Month: June 2015

A TRADITION OF SERENITY: The Tropical Houses of Ong-Ard Satrabhandhu

The Ong-Ard Satrabandhu’s book on tropical housing in Thailand takes one into traditional Thai architecture of Lanna style. Lanna is a concept of being down to earth, coming directly from mother nature, which originated in Thailand some centuries back. Originally called “Lan Na Thai,” the name means “a million rice fields.” The Lanna way of life and its architecture are inseparable for centuries. The spatial proportions, balance and rhythm of same Lanna style are to be found in the work of Ong-Ard Satrabandhu. In this sense he is a disciple of Geoffrey Bawa and his open space concept. Usage of raw materials, intertwined with landscape and verdant greenery almost blends with surroundings peacefully. Maybe his generous usage of up lighters in the trees should be given a thought considering the habitat of birds at night. The drawings showcased in a book takes one back to medieval period of Rajputana miniature paintings in India where plans,elevations and sections are shown in the same drawing with great care.  These drawings are not only meant for architects, the subtle way of …

Eero Saarinen: John Deere and Co. Steel building

This article was originally published in Domus 422 / January 1965 A steel building by Saarinen, open recently “The architectural character was determined largely by the site and the character of the company. The 600 acre site consists both of high table land and low river land, its edges broken by wooden ravines. One of the broad ravines seemed the finest, most pleasant and most human site for the building complex. In such a treestudded site, where it would be intimately connected with nature, a strong, dark building seemed appropriate. …Having decided to use steel we wanted to make a steel building that was really a steel building (most so-called steel buildings seem to me to be more glass buildings than steel buildings, really not one thing or the other). Domus 422 / January 1965 page details We sought for an appropriate material — economical, maintenance free, bold in character, dark in color. We located a certain high tensile steel, which has a peculiar characteristic: if this steel is left unpainted, a rust coating forms …

Josep Lluis Sert: Father of Urban Design and Peabody Terrace Complex

Josep Lluis Sert: Father of Urban Design and Peabody Terrace Complex “I’ve always been interested in architecture as an extension not only of technical problems, but also of human problems. That aspect interests me very much: how that represents a way of life and a vital gesture. I am probably more interested in a less abstract expression of architecture than some of my colleagues.” —Josep Lluis Sert Biography: Born in Barcelona, Josep Lluis Sert showed keen interest in the works of his uncle, the painter Josep Maria Sert, and of Gaudí. He studied architecture at the Escola Superior d’Arquitectura in Barcelona and set up his own studio in 1929. That same year he moved to Paris, in response to an invitation from Le Corbusier to work for him (without payment). Returning to Barcelona in 1930, he continued his practice there until 1937. During the 1930s, he co-founded the group GATCPAC (Grup d’Artistes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l’Arquitectura Contemporània, i.e. Group of Catalan Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture), which later …

Siteless: 1001 Building Forms

To claim this book just adds to the general tendency of contemporary architecture seeking the immediately shocking, superficial and easily publishable is perhaps a sign of precisely this tendency: people losing the ability to dwell on things long enough for their imagination to come out. Once applied on actual architecture these concepts would need to be closely linked to program, scale and site to be interesting. However in the initial program-, scale- and siteless condition they are presented in this book, they evoke intense imagination in me. The sketches being hand drawn also adds to this. You can be impatient and flip through it in five minutes, or you can focus your attention and find the potential and depth these forms have. More details about this book can be found here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/siteless

How to Architect by Doug Patt

Every first year architecture student should read this wonderful book. What Mr. Patt has done is to demythologize architecture and the profession. Someone considering a career as an architect should have a clear understanding of the work and the skills/education required. This book provides precisely that. Mr. Patt gives us information in bite sized segments that are easily grasped and understood. It’s also valuable content for any person considering engaging an architect for a home renovation, new home construction, or commercial project. After reading this book the prospective client will understand who they are hiring and therefore be better able to develop a solid working relationship with their professional. This book is a gem. The table of contents and preface draw you in and make you want to read it in its entirety at one sitting. Well done! More details are found here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-architect Photo Courtesy: MIT Press