Architecture

Light Volumes


I grew up next to a large church whose expansive grounds and cemetery became a wonderland in my imagination. However, searching for ghosts and playing a variety of elaborate games of make-believe had nothing on what would happen to the walls of the church at night. Standing outside, the light burst through the stained glass windows, displaying intricate stories in bright colors. As a child, my friends and I would spend what felt like hours making up tales of heroism and basking in the rays of colored lights illuminating the ground around us.
Church, stained glass, Steven Holl, Architecture, chapel

Chicken Point Cabin


Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig Architects, Architecture, drawing, Idaho, vacation, hand-crafted

New York Classic


Like thousands of others, I pass through Grand Central Terminal every day on my way to work. Actually I am on a subway train passing below, but in my mind’s eye I picture the magnificent granite and limestone building looming above Park Avenue interrupting the busy boulevard. Even today it stands as an enduring temple to urban transportation, commerce and design.
Whitney Warren, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, drawing, Charles Wetmore, Reed and Stern, Architecture, Manhattan, Columbia University, Ecole des Beaux Arts, National Historic Landmark, granite, limestone

Building a Shoe


Inventor Tinker Hatfield is responsible for the original design concepts of Air Jordan sneakers, one of the most widely recognized and highly coveted products from the 1990s. The jagged line of color on the edge of the sole that became a trademark; the revolutionary “Air” bubble design, a small plastic window in the sole of the shoe which allowed you to see the cushioning system inside, are all ideas that came from one man who seems to know a little more about building than just shoe design.
Shoe, sneaker, Tinker Hatfield, nike, Architecture, drawing

A House of Unique Character


Anna Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Townsend House, St. Regent’s Park, drawing, Sir Frederick Leighton, William Burgess, Frederic Edwin Church, Olana, Albert Bierstadt, Royal Academy of Arts, Architecture, interiors

Mod Metropolis


“There are perfectly sober people who will tell you they have seen high buildings shimmy.”
 “(Modern buildings) show their best to their devotees… (who) will point out to you a score of fleeting expressions in a façade.” Orrick Johns. “What the Modish Building Will Wear.”New York Times, Oct. 4, 1925.
Hugh Ferriss, Architecture, New York City, drawing, conté, Pamela Lawton

Citizen Architect


“All architects expect and hope that their work will act as a servant in some sense for humanity–to make a better world. This is a search we should always be undertaking.” —Samuel Mockbee
Samuel Mockbee, D.K. Ruth, Rural Studio, Alabama, Mississippi, Auburn University, Architecture, residential, built environments, low-cost housing, cameras, film, recycled wood, architectural drawings

The Dome and Cupola that Were Not There


This perspective tour de force dazzles the eye with the complexities of its illusionistic architecture. The story behind the work is equally compelling.
Andrea Pozzo, Architecture, Italian architecture, Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Jesuit Order, Counter Reformation, Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Baciccio, fresco, foreshortening, dome, perspective, drawing, illusionism, Japanese, painting, cupola, Rome

Memoriam for Lebbeus Woods


After a week of nature rendering havoc on the northeastern coast of the United States, and televised images of death, drowning, and destruction, it is interesting to consider the work of the experimental architect, Lebbeus Woods, who died on October 30, 2012. Woods was a visionary for whom destruction and reconstruction were two poles of human existence. He demonstrated his world view in an exquisitely rendered drawing, Geomechanical Tower, one of two works in Cooper-Hewitt’s collection from the 1987 Centricity series.
Lebbeus Woods, Architecture, New York City, Manhattan, Hudson River, East River, Earth

Hauntingly Beautiful: Frederic Edwin Church’s Parthenon Sketch


Home of the mythological goddess Athena, the Parthenon is a hauntingly sacred place where the air is ominously rife with magic. Or, at least, that is the mood evoked in Frederic Edwin Church’s (1826-1900) oil sketch of the Parthenon. To create this effect, Church chose to paint the building from below, giving the impression that it looms over the viewer. In reality, this particular view of the Parthenon does not exist, but is rather contrived from composite views and memory. The contrast of red and blue illumination was also almost certainly invented by the artist.
Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Parthenon, Hudson River School, Romanticism, artificial lighting, Greece, composite view, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American landscape, Architecture, columns, icebergs, nature, Athena, mythology, paintings

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