The processes of learning how to become an architect has always involved historical research, albeit from a biographical perspective (H. Allen Brooks when he studied Le Corbusier), from a generational perspective (Silvia Arango on researching the common processes be- longing to six generations of architects who defined twentieth century Latin America), or from a pedagogical perspective (Jean-Nicolas- Louis Durand's Précis des leçons d’architecture).
Famous architects are often seen as more enigma than person, but behind even the biggest names hide the scandals and tragedies of everyday life. As celebrities of a sort, many of the world's most famed architects have faced rumors and to this day there are questions about the truth of their private affairs. Clients and others in their studios would get a glimpse into an architect’s personal life, but sometimes the sheer force of personality that often comes with creative genius would prevent much insight. The fact remains, however, that these architects’ lives were more than the sum of their buildings.
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library of Buffalo, New York, has recently opened a new exhibit at their Central Library titled Building Buffalo: Buildings From Books, Books From Buildings. The exhibit will feature a large selection of rare, illustrated architectural books from the Library’s collection dating from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The bonus for those who are geographically distant from Buffalo is that, as part of the exhibit, the Library has also made dozens of historical architecture books available online, completely digitized and free to the public.
When placed in a historic landscape, contemporary architecture requires a layered approach. It must often strike a respectful, vernacular tone, whilst embracing the innovative, functional hallmarks of a modern building. This balance has particular relevance at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, located off the coast of Helsinki, Finland. Throughout its 300-year history, it was once occupied by the armies of Sweden, Russia and Finland – a rich history attracting UNESCO World Heritage status, and almost one million annual visitors. The site is more than a museum, however, but a living district of Helsinki with 800 inhabitants and 500 jobs.
Against the prerequisites of past and present, Heikkinen & Kangasaho Architects have combined sharp, functional modernity with respectful, restrained simplicity in a new housing scheme to sit amongst Suomenlinna’s historic fortifications.
What’s so great about the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world? Probably the fact that their societies have been evolving in one unbroken series of eras, with ever-changing values and styles that have, among other things, given rise to architectural memories of their long histories. These cities aren’t like the archeological sites we visit to see how people lived thousands of years ago; they are the exact places people lived thousands of years ago, places where people are still living today, with their rich histories buried under layers of paint and concrete instead of earth.
With ancient cities found in regions around the world, the variety of architectural treasures that can be found in these cities is vast. To give you a taste of their diversity, here is a selection of 18 of the oldest continually inhabited cities from various regions of the world, ranging from youngest to oldest, with a small snippet of their various architectural puzzles.
Go on a virtual stroll through century-old London, with this new interactive map produced by Expedia. Named “Historic London,” the app takes you through 14 notable sites throughout the British capital, from Buckingham Palace to a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street. Archival images of the sites from the late 1800s and early 1900s are overlayed onto the streetview of today, so you can easily compare what has and hasn’t changed over the last 100 years.
Check out the interactive map for yourself below:
The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 71st Annual International Conference in Saint Paul, MN, April 18–22. Please submit an abstract no later than 5:00 p.m. CDT on June 15, 2017, to one of the 45 thematic sessions, the Graduate Student Lightning Talks or the open sessions. The thematic sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods and architectural styles. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; scholars in related fields; and members of SAH chapters and partner organizations.
Call For Submission
The conference, organized by the IARC (Independent Architecture Research Colloquia) of the University of Architecture of Innsbruck, is related to the issue of aesthetics; recollecting and reframing the reflections over architecture, representation, formalism, aesthetics, composition and historical changes that have been discussed within the last years. The Symposium’s aim is to collect a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art approaches to the questions of architectural and urban form and thus provide an updated examination of aesthetic, formal and typological investigations.
MIT has published new research revealing how the reconstruction of the British Houses of Parliament paved the way for legislation to tackle air pollution in Victorian London. Through original archival work into the 1840-1870 reconstruction, MIT architectural historian Timothy Hyde has revealed that work on the Parliament building was so hindered by air pollution that the British government ordered an inquiry into the effects of the atmosphere on new buildings.
Buenos Aires' contemporary urban landscape as we know it today provides a tempered mix of historical and recent construction projects. As one of the most beautiful cities in South America, it's wide boulevards and grand buildings, based on European models, have morphed to embrace the needs of a modern metropolis.
These images show just how profoundly time affects our cities (and how centuries-old foliage can powerfully transform spatial perception).
Browse the 20 interactive images of Buenos Aires before and after.
With a short career of only thirteen years, Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni (1904-1943) left an important legacy of built works that are now used as classic references of modern and rationalist architecture.
We traveled to Como and Milan to visit Terragni's emblematic works that clearly reflect his style. These projects are based on the organized configuration of architectural elements that individually appear clean, pure, and expressive, but together also form a harmonious whole.
These are: Novocomum, Casa Rustici, Asilo Sant'Elia, Casa Giuliani Frigerio and Casa Lavezzari.
Haymarket, The Soul of the City presents images by photographer Justin H. Goodstein, as well videos featuring the sights, sounds, and voices of Haymarket that reflect the stories of long-time vendors and more recent immigrants who have created a diverse cross-section of cultures at the site. Interviews conducted by Historic New England’s Ken Turino document the market’s history, special holiday foods, and specific challenges facing the market today.
In association with Haymarket, The Soul of the City on view at BSA Space this fall, this engaging presentation looks at how Boston’s Market District evolved from a small central location for peddlers at Town Dock to today’s busy market of halal butchers, artisanal cheese mongers, and Cambodian fruit sellers.
Don't miss the opening reception for Haymarket: The Soul of the City. This special event is the first opportunity to view the exhibition while enjoying complimentary drinks.
Haymarket: The Soul of the City presents images by photographer Justin H. Goodstein, as well videos featuring the sights, sounds, and voices of Haymarket that reflect the stories of long-time vendors and more recent immigrants who have created a diverse cross-section of cultures at the site. Interviews conducted by Historic New England’s Ken Turino document the market’s history, special holiday foods, and specific challenges facing the market today.
From the Cradle of Civilization in ancient Mesopotamia to the modern urban explosion in China, cities are among the most obvious and dramatic evidence of human existence. In a recent paper published in Scientific Data, a team led by Yale University researcher Meredith Reba mapped the emergence of cities between 3,700 BC and 2,000 AD based on when their populations were first recorded in historical accounts.
Taking the data from this study, Max Galka of Metrocosm has produced this fascinating animation showing the history of cities worldwide. "Most datasets available go back only a few years or decades at most. This is the first one I've seen that covers 6 millennia," Galka told CityLab. "I'm a big fan of history, so after reading the study, I thought it would be interesting to visualize the data and see if it offers some perspective." The steady flow of time may seem a little slow at first, but stick with it through the early BC years and the shifts in urban development start to get intriguing. And—spoiler alert—buckle up as you approach the 20th century.
Boston has repeatedly reinvented its urban fabric to accommodate a growing population, the needs of business and industry, and the development of public and private transportation. From the first subway through the Big Dig, Boston has led the nation in transforming its cityscape. Join the BSA Foundation and Boston By Foot on this guided walking tour to uncover some of Boston’s many layers and explore its physical evolution, from the first American subway to the rise and fall of interstate highways to the recovery of Boston harbor.
Known as America’s first architect, Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844) defined the Federal style of architecture and the physical fabric of Boston, capturing the vision and spirit of the young Republic. As an architect, town planner, and selectman, Bulfinch designed some of the city’s most enduring buildings, including iconic Beacon Hill mansions and the area now known as the Bulfinch Triangle near the Boston’s TD Garden. Join the BSA Foundation and Boston By Foot for an exploration of some of his greatest works, including the Massachusetts State House, the sites of Boston’s first theater and first Catholic cathedral, and the Tontine Crescent—his architectural masterpiece and ultimately his financial ruin.
Join the BSA Foundation and Boston By Foot for an exploration of the darker side of Boston! Based on historic events, this guided walk proves that fact is often stranger than fiction. Topics include the scourges of smallpox and the Great Influenza, the dangers of Richmond Street, the vandalization of the Royal Governor's House, the Molasses Flood, body snatchers, and the infamous Brink's Robbery, all against the backdrop of the varied architecture in one of Boston's oldest neighborhoods.