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Castles in the Air: The Architecture Thread


dog-days
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Thread for talking about your favourite buildings or listing the reasons why a place needs bulldozing. Also for: complaining about modern architecture; complaining about people who complain about modern architecture and just need to learn to give brutalism a chance; complaining about arsehole companies forcing workers into open-plan offices. 

The UK has various architecture-related issues. We're a country full of old churches and chapels that burn money by the second to keep running but plummeting congregations; the decline is most marked in the established church which owns a majority of the religious buildings. The choice seems to be between selling them off or letting them collapse. We don't have enough houses for people to live in near their places of origin and places of work; the accommodation available simply hasn't kept pace with the growing population, and the construction that does happen often seems focused on student flats or four-bedroom detached houses that make the developers more profit. Related to that is the question of what modern housing should look like: most residential areas in the UK have traditionally been low-rise, rarely consisting of more than two storeys. The Neave Brown 2023 shortlist has some options. 

As for Germany, I understand that they've finally finished work on Brandenburg Airport. Not sure what people there do in their spare time now. Collect stamps, maybe. 

And the USA...I've no idea. Are there buildings there at all?

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Talking about one's favorite architecture from places I've personally visited: Italy is at the top of the list. Piazza del Campo in Seina is maybe the best public square I've seen; Pantheon in Rome (a tad cliché, I know :P ) one of most impressive buildings; while seeing Venice for the first time has been on-of-a-kind experience for me. 

Honorable mentions go to cities of Prague (Czechia) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).

As for places I haven't visited yet - Japanese architecture is definitely the one which inspires me and makes me wonder the most. From traditional palaces and temples with gardens to modern and contemporary Japanese architects (Tadao Ando, Tezuka architects, Sou Fujimoto, to name a few) - I find their approach in city- and building-design to be unique and very creative.

Edited by Knight Of Winter
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One of my conflicts vis a vis architecture is my default reaction is: "Wouldn't it be better if it wasn't there?" Walking through the city streets, I try and imagine what the landscape might once have looked like before we dumped a load of bricks, tarmac and concrete on it. 

For which reason, among others, I have a soft spot for Icelandic turf houses and for the probably fictional palace of Odysseus on Ithaca, incorporating a living olive tree. As a rough equivalent, in recent times, architects have experimented with green walls. I saw an example in Manchester that looked okay, if not quite Instagram-ready. The UK climate makes a lot of the more strikingly plant-heavy buildings that thrive in places like Singapore into more of a challenge. UK roof gardens often end up as cold, bleak places with lichen accounting for the majority of the plant life. 

It's something that I hope can be figured out since greenery is the only thing that can make modern dense city centres tolerable. Without it, we're ants at the feet of concrete giants. With it, we're still ants but could be slightly happier ones. 

Recently I read a great article about Kerala's use of the Miyawaki method for urban afforestation; it was taking a critical view, pointing out that the small dense areas of forest produced by the method are not typical of native ecology. Sadly, I failed to bookmark it, and it's now lost to both Google and my memory. 

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I thought i had posted it earlier, mustve slipped my mind. Ive always had a fascination with the Bahai Temples. 

Would be fun to visit each of these, spread to the far reaches of the continents, just gorgeous structures.

My favorite one may be the Lotus Temple in India.

 

 

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