All posts tagged: Architecture

Beyond Bawa

All too often, the architecture books you see on other people’s coffee tables allow you to wallow self-indulgently in the pure sensuousness of the pictures, and the thinly worded script might as well not exist. Don’t get me wrong. I like to immerse just as much as the next man, but this is something Robson does not allow you to do. This is not to say the pictures in the book are bad. On the contrary they are extremely beautiful – and beautifully laid out – but they are very much a supporting act to Robson’s detailed analysis of where modern Sri Lankan architecture came from, and where it seems to be going. As you would expect, Geoffrey Bawa is presented in a big way. But Robson does something far more complicated here than just list Bawa’s achievements: he traces the bloodlines of Bawa’s architectural descendants all over Monsoon Asia, defined by him as stretching from India’s Malabar coast in the west to Irian Jaya in the east, right across the Indian Ocean. Descendants there …

In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones

In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989) is an Indian National Award winning film featuring  Arundhati Roy, Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan ,Arjun Raina and Roshan Seth in the leads, the film directed by Pradip Kishen makes an excellent judgment on the environment of an architecture school in Delhi – which everyone from a creative discipline may relate to. It also takes a satirical glimpse of the ongoings in such creative schools where students prepare and present their ultimate submission- An Architectural Thesis. The film shows in brutal honesty what goes under the curtain of architectural education.

Louis I Kahn: Silence and Light

Louis I. Kahn is unarguably one of the most prominent and important figures of 20th-century architecture. He is known as the poet and philosopher amongst the great modern architects. On 12 February 1969, Kahn gave a lecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), entitled ‘‘Silence and Light’‘. This fundamental text reveals Kahn’s spiritual understanding of architecture and his creative thinking. Kahn’s idea of architecture goes far beyond the mere building. He understands architecture as a concept comprising the entire environment of mankind. With this he anticipated more than forty years ago what is branded ‘sustainability in architecture’ today. ‘Louis I. Kahn – Silence and Light’ makes this text accessible again in its primary version, for the first time ever also in Kahn’s own voice on audio-CD. The book includes a full-length reproduction of the Zurich lecture in original English and translations into French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Kahn’s illustrations drawn while speaking and the number of previously unpublished images of the architect lecturing complement the text. Text are provided in English, …

Architecture Visionaries

The book Architecture Visionaries revolves around biography and projects fo 75 noted architects of 20th century. The biographies start with Antonio Gaudi and ends with Shigeru Ban. Arranged in a broadly chronological order, the book gives the reader a sense of the impact that creative individuals have had on the advancement of architecture and our built environment. Important dates in the architects’ careers are established in timeline features, allowing the author liberty to move beyond well-known biographies to analyze the buildings and map out the astonishing insights behind them. With insightful passage describing thoughtfully selected sample, this is a compelling and unique lead to the architects whose idea have created the buildings around us. A very valuable addition to every architecture buff’s library. Image Courtesy: © Laurence King Publishing Ltd

A History of Western Architecture

Properly covering the history of architecture in any single volume is a big challenge, but David Watkin successfully covers thousands of years with about 700 pages in his book, A History of Western Architecture. The book begins the journey with early Mesopotamian Temples from 3600BC and then travels through all the major architectural movements, including Classical, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Modernism, and the rest of the 20th Century. As the title suggests, the book focuses on the western part of the world – Europe, Scandinavia, and North America are the main focus of the text. The book provides a very good history of architecture and combines easy to understand prose with excellent images of the structures. The fifth edition of the book covers all relevant western architecture up to the mid-2000s. The work from the 2000s is fairly thin, but this is understandable given that these buildings are too new for their relevance in history to be fully understood. The pages are full of high-quality images of the buildings being discussed. Almost every page has …

Significance of the debate over Zaha Hadid’s New National Stadium in Tokyo

Zaha Hadid’s New National Stadium in Tokyo had immense significance for the architectural discourse. It was supposed to be completed by 2018 before the Rubgy World Cup. The huge 80,000 seater winning stadium proposal caused controversy right after its announcement. Leading Japanese architects such as Fumihiko Maki, Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito , Sou Fujimoto voiced their discontent with the new proposal. Sou Fujimoto told the Architects’ Journal that the campaign was set up because Zaha Hadid’s building will be “too big” in relation to its surroundings, which include Kenzo Tange’s iconic 1964 Olympic stadium. [1]Arata Isozaki, another respected Japanese architect, in a lengthy statement to the media last year likened the proposal to “a dull, slow form, like a turtle waiting for Japan to sink so that it can swim away”. [2]Fumihiko  Maki organized a symposium including architect Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma protesting the giant stadium. The expenditure estimates spiraled to almost double from initial estimates of £672 million (130 billion yen) to £1.3 billion (252 billion yen).[2]Under this growing controversy Shinzo Abe, …

Richard Meier

If it is true that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, “God is in the details,” it might be possible to say of Richard Meier’s architecture that God is in the numbers. More than any other contemporary architect, Meier has imposed a style that is almost invariably driven by grids and precisely calculated proportions. Nor are these arithmetical elements the only predictable components of his designs. And yet his work is far from being as sterile as its rigorous white demeanor might imply. Rarely completely open, Meier’s buildings are usually a symphonic arrangement of geometric volumes composed of solids, voids, and generous glazing alternating with closed surfaces. Closed on the entry side, open to the ocean or the landscape, separating private and public spaces, double height and more where the design allows, or rather imposes, Meier’s houses announce but do not summarize his approach to larger buildings. Smooth glazed or white enameled panels alternate, too, with louvered, articulated façades, not according to the architect’s whim, but rather in function to the program and the …

Architecture of First Societies

Architecture of First Societies does more than just present the architecture of first societies. The author includes information on the environment, society and cultures that influenced the resulting architecture of those first societies. In addition to being useful for presenting the motivation of these examples of early architecture, the presentation, which includes, way of life, frequently depicted with color photographs of people who carry on some of these ways of life today, color photographs of modern day versions of the architecture, color photographs of archeological diggings of historic architecture and, finally, color photographs of the environment that the various peoples lived in with notes on climate changes that have occurred since then. Finally, the presentation includes architectural drawings, especially overhead drawings of the layout of whole villages and houses. For me, this had the effect of placing me in the context of what the author was describing. The only drawback was that, due to a large amount of extra material, there were not as many architectural drawings as I might have liked. For example, it …

Notes on quality in Architecture

This following write up is from the Blog of Conrad Newel: http://famousarchitect.blogspot.in/2012/05/84you-dont-have-to-be-good-part-3-its.html Looking over the previous two post in this series – Mountain Dwellings and the New Museum – I was contemplating on the idea of quality (…or lack of it ) as seen in these two famous works: Lack of quality detailing and construction in the Mountain Dwellings and lack of spatial quality in the New Museum. So then I remembered this statement by Mies.  First of all, I was influenced by old buildings. I looked at them, people built them. I don’t know the names, and I don’t know what it was . . . mostly very simple buildings. When I was really young, not even twenty years old, I was impressed by the strength of these old buildings because they didn’t even belong to any epoch. But they were there for one thousand years and still there and still impressive, and nothing could change it. And all the styles, the great styles, passed, but they were still there. They didn’t lose anything. They …