Architecture Monday

I’d go back to school for this!  Just from that first picture alone… but there’s plenty more goodness in the design of this elementary school.

The zig/zag sawtooth roofline is neat on its own, but it’s especially neat how the building pushes and pulls its volumes to use those ridges to create both an entry portico and a larger covered outdoor sports area (complete with observation gallery and right next to the indoor gym).

And then to complement that bold entry hall/assembly space there’s a more intimate courtyard.

Sweet design.  Love the LVT/large timer frame, the infusion of light, the sculptural form, and the care to create an environment befitting our children.

Borgafjellet Elementary School by LINK arkitektur

Philosophy Tuesday

The purpose of art is not to be good at it.

The purpose of art is for SELF-EXPRESSION.

The reason we hone our craft – ie “get good” at it – is to better express.  So that our self-expression is as full and free and clear and powerful as it can be.  And that’s awesome.


Corollary:

The purpose of art is not to get praise.

The purpose of art is for SELF-EXPRESSION.

Whether we are acknowledged, or not, whether we are rewarded, or not, whether we are lauded, or not, if our self-expression is true, then we have done true art.

Architecture Monday

There’s something cool about rooms that blow away the corners.  FLW often did so in his houses, but it’s a fairly common technique that breaks down the confines of a room in a most peculiar way (especially given how accustomed we are to rooms having definite corners).  This little house takes it to a very nifty place, a square where all four of its corners can, through pocket sliding doors, be completely dissolved.

With a few more years planting and growth, each bit of the house could open into set of interconnected lush gardens (a hint of which is in the pictures below).

A small house that uses its neat concept to create something above the ordinary.

The None Angle House by Benoit Rotteleur Architecte.

Philosophy Tuesday

“You either walk into your story

and own your truth,

or you live outside of your story,

hustling for your worthiness.”

Brené Brown

 

(This greatly dovetails into the notions of shame, for who has to hustle for their worthiness than someone who feels unworthy?  Which, by extension, is part and parcel of feeling shame.  And so when we take ownership of our actions, of our behaviour, of our story/stories (again, ownership, not blame, which would be part of invoking shame again) we gain power.  The power to be, the power to choose, the power to create.  And from that comes freedom, self-expression, and peace of mind.)

Architecture Monday

“Business park.”  Chances are (especially if you are from North America) this immediately conjures up an image for you:  low slung concrete slabs of the most unimaginative type* in a sea of pavement with, if lucky, a modicum of dying grass (about as far from a park as possible).  Most towns and cities have them, tucked away here and there and not a place you’d want to be in, even if you have to be there.

The video below is not really about architecture; it’s main focus is on transportation.  But I couldn’t stop from ogling the buildings in this business park.  Because they are actually designed and intended as architecture rather than just the cheapest container for collecting rent money (and if it keeps the rain off then that’s a bonus).   Rather than being soul crushing this area is pleasant and even delightful to be in.  And walkable to boot!

To be fair, this might be considered more of a commercial district than a business park, as it seems to be filled with larger companies than the tiny affairs that usually occupy the North American business park.  But there’s a similar district of that sort to where I live, with some very large companies indeed, filled with 4-6 story buildings, and even those are not as engaging** as the ones there in Amsterdam.  Not to mention the interstitial “landscape” is nothing short of a scorched earth no man’s land that very clearly says that you do not matter.

Great video by Not Just Bikes, and a great example that architecture and design is possible and preferable everywhere, making for spaces that enliven us rather than be something we need to overcome.  Just to do business.

 

* It’s such a cliché that a raze-and-rebuild development here braded themselves as notanotherbox.com as part of their advertising strategy.  The resulting building is quite certainly not a box, and is almost as nice as some of the ones in the video.

** This is one thing I’ve been excited to see travelling abroad:  a higher “baseline design quality” when compared to North America.  One, agan, that says “life is important, we should make it great for us!” rather than, again again, “sorry, you do not matter.”

*** I heartily recommend all of Not Just Bikes’ videos.  They’re fun and well put together and really do a great job to show what’s possible when we remember us humans in our urban design, and how much life is better when we do.