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Category: TYPOLOGIES


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Moneymaking Machines #3: 625 W57th Street

Moneymaking Machines #3: 625 W57th Street
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We saw in Moneymaking Machines #1 how New York by Gehry for Forest City Ratner received the financing to make it possible in its present form only one month before the 2008 financial crisis. This window of opportunity would have closed if more time had been spent wrangling over rights of light and other issues. The Durst Organization, the developer […]

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Moneymaking Machines #2: New York by Gehry

Moneymaking Machines #2: New York by Gehry
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This post is the first of a new series about the seamy underbelly of architectural delight – where architect Tinseltown meets developer Chinatown. Expect sordid tales of greed, ambition, power, influence and betrayal. And that’s just the architects. Property developers are one of the two significant species of client not yet extinct. Clients with money, property and a desire to build are the basis for […]

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The Big Brush

The Big Brush
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The Big Brush is the practice of treating apartment housing as 20-25 metre wide lines drawn across a site 3D. The 20-25 metres comes from the 10–12 metre maximum depth for a habitable room backed by a non-habitable room plus an extra 2 metres for a double-loaded corridor. Here’s Mies van der Rohe’s Lafayette Apartments. Detroit, 1956. Here’s SOM’s Lake […]

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Opera Houses

Opera Houses
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Opera was invented in Italy in the 16th century as soon as people had money and power and, for probably the first time in the history of the world, leisure because they weren’t constantly preoccupied trying to hang onto that money and power. And what did they do? They invented opera – a fusion of music, drama, singing and storytelling. […]

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The One Wall House

The One Wall House
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By “one wall”, I don’t mean this, clever though it is. Or this, much as I like it despite it going against everything misfits stands for. I was thinking more of something I found recently, in the book “Learning From Vernacular – Towards a New Vernacular Architecture” by Pierre Frey. It’s a house with a […]

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Zoomorphic Architecture

Zoomorphic Architecture
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I hinted at zoomorphic architecture briefly in a recent post. If Art Nouveau took advantage of plants for novel architectural stylings, then ZA did it with animals. The V&A exhibition is long gone, but the website lingers. Here’s that splash text again. Zoomorphic presents a startling new trend in architecture – buildings that look like animals. Animal resemblances […]

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The Maximum Dwelling: RESPECT

The Maximum Dwelling: RESPECT
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The Maximum Dwelling showed some of the ways newly rich Victorian-era industrialists and entrepreneurs spent their new money on building supersized houses to announce their arrival in society. No surprise there. Architecture is often how rich people do this. The world’s moved on though. Today, big and expensive buildings are how newly-rich countries present themselves to […]

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Buildings of Questionable Purpose

Buildings of Questionable Purpose
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Don’t want to be a grouch or anything, but have you ever wondered about how many sustainability awareness centres there suddenly are around the world? And about how many of those are in sensitive areas and – how shall we say? – overdesigned? Here’s three. “The Sustainability Discovery Centre provokes visitors to discover where they […]

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The Microhouse

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This first example is the micro-compact home (2005) by Horden Cherry Lee architects. It’s been been doing the internet rounds for a while now, photographed in increasingly picturesque locations. The cube is about 2.35m each side = 7.15 sqm.  You can almost get an idea what’s going on from these images. I think the TV might slide up […]

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The Microflat

The Microflat
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Let’s first take a look at the mother of all microflats, Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. At architecturalmoleskine there’s an excellent post which will fill you in if you’ve never seen or heard of it. In this post however, I’ll only be concerned with how little space it takes for one person to live. At Nakagin, […]