‘Skylight & Ceiling’
A modern building design contrasts, or conflicts, with nature – you decide.
‘Allowing For Growth’
A downtown carpark incorporating planted inserts – a cool juxtaposition of man made and natural materials. Love it!
‘Across The Rainbow’
…lines, curves, and shadows…
‘Art Deco House, Dargaville’
…pretty as a picture….oh, that is what is has become…
‘ No Rules’
“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.” – G.K.Chesterton
Skylight, Edinburgh Waverley Station
The restored ceiling and glass work of the ticket hall at Edinburgh’s principal rail hub is a wonder, that escapes due attention as travellers scurry for their trains, or the exits.
If they do glance up, it is only as far as the electronic schedule boards announcing arrivals, departures and British Rail’s inevitable delays.
My own hurried phone photograph was an exposure fail, but it serves to emphasise the ceiling’s stunning design.
In silhouette, the dome appears as a great eye.
I wonder how many sojourners have passed under the skylight’s gaze?
How much motion silently observed from above?
I didn’t have time to look up again, but am glad I did in that moment, before moving for the exit, eyes ahead.
Apparently ‘Braemar’ is the sole late-Victorian period house in Auckland’s central city area still in use as a residence.
Despite its blackened exterior, this is one of my favourite local buildings, with its gothic exterior architrave; the name proud above the arch; wrought iron fence; lace curtains; and the glow of a welcoming light within.
Believe me, there’s been an awful lot of crappy, inconsequential stuff erected around this baby since it was built.
It is a tenacious, grimy survivor and that is something I always admire – in people, and in anything that outlasts the others of its ilk.
The view up to a stunning vaulted ceiling in England’s York Minster.
Justifiably lauded for its architecture, it was the complex symmetry of it all that left me dazzled.
Like this segmented design ,radiating out from the centre of the ceiling like a star, or a flower, then falling down smoothly to enfold the equally beautiful arched windows.
I am a bit of a sucker for symmetry, as some pictures elsewhere on this blog will attest.
As a religious house it is well nigh perfect.
But, there was the nagging thought in my mind that it was a grand, and failed, attempt – it was made by imperfect humans after all ! – to capture a universal spirituality that is at times:
My UK domiciled Kiwi cousin recently got married at a wedding venue there, sporting this splendidly ornate atrium.
Architecturally, an atrium is designed to give a feeling of space and light.
Cynics might claim that marriage does the exact opposite, but I wish her both those things…
I have posted elsewhere on this blog on my attraction to curving, non-linear forms.
They are truly like life,which as we all can attest, does not run in straight lines.
Antoni Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona has taken that principle to extremes.
Observing that straight lines are only rarely found in nature, and from his belief that true art must stem from nature, he created many stunning and idiosyncratic designs in this town.
Pictured is the facade of the famous Casa Batllo in the central city.
The appeal to me,and the hordes of visitors to Gaudi’s creations, is that of nature’s truth.
What at first appears as fantasist madness is actually something that speaks to us deeply.
As an aside, Barcelona, apart from the old Rambla area in the centre has a grid street network and I have managed to lose direction several times in its maze of straight line roads!
Downright disturbing turn of the twentieth century building façade espied on an Auckland walkabout this week.
What was the architect thinking?
Or thinking of, to be more precise?
Sheer bloody terror frozen in stone and plaster.
Oddly, the 1905 building was originally a gymnasium.
Which might explain my take on it: few things are more frightening to me that being trapped in a crowded gym amongst heaving, sweating, exercising, bodies.
Give me a walk in the fresh air, anytime. I think I need some…
Cool house turret in Ponsonby, inner Auckland City.
Turrets are alluring to me.
Gothic charm, for sure.
Any shape, as long as it fits the bill – round, square, hexagonal, octagonal even; flat- topped or pointy like a witch’s hat.
Something left over from ancient times; a throwback.
A detached but special view over the world below.
Exclusive – most of them are not built for a crowd. Party for one, or two, maybe?
They reek of twisted fairy tales. A friend recognised a house from a photo I took of another turreted specimen nearby to this one, and told me it was known to him as the ‘The Tin Man House’.
Lastly,the very fact that they are not essential to the structure of whatever building they are tacked onto, but utterly transform the place when added. A paradox of design!
“Everything seems to fail
And it was all for the want of a nail”
– Todd Rundgren, “For The Want Of A Nail” (1989)
Genius musician is proved slightly wrong in the form of this stunning traditional wooden Malay house on stilts . Okay, that is a massive lyric/subject non- sequitur,but I just love both the song and the house, and there really aren’t that many songs about nails…
Or houses without nails – not a single one was used in its construction, according to the owners. Mainly interlocked timbers, like a gigantic wood jigsaw puzzle. Amazing.
Right near top of the list of coolest houses I have ever visited.
Hasn’t failed or fallen down yet apparently…
After yesterday’s post featuring crops in old tyres,here is a shot taken last week of plants out of their usual place.
Rather eyecatching vertical garden of ferns,epiphytes and other non-foliage dropping lovelies built into a wall of the building from which you enter Auckland’s main train station.Mirror glass,which can be pretty awful and impersonal,gives a cool kaleidoscopic effect,and magnifies the small airborne jungle.Architectural thumbs up from me anyway(not that I know much).
The feature does give out a tranquil,calming aura in the midst of urban perpetual motion,as its creators have indeed suggested – but let’s face it, plants don’t give a f**k whether you’re running late for work or your train…
This is the first of a series of posts where I have photographed places of religion and spiritual belief buildings .Not that I regard myself as religious, but we are all spiritual. The use of symbols and styles of architecture always intrigue and interest me.
Factoid:Tucked away behind the simple wooden church is a little hall where I sometimes meet with others of like mind. Curiously, it has nothing whatsoever to do with religion but there is a spiritual bond there for sure.