The International Court of Justice in The Hague

January 1st, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month |

© International Court of Justice

© International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (French: Cour internationale de justice; commonly referred to as the World Court, ICJ or The Hague) is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting and regulating the Court.   read more…

Strawberry Hill House

August 28th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, London, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

© panoramio.com - Maxwell Hamilton/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Maxwell Hamilton/cc-by-sa-3.0

Strawberry Hill House—often called simply Strawberry Hill—is the Gothic Revival villa that was built in Twickenham, London by Horace Walpole (1717–1797) from 1749 onward. It is the type example of the “Strawberry Hill Gothic” style of architecture, and it prefigured the nineteenth-century Gothic revival. Walpole rebuilt the existing house in stages starting in 1749, 1760, 1772 and 1776. These added gothic features such as towers and battlements outside and elaborate decoration inside to create “gloomth” to suit Walpole’s collection of antiquarian objects, contrasting with the more cheerful or “riant” garden. The interior included a Robert Adam fireplace; parts of the exterior were designed by James Essex. The garden contained a large seat shaped like a Rococo sea shell; it has been recreated in the 2012 restoration.   read more…

Design Museum London

July 7th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London, Museums, Exhibitions |

© designmuseum.org

© designmuseum.org

The Design Museum is a museum founded in 1989, originally located by the River Thames near Tower Bridge in London, and later relocated to Kensington. The museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The museum operates as a registered charity, and all funds generated by ticket sales aid the museum in curating new exhibitions. Entrance is expected to be free to the museum’s permanent collection display, “Designer Maker User”. In June 2011 Sir Terence Conran donated £17.5 million to enable the Museum to move in 2016 from the warehouse to a larger site which formerly housed the Commonwealth Institute in west London. This landmark from the 1960s, a Grade II* listed building that had stood vacant for over a decade, was developed by a design team led by John Pawson who made the building fit for a 21st century museum, whilst at the same time retaining its spatial qualities.   read more…

Theme Week Frankfurt – German Architecture Museum

July 5th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions |

© dam-online.de

© dam-online.de

The German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum) (DAM) is located on the Museumsufer in Frankfurt. Housed in an 18th-century building, the interior has been re-designed by Oswald Mathias Ungers in 1984 as a set of “elemental Platonic buildings within elemental Platonic buildings”. It houses a permanent exhibition entitled “From Ancient Huts to Skyscrapers” which displays the history of architectural development in Germany. The museum organises several temporary exhibitions every year, as well as conferences, symposia and lectures. It has a collection of ca. 180,000 architectural drawings and 600 models, including works by modern and contemporary classics like Erich Mendelsohn, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Archigram and Frank Gehry. It also includes a reference library with approximately 25,000 books and magazines.   read more…

The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan

June 30th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions, New York City |

The Cloisters © flickr.com - Brian Clift/cc-by-2.0

The Cloisters © flickr.com – Brian Clift/cc-by-2.0

The Cloisters is a museum in Upper Manhattan, New York City specializing in European medieval architecture, sculpture and decorative arts. Its early collection was built by the American sculptor, art dealer and collector George Grey Barnard, and acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1925. Rockefeller extended the collection and in 1931 purchased land at Washington Heights and contracted the design for a new building that was to become the Cloisters. The museum is today part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has been described as the “crowning achievement of American museology.” Its architectural and artistic works are largely from the Romanesque and Gothic stylistic periods. Its four cloisters; the Cuxa, Bonnefont, Trie and Saint-Guilhem cloisters, were sourced from French monasteries and abbeys. Between 1934 and 1939 they were excavated and reconstructed in Washington Heights, in a large project overseen by the architect Charles Collens. They are surrounded by a series of indoor chapels and rooms grouped by period which include the Romanesque, Fuentidueña, Unicorn, Spanish and Gothic rooms. The design, layout and ambiance of the building is intended to evoke in visitors a sense of the Medieval European monastic life through its distinctive architecture. The area around the buildings contains a number of reconstructed early medieval gardens.   read more…

South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan

June 23rd, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions, New York City |

© Smallbones

© Smallbones

The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, centered where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, and is distinct from the neighboring Financial District. It is part of Manhattan Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, and is bounded by the Financial District to the west, southwest, and north; the East River to the southeast; and Two Bridges to the northeast. It features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city. This includes renovated original mercantile buildings, renovated sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, and modern tourist malls featuring food, shopping, and nightlife, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.   read more…

The Plaza in Midtown Manhattan

June 16th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Hotels, New York City |

The Plaza Hotel, as seen from across The Pond in Central Park © OptimumPx

The Plaza Hotel, as seen from across The Pond in Central Park © OptimumPx

The Plaza Hotel, located in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan, New York City, is a landmark 20-story luxury hotel and condominium apartment building, owned by an Indian conglomerate, Sahara India Pariwar. With a height of 250 ft (76 m) and a length of 400 ft (120 m), the hotel occupies the west side of Grand Army Plaza, from which it derives its name, and extends along Central Park South in Manhattan. Fifth Avenue extends along the east side of Grand Army Plaza. The Plaza Hotel is recognized as a Historic Hotel of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   read more…

Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan

June 2nd, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, New York City |

Rockefeller Center's Landmark plaque © Sam Weber/cc-by-2.5

Rockefeller Center’s Landmark plaque © Sam Weber/cc-by-2.5

Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 high-rise commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 m2) between 48th and 51st Streets in New York City. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It is famous for its annual Christmas tree lighting. Rockefeller Center was named after John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and developed it beginning in 1930. Rockefeller initially planned a syndicate to build an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera on the site, but changed plans after the stock market crash of 1929 and the Metropolitan’s continual delays to hold out for a more favorable lease, causing Rockefeller to move forward without them. Rockefeller stated, “It was clear that there were only two courses open to me. One was to abandon the entire development. The other to go forward with it in the definite knowledge that I myself would have to build it and finance it alone.” He took on the enormous project as the sole financier, on a 27-year lease (with the option for three 21-year renewals for a total of 87 years) for the site from Columbia; negotiating a line of credit with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and covering ongoing expenses through the sale of oil company stock. The initial cost of acquiring the space, razing some of the existing buildings and constructing new buildings was estimated at $250 million. The current Center is a combination of two building complexes: the original 14 Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s, one building across 51st Street built in 1947, and a set of four International-style towers built along the west side of Avenue of the Americas during the 1960s and 1970s.   read more…

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