Posts Tagged ‘art’

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Wonder Wednesday

May 22, 2019

A little Watership Down-esque painting…

(to which I am currently mid way through my bi-annual re-read of the novel…)

by Agina

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Wonder Wednesday

May 1, 2019

A short film reel from 1957 of Walt Disney speaking about the invention of the MultiPlane camera, used in their feature animated productions:

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Architecture Monday

April 29, 2019

Now this is a thing of sinuous beauty.  Four intersecting cylinders, shaped and carved by ellipses to form a striking curvaceous form, rendered all the more amazing by the fact that it’s all brick.  Jutting directly out of the water (a bridge is needed to access it it) it’s like an ancient landmass rising directly from the fjord.

The brickwork itself is amazing, custom glazed in hues that vary from the water towards sky, its regularity interrupted not only by the curving forms but also punctuated by special oversized (and circular!) bricks.  The windows and brick merge together to continue the forms, and the whole thing dances in its interactions with water and sky, light and shadow.

Inside, all those curving forms make for some lovely spaces that also boast views out of the great windows towards the city and landscape beyond.  And check out those details, like the circular elevator and wrap-around stair or the conference table with a chandelier that takes reflected sunlight and spreads it throughout the room.  Great stuff.

What a delightfully sculptural and sweet building.  Nicely designed to fill its role, a great mix of indoor and outdoor spaces and a fitting ambassador welcoming you to the city.

The Fjordenhus by Studio Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann.

Bonus video!

 

 

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Architecture Monday

April 22, 2019

Oh yeah!  An old Water Pumping Plant turned Artist Studios and guest house.  Lots of great stuff here, let’s dive right in…

The former pumping hall is a thing of beauty.  40+ feet high and with gorgeous and ginormous windows it’s perfect for a flexible studio.  To add even more flexibility, the old gantry crane has been repurposed to support a movable mezzanine deck that can used either for offices or to support and make the art below.  I love the studio’s minimal deco styling and the strong contrast of white and rich black.  And oh those tall and narrow windows, so elegant, lending a stately air as they pull the space heavenward and let light cast deep within.

As cool as that is, though, the reinhabited attic is divine.  Taking advantage of the original and expressive trusses (designed to allow the hall below to be column free), the lounge and attached guestroom calls to me to go and hang out.  With a few newly added windows it’s a different kind of soaring space than the studio below, the structure vaulting upward cathedral-like and creating a lively mix of light and shadow.

Great stuff, and awesome adaptive reuse.  And a lucky find for the artists!

Water Pumping Renovation by Wenk and Wiese Architects.

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It’s begun

April 18, 2019

Well well well, what have we here

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Wonder Wednesday

April 17, 2019

Following the great news that most of the stained glass has survived, some views of Notre Dame de Paris’ wondrous and amazing stained glass…

(I so love stained glass.  It is one of my architectural ‘fetishes’…)

Photos by Wikimedia Commons and Deb Nystrom

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Architecture Monday

April 15, 2019

Notre Dame de Paris is burning.  I wish that was just a misquoted line from Disney’s version of Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it is not.  The famed cathedral caught fire today and much of it has burned.  The first looks inside are not promising; the stone remains, but many of the vaults have collapsed, many of the artworks and relics within have burned, the spire and roof are gone, and the wonderful stained-glass windows have mostly vanished (happy update: all three of the ginormous rose windows survived)(happy update 2: most of the stained glass has survived!).

Notre Dame in Paris was not the tallest (that would be Beauvais), nor the most carved (that would be Reims), nor the most luminous (that would be the Sainte Chapelle) nor the largest or most complete (that would both be Cologne).  All that meant nothing, however.  It was beloved, the world’s most famous cathedral, long residing at the heart of a vast, powerful, and magnificent city.  I had the fortune to visit the cathedral several times, including christmas eve, sitting in the pews with the architecture bathed in candle light, the windows lightly aglow, and the air filled with choir and pipe organs.  It was glorious.

Churches and cathedrals are often some of our first encounters with monumental architecture, spaces explicitly designed to (and given the opportunity to) evoke something within us just by being there.  The gothic tradition sought to do this through light, dissolving the solidity of the outer walls as much as possible to permit the largest windows possible.  Height was of equal importance, naves stretching heavenward, columns and ribbing arcing upwards to pointed arches and the iconic vaults.  Building technology was stretched to the limits, and new ideas like flying buttresses sprang forth to fulfil on the vision, while themselves being shaped and turned into iconic beauties of their own.  And then there was the art – carvings, statues, ornament, gargoyles, rose windows, stained glass, tile labyrinths, and the mighty pipe organ filling the whole of the church with its resonant sound, a music with no source that washes over you.  Step through the door and you feel it.

This is not the first time a cathedral has suffered a calamity (WW1&2 did a pretty good number on many of them), nor the first time Paris’ cathedral has found itself in dire straits.  The whole reason Victor Hugo wrote his most famous novel was as a call to arms to save the cathedral.  Entire chapters are devoted to the cathedral and architecture throughout Paris, and even a philosophical treatise on the nature of architecture itself (titled “This will kill that.”)  Hugo recognized the beauty of architecture, how it resonates within us.  And he was successful, with the novel causing a groundswell of newfound enthusiasm for the cathedral that it was restored.  Before today, the cathedral was once again in need of serious repair, and work had just begun (which may well turn out to be the cause, unfortunately, a construction accident).

But this tragedy has, like Hugo’s novel, focused attention on the cathedral once more.  Like the damages of WW2, or the never-ending construction of the Sagrada Familia, things will be rebuilt, repaired, and brought back into form.  Architecture is very much a part of people’s soul.  When it’s around day in and day out, it can be easy to take for granted, and we may not notice just how much it is a part of our soul, but it is.  And the soul can heal.

Below are some photos of my first trips to visit the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in all their 35mm film ‘glory’.  They focus on the areas that were most affected by the fire today.  For some interior 360 shots, try here or here.