Sunday, February 24, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
The miniature columns cantilevered at an angle off the side of this townhouse on Exeter Street in Boston recall the imaginative designs of 19th-century French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. In his designs for concert halls, arcades, and other civic spaces, gothic columns fashioned out of cast iron were tilted on an angle and used to support cantilevered balconies, domes, and walkways over wide open gathering spaces. These angled columns became a central design element and an expression of structural might, and were often highlighted in Viollet-le-Duc's magnificent drawings, as can be seen below. Interestingly, the gothic decoration and branch-like grouping of these angled columns that characterizes Viollet-le-Duc's designs seem to have been loyally retained, albeit in miniaturized and distilled form, by the architect of the townhouse in Boston who would have been a contemporary of Viollet-le-Duc.
Another interesting comparison to Viollet-le-Duc's work can be made with Alsop Architects' 2004 expansion of OCAD University in Toronto, a structure that is supported by immense, angled steel columns grouped together in pairs, as can be seen below. Painted in bright colors, these columns are highlighted as a central design feature framing a wide open covered gathering space that acts as a passageway to an adjacent park.
Posted by Brendan at Saturday, February 09, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
As a result of curious zoning regulations most houses in Toronto's downtown core are built with a very narrow open space between them - very close together but not quite attached. Apparently unable to stand this separation, the roofs of these two houses on Dundas Street in Toronto appear to have grown together over time.
In contrast, a gabled facade on Augusta Avenue appears to have been pried open to make room for a snug pair of storefronts. Although the unifying facades that surely must have once joined these fragmented gables into a tidy composition of rowhouses are long gone, the haphazard infill that took their place nonetheless produces a peculiarly symmetrical massing of building forms.
Posted by Brendan at Monday, January 28, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Set against a comparatively anonymous gray-clapboard facade, this multi-chromatic classical portal framing the entrance to a home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, impresses upon guests and passersby alike to pay heed to its crisp, carved-wood moldings and panels. Perhaps the most curious and intriguing detail contained within this assemblage of sentimental decoration is the small, iconic heart set proudly into the decorative keystone above the the fanlight.
Posted by Brendan at Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Wood planks from scaffolding, striped awnings, and colorful garlands suspended over pedestrian lanes in Fes, Morocco, and Lisbon, Portugal, form temporary structures that appear to float over the street. These light, permeable "ceilings" help to create defined space within the void of the street without blocking out the sky or the urban backdrop of church towers, windows, balconies, and television antennas that add vitality and interest to the street. The flexible suspended structures twist in accordance with bends in the street, heightening the pedestrian's awareness of the shape of the street void. The linear, stripe-like visual patterns that they create produce a strong sense of movement through the space as they point towards an imagined vanishing point and lay out a trail for the pedestrian to follow.
Posted by Brendan at Saturday, November 10, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Rounded bricks stacked atop one another give the appearance of miniature columns on H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church Parish House on Clarendon Street in Boston. Other bricks on the facade appear to have been carved in place to form a sort of three-dimensional mosaic of swirling vegetal forms. The undulating surface of the carved bricks is remarkably similar to Frank Gehry's recently completed residential tower at 8 Spruce Street in New York, which also consists of undulating stacked modules:
Posted by Brendan at Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Posted by Brendan at Friday, October 19, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Posted by Brendan at Monday, October 01, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
This sculptural relief above a doorway on Avenue des Pins in Montreal memorializes the sartorial history in this particular section of the city. While this warehouse-like building now houses a fabric store, artist lofts, and offices, it is likely that it was historically part of the garment manufacturing industry that once dominated this area of Montreal's Plateau neighborhood, centered around Boulevard St. Laurent and Avenue des Pins. Etched in stone, this iconic figure wielding needle and thread is a reminder of this area's pre-gentrification commercial history.
Posted by Brendan at Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Posted by Brendan at Friday, August 31, 2012