Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Burj Khalifa

Image via Daily Icon

The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower at a half-mile high, opened this month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), after six years of construction.  The 828m (2,716ft) tall tower is named after the president of the UAE and ruler of emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan. The total cost for the Burj Khalifa project was about $1.5 billion with the entire new “Downtown Dubai”, coming in at $20 billion.

Clad in 28,000 glass panels, the tower has 160 floors and more than 500,000 sq m of space for offices and apartments.

The tower also boasts to the highest occupied floor, the tallest elevator, and the world’s highest observation deck – on the 124th floor. The world’s highest mosque and swimming pool will meanwhile be located on the 158th and 76th floors.

Burj Khalifa

While hailed as an architectural wonder, it also has been criticized. “It uses as much electricity as an entire city. And every time the toilet is flushed, they’ve got to pump water half a mile into the sky,” says Jim Krane, an author who has written on Dubai.


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Frank Lloyd Wright, The Complete Works 1943 - 1959

The Complete Works 1943 - 1959

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the fathers of modern architecture; his work helped define the modern era, had a widespread cultural influence, and remains highly influential today, half a century after his demise.

Part of an exhaustive three-volume monograph featuring all of Wright’s 1,100 designs, both realized and unrealized. This volume covers the postwar years and the “living architecture” period, starting in 1943, when Wright’s organic “living architecture” introduced ideas for the use of solar energy and curved open spaces. In addition to many private projects and the Guggenheim museum, the period up to 1959 includes Wright’s astonishing plans for a new Baghdad, his only realized high-rise tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the crystal figure of the Beth Sholom Synagogue in Pennsylvania, and plans for an endless row of houses with floor plans based on hexagons.

The book is authored by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer (director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, a vice-president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and the author of numerous publications on Wright’s life and work) and edited by Peter Gössel. Originally scheduled for release this month (May 2009), the release date has been pushed back until July 2009.  The publisher, TASCHEN, has a great Leaf Through! option on their website.

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When I named this blog Vene, Vidi, Voce — I Came, I Saw, I’ve Got to Tell You About It, this was the type of post I had in mind.   A web site that I just stumbled upon (I can say that without infringing any copyrights, can’t I?) has rocketed to becoming my favorite site and my first check in the morning.  The site is Daily Icon Magazine.  It is a beautiful site covering architecture, design, fine gadgets, exotic foods and travel.  I will let the site speak for itself below and when you click and check it out.

Daily Icon Magazine features profiles of extraordinary Designers, Architecture and Products, with a special focus on furniture, accessories and lighting for the home. Dedicated to unearthing emerging and established talent and sharing inspiring design solutions. The format is simple: lots of images, carefully edited.

In addition, regular weekly posts feature:

Monday – Archicon
Every week we feature on an Architecture Icon, from the early days of modernism to the present.

Tuesday – Interiors
From Abidjan to Zürich, the best in domestic and commercial interiors

Wednesday – Living Icon
Major contributors to design — people (past, present or future) who have changed, or will change, the course of design as we know it.

Thursday – Design Icon
A single product or design that has had a direct and lasting impact on our culture, either though design, function or meaning.

Friday – Food & Travel
Out of the way destinations, and some of the most creative hotels, restaurants and cutting edge ideas in cuisine, as well as current trends in packaging.

Saturday – Books
A well stocked library is essential — designer monographs, photography and architecture, each carefully selected to inspire.

Sunday – Rest
All the rest: photography, art, eclecticism, and all the things that life offers.

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Falling Water via www.wright-house.com

Falling Water via http://www.wright-house.com

Will T.C. Boyle’s new novel, The Women, and Nancy Horan’s novel, Loving Frank—both about Frank Lloyd Wright and the women in his life—boost interest in Wright’s architecture and visits to the houses he designed? Perhaps, but Wright’s buildings are hardly hurting for visitors.

Wright’s Fallingwater house, which Time magazine declared his “most beautiful job” shortly after it was completed in 1937, has seen millions of visitors over the years. Located 50 miles from Pittsburgh, it’s worthy of adoration, spanning a waterfall and still somehow blending nearly seamlessly into the landscape. By all accounts, it was the inspiration for Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. The New Yorker once called it “Wright’s extraordinary essay in horizontal space.”

See it now: The house is open to visitors six days a week from mid-March through Thanksgiving.

Architecture connoisseurs have another option. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust is offering an All-Access Fallingwater tour April 25-28. It takes in the Fallingwater house and other highlights of Pittsburgh-area architecture, including a couple of Lloyd Wright-designed Usonian homes, Kentuck Knob and the Duncan House. At $1,795, which includes accommodations in a four-star hotel, it’s not cheap, but it could be well worth it for Wright aficionados. They get more time than the average visitor to explore the house—especially the dramatic living room.

“It’s the first room you enter and it’s over the falling water,” the Preservation Trust’s Patti Bigelow told me. “There’s almost like this glass enclosure you can roll back and then there’s a staircase that goes down to the waterfall. It’s everyone’s first awe experience once they get inside the home.”

via Jim Benning, the cofounder and coeditor of World Hum.

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Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s death. Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle has proclaimed today as “Frank Lloyd Wright Remembrance Day in Wisconsin, in memory of Wisconsin’s most famous son.”

Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 projects, which resulted in more than 500 completed works.

Wright promoted organic architecture, was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture, and developed the concept of the Usonian home. His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, hotels, and museums. Wright also often designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass.

Wright authored 20 books and many articles, and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio.

Already well-known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time”

Wright on the Web

Wright on the Web

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