Monday, September 14, 2009

Civil Art


Can infrastructure be considered art? Here's a fanciful interpretation of stairs, overpasses, and other civil structures and how they interact with the public aesthetic. The large public sculpture is located outside the Lesseps metro station in Barcelona, Spain.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Expressed Structure


This modern three-story building in Aix-en-Provence perfectly illustrates the architectural concept of expressed structure. The sloping columns and braces provide both the gravity and lateral support for the structure. The structure is cast-in-place concrete. I found it interesting that they chose not to use spandrel beams at the building perimeter. It must have been a challenge to design the intersecting columns, braces and slab such that there was still enough room between rebars to properly cast the concrete.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Masonry Repair?

Note the 2x6 supporting masonry just to the lower left of the window. That can't meet code. I can imagine the conversation with the building inspector: "Well, it's been standing without the board for five centuries. We consider this our belt and suspenders approach to reinforcing." "Um, I don't see either."
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Leaning Church of Caen

Talk about settlement issues. The leaning tower in Pisa is not the only structure to baffle geotechnical experts. This church in Caen, France was built on the soft soil of a former river bed. Legend has it that the King who commissioned the church did so reluctantly in order to attain the Pope's permission to divorce his wife. Eglise St. Jean
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Batman's Chicago

Several of these buildings were prominently feature in the Dark Knight. Hotel 41, in the lower left, was dressed up as Bruce Wayne's swanky downtown bachelor pad. The IBM building, behind, was the site of most of the municipal shots, including the DA's office, the sheriff's office and the site of the pivital press conference. The final climactic scene in which Batman ambushed a series of terrorists while ferry passengers determined whether to annihalate each other, was filmed in the then unfinished Trump tower (tall center).
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My first prescription glasses. Apparently, I've been walking around like the cyclops. The world is pretty cool in 3D.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two cement trucks fill a pump truck sending concrete to the top of a mid-rise building.