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Tag: performance as an aesthetic


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The Cost of Space

The Cost of Space
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I know it’s common practice in Western Europe, Japan and China, for residential unit listings to include not only the price but also the floor area of the dwelling. Some agents will even provide the cost per square metre so you can make your own judgment about the effects of factors such as location, view […]

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Customization

Customization
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Chinese apartment buildings have a great deal of owner modification apparent on their exteriors, particularly in the case of the older ones. The preference is towards more useable space though it doesn’t seem to matter if this space is open or closed. One downside is that bathroom windows can become partially or wholly internal. With […]

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Learning From Shikumen

Learning From Shikumen
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In 2003 I produced a small proposal to fit several two-bedroom houses onto a small site somewhere in Kent, UK. I wanted to design only one house with arbitrary window positions so the houses could be rotated and clustered on the triangular plot. This is it. It could be a row house with windows only […]

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The Handshake House

The Handshake House
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Handshake accommodation isn’t something that happens only in China. Many Japanese suburban houses have a boundary setback of only 50cm. Here’s one we know. There’s windows on the side elevations but they’re small and low down so nobody’s going to be actually shaking hands through them. And, still in Japan, here’s one we’ve probably forgotten […]

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Machine for Living Many

Machine for Living Many
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This post applies the lessons of the previous post to construct the proposal of the post two before, and with minimal customizations and operations. Apartment parts (makes two apartments) 6 x 20 ft (6 m) shipping containers 2 containers for living/dining/kitchen 2 containers for two bedrooms 1 container (half-shared with another apartment) for bathroom 1 […]

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Orientation

Orientation
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Looking around, I see most high-rise residential buildings are slabs with multiple cores having either one or two double-sided sided apartments per side. In this first image, the end wall windows of the new build in the distance are most likely bathroom and kitchen windows. This means that in order to illuminate and ventilate them, […]

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Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone
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This post is the first part of an article that appeared under the title Comfort Zone in the #1_20 issue of ADATO, Luxembourg’s only architecture journal. The issue theme was Architecture + Medicine. My working title came from Richard Hamilton’s famous 1956 collage. I’m not sure why. It could be that architecture is just a […]

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ALFA-X

ALFA-X
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Of this blog’s sixteen categories, SCIENCE hadn’t been updated since Fast Tracking of March, 2017 about the development of Japan’s Shinkansen (lit. new arterial line, a.k.a. “bullet”) trains. In the post I praised the attempt to make something better through ongoing research that resulted in incremental improvements. This is what makes it science, not architecture. […]

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Fast Tracking

Fast Tracking
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It’s easy enough to make a train go fast but much harder to make it stay on the track and to give passengers a comfortable ride. The 0 Series Shinkansen These are the ones Japanese remember most fondly and which so amazed the world when the Tokaido Shinkansen [東海道新幹線, lit. New Arterial Line; a.k.a. Bullet Train] connecting Tokyo and Osaka opened on 1st October 1964 […]

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Architecture Misfit #25: Ernst May

Architecture Misfit #25: Ernst May
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Ernst May [July 1886 — September 1970] New Frankfurt [in German, Neues Frankfurt] was an affordable public housing program in Frankfurt started in 1925 and completed in 1930. The mayor of Frankfurt hired Ernst May as general manager of the project to bring together architects to work on it. The goal was housing that could be rented for no more than 25% of a person’s […]

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The Water Tower is Not Trying to Look Beautiful

The Water Tower is Not Trying to Look Beautiful
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Just like the communications towers in The Television Tower is Not Trying to Look Beautiful, water towers also have a job to do. Many are examples of performance beauty in that they have been designed to do what they need to do.  Krasny Gvozdilshchik Tower This first tower dates from 1930-31 and was designed by Yakov […]