Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

The Chinatown Aesthetic

July 20, 2021

The architecture of “Chinatowns” around the world have a similar style that can be traced back to the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. A vox video by Ranjani Chakraborty and Melissa Hirsch.

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Amazon HQ2 Helix Looms Over Virginia

April 26, 2021

Amazon HQ2 Helix Looms Over Virginia

After saner jurisdictions rejected the project, Amazon selected Northern Virginia for the site of its HQ2 development. Some neighborhoods under the retail behemoth’s footprint will change their names to protect the innocent.

The flagship of this tax-break-enabled building bonanza will be The Helix, a 350 foot tower resembling the Poop Emoji, with an outdoor spiral of landscaped trees available to hikers who relish a pointless trek to nowhere, very Zen. Suggested seasonal uses of the Helix’s outdoor path include a water slide and ski run, or perhaps it will follow the lead of the 150-foot tall Vessel scultpture at New York’s Hudson Yards and become a world-class suicide swan-dive magnet.

The best views of the giant tower will probably be across the Potomac in DC, where residents can shudder and draw the drapes.

More:

“Amazon’s next headquarters is a glass poop emoji covered in trees,” Jacob Kastrenakes,The Verge

“Soft Serve Cone Or Christmas Tree? Amazon HQ2 Helix Sparks Debate,” Michael O’Connell, Arlington Patch

“The Helix is a distraction. Amazon’s new headquarters will change more than just its Arlington neighborhood.,” Philip Kennicott, Washington Post

Update:

“Amazon’s ‘The Helix’ is too tall for airport standards, officials say,” Kristen Schneider, WJLA-TV 7

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Image (“Amazon HQ2 Helix Concept, after Jan Luyken and Willem Goeree, 1682″) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Skateboarding Architecture: Legendary Skate Spots

November 24, 2020

Estelle Caswell spoke with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and Iain Borden (author of Skateboarding and the City) about skateboarding’s iconic spots and how skate architecture has changed over the years. A Vox video.

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Home: Knowledge, Bathing, Drama, Music, and Food.

January 15, 2020

Architect Takeshi Hosaka built himself a house that would supply the five elements that ancient Romans said were needed for a perfect life: knowledge, bathing, drama, music, and food. He did it in 190 square feet.

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Slide to the flight gate at the airport.

September 23, 2019

If you spend S$10 a few bucks at the restaurants or businesses at Singapore’s Changi Airport, getting to your flight’s departure gate is fast and easy.  Just take the four-storey-high slide.

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House of the Future, Past

August 20, 2019

Buckminster Fuller designed the Dymaxion House in 1927 as “the home of the future.” The only surviving prototype of Fuller’s vision, located at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, was meant to be a model of an affordable, mass-produced residence, but the design never caught on.

More:

“What are the lessons from Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion House?” Lloyd Alter, Treehugger

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How to keep tall buildings from blowing over.

May 20, 2019

When you look at New York’s new, skinny, “supertall” skyscrapers, you wonder why they don’t just blow over. Architects give them twisted sides, tapered pointy tips, and gaping holes to reduce the wind’s effects and keep the buildings still.

A Vox video by Christophe Haubursin and Gina Barton.

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An Empty Vessel in the Big Apple

March 25, 2019

An Empty Vessel in the Big Apple

Hudson Yards has opened, a new office, upscale condo and luxury shopping development built over an active trainyard on New York’s West Side. The city and state chipped in $6 billion for the project, but maybe that’s not as bad as it sounds.

What is bad, undeniably, is the 150-foot-high, 16 storey, copper-covered selfie magnet looming over Hudson Yards plaza called Vessel. The structure, consisting of 154 flights of stairs, may be a perfect metaphor for New York: you keep climbing but get nowhere.

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The Complex Geometry of Islamic Design

February 1, 2018

In Islamic culture, geometric design is everywhere: you can find it in mosques, madrasas, palaces, and private homes. And despite the remarkable complexity of these designs, they can be created with just a compass to draw circles and a ruler to make lines within them. Eric Broug covers the basics of geometric Islamic design.

Lesson by Eric Broug, animation by TED-Ed.

More here.

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Shopping Can Be Fun!

June 26, 2016

“A brief history of the American shopping mall,” from PBS NewsHour Weekend’s Tracy Wholf.

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