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.
Please tell me of your favorite art/design/architecture blogs, pages, and websites — the more obscure, the better. [more inside]
I have been tasked with finding a web solution for a volunteer group associated with a university. There are already pages on one of the departments' websites, however, it will be months before any changes can be made to that as it's under the rule of a CMS which is about to be migrated and to which we won't be able to really do anything until November. We want all the usual stuff like a blog and a Twitter widget and latest news and yadda yadda, but anything we add - and possibly anything we remove - would have to wait till November if we use the existing hosting arrangement. This is why I want to stick up another web infrastructure for us somewhere else, probably not hosted by the university. [more inside]
Looking at a blog of early colour photos from Paris I found myself wondering why the building in the right foreground of this building appears to expand outward from its base. The blog. [more inside]
Manic Pixie Dream Architecture: please point me towards any websites/books/magazines/blogs/etc. which show weird/cool/unique/interactive design features (e.g. secret/hidden doors) in non-mansion homes. [more inside]
Is there any art that you find ugly, but still admire or value? [more inside]
Are there any documentaries about George Nakashima available to view online? I would like to know more about his life and his work. I am particularly interested in the architecture of his studio.
I have been obsessed with this building in Alexandria, Virginia for years. I want to know more about it - who designed it, when it was built, past tenants, and so forth. Should there be public records available somewhere and if so, where can I find them? [more inside]
In New York, and many other cities, developers can build bigger buildings than would otherwise be allowed, as long as they provide amenities such as parks, schools, affordable housing, etc. I want to show students how this works by providing a photo or drawing of a real building, annotated to show how much of the height is due to these bonuses. For example, a drawing of a 50 story building, where the first 30 floors are unannotated, but then 30-35 are labeled "plaza," 35-40 "affordable housing units," 40-45 "subway entrance" and so on. I want it to be from a real building, and clear enough to show via a projector. I'm surprised this doesn't already exist, but I've done plenty of searching and can't find it.
What do you call this style of window, broken up into panes by dividers? I read an NYT trend piece on its popularity in loft apartment architecture a few years ago, and they used a very specific term.
A couple recently purchased a beautiful Hacienda-style home on my street. They want to tear it down and replace it with a soulless, bland, aggressively imposing mini-McMansion. Luckily, I live in a really special city with an incredibly strict design review committee. What can I do to fight them? [more inside]
I love to stop and draw when I take walks in New York. I'm inspired by architectural details and monumental perspective, contrasts of space and light. Usually I wander aimlessly until I find an interesting spot to sit with my sketchbook, but that's a bit tougher when it's 20 degrees outside. I'm in the process of setting up weekly sketching adventures with a novice artist friend, and I feel there should be some planning involved. Help me compile a list of potentially inspiring places we can sit and sketch in the city without our fingers freezing off. [more inside]
What architectural style is this house? Or what style was it originally? It's located in the Midwest and was built in 1941. I've tried this neat tool, but nothing seems to fit. Maybe the place is just a mutt.
I was reading an introduction to "The Tale of Genji," and I was struck by the claim that Genji's manor is the most well known example of the architecture of the time, even though it never existed. Are there any corollaries in the West? Elsewhere? [more inside]
I've got Home Designer Architectural 2014 and a desire to buil a house on a steep hillside. I need topographic data for this. [more inside]
Is there a good resource for the symbolism in Gaudi's Sagrada Familia? I am especially curious as to what the skeletons mean, but I want to know what everything represents that he included in his plans. [more inside]
I am about to graduate from Harvard Architecture School (GSD) with an M.Arch. and am trying to think about what to do in terms of next career steps. I've worked in architectural offices over the summers (some prominent ones) and not been too thrilled with the work and am now trying to decide what to do about my career. A factor in my decision is earning potential and salary. [more inside]
Twitter, Ticketmaster, Google, Facebook how do their architecture and infrastructure work. Looking for a book/site which explains how these tech services may be assembled. Obviously not looking for the secret sauce or anything. Just wanting to understand the bigger picture of how large scale technology work and come together. Not looking to understand the code aspect or nitty gritty details of how each component works. Just broad understanding is what I am looking for. I am a UI engineer looking to get more background on middleware and backend systems. Please recommend any sources/sites/blogs/books to help me gain decent insight.
I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
I'm looking for an expert witness in the area of architecture copyright in the US. The Northeast would be ideal. It seems like there are a million online, so any additional recommendations would be much appreciated. [more inside]
What urbanist/transit/maps/architecture/local history-related attractions should I hit up in Toronto? [more inside]