Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Tag

Urban Utopia or Brutalist Hell?   21 comments

The UK’s Leading International Arts Centre

The Barbican – Urban Utopia or Brutalist Hell? – Love it or Hate it!

“The Barbican Centre, a vast concrete housing complex of 2,000 flats and a leading arts complex, is a prime example of brutalist architecture, softened a little by time and rectangular ponds of friendly resident ducks. The lakeside terrace and adjoining café are good spots to take a rest from visiting the art gallery, cinema, theatre, concert hall or library within the complex. The art gallery on the third floor stages exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture, while on the ground floor, the Curve is a free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art.” – (timeout.com)

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The Barbican Centre was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon with the aim of transforming the devastated WW2 bombing location where it is situated into an urban utopia. Built amongst the long-previously designed system of striking brutalist buildings, the Barbican’s brutalist exterior is created with “enough concrete to make 19 miles of six-lane motorway: 130,000 cubic metres which was textured by hand with electric drills. Presumably because the architects hated the neighbours.” Winking smile (timeout.com)

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Considered one of the most important 20th century architectural accomplishments it was opened in 1982 by The Queen who referred to it as ‘one of the modern wonders of the world.’

In September 2001, the Barbican Centre complex was designated a site of special architectural interest and given Grade II listed building status. In September 2003 an opinion poll voted it “London’s ugliest building” for its Brutalist styling.

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The Barbican is not only one of London’s greatest illustrations of Brutalist architecture but also Europe’s largest multi-purpose performing arts and conference venue. From when it first opened it has housed the London Symphony Orchestra and in 2013 became the Royal Shakespeare Company’s London base.

NB: To access the Barbican Centre required a long walk through the Barbican Housing Complex to reach it. It was also a freezing cold day and Icewolf’s paws were rapidly developing frostbite of the photo-snapping claw Freezing

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20160316_123408 (2)Therefore any photos of the inside of the Barbican Arts Centre (where permitted, obviously…after all anyone who knows Icewolf knows Icewolf never ventures anywhere Icewolf is not supposed to venture….Angel) will not be available until a second visit can happen, hopefully when it is considerably warmer! However since the main purpose of this first visit was to see the ‘brutalist architecture’ for myself, I believe the mission was accomplished SmileThumbs up

(Click photos to enlarge – All photos: Copyright Europa’s Icewolf 2016)

Sources:

barbican.org.uk

timeout.com

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble   44 comments

Beijing Bubbling Towards A Smog-Free

 Future?

china_beijing_air_pollution_Photo_EPABeijing smog alert! Recently raised to Level Orange – the alert system’s second highest smog threat category (levels consisting of blue, yellow, orange and red) which can lead to outdoor sports class cancellations and transport usage restrictions, highlights the shocking air quality crisis in China’s capital city. Citizens have been advised to stay indoors and to wear face masks if they do have to go out. This is the first time the pollution level has reached the smog alert system’s second worst threat level, and is a direct consequence of the notorious combination of coal burning power plants and the excessive number of cars on Beijing’s roads.

Levels of PM2.5 – tiny pollutant particles in Beijing’s atmosphere have been recorded as standing at 400 micrograms per cubic metre. The acceptable limit is 25 micrograms per cubic metre.

Park in a Bubble

Orproject – a London-based, British architecture and design company have a dedicated team working on the innovative idea of a dome-covered botanical garden which would be large enough to also enclose offices, shops and residential buildings.

Bubbles

bubble-Photo_OrprojectThe Bubble as it is known, would be helpful to those living with environmental pollution, and although it is not an alternative to finding ways to control pollution destroying the environment, it would offer a safe haven; a clean-air environment in a dangerously polluted city.

Costing in the region of £400/square metre the bubbles would be constructed with the same material as has been used in the Eden project (Cornwall, UK) inside the biomes panels. As it would not be designed using glass the structure would be much lighter and consequently far more cost effective. Highly heat resistant this stretchy plastic – a polymer known as ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) also has the potential to reduce energy costs and has already been tried and tested at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, both at the Aquatics Center and the Birds’ Nest National Stadium.

An interesting idea is the dome’s roof which the designers would craft by combining technology with nature, using a computer algorithm with the ability to initiate and grow roof-top patterns such as those on butterfly wings and on leaves…

Structural surface solar panels would provide electric for the clean-air bubble and humidity and temperature would be controlled internally. By necessity the bubble would be airtight therefore the air pumped into the proposed park and the buildings contained within it would have to be filtered beforehand.

Source: metro.co.uk

“The Word Of Your Head Wolf Is Law! ~ Obey!!”   75 comments

 

The Law Of The Jungle by Rudyard Kipling

Poetry Classics

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay on December 30th 1865, son of John Lockwood Kipling, an artist and teacher of architectural sculpture, and his wife Alice. His mother was one of the talented and beautiful Macdonald sisters, four of whom married remarkable men, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Poynter, Alfred Baldwin, and John Lockwood Kipling himself.

The Law of the Jungle 

Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

The Law of the Jungle_The strength of the Wolf is the Pack 

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; 

And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace with the Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.

When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.

The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!

And the strength of the Pack is the Wolf 
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Cub-Right is the right of the yearling_Lair-Right is the right of the Mother

Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!

The head and the hoof of the Law - OBEY!!!