Before the old railway line the Baana was reopened as a pedestrian and cycle route through the center of Helsinki I visited it when it was closed off to the public and the homeless were using it as shelter. It looked to me then like an amazing urban corridor full of possibilities. Since then it has become part of the fabric of the city offering a different perspective on city life for those using it and providing a welcoming connecting urban throughfare for thousands of pedestrians and cyclists every day.
I thought as I put up some photos on flickr before it was remade that I would put up some new one showing it after its makeover. There is now a team, proposal and website covering the Baana trying to develop it called urBaana, others it seems see that the Baana can be even something more than it currently is. I’ll have a look at it and cover it shortly.
The Open Education Database is a comprehensive collection of online college rankings and free courses. It currently has 55 courses under Architecture ranging from Technical, Theory, History of Architecture and everything in between. This is a resource worth checking out as it includes not only the course but the course material like handouts and reading lists for downloading.
A map of 9,866,539 dutch buildings coloured by date built. Also worth visiting is the Brooklyn map also coloured by date by Thomas Rhiel. Read more at my new blog declad.com.
He hath eaten me out of house and home, he hath
put all my substance into that fat belly of his: but I will have some
of it out again, or I will ride thee a-nights like the mare.
We were on holiday in Fife this year for a few days, a part of Scotland I don’t know well although I have been to St. Andrews a couple of times before. It’s a place of wide open spaces, beautiful beaches, postcard villages hanging on cliffs overlooking the sea and great food. There is even a Secret Bunker.
The villages of my Scottish childhood I remember as near universally dour and the nearest you could come to good food was a chippy, but food culture has really changed in the UK. Fife should be enjoyed for everything you can do and see there but nowadays you can’t just have a look around have to eat Fife too.
There is nothing more traditional in Finland than a lakeside Sauna right? Well researchers for the Central Finland in Jyväskylä who prepared an exhibition on the sauna have identified the lakeside sauna as a relatively modern trend beginning with urban Finns starting it when they bought second homes beside the lakes.
In the countryside, the family sauna was usually to be found close to the farmhouse and close to the well. But, as increasing numbers of urban residents began acquiring villas and cottages as summer holiday retreats during the latter half of the 19th century, saunas began appearing on lakeshores….
It was during the war period that lakeside saunas became much more widespread. Soon, they began to take over from the bathhouses of the genteel folk, becoming so common that few people today even consider that they have not always been a central feature, and a delight, of the Finnish way of life. – YLE article
This is all consistent with the Sauna moving from being an integral part of life to a leisure activity.
In a follow-up to my post about Glenn Murcutt. I went to a lecture about Murcutts’ work given by Juhani Pallasmaa at the MFA on 24th April this year. Some things I didn’t know were that Pallasmaa and Murcutt are really very close ‘like brothers’ he said. I also saved a quote of Glenns that Juhani gave during the lecture and many of the themes talked about by Juhani come out in this talk given by Glenn I found on YouTube. Public Talk with Glenn Murcutt
I love buildings with order. I find chaotic buildings too close to my real nature. I am an untidy human without a frame of reference. I’m like a bagperson. I get great pleasure in having a frame of reference that establishes what I can and cannot do. The zones developed by framing allow an ease of order yet can provide great flexibility. It’s like structure in music, an order which the composer will develop as layers of complexity that add richness within the established order. – Glenn Murcutt
The Finnish defense forces have put up online an archive of about 160,000 wartime photos from Finland during WWII. Read more at petapixel.
The MFA in Helsinki currently is hosting an exhibition on the Australian Architect Glenn Murcutt. Architecture for Place shows off a selection of Murcutt’s projects through photos, drawings and models.
The drawings sometime blown up show all the stages of the design, ‘napkin’ sketches to working drawings. One of my favourite drawings is a page of sketchs and notes on a roof and details sent as a fax, dated and a ‘with love Glenn’ at the bottom. The models, all sectional have the sectional drawing attached to the back showing they are less concerned with an investigation of the spacial qualities of the building than of the way the materials are put together. Continue reading
The British Government will launch an Architecture Policy Review headed up by headed up by Terry Farrell which will report back at the end of the year. It was commissioned by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.
Farrell will look at four main points the government’s role in promoting design quality, the economic benefits of architecture, cultural heritage and the built environment and improving education about architecture and buildings. See the report in The Guardian and BD. You can write comments about the review direct to Farrells office here: FAR@terryfarrell.co.uk
The Terrainator by Dan Wilson is a service that prints a region of the world of your choice into a 3d model delivered to your door. You can do it all online and have it shipped to you for around $45. Not all areas on the globe are covered yet and I got some mixed results making maps of places I know in the UK, but the Alps and mountains of Scotland look great. As data is added both the areas covered should increase and the quality of the models will too.
I would love to see Dan add cities, imagine New York for example and even single buildings.
The city of Kiruna has announced the winner of the competition to effectively move the city away from the subsidence radiating from the iron mine which is slowly swallowing the old city. Kiruna 4-ever won by White Architects AB (Stockholm), Ghilardi + Hellsten (Oslo), Spacescape (Stockholm), Vectura Consulting AB (Solna) and Evidence BLW AB (Stockholm).
Because of what must be one of the largest mines in Europe Kiruna is the biggest energy consumer in Sweden coupled with a relatively extreme northerly climate the redesign of Kiruna is a big and interesting urban challenge. The winning proposal has at it’s heart in many ways the introduction of a cable car system to link the mine the new center and other key points of the city.
The Alvar Aalto Museum has launched an online journal of research papers about Alvar Aalto. It should act as a hub for researchers on the works of Aalto. All the papers are free to download and read. Go to alvaraaltoresearch.fi.
Aaltosites is a nice app showing Alvar Aalto buildings has been released. It gives a description and photos and shows the address and puts it on a map for you.
You can also save a list of favourites. It’s for IOS & android at the moment but it only has Aalto buildings in Helsinki. However the aim is to release updates to eventually include all Aalto buildings. (via)
Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary by Dan Hill
This book was one of those pleasurable of reading experiences where my brain felt like it was being subtly rewired as I was reading it. I loved this book and what follows isn’t really a review but a summary with an awful lot of quotes. A set of notes for myself. I’ll try to make a faithful outline of what Strategic design is and what it might mean to the Architect without the examples that Dan gives. Also Strelka press should be congratulated on a nice series of e-books.
I first came across Pinboard during the great escape from Delicious which came about the time that Yahoo sold them off. I checked out a few other services, I even ran for a short time a tiddlywiki out of my Dropbox. Then I took the plunge paid my 9 dollars and signed up with Pinboard, that was in October 2011. It was just what I was looking for.
On the 4th of January last year I got an email from Maciej Ceglowski of Pinboard, giving me a year full archiving account. There had been a small glitch with a note I had saved the evening before, and by way of apology he upgraded my account to full archiving for a year. I had noticed something awry the night before but honestly had thought nothing of it so I was more than pleasantly surprised by his email.
Pinboard has kept slowly developing without changing character and now with a few recipies from ifttt I can tie many of the things I use day to day back to pinboard for easy archiving. For example all my items in pocket I’ve read and all my google reader starred items are automatically backed up to my pinboard account not to mention my tweets.
So while facebook goes from strength to strength and twitter mutates into a media company there are services like pinboard that provide proper proactive customer service. Unlike some others it doesn’t leverage your content, (which you signed away to them) because it provides you with a service you pay for yourself. So thank you Pinboard!