Road Trip: For Show Or For Blow

by Don Friedman on October 14, 2017

(Ignore the flying porpoises. I have no idea what they are.)

That’s the roof of a shopping mall in Ottawa. Are those trusses real structure or just for show? Their form (diagonals sloped for tension, deepest at midspan) and location (paired on either side of the columns) both make sense as real structure. If so, I have no idea why they’re exposed.

Also, the title of this post explained, here.

Road Trip: Adaptive Reuse Hotel

October 12, 2017

I’m currently at the APT conference in Ottawa, and that’s my hotel, the Metcalfe, above. It was built circa 1906 as a YMCA and has been converted to a nice boutique hotel. You can always repurpose a building if you want to.

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A Concrete Building

October 11, 2017

A market hall in Wrocław, Poland: That’s how you do exposed concrete. The hall has the basic layout of a church, with a cross plan for the high gable roof and lower infill between the cross arms. The roof and its clerestory are supported by a series of parabolic concrete arches, which intersect at the […]

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What Is A Building’s “Material”?

October 10, 2017

Curtesy of Marcin Wichary: I’ll almost certainly be getting this map of “Concrete New York” but I find the discussion on Curbed to be problematic. In my opinion, New York does not have an iconic city-center concrete building the way that (among others) Boston, Chicago, and Washington do; the best concrete building nearby has been altered […]

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From a Distance

October 7, 2017

Lower Manhattan used to be famous for its lack of vistas. The combination of very tall buildings, very little open space, and a seventeenth-century Dutch village street plan meant that you were lucky if you could see five or six blocks. Changes came gradually, as a result of the 1960 zoning law encouraging plaza construction, […]

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Blatant and Odd Fakery

October 4, 2017

The entrance to a garage in a late-1980s, maybe early 1990s apartment house is dead center in that photo. I can’t stop staring at the “flat arch” above the opening. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make the stone veneer (which is most likely in front of concrete block back-up) look like this […]

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A Cliche For A Reason

September 24, 2017

The combination of the Empire State Building’s height, its setbacks, and the narrow side streets in Manhattan makes for some nice angled photos.

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Halfway There

September 23, 2017

I have finally found the perfect apartment. Now I just need $110,000,000.

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Architectural Nostalgia

September 22, 2017

  Michael alerted me to the existence of 80s.NYC, a website that gives street views of buildings as photographed by the city government some 35 years ago. It’s fantastic if you want a sense of what the city was like then and how different it is from today. I am a bit disappointed that the […]

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An Inevitable Move Into A New Market

September 17, 2017

I did not know that LEGO was working on full-sized construction. Click on the picture above to enlarge it.

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