1/08/2007

On Architecture...

I realized I don't spend a lot of time on this blog discussing my profession - architecture. I knew I wanted to be an architect since I was little, maybe fourth or fifth grade. I've always had an appreciation for beautiful buildings and I credit a lot of it to growing up near Chicago - home to lots of great architecture.

In college, I was really intrigued by deconstructivist architecture. It was the hot thing at the time. The buildings looked so different from anything I'd ever seen. I was interested in the work of Coop Himmelblau after seeing an exhibit at the Pompidou Center in Paris. I also liked the buildings of Zaha Hadid and, although he's probably not considered deconstructivist, I really love the buildings and bridges of Santiago Calatrava. I admired all the rule-breaking. In college, most of the buildings I was interested in were the ones that stuck out - that looked different from anything else or tried something new. That's one of the reasons I loved Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona (pictured above) - very sculptural and organic and unlike the other buildings of the time.

Nowadays, I am more focused on the area of architecture that I've always had the most interest in - residences. It's also the area with the least notoriety. That's fine with me. I used to work at firms that did large-scale commercial or educational projects. I didn't like the impersonality of it. I'd much rather work with a family and give them something they truly love than deal with school boards or faceless corporations. I have mellowed out quite a bit from my deconstructivist days. Now, I prefer nice, innovative details, intimate spaces, and quality materials. I prefer small homes. I'm a big fan of log construction and fine craftsmanship.

Here are a few architectural links for you: Sketches I did while in Europe and pictures of buildings I saw. There are also a few pics of buildings I worked on here, but the page is woefully incomplete right now.

What are some of your favorite buildings?

8 comments:

Flannery Alden said...

I love the building I got married in.

By the way, there's a Coop Himmelblau building going up in Akron, Ohio...just up the road a piece from Canton.

Beth said...

I've never been to Barcelona, but I've known Gaudi's work for quite some time. I would love to see them in person. Have you been? Were they glorious?

Some of my favorite buildings include the Chrysler Building and the Getty Museum; I love NYC.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Of course the Chrysler Building is the standard, still, for gorgeous. I'm pretty fond of the PPG Building in downtown Pittsburgh, too.

I hate Meier and I hate Gehry. Every time I see Disney Hall I just laugh. What a wank job. And while the Getty Center might be impressive from a distance, ask the people who work there and they'll tell you that all that glaring white stone gives them all headaches. Imagine how bad it would have been if they'd let him do it in the snow white enameled metal he'd wanted to use at first.

I love the craftsman style homes here in the LA area. Someday I want to own one. My house right now is one of those tiny WW2-era crackerboxes, and the exterior is muy hideous.

Big Orange said...

Hell, I didn't know you were an archy!! I thought you just skiied all the time and wrote. I thought you were Duke Ellington when I married you up at the First Baptist Church of Harlem!!

Dave said...

Chicago-the Rookery's interior. The Chicago Board of Trade. Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Oak Park. I also though Westminster Abbey in London was pretty cool.

Chris said...

Flan- Cool! Usually, their stuff never gets built because it's so damn weird-looking.

Beth- I have. Amazing stuff. If the Sagrada Familia ever gets finished, which I doubt it will, at least in my lifetime, it will be one of the coolest, weirdest churches ever constructed.

Vikki- I wasn't really interested in buildings people hate, but thanks all the same!

B.O.- I'll proudly be confused with Duke Ellington any day. I never considered how similar we look.

Dave- Yeah, The Rookery is pretty damn cool. Haven't made it to Westminster yet.

Dale said...

Get back to work lazy! Great to look at your sketches and the ones from Italy bring back lovely memories.

Walking around NYC is amazing as mentioned for so many glorious examples of architecture.

There was a program on television yesterday morning about Barcelona and they spent several minutes on Gaudi's work. There was such an amazing tolerance for allowing such unusual buildings to spring up considering the time they were done in.

I'm with Vikkitikkitavi and am no fan of Gehry. The documentary about him was fairly interesting but did nothing to endear his work to me.

gizmorox said...

My brother is studying to be an architect and is currently obsessed with Calatrava. I have to say, all the things he's shown me are pretty spectacular. When we were recently in NYC, we stopped by the WTC site to see plans for his transportation center. It's going to be stunning.