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Archive for the ‘Architecture & City Planning’ Category

Charlotte Perriand, La Maison du jeune homme, Brussels, Belgium, 1935

Charlotte Perriand, La Maison du jeune homme, Brussels, Belgium, 1935, © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Data source: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University and Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

An interview with the graduate student curators of Avery/GSAPP Architectural Plans and Sections

The second phase of Avery/GSAPP’s collection of 20,000 architectural plans, sections, and related materials was recently released in the Artstor Digital Library. To celebrate the completion of our two-year collaborative project with Avery Library and GSAPP, Lisa Gavell, Artstor’s Senior Manager of Metadata & Content, spoke with five of the graduate student co-curators who contributed to the project: Sabrina Barker, Serena Li, Ernest Pang, involved from the beginning of the project, as well as Sharon Leung and Ayesha S. Ghosh. Working with Avery staff, they pored over a vast array of Avery’s holdings in order to compile a selection that reflects the most important modernist architectural works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The result is a resource of essential documentation of modern architecture, shared online for the first time.

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Artstor, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library are now sharing an additional 10,000 images of architectural plans and sections and related materials in the Digital Library.

The collection, now totaling nearly 20,000 images, is based on GSAPP’s History of Modern Architecture curriculum and covers the history of modern buildings, focusing primarily on the 20th-century, with a few earlier and later projects spanning from 1871 to 2013. Containing over 2,000 projects from 60 countries, the bulk of the collection is comprised of built works, but also includes studies and unbuilt works. This second phase notably includes 100 projects by the master architect Le Corbusier, 100 projects in South America, and over 125 in Japan. The result of this collaboration is a rich body of visual material and related scholarship, available online for the first time.

The Avery/GSAPP Plans & Sections collection involved the efforts of Avery librarians and staff, GSAPP VRC curators, and more than 25 GSAPP students working together across many of the GSAPP programs — including M.Arch, Historic Preservation, Urban Design and Urban Planning – and contributing their diverse language, imaging and technology skills and their deep interest in the history of architecture.

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Bhaja Caves, Caves 6 & 7; 2nd c. BCE-1st c. CE; Maharashtra, India. Image and original data provided by David Efurd © David Efurd

Bhaja Caves, Caves 6 & 7; 2nd c. BCE-1st c. CE; Maharashtra, India. Image and original data provided by David Efurd © David Efurd

Professor David Efurd’s collection of nearly 10,000 photographs of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain art and architecture was recently released in the Artstor Digital Library. We were particularly impressed by the variety and complexity of the rock-cut cave temples he photographed, and he was kind enough to answer our questions.

Artstor: What is the importance of caves as the sites of some of these temples, as opposed to more typical, free-standing temples?

David Efurd: Regarding Buddhist caves, monks appear to have lived in natural caves and rock-shelters since the time of the Buddha. In fact, texts describe the Buddha as spending nights in caves at a variety of locations in northeastern India. Over time, simple shelters were enlarged by cutting away stone, and masonry walls may have been added to the front to make them more architectural.

In western India, these Buddhist sites are a bit later, perhaps dating from the second century BC at the earliest. Unlike the caves the Buddha lived in, they do not appear to be natural caves that were enlarged. Rather, they were carved deeply into outcroppings of stone or cliffs and tend to be architectonic, meaning that they resemble the interior spaces of architecture, despite being hewn into stone. Few free-standing buildings and monasteries from this period survive, so these caves provide crucial insight into a tradition of architecture that has all but disappeared. Rock-cut or cave architecture from this period draws upon both this early tradition of living in natural caves and the later monastic complexes consisting of residential buildings and places for instruction and worship. (more…)

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John Reps, Monpazier

John Reps, Monpazier, 1951 (founded 1284)

In the 13th century, southwestern France gave birth to several hundred new planned towns, partly to replace villages destroyed in the Albigensian Crusades and partly to revivify a stagnating economy and tame areas of wilderness¹. Some were designed as fortress communities, while others were laid out as simple agricultural villages. The great majority, however, had a different function. Known as bastides, they were created as market towns with the aim of concentrating the population in secure places for ease of administration while returning a profit to their sponsors. Their founders were the great feudal lords of the region: kings, dukes, counts, and viscounts.

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Rem D. Koolhaas, Two Libraries for Jussieu University

Rem D. Koolhaas, Two Libraries for Jussieu University (first floor section and condensed section), 1992. Data source: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University and Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. © 2014 OMA AMO / Beeldrecht / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Artstor, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library are now sharing approximately 10,000 images of architectural plans and sections and related materials in the Digital Library.

The collection, which is projected to include 20,000 images, is based on GSAPP’s history of modern architecture curriculum and covers the history of modern buildings, focusing primarily on 20th-century modernism, with a few earlier and later projects spanning from 1871 to 2013. Comprising 1,000 projects from 44 countries, the majority of them of built works, the Plans and Sections project also includes documentation of unbuilt projects and of competitions such as the Chicago Tribune Tower and the Lenin Library. This collaboration makes this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online for the first time

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Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), De Rotterdam; overview showing the contrast between the old warehouses and the building. Image and original data provided by Art on File; artonfile.com

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), De Rotterdam; overview showing the contrast between the old warehouses and the building. Image and original data provided by Art on File; artonfile.com

Artstor and ART on FILE have released approximately 1,600 new direct-digital capture photographs of architecture, built environment projects, and landscape architecture in Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ architectural capital, in the Digital Library. The second-largest city in the country, Rotterdam offers an impressive overview of modern architecture from the last 100 years.

Sites and locations documented include Arts Center Katenbrecht, Beurs World Trade Center, Cube Houses, Van Nelle Factory, Library de Boekenberg, Erasmus Medical Center, The Rotterdam Tramway Network (Rotterdams Tramnet), Rotterdam Centraal Station, Scheepvaart en Transport College, Schiecentrale/RTV Rijnmond, The New Institute (NAI), Waternet Rotterdam, Wilhelminaplein Subway Station , World Port Center, and more.

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Palmyra; theatre exterior from south. Date of photograph: 1977. Image and original data provided by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom.

Palmyra; theatre exterior from south. Date of photograph: 1977. Image and original data provided by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom.

Photographs released by the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, have confirmed the destruction of the ancient Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra, Syria. Until now, the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, contained remarkably well-preserved structures built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, making it one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The news of the Temple’s destruction was preceded by the horrifying news that Khaled Asaad, the 83-year-old chief of the city’s antiquities department, was publicly beheaded. While the seemingly endless loss of lives must be our primary concern, the destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin is shocking for its attempt to erase Syria and the region’s rich, multicultural history. The New York Times quoted Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO, saying “The art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, is a symbol of the complexity and wealth of the Syrian identity and history. Extremists seek to destroy this diversity and richness, and I call on the international community to stand united against this persistent cultural cleansing.”

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