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Car Culture: The Latest Architecture and News

How Americans Get to Work

00:00 - 25 January, 2015
How Americans Get to Work, Interactive: How Americans Get to Work. Image Courtesy of flowingdata.com
Interactive: How Americans Get to Work. Image Courtesy of flowingdata.com

In the US, most people drive alone to work. This isn’t surprising, considering car culture has been a staple of American life since the end of World War II. However, with the potential of high speed rails making way in California and the push for public transit in many other states, it will be interesting to see how this map may (or may not) change over the next decade.

Madrid to Eliminate Cars from City Center

00:00 - 29 September, 2014
Madrid to Eliminate Cars from City Center, Madrid © Flickr CC User Jesus Solana. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Madrid © Flickr CC User Jesus Solana. Used under Creative Commons

Starting January, the City of Madrid will close off 190 hectares of its central core to traffic, expanding its restricted vehicular areas to 352 hectares. Vehicles not belonging to residents within the city’s four most central barrios will be restricted to large avenues. If a vehicle enters the car-less zone, and does not have access to one of the 13 official parking lots, the owner will be automatically ticketed €90 ($115 U.S). The new legislation is part of a larger goal to completely pedestrianization central Madrid by 2020.

Video: Googie Architecture, Part 2

19:00 - 22 November, 2012

Sunny & Mild Media presents Part 2 of its Googie Architecture Series, presenting design work at the cusp of technological innovations of the 1950s. Emerging out of an obsession with the fast new world of cars, planes and rockets, Googie Architecture became an ultramodern style that sought to encapsulate the spirit of the 21st century. The new forms – sweeping, cantilevered roofs, starbursts, and flowing forms – became a form of advertisement that caught the attention of motorists, for its vibrance along the stretches of highways and for its distinctive style.

This installment features a closer look at the diners and restaurants that thrived in the ’50s and were designed with the Googie style. Even the one of the first McDonald’s restaurants adapted the style to work with its logo. Many of these buildings stand in ruin now, but the style was used in all kinds of building typologies – most of which emphasized the car: drive-thru’s, drive-in’s, car washes, diners, and gas stations. Even Las Vegas, and our associations with the its architecture today, are a reflection of that style.

Video: Googie Architecture, Part 1

13:00 - 3 November, 2012

Googie Architecture, shared with us by Sunny & Mild Media, is part one of a series that encapsulates the futuristic design found prevalent in the post-war sprawl of Los Angeles during the 1950s. Popular among coffee shops, motels and gas stations, the ultramodern style originated from the Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, designed by John Lautner, named Googies. A Googie building was a symbol that a business was with the times, which in turn brought traffic and attention to its doors. Form followed function, and it’s function was advertisement.

For more, read Googie Architecture: Futurism through Modernism.