Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category
I aim to systematically document these places before they are gone forever. Fast-food restaurants have homogenized the nation’s highways to the point where every place looks like every other place. They are more than just a place providing service to the public, they represent uniqueness in a world headed toward commercialization. Rest areas connect travelers to local places in a way that fast food restaurants, gas stations and truck stops cannot. Interchange business, while also important to highway motorists, has become a homogenous collection of uniform structures that one encounters without significant variation in almost every part of the country. While rest areas were originally designed to provide only the basic amenities of parking, bathroom, and picnic table, developers soon found within them the opportunity to reconnect people with the places they were traveling though, to add some humanity back to interstate travel. We can all relate to rest stops and what they represent as social and architectural icons of Americana. To me though, they are disappearing waysides of memories, anticipation and mystery of what the next one down the road will look like, and lastly they are a relevant benchmark in an era of bygone leisure travel. This project is an ongoing road trip of discovery and appreciation for what these rest stops represent. My need to systematically document them before they are gone forever was the sole purpose of my project. I want to show how each rest stop is different and what it may have to offer, whether it is historical significance, charm, local color, or unique architecture. I hope to capture their spirit and give viewers an enlightened outlook towards these wonderful gems.
Could be a very interesting read, but I think I will hold off because while I like kitsch in many instances, the world only needs so many velvet Elvis paintings and large neon signs that say EAT.
Church that burned down on Rene Levesque earlier this month. Some of the other section in the back looks salvageable.
If you walk west along de Maisonneuve you will see Concordia’s concentration of buildings looking like a strange compressed overlap of styles. Here is the view from 8 floors up.
It’s interesting what you can see with one photograph like this bit of local history embedded on the side of a concrete high rise.
And we see a lot of good downtown space being wasted as parking space that is no longer a relevant model of downtown land management. You could easily put buildings AND green space there that bring the city more revenues.
Concordia’s new buildings on Guy street look quite good from some angles but we see evidence in that “back door” view that development needs to be looked at globally – what are we bringing to the city viewed from all sides?
Buncrana Castle, Co. Donegal
Pontoon, Co. Mayo
Ballinalard, Co. Tipperary
Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary
Tinryland, Co. Carlow
Abbeyknockmoy, Co. Galway
Nice, almost Dickensian feel to that header. Article in today’s Gazette about how the building could vibrate to death if a new dedicated south shore bus service road is built beside it. Here is an excerpt,
““I can’t understand why anyone would spend $65 million when there are alternative routes for the buses that wouldn’t cost anything extra,” Hélène Dansereau, a member of the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown, said.
Alternatives include Duke, Nazareth, or Peel St., though Mayor Gérald Tremblay has said he’d wants to run a tramway route on Peel.”
Same ‘ol same ‘ol at City Hall. There is no comprehensive concise clearheaded plan for the area, but Monsieur Tremblay would like to see a tramway running up and down Peel. Reminds me of how Drapeau’s obsession with having a very tall dominant tower in the city (Paris didn’t want to part with it’s tower) which in large part led us into the Olympic Games tragedy. Cart before the horse, and on it goes.
One of the options Transports Quebec had on the table with the Turcot Interchange was to simply renovate and strengthen the current interchange. It was estimated that this would cost half of what the current rebuild-it-alltogether plan would cost - estimation, 1.5 Billion, 6 years work.
I tend to think that renovation is what they should be doing. The current plan assumes that the world will continue to function as it always has, that cars and trucks will come and go, and there will always be young people who will choose to live in the suburbs but will also choose to have a career downtown. It’s as if there is an infinite supply of harmless oil and gasoline to sustain all possibilities. Many of us know that that dream has never been long term useful and the rest that don’t are beginning to suspect that maybe there is something to all this climate change/peak oil talk.
So they should simply renovate Turcot as part of a 10-15 year transportation plan that will end with Turcot and the Ville Marie Expressway being torn down for good (though I would still like to see some parts of Turcot remain as useful structures). That’s right. No more freeways or interchanges for the city core. The transportation plan could focus on various light rail systems and expanding parking facilities at train stations as well as using the old highways for, among other things, electric bus routes. We won’t need all that big infrastructure for a dedicated public transportation system.
It may be as soon as 10 years before one will no longer be able to buy a brand new gasoline only automobile in North America. The future is coming towards us faster and faster, perhaps even faster than we are going to be prepared for it. Change is coming. That is the one thing that is absolutely certain. The whole game is going to be different in a generation or two.
It’s time to stop rebuilding the past with soon to be obsolete concepts.
Or at least find some practical purpose for it. Article in yesterday’s Gazette talks about how winter events at the Olympic Stadium may happen if there is no snow or ice on the roof or the support cables. That is simply too absurd a set of conditions for a huge public venue in a northern city like Montreal. I don’t know what the answer is but it seems ridiculous to not have an alternative plan of some kind at this stage of the game. A lot of money is being spent to maintain something that has a very limited usefullness. Time to go back to the drawingboard.
“My idea was to achieve a sculptural, dynamic form that can be seen from the land, from the sea and from the air,” says Fredrik Pettersson. “The silhouette changes as the spectator moves around it.”
The aim was to use the shape to build in functions such as changing, sunbathing and bathing areas in a simple design that compares favourably with the wide expanse of the sea. A clear concept that is also faces the beach in a welcoming manner. This is nothing private or exclusive, rather a facility open to everyone, regardless of age, physical mobility or needs. Bathing is not compulsory, even thought it looks inviting. More here.
“The circular construction offers shelter whatever the wind direction, and all the platform’s 870 square metres of wooden deck are at the disposal of the visitors. The structure in the water is complemented by a new sandy beach and adjacent service building, with toilets and dressing rooms adapted for disabled visitors. Azobe timber was chosen due to the material’s durability and strength in salt water. It is not attacked by shipworms and has the same lifetime as steel.”
Here is a Flickr group called Lidos.
Here are some updates for those of you curious about New York City’s beloved restored elevated train line, The High Line.
And here is a recent shot of a section of The High Line in winter. “Judging by the effect of last Friday’s snow on the High Line, we’re eager to see the High Line join the likes of Central Park, Radio City Music Hall and the Empire State Building in the ranks of New York City landmarks that are altered spectacularly in the winter to become memorable and historic parts of the New York City landscape.” Story here.
Article in the New York Times about Passive Housing. With the European Parliament proposing that passive house standards become the norm by 2011, it’s probably safe to say that central Europe is way ahead of North America when it comes sustainable buildings.
DARMSTADT, Germany — From the outside, there is nothing unusual about the stylish new gray and orange row houses in the Kranichstein District, with wreaths on the doors and Christmas lights twinkling through a freezing drizzle. But these houses are part of a revolution in building design: There are no drafts, no cold tile floors, no snuggling under blankets until the furnace kicks in. There is, in fact, no furnace. (more…)
Factotum posted a few pictures of this. I went by here recently and thought, well, if it cant be the Diamond Taxi Sign, then why not let local artists have a go at it?
And this Gazette article says that while demolition of Ben’s Delicatessen has begun, it looks like Concordia has taken the large red wrap around sign so well known to a few generations of Montrealers.