Archive for the ‘landscaping’ Category

Sophisticated sundial clock in Medellín, Colombia

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Medellin_5180

A little hard to tell from these photos how beautiful this clock is. Depending on which side of noon you are, you view either one side or another. I believe noon hits (more or less) the circle in center. ON the top of the two black polls is a tiny mirror that depending on angle hits grooved lines from 1-12 that run horizontal on the curved walls. One of hundreds of beautiful, functional objects in Medellín’s many, many free public spaces.

It’s one of the most interesting cities I’ve ever visited, and one of the best run. Its generous provisions of civic space and enjoyment is actually really moving. The new few posts will gives some examples of this.

I’m really glad the UN Habitat World Urban Forum was held here this year, or I may never have experienced this place. (I attended as part of my research for my upcoming book on UN Habitat ’76 in Vancouver.

sundial clock, Medellín, Colombia

Medellin_5178x

Medellin_5181x

And thanks to Carlos from Medellín who has lived all over the world, speaks a ridiculous number of languages and was a great guide for this UN tour of the city.

Carlos with sundial clock, Medellín, Colombia

Ultra Ruin in Taiwan by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Ultra-Ruin_jungle_Casagrande

“Ultra-Ruin is a wooden architectural organism that is growing from the ruins of an abandoned red brick farmhouse in the meeting place of terraced farms and jungle. The weak architecture follows the principles of Open Form and is improvised on the site based on instincts reacting to the presence of jungle, ruin and local knowledge.”

For more photos of Ultra Ruin see Marco’s post here. For my other posts on Marco Casagande’s work see Chen House and Apelle House.

I have always liked Marco’s work. His use of materials has an ancient feel – you often can’t tell if it’s modern or very, very old. The locks/door handles on this house are both beautiful and ingenious.

Taiwan is lucky to have a climate that allows free flow between indoor and outdoor area and you can see this realized in all Casagrande’s projects there.

This is a beautiful tree house – or system of houses between tree bridges – sitting fairly lightly on the land.

Ultra Ruin by Marco Casagrande Casagrande

Ultra Ruin by Marco Casagrande Casagrande - roofs

Ultra Ruin by Marco Casagrande Casagrande - bench

IMG_1506

Ultra Ruin by Marco Casagrande  bath

door_lock+closed

Marco Casagrande - Ultra Ruin - door_lock+open

You know nothing of the crunch

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Naboo

“I’ve seen your CV; there’s nothing on it…  You’ve read all the books, but when it comes to the crunch, where are you?”

“The crunch, how dare you speak to me of the crunch? You know nothing of the crunch, you’ve never even been to the crunch.”

Watch whole episode: Nanageddon.

Apelle – boat-like house by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Apelle house by Marco Casagrande

Another pleasing structure by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande. (See other projects here.) Called Apelle, it’s made to resemble a boat, and was in fact assembled by local boat carpenters.

“Apelle is a wooden one family house located in Karjaa, Finland. The building rests in a natural harbor like a boat in a sheltering pocket surrounded by bed rocks and trees. The interior space of Apelle is a continuous tube that grows gradually along the house and through the main opening and terrace into the forest. Along this axis the collective and private actions are tuned according to the times, functions and needs of the day and night.  The same space is used for everything from sleeping to eating and from socializing to work as a studio space or a gym. This kind of multi-functional space of “tupa” or “pirtti” is common in traditional Finnish architecture. A free standing cube serves for water with a sleeping loft on top…

Apelle is well insulated with wood based materials and during the harsh winters it heats up by thermal heating supported by two fire-places. The main building volume is structurally supported by a smaller volume on the side acting as an outrigger.
Apelle is built by two local carpenters used to for building both houses and wooden boats. According to the carpenters, this is a boat.”

Apelle house by Marco Casagrande - fireplace

Apelle house by Marco Casagrande

Apelle_Interior_Marco Casagrande

Tower of Babel

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

	Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel, 1563 by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Bruegel painted a series of three pictures of the Tower of Babel; one, on ivory, is lost.

‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ (Genesis 11:4).

“The workers in the painting have built the arches perpendicular to the slanted ground, thereby making them unstable and a few arches can already be seen crumbling. The foundation and bottom layers of the tower had not been completed before the higher layers were constructed.”

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Tower of Babel, 1563, detail

“Bruegel’s depiction of the architecture of the tower, with its numerous arches and other examples of Roman engineering, is deliberately reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum, which Christians of the time saw as both a symbol of hubris and persecution…

“The parallel of Rome and Babylon had a particular significance for Bruegel’s contemporaries: Rome was the Eternal City, intended by the Caesars to last for ever, and its decay and ruin were taken to symbolize the vanity and transience of earthly efforts.

….

“It is a fact that the story of the Tower of Babel was interpreted as an example of pride punished, and that is no doubt what Bruegel intended his painting to illustrate. Moreover, the hectic activity of the engineers, masons and workmen points to a second moral—the futility of much human endeavour… Bruegel’s knowledge of building procedures and techniques is considerable and correct in detail.”

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Tower of Babel, 1563

See also The End of the Age of Tall Buildings.

Spring

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

spring in Vancouver - tulip

It is very hard to post a photograph of April flowers in Vancouver without someone in Toronto taking it personally.