Posts Tagged ‘patterns’

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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I am pleased with the way this bathroom is turning out!


Photo by Alex Wein

Recycled glass and ceramic tile from Fireclay.

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Blue rays

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Ash Flooring


This photo does not accurately show the light blond color of ash hardwood flooring, but it does show the beautiful and interesting grain pattern.

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colors in the afternoon

With this many bright colors, it will be hard not to take note of where the sunlight is falling throughout the day and year.

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I took this photo a while back when I installed my blue powdercoated steel Ikea cart in its spot. I was very excited because it was a perfect fit and made use of an underutilized space in my kitchen. It was also very affordable. You can also see my nifty reuse of sailboat rigging (cleat, block, and line) to make an adjustable countertop. The diamond cabinet is also from Ikea but the drawer faces were custom made by me out of fir plywood and white paint. The coordinated geometric pattern dish towel was also from Ikea, but hand dyed with tea, coffee, and beets to get rid of the bright white background. The mini wedgewood range is at least 50 years old and works great with style.


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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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front elev4.5

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Pair of windows for the bedroom

Triptych for the diningroom

Thanks to Sabina Frank we will have cheerful colored light streaming in from the south side where we once saw only the neighbor’s looming stucco wall with aluminum windows.

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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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diningroom 6

diningroom 2 diningroom 3

DiningRoom 1 diningroom 5

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