Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Bad Form Leads to Tragic Function

Bad Form Leads to Tragic Function

I am never a fan of superfluous design, which is different than ornamentation. The "cables" on the university bridge were pretend cables to mimic a cable stay bridge. For the life of me I could not understand why they were not designed as structural elements, which would give them actual meaning and a certain redundancy in the structural design. Yes it easy to armchair quarter back on this one but without even running a single computation the design looked  "wrong" and the material selection wrong as well. The truss being constructed out of concrete is unusual-one would think that should be steel. The angle of the chords look bizarre and not right - I suppose the marrying of a truss and cable stay dictated the strange angles , in any event aesthetically it looks wrong- maybe that should have been the designers first hint that something was wrong -

Maybe the old adage "Form follows, function"  should give more credit to having good form. Was there even an architect on this design? Was this a university student experiment? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Architectural Acronyms, What?


Image by: monophonic.grrrl - 
OMD -Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark- 

New article, read all about it here! Architecture and Morality

Friday, June 29, 2018

Improving Suburbia 13 LI Welcome Center

Long Island Welcome Center

It's about time Long Island had a "Welcome Center" let alone a few good rest areas which we are still in need of. I visited the center briefly, so unfortunately, I can't give much of an informative review but from what I did see it was impressive. I found some local businesses out on the terrace selling local products (they may not be there any longer due to some silly NYS regulations) and bought honey and some other items, which I enjoyed. The Interior of the center, in my opinion is very nice, displaying and highlighting many of the Island's features. The exterior of the building is a bit of kitsch, and an attempt to recreate the East End shingle style architecture as best they could. For anyone visiting Long Island for the first time or second and even life long Islanders like myself, I do recommend a stop at this place, you will be pleased.

 (Please stop back to this post as I will try to update as often as I can)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Chipotle Example ISP 12

Architects are sometimes not denied, in the practice of architecture that is. So it is for this Chipotle building located in the middle of high suburbia. Regardless of weather you agree with its style of architecture or not (see images below) it's an elegant example of simple modern but best of all it's architecture. You may ask, "Well, aren't all buildings considered architecture?" The short answer is NO. Briefly speaking, buildings express themselves architecturally in one of two ways: First - (Besides their utilitarian function) they display some form of rigor and discipline that follow developed principles in the science of architecture. The second type of building is the unabashed deviation from expressing any architectural qualities, except those of minimal effort and thought. These buildings are typically your strip malls, tire stores, deli's, bagel shops, your basic "Builders special." ( I know not every tire store or bagel shop is an awful expression of architecture) It is sad that most architecture found in the suburbs follow this the second type of building pattern. But why?

It's not for lack of knowledge or budget that creates the second type of "awful building." Most perpetrator's of this sort of construction are well aware of what they are doing. The same budget that creates a strip mall type building could create an appealing structure at the same cost if cleverly done. Unfortunately one major obstacle to achieving this, is the builder simply not wanting to pay the architect to do their job- architect denied. A "Builders" set of plans cost a fraction of the price of a well designed set of plans, even if the project is of equal size, scope and cost. Architectural fees are much greater for buildings that require creative thought, design development and architectural integrity. Builders want to pay the lowest price possible for a set of plans and not intellectual exercises or should I say proper design practice. Builders are not concerned (generally speaking-I know there are great conscientious builders out there) about creating architecture and much less paying for it while they wait for the perfect plan to be developed. I'm not a strip mall designer, but designing anything in a solid afternoons worth of work simply doesn't cut it (Sorry for the dig-I left an office once that operated in this very way). Until some miracle of miracle happens in suburban architecture, the mantra shall be; "Draw me up the builders special- I'll be here tomorrow for those plans."

When I saw this Chipotle building, standing alone in a strip mall parking lot, along a very busy highway, I was impressed. Here is a successful example of creating architecture in suburbia. Yes it's possible and for that, this building makes my ISP portfolio.  Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the architects of this building or the Chipotle  franchise nor do I represent them in any way- I'm using these images I took as "Fair Use" for purpose of explaining the opinions in my article. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

HP-28 Dune Beach, Southampton

Sorry its been a while since I last posted - Here I am, back at Dune Beach, Southampton on a spring-feels like winter won't let go day...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Montauk Man 11

Montauk Man Part 11

As Tom and I entered the bunker we scrambled frantically to find the wooden escape hatch the old man told us about, or should I say Brad McCallaster told us about. It became apparent there was no way we were ever going to find anything in this dark cavernous space without a flashlight or some light of sorts, none of which we had. "Tom start feeling around for the hatch!" I could here footsteps approaching from outside, my heart began racing even faster than before, sweat trickled down my face, I was patting down every surface I could touch in double time. "It's no use man! We're going to die! I can hear them right outside, I'm making a run for it!", "Tom, shut up, stay put it's too late for that, they'd shoot you down like a dog, we only have one chance, find that hatch!" I knew we were done for, we could not see a thing, let alone some mystery hatch, if it even existed. The men were right outside the door now, I grabbed Tom and huddled in a corner with him, trying to imagine we were invisible. Tom went to scream as I put my hand over his mouth and whispered, "shutttt uuuup". At that moment search lights began scanning the inside of the bunker, back and forth, flashing across the floor, walls and ceilings. I then heard the voice of Colonel Harris; "Come on out you two, it's the end of the road, don't get me any more upset than I already am..." Tom was trying to get up but I still had him in my hold. The lights had not found us yet, but I noticed as they flashed by in the center of the room, a wooden object; It had to be the hatch.  "Tom, when I give the signal follow my lead" I screamed out "OK Harris, we're coming out!" Harris replied in a mocking way, "I'll give you a hand..." Two special ops men entered the bunker, their lights and laser sights were set on us. They motioned with their rifles for us to move. I got up and Tom followed me, "Stay close behind me, and grab onto the back of my shirt and do exactly as I do," I whispered to Tom. I started walking in the direction of the hatch with the lasers still trained on me, as soon as I was near it I reached down to grab the handle when a round hit me in the arm and I fell to the floor. Tom crouched beside me, "You alright man!", "No, I'm hit!", "You shot him! You fuckers!"  Tom was pissed, he was finally in a place he could help: Pissed not helpless. "Tom, reach into my pocket and take out the amulet the old man gave me. Throw it as hard as you can against the wall." Tom reached in my pocket, the armed men fired a warning shot towards him "Stop! Hands up!"  they yelled. Tom at that very moment flung the amulet at the wall, which exploded on contact and a bright pink light filled the room, all noise ceased, all activity stopped. The soldiers were frozen in place, a few bullets they had fired in response to Tom throwing the amulet were frozen in mid air, one a couple of inches from Tom's forehead. "Tom open the hatch and let's go" Tom opened the hatch and helped me get down, I couldn't believe it, the old man was right. Tom was ahead of me as we began crawling through this small concrete lined tunnel. "Tom stop..." I turned around to close the hatch. The bullets the special ops men had fired were still frozen in mid air and the pink night glow still illuminated the bunker and Colonel Harris walked over past his frozen men and looked directly at me: "You little weasel. You pathetic vermin! I should have killed you back at the Manor. I thought you were some love sick fool trying to score with a beautiful lady. I thought my warning would be enough to get rid of you, but you're turning out to be something more, a distraction let's say. We need Tom, but you...how shall I say it, are a fly, and I'm the fly swatter. Soon you'll be a little mess on a wall." "Colonel, I'd like to say thanks for being the pig that you are. I'll never forget how you helped me become your superior in every way." The colonels eyes flashed red as he clenched his jaw and tightened his face. He was furious and started for me. Suddenly the pink glow died and the noise of the world turned back on and the thuds of the mid air rounds finally found their mark. I slammed the hatch shut and shouted to Tom to move it!

Tom and I crawled what seemed to be for hours; The colonel did not pursue us thank god. We had to stop and make a makeshift sling for my arm. My knees were bloody and the rest of me was blood stained from my wound. I had placed a tourniquet, fashioned from my shirt around the wound which stopped the bleeding but I was a terrible cold mess. Tom put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm sorry man. This is all my fault. I let them use me and drag you into all this. You must have a life somewhere with people who care about you...sorry man..." "Tom. Forget it. I was at Montauk's doorstep into the afterlife before all this began. It's not your fault. The fondness I have developed for Montauk far outweighs me or my problems." We sat there in the dark, feeling sorry for each other, I thought it was a good time to spill the beans and fill Tom in on my Montauk account so far. "Do you believe in the supernatural?" "Huh? You mean besides the Montauk dude I was trying to find?" "Tom, the forces we are up against are of another dimension. I know you're a super smart guy, top in your class at whatever Ivy league school you attended so maybe you will understand there is more to life than you think. Harris is evil. He is biblical evil, a horseman of some sort. Don't ever find the Montauk man for him. We would have no chance against him if were not for the Montauk Man. There are also others I have met along the way, Brad, Elijah, Marcus and Red of course you know about" "Listen I know you were shot and all man, but what's wrong with you? Are you delusional? We're being chased because of me and because of this Montauk dude. You're just an unfortunate innocent bystander. You know how the military is, collateral damage. Sorry man." I struggled to speak any further, "Tom, let's get out of this tunnel, I need help." We kept crawling in the dark,  the adrenaline  of our encounter and my flight or flight mode was long gone and I was in deep pain, claustrophobic, bloody and cold; I needed out of the tunnel, soon. Tom had stepped up his game and no longer complained like his usual self. I think he was finally starting to become a man, accepting his fate, be it good or bad. I explained to him how just inches from his forehead were bullets ready to strike his cranium, splattering his brains all over the god forsaken bunker. He cursed and vowed to beat Harris at his game whatever it took. His new found courage gave me the strength to keep moving. We had left the beach in such a hurry that we had nothing on us: no food, water, supplies, nothing. If we didn't get out of this tunnel soon I would surely die in it. The pain in my arm started gnawing at me. I felt weaker and weaker as I lost more blood, draining what little strength I had. "Tom, I'm not doing well. I may not make it. Promise me to continue our mission. I know you didn't believe what I had to say back there about the supernatural but if I don't make it please look for Elijah and Brad back in the village. Please go to the Manor and look for a mystery woman that holds some secret to all of this. You will find her because she is Brad McCallaster's daughter. Her brother may be the Montauk man and her other younger brother is an evil Avery, I'm sure connected to Harris somehow."  "You're talking nonsense, save your strength!" We kept moving, slowly. I wasn't going to go much further, I could barely move, I blacked out.

I awoke but not in the tunnel.

It felt like days later. Once again, just like back on that beach near the lighthouse so long ago,  I was covered with a blanket, warm and safe. I propped myself up and looked around. I was in a room which had a country feel to it with a horse print drape covered single window. I didn't know where I was and had no idea what the hell was going on. There was no sign of Tom or anyone else. "Hello?" I said in a mild nervous tone. "Hello?" No one came. I tried to get up but could not, I still felt dizzy from the blood loss and shot to the arm, I laid back down and fell asleep again. I awoke but this time a beautiful lady was sitting next to the bed in a old wooden chair. "Well, welcome back to the world..." "Who are you? Where am I?" She smiled and said only to be still, that I was still weak. I looked at her closely and it became apparent to me she was the lady from the Manor. The mystery lady I first saw walking on that beach; it was finally her. I had found her or she me... She was stunning. Her wavy blonde hair, lovely big brown eyes, was a pleasant surprise to wake up to; An angel I thought. "Where am I?",  "Please, don't talk. Relax you need your strength." I couldn't contain myself. Although I still felt weak, I had to talk to her. "I know you. You're her." Her smiled vanished. She looked at me without any expression, as if the gig was up.  I could tell she was uncomfortable. Finally she composed herself and made some determination where to take this interaction. "You're at the Deep Hollow Ranch. Yes, I know you know me and I know you, since that night on the Montauk beach. You were saved... unlike my father but because of my father." Was it you who saved me?

Part 12 coming soon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Video of the Week-Understand Your Bearings!

Just had to post this for my fellow architects- This should help with learning bearings...