. [See here for more about S.S. Campania.] These first […]