Monday, February 9, 2009

American Skyscrapers

The BBC website has this slideshow of images of American skyscrapers. Including this wonderful shot of the tower of the Woolworth Building in NYC breaking through the clouds. It was the world's tallest building from 1913-1930, and is still amongst the twenty tallest buildings in New York.

Photo created by Fairchild Aerial Surveys Inc. 1928. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snapshot, Melbourne.

Some shots of Monaco House on Ridgway Place in the city (just off Lt Collins between Spring and Exhibition). Constructed last year and designed by McBride Charles Ryan. The angular lines and crystalline forms are unexpected in this small laneway and they sit in direct contrast to the old brick wall of The Melbourne Club opposite.

The glass and high gloss black finish create what I like to call a 'borrowed facade,' in this case the greenery of The Melbourne Club garden is reflected and this transforms the hard modern materials and sharp edges into something softer and more organic. I think the position of this building, or you could say the way that the architect/s appear to respond to the surrounding environment, transforms it into something greater than the design itself.

More information and interior shots can be viewed here and here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have a lot of photos from my studies in Italy so I thought I would share some of my favourite places and buildings.

The staircase and facade of Palazzo Madama in Turin, designed by Filippo Juvarra, an architect born in Messina, trained in Rome, and who came to work for the Savoy King in 1714. The staircase sits on the front of the medieval castello in the centre of the city. Juvarra's work is characyerised by an openess of space, the forms are not sculptural but spatial. Richard Pommer described it as 'open architecture' the spaces and solid forms common to the architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries were pierced through with holes and openings. The columns below are like a forest and as one moves around the view and feeling of the space constantly changes.

It is also the staircase which the minis drove down in 'The Italian Job.'

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