Monday, April 30, 2012

Carlo Scarpa built La Tomba Brion in 1970-1972, an impressive work of concrete detail and layering, creating beautiful effect with light and shadow. It's a work that I think perfectly blends architecture with the natural environment, and apparently Scarpa agrees. "I consider this work, if you permit me, to be rather good and which will get better over time. I have tried to put some poetic imagination into it, though not in order to create poetic architecture but to make a certain kind of architecture that could emanate a sense of formal poetry...."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

the nomad

Jacques Garcia designs his hotels for 'encounters.' Is there any other reason?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

mirror mirror

i don't know where this mirror is from, but i want it. actually, i'm not even sure if it's a mirror, but it should be. Update: Mirror is by


This is a wonderfully written article on something I've been thinking alot about lately, something that is disturbing to me but quickly becoming the norm.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Simon Weller

My friend Simon is an amazing photographer. On a Trans Siberian journey a few years ago he captured the people and places he encountered, the pale bleakness of days, the dark, mysterious nights. Much of what is striking is his use of color and light, and his ability to see something beautiful in the mundane. He has also published a gorgeous book on South African barbershops that you can order here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

frank lloyd wright

I watched two fascinating films on Frank Lloyd Wright, a documentary by Ken Burns and a two-part interview series by Mike Wallace. The documentary was an interesting look at Wright's life, loves, and work, with lots of scandal and drama. What amazed me the most was the sheer volume of work he was able to achieve in his lifetime, I don't think there's been an architect that has been as prolific but whose quantity of work has been equally matched by its quality.
The part on Fallingwater was pretty mind-blowing. The building is so perfectly and artfully integrated with its setting. There is something spiritual in the space where the architecture becomes an extension of the nature that surrounds it.
Wright is a genius, and you can tell from the Wallace interviews that he is most definitely aware of his own self-importance. The interviews take place toward the end of Wright's career and life, as he is working on his final project (The Guggenheim). There is some funny banter between a young Wallace (whose obsessive need to constantly smoke a cigarette is almost equally as entertaining) and pompous Wright, who pretty much hates on everyone from Dali to Elvis, and gives enough weird, vague answers to frustrate and amuse Wallace.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

cineteca by ch+qs

As someone that prefers watching a film in one of the old historical art house theaters that still exist (there are a few amazing ones in San Francisco such as the Castro Theatre), over some oversized, ugly multiplex, this new film center in Madrid is pretty awe-inspiring. They manage to capture the drama, the darkness, and the glamour of the old theatres that I love, that wonderful feeling of escapism that can only be found at the cinema.
Bottom three photos via NYTimes...