Archive for November, 2011

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Inverse architecture.

November 29, 2011


No architect in site here.  Never was, never will be.  Just a local guy taking care of his property.  Looks like he owns the one next door as well.  They must have had a sale on turquoise paint.   Architects like to call this vernacular.  That way they can pinch and rename an idea or two for later use.  If properly sealed the CMU and concrete porch will hold up to the weather and the balusters are pretty amazing.  I couldn’t tell if they were pre-fab concrete or just vinyl.  Either way, if there is such a thing as inverse architecture, this is it.

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And when they do hire architects, do they listen to them?

November 18, 2011

Real people actually do hire architects for commercial work, not a little because it is required.  The question is, do they listen to them?  I would guess that the architect who designed the building in the background was distressed when a shopping center style shopping center was installed in front of his or her elegant art deco style composition.  The building owner might be as well.  The place looks pretty empty in spite of the elaborate Beaux-Arts style planning.

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Unintended consequences.

November 10, 2011

If  real people actually hired architects for small projects like this one, home owners could avoid the unintended consequences of otherwise nice design ideas.  In one quick installation this home owner gained a fireplace and lost all of the curb appeal.  Not a great trade.

For most architects, there is literally a one paragraph solution.  Screen the flue to match the house.  Change the roof  shingles to something clean and more interesting.  Remove the storm door, paint the door a bright color, and add some landscaping.

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Neither do condominimum associations.

November 1, 2011

Real people don’t hire architects and neither, it would appear, do condominium associations.  Somewhere an architect used humble materials to carefully work out this modernist gem, a discovery on many levels.  Cheap, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condos in a park like setting in the  the DC area, what a find?  To bad about the, hotel awning and utility service fished up through the dirty CMU screen.  Most condo associations could increase property values by keeping an architect on call.