ets January 2009 - Architecture Overload

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bamboo Architecture Mentoring/Tutorials

For those interested in learning how to use bamboo in contemporary structures, especially residences, Arch. Rosario Encarnacion-Tan is willing to entertain them at her office for mentoring/tutoring sessions at the following rates:

1. Individual: P 1,500.00 for 1 to 2 hours.
2. 2-3 Persons P 2,000.00 for 1 to 2 hours
3. 4-6 Persons P 3,000.00 for 1 to 2 hours.

They can forward their questions ahead of time.

If there are materials to be photocopied, it will be done after the lecture and sent to them after payment for the cost of photocopying.

For reservations, scheduling and inquiries, please contact her through the following details:

Arch. Rosario Encarnacion-Tan
Unit P-12 Xavierville Royale Condominium, 61 Xavierville Ave. Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines
Telefax: +632 9287200
Cellphone: + 63918 9282758
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Icon of Beirut by Ziad El Khoury

Graduate architect Ziad El Khoury, who studied at the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, Lebanon, has sent these images to dezeen of his final student project called Icon of Beirut.
The angular tower is composed of two main volumes and the lower floors extend across the site.
It is a multifunctional public building, which contains internal green spaces. According to the designer, “it attempts to focus on the real identity of Beirut.”





Below is some text from Ziad El Khoury:

Ziad El Khoury
My Final Project: Beirut Icon

Currently, towers are being created to mark the power of a firm or the wealth of a company or a man, and not to signal an urban event or the city in its real terms.


The contemporary tower dominates the city, but does not reflect its identity or the identity of its citizens.


This is the reason I am proposing the Icon of Beirut, which attempts to focus on the real identity of Beirut: cultural, commercial, religious, ecological and social.


This project is not a monolithic mass, but the transposition of the urban model of Beirut into a vertical scheme. This means the squares, roads, gardens etc. are transposed in a way which assures a horizontal and vertical continuity throughout the tower, and assures a relationship between open and closed, and public and private spaces.


The project concentrates the essentials of the public life of the citizens of Beirut, thus creating a multifunctional complex in its urban environment.





Above: ground floor


Above: fifth floor



Posted by Rachael Sykes

(Source: dezeen)

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A massive stone baroque church, the Paoay Church is well known for its massive and imposing character given to it by its large overpowering buttresses. The buttresses alone are a visual spectacle. They line the sides of the church with each one a rhythmic flow of stone cascading down from the pinnacles to the ground, emphasized by spiral reliefs visible on each side of the buttresses.

The materials used for the walls were a mixture of coral stone and bricks. Large coral stones were used at the lower level of the walls, while bricks, smaller and more manageable to transport, were used at the upper levels.

The facade of the church, even as it now begins to lean towards the front, still manages to be as equally impressive as the buttresses. Viewed from the side, the giant buttresses look like huge volutes making the facade appear as a massive pediment rising from the ground. The facade is divided vertically by square pilasters that extend from the ground and all the way to the top of the pediment. The Gothic affinity of the church is suggested by the vertical movement of the pilasters and the finials that cap them at the top of the pediment. The facade is also divided horizontally by stringed cornices that extend all the way to the edges. The cornices extend to the sides of the church and wrap around each buttress, adding attention and articulation to the massive side supports. At the apex is a niche, while the otherwise stark plaster finish is embellished with crenallations, niches, rosettes, and the Augustinian coat-of-arms.

The facade is complemented with a belltower located at its right hand side. Belltowers are a very important element in the overall composition of colonial churches, both for its function and aesthetics. For practical purposes, belltowers were used as a communication device to the townspeople. In the case of the Paoay belltower, it also played, ironically, an explicit role in the lives of the Filipinos during the war.

As one enters the edifice, the church abruptly relinquishes the powerful strength of the massive buttresses that they discharge at the exterior. Inside, the church has a very solemn, almost sentimental ambiance. The interior looks bare and empty. The ceiling was once painted with a scene similar to that of the Sistine Chapel in Italy. Unfortunately, the original ceiling is no longer in existence today. What is left is a cavernous maze of trusswork with exposed and rusting corrugated roof sheets.

Historic and Social Aspects of Stucture/Site

The church was started by the Augustinian Fr. Antonio Estavillo in 1694. It was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896, just three years before the expulsion of Spanish rule in the country. The style of the church has been dubbed “Earthquake Baroque” by Alicia Coseteng, one of the early authorities on colonial church architecture.

Outstanding Features

Because the buttresses extend out considerably from the exterior walls, the entire visual experience becomes three-dimensional, unlike most of the churches in the country where the inherent beauty of the church is limited only to the facade.

Another interesting feature of the buttresses is the existence of a step buttress at the sides of the church, at or near half of the length of the exterior wall. There seems to be no other reason for building this other than as a means to access the roof. In the early days, this would have been necessary when fixing or patching the cogon grass roof. What throws off everyone’s speculation is that the stair-like buttresses have steps that were built too steep and too far apart for a normal person to climb. But perhaps, they were built in such manner in order to save on valuable space. If the step buttress on the left of the Paoay church was built properly, it would have jutted out far beyond the boundaries of the church fence.

Source: UAP Sentro ng Arkitekturang Filipino

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Towards a Modern Theory of Islamic Architecture

This essay objectively surveys the history of Islamic architecture and highlights the role of Islamic conquers in its spread. Furthermore, it evaluates the effects of Islam and ancient civilizations such as Roman Greek and Persian on Islamic architecture. Certain features of Islamic architecture, which can be revived, are underscored in the light of modern architectural theories. To develop a modern theory of Islamic architecture, religious and spiritual aspects as well as form and environment need to be taken into account. Also, common features of modernism and originality
should be highlighted (Find out more...)
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Poor Planning? The Loboc Bridge

This is a prime example of poor planning. I have seen this when I visited the town of Loboc in Bohol after my Chocolate Hills tour. How could a bridge be built without seeing that there is a church right on its direction?

The bridge is almost completed until it was stopped because it will pass thru one of the oldest churches in Bohol, the home of the Loboc Boy's Choir. I guess the designers never even bothered to visit the site to check if the plan is correct. Now, the bridge serves as a roof for a group of enterprising vendors.
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Bahay Pinoy Design Competition New Timelines - Extended Registration

The deadline for registration for the "Bahay Pinoy Bamboo House Design Competition" has been extended up to March 2. The deadline for the submission of entries is also reset to March 12, 2009.

Deadline for Registration March 2, 2009
Deadline for submission of Questions March 6, 2009
Deadline to dispatch answers to questions (by competition committee) March 10,2009
Deadline for submission of Entries March 12, 2009
Judging March 17-21, 2009
Deadline for submission of board by winners April 15, 2009
Awarding April 25, 2009
(see Bahay Pinoy website)
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10 Trends Shaping the Future of Our Communities

As we transition from a burgeoning economy to one that's rapidly deflating, people are realizing that placemaking offers the ideal approach to improving our cities and neighborhoods in these hard times.

Placemaking puts people first. It is a holistic approach based on public involvement, on citizens working to make things better. Capitalizing on communities' often overlooked assets and can-do spirit, placemaking shows how we can advance everyone's health and happiness without spending huge amounts of money.

We now see the limitation of the privatized pursuits that flourished in recent years, and are rediscovering the importance of truly public spots - "parks, markets, waterfronts and downtowns, to name a few" - where we can come together to meet our needs and solve problems. (More from PPS)
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Ten Most Unique Church

Here is a list of some of the most unique churches in the world:

1. Harajuku: Japanese Futuristic ChurchThis futuristic protestant church is located in Tokyo and it was first unveiled by the design firm of Ciel Rouge Creation in 2005. The ceiling is specially made to reverberate natural sound for 2 seconds to provide a unique listening experience for worshipers and tourists.

2. Saint Basil's Cathedral: The Red Square 's Colorful Church

The St. Basil's Cathedral is located on the Red Square in Moscow , Russia . A Russian Orthodox church, the Cathedral sports a series of colorful bulbous domes that taper to a point, aptly named onion domes, that are part of Moscow's Kremlin skyline.

The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan. In 1588 Tsar Fedor Ivanovich had a chapel added on the eastern side above the grave of Basil Fool for Christ, a Russian Orthodox saint after whom the cathedral was popularly named.

3. Hallgrímskirkja: Iceland 's Most Amazing Church

The Hallgrímskirkja (literally, the church of Hallgrímur ) is a Lutheran parish church located in Reykjavík , Iceland . At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland . The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937; it took 38 years to build it.

4. Temppeliaukio Kirkko: The Rock Church

Temppeliaukio Kirkko ( Rock Church ) is a thrilling work of modern architecture in Helsinki . Completed in 1952, it is built entirely underground and has a ceiling made of copper wire. It was designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and completed in 1969. They chose a rocky outcrop rising about 40 feet above street level, and blasted out the walls from the inside. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki and frequently full of visitors.

5. Cathedral of Brasília: The Modern Church of architect Oscar Niemeyer

The Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida in the capital of Brazil is an expression of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. This concrete-framed hyperboloid structure, seems with its glass roof to be reaching up, open, to heaven. On 31 May 1970, the Cathedral's structure was finished, and only the 70 m diameter of the circular area were visible. Niemeyer's project of Cathedral of Brasília is based in the hyperboloid of revolution which sections are asymmetric. The hyperboloid structure itself is a result of 16 identical assembled concrete columns. These columns, having hyperbolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven. The Cathedral was dedicated on 31 May 1970 .

6. Borgund Church: Best Preserved Stave Church

The Borgund Stave Church in Lærdal is the best preserved of Norway 's 28 extant stave churches. This wooden church, probably built in the end of the 12th century, has not changed structure or had a major reconstruction since the date it was built. The church is also featured as a Wonder for the Viking civilization in the video game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.

7. Las Lajas Cathedral: A Gothic Church Worthy of a Fairy TaleThe Las Lajas Cathedral is located in southern Colombia and built in 1916 inside the canyon of the Guaitara River . According to the legend, this was the place where an indian woman named María Mueses de Quiñones was carrying her deaf-mute daughter Rosa on her back near Las Lajas ("The Rocks"). Weary of the climb, the María sat down on a rock when Rosa spoke (for the first time) about an apparition in a cave.

Later on, a mysterious painting of the Virgin Mary carrying a baby was discovered on the wall of the cave. Supposedly, studies of the painting showed no proof of paint or pigments on the rock - instead, when a core sample was taken, it was found that the colors were impregnated in the rock itself to a depth of several feet. Whether true or not, the legend spurred the building of this amazing church.

8. St. Joseph Church: Known for its Thirteen Gold Domed RoofSt. Joseph The Betrothed is an Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Chicago . Built in 1956, it is most known for its ultra-modern thirteen gold domed roof symbolizing the twelve apostles and Jesus Christ as the largest center dome. The interior of the church is completely adorned with byzantine style icons (frescoes). Unfortunately the iconographer was deported back to his homeland before he was able to write the names of all the saints as prescribed by iconographic traditions.

9. Ružica Church: Where Chandeliers are made of Bullet Shells

Located over the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia, the Ružica Church is La small chapel decorated with... with trench art! Its chandeliers are entirely made of spent bullet casing, swords, and cannon parts..

The space the church now occupies was used by the Turks as gunpowder storage for over 100 years and it had to be largely rebuilt in 1920 after WWI. Though damaged by bombings there was an upshot to the terrible carnage of The Great War. While fighting alongside England and the US , Serbian soldiers on the Thessaloniki front took the time to put together these amazing chandeliers. It is one of the world's finest examples of trench art.

10.Chapel of St-Gildas: Built into the base of a bare rocky cliff

The Chapel of St-Gildas sits upon the bank of the Canal du Blavet in Brittany, France . Built like a stone barn into the base of a bare rocky cliff, this was once a holy place of the Druids. Gildas appears to have travelled widely throughout the Celtic world of Corwall, Wales , Ireland and Scotland . He arrived in Brittany in about AD 540 and is said to have preached Christianity to the people from a rough pulpit, now contained within the chapel.

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Heritage Conservation Society Lecture on Church Heritage Conservation

The Heritage Conservation Society invites everyone to attend "SAVING GRACE: Case Studies on the Architectural Conservation of Heritage Churches Here and Abroad" on Saturday, 31 January 2009, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Army & Navy Club Building (now Museo ng Maynila) in Rizal Park.

Speakers will include:

Ms. Tina Paterno, Senior Conservator from New York City
- the Smithfield Church, built in 1925, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
- the Cathedral of the Incarnation, built in 1876, in Garden City, New York;

Archt. Arnulfo Dado, of the National Museum
- San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila, completed in 1607 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,
- the Parish Church of San Raymundo de Peñafort, Rizal (Malaueg), Cagayan, built in 1607 and declared a National Cultural Treasure by the NCCA;

Archt. Angel Lazaro, of Angel Lazaro & Associates
- Parish Church of San Andres, in Masinloc, Zambales, built in 1607 and declared a National Cultural Treasure by the NCCA.

Lunch will be served. Minimum donation is P 200 for non-members, P 100 for HCS members, and P 50 for undergraduate students. For more information, please contact the HCS at 521-2239 or hcs_secretariat@
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Thesis Forum

I am opening a window for students of architecture to have their thesis works viewed and appreciated by others. I am inviting thesis students to send me their thesis project for publishing here. Please email me the following:
Your Name
Thesis Year
Thesis Executive Summary
Pictures of your presentation boards and drawings

Be proud of your work! Share it with others!
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Creating Architectural Animations with Photoshop CS4 Extended

Photoshop can be used for much more than pixel pushing these days. Photoshop CS4 Extended not only handles 3D models, but it has a sophisticated timeline animation mode that lets you keyframe changes over time. In this tutorial, we will open a 3D residential model in Photoshop and create a 30 second flyaround animation that displays a moving cross-sectional plane (see final animation here).
Photoshop CS4 Extended makes it easy to create quick 3D animations that aid in visualizing architecture. find out more
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Design Mistake

At first I didn't notice this odd design but something made me look back and wonder about what could have happened. Is it the mistake in the design of the architect, or the engineer perhaps, or the contractor? This building is located in a university in Bulacan where we had our seminar in architectural research.
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