Tag Archives: architecture

Vertical Panoramic Photographs of New York Churches by Richard Silver 

Church of St. Vincent Ferrer

Richard Silver (previously) has a unique way of looking at architecture, building composite photographs from several images that seamlessly reveal a structure’s interior. His new series captures the insides of New York churches, and are perfectly timed for the Pope’s impending arrival on U.S. soil. These images are composed of 6-10 shots, forming a vertical panorama so cohesive that it might give you vertigo.

Although Silver has been to hundreds of churches during his career and many years of travel, it’s only recently that he figured out how to capture the expansive inner beauty of their architecture. “Finding the perfect location in the center aisle then shooting vertically from the pew to the back of the church gives the perspective that only architecture of this style can portray,” says Silver.

Church of St. Stephen / Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Silver was born and raised in New York and has visited 75 countries in his life, including 13 last year alone. His previous careers involved computer science, real estate, and a stint on Wall Street, but he embraced photography full-time in 2011. You can see more of his vertical church series on his Flickr page here.

Calvary Episcopal Church

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava / Church of the Village

Church of St. Francis Xavier

Vincent St. de Paul / Most Holy Redeemer Church

St. Monica’s Church

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Constrained by the Limitations of Soviet-Era Architecture, Brodsky & Utkin Imagined Fantastical Structures on Paper 

Hill with a Hole, 1987/90
. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

To be an architect with vision in the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 80s, was to witness a near complete loss of Moscow’s historical architectural heritage. Restrictions on aesthetics, quality building materials, and access to skilled labor resulted in poorly designed structures void of inspiration that were practically destined to crumble. Architects with any shred of ambition were severely limited by communist bureaucracy and were often outright penalized for their ideas. Desperately seeking a creative outlet, these constrained artists and designers turned instead to paper.

Perhaps the most vivid example of this is the work of renowned Soviet “paper architects” Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin who from 1978 to 1993, retreated into their imaginations to create fantastical etchings as a revolt against communist architecture. Paper architecture (or visionary architecture), is the name given to architecture that exists only on paper that possesses visionary, often impossible ideas interlaced with whimsey, humor, satire, and science fiction.

Building on ideas borrowed from Claude Nicolas Ledoux, the design of Egyptian tombs, and urban master plans envisioned by Le Corbusier, the duo conceived of obsessivly detailed renderings that seeme to fill every inch of the canvas with buildings, bridges, arches, domes, and schematics. Through these artworks, Brodsky & Utkin criticized the aesthetic norms of the day until their partnership ended shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Princeton Architectural Press just released the third edition of Brodsky & Utkin, a large volume containing 30 duotones from the artists, but also includes “an updated preface by the artists’ gallery representative, Ron Feldman, a new introductory essay by architect Aleksandr Mergold, visual documentation of the duo’s installation work, and rare personal photographs.” Several Brodsky & Utkin prints are also currently on view at Tate Modern. (via Hyperallergic)

Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Contemporary Architectural Art Museum, 1988/90
. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Diomede, 1989/90
. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Doll’s House, 1990
. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Dwelling House of Winnie-the-Pooh, 1990. 
Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Glass Tower II, 1984/90. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Ship of Fools or a Wooden Skyscraper for the Jolly Company, 1988/90. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Villa Nautilus, 1990. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc.

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EverBlock: Customize your Space With Oversized Modular Lego Bricks 


Giant LEGOs for adults? Heck. Yes. EverBlock is a modular building system of giant plastic blocks that can be used to build anything from furniture, walls, shelving, bars, and even entire rooms. Obsessed with LEGO bricks as a child, EverBlock founder Arnon Rosan realized there might be a demand for a functional full-scale building system for personal and industrial purposes.

The bricks are available in three brick types that come in 15 different colors, and the good news is this isn’t just a concept, they’re available for purchase now. For interior designers or the spatially indecisive, this seems like a pretty great way to customize your space. (via Wired)









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Journalist Spends Four Years Traversing India to Document Crumbling Subterranean Stepwells Before they Disappear 


Across India an entire category of architecture is slowly crumbling into obscurity, and you’ve probably never even heard it. Such was the case 30 years ago when Chicago journalist Victoria Lautman made her first trip to the country and discovered the impressive structures called stepwells. Like gates to the underworld, the massive subterranean temples were designed as a primary way to access the water table in regions where the climate vacillates between swelteringly dry during most months, with a few weeks of torrential monsoons in the spring.

Thousands of stepwells were built in India starting around the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. where they first appeared as rudimentary trenches but slowly evolved into much more elaborate feats of engineering and art. By the 11th century some stepwells were commissioned by wealthy or powerful philanthropists (almost a fourth of whom were female) as monumental tributes that would last for eternity. Lautman shares with Arch Daily about the ingenious construction of the giant wells that plunge into the ground up to 10 stories deep:

Construction of stepwells involved not just the sinking of a typical deep cylinder from which water could be hauled, but the careful placement of an adjacent, stone-lined “trench” that, once a long staircase and side ledges were embedded, allowed access to the ever-fluctuating water level which flowed through an opening in the well cylinder. In dry seasons, every step—which could number over a hundred—had to be negotiated to reach the bottom story. But during rainy seasons, a parallel function kicked in and the trench transformed into a large cistern, filling to capacity and submerging the steps sometimes to the surface. This ingenious system for water preservation continued for a millennium.

Because of an increasing drop in India’s water table due to unregulated pumping, most of the wells have long since dried up and are now almost completely neglected. While some stepwells near areas of heavy tourism are well maintained, most are used as garbage dumping grounds and are overgrown with wildlife or caved in completely. Many have fallen completely off the map.

Inspired by an urgency to document the wells before they disappear, Lautman has traveled to India numerous times in the last few years and taken upon herself to locate 120 structures across 7 states. She’s currently seeking a publisher to help bring her discoveries and photographs to a larger audience, and also offers stepwell lectures to architects and universities. If you’re interested, get in touch.

You can read a more comprehensive account of stepwells by Lautman on Arch Daily.












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Photographs of Empty and Abandoned Amusement Parks Explore China’s Architecture of Leisure 

Shijingshang Park-Beijing

Shijingshang Park-Beijing, all images by Stefano Cerio

In Stefano Cerio's series “Chinese Fun,” he explores the facades of amusement without an audience’s reaction. The photographer enters areas built for fun and leisure in the off months or closing hours, exploring the absurdity that creeps into the architecture of entertainment when there is no one to enjoy it but a single camera.

Within the series the Italian photographer explores amusement parks, water landscapes, and sports grounds set in front of the background of gray skies and atop rain-soaked cement. The images were taken in the four cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Hong Kong, and show a colorfully decorated food stand with an anthropomorphic hamburger, an overflowing basket of fruit the size of a car, and various rides that look like absurdist pieces of architecture when not in use.

Cerio’s photographic work has increasingly focused on the theme of representation, and he explains his work as “exploring the boundary line between vision, recounting the real and the spectator’s horizon of expectation, [and] the staging of a possible reality that might not be true but is at least plausible.” Through these examples he views places of leisure as “the other,” locations built for the suspension of day-to-day life.

Some of Cerio’s works will be included in the Fondazione Volume! in Rome from September 23 to November 3 and a composite book of this series, Stefano Cerio: Chinese Fun, is available in the US starting tomorrow. (via Hyperallergic)

Treausure Island PirateKingdom-Qingdao

Treausure Island PirateKingdom-Qingdao

Stefano Cerio 025

Stefano Cerio 036

Shilaoren Bathing Beach-Qingdao

Shilaoren Bathing Beach-Qingdao



Shanghai Happy Valley-Shanghai

Shanghai Happy Valley-Shanghai

Tuanjiehu Park-Beijing

Tuanjiehu Park-Beijing

Water Cube-Beijing

Water Cube-Beijing

Polar Ocean Park-Qingdao

Polar Ocean Park-Qingdao


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Artist Charles Young Completes Work on Daily Paper Model Project After Designing 365 Structures 


It’s daunting to witness the labor poured into a 365-day creative project, be it taking a daily photo, doing a quick sketch, or even writing a few lines. Edinburgh-based artist Charles Young (previously) gets particularly high marks for completing his daily paper model project that he started a year ago today as a way to explore design, architecture, and model building.

Every single one of his 365 models were designed, cut, and assembled daily using 220gsm watercolour paper and PVA glue, with many of the structures incorporating moving components that Young photographed to create quick animations. The pieces are frequently infused with bits of whimsy and ingenuity, probably the result of any undertaking requiring so many different random ideas. Although he’s now stopped working, Young hopes to eventually display the cityscape somewhere in its entirety. You can find more of his paper architecture on Etsy.

zeppelin-small small-chopper


carousel-small wind-small


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Tiny Reclaimed Wood Cabins That Appear Plucked From the Pages of Dr. Seuss 


Dan Pauly builds guest cottages, playhouses, garden sheds, and saunas all appearing to be perfectly suited for an enchanted forest. The small, asymmetrical buildings have a long slanted roof, crooked chimney, and charming front window with built-in flower box. Each cabin designed by Pauly and his company The Rustic Way is built with reclaimed wood, each piece restored to reflect its natural weathered condition.

Pauly’s woodworking history goes back four generations, back to the 1800s when his family emigrated to the US and built several barns in Minnesota (some of which are still standing). This history is embedded into Pauly’s fascination with reclaimed wood. “As I uncover an old barn or shed,” Pauly says, “I realize that it could be the same lumber that my great-grandfather used more than 100 years ago. I think that respect for the craftsmen and craftswomen of the past, and for the wood they used, make a difference in each new piece I create.”

You can see more of Pauly’s cabins on The Rustic Way’s Facebook page. (via Twisted Sifter)









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