Category Archives: Architecture

More Than Prayer Books

Who says books are going out of style? Perhaps they’re coming back in on the wings of a prayer as religion is going out. Take a look at this new bookstore, Waanders In Der Broeren in Zwolle, Netherlands, which is housed in a converted 15th century Dominican church. BK.Architecten did the redesign, with the brief that all original fittings (windows, organ, ceiling paintings, expansive arches) must remain in place, while including additional retail space. See more photographs at the architect’s site here

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…thanks ThisIsColossal...

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Window House

During a walk through the hills of West Virginia on their first date, Lilah Horwitz and Nick Olson chatted about constructing a house that had an uninterrupted view of the spectacular sunset they were viewing, with no walls masking the beautiful light. They then travelled America, collecting old window frames, and the next year, built their light-filled cabin in that very woods…

lilah horwitz and nick olson Lilah Horwitz & Nick Olson

…thanks ThisIsColossal

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Unite d’Habitation

unite d'habitation hallway

Between 1947 and 1952, Le Corbusier, the Swiss-French architect who revolutionized architecture with his modern vision and use of new materials, created Unité d’Habitation, an apartment complex situated between the Mediterranean and the mountains in Marseilles. With its ocean liner appearance, spacious, double height living spaces for all 337 units, and standing on tapered, concrete legs above a green landscape beneath, made this a truly unique structure, of which the world had never seen before. Corbusier’s intentions were to provide humane, beautifully designed living spaces to those bombed out of their homes in World War II, making a ‘vertical city’ with shared communal spaces, roof-top garden, swimming pool, nursery, theatre, hotel, restaurant and medical facilities (not all of them realised). UNESCO‘s World Heritage Committee is evaluating this wonder of the modern world, considering whether to bring it into the fold of a World Heritage Site, alongside the Taj Mahal and the Egyptian Pyramids. Check out the BBC’s article and slideshow of images on Unité d’Habitation here

le corbusier, unite d'habitation model 1946

…the building is still in use today, with residents living the shared, communal life that was Corbusier’s original vision for it…

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…read an article at ArchDaily on the retro-fitting of Unité d’Habitation and check out Paul Soulellis’ Flickr site of interior photographs of one of the apartments here. And below, a fine documentary on the building, giving us a glimpse of the apartments themselves and life at Unité d’Habitation. It’s in French, but here’s a link to another short film in English, talking about recent renovations…

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Maison L

Maison L, winner of the 2012 Royal Institute of British Architects Award from the architectural firm of Christian Pottgiesser. With five structures on a 5000 m. piece of land and attached to an 18th century estate, individual buildings are designed to give each family member a private space, fluidly connecting inside and outside without intruding on the old forest surrounding the buildings. Using indigenous stone wending through the structures and planting each building half-underground with interconnecting rooms gives this magical, modern place (half an hour west of Paris) poetry…

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Maison L, interior

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Miller House

Watch this film on a most exquisite house in Columbus, Indiana, the J. Irwin Miller House. Designed by Eero Saarinen, with interior design by Alexander Girard (see previous post below) and landscape design by Dan Kiley. It’s a breathtaking piece of domestic architecture, built in 1963, and still as fresh and contemporary as the day it was made…

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…gate design by Girard, with his textile design board below…

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…read more at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. See more photographs and links at Mid-Centuria. Photo credits to Indy Star and Dwell Magazine…

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