I've always been fascinated by cool buildings. If I'd read The Fountainhead in high school I would probably have studied architecture; by the time I read it in college it was too late to change majors :-).
My interest has recently been re-ignited by exciting trends in modern architecture, including prefab modular, container architecture, and green buildings. I'm hoping to join a company involved in such an exciting, creative, and important endeavor.
As he walks around New York looking for inspiration, Photographer Marc Yankus says he often sees things with a type of synesthetic experience, not with color, but with shapes. “I have an experience when I look at a building. I feel I could wrap my hand around the edge and I wanted to capture the sensation I have when I look at it.”
Read more …
A recent New York Times article has brought well-deserved attention to the world's foremost builder of architectural models,
Robert Tenguerian. Mr. Tenguerian has created models for many of the most important modern architects, including Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn, and Richard Meier. For their one-hour
special "The Killing of Bin-Laden" 60 Minutes chose him to build
models of the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound, which were used extensively on the show to describe how the attack unfolded.
The Brooklyn-based Construction Kids program offers building classes throughout the year
for kids as young as two years old. It's one a new and immensely popular wave of programs trying to shift kids away from computers toward actual, hands-on activities – like building things from scratch.
Like many I was captivated by the creation story of Washington, DC's Vietnam War Memorial in 1981. An open design competition was held and over 1,400 proposals submitted;
the winning entry was submitted by Maya Lin, then 21 years old and an undergraduate student of architecture at Yale.
Her design's radical departure from the white marble classicism of other DC monuments, along with her ethnic heritage
("designed by a gook," declared one veteran's group, apparently failing to grasp the subtle distinction that Lin is not in fact Vietnamese, but born in America to Chinese parents)
caused a storm of controversy, and the monument's construction was a difficult, protracted process.
New York's Resolution:4 Architecture has revolutionized prefab housing with their Modern Modular design system.
Home designs based on Modules of Use intended for communal or private spaces are mixed and matched to achieve an infinite number of designs suited to each buyer's site, budget, and lifestyle.
INTERVIEW: Resolution:4 Architecture’s Joseph Tanney Talks Prefab Homes and Designing NYC Apartments.
INTERVIEW: Dwell Chats with Resolution: 4 Architecture.
Container architecture, sometimes referred to as "cargotecture," is the re-purposing of standard 20- and 40-foot ISO shipping containers for use as structural elements in buildings.
The physical characteristcs of containers were standardized in the 1970s, leading to explosive growth in their use worldwide.
Huge container ships haul thousands of the steel boxes at once;
ports equipped with huge cranes quickly unload the containers on to trucks and railroad cars.
Sadly, some containers are used only once; others spend little of their useful life carrying cargo. Many more pile up empty behind warehouses and alongside rail lines; by some estimates there are as many as
17 million unused shipping containers worldwide.
However, these used containers are often available for purchase, and new containers cost only around $3,000.
Containers' light weight, strength, low cost, and ubiquity make them ideal as structural elements for both residential and commercial structures,
as well as temporary structures for use in retail, public events, and recovery after natural disasters.
Some of these projects, along with many others, are detailed in
Container Atlas, a book which is both beautiful and informative.
Two Homes by Adam Kalkin
Retail and Exhibit Spaces
The Most Famous Home in the World Comes Alive
No great risk in claiming Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece as a favorite, but … Here is a fantastic 3D fly-through animation from artist Cristóbal Vila. There are also some more great videos on Vila's home page and his YouTube page.
Sydney Opera House Made Luminous
A Building Becomes a Sculpture in Light
Again, hardly original to claim the Sydney Opera House,
designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon in 1957, as a favorite, but …
Beautiful enough on its own, the building also hosted (literally) an amazing art installation during the Spring of 2009.