My wife is opening a new daycare in a building that was a daycare before it went out of business a couple of years ago. It's not open yet and she is there alone cleaning, organizing, etc. This sound (short phone video clip) happens 2 or 3 times a day. She said it seems to be coming from a closet with a lot of pipes in it. Any idea what this is? She isn't sure if she should be calling a plumber, the HVAC guy, or the fire suppression systems guy.
I booked a secret weekend away in Berlin for Mrs SpacemanRed's 40th birthday, except it now turns out she was there for 5 days in 2005, so it's not going to be the novelty I was hoping for. Please hope me. [more inside]
I enjoy looking at grand architecture. What movies can I watch that contain lots of architecture porn? [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]
For some journalism I am doing, wonder if anyone might be able to identify this building in Spain. I think it is in Barcelona, but am not sure.
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.
Do you live or know of neat places in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana that my explorer/photographer friend could visit? Let me know! [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]
My city banned the construction of high-rise buildings in the eighties. Political winds have shifted (along with economic growth) and now city hall is set to make some permissible again in a new specific plan for the downtown. My layman's intuition combined with some background reading tells me there is a big difference between a well-designed high-rise and one that's poorly designed. I want to be more conversant with the design issues involved so I can contribute intelligently to the civic discussion. What key articles, reports, manifestos or monographs should I read? [more inside]
I'm wanting to do a project similar to this, but for Astoria (specifically, if possible) or Queens (generally, if that works out better). So basically, I'm looking for suggestions of iconic people/places/things that represent the neighborhood and/or borough, and would evoke fond memories for folks who have lived there. I'm not going to be taking photos, so I'm not limited to things that currently exist or that are concrete (as a terrible example of this, I mean that an apple could represent "the Big Apple"). I've already thought of Shea Stadium and the World's Fair stuff in Flushing Meadows (QMA, Unisphere, NYState buildings, etc.) What am I missing, Queens-folk?
Which high-rises in downtown Los Angeles can you easily get to the top of (or pretty high up in)? [more inside]
I've recently become fascinated by (a) long-forgotten "hidden" rooms in houses and other buildings and (b) "dead space" in houses, e.g., large unfinished areas behind walls that are only perhaps discovered years later. Help me find more examples of this sort of thing -- preferably examples with pictures! [more inside]
Why are most buildings rectangular? [more inside]
I keep having dreams about fantastic, labyrinthine houses. What video games have similar qualities? [more inside]
What is the webcomic whose characters are depictions of buildings? Or ... something like that. I'm sure this exists. For some reason I'm convinced that Khrushchev is a character.
What new condo or apartment developments can we go look at in Chicago? [more inside]
Why did they stop posting street signs on the sides of buildings in the U.S.? Everywhere I've been in western Europe, at least anywhere marginally urban, street names are posted on the sides of buildings. In the U.S., though, they're pretty much universally stuck on a post or hung over an intersection on wires. There are still remnants of the side-of-the-building practice throughout NYC, so the switch must have been relatively recent. Why did this happen? Does it have something to do with American conceptions of property rights? NOMBism (Not On My Building)? Legibility for motorists? Any idea?
Does anyone know the story of this odd building in west Houston, TX? It seems to have been vacant for years, there's not been any signage, and it is up for sale. Was it the headquarters of a sect? A failed commune? No one I know seems to know what the heck it was. Thanks!
Does anyone know what used to be next door to the Barnes and Noble in Colma, Ca? [more inside]
I want to have a skill and the skill is this: when examining a building casually, I'd like to be able to tell, within a span of about thirty years, when it was built (or altered). [more inside]
Looking for examples of creative, modern industrial architecture. [more inside]
Ice falling from tall buildings filter. Help me lay to rest a question that has plagued my wife. We live in Chicago, with lots of tall buildings. Ice falls off of the buildings from time to time and about once a year, some poor bastard gets mushed. Where in terms of physics and I suppose statistics would be the safest place to walk down the sidewalk: as close to the building as possible? The middle of the sidewalk? The far edge? Does it depend on building height?
What is the building I saw while driving on the beltway around DC? [more inside]
So what's inside areas that are closed off to the public, in buildings? [more inside]
Do people still live in The Sears tower in chicago? or any other skyscapers? [more inside]
Tell me what to call this topic I'm interested in, so that I know how to research it. It's somewhere within architecture and/or engineering. [more inside]
New Yorkers, please advise me on appropriate holiday tip amounts for building staff. [more inside]
Besides this, this and these, what are some other examples of buildings that straddle state or international borders? [more inside]
Let's say you want to build an extremely tall really tall building with giant metal rods supporting it. Would it be feasible to "forge" the rods in place with some sort of self-raising crane/steel mill? [more inside]
San Franciscans! How safe/legal/easy would it be to record a band in an abandoned building in your city? [more inside]
Say something medically catastrophic happened to human beings and most of them were wiped off the earth. The buildings and monuments and such remained, intact but uncared for. How long would the highrise buildings stand and be relatively livable? How long would it take for a building to come down? [more inside]
What are these small prefab buildings that I see while traveling on the train (and elsewhere) every once and a while? [more inside]
Help me win a meal for two! Name our three office/classroom buildings. Details are [more inside]
Can I grab the 3-D buildings from Google Earth and play with them in Google SketchUp? [more inside]
Recurring Dreamfilter: I am standing in a tall building - sometimes a hotel with friends or family, sometimes an office building with work colleagues. There is a noise - a shake - and suddenly the building starts to collapse. [more inside]
Where can I find a 3D scale model of Manhattan? [more inside]
Crap in a gap: how can I clean out a 6" wide and ~100' long space between two buildings? [more inside]
I'm looking for a resource - online, book, DVD - that deals specifically in the architectural design from sci-fi films, preferably with lots of pictures. [more inside]
San Francisco Metafiltereans: I am looking for recommendations as to particular structures/buildings of importance in terms of modern/modernist architecture & design. I'm trying to put together a good-sized photo essay of under-appreciated or little-known modern sites and structures in the bay area for mocosanfrancisco.com, which I'm nominally editor of now, and if anyone could suggest places off the beaten path I'd be immensely appreciative. [more inside]
What does it mean for a building in California to be 'on rollers'? Several posters here mention that they are in a building on rollers, but Google doesn't seem to turn up much immediate information on how they work or how they are constructed.