Architecture and Design thread

quote:
Originally posted by Redhawk:
Finally made a trip to visit the Broad Museum of Art at the Michigan State University campus. It is a very striking architectural piece by Zaha Hadid. It contrasts so heavily with the neighboring 19th century buildings, that it actually works.


I like a lot of her work.

No mention of the art?
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by Redhawk:
Finally made a trip to visit the Broad Museum of Art at the Michigan State University campus. It is a very striking architectural piece by Zaha Hadid. It contrasts so heavily with the neighboring 19th century buildings, that it actually works.


I like a lot of her work.

No mention of the art?


This is the "Architecture and Design thread". Razz

Actually, I enjoyed the Hope Gangloff exhibition, with modern portraitures contrasted with 18th and 19th century works from the Broad collection. There was also a showing of works by Beverly Fishman, which intrigued me more for the craftmanship of the pieces, rather than meaning she apparently was trying to convey. There was also a multiscreen video installation by Michelle Handelman, which I thought was a little disturbing, but also followed a formula which I have seen before, and therefore I just thought it wasn't all that creative. Unfortunately, the upstairs gallery was closed for change of exhibits.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Worked David Scott's Outside the Box book cover to cover last night.

Didn't Barnes & Noble's eventually kick you out? Razz


Barnes & Noble. That is the company Amazon put out of business, right? Smile
We had a decent pub lunch on Friday, across the street from All Saints Church in Huntingdon , a smallish late Gothic church in the perpendicular style. Small and unimposing for Gothic, but well proportioned and pleasing to look at. Unbelievably, it was heated and warmer inside than out.

Driving home, we passed through a town called Godmanchester, a townm chartered in 1212. Not much there, but an interesting series of houses/cottages, including a good example of a small 3-level jettied tudor.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Worked David Scott's Outside the Box book cover to cover last night.

Didn't Barnes & Noble's eventually kick you out? Razz

Actually I've had a discussion with an employee or two, who they've posted at the front to hawk the Nook, that they're working on putting themselves out of work.

Barnes & Noble. That is the company Amazon put out of business, right? Smile
Made the short drive today to view the Chapel at King's College. The town is a wonderland for historical architecture.

Exceptional inside as well as out Magnificent fan vaults were of special note Again surprised to feel it heated...under floor. Built over a century, the ceiling was amazingly completed in 3 years due to influx of cash, and a superb master mason. An interesting history of the building, tied to the history of the country...War of the Roses, a few different kings and whatnot. I couldn't help but think, when viewing the exterior, of a car seat that is set too vertical/upright. Regardless, the building is a capolavoro , no two ways about it. Correctly identified painter of an alter piece, a Rubens, an Adoration of the Magi....just thought I'd mention that Big Grin
Last week we drove up to see the Peterborough Cathedral . Early English Gothic. Even seeing pictures of the incredible West Front before hand does not diminish the experience of the initial sight, in person, from ground level. Incredible. Useless factoid: final resting place of Catherine of Aragorn is here.
Unlike what we heard from many people, the center city (walking area) is very pleasant.
Tower of London. Not so much as a building, as a complex. A bygone symbol of power, it still holds its own appropriately amongst the skyline of the City. A bit touristed out, and, for a 900 year old building, obviously redone at some point. Still, quite a sight and worth the trip.

Crown jewels were a bit of a disappointment...amounted to a half dozen crowns from the 20th century, a few sceptres and swords, a punch bowl set...a few other curiosities. The only others I have ever seen to compare, in Vienna, outdid these by a country mile.
Another day out at the Burghley House yesterday. An amazing place, showing kids movies in a part of a garden adjacent to the house...what a venue. Gardens were layout out by Capability Brown. My appreciation for the 'English Garden,' has definitely grown since moving here. There is a tree, an oak I think, planted by Queen Victoria.
A very pleasant evening at the V&A. One of our favorite museums in London...after 4 or 5 visits, we have still not seen it all. If you ever go, go on a Friday night; open until 10. Not sure how, but ended up with a one-bedroom suite when I booked double with a roll-away...I guess it helps to be courteous. Confused
Oxford - certainly a town with stunning architecture. A bit touristy on a Saturday in August...there must be some sort of UK holiday package selling hot in China right now. Cool riverside pubs. When we were driving away, however, my wife and I agreed there was no real desire to go back... we 'ticked the box,' so to speak.

Interesting tidbit...the Bodleian Library claims to house every book to have ever been printed in the UK.
We visited Wimpole Estate and Wrest Gardens on consecutive days this week.

The house at Wrest Gardens dates from the mid-19th century. It has on 6 or 7 rooms on display, done in rococo-revival. It is interesting to note most of the literature and placards in the house reference the design as 'in the French style.' Certainly gaudy and OTT. The exterior is much more subdued, and wouldn't be out of place in Paris. A very nice botanical conservatory. I guess rococo never caught on big in Brit-land (for good reason) but the proprietor/builder was some sort of dandy who spent time in Versailles or something. The gardens are the show piece here, anyway....great photo ops of the kids.

The house at Wimpole is early baroque....quite austere by contrast. There was a volunteer playing on what is I believe called a 'box piano,' dating from 1799...about the size of a clavichord. It certainly made for a cool ambiance; we kicked back on some pillows and listened for a time, just us and the musician, with periodic passers-by. Very nice period furnishings, as well. It appeared the library is somewhat famous to bibliophiles. A working farm...the kids especially enjoyed the piggery (despite the odor), and the farm-themed play park.

Apologies...this certainly seems less a discussion than a chronicle of some of the incredible buildings and grounds we have seen. Perhaps it will be a good spot for me to come back to for remembrance.
Jabe11. I've enjoyed reading about your trip. Why not pick a half dozen pictures that you guys shot, and post them when you get home. I'll be interested to see what you choose. It's amazing that so many of these places were just.....homes. Or cottages, or whatever...

Your posts have rekindled my travel bug. Again.

PH
I'm glad you enjoyed, PH. I definitely feel like we are making the most of our time here. There are still a couple of places on our list to see...Bath, Bakewell, Cornwall, Blenheim.

I'd be happy to share some photos, but I don't post photos online (no FB account, to our families' consternations). I could send you some...shoot an email if interested. Lomagma256 at hot mail dot com
quote:
Originally posted by Jabe11:
Oxford - certainly a town with stunning architecture. A bit touristy on a Saturday in August...there must be some sort of UK holiday package selling hot in China right now. Cool riverside pubs. When we were driving away, however, my wife and I agreed there was no real desire to go back... we 'ticked the box,' so to speak.

Interesting tidbit...the Bodleian Library claims to house every book to have ever been printed in the UK.


You must have been to a different Oxford than I! I love it there and go often. When you were in Cambridge, did you have a chance to get to Saffron Walden or Ely?
In re Oxford, I believe it was more a logistical issue, haggis. There is no direct train service from our town, and parking is problematic. While the park and ride was easy and cost efficient, it is a bit of a pain for a family with little kids. Leaving our rain gear in the car didn't help our cause.
Took advantage of crystal clear weather and decided to go on a last minute road trip. Saw this place today:

Chatsworth house

Actually was a little disappointed with the interior. Several of the state rooms were closed, and several were decorated in a special Xmas Alice in Wonderland theme. But the kids enjoyed it, and the grounds, covered in a recent snow fall, were spectacular.
Had a very enjoyable day out at Audley End. The site has Roman roots and Tudor history, but the building is Jacobean. I say, the room attendants were engaging without being overbearing, or smug; the grounds were beautiful...quintessential English country side; impressive portraiture hanging, including works by Holbein, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Raphael, a couple of Canalettos sprinkled in, et al. A huge amount of period furniture...based on the limited literature I have read, I assume most was from the 1820's-30's. An incredible and unique experience.

A few other spots we've seen over the weeks:

Lavenham on a crisp clear day with my son...of interest for its Tudor residential architecture. The town was prosperous in the wool trade in the 15-16th centuries until Dutch traders moved in and crashed the market. The town subsequently declined, and there was little new construction of note for centuries, resulting in a dearth of Tudor houses. The town center's Guild hall is worth a stop; additionally, there is a very credible French-themed restaurant in the town square...get the duck breast.

Tours of Trinity College and St. John's College - within the Trinity College quad, there is nothing visible from beyond the 16th century (except for the 'keep off the grass' signs). The tour of St, john's is much more extensive..worth taking the strol over the River Cam. Knowing Cambridge well enough, it is cool to see it in a few recent movies (The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game).
quote:
Originally posted by Jabe11:
Yesterday:
Blenheim Palace.. Incredibly immense scale of this sprawling estate, gifted to the Duke of Marlborough for his stunning victory at the battle of Blenheim during the War of Spanish Succession. The only stately home/palace in the UK listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Forgot to note...there were about 50 pieces by Ai Weiwei on display throughout the house and gardens. I enjoyed the randomly placed objects, but based on what I think Ai is all about, the whole body of works seemed misplaced, figuratively speaking.
Dragged the family to Lincoln specifically to see The Cathedral. An off the radar town that is full of charm, at least in the historical center...a well preserved medieval core, and a stout Norman castle set upon a hill. The cathedral is an awe inspiring building, truly....the tallest building in Europe for nearly 300 years. Some Norman parts are still identifiable, but predominantly proper Gothic, from the 13th century. Amazingly, some of the stained glass is original. Inside, it is so massive the vaulted ceiling appeared to dim in haze, they were so distant.
Been trying to see a bit of the country for the last weeks we are here. A couple of highlights for us...

Our hotel we stayed in last weekend, Wotton House. The property has a history that includes it in the Doomsday Book. The Surrey Hills, under sunshine, are perhaps the most scenic area I have seen in England.

More of a 'for in the Archaeological file,' was Stonehenge. We expected a bit of 'Another Roadside Attraction,' but forsook the transfer bus and hoofed the mile or so from the visitors center.. with sunny skies and a moderate breeze; through green fields, a small copse with bluebells and other blooming wild flowers, to emerge to a view of gentle sloping fields of a billion buttercups, with the Stones as a back drop. The drive from there to Salisbury, through intense verdure fields, punctuated by last gasp flowering rapeseed fields, is one I will not soon forget.

Salisbury has a Cathedral, of course. It was a lot to take in for a day out...I just kicked back on the grass with my son while wifey shopped.

Inspired to share these memories by a visit today to Anglesey Abbey. these google image pix do not do the place justice. A garden splendor, 114 acres, early/mid 20th century..i cannot describe it better than the guide..."a series of compartments of varying size, each surrounded either by immaculate trimmed hedges or informal tapestries of trees and shrubs, carefully linked by shaded pathways...,etc, etc.' Water features, a mill <<peace and calming>>. In-between spring bloom and early summer bloom, but there were about 200 shades of green. It was beautiful, and, I doubt, has any equal anywhere in my homeland.

Sorry for rambling...thanks for reading this.

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