The End of a Fantasy: A Study on the Decay of Gingerbread Castle and Wheatsworth Mills

The first part of my study on the state of decay of the Wheatsworth Mills focuses on the beautiful mosaic tiles, reminiscent of the European “Azulejos.”  It’s sad to see that one of the piers has lost it’s beautiful, irreplaceable tiles to the weather and/or vandals.  I wanted to share a brief piece of the history of Sussex County, New Jersey before the structure and site are no longer recognizable.  The following slideshow was taken using my iPhone4S and edited using Instagram photo editor.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Following is an excerpt from the Gingerbread Castle website:

Urban, Joseph (1872–1933), designer and architect. One of the greatest of all scenic artists, he was born in Vienna, where he later studied at the Art Academy under Baron Carl Hassauer and at the Polytechnicum. Urban first came to America to create the Austrian Pavilion for the 1904 St. Louis Fair. The Boston Opera Company brought him back in 1911 to design its sets, but it was his work on The Garden of Paradise (1914) that brought him to the attention of Florenz Ziegfeld and launched his Broadway career.  Away from the theatre he served as architect for numerous homes and buildings and also earned a reputation as an illustrator of children’s books. Biography: Joseph Urban, Randolph Carter, Robert Reed Cole, 1992

Excerpt from Flickr with great HDR photos by Ninoignacio:

After operating as a children’s fairy tale theme park for nearly 50 years, Gingerbread Castle finally closed in the late 1970s. It reopened for a few years as a haunted Halloween venue before a fire closed it permanently in 1993 [RA: It was still running a seasonal haunted attraction on the property in 1997]. Attempts to restore the castle as a children’s theme park hadn’t gotten far. NJ resident Frank Hinger and his wife Lou purchased the property in 2003 with plans to revitalize it, even securing a grant from Hampton Hotel’s Save-a-Landmark program in 2004, which was used to repaint the castle exterior. But raising additional funds proved difficult. After unsuccessfully offering the castle on eBay, it was auctioned off by sheriff’s sale in January 2007 for approximately $680,000.

As of fall 2008, local real estate developers Gene Mulvihill and Pat Barton were the Gingerbread Castle’s current owners. Mulvihill, who owns the neighboring former Plastoid building and a share in nearby Ballyowen, the state’s highest-rated public golf course, seemed interested in preserving the castle. In a January 2007 article in the New Jersey Herald, Mulvihill states, “It’s in (Hamburg’s) blood. We’re not going to rip the place down, that’s not going to happen. Not going to happen.” [Laura K., 08/17/2009]

Here are some photos from above: Aerial Photos to enjoy.


Personal Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France #Paris #Fire #NotreDame #Reflection #Architecture #CarpeDiem

Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019

This week is Holy Week, when millions of Western Christians mark the death and resurrection of Jesus. Under normal circumstances, Notre Dame cathedral in Paris would have been preparing to display its holy relics to the faithful on Good Friday.

But as fire engulfed the sacred site on April 15, 2019, Catholics across the world reacted in horror and disbelief, particularly when the cathedral’s iconic spire toppled amid the flames.

For generations, Notre Dame Cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer, and, even as religion in France has declined for decades, it remained the beating heart of French Catholicism, open every day for Mass.

Source: CNN

REFLECTION

When something that is tragic like the Notre Dame Cathedral fire occurs, it is important to take time to reflect on what happened.  First, I look at this tragedy as a Christian, then as the grandson of European immigrants, and finally as an Architect.  I reflect on these recent events using three distinct but entwined lenses:

  • As a Christian, I reflect on what it means to be Christian.  Although imperfect, we are all put on Earth to accomplish great things.  Some have more than others, but we all have our crosses to bear.  As Easter approaches, for many Christians around the world who celebrate this holiest of days it is a time of reflection and hope of things to come.  As Jesus said, you are not of this world (we belong to Him).  When these events happen it also makes us aware of our fleeting earthly lives.
  • As a grandson of Europeans, I feel a strong camaraderie with my neighbors in France.  As technology helps the world shrink we are becoming global citizens.  But as someone who has spent many summers and taken many trips to Europe (probably more than 30 trips over my four decades), I feel a strong connection to what happens in Europe.  I have the same feeling in my stomach that I had when 9-11 happened in New York City.  We take for granted that these beautiful structures will always be here with us.  These events remind us that we must cross off trips that are on our bucket lists sooner rather than later.
  • As an Architect, my primary objective is to safeguard the public.  Sure, I love great design and inspiring spaces as much as the next designer.  However, being an Architect means that we must put safety above all else.  When these events occur, I cannot help but think how vulnerable we are.  As Architects we are always trying to evoke safety and security into our projects – Many times decisions are made with money more than risk aversion.  A 100% safeguard world is not possible, but I challenge my fellow Architects to consider ways that we can educate and confront our clients to ensure that all our buildings are safe.  We are all human with earthly perspectives and we are all bound to mistakes as we manage economics with safety.  Take for example, the Seton Hall student housing fires that changed safety for campus of higher educations around the country.  Can this tragedy bring some good? Perhaps as leaders in our industry we can shape the safety and preservation of our landmarks and new building projects to ensure the safety of the occupants.

Churches, castles and forts are the primary reason I chose this profession. Whenever we lose a structure of significance it is like losing a loved one. Like life itself, our art and architecture must be cherished because it is all temporary after all. Carpe Diem.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


An Exclusive Interview with Architect @FrankCunhaIII

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Ask the Architect

An Exclusive Interview with Architect Frank Cunha III

by Denise Franklin 

Follow Denise Franklin on Twitter

Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB is a Registered Architect licensed in CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, PA and is currently seeking reciprocity in VA as well.  Mr. Cunha is the founder of FC3 Architecture + Design, established in 2005 to serve its clients in various markets, including commercial and residential projects. He writes / blogs for I Love My Architect and Just Architecture.

You can find him online at:

  What was it about Architecture that helped you decide it was the field for you?

I always loved to draw as a child and I always loved to build.  Give me scraps of cardboards and leftover bricks and sticks in the backyard and my imagination would take over.  I was always fascinated with churches and castles.  They have a very obvious Archetype, and from a very early age I always imagined that I too would be able to one day shape the design of our cities and how people inhabit them.  Even when I travel, it is the Architecture that defines the people and the place (unless you are in the wilderness, where nature rules supreme).  In the city, man (men and women) are able to shape the world we live in.  With this ability comes great responsibility not just freedom to do whatever we want.  The industrial and post-industrial eras have taught us that!

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How long have you been in the profession?

 After 5 years of Architecture school and after 3 years of internship and after passing my NCARB IDP Architecture Exam I “officially” became a Registered Architect in January 2004.  It was not easy but it was worth it.  Going through the arduous process allowed me to learn the different aspects of being an Architect.

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It appears that Architecture incorporates many fields of study, for example; astronomy, meteorology, geography and I am sure there is much more.  Could you explain?

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Throughout history, especially before technology and social media distractions, civilizations, would honor the heavens by building monuments.  Examples of this can be seen all over the world and there are plenty of interesting websites that address this. 

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences so it is no wonder that early civilizations would use the mathematics from the heavens to orient their buildings and monuments. Many pre-historic cultures left behind astronomical artifacts such as the Egyptian and Nubian monuments, and early civilizations such as Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. Climatology, the study of atmospheric science, is another extension coming out from Astronomy. In Architecture both the disciplines that is astrology and climatology, leads to a concept known as Vastu.

If you want to learn more about these interdisciplinary studies, you can click here or click here.  

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Today, Architects still consider orientation when placing a building and the building components on the site. The building’s orientation can even help Architects obtain LEED credits from the US Green Building Council, an organization that promotes sustainable design and construction around the world.

 Is there a deciding factor for you when agreeing to take part in projects?

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 One thing I have learned over the past 15 years in the field of Architecture is that there are many components to accepting and working on a project.  While we all need to make money to eat and survive, here are a few things that should be considered before agreeing to take on a project:

  1. Is there a chemistry between the client and the designer, i.e., do you like each other? Can you work well together?
  2. Is the project exciting and challenging?
  3. Can I assemble the right team to complete the project effectively? And do we have the right fee to allow our design team to perform the project effectively?

If the answer to any of these is “no” then I keep looking for another opportunity.  Every time an opportunity passes, two or more new ones appear.  Don’t be hasty just for the sake of getting a project!

 The projects you are sharing today are they based on specific concepts?

 As a young Architect my aesthetic and design concepts are still evolving.

Although we do not force my designs on my clients, we do have some underlying principals we like to maintain on our projects whenever feasible.  

FC3 Architecture takes a Holistic approach to each individual project to meet the client’s specific needs.   We work with our team of expert consultants to bring the most value to the client through rigorous, integrated design practices.  It is our mission to explore and develop the “Architectural Design Aesthetics” & “Building Tectonics  Systems” to engage the following issues on a project-by-project basis, where applicable, to discover and address the project requirements established by the client and the Architect during the Pre-Design phase:

  • Program / Livability / Functional
  • Provide efficient space planning to maximize client’s programmatic needs (don’t over build)
  • Contextual/Site 
  • Determination of most effective use of a given site
  • Optimize access to the site
  • Maximize land, views, lighting, wind, water elements, other natural features, etc.
  • Provide guidance for best use of materials, structure, and form
  • Properly integrate new design into existing contextual surroundings
  • Sustainable / Environmental
  • Coordinate with client’s abatement team when required
  • Coordinate with client’s commissioning team when required
  • Provide guidance and integration on current sustainable trends
  • Sustainable Design
  • Energy Use & Conservation
  • Waste Management
  • Selection of Materials – Reuse, Recycling, Renewable sources, etc.
  • Water Use & Conservation
  • Structural / Tectonic
  • Coordinate with structural team to develop integrated structural design
  • Coordinate with MEP team to develop integrated MEP design
  • Coordinate with other industry experts as needed to meet project goals
  • Historic / Preservation
  • When required, document and research preservation of historic elements
  • Provide design details that are sensitive to preexisting building/site elements
  • Engage our expert consultant team as may be required
  • Economic / Legalization
  • Provide assistance in developing a feasibility study
  • Assist client’s legal counsel with Planning/Zoning Board approvals
  • Constructability / Management
  • Assist client with project schedules and budgets throughout the project
  • Engage our expert construction/project management team as may be required

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For anyone in school considering Architecture as a profession, check out this great article by my colleague, William Martin, AIA.

Click here to see some of Frank’s recent featured projects.

Click here to read more “Ask the Architect” articles.


ILMA of the Week: Frank H. Furness

This week’s ILMA Architect of the Week is one of my favorite Architects of all, Frank Heyling Furness (November 12, 1839 – June 27, 1912), who was an American Architect of the Victorian era. He designed more than 600 buildings, most in the Philadelphia area, and is remembered for his eclectic, muscular, often idiosyncratically scaled buildings, and for his influence on the Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. Furness was also a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during the Civil War.

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Toward the end of his life, his bold style fell out of fashion, and many of his significant works were demolished in the 20th century. Among his most important surviving buildings are the University of Pennsylvania Library (now the Fisher Fine Arts Library), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, all in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Over his 45-year career, Furness designed more than 600 buildings, including banks, office buildings, churches, and synagogues. As chief architect of the Reading Railroad, he designed about 130 stations and industrial buildings. For the Pennsylvania Railroad, he designed the great Broad Street Station (demolished 1953) at Broad and Market Streets in Philadelphia, and, for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the ingenious 24th Street Station (demolished 1963) alongside the Chestnut Street Bridge. He was one of the most highly paid architects of his era, and a founder of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. His residential buildings included numerous mansions in Philadelphia and its suburbs (especially the Main Line), as well as commissioned houses at the New Jersey seashore, Newport, Rhode Island, Bar Harbor, Maine, Washington, D.C., New York state, and Chicago, Illinois.

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Following decades of neglect, during which many of Furness’s most important buildings were demolished, there was a revival of interest in his work in the mid-20th century. The critic Lewis Mumford, tracing the creative forces that had influenced Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, wrote in The Brown Decades (1931): “Frank Furness was the designer of a bold, unabashed, ugly, and yet somehow healthily pregnant architecture.”

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Architect and critic Robert Venturi in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) wrote, not unadmiringly, of the National Bank of the Republic (later the Philadelphia Clearing House):

“The city street facade can provide a type of juxtaposed contradiction that is essentially two-dimensional. Frank Furness’ Clearing House, now demolished like many of his best works in Philadelphia, contained an array of violent pressures within a rigid frame. The half-segmental arch, blocked by the submerged tower which, in turn, bisects the facade into a near duality, and the violent adjacencies of rectangles, squares, lunettes, and diagonals of contrasting sizes, compose a building seemingly held up by the buildings next door: it is an almost insane short story of a castle on a city street.”

On the occasion of its centennial in 1969, the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects memorialized Furness as its great architect of the past:
“For designing original and bold buildings free of the prevalent Victorian academicism and imitation, buildings of such vigor that the flood of classical traditionalism could not overwhelm them, or him, or his clients …
For shaping iron and concrete with a sensitive understanding of their particular characteristics that was unique for his time …
For his significance as innovator-architect along with his contemporaries John Root, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright …
For his masterworks, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Provident Trust Company, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station, and the University of Pennsylvania Library (now renamed the Furness Building) …
For his outstanding abilities as draftsman, teacher and inventor …
For being a founder of the Philadelphia Chapter and of the John Stewardson Memorial Scholarship in Architecture …
And above all, for creating architecture of imagination, decisive self-reliance, courage, and often great beauty, an architecture which to our eyes and spirits still expresses the unusual personal character, spirit and courage for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery on a Civil War battlefield.”

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Furness’s independence and modernist Victorian-Gothic style inspired 20th-century architects Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi. Living in Philadelphia and teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, they often visited Furness’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts — built for the 1876 Centennial — and his University of Pennsylvania Library.

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The 2012 centennary of Furness’s death is being observed with exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Delaware Historical Society, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, and elsewhere. On September 14, a Pennsylvania state historical marker was dedicated in front of Furness’s boyhood home at 1426 Pine Street, Philadelphia (now Peirce College Alumni Hall). Opposite the marker is Furness’s 1874-75 dormitory addition to the Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, now the Furness Residence Hall of the University of the Arts.

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in CT, DE, FL, MD NJ, NY, PA


#EcoMonday Contemporary Mediterranean Home With a “Breathing” Eco-Façade

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Excerpt from “Freshhomes Design & Architecture”: Travessa de Patrocinio is one of those bohemian places in Lisbon that require a sweet disposition while visiting. The unique collaboration between these three designers, Luís Rebelo de AndradeTiago Rebelo de Andrade and Manuel Cachão Tojal, gave birth to a project inspired by minimalism, with an interesting Mediterranean “coverage”. Imagine a thick “coat” of plants shadowing the entire façade of a house that spreads vertically. “Its walls are completely covered with vegetation, creating a vertical garden, filled with around 4500 plants from 25 different Iberian and Mediterranean varieties which occupies 100 square meters. So, short levels of water consumption are guaranteed as well as little gardening challenges.”  Click here to read the rest of the story.

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Excerpt from Architizer News: The House in Travessa do Patrocínio by RA\\ ( Luís Rebelo de Andrade, Tiago Rebelo de Andrade, Manuel Cachão Tojal) does just that. The narrow townhouse is situated smack dab in Lisbon, in a neighborhood with little access to green spaces. To compensate for this lack, the architects draped the house with lush green facades that cover 100 square-meters of wall space. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill green building accessory. The facades are integral components to the architecture, not just tacked on for a higher LEED score. They’re planted with approximately 4,500 plants sourced from 25 different local varieties, which  all require little maintenance. The result is a vertical garden that the architects say functions as an urban “lung” within the pavement-heavy area, helping to rid the residential street of excess noise, carbon, and other pollutants floating about. Click here to read the rest of the story.
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A Brief History of Green Walls

The concept of green walls is an ancient one, with examples in architectural history
reaching back to the Babylonians – with the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one
of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Highlights of the history of green walls are
provided below:

  • 3rd C. BCE to 17th C. AD: Throughout the Mediterranean, Romans train grape vines (Vitis species) on garden trellises and on villa walls. Manors and castles with climbing roses are symbols of secret gardens.
  • 1920s: The British and North American garden city movement promote the integration of house and garden through features such as pergolas, trellis structures and self-clinging climbing plants.
  • 1988: Introduction of a stainless steel cable system for green facades.
  • Early 1990s: Cable and wire-rope net systems and modular trellis panel systems enter the North American marketplace.
  • 1993: First major application of a trellis panel system at Universal CityWalk in California.
  • 1994: Indoor living wall with bio-filtration system installed in Canada Life Building in Toronto, Canada.
  • 2002: The MFO Park, a multi-tiered 300’ long and 50’ high park structure opened in Zurich, Switzerland. The project featured over 1,300 climbing plants.
  • 2005: The Japanese federal government sponsored a massive Bio Lung exhibit, the centerpiece of Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. The wall is comprised of 30 different modular green wall systems available in Japan.
  • 2007: Seattle implements the Green Factor, which includes green walls.
  • 2007: GRHC launches full day Green Wall Design 101 course; the first on the subject in North America.
  • 2008: GRHC launches Green Wall Award of Excellence and Green Wall Research Fund.

Source: GreenScreen

Biofiltration

An ‘active’ living wall is intended to be integrated into a building’s infrastructure and designed to biofilter indoor air and provide thermal regulation. It is a hydroponic system fed by nutrient rich water which is re-circulated from a manifold, located at the top of the wall, and collected in a gutter at the bottom of the fabric wall system. Plant roots are sandwiched between two layers of synthetic fabric that support microbes and a dense root mass. These root microbes remove airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs), while foliage absorbs carbon monoxide and dioxide. The plants’ natural processes produce cool fresh air that is drawn through the system by a fan and then distributed throughout the building. A variation of this concept could be applied to green facade systems as well, and there is potential to apply a hybrid of systems at a large scale.

Source: GreenScreen

Public Benefits of Green Walls

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Source: GreenScreen

Private Benefits of Green Walls

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Source: GreenScreen

Also Check Out:

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Inspired Personalized Architecture

Since the time I could remember, I always wanted to be an Architect.  Whether it be constructing forts from left over wood, cardboard playhouses, or drawing the built environment from my imagination.  Some of my greatest inspirations came from old churches, castles, or forts.  Something about the juxtaposition of the void (space) and the monolithic (walls) and the ability to shape the world around us, fascinates me.  There are many Architects and styles of Architecture that have influenced me over the years since I discovered this passion coursing through my veins (too many to name here), but what is important to me is that they have all become characters in my story.

Every Architect carries with him or her (like every author or painter) the subjects, objects, and muses from past experiences and experimentation.  Architecture, like other forms of art, requires process.  With this process evolves a style or tectonic of Architecture – memory, shapes, forms, space, feelings – things that are not easily reconciled by lawyers or accountants.  Within the process of design, the creation process, there is a battle where the art of Architecture is confronted by the science of Architecture.  For example, in order to successfully produce Architecture the laws governing physics and geometry must be upheld (recent “super storms” around the globe have again confirmed this).  No matter how dramatic and artistic one’s design, it will be put to the test by the forces of nature.  Many Architects have studied nature or music as a way to analyze design and develop their own style and inspired personalized Architecture.  I hope that in upcoming posts I am able to share with you my own inspiration design process but also those of others who have successfully accomplished projects which I find interesting an noteworthy to share with you.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


SPACE & PROCESS

I was recently asked about my thoughts on the physics of Architecture and the spatial aspects of Architecture.  Below are some of my initial thoughts….
Space is not the “left-overs” of Architecture but rather the space itself is the Architecture. As a
life-long student of Architecture it is my humble opinion that it is the voids created by the solids
that make the experience of Architecture interesting and pleasurable. The only reason I design
and construct walls (and other solids) is to create the space (the negative). Space can be
experienced in various dimensions (as was portrayed in the film Powers of Ten, 1968 American
documentary short film written and directed by Ray Eames and her husband, Charles Eames.
The film, rereleased in 1977 depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten.)

“The only reason I design and construct walls….is to create the space….”

Robert Irwin, untitled, 1971, synthetic fabric, wood, fluorescent lights, floodlights, 96 x 564" approx., Collection Walker Art Center, Gift of the artist, 1971.

The process of producing Architecture from a monolithic form is to subtract from the solid what
is needed to create the negative space for the occupants to inhabit and enjoy. Then again, my
first memories of Architecture were great massive, heavy cathedrals and medieval castles, so
perhaps I am biased in some ways. The added dimension of a regular, monotonous grid and
violent irregular collisions and penetration of the pure form are yet another layer of interest in
post-modern Architecture (as can be seen in the work of Bernard Tschumi – Parc de la Villette).

Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1980, mixed media: fiberboard, paper, plastic and fabric, 22-3/4 x 22-1/8 x 10", Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, 1980.49.6.

Finally, as a self-proclaimed photographic-artist/Architect, I use still images in my creation of the
artwork. The capturing of a single moment of time is much like an Architect’s plan. When I create
images from my photographs I am also exploring “the absence” or “the void” or what you call “the
reveal.” What fascinates me is that the process of creativity in and of itself can inform the final
form of what will become the Architectural space, which will be built by the hands of others and
eventually inhabited and experienced by others. This is very different from the assembly of a car,
a computer mouse, or other industrial item. Perhaps a more appropriate comparison is to that
of conductor who leads the orchestra in a certain direction but allows some interpretation by the
band.

Robert Irwin, untitled, 1971, synthetic fabric, wood, fluorescent lights, floodlights, 96 x 564" approx., Collection Walker Art Center, Gift of the artist, 1971.

If you like this post please share it.

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Albrechtsburg Meissen by Gerhards & Glücker

Photo © Werner Huthmacher

“Time Warp: A polished installation reflects past and present within the soaring, richly decorated Albrechtsburg castle of Meissen, Germany, using aluminum, glass, mirrors and sound.  Daylight filters through the arched-stone windows of the middle room on the castle’s second level, where exhibits include a long shiplike vitrine dubbed “New Living in Old Walls.”

Click here to read the rest of the story by By Michael Dumiak.


Convento da Ordem do Carmo

Convento do Carmo ruins in Lisbon - Before

Convento do Carmo ruins in Lisbon - Present

The Carmo Convent (PortugueseConvento da Ordem do Carmo) is a historical building in LisbonPortugal. The mediaeval convent was ruined in the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, and the ruins of its Gothic church (the Carmo Church or Igreja do Carmo) are the main trace of the great earthquake still visible in the city.

The Carmo Convent is located in the Chiado neighborhood, on a hill overlooking the Rossio square and facing the Lisbon Castle hill. It is located in front of a quiet square (Carmo Square), very close to the Santa Justa Lift.

Nowadays the ruined Carmo Church is used as an archaeological museum (the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo or Carmo Archaeological Museum).


Romanesque, Gothic & Baroque Architecture

Greetings, If you would like more information about architecture please contact me using the contact page on my website. 

Romanesque

Romanesque Architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches.  This style eventually developed into the Gothic style in the 12th century, characterized by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across Europe, making it the first Pan-European Architectural style since Imperial Roman Architecture.

Combining features of Western Roman and Byzantine buildings, Romanesque Architecture is known by its massive quality, its thick walls, round arches, sturdy piers, groin vaults, large towers and decorative arcading. Each building has clearly defined forms and they are frequently of very regular, symmetrical plan so that the overall appearance is one of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings that were to follow. The style can be identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics and different materials. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.

Many castles were built during this period, but they are greatly outnumbered by churches. The most significant are the great abbey churches, many of which are still standing, more or less complete and frequently in use. The enormous quantity of churches built in the Romanesque period was succeeded by the still busier period of Gothic architecture, which partly or entirely rebuilt most Romanesque churches in prosperous areas like England. The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of Southern France and Northern Spain. Survivals of unfortified Romanesque secular houses and palaces are far rarer, but these used and adapted the features found in church buildings, on a domestic scale.

Gothic

Gothic Architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance Architecture.

Originating in 12th century France and lasting into the 16th century, its characteristic features include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.

Gothic architecture is most familiar as the Architecture of many of the great cathedralsabbeys and churches of Europe. It is also the Architecture of many castlespalacestown hallsguild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings.

A series of Gothic revivals began in mid-18th century England, spread through 19th-century Europe and continued, largely for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century.

Typical Baroque Detailing (Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain)

Baroque Architecture, emerged in the 1600’s with a new emphasis placed on bold massing, colonnadesdomes, light-and-shade (chiaroscuro), ‘painterly’ color effects, and the bold play of volume and void. In interiors, Baroque movement around and through a void informed monumental staircases that had no parallel in previous architecture. The other Baroque innovation in worldly interiors was the state apartment, a processional sequence of increasingly rich interiors that culminated in a presence chamber or throne room or a state bedroom. The sequence of monumental stairs followed by a state apartment was copied in smaller scale everywhere in aristocratic dwellings of any pretensions.

Baroque architecture was taken up with enthusiasm in central Germany. In England, the culmination of Baroque architecture was embodied in work by Sir Christopher Wren, Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, from ca. 1660 to ca. 1725. Many examples of Baroque architecture and town planning are found in other European towns, and in Latin America. Town planning of this period featured radiating avenues intersecting in squares, which took cues from Baroque garden plans. In Sicily, Baroque developed new shapes and themes as in Noto, Ragusa and Acireale “Basilica di San Sebastiano”.

Another example of Baroque architecture is the Cathedral of Morelia Michoacan in Mexico. Built in the 17th century by Vincenzo Barrochio, it is one of the many Baroque cathedrals in Mexico.

Francis Ching described Baroque architecture as “a style of Architecture originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, dynamic opposition and interpenetration of spaces, and the dramatic combined effects of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts.”


Portugal's Roman Temple

Did you know that Portugal has it own Roman temple?

Roman Temple of Évora

Check out the following excerpt from Wikipedia.org.

The Roman Temple of Évora (also referred to as the Templo de Diana, after Diana, the ancient Roman goddess of the moon, the hunt, and chastity) is an ancient edifice in the city of ÉvoraPortugal. The temple is part of the historical centre of the city, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the most famous landmarks of Évora and a symbol of Roman presence in Portuguese territory.

Although the Roman temple of Évora is often called Temple of Diana, any association with the Roman goddess of hunt stems not from archaeology but from a legend created in the 17th century by a Portuguese priest.  In reality, the temple was probably built in honour of Emperor Augustus, who was venerated as a god during and after his rule. The temple was built in the 1st century AD in the main public square (forum) of Évora – then called Liberatias Iulia – and modified in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Évora was invaded by Germanic peoples in the 5th century, and at this time the temple was destroyed. Nowadays its ruins are the only built vestiges of the Roman forum, in an open square fronted by the cathedral and the bishop’s palace.

The ruins of the temple were incorporated into a tower of the Évora Castle during the Middle Ages. The base, columns and architraves of the temple were kept embedded in the walls of the medieval building; the temple-turned-tower was used as a butcher shop from the 14th century until 1836. This new use of the temple structure helped preserve its remains from further destruction. Finally, after 1871, the medieval additions were removed. Restoration work was directed by Italian architect Giuseppe Cinatti.

The original temple was probably similar to the Maison Carrée in Nîmes (France). The Évora temple still has its complete base (the podium), made of both regular and irregular granite stone blocks. The base is of rectangular shape and measures 15 m × 25 m × 3.5 m.  The southern side of the base used to have a staircase, now ruined.

The portico of the temple, now missing, was originally hexastyle, six columns across. A total of fourteen granite columns are still standing on the north side (back) of the base; many of the columns still have their Corinthian-style capitals sustaining the architrave. The capitals and the bases of the columns are made of marble from nearby Estremoz, while the columns and architrave are made of granite. Recent excavations indicate that the temple was surrounded by a water basin.


A House in Leiria, Portugal

Article by David Cohn for Architecture Record

Architect: Aires Mateus & Associates

Photographs by: SG+FG

The Lisbon-based brothers Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus push their residential designs out of the realm of the ordinary toward the surreal and dreamlike. In one project, they arranged the living room furniture of a beach house on a floor of deep sand. In another, a renovated winery, they suspended the volumes of the bedrooms over the living space like geometric stalactites. And in this project for a young family outside the small city of Leiria, they created the perfect archetypal form of a house, straight out of a Monopoly game box or a fairy tale. An apparently solid volume wrapped completely in white plaster — pitched roof and all — sits on the green plinth of an extended lawn, sharply profiled under the Portuguese sun.

But the visitor soon discovers that the actual living quarters spill out from this milk-carton house on all sides, while the interior opens to the light and air. A single deep opening in the front of the building reveals living spaces nestled around a diagonal void that cuts through the heart of the residence, extending in steps three stories from the roof to below grade. Adjacent to each of the house’s four corners, the architects cut a small courtyard into the lawn, bringing daylight to underground bedrooms and creating a floor extending beyond the walls of the house like an invisible root system.

Manuel, who led the Lisbon-based design team on this project, explains that he developed the design around three considerations. First, the “not so nice” site encouraged him to create an inward-looking building. The house is located in the center of a hilltop settlement outside the city that, as is often the case in Portugal, mixes the unruly charm of its rural origins with a motley collection of modest new residential buildings. Second, a distant view of Leiria’s chief landmark, a medieval castle on a hilltop several kilometers to the west, provided an orientation for the central opening of the house, establishing a “magical connection” between them. And lastly, he felt that the scale of the project, with four bedrooms and 3,200 square feet, was too big for the site. So he used the grade change between the street and the garden to put a large part of the program underground. “Every space has its courtyard,” he points out. “If you’re in a bedroom, you have the privacy that a sunken court provides.” A garage and street-level entry open directly to the lower level, while a garden gate and stair bring visitors up to the lawn entrance.

The main event in the design is the three-story void above the central patio. This intriguing element “takes the form drawn by the light,” Manuel explains. By alternating glazed, floor-to-ceiling openings and solid walls around this void, the architect emphasized the sculptural quality of the cut, carefully shaping the negative space as it descends from the south-facing roof opening. On the main level, an outdoor deck made of saw-cut granite planks faces the view and overlooks a square opening to the patio on the lower level, which is adorned by a potted lemon tree.

In one of the design’s several quirks — places where the architects allow the logic of form to trump functional convenience — the deck is separated from the living area level by an uncomfortably large step, making a fluid link with indoor/outdoor living awkward. This is a consequence, it turns out, of the architects’ effort to hide the edge of the floor slab behind a floor-to-ceiling sheet of glass bridging the lower level of the void on its north side, a strategy that affects areas around the patio in a too-scrupulous respect for precision. In addition, the large size of the patio cuts into the living spaces. There is no room for armchairs or a coffee table around the long sofa, which looks out to the castle on one end and at a wall cabinet hiding the television on the other.

Manuel explains that the unconventional roof finish of painted plaster was made possible by modern waterproofing systems, and says it will require no more maintenance than the stucco-finished concrete walls — just periodic painting. For a “real problem,” he points to the unprotected courtyards cut out of the lawn, especially since the couple has a young child. He is planning to install a nearly invisible safety net over the openings. How about a glass balustrade or a hedge? “That would be horrible!” he replies.

The house is well crafted throughout, with elegant window frames of solid aluminum made in Switzerland, floors and stairs of local pine in wide strips up to 8 feet long, lacquered built-in closets and cabinets, and bathroom floors of Lioz, a rare Portuguese limestone. The client is building the architect’s custom-designed furniture as funds become available. A handsome dining table and the long sofa are in place, but for now the couple’s mattress rests on their bedroom floor.

The Aires Mateus brothers graduated from the Lisbon School of Architecture in the late 1980s, and apprenticed with Gonçalo Byrne. With its hidden, excavated spaces and labyrinthine plans, the Leiria house brings to mind the Casa Das Mudas Museum in Madeira by Paulo David, another Byrne disciple [RECORD, May 2007, page 192]. And in its mixture of archetype and sculptural form, it distills the spirit of Aldo Rossi’s evocative visions with a fine, minimalist precision.

Gross square footage: 3,200 sq. ft.

Date of construction: 2008 – 2010