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The Surly Architecture Thread

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I've always loved architecture, ever since I was a kid. Thought about starting this thread many a time at the old site, just never happened for one reason or another.

 

Anyway, I actually meant to start this yesterday but got busy and forgot. The reason is that it was the 100th birthday of Jørn Utzon, Pritzker Prize winner and designer of probably the most beautiful and recognizable building currently on the face of this planet:

 

Below-The-Moon-Full-moon-over-the-Sydney1491592110293.jpeg

 

If you're not familiar with the story of Utzon's design, Google it because it's pretty fascinating. Long story short, he kind of came out of nowhere to win the design competition, certain powerful people in Australia never liked it, the design and construction became a giant fiasco, and Utzon himself didn't even end up attending the opening.

 

Any other Surly architecture fans out there? What are some of your favorite buildings?

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5 hours ago, tokamak said:

probably the most beautiful and recognizable building currently on the face of this planet:

Uhmmmm...

 

taj-mahal-agra-3.jpg

 

Most people know that the Taj Mahal was built by an Indian sultan, (Shah Jahan) as a tomb for his most beloved wife. What is less well known is that he bankrupted his kingdom in constructing it and his son deposed him and locked him in a nearby tower, (Agra Fort) with a window overlooking the memorial where he spent the last eight years or so of his life,. What's more, he had planned an identical tomb for himself across the river that flows behind the building as shown above. You can still see the foundations on aerials or GoogleEarth. Instead he was entombed next to his wife in the Taj.

 

05eBdKv.jpg

 

While the Sydney Harbor Opera House is stunning, the almost 400 year old mausoleum is incomparable.

In my humble opinion, of course.

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3 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

28jif5d.jpg

Been thinking about this for a tattoo.

2,500 year concrete structure in Rome w/ a 24' open sky  ocular  in the roof and the largest dome in the world for 1,300 years.

Edited by Onboard 2.0

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22 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

28jif5d.jpg

Been thinking about this for a tattoo.

My grandson and 2 of his classmates delivering reports on that iconic building to their classmates during a school trip last month.

 

019035_F7_C2_E1_44_F6_BD45_50_FEEA3421_F

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12 hours ago, Armybrat said:

My grandson and 2 of his classmates delivering reports on that iconic building to their classmates during a school trip last month.

 

019035_F7_C2_E1_44_F6_BD45_50_FEEA3421_F

Truly innovative architecture and material use for its time.  Several different types and strengths of concrete used in the construction of the structure right up thru the domes 24' ocular opening denser to lighter).  The weight reducing, and beautiful coffers in the ceiling that don't reduce strength.

 

One of my top 5 favorite pieces of architecture ever, no. 1 for sure for ancient works.

Edited by Onboard 2.0

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2qa1bmf.jpg

 

The greatest piece of architecture of the 20th century in my opinion commercial or residential.  Certainly makes a top all time list as well along with Wright himself as an architect.

 

FLW was an arrogant ass hole who buried the engineers report/designs in the concrete of the structure.  The engineer said the structural members FLW proposed weren't strong enough, and it would fail, and it has been, slowly over the decades.  

Still a magical amalgamation of forms, materials and above all site unrivaled in the world.

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Yeah, everything I've read about FLW makes him sound like a real piece of work, personally. No question that the dude could ball out, though. Here's one of my favorites FLWs, Jacobs 1 - the first Usonian house.

JaLOW_Andrew-Pielage-1.jpg

 

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Falling Water had fallen into a state of disrepair and had o be restored a few years back.

Saw an episode of Island Hunters on HGTV that featured a  newly constructed FLW design on a heart shaped island north of NYC. Seems a fellow bought the island which only had a small FL house on it, but came with a set of plans for a larger home designed by FLW around a particular rock outcrop a few years before he died. The new house was never built until the last owner purchased the property in 1996. It turned out quite well, being built exactly on the spot where Wright wanted it.

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/real-estate/g10371053/frank-lloyd-wright-petra-island/

Edited by Armybrat

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1 hour ago, tokamak said:

Yeah, everything I've read about FLW makes him sound like a real piece of work, personally. No question that the dude could ball out, though. Here's one of my favorites FLWs, Jacobs 1 - the first Usonian house.

JaLOW_Andrew-Pielage-1.jpg

 

His first family was hacked to bits by an insane maid. She boarded up some key exits to the Taliesan east house in Wisconsin , set the house on fire and then as the family exited the one door she left open she did a Lizzie Borden on em.

He was an arrogant prig who hated the attention all the European architects practicing international architecture received.

There's a little Usonian home in my wifes' home town overlooking a beautiful piece of water. Cool house painted international orange as a requirement by Wright. It went up for sale some months back, not sure if its sold yet.

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3 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

Falling Water had fallen into a state of disrepair and had o be restored a few years back.

Saw an episode of Island Hunters on HGTV that featured  newly constructed FLW design on a heart shaped island up north somewhere. Seems a fellow bought the island which only had a small house on it, but came with a set of plans for an unusual home designed by FLW around a particular rock outcrop a few years before he died. The new house was never built until the last owner purchased the property. It turned out quite well, being built exactly on the spot where Wright wanted it.

He was a genius, one of the greatest architects ever, top 5 for sure in my opinion.  Didn't finish college. 

Today with some of the BS rules they have he couldn't even get licensed.  Tadao Ando (famous Japanese architect renowned for his work with poured concrete was never formally trained either).

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See my edit.

As a kid interested in home design growing up in the 1950s, FLW was one of my "heroes". The California architect Cliff May was another.

My friends thought that was kinda odd, as the baseball & football jocks of the day didn't interest me. I was really saddened when Wright passed away.

When we drove out for the Fiesta Bowl 10 years ago, my only sightseeing interest was to visit Taliesin West.

Edited by Armybrat

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6 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

See my edit.

As a kid interested in home design growing up in the 1950s, FLW was one of my "heroes". The California architect Cliff May was another.

My friends thought that was kinda odd, as the baseball & football jocks of the day didn't interest me. I was really saddened when Wright passed away.

When we drove out for the Fiesta Bowl 10 years ago, my only sightseeing interest was to visit Taliesin West.

Yep, got to visit Taliesin East a few years back in Wisconsin, and have been to Oak Park in Chicago to see several works all within a few blocks of each other.  Amazing architecture. He was a stylistic genius of form and space, but a horrible technical designer.  

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Yeah well, he left the tech part to his shop rats.

Dude would've enjoyed the Surly NSAA forum, he had an eye for trim.

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Great thread. Recommended reading.

https://www.amazon.com/Vitruvius-Ten-Books-Architecture-Bks/dp/0486206459/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523459277

Not the best audio, but I like this guys take.

Ornament has shifted from geometric forms and small accents to being the entire facade. It's going to hopefully get better as parametric modeling and manufacturing advances, but right now I think the art side of buildings has been lost somewhat. Sad that there isn't anymore master craftsmen on the outside of buildings, but understandable with modern wall types and building components. 

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15 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Yep, got to visit Taliesin East a few years back in Wisconsin, and have been to Oak Park in Chicago to see several works all within a few blocks of each other.  Amazing architecture. He was a stylistic genius of form and space, but a horrible technical designer.  

Can confirm. I love the guy, his use of natural stone and working within the environment was great. I have a friend who just had to re-roof one of his houses though, it had a ton of leaks and problems with roof drainage. Bad detailing. This is to be expected of someone who is a visionary though, the great architects should always engage with a consultant to prevent technical failures like this. Even in modern high-end residential buildings, this isn't the case though from what I've seen. 

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1 hour ago, Sidney Sherman said:

Can confirm. I love the guy, his use of natural stone and working within the environment was great. I have a friend who just had to re-roof one of his houses though, it had a ton of leaks and problems with roof drainage. Bad detailing. This is to be expected of someone who is a visionary though, the great architects should always engage with a consultant to prevent technical failures like this. Even in modern high-end residential buildings, this isn't the case though from what I've seen. 

Consult ?? !!  You expected FLW to consult with lowly roofing contractors or structural engineers ??!!!!!  

Collaboration of the trades is paramount to a successful design and fabrication always, especially in todays litigious society !!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Consult ?? !!  You expected FLW to consult with lowly roofing contractors or structural engineers ??!!!!!  

Collaboration of the trades is paramount to a successful design and fabrication always, especially in todays litigious society !!

lol not roofing contractors, a roof and waterproofing consultant. Hopefully some structural engineer somewhere was glancing at the designs too, wouldn't want a pond on the roof to cause a collapse somewhere. Nah that only happens in warehouse bldgs hopefully. 

desktop-1429539832.jpg

But yeah it probably wasn't that he thought he was too good to consult with those types of technical people on his projects, it was probably that he was so plugged into to the visionary aspect of the design it didn't even occur to him to worry about keeping the roof from leaking and such.

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Roofer dogs are a different breed. had one on my roof 35 years ago. only came down at break time with is owner - to piss in the side yard.

anyway, the Aztecs had the ornament thing going long before Cortes showed up...

1fec17a21e73578a1d536ad41e85543c.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, RMac5 said:

I’m kind of partial to the UT Tower.

Eeh, too many windows for my tastes/needs.

Edited by Whitman

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30 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

I.M. Pei turns 101 today. Living the Pei way.

Happy birthday Mr. Pei.  I've not always been a big fan of some of his work. Some of it  just kinda bores me.  He's a giant in the architectural world however.  Hope I can work as long as he has.

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That rendering is horribad. Looks like MS Paint. Here's a better/more recent one I found:

lacma15.JPG?itok=FdMwNKSC

I'm still not a huge fan, tbh. Interesting idea but otherwise it's pretty blah.

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15 hours ago, tokamak said:

That rendering is horribad. Looks like MS Paint. Here's a better/more recent one I found:

lacma15.JPG?itok=FdMwNKSC

I'm still not a huge fan, tbh. Interesting idea but otherwise it's pretty blah.

Pedestrians in LA?

lol

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On 4/11/2018 at 10:45 AM, Onboard 2.0 said:

His first family was hacked to bits by an insane maid. She boarded up some key exits to the Taliesan east house in Wisconsin , set the house on fire and then as the family exited the one door she left open she did a Lizzie Borden on em.

He was an arrogant prig who hated the attention all the European architects practicing international architecture received.

There's a little Usonian home in my wifes' home town overlooking a beautiful piece of water. Cool house painted international orange as a requirement by Wright. It went up for sale some months back, not sure if its sold yet.

You're close on most of this . . .  

Wright left his family in Oak Park for Mamah Borthwick Cheney, herself a married woman with children.  They moved to Taliesin in Spring Green, where a male servant set fire to the studio after blocking several of the doors.  The attacked survivors of the fire as they attempted to flee.  I don't recall exactly who or how many died but I think among them were Cheney and her children (and some others).  

 

 

On 4/10/2018 at 7:44 PM, Onboard 2.0 said:

2,500 year concrete structure in Rome w/ a 24' open sky  ocular  in the roof and the largest dome in the world for 1,300 years.

Oculus

Edited by Bullneck

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I was going to post this last week, but wasn't sure where. The ultimate American ruin porn site, Michigan Central Station, abandoned Detroit commuter rail hub. I know I have discussed it with Swayze in the past. It was bought by a local billionaire family 20ish years ago and left to rot as Tiger Stadium and the Corktown neighborhood around it crumbled. With some prodding from the Mayor's office, they began to replace the windows and clean it up over the past few years as Corktown began to revive a bit and the Police Athletic League rebuilt Tiger Stadium as a youth baseball facility (you can see the Depot in the background). 

It was announced this week (unofficially) that Ford is buying the Depot and moving a bunch of employees down there to inhabit the building and a few other surrounding warehouses as the central hub for their autonomous vehicle division. Exciting news for the city but also going to very cool to see what they do with this magnificent structure. The rumor is they plan to keep the atrium/lobby open to the public. 

db226aff0c10c08852d771345b283bfd.jpg_81222791_rick-harris-flickr-granted.jpg6357536930246963101259309204_5260170376_shemmerle_2009-7470-bearbeitet.jpgMCSlobbyupHDRps1.jpg

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On 4/26/2018 at 1:53 PM, tokamak said:

That rendering is horribad. Looks like MS Paint. Here's a better/more recent one I found:

lacma15.JPG?itok=FdMwNKSC

I'm still not a huge fan, tbh. Interesting idea but otherwise it's pretty blah.

It's being re-designed. Back to conceptual level drawings. From what I've seen, it's losing the curtains and adjustable louvers on the outside.

On 4/27/2018 at 5:06 AM, Armybrat said:

Pedestrians in LA?

lol

You better believe it. There are a lot of pedestrian ins downtown LA. The area where the museum will be built is by the LaBrea tar pits, and home to several museums. There are plenty of pedestrians walking in the area.

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9 hours ago, Superhero said:

It's being re-designed. Back to conceptual level drawings. From what I've seen, it's losing the curtains and adjustable louvers on the outside.

You better believe it. There are a lot of pedestrian ins downtown LA. The area where the museum will be built is by the LaBrea tar pits, and home to several museums. There are plenty of pedestrians walking in the area.

They keep all the non drivers quarantined there ?

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12 hours ago, Baboontyme said:

I was going to post this last week, but wasn't sure where. The ultimate American ruin porn site, Michigan Central Station, abandoned Detroit commuter rail hub. I know I have discussed it with Swayze in the past. It was bought by a local billionaire family 20ish years ago and left to rot as Tiger Stadium and the Corktown neighborhood around it crumbled. With some prodding from the Mayor's office, they began to replace the windows and clean it up over the past few years as Corktown began to revive a bit and the Police Athletic League rebuilt Tiger Stadium as a youth baseball facility (you can see the Depot in the background). 

It was announced this week (unofficially) that Ford is buying the Depot and moving a bunch of employees down there to inhabit the building and a few other surrounding warehouses as the central hub for their autonomous vehicle division. Exciting news for the city but also going to very cool to see what they do with this magnificent structure. The rumor is they plan to keep the atrium/lobby open to the public. 

db226aff0c10c08852d771345b283bfd.jpg_81222791_rick-harris-flickr-granted.jpg6357536930246963101259309204_5260170376_shemmerle_2009-7470-bearbeitet.jpgMCSlobbyupHDRps1.jpg

That's a beautiful historic building, but I can't possibly imagine how it could be cost-effective for anyone to get it back in usable shape. Pictures on Google are even worse than the ones you posted. Ford must be getting some massive tax incentives or something.

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3 minutes ago, tokamak said:

That's a beautiful historic building, but I can't possibly imagine how it could be cost-effective for anyone to get it back in usable shape. Pictures on Google are even worse than the ones you posted. Ford must be getting some massive tax incentives or something.

Probably tax abatements, and they'll go for historic tax credits at the state and federal level.

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I built an old smoker out of old kiln bricks I found at the ranch.  Base isn't level.  Leaks like a hell.  Falling apart.  Last i checked, a giant rat lived in it.  Building shit is hard....

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Just now, BabaYaga said:

I built an old smoker out of old kiln bricks I found at the ranch.  Base isn't level.  Leaks like a hell.  Falling apart.  Last i checked, a giant rat lived in it.  Building shit is hard....

Well, I think I see you're problem, no architect in the equation.  I always specify no rats in my structures.

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3 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Well, I think I see you're problem, no architect in the equation.  I always specify no rats in my structures.

A string of left over black-cats from the 4th and a tumbler of TX proved for ample entertainment.  

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On 4/11/2018 at 8:18 AM, Onboard 2.0 said:

2qa1bmf.jpg

 

The greatest piece of architecture of the 20th century in my opinion commercial or residential.  Certainly makes a top all time list as well along with Wright himself as an architect.

 

FLW was an arrogant ass hole who buried the engineers report/designs in the concrete of the structure.  The engineer said the structural members FLW proposed weren't strong enough, and it would fail, and it has been, slowly over the decades.  

Still a magical amalgamation of forms, materials and above all site unrivaled in the world.

I visited it a few years ago.  It's utterly brilliant in everyway.  He designed the second floor with a second staircase that creates the illusion that makes the guest room feel completely separate from the family bedrooms.  To this day I can't quite explain how he did it, just that it's all interconnected, but you don't know to zig instead of zag to reach the back of the house, and it's not visually apparent that you even can.

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A friend of mine bought an 18th century house  with attached barn near Chaillac, France several years ago. Stone walls are 2' thick, but he built a new 2 floor framed house inside the old one (on the left). Now he's building a larger one inside the barn (right) that will also be two floors plus a loft on the 3rd. Dude is using some pretty big oak timbers for the frame & flooring and cinder block for the interior walls. 

 We were supposed to stay in the new barn house when visiting next month, but it looks like we'll be in a local B&B instead. Just the 1st ground floor has been framed in and this load is the material to start framing the 2nd level. Of course he had to replace the 250 year old roof on both sides:

file.php?id=1639&mode=view

file.php?id=1638&mode=view

Edited 1 hour ago by Armybrat  

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His crew used a mixture of the old roof tiles & new ones. A lot of point & tuck work was done on the exterior & interior stone walls to restore them.

They have to follow the very strict rules on re-doing old buildings like that. Not much, if anything, can be done to change the exterior look except to freshen it up. Apparently they can do most anything to the interior as long as it doesn't cause damage to the exterior structure.

He having a couple of 12"x12"x10' oak timbers delivered today. Said they weigh about 1,000 lbs. each. He'll rig up a block & tackle to lift them in place inside. No nails are being used in the main interior framing.

Edited by Armybrat

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:56 AM, Armybrat said:

His crew used a mixture of the old roof tiles & new ones. A lot of point & tuck work was done on the exterior & interior stone walls to restore them.

They have to follow the very strict rules on re-doing old buildings like that. Not much, if anything, can be done to change the exterior look except to freshen it up. Apparently they can do most anything to the interior as long as it doesn't cause damage to the exterior structure.

He having a couple of 12"x12"x10' oak timbers delivered today. Said they weigh about 1,000 lbs. each. He'll rig up a block & tackle to lift them in place inside. No nails are being used in the main interior framing.

I used to watch one of those home shopping shows, House Shoppers International or some such. Some of the houses they'd look at looked very similar to that on the outside. Most of the ones I saw, the insides looked extremely dated as well and were going to cost a shit-ton to bring up to date. Nice places if you can afford the renovation.

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He paid about $40,000 for the two attached buildings and about a half acre behind it. The renovation costs so far are close to $100,000 (for both the house & barn. The already completed house is a 2/2 with about 1,800 s/f. The "new" house inside the barn will be a 3/3 with about 3,000 s/f. He'll probably dump another $30,000 into the construction (has most of the materials already), then plans to add an in ground pool in the rear "garden" (yard).

He says a similar  rural project would run at least double in the UK (he's from London).

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19 hours ago, Armybrat said:

He paid about $40,000 for the two attached buildings and about a half acre behind it. The renovation costs so far are close to $100,000 (for both the house & barn. The already completed house is a 2/2 with about 1,800 s/f. The "new" house inside the barn will be a 3/3 with about 3,000 s/f. He'll probably dump another $30,000 into the construction (has most of the materials already), then plans to add an in ground pool in the rear "garden" (yard).

He says a similar  rural project would run at least double in the UK (he's from London).

That's not bad at all. It's been a while since I watched the shows I mentioned, I suspect that they were located in areas where the real estate was expensive to begin with and construction costs higher.

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