from the Similarity Files – Boston City Hall

Boston City Hall by Kallmann, McKinnell, and Knowles

The connection here is more than obvious, and not exactly news either, but it is extra-topical in some ways. Just as our very very poor imitation of this building is slated for demolition (it might as well be), so too is the Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, proposing the abandonment of the Boston City Plaza, Hall and all, and relocating the Government Center to a South Boston site. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 8th November 2009
Under: Similarity Files | 16 Comments »

Video of the Week IX: Le Corbusier’s Mediterranean cabanon comes to London

The blurb says: 

Le Corbusier’s summer cabin - a tiny bolthole built in the south of France for his wife – has been reconstructed at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Jonathan Glancey steps inside to discover what it tells us about the architect’s other monumental buildings

It’s kind of mind-blowing that it is in this space that Corb designed some of those vast concrete megaliths that architectural historians do love so much. That aside, I just love the craft here, and the novel solutions to the problems of everyday living – it puts me in mind to our recent visits to the Black and Einhorn Houses in that respect… But, the minimum dwelling? A model for affordable living? I suspect that it really does need the views that it had originally in order to make this livable rather than soul-destroying, and the lack of kitchen (and consequent reliance on the next door restaurant) isn’t really going to work for the usual low-income earner… and where the heck would you put the widescreen tv, let alone get far enough away to view it all…

Fwiw, Corb spent his last night here (in the cabin in its original location, not at RIBA in london), before drowning on 27 August 1965.

m-d

Posted on 17th March 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Video of the Week | 17 Comments »

Video of the Week VIII: Mister Glasses (episode 1)

This is actually the first episode of 6 short stylishly noir Mister Glasses film clips (although for some reason episode 5 is missing). Never before has the relationship between love, sex, patricide, and Modernist architecture been so clearly expressed – it’s enough to make contemporary Modernist revivalism look hollow and superficial in comparison to the seriousness with which Mister Glasses and his team approach architecture and its meaning…

My favourite is the second episode – although ep. 6 is pretty good too, especially if you are looking for architectural pick-up lines to try out… If there is a moral in there somewhere, it seems the Modernist always ‘gets the girl’… (perhaps this explains the current revival?)…

Episode 2; episode 3, episode 4, episode 6.

Update: the ‘lost’ episode 5 was taken down by youtube, but is available here. That youtube felt compelled to remove it is quite ironic in the context of structural nudity honesty that the client initially rejected… However, the real question is, where can we get an engineer as blankly persuasive as Hard Hat…?

Posted on 10th March 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Video of the Week | No Comments »

Recent & future Arch Centre site visits – what say you?

We have been pleased by the positive feedback that we have received from members who took advantage of our recent house visits, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and hospitality of Jane Black (Black House visit), Jule Einhorn and Di Austin (Einhorn House visit) and Bob White (Renwick House visit).

    

Viewing these houses allows us not only the chance to make connections back to the beginning, and in many ways the founding principles, of the Architectural Centre, but they also provide us with the opportunity to consider how we live and design for living today… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 6th March 2009
Under: AC EVENTS, Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Site Visit: Einhorn & Toomath houses

Click on the invitation for a larger image.

Just when the Modernist house becomes cool again (in terms of contemporary retro-modernist design at least), owners of the actual Modernist houses can’t wait to get out of theirs (actually, its not quite that simple) – giving us all a chance to view and perhaps make a purchase of authentic architecturally-designed heritage.  Ditch your villa/bungalow pretensions and (for a night at least) come and check out ‘design for living’ at the Einhorn and Renwick Houses … see you there!! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 3rd March 2009
Under: AC EVENTS, Site visits | 2 Comments »

Video of the Week V: Los Angeles Plays Itself

Ok – enough of the sordid student activities (for now at least). How ’bout something a little more cerebral, in the form of a discussion of the role of Modernist houses in Hollywood movies. The somewhat droll announcer explores the association of villainy with Modernism - something to keep in mind when you pen the design for your next retro-modernist contemporary dwelling… what is it that you are really saying about your clients…

m-d

Posted on 17th February 2009
Under: Video of the Week | 1 Comment »