Archived entries for architecture

Putting this here so I don’t forget about these beautiful things:

Via Yewknee:

This gallery of Yugoslovian monuments is a feast for the eyes but, even better, if you read through this thorough explanation of their past you will get a little treat for the brain. The diversity of the designs is impressive and the motivation behind their initial construction makes their neglect even more poignant.

One more…

What’s now decay and rot once was bright and brilliantly full of hope: Who lived here? What were their lives like? What happened? How did it all come apart? How did it all crumble to almost nothing?

In the case of Hashima Island, or Battleship Island (Gunkanjima in Japanese) as it’s often called, hope and optimism became dust and decay because one black resource (coal) was replaced by a cheaper black resource (oil). Populated first in 1887, the island – which is 15 kilometers from Nagasaki – only began to really, and phenomenally, become populated much later, in 1959.

Via Dark Roasted Blend, with many more pictures and information, along with more things about abandoned urban spaces.

The New York Waterfall

Olafur Eliasson’s 15 millon dollar New York City Waterfalls art instillation was given its first test run early on Tuesday morning. Pictured above is one of 4 artificial waterfalls that have be installed around New York City. The falls go active on Thursday, and will run for 13 hours a day until mid October.

More pictures are here at the New York Times.

 The Edison Bar - Los Angeles

If I’m lucky, this is where I’ll go when I die. A pity it’s in LA and not some place I actually like.

Flickr gallery here. Official site here.

Kowloon - The Walled City of the Nine Dragons

Welcome to Kowloon, one of the most bizarre singularities in all of the urban spaces on the planet. Originally China’s tiny protectorate in Hong Kong, Kowloon was a fort that protected against pirates and colonial advances until the British took control of Hong Kong. The Chinese held on to their fort in the heart of Hong Kong and it slowly transformed into an urban space. When the Japanese invaded during World War II, they stripped down the walls to use for building material elsewhere. After the war ended, the Triads took over Kowloon, using its impregnable mass to hide from the Hong Kong police. For nearly three decades the Triads ruled their little island much in the way the Chinese did before the war. Then, in the mid-70s the police focused their efforts and removed the Triads from Kowloon. With gangsters gone, the residents of the Walled City started to build. Most of what they were building wasn’t planned, and nearly all of it was done without professional oversight. The result is what you see above. In the 80s, city planners decided that Kowloon had become too much of a problem to be left standing in modern Hong Kong. By that time, Kowloon had grown notorious for its drug and prostitution dens, as well as back-alley medicine. The demolition of the city began in 1993. Ultimately, the space was used for a large urban park, also called Kowloon.

Here’s a video shot about 3 years before the demolition started.

Wikipedia will tell you more.

Iceland Sanctuary.

This is where I’d want to spend the rest of my days.

A volcanic stretch of islands to the south of Iceland.

More isolated homes here.

Crystal Island

The year is 2013. The place is Moscow, Russia. Welcome to Crystal Island, the worlds largest structure. The world’s first true archology.

From Inhabitat:

The statistics for the project are absolutely staggering; floor area alone will be four times the size of Pentagon in Washington DC. The incredible 1500 ft. tall multi use structure will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, sports complex and much more. There will also be a 16,500 space underground parking lot for all the visitors. The Crystal Island visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Moscow on the viewing platforms located 980 ft. above ground.

From the official Foster + Partners site:

The tent-like superstructure rises to 450m, and forms a breathable second skin and thermal buffer for the main building, shielding the interior spaces from Moscow’s extreme summer and winter climates. Providing accommodation that is flooded with daylight, this second skin will seal itself in winter to minimise heat losses, and open in summer so that the interior can be cooled naturally. Efficient energy management is at the heart of the design, with strategies including on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation.

From Me:
Its weird that not two decades ago, all the near-future fictionists were saying that the Japanese would be the ones to do this. Build the first self-contained building city, I mean. Most of people were still predicting Russia to still be a smoldering-post Cold War crater of insanity at that point, not a self-empowered near-totalitarian super state. And now we can see how fast times can change. Japan is becoming more and more like the US; bloated, impotent, mentally questionable and obsessed with their own trite pop culture. While Russia has become everything we thought Japan would become; a state that uses its people as tools, where the lines between criminal, statesman, corporation and soldier are so blurred that they might as well not exist. Crystal Island is the new face of the future. Which is good, because Russia is a much scarier future. The Japanese fight with honor and superiority. Russians fight with broken bottles, cold and nihilism. And they fight dirty. And dirty fights are always more fun to watch.

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