"Architecture is a marriage of the functional and the spritual, if the spaces we create do not move the heart and mind then they are surely only addressing one part of their function. Light is a good example. Any engineer can quantify the lumens required to brighten a passage or to read a book. But what about the poetic dimension of natural light: the changing nature of an overcast sky, the discovery of dappled shade, the intensity of a sunburst."

    -Norman Foster, from "Reflections."

    Sir Norman's "personal statement about architecture, how it is understood and how it is perceived." For Foster, the book reflects his belief that architecture is essentially a social art; a necessity and not a luxury; that it is generated by people's needs, which are both spiritual and material. It has much to do with optimism, joy, and reassurance-of order in a disordered world, of privacy in the midst of many, of space in a crowded site, of light on a dull day. It is about quality - the quality of the space and the poetry of the light that models it."

    Thought I'd leave you with that, as we make disorder tonight.
    Next year, perhaps we'll return to order. We shall try.

    If you're in Chicago, today's the last day for Bruce Mau's exhibition, Massive Change at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Open until 5pm.

    Hope to see you in '07!
    Happy, Healthy New Year to you and yours,
    -EdwardSource URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    Note to Architects: Make it Memorable



    Sorry, busy today, so only this.

    The new Baha'i Temple or House of Worship to be built near Santiago in Chile. Designed by Siamak Hariri of Toronto, Canada.

    The design has "nine gracefully torqued wings, which enfold the space of the Temple," Mr. Hariri said. Looks delicious.







    No offense intended, to a fine faith. Just an arch-coincidence.
    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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Corb quote

    Rubber Sidewalks!

    reports the Trib.

    Put a bounce in your step! I like the idea. More comfort as you walk or bike or blade or skate or jog or...

    And I've long thought that the ugliest thing in our cities and suburbs are our sidewalks. These new ones seem to have a more pleasing color, which like iPod colors could probably be easily varied! And the rectangle is smaller - about two by two and a half feet. The rectangle of a sidewalk should refer to a human stride, shouldn't it? I hope these survive the winters. What else are we going to do with old car tires anyway?

    Seattle is doing it! D.C. is doing it! Santa Monica started it! Boston may require all new sidewalks to be rubber. Here's how they're made. For now they cost about three times more than concrete but a lot of that is shipping charges so as more factories open the price will come down. Anyway they last a lot longer around tree roots.


    photo: Chicago Tribune
    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    Designer and Architectural Philosopher Charles Jencks on the BBC.
    But only through January 1st.


    He's good on Modernism. Good on Post-Modernism. Good on the strange shapes of today's buildings that "don't have any public meaning system." He compares today's icons to the enigma of the Eiffel Tower. He says the year 2000 will be seen like the year 1000 - a time of great "cathedrals." And he's good on Chinese Gardens.

    -E, njoy.Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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Magdalena Abakanowicz and Carl Sandburg

    More poetry about headless torsos

    Inspired by Magdalena Abakanowicz's "Agora," newly unveiled in Chicago, we reminded you of TS Eliot's, "We are the hollow men ... "


    Now we cite some Carl Sandburg.
    He wrote these lines about another headless sculpture:









    " And you left off the head here,

    The skull found always crumbling neighbor of the ankles."


    Number 11 of Sandburg's "Chicago Poems."

    We write much more on Agora here.
    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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Ancestry

    Find your Grandma and Grandpa! I did.
















    And it's very exciting. See the original entry in the manifest, on the day they arrived on these shores. See a photo of the ship on which they travelled. So little! So scary!

    I didn't know my grandfather at age 24 was put in charge of his little sister, age 10, and they came together to America. Note to Great-grandparents, I'm glad they did.

    Sure this is culture, kind of. But I just had to put this up. It was so wonderful to find this information. And the access is free through December 31st. At Ancestry.com

    Where did your ancestors come from?Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    Architecture presents for the kids.

    Careful what you get 'em!

    Although we lived in an 'English Tudor' house,
    my parents got me


















    Ah, I can still see them now! I built towers in the basement. Thanks Mom and Dad! And now I live in

















    860 - 880 by Mies.

    We know that Frank Lloyd Wright's mother gave him











    Froebel blocks.

    He went on to design












    So here's what I want to know. Which architect's Mom and Dad gave them














    ???


    Nouvel? Gehry? Hejduk?













    Nah, we can do better than that. I know that French set reminds me of a building, and I can't think of which. Rossi? Graves? Post-modern something. Help! Which architect's parents must have given him or her "le Jeu de Constructions?"

    Happy Holidays,
    -Edoardo (I also got nails, that was great too...) Lifson

    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    Architecture = Oprah!


    My holiday card to you.

    In this age of the architecture world as an intellectual version of Oprah!

    Let's pause to remember the words of John Cage, and, the man who built cages, but really nice cages,
    Mr. Mies van der Rohe


    One of Mies van der
    Rohe’s pupils, a girl,
    came to
    him and said,
    “I have
    difficulty studying with you
    because you
    don’t leave any room for
    self-expression.”

    He asked her whether
    she had a pen with
    her.
    She did.


    He said,
    “Sign your name.”
    She did.


    He said,
    “That’s what I
    call self-expression.”






    Indeterminacy . text © John Cage

    photo- Gehry MIT, (oder ohne?) Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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Gehry's "Miss Brooklyn" descending a staircase

    "If all goes according to plan, work will begin within weeks on the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project near Downtown Brooklyn, which won final approval from a state oversight board on Wednesday after three years of furious debate..."
    Isn't Gehry's project for Brooklyn,

    Miss Brooklyn Frank Gehry Atlantic Yards


    Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase
    Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase?"

    They call the Gehry building "Miss Brooklyn," and he often says how he's as influenced by art as by architecture. And he did design what is affectionately called "Ginger and Fred" in Prague.

    Frank Gehry Prague Ginger and Fred

    Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers dancing

    Gehry says a goal of his is get movement into architecture, but being a modernist he must do so without using ornament. Duchamp's "Nude descending..." depicts movement; being nude she is also without ornament.

    Which reminds me of the house Adolph Loos designed for dancer Josephine Baker. But that's another story.
    architecture and dance.Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    The Gary, Indiana Picasso

    A model of Chicago's Picasso stands in Gary, Indiana, in a career center. It's made of wood, and served as a reference for the American Bridge Company, a division of U.S. Steel, as they built the big one.

    The wooden model was donated by the American Bridge Company in 1970 to the to Gary Public Schools. Today some people there want to sell it to raise money for the schools.

    How much would you get, a few hundred thousand?

    What's wrong with a little sculpture? Couldn't the town use some wonder? It has to stay in Gary. I think they should just display it more prominently, where more people can see it.
    It's a part of their past they should be proud of, this connection to the great Chicago Picasso, and all their steelworkers could do.
    The Chicago Picasso, as it is generally referred to, was unveiled in the Civic Center Plaza on August 15, 1967. Executed from Picasso's 42-inch steel model, the finished sculpture is 50 feet high and weighs 162 tons.

    The material for the sculpture is of the same type of steel as was utilized for the exterior of the Civic Center building and this steel, after sufficient exposure, will gradually achieve a similar patina. Fabricated by the United States Steel Corporation under the supervision of the Civic Center architects and engineers, the sculpture was completely pre-assembled in Gary, Indiana, disassembled, shipped to the Civic Center, and reassembled in its final form.

    The model should stay in Gary like the Eakins painting "The Gross Clinic" should stay in Philadelphia.

    If it matters, and I suppose it does, Picasso was influenced by African art.

    Chicago Public Radio ran a story on this, which I edited. It'll be posted online soon.

    top photo by the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana


    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    Italians need light
    -------> how about a moving mirror in winter? Look at this -

    Just north of Turin,


    Now you thought Italians




    knew everything about how to build a town, right?

    Well Viganella was built at the bottom of a valley in the Alps.
    Every year around November 11th the sun stops shining on this town, and it doesn't come back until about February 2nd! In between, for all those weeks, no sunlight falls on this town. And you thought your winter was bad.

    "It's like Siberia," one woman told the BBC - and this is Italy.

    So after about 800 years of this, the mayor of Viganella plans to install a giant moving mirror on a mountainside nearby. It's supposed to reflect the rays from the winter sun, into the town!

    An architect is now drawing up plans.

    The Mayor believes that a motorised mirror about five metres wide could track the sun, always reflecting it into the town square. "On a clear day this would produce five hours of sunlight in the piazza even in mid-December," he told the Beeb.

    Now they just need about $130,000 dollars to build it.

    Hey, if it works, I'd like a few in Chicago. We could use more sun. And we have a progressive Mayor, interesting in saving energy consumption. Mayor Daley, the Sun-King, I like it.

    But I wonder, about Viganella, and other cities if they put up these moving mirrors these heliostats. How will light, at a time you've never had it, from a direction you've never had it, change things? How would human relations change? But also, how would the town physically change? Will they put up new shades? Punch windows in the north side of buildings? Will new buildings orient north?


    But here's my real question,
    who is going to go up every morning
    and








    !,
    -E

    Everyone wants more light, even in the desert apparently.

    Viganella story and top two graphics via the BBC .Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    Calatrava's Chicago building tapers again!
    With a thin shaft of light on the top.
    Blair Kamin has the story. (Kudos Blair.)

    I happened to be by Crown Hall that night, by coincidence, when Calatrava, the model and the gang were there.


    I went to show "the Crown" to a friend from Berlin, Arnold Dreyblatt.
    He loved it, except for the acoustic tile ceiling. He's used to the beautifully finished ceiling of coffered steel up in Berlin's new National Gallery, for which Crown Hall is the low-budget prototype.

    Calatrava's design for the Chicago Spire will change again. But the new design is better. The developer wants to break ground in June.
    -ESource URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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All aboard the Helmut Jahn Express


    Pardon me boys, but Helmut Jahn's SRO on the north side of Chicago is looking good.
    Like a train running through the neighborhood.
    Nice romantic imagery.
    And Chicago has a lot of history with trains. Both as the freight and passenger hub and for the Illinois Central and the Great Migration of people riding the train up here from the south.


    Helmut's work is a knock - off of


    his own fine dorms at the Illinois Institute of Technology, across the street from Crown Hall. There he said the train imagery is because these dorms run alongside the tracks and when he studied at IIT he'd romanticize taking the 'el' forty or so blocks north, into downtown Chicago.

    The Near North Apartments add wind turbines to the top, - you can see them in the photos - they're to create a little energy, or at least to make a nod in that direction.

    Inside are 96-units for homeless people. The housing is slated to also provide access to services such as mental health assistance and vocational guidance.) Jahn told me he did the work pro-bono. It's due to open in February. We'll keep you up-to-date.

    -Edvard


    more on Jahn, and his SRO here

    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    I think I'd like this.













    Click here to see the slide show and video.
    It's in London's Victoria and Albert.
    I like new in old. I like lights.
    I like colors. I like technology (sometimes!)

    -E

    via
    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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    The new John Kennedy ?


    From: info@barackobama.com [mailto:info@barackobama.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:37 AM
    Subject: Happy Holidays



    Paid for by Obama 2010, Inc.

    ---




    Source URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2006/
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