We are house-hunting at the moment in Sydney, Australia. I keep falling in love with federation-style houses. For example, my current obsession is this 101-year-old beauty but I also love this one and a variety of similar places. My husband thinks that houses of this sort of age are likely to be a total money-pit, especially if wooden, and even if renovated. Is this true? [more inside]
I'd like to learn some more vocabulary to describe nature and architecture for my writing. I love elaborate descriptions in 19th century literature, but I have no idea about the names of most flowers and trees, and I have no idea how to describe various types of architectural in anything but the vaguest terms. [more inside]
It seems like wherever I go, businesses have flat roofs, while houses have sloped ones. I've always heard bad things about flat roofing, but presumably they have some sort of reasoning for not going with the sloped. [more inside]
We're building a small house on a small budget. We want to dig a small cellar (maybe 6'x6') into the ground below the crawl space entrance and support its walls with a wood framework. Is this feasible? Or will the house cave in if we do this? You are not our architect, you are not our structural engineer. [more inside]
Currently designing a photo-book about a line of Oriental scents. What kind of world do you expect to be immersed in? Are there any other photo-books which were successful in luring you in to their world?
I'm trying to identify a church in central Utrecht that is roughly 700 years old; is NOT especially tall or ornate; and has (or had as of the late 90s) a small inner courtyard with a simple, spare garden built around a little round pond or raised round pool. Any ideas re. which this is or where I could look for clues? I've browsed lots of google images but haven't recognized it that way.
We're taking our 8 & 12 year old kids to Fallingwater this spring. We're also planning to build the Lego Architecture model of it. Looking for opinions on whether it is better to build beforehand or after we return. Kids are already gung ho for both Lego and architecture, so this isn't really a question about which one will spark interest for the other -- I'm looking for insight into which order will help them understand the building best. [more inside]
I never was fond of houses with picture windows, or too many windows at all, but then I fell in love with this home... [more inside]
It's Open House Chicago this weekend. Last year I focused on my area, Lakeview & Lincoln Park, and saw the churches, war memorial and some classic apartment buildings. What cool buildings should I go see this time around? My preference is for ones that are only available for the Open House. [more inside]
After months of drawing and re-drawing, we have draft floor plans! Now we need more eyes on the kitchen layout. Looking especially for specific suggestions. [more inside]
What in Sunset Park and/or Bay Ridge Brooklyn would make me want to live there? I'm going to go exploring, but give me somewhere to start. [more inside]
I love looking at photos of buildings or cityscapes that are so ornate, intricate, or overbuilt as to give me a sense of vertigo and/or looming existential horror. Things like the Kowloon Walled City or aerial views of Shanghai or, to a lesser extent, the new Executive Office building in DC. What else is out there? I'm interested in any or all eras and styles.
I want to know more about the material culture of a large English country house or great house in the Victorian era. [more inside]
What software should we use to design our (small) house? We will have an architect draw the final plans, but want to create quick 3D models for visualization. [more inside]
I'm looking for a solution to create a digital archive, primarily for an architectural practice with an extensive project history. [more inside]
What is your favorite print architecture magazine or journal? One that is more intellectual/in-depth and wordy, instead of a being full of glossy images or ads. [more inside]
Paper Nerds Assemble! I'm looking for heavyweight paper (~100lbs / 150gsm or thicker), either bound or looseleaf, with a smooth finish... that has light grid lines (square or isometric) or a dot grid. [more inside]
So I'm the proud owner of a new above-ground swimming pool. I set it up in the corner of my building's rooftop and filled it with water. Everything's perfect, but there's one nagging thought: should I be worried about the floor not holding up? [more inside]
OK, hive mind. Hoping you can help me out here. A while back, say, probably six or seven months ago, I saw a blog post... somewhere... about a cool house design in Europe. I think the design firm was Dutch or Belgian. The blog I saw it on may have been Design Sponge or Building a Wolf, but searching those sites yields no results. Here's what I remember: [more inside]
Posting for Mr. Chocotaco: Licensed architect burned out on architectural practice. After 10 years in the field working for high profile firms, I have concluded that architecture is not for me. Although the low pay, high stress aspects of the job are contributing factors, the primary reasons for deciding to pursue other career options are lack of fulfillment, clear purpose, opportunity for growth, and healthy work/life balance. [more inside]
I have a deeply nostalgic love for my grandparents' former home, a generic but beloved split level they lived in from the 1950s to mid 2000s. As an artist and crafter with an obsessive love for details, I have long noodled with the idea of making an incredibly accurate recreation of the house in miniature... but I struggle with where to start. Architectural models, dollhouses? What is the best route forward? [more inside]
My husband and I love pictures of old modern and brutalist weird architecture in Eastern Europe. We'd love to see it. But travel agents and tours focus on blue waters and quaint villages. Is there a "show me the concrete weirdness" travel option I'm missing for two people who don't like the traditional postcards, but both almost failed college Russian? [more inside]
I'm trying to research the effect of natural light availability on apartment price, i.e. Does a south-facing apartment rent for more than a north facing apartment, and if so by how much? Along with a corollary of how much natural light would be considered ideal vs. the minimum. I found some rules on minimums through various city regulations, but I haven't found anything that talks about ideals, or price differentials based on desirability. Any pointers on research papers, books, organizations that may have information (I'm going to contact the AIA, but are there others?) would be extremely helpful.
Help me navigate a tricky career dilemma! I have two similar but different offers; I'm qualified for both. In the absence of a choice I'd take either one. One is less certainty but more pay and better long-term, the other feels better but the pay and long-term advancement are poor, i.e. I'd have to change jobs to get promoted significantly. I'm 28. Snowflake details below the fold. [more inside]
I'm working on an architectural research project on late gothic Germanic churches (from about 1500-1650), and feel hamstrung by my ignorance of the cultures and economies in which the architecture was produced. [more inside]
I've been wondering about this for a long time- how prevalent are basements and attics in houses in North America? It seems like I'm always hearing about people doing projects in their basements (or dwelling in them!)- or having all sorts of treasures stashed away up in their attics. [more inside]
Industrial buildings frequently have rollup doors on the second or even third story. The ones in question don’t have a horizontal I-beam or timber to hang a winch or block & tackle from, (like you’d see on a hayloft,) so they’re not for day-to-day loading/unloading. The ones I see in the city are generally facing a sidewalk, not a dedicated open space like a loading bay or parking lot. What are these doors for? The only guess I’ve come up with is occasional installation of equipment that’s too big for a freight elevator. But large-scale machinery usually comes in pieces and is assembled on-site, and the stuff that can’t be (e.g. large pressure vessels, crucibles, this thing) isn’t stuff that’s ever installed upstairs in a general-purpose light industrial building. I’m stumped.
I do quite a bit of drawing and designing; when I read about ancient (b.c.e.) construction projects, I really, really want to see what ancient design drawings looked like. So far I've found next to bupkis, but still pretty fascinating stuff for what little it amounts to. Where can I find more of that, from any culture b.c.e.? I can't imagine that e.g. Hatshepsut's Temple or the Palace at Knossos were not drawn out beforehand, especially since simple groves like the one at that Met Museum link were. [more inside]
Why does 3ds Max flip my camera 180 degrees when I open a file on another machine? [more inside]
We are preparing to build a house. We've been doing this for many months, have talked to architects, contractors, and our city's planning and building department, and we still have lots of questions. Lend us some expertise on foundations, design, and construction? [more inside]
Am looking for a book recommendation or three. I am really getting into the architecture of Mexico City but I really don't know all that much about architecture, particularly Mexican architecture. I'm not much into colonial or contemporary stuff but everything in-between, from the Porfiriato French Empire stuff to the 1960s, and particularly the Art Deco and Art Noveau periods and whatever it is that came just before. Amazon is kind of skimpy with recommendations. So anybody read any really great books on either Art Deco architecture, Art Noveau architecture, Mexico City architecture, 20th century architecture, or one of these art movements as a whole if they are really good? Preferably in English, but Spanish would be good too.
This is very video-game centric. I've worked on lots of games in a half dozen studios, and I've noticed that the architecture of game code with respect to sharing between projects is often ad-hoc and unplanned... [more inside]
Dear Mefites, My sister and I have an opportunity to get away for a few days in the next couple of months, and we need your help. [more inside]
Where can I find more pictures of houses "without" walls like the ones in this link? Also, it would be awesome if I could get some names of architects that share a similar style.
I just accidentally deleted a much loved picture on my pinterest and despite a lot of searching, cannot find it anywhere. Does this building sound familiar? It was old, white and European and had amazing brown line drawings of architectural details painted around the doors and windows. I think it might have been a minor Swedish or German castle but everything I find when googling with those terms is a lot grander than what I'm looking for. The trompe l'oeil was almost convincing from a distance but up close it had a simple hand painted charm - there was no shading or rulers involved. I really enjoy looking at buildings with hand painted exteriors (eg. Burkina Faso houses) so if you can suggest some others for me to look at, that would be fantastic too.
How many people during the Tohoku 3/11 earthquake actually died from the earthquake itself, and not the tsunami? Also subtract elderly heart attacks, people being fatally crushed under bookshelves/the like, and the collapse of rickety old traditional houses that would have been knocked out during a smaller quake too. [more inside]
When and how did exposed ductwork along the ceiling become "a thing" in interior design for restaurants and shops? I'm fairly certain you didn't see this sort of modern touch in the 1950's, so something happened between then and now where this became more common and I'm really curious as to how it came about. Any interior design/architecture buffs out there know the answer?
I'm (re-)learning Spanish and am finding the stories in my "First Spanish Reader" to be somewhat lacking in interest. Since I enjoy thumbing through architectural/interior design magazines, I thought a print subscription to one in Spanish would be a fun way to learn. I've encountered the Spanish version of Architectural Living ("Arquitectura Viva"), which seems alright. I'd like to know if there are other options. For reference, my preferred aesthetic is stark modern with aged materials (examples: wabi sabi, Scandinavian and excessive concrete). Muchas gracias!
I am beginning the process of building a home that is going to be fairly contemporary in style. However, we are on a budget, so I am looking for your suggestions regarding the best budget-friendly, fixtures, finishes, appliances, etc. that would go in a contemporary home. I am really interested in clean lines, stuff that is well made, looks nice, but is affordable. [more inside]
Orange Board is a "fully compliant insulated cladding system". Basically, it's sheets of a foam-like plastic material that gets covered with mesh and stucco / render to serve as the external skin of buildings. I'd like to know how this or similar cladding systems compare to traditional building materials, particularly single-brick (brick veneer) and concrete. How does the longevity compare? Energy efficiency? How easy is it to restore the surface, and how often would it be necessary? I'd be happy for any information people can provide.
Can anyone explain why Victorian mansions like the ones the Addams Family and the Munsters were depicted as living in were, apparently, widely seen as plausible homes for monsters by the mid-20th century? Bonus points for detailed / scholarly analysis of this question.
What are the best websites and books for learning the basics of structural engineering? [more inside]
I just got news that I got an internship at an architectural office (altough I just graduated as a a graphic designer) in Tokyo, which is crazy exciting. However, they can't offer any compensation (small studio) so unless I find another job next to this, I need some really cheap solutions. I just sent an email to the studio, asking them for assistance, but figured meta could help. My plan is to stay for 2-3 months. I saved up some money from side jobs, and don't mind spending it on this experience, but the less it makes a dent the better. My only idea so far was to work as some kind of au pair (I speak English, German, Dutch and Croatian fluently, I'm good with kids, but I am a guy, which I guess is not too popular a gender for babysitting), in exchange for a room. Any ideas? Also, some place where I could look for a small job on the side (preferably something where I could use my design skills, but don't mind a day job)? Also, how much can I expect to spend monthly if I'm, technically, still on a student budget? Thank a lot!
I have a large room that I would like to illuminate with LEDs. I'm thinking of putting a ledge around the the walls about 45 cm / 18 inches from the ceiling and laying LED strip lights along it, directed upwards so they bounce off the walls and ceiling (which are painted white). Would this look weird? Would it light the room adequately? I'd make the ledge with a groove in the top surface so that you can't see the LED lights from floor level. [more inside]
The organization I run rents a large, old theater for once-a-week film screenings. Problem: the air conditioning is broken, and the theater doesn't have the capital to fix it before the summer ends. But we have screenings scheduled weekly through the end of August. Are there any good ways to keep a large space cool without a working AC system? (How did people keep cool in indoor spaces historically, pre-AC?) [more inside]
I'm considering going into Architecture. Bad idea? [more inside]
Are there any online stores that sell teaching aids for demonstrating principles of architectural engineering? I am wanting to buy model columns, arches, domes, trusses, cantilevers, and so forth, to use in architectural history classes that I am teaching. The goal is to demonstrate the physical forces that act on buildings, so I don't need models of finished buildings and bridges, but rather models that show how the structures work--preferably in an interactive way. Any leads would be most appreciated.
For a project I'm currently working on as part of my graduation in Graphic Design, I wanted to compile something like an atlas of fictional cities. These may be from books, legends, stories, video games, advertisements, comics, really whatever... Even "real" cities but alternate versions, imagined or in some way deviate from their real counterpart are valid. [more inside]
Help me find the name of this building or whatever it is! [more inside]
I am looking for some great movies about the history of Jewish art and architecture. I am most curious to learn about ancient and medieval Judaica, but if you know of treatments of modern Jewish art and architecture that would be good to know about too. Any recommendations would be most appreciated.