Tag Archives: Architecture

Fire Island Subway Map

Transit Authority Figures have put together subway maps for places that don’t need them. Here’s Fire Island:

I’d love to see one for Kansas City, though preferably it would be real. Also: the Florida Keys.

(Via BLDGBLOG)

Filling the void

I actually believe MOMA’s home can claim to being a more interesting building than the Guggenheim Museum, but there’s no challenging the Guggenheim’s iconic and revolutionary design. Unless you turned it into a water slide:

More here, from the museum’s request that architects reimagine the building’s  void.

I didn’t know this yesterday

There was a giant house built out of legos. Update: It has been demolished. Bonus update: There are great photos to go with the demolition.

Update: Not legs. LOL.

Beware, all who cross

We’ve unfortunately never had the pleasure of crossing any of the world’s 18 strangest bridges (Why 18? We presume because it’s a strange number.). But we’ve always wanted to visit the sky bridge:

The Rolling Bridge is pretty cool too. All of them, here.

(Via Tim C.)

Old made new

Buildings are very easy to tear down. We like new things, and only miss old ones well after they’re gone. Take New York’s Penn Station, which sure would be more welcoming than that underground maze beneath Madison Square Garden:

More unfortunately demolished train stations are here. Ditto for the United Nations Headquarters, an icon of 1950s kitsch that’s worth preserving, even if what goes on inside isn’t.

Architects are optimists

Daniel Libeskind is a Starchitect, and a lot of the time I don’t like Starchitects (I’m not the only one). There’s a lot to be said for designing a cool building, but there’s a lot more to be said for designing a building that does cool, purposeful stuff.

I also don’t like theoretical discussions. But I like stories, and I like Libeskind’s statement that architecture is a story, is a fairly apt one. Therefore, I recommend spending 20 minutes with this TED Talk, in which he talks sense into his Starchitecture. The final few minutes, on Libeskind’s design for the political, cultural, emotional, and economic maelstrom that is Ground Zero, thankfully make that project seem slightly less maelstromy.

Throwing stones

Update: Did I mention people can watch you?

Glass buildings are hip. The Sears Tower liked them so much, they added a terrifying all-glass terrace. Any new condo building that isn’t a converted warehouse is a column of uninterrupted glass.

Philip Johnson got things going with his Glass House. It looks incredible, and it’s a field-bending invention on the scale of making tennis rackets out of graphite. Architects now had the potential to leave behind bricks and mortar and wood and steel, sort of. But no one in their right mind would want to live in it, for practical reasons (so, insulation?) and, well, more practical reasons (howdy, neighbor).

But that hasn’t stopped today’s starchitects. Richard Meier – who has done his fair share of glass buildings – has put one in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. Walk by on your way to the library, or the park, or wherever, and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of someone doing something in their apartment – something you probably don’t want to see (on a not unrelated note, a legally minded friend informs us that being naked in the home in view of passers-by would not be illegal; fornicating, or the like, in the window would be of questionable legality, as it would be in a car. Lawyers, please weigh in).

But one thinks that the glass-ward trend won’t be a lasting one. It has its benefits in an office tower, where sunlight trumps insulation. But apartment-dwellers don’t have the luxury of only needing the space from 9-5. A Daily Dose of Architecture said it better in discussing a new glass tower in Bangkok:

Is this the end of torqued, möbius and pickle towers? Will architects have a brief fling with shifting glass boxes before they move onto to the next high-rise transformation? I think the expense of these designs (more facade area as well as additional insulation and weatherproofing required on the terraces and soffits) makes them suitable only for super-rich condos and therefore short-lived.

He’s talking about a specific genre of the glass tower, one with shifted floors to create a disjointed glass facade. But it applies more generally to the glass tower, which when it comes to residential complexes, just doesn’t make sense.