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Archive for the ‘Found Objects’ Category

Last year I spent a week in Mexico City with my aunt, a retired Mexican history professor. What an architectural treat! I’m finally getting a chance to share a few of the highlights.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes- Inside this recently restored, golden-topped, art nouveau building are several spectacular murals by Diego Riviera

Casa de los Azulejos

Casa de los Azulejos- This is the dining court inside a department store in the Centro Historico. The mural wraps around all sides of the light-filled courtyard. I don’t have a photo of the outside of the building, and old palace covered in blue and white tiles

 

Bold Facade in Centro Historico

Bold red-orange facade in Centro Historico

More Facade Decoration

Another facade in the Centro Historico, this one a bit less flashy, but has a variety of artful details

UNAM Giant Sundial

Aunt Susan at the giant sundial at UNAM

 

Approaching the Biblioteca Central UNAM

Approaching the Biblioteca Central UNAM – This walkway seemed a bit out of scale, but the shade was nice

Biblioteca Central - UNAM

Biblioteca Central – UNAM – The Central​ Library at UNAM was built in 1948, a collaboration between artist and architect Juan O’Gorman, and Architects​ Gustavo Saavedra and Juan Martinez de Velasco. The exterior is covered in murals depicting the history of Mexico and made out of stones collected from around the country.

Biblioteca Central - UNAM

Around the Biblioteca Central was a grid of grass squares and concrete pathways that seemed like they could be a giant board for a game.  The simple white painted arrows on some of the paths direct bikers properly through the maze.

Grid of lawn squares and concrete paths

Grid of lawn squares and concrete paths

Bike Path Arrows

The graphic simplicity of bike path through UNAM

 

Zona Rosa Art Deco Industrial

Zona Rosa Art Deco Industrial

Zona Rosa Green

Zona Rosa greenery

Zona Rosa

Zona Rosa Glass and Steel

Fuente de la Diana Cazadora

Fuente de la Diana Cazadora

Amber Dome- Museo de Arte Moderno de Mexico

Amber Dome- Museo de Arte Moderno de Mexico

Living Roof - Jardin Botanico, Chapultapec

Living Roof – Jardin Botanico, Chapultapec

National Museum of Anthropology

National Museum of Anthropology Fountain Column

Marquee - Polanco

Marquee – Polanco

 

Mural and Fountain in Los Danzantes Coyoacan

Mural and Fountain in Los Danzantes Coyoacan

 

 

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kitchen-lighting

I saw this unique kitchen lighting solution in Baja recently while house shopping with a friend.

 

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Blue Hardware

Not long ago I was checking out a house in the Oakland hills that caught my client’s fancy – rustic modern I’d call it rustic modern with a bit of whimsy. I like it. I also like that it was surrounded by trees and shrubs so that I had trouble getting a good photo of the whole building. I noticed one nice detail that is daring and unusual. photo 1 If you look closely you will see that the post bases and the other structural connectors are blue! Here is a close up: blue hardware

Even closer:

blue hardware2

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Last week I visited these guys to check out their work. One of my clients needs a handrail.

Nice to see what an artist can do with traditional blacksmithing.

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Art Tile fir drawers

spade cutout pulls (Armoire by Dickson Schneider I believe)

 

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de Young Museum SF Main Entry in Morning Light

The main entry to the de Young Museum in the late morning – If only we all could afford skins of copper in custom patterns.

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We took the train to Sacramento today to look around. In addition to nice trees, we saw some noteworthy buildings. Here are a few.

primary colors

I think this one was a bank

pyramid on the sacramento river

This pyramid of warm yellow stone – a great shape for a building in a place where land isn’t too expensive. Every room gets a roof deck!

The entry to the Great Pyramid

The entry to the Great Pyramid

Awesome new museum on the Sacrameto River

Awesome new museum on the Sacramento River

maritime museum copy

maritme museum feather

feather weathervane on the roof, sailboats along the entry bridge

golden bridge 1935

golden bridge 1935

 

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Aalto’s summer house, Muuratsalo, 1953 – brick experiments

I love bricks. The scale of a brick to fit in a human hand allows you to imagine the wall being built one brick at a time. I probably read that somewhere rather than invented it myself, but it’s right. Bricks can also create nice patterns. This photo is of a wall of Alvar Aalto’s summer house on Muuratsalo and maybe was a test palate for different brick options.

I looked up this project up in my one Aalto book, Alvar Aalto by Richard Weston, 1995.  Weston has several pages on these “brick experiments”

“The brickwork is also painted white externally, while inside the courtyard the brick and tile experiments create a rich patchwork-quilt on the walls and floor, which suggest by turn De Stijl-like reliefs, or old walls with redundant door and window openings bricked up and patched over time. The experiments were as much aesthetic as technical: we are in the world of metaphor again , for what are these walls if not imitations of ‘ruins’ – past, or perhaps to come? Is this tiny piazzetta, the atrium of a Pompeian patrician’s dwelling, or the (de)relict room of a large, old house, which has lost its roof and been recolonized as a picturesque courtyard? All these possibilities come to mind: the image is too general to be pinned down to a specific interpretation – it would lapse into kitsch otherwise – and can still be contemplated simply as an abstract collage. Memories of Pompeiana probably played their part. As did those of Italian piazzas. I like to think Aalto intended the walls to be seen as the arch-empiricist’s ironic commentary on the fate of the strict geometric compositions then coming into favor in Finland under the influence of the arch -theorist Aulis Blomstedt, with his pythagorean fascination for number and proportion on the basis of beauty. ” Pg 119-121

There are several more paragraphs of discussion of the meaning of this brickwork in Weston’s book. I think I will let you read the book rather than transcribe it here.

 

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My Oakland correspondent saw this curious tower addition on an Oakland bungalow. I’d love to see it from the inside.

Tower addition on Oakland bungalow

Tower addition on Oakland bungalow

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Zinc edge detail

Zinc edge detail

Zinc table top with patina and scratches

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