Thu, 29 May 2014 09:00:00 +00002014-05-29T09:00:00ZDo you ever look at your house and wonder how it got that way?
Wed, 28 May 2014 08:00:00 +00002014-05-28T08:00:00ZWhat's so Medieval about Gothic architecture? Nothing, if you're looking at the 1913 Neo-Gothic Woolworth Building
Tue, 27 May 2014 04:45:00 +00002014-05-27T04:45:00ZFor 25-cents back in 1937, anyone could walk the length of the remarkable Golden Gate Bridge and see firsthand why it's called a suspension bridge.
Sat, 24 May 2014 13:00:17 +00002014-05-24T13:00:17ZWhat's Maya Lin been up to lately?
Mon, 19 May 2014 09:00:01 +00002014-05-19T09:00:01ZCan architecture really heal? (image) When I visited Lower Manhattan before the National September 11 Memorial Museum was open, I was struck by the peacefulness of the plaza and Michael Arad's waterfalls. Reflecting Absence seemed both mechanical and elegant, like any good architectural design should be.
I peeked through the museum's atrium window and was awed by the sight of the the two steel tridents salvaged from the destroyed Twin Towers. The entryway Pavilion designed by Snøhetta and the Davis Brody Bond-designed underground Museum display the architectural salvage from the terrorist attacks.
But as I gawked like a deer in the headlights at the massive steel beams and stairs leading downward toward the bedrock, was it really awe I felt, or a general uneasiness? I'm not sure I'm ready for the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the memories it holds. But there it is.
Photo © Jackie Craven
Sun, 18 May 2014 09:00:00 +00002014-05-18T09:00:00ZI thought I didn't like Bauhaus as residential architecture.
Mon, 12 May 2014 08:00:44 +00002014-05-12T08:00:44ZWhat architecture stirs your heart?
Mon, 05 May 2014 09:00:48 +00002014-05-05T09:00:48ZHow many people live or work in buildings constructed of earth? The folks at eartharchitecture.org estimate that 50% of the world's population spend much of their time in earthen architecture. In a global market economy, it's time that more developed nations take note of this statistic. Traditional adobe homes in the American Southwest have wooden beams and flat roofs, but students at the Adobe Alliance have discovered the African mode of construction, with arches and domes. The result? Beautiful, ultra-strong, and energy-efficient homes, echoing the adobe domes built along the Nile centuries ago and being built today in Namibie, Africa (see larger image). These earth igloos come with a stigma, however. Because of primitive construction methods, mud huts have been associated with housing for the poor, even if building with mud is a proven architecture. The Nka Foundation is trying to change the mud hut image with an international design competition. Nka, an African word for artistry, is sponsoring the Mud House Design Competition, challenging designers to give these ancient building practices a modern aesthetic that is missing. Nka Foundation describes the 2014 competition this way: "The challenge is to design a single-family unit of about 30 x 40 feet on a plot of 60 x 60 feet to be built by maximum use of earth and local labor in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The client of your design is the middle-income family in any township of your choice in the Ashanti Region. Total costs of constructing the design entry must not exceed $6,000; land value is excluded from this price point. The entry should serve as an example to the local people that mud architecture can be beautiful and durable."—2014, Nka Foundation, accessed May 30, 2014 The need for this competition tells us several things: How something is built can have little to do with aesthetics. Likewise, aesthetics is too often separate from how something is built. Image creation has been a part of architectural history since its beginnings. Design and construction materials, the essential tools of architecture, have the power to make or break stigma. Watch the sponsor's website to see what designs people come up with. Earth Houses: Build Better With Dirt! Pueblo Revival House Style Adobe Mud: Building With Earth by Catherine Wanek, Mother Earth News, June/July 2009 Earth Architecture by Ronald Rael, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010 (compare prices) Photo of young Himba girl in front of dome-like mud hut, Namibie, Africa ©Yves Picq via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic CC BY-SA 3.0 Connect With Jackie: Twitter | Facebook | Google+Pinterest | Goodreads | RebelMouse [...]
Thu, 01 May 2014 11:30:00 +00002014-05-01T11:30:00ZVitruvius, a main character in a movie for kids? Who would've guessed?
Sun, 27 Apr 2014 10:00:36 +00002014-04-27T10:00:36ZCan't tell a Nouvel from a Gehry? No problem.