Archive for April, 2017

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Wonder Wednesday

April 26, 2017

This is Steve.

A ribbon of hot flowing gas traveling about 6km per second.

Like an aurora, but separate,

hanging still,

a pillar of light,

pointing the way.

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Philosophy Tuesday

April 25, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Every now and again,

It’s good to get a little reminder,

To just,

Frankly,

Stop taking ourselves so damn seriously.

 

(as also noted by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander)

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Architecture Monday

April 24, 2017

Not trains tonight, but a Metro station in Paris, and one that marvelously connects neighbourhoods, not only via the subway but by an expressive bridge that both crosses and provides access to the Saint-Denis canal.  Oh, and it’s by my darlings, BIG Architects…

There’s a rather straightforwardness to the basic idea.  You’ve got a subway and you want to bring light down to the platform so you extrude up a large glass-topped atrium.  Now, like a giant paperclip, wrap a path around that atrium to touch both the distant and nearby shores.  And just like that, you’ve got a sensual form that invites and provides an easy and fun path to the station and to the water’s edges.  The bridge is meant to be more than just easy conveyance – following the city’s long history of bridges as social spaces, the bridge is extra wide and incorporates seating into its sculptural structure.

From there, the bridge spirals downward to create the sunlit atrium, with a cascade of escalators taking travelers down towards the Metro tracks.

There’s a certain simplicity of idea happening here that I like.  It’s very straightforward, a form derived directly from circulation and the ideas of connecting the adjacent boroughs.  That same straightforwardness is nonetheless delivered in a very playful and expressive manner, one that enhances the public space around the canal and very much the Metro station below.  Even if you don’t stop here, riding the Metro into the station will be an experience as you emerge from the tunnel into the luminous hall.  It’s not just infrastructure that has been reduced to its most brutal form; it’s infrastructure that honours the public space we all inhabit.  It takes a need and fulfills it in splendid ways.

The Pont De Bondy Metro Station by BIG Architects.

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Wonder Wednesday

April 19, 2017

A lovely Lynx Shaman design by Quidames:

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Philosophy Tuesday

April 18, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Reality is what we take to be true.

What we take to be true is what we believe.

What we believe is based upon our perceptions.

What we perceive depends on what we look for.

What we look for depends on what we think.

What we think depends on what we perceive.

What we perceive determines what we believe.

What we believe determines what we take to be true.

What we take to be true is our reality.

Quantum Physicist David Bohm

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Architecture Monday

April 17, 2017

A nice little piece of adaptive reuse tonight, converting an auto body shop into a Japanese bathhouse.  Wait, what?

But yes, that is completely the case.  Often we overlook many of the buildings around us, indifferent to them and only noticing when we come across big-A or grand architecture.  Yet the everyday buildings make much more of an impression on us (very much every day as it says in their name), and everyday buildings are all capable of being spaces that invite and uplift.  And so, here, this everyday building was repurposed (I will not say rehabilitated, for I don’t think it was unhabilitated before) with care to create a serene space where we may not have expected one to be found.

Exposed brick, cleaned up timber supports and columns plus new walls made of reclaimed wood, an adjusted ceiling to transform the proportions of the space, skylight to bring light deep into the space, a sealed and polished concrete floor – all elements that make themselves seen in various combinations throughout the bathhouse.  Add to that an overall aesthetic that continually mixes opposites to heighten and enhance each and every part.  It’s straightforward and sensuous.  Lovely place.

Onsen in San Francisco.

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Beauty and the Remake

April 13, 2017

It’s a tale as old as time… and a movie as old as 1991.

Ahh, Beauty and the Beast.  A tale as old as time… and a movie that sailed into our hearts in the more recent times of 1991.

The original animated movie came as Disney was rocketing skyward once more in what’s come to be known as the Disney Renaissance (culminating with my beloved The Lion King).  It ended up being nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the first and only time an animated movie has been thusly nominated (and likely to remain the only time with the subsequent creation of the Best Animated Feature category).  The ballroom scene remains one of the most stunning moments in animation history.  It is firmly entrenched as a Disney Classic.

So how does this classic tale and animated glory fare in its live-action remake?

(Caution!  Spoilers ahead!) Read the rest of this entry ?