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Iron: The Latest Architecture and News

The Work of Victor Horta, Art Nouveau's Esteemed Architect

06:00 - 28 June, 2018
© Henry Townsend
© Henry Townsend

Situated throughout Brussels, Victor Horta's architecture ranges from innocuous to avant-garde. While many of his buildings were completed in the traditional Beaux Arts style, it is Horta’s Art Nouveau works—most of them built as townhouses for the Belgian elite—that are most beloved. Emerging from the decorative arts tradition and, in some ways, anticipating the coming onslaught of modernism, Horta’s Art Nouveau buildings were erected during a fleeting decade: roughly 1893 to 1903.

© <a href=‘https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fachada_Casa_Estudio_V%C3%ADctor_Horta.jpg#/media/File:Fachada_Casa_Estudio_V%C3%ADctor_Horta.jpg'>Creative Commons user estebanhistoria</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>  © <a href=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinehrenhauser/8085701304'>Flickr user Martin Ehrenhauser </a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href=‘https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Belgique_-_Bruxelles_-_Maison_Horta_-_02.jpg'>Creative Commons user EmDee</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>  © <a href=‘https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belgique_-_Bruxelles_-_H%C3%B4tel_Van_Eetvelde_-_18.jpg'>Creative Commons user EmDee</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> + 19

6 Materials That Age Beautifully

09:30 - 26 March, 2018
6 Materials That Age Beautifully, © Rory Gardiner
© Rory Gardiner

Often as architects we neglect how the buildings we design will develop once we hand them over to the elements. We spend so much time understanding how people will use the building that we may forget how it will be used and battered by the weather. It is an inevitable and uncertain process that raises the question of when is a building actually complete; when the final piece of furniture is moved in, when the final roof tile is placed or when it has spent years out in the open letting nature take its course?

Rather than detracting from the building, natural forces can add to the material’s integrity, softening its stark, characterless initial appearance. This continuation of the building process is an important one to consider in order to create a structure that will only grow in beauty over time. To help you achieve an ever-growing building, we have collated six different materials below that age with grace.

AD Classics: Hôtel van Eetvelde / Victor Horta

04:00 - 1 February, 2017
AD Classics: Hôtel van Eetvelde / Victor Horta, Courtesy of Wikimedia user Zinneke (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Zinneke (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

To the contemporary observer, the flowing lines and naturalistic ornamentation of Art Nouveau do not appear particularly radical. To some, Art Nouveau may even seem to be the dying gasp of 19th Century Classicism just before the unmistakably modern Art Deco and International Styles supplanted it as the design modes of choice. The Hôtel van Eetvelde, designed in 1897 by Victor Horta—the architect considered to be the father of Art Nouveau—suggests a different story. With its innovative spatial strategy and expressive use of new industrial materials, the Hôtel van Eetvelde is a testament to the novelty of the “New Art.”

Courtesy of Wikimedia user Zinneke (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) Courtesy of Flickr user T P (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Courtesy of Wikimedia user Koenvde (Public Domain) This street front comprises typical Brusselian townhouses: narrow, multilevel, and highly individualistic in their ornamentation. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Steve Cadman (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) + 6

AD Classics: Eiffel Tower / Gustave Eiffel

06:15 - 2 December, 2016
AD Classics: Eiffel Tower / Gustave Eiffel, © Wikimedia user Jebulon (Public Domain)
© Wikimedia user Jebulon (Public Domain)

The world had never seen anything like the graceful iron form that rose from Paris’ Champ de Mars in the late 1880s. The “Eiffel Tower,” built as a temporary installation for the Exposition Universelle de 1889, became an immediate sensation for its unprecedented appearance and extraordinary height. It has long outlasted its intended lifespan and become not only one of Paris’ most popular landmarks, but one of the most recognizable structures in human history.

AD Classics: Eiffel Tower / Gustave Eiffel Public Domain. ImageAugust 211888 Public Domain. ImageDecember 7 1887 AD Classics: Eiffel Tower / Gustave Eiffel + 11

Atlas Obscura Details Bulgarian Church Made Entirely Out of Cast Iron

16:00 - 16 April, 2016
Atlas Obscura Details Bulgarian Church Made Entirely Out of Cast Iron, © Darwinek, Creative Commons via Atlas Obscura
© Darwinek, Creative Commons via Atlas Obscura

Located along the shore of the Golden Horn in Fatih, Turkey, the Bulgarian Church of St. Stephen is no ordinary basilica. Unlike most churches of its time, St. Stephen’s is constructed entirely out of cast iron, explains Atlas Obscura in their article "Bulgarian Iron Church."  This method of construction was cost-effective and efficient for the time, but never became popular.

City of Kiruna To Move Two Miles Over This June

00:00 - 27 May, 2014
City of Kiruna To Move Two Miles Over This June, The new city center with the salvaged bell tower. Image Courtesy of White Arkitekter
The new city center with the salvaged bell tower. Image Courtesy of White Arkitekter

Officials announced this week that, starting in June, the city of Kiruna, Sweden will begin to migrate. Founded in 1900, the town is the product of Sweden’s largest state-owned mining company, LKAB. The company extracts iron from the nearby Kirunavaara mountainside, and now the expansion of the mines threatens to destabilize the ground beneath 3,000 homes as well as many of the town’s municipal buildings.

The 100-year master plan put forth by White Arkitekter, in collaboration with Ghilardi + Hellsten Arkitetker, calls for the city to expand two miles eastward along a linear axis. This new plan will rebuild the town on solid ground, retain its historical and cultural presence, and slowly wean it off its dependency on the mining industry by opening the community up to new businesses.

AD Classics: The Crystal Palace / Joseph Paxton

01:00 - 5 July, 2013
AD Classics: The Crystal Palace / Joseph Paxton, The Crystal Palace, 1851. © wikiarquitectura.com
The Crystal Palace, 1851. © wikiarquitectura.com

The Crystal Palace was a glass and cast iron structure built in London, England, for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The building was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, an architect and gardener, and revealed breakthroughs in architecture, construction and design. More on the Crystal Palace after the break...

The State Opening of The Great Exhibition in 1851, colour lithograph by Louis Haghe.© <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>Wikimedia</a> Commons First sketch for the Great Exhibition Building by Sir Joseph Paxton. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London The incredible length of the interior space, 1851. © paristeampunk.canalblog.com Detail © greatbuildings.com + 13