Tuesday, 31 May 2011

MORE HOUSE



- We sure have a nice house here.
- We sure do.
- Could be a bit bigger, though.
- Yes, it could.
- Let's add some.
- Let's!
- That's more like it!
- Indeed.
- But now Alfred and Jane and the kids are moving here, it's a bit small.
- I guess we'll build some more house, then.
- We'll build some more house!
- Now it's perfect.
- Honey...
- Yes?  
- You remember that 17, 000 pieces collection of 18th century Spanish porcelain I was telling you about?
- Yes?
- I bought it.
- Oh.
- Yes.
- We'll build some more house, then. And this time I want a proper porch!

(Burbank-Hatheway house, picture from Wikimedia Commons.)

Friday, 27 May 2011

HENRY GIBSON



I really think this sculpture by Nils Aas (situated next to the magnificent theatre Den Nationale Scene, built in 1909 by architect Einar Oscar Schou) (oh, and have a look at the walk of the man in background as well), presumably trying to depict Henrik Ibsen, is the ugliest (ugly, as in "caricature-like in all its grumpiness and resembling a very indecent mix between a children's toy and a dildo") piece of figurative art I've ever seen. 

... unless, of course, it's really a statue of the guy who governs this place:



The Sultan of Agrabah!

Monday, 16 May 2011

HOUSE OF THREE COLOURS




Why does this house have three different colours (and that's just the street facades)? Which one's the right one for a house like this, and for a house like this in 2011? Why is one of them Absurd Azure? I don't have the answers, and I'm not even sure what I think of it, but I do like the fact that it's there. 

PS. This building type is a relative of the Berlinian apartment house which imported to Norway in the 19th century. They don't have a very nice reputation, but I love them for such reasons as their nice scale, lofty ceilings, flexibility, wedding cake-like ornamentation and ability to house many people while creating positive outdoor spaces around them. 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE

A combination of events has led to my suddenly developing a keen interest in old university architecture. While I was reading (that's archispeak for looking at pictures) the article about Cambridge on Wikipedia, I saw a picture of this interesting piece of construction:




It's the Mathematical Bridge, spanning the river Cam and connecting two parts of Queen's College, Cambridge. The name derives from the techinque of tangent and radial trussing, providing an efficient use of timber, while also creating a beautiful and almost organic skelton-like look.

If you like it, you should also have a look at the article about the now lost Old Walton Bridge.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

NICE BRICKS



Sounds a bit dirty, doesn't it? It's not, though. I just found this picture on my computer today:



If you go very close up to the main entrance of the Norwegian Parliament building, Stortinget, and then look straight up, it looks more or less like this. I like the bricks; still looking good after 145 years in service.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

CHILDREN IN THE CITY


"I can never imagine it's good for a child grow up in the city."

Never say never. Walking home from school today I met a six year old or so girl who was beatboxing while carrying a branch of cherry blossoms, probably picked off one of the strees in our street. I can't know for sure, but she seemed cool enough.

Monday, 2 May 2011

PARKING LOTS AND TREES AND COURTYARDS


For reasons I'm not quite able to grasp, there exists such thing as a parking lot. The one in this picture sits right in the middle of the city of Bergen, next to the city hall. The only explanation I can think of for its still being there, must be that the city planners and politicians of Bergen work right next to it, and want to drive their cars to work. 

In our new project in school, we're supposed to design residential complex of sorts, using an interesting/problematic area as our site. My group chose this spot, and fortunately, all is not trouble and cars and office palaces from the seventies.


Approaching the site from below, one can walk through a narrow and low-ceilinged passage, arriving in the middle of a beautiful courtyard with a large maple tree.


As of now, the building is used as office space and no one is using the courtyard, especially not in the evening. Maybe our new design could do something about that?
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