Monday, December 20, 2010

Speaking of Houses

I haven't done a piece with a straight architecture bent in a while. I mean to correct that now.

Design does much for both the interior and the exterior of the home (although landscaping will do you one better on the latter), but my initial interest in architecture as a medium of expression and source of enlightenment has not wavered. I've always felt a weird reluctance to come to an understanding with the architecture of homes (Maynard's Mash House the obvious exception), feeling as if I would cross a line of privacy or something of the sort if I tried. However, today, maybe because I'm feeling exploitative, I thought I'd discuss the merits of home architecture. Beginning in the great southwest-

Architect: Daniel Hoffman

This is a small, pueblo-style house in Taos (Zach will quickly remind you the fourth and last city I can remember by name in the GSONM). Zach had the honor and privilege of growing up in Santa Fe, GSONM, where many restrictions were placed on design and architecture of buildings located in the historic district. For those residents of the GSONM, the distinction of integrity hinges on the ability to integrate into the cultural history. Yet, the playful finishes in the adobe and phenomenal incorporation of the landscaping make this building fundamentally intrinsic to the deserts of the GSONM.

On the other side of the world, in Tehran, the Amaj Darman Project makes it evident that residential architecture is sometimes - and this I am going to say with every conviction I can muster, and despite my sensibilities that this is a gorgeous building with no noticeable flaws - simply a rash display of wealth. The sunflowers next to both houses are a nice touch.

Lastly, a quick look to Brazil for the Spring House in Paraty, which instills in me only the conviction of my original point, that perhaps I conjure an overwhelming syllepsis when I delve into the realm of residential architecture. This place deserves to be untouched, even by the critical eye.

Up on the Bauhaus

    via dyt

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wit, Charm, and Sympathies

Pointer thanks to IGS. Try others here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today has been one of those days. Actually, that's only half-truth. This week has been one of those weeks. The outside weather is gloomy without the chance of snow, so I'm going to make this post short and simple. From a Daily Dose tipoff, Cloudscapes:

Hope that was more terribly nostalgic and beautiful than boring for you. Next post (soon!) about a fantastic grade school in Denmark. Life: they're doing it better.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Doctor Who in design

copyright 2010 - under the name

and, oh boy! because c&uw will use just about any excuse to post gratuitous pictures of the most adorable man in the isles. (on the isles? something isles.)


To inquire about ordering prints -

To inquire about having a torrid love affair with Matt Smith, GET TO THE BACK OF THE LINE SOME OF US HAVE BEEN WAITING YEARS.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Most Interesting People of 2010, in no particular order

I suppose now that Barbara Walters has picked her most fascinating people of the year, it's time that C&UW do the same. As consolation for her letdown list, we promise that Justin Bieber is nowhere in sight in ours. Here they are, in no particular order (well, the order is how quickly I found pictures of them):

Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm - Jon Hamm had three significant roles this year:
1. Don Draper boozing and fornicating his way into a shell of himself on everybody's favorite TV show (a joke... the ratings have never surpassed 3 million even during season premieres; compare that with 20 million for Dancing with the Stars).
2. The FBI agent from The Town whose brief scene with Blake Lively makes her look like a real actress (no small feat).
3. Shooting to the top of every lady's list of celebrities that they get a free pass with, including everyone's favorite ne'er-do-bachelorette, Liz Lemon.

Jackie Weaver - in a movie chalked to the brim with unforgettable performances (thank you, whoever keeps giving Guy Pearce amazing roles, and please continue to do so), Jackie Weaver outshone every single one as Smurf in Animal Kingdom. It's the kind of movie that comes back to me in the weirdest moments, when I'm sitting alone on a bench in an art gallery, say, or walking down an untoward alley looking for my escaped cat. I can't talk any of this up enough, so I highly suggest that at first chance, you see it for yourself.

Ijhal, design by Wiel Arets Architects

Wiel Arets Architects - Well, that's enough Hollywood for C&UW, and now onto the architects that have had significant years, or have come onto my radar in big ways. WAA, a Dutch studio, did so by winning the contract for the Ijhal, part of Amerstam's Centraal Station. Anyone who has been to Amsterdam surely must remember Centraal, which sits at the crux of the many railway lines servicing the Netherlands, the city's trams and buses, and ferries servicing the IJ bay. Truly the focal point of the city, WAA does a phenomenal job projecting renovations which will significantly modernize the historical site.

Boris Johnson, for his certifiably loony idea to have escalators span the Thames. I'm not going to add any further comment, just read the last line, look at the picture, read the last line again, and then slowly shake your head. Brits!

New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
Kazuyo Sejima - To be fair, congratulations are in order to all of SANAA, which also includes Sejima's partner Ryue Nishizawa, for winning 2010's Pritzker Prize. However, Sejima's only the second woman to be awarded this honor, after UK's Zaha Hadid in 2004. Ladies in architecture! This is one glass ceiling which hurts me more than any other, and I will take every stone that can be thrown in its general direction because it will only take one to bring the whole thing down. And how apt is the metaphor of glass ceilings when talking about architects! I really pat myself on the back for that one. Shown above, their most recent completed project, the New Museum in NYC.

Andrew Maynard - Because I am quite certain that if C&UW continues to praise him, Mr. Maynard will have to respond to my exceedingly gracious invitation to have a cup of coffee (or tea! I'm not picky!) sometime. Honestly, dude's the reason the phrase "easy on the eyes" was ever coined. And also he does beautiful work, like the Mash House, seen above.

The President and Vice President of the United States - Because I wanted an excuse to paste this picture again. Wasn't it a great one? Oh, and thanks for the health care!

Honorable Mentions, by means of links to their Twitters: @hitRECordJoe@kanyewest@RealRobertWebb@colsonwhitehead@SteveMartinToGo

Enjoy the rest of your 2010, readers! And have an immensely lovely 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

the most existential LSAT question ever encountered

existentialism on test day

Friday, November 19, 2010

lucky ecstacy

Depression hurts. Cigarettes can help.

Or at least turn you ungodly attractive:


Friday, November 12, 2010

bldgblog pulls a c&uw

As you've probably guessed, I'm quite a fan of bldgblog. me personally. I can't speak for any of the other editors of the esteemed c&uw. Percivus von Percival, for instance, is asleep so we will never know his true feelings on the matter of bldgblog. We'll say for the purposes of this blog that they are also in favor.

So it isn't troublesome that they took a page right out of the c&uw playbook and did a post on the bridge and tunnel. For those who need a refresher: bridge / tunnel .

Click here for the bldgblog post.

C&UW would be a pretty boring weblog site if not for the pictures stolen from other sources. So, to compliment the above, and with the admission that with a few pretty simple clickthroughs you could find the same on your own:

Queensboro Bridge
an American tunnel

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

via @louispotok

2011 Typographic Wall Calendar
Project by Harald Geisler

This is serious. This is calendar ART. This is art that is a CALENDAR. This is, may I repeat myself, serious. And striking.

"The keys have to be arranged by hand and photographed line-by-line to achieve high resolution and minimize lens distortion. The 2010 prototype was a gigantic image of 323 Megapixel (15119 x 21378, 1,83 GB Photoshop RGB).
The size of the print is B0 (70cm x 100cm / 27.56in x 39.37in). The large format is needed to reproduce the keys in their actual size. It will be printed in four color offset on thick paper and UV coated to protect the print from scratches and the colors from bleaching. The UV coating also makes it is possible to write on the print with whiteboard markers."

Dear readers, how rare it is I make imperatives. Yet, now, here it is: Pledge. I am.
And you should support those things that I like because my liking things is a direct comment on their worthiness. Of course.

takeoffs and landings

Gibraltar Airport, runway, Mediterranean Sea, etc. 'can't you see?'

Who Flies There:
Air Malta, British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia Airlines, and Monarch Airlines.

Difficult to maneuver, flanked on all sides by international (Spanish not British) airspace, and yet it would all be kosher if not for:

"The most challenging aspect... defies logic."
"They [tourists] think it's a car park. You have people in air traffic control saying 'you can't stop in the middle of the runway'."

See Also: Courcheval Airport, France; Princess Juliana Int'l Airport, St. Maarten

Saturday, November 6, 2010

just a brief comment on the election...

Rand Paul, Senator Elect, Kentucky, 1963-
"I think you don't have a right to happiness -- you have the right to the pursuit of happiness." -Rand Paul

Paul Rand, American graphic designer, 1914-1996
"Art is an idea that has found its perfect visual expression. And design is the vehicle by which this expression is made possible. [...] Design is the foundation of all the arts." -Paul Rand

Discerning citizens are urged by the editor of c&uw to please not confuse the two.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

those cities in which i most often ride trains

rules: one photo for each, none to be repeated. no trains in photos.

A rendering of NYC if the East River were to be filled in to close the gap between Manhattan and Brooklyn
Lake Shore Drive (LSD), easily my favorite road in our nation, also the favorite road of all road travellers for vomiting out of a cab

Apparently flood waves over London Bridge weren't working, so instead just a picture of London (?) as seen through the eyes of the beholder. ie drunk.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Halloween...

last year, convinced nothing was more important, i stayed home on halloween and watched "horror" films (mainly pre-dating the genre) from the 50s.

this year, i go do the societally-accepted halloween thing. i feel like i already know the ending to it, though.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

there's nothing like... bad singing

australian tourism ad, for your viewing pleasure. (15% away from a completed application for ANU, fall semester, beginning February 2011).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Library of Babel, and others, photographed

I can't believe I haven't done a post on libraries yet. They are the cream in my architecture pastry.
One of the better artistic renderings of Borges' Library of Babel, 1941

Salt Lake City Main Public Library in Salt Lake City, Utah by Moshe Safdie and Associates, 2003

Stockholm Library by Interior Architects Armel Neouze, Jacques Gelez, and Olivier Charles, 2007

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt, Architects: Snøhetta, 2002

And lest any of this make you homesick:

Harper Library Reading Room, The University of Chicago

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reykjavik-Rotterdam (stp.) PRAGUE

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.

Friday, October 15, 2010


has fyrg been reading c&uw? evidence:

aaaand you're welcome. p.s. can't legally show you these and then not promote either blue valentine or all good things and since kirsten dunst has a monopoly on my heebeejeebies and also was never in dawson's creek, i think we all know where my cinematic dollars lie.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

six things i learned reading the six finalists for V&A Museum in Dundee press release

1. Dundee is a city in Scotland

2. The V&A has branches? Like, outside of London?

3. The director of the V&A is a knight (or baronet, but most likely knight) and therefore may brush elbows with Sir Peter Crane at knight functions. Sir Peter Crane, of course, designed the Kew Gardens before his real life began and he received the honourable distinction of becoming my natsci prof for the "biology of algae" quarter.

4. Scotland has a waterfront. Like, one that people occasionally frequent as they would a waterfront in a non-arctic continent.

5. Seriously though! Dundee = not just an Australian icon! Actually a city! In a country! That is not Australia!

6. Obviously who will win the design competition for the V&A branch in Dundee, Scotland. And here's a hint: Americans.

the sustainable underground, under-desert (before dessert?) structure

I guess my earlier entry on the most beneficial architecture belonging to the southwest, exclusive Arizona, forced its hand. And boy would I ever force it again, with this result:

The sustainable, underground building, using the space of an abandoned pit mine. The idea, called "Above Below", is the brainchild (I hate that word, but n'est-ce pas or let them eat cake or whatever) of Matthew Fromboluti and goddamn if it isn't something.

Thsustainable building will feature its own power source, water recycling system and mechanisms such as a solar chimney that will help control the artificial climate. Lest you think something that dark and cut off from the natural way of things be ugly and torturous to look at, here are some designs-

I could not be more into this whole thing, as it combines my earnest desire to see everyone live underground and in the southwest along with a very real understanding that no one will front the cash for this unless Lex Luther is looking for a new lair, or the Green Party needs a good hiding space from neocons with teacups. (Don't we all.) It's a formidable design, from what I can see, spot on and, yes this word again, sustainable. Which in 'Above Below's case, has more than just green implications, but certainly needs to project livable, workable, and, above all, doable. And here's a shot of the Lavender Pit Mine outside of Brisbee, AZ, as it sits, untouched, today-

Where the fuck do I sign up as early investor in what is surely going to be the COOLest (so punny you forgot to laugh) building in Arizona.