33 Thomas Street (formerly the AT&T Long Lines Building) is a 550-foot-tall (170 m) skyscraper in Civic Center, Lower Manhattan, New York City. It stands on the east side of Church Street, between Thomas Street and Worth Street. The building is an example of the Brutalist architectural style. It is a telephone exchange or wire center building which contained three major 4ESS switches used for interexchange (long distance) telephony, as well as a number of other switches used for competitive local exchange carrier services. However, it is not used for incumbent local exchange carrier services, and is not a central office. The CLLI code for this facility is NYCMNYBW. The building has also been described as the likely location of a National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance hub codenamed TITANPOINTE.
- "33 Thomas Street" | 2019-11-17 | 156 Upvotes 59 Comments
75½ Bedford Street is a house located in the West Village neighborhood of New York City that is only 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 meters) wide. Built in 1873, it is often described as the narrowest house in New York. Its past tenants have included Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ann McGovern, cartoonist William Steig and anthropologist Margaret Mead. It is sometimes referred to as the Millay House, indicated by a plaque on the outside of the house. The house is located in the Greenwich Village Historic District, but is not an individually designated New York City Landmark.
- "75½ Bedford Street" | 2020-02-25 | 45 Upvotes 52 Comments
Arcosanti is a projected experimental town with a molten bronze bell casting business in Yavapai County, central Arizona, 70 mi (110 km) north of Phoenix, at an elevation of 3,732 feet (1,130 meters). Its arcology concept was posited by the Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri (1919–2013). He began construction in 1970, to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth. He taught and influenced generations of architects and urban designers who studied and worked with him there to build the proposed "town".
Atlantropa, also referred to as Panropa, was a gigantic engineering and colonisation idea devised by the German architect Herman Sörgel in the 1920s and promoted by him until his death in 1952. Its central feature was a hydroelectric dam to be built across the Strait of Gibraltar, which would have provided enormous amounts of hydroelectricity and would have led to the lowering of the surface of the Mediterranean Sea by up to 200 metres (660 ft), opening up large new lands for settlement, for example in the Adriatic Sea. The project proposed four additional major dams as well:
- Across the Dardanelles to hold back the Black Sea
- Between Sicily and Tunisia to provide a roadway and further lower the inner Mediterranean
- On the Congo River below its Kwah River tributary to refill the Mega-Chad basin around Lake Chad providing fresh water to irrigate the Sahara and creating a shipping lane to the interior of Africa
- Suez Canal extension and locks to maintain Red Sea connection
Sörgel saw his scheme, projected to take over a century, as a peaceful European-wide alternative to the Lebensraum concepts that later became one of the stated reasons for Nazi Germany's conquest of new territories. Atlantropa would provide land and food, employment, electric power, and most of all, a new vision for Europe and neighbouring Africa.
The Atlantropa movement, through its several decades, was characterised by four constants:
- Pacifism, in its promises of using technology in a peaceful way;
- Pan-European sentiment, seeing the project as a way to unite a war-torn Europe;
- Eurocentric attitudes to Africa (which was to become united with Europe into "Atlantropa" or Eurafrica), and
- Neo-colonial geopolitics, which saw the world divided into three blocs—America, Asia, and Atlantropa.
Active support was limited to architects and planners from Germany and a number of other primarily northern European countries. Critics derided it for various faults, ranging from lack of any cooperation of Mediterranean countries in the planning to the impacts it would have had on the historic coastal communities left stranded inland when the sea receded. The project reached great popularity in the late 1920s to the early 1930s, and for a short period again, in the late 1940s to the early 1950s, but soon disappeared from general discourse again after Sörgel's death.
A bastion fort or trace italienne (a phrase improperly derived from French, literally meaning Italian outline), is a fortification in a style that evolved during the early modern period of gunpowder when the cannon came to dominate the battlefield. It was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy. Some types, especially when combined with ravelins and other outworks, resembled the related star fort of the same era.
The design of the fort is normally a polygon with bastions at the corners of the walls. These outcroppings eliminated protected blind spots, called "dead zones", and allowed fire along the curtain from positions protected from direct fire. Many bastion forts also feature cavaliers, which are raised secondary structures based entirely inside the primary structure.
Cluny Abbey (French: [klyni]; formerly also Cluni, or Clugny) is a former Benedictine monastery in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France. It was dedicated to St Peter.
The abbey was constructed in the Romanesque architectural style, with three churches built in succession from the 4th to the early 12th centuries. The earliest basilica was the world's largest church until the St. Peter's Basilica construction began in Rome.
Cluny was founded by Duke William I of Aquitaine in 910. He nominated Berno as the first abbot of Cluny, subject only to Pope Sergius III. The abbey was notable for its stricter adherence to the Rule of St. Benedict, whereby Cluny became acknowledged as the leader of western monasticism. The establishment of the Benedictine Order was a keystone to the stability of European society that was achieved in the 11th century. In 1790 during the French Revolution, the abbey was sacked and mostly destroyed, with only a small part surviving.
Starting around 1334, the Abbots of Cluny maintained a townhouse in Paris known as the Hôtel de Cluny, which has been a public museum since 1843. Apart from the name, it no longer possesses anything originally connected with Cluny.
- "Cluny: The Google of 1000" | 2008-10-13 | 15 Upvotes 13 Comments
Drzymała's wagon (Polish: wóz Drzymały) was a house on wheels built by Michał Drzymała as a protest against Imperial Germany's policy of Germanization in its Polish territories. Its owner, the peasant Michał Drzymała (1857-1937), was not only able to circumvent German building regulations by moving his home every day, but with his wagon-home became a Polish folk hero during the Partitions of Poland.
In 1886, by resolution of the Prussian Landtag, a Settlement Commission had been established to encourage German settlement in the Province of Posen and West Prussia. The Commission was empowered to purchase vacant property of the Polish szlachta and sell it to approved German applicants. The Prussian government regarded this as a measure designed to counteract the German "Flight from the East" (Ostflucht) and reduce the number of Poles, who were migrating to the area in hundreds of thousands looking for work. In Polish eyes, the establishment of the Commission was an aggressive measure designed to drive Poles from their lands.
While the campaign against Polish landownership largely missed its aims, it produced a strong opposition with its own hero, Drzymała. In 1904 he purchased a plot of land in Pogradowitz in the Posen district of Bomst, but found that the newly implemented Prussian Feuerstättengesetz ("furnace law") enabled local officials to deny him as a Pole the permission to build a permanent dwelling with an oven on his land. The law considered any place of stay a house if it stayed in one place for more than 24 hours. To get around the rule, he set himself up in a former circus caravan and for several years tenaciously defied in the courts all attempts to remove him. Each day, Drzymała moved the wagon a short distance, thereby exploiting the loophole and avoiding any legal penalties, until in 1909 he was able to buy an existent farmhouse nearby.
The case attracted publicity all over Germany. The German Kulturkampf measures and the Colonization Commission ultimately succeeded in stimulating the Polish national sentiment that they had been designed to suppress.
- "Drzymała's wagon" | 2018-11-12 | 109 Upvotes 23 Comments
Fazlur Rahman Khan (Bengali: ফজলুর রহমান খান, Fozlur Rôhman Khan) (3 April 1929 – 27 March 1982) was a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer and architect, who initiated important structural systems for skyscrapers. Considered the "father of tubular designs" for high-rises, Khan was also a pioneer in computer-aided design (CAD). He was the structural engineer of the Sears Tower working with Architect Bruce Graham, since renamed Willis Tower, the tallest building in the world from 1973 until 1998, and the 100-story John Hancock Center.
Khan, more than any other individual, ushered in a renaissance in skyscraper construction during the second half of the 20th century. He has been called the "Einstein of structural engineering" and the "Greatest Structural Engineer of the 20th Century" for his innovative use of structural systems that remain fundamental to modern skyscraper design and construction. In his honor, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat established the Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, as one of their CTBUH Skyscraper Awards.
Although best known for skyscrapers, Khan was also an active designer of other kinds of structures, including the Hajj airport terminal, the McMath–Pierce solar telescope, and several stadium structures.
- "Fazlur Khan: The engineer who made it possible to live in the sky" | 2014-06-12 | 86 Upvotes 9 Comments
Ferdinand Cheval (19 April 1836 – 19 August 1924) was a French postman who spent thirty-three years of his life building Le Palais idéal (the "Ideal Palace") in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture.
- "Yes, you can make it work by doing just a little everyday" | 2011-05-21 | 14 Upvotes 1 Comments
The Frankfurt kitchen was a milestone in domestic architecture, considered the forerunner of modern fitted kitchens, for it realised for the first time a kitchen built after a unified concept, designed to enable efficient work and to be built at low cost. It was designed in 1926 by Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky for architect Ernst May's social housing project New Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. Some 10,000 units were built in the late 1920s in Frankfurt.
- "Frankfurt kitchen" | 2018-09-18 | 75 Upvotes 12 Comments