Archive for February, 2012

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Is a diamond hiding in the rough?

February 22, 2012

San Antonio, the Alamo complex

San Antonio, the Alamo complex

Is it a surprise to find this decorative door installed in a  rustic building?  Is the rational placement of the panel doors and transoms under the portico really rustic?  Is the perforated parapet?  Is a sophisticated building hiding behind primitive materials?  Has the architect hidden a diamond in the rough?

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“Popitecture”

February 20, 2012

Since we blame Frank Lloyd Wright for the face of post war suburbia can we likewise blame Michael Graves for the post modern “Popitecture” that makes up most of American streetscapes?  Probably, although in the case of Wright the label may not be deserved.  Either way, to shopping center developers a building must function first and foremost as a billboard.  If they could manage it, they would convert all shopping centers into big TV sets to get better exposure.  This, by the way, is actually happening.  Consider TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.”

Interestingly, the strategy may no longer be working.  We see miles of vacant real estate that may be a result of more than just a bad economy.  Maybe shoppers are longing for an experience that can only be provided by the organic interaction of individual architects with a real world shopping experience.

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3 out of Merriam Websters 4 definitions of classic.

February 1, 2012

This split level house proves that even in 70’s suburbia, a standard of excellence is possible.  The vertical T111 siding actually looks first rate against the dark stylized pattern of brick.  The similar trim color demphasizes the garage door, while the bright color marks the entry.  The asymmetry repeats in plan, at the door and again in the contemporary bottom weighted windows, while at the same time all of the parts are in proportion.  Whether by an architect or by luck, this house fits 3 out of Merriam Websters 4 definitions of classic.