Travel, as I have often said to my colleagues, is an excellent means to explore and understand architecture, especially if that has to do with regional values. Last year, after having missed many earlier opportunities to do so, I finally visited the sites of great architectural works of the Mughal Dynasty in India. For most people, the Taj Mahal is a household word. For me it had always been the fore-runner of an argument that mosques and mausoleums are not the same and hence their formal structures cannot share in the semiology employed by modern day designers of religious buildings in the light of Bob Venturi’s “decorated shed” paradigm. A peek into the timeless past of Mughal architecture in India
John King just keeps getting better and better. In his second Cityscapes volume, published by local treasure Heyday Books, he classifies fifty notable San Francisco buildings and spaces under the sobriquets of Towers, Connection, Clues and Waterfront. This builds on Volume 1’s Icons, Styles and Masters, Landscape, and Change (Cityscapes , San Francisco and Its Buildings, 2011). Another couple of volumes and we will have the complete ‘how to read a city.’ Cityscapes 2: Reading the Architecture of San Francisco
While I was a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying architecture, ideas were always buzzing around; at design charrettes, guest lectures and of course, at the dining table. International House, where I lived, was home to residents from eighty countries enrolled in various academic programs. Our insatiable thirst for learning extended to coffee hours and dinner, with enough food for thought to go around. Celebrating Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas
San Francisco – After all the projects proposed over the years for San Francisco’s waterfront, one would think city authorities would be asking more questions about the latest proposal for dilapidated Piers 30-32.
Located at the base of the Bay Bridge, with spectacular Bay views, the crumbling 13-acre piers owned by the Port of San Francisco are now used for parking. Waterfront Warriors? What?
Architecture at its best is composition. By that, I mean that whatever humans build provides punctuation marks in nature, somewhat like the punctuation marks that give grammatical composition to prose. Reflections On Architecture
I am in Tokyo traveling/visiting this week. I must say, it’s an amazing progressive city and culture. So many amazing buildings here. Wow. It’s a huge city, but has a small city feel in the smaller neighborhoods within the city. Public transportation is easy to use, bikes are all over the place, public spaces/parks are great, public art and multiple museums dot the city. It’s like New York City, a bit of Chicago and Vegas lights. Will be posting more pictures when I return. Today’s picture is of the Prada store. This building was built several years ago but has an amazing look and feel from both the outside and inside. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meauron.