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Rooftop Racetrack: 1928 via Retronaut

“The Lingotto building, Turin, Italy, once housed a  Fiat factory. Built between 1916 and 1923, the design had five floors, raw materials going in at the ground floor, and cars built on a line that went up through the building. Finished cars emerged at rooftop level, where there was a rooftop test track. It was the largest car factory in the world at the time. Le Corbusier called it “one of the most impressive sights in industry”, and “a guideline for town planning”.”

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Construction on the Sagrada Familia began in 1883, when famed architect Antoni Gaudi first laid the blueprint for his now-iconic Barcelona church. Gaudi devoted his last years to the project, and 130 years later, it's widely regarded as one of the most stunningly unique buildings on Earth. It also has yet to be completed.

CBS News took a closer look at the Sagrada Familia on Sunday's 60 Minutes, delving into the history and mythology behind Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece. It's this history, together with an almost religious devotion to Gaudi's legacy, that drives much of today's efforts to complete the building. Gaudi had meticulously laid out the Sagrada Familia with a set of models he constructed before his death in 1926, but these...

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Zaha Hadid Architects has released new images of the British architect’s first built house, the soon-to-be completed Capital Hill residence, located in the hills of Barvikha, just west of Moscow. The spaceship-like house has been commissioned by Russian finance magnate Vladislav Doronin, who intends to present it as a wedding gift to his future bride, none other than Miss Naomi Campbell. Divided into two parts, a main structure blending into the nearby hillside, and a periscope-inspired tower to overlook the surrounding forest.  The first of its kind by Ms. Hadid, the concrete, 2,500 square meter residence will boast a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, Russian bath, gym, indoor swimming pool, and reception hall. I can’t imagine a more perfect future home for one great diva by another.(...) Read More about Zaha Hadid Capital Hill Residence (1 words)

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“In architecture it isn’t enough to just have the right building that works well. It can also be beautiful. It can also be different. It can create surprise. And surprise is the main thing in a work of art. […] I like and respect Brasília very much. It is a simple city, a rational one. I always defend the urban design of Brasília”- Oscar Niemeyer (Architect of Brasília’s Cathederal).

A charming quote, made even more interesting by this biting counterpoint from Architect and Human-Centred Urban Quality Consultant Jan Gehl:

“Brasília was the ultimate modernistic city, built on all the ideas of the modernistic manifests. It looks fantastic from the airplane. But if you are down at eye level, on your feet and going from one place to another, Brasília is a disaster. Every distance is too wide. Things are not connected. You have to trample for endless miles along completely straight paths. Nobody ever started to think about what it would be like to be out in Brasília in between all these monuments.”

Jan explains: “As far as I am concerned, the people scale is THE important scale of all of them. We have the city plan scale, the site plan scale and the people scale. And definitely the people scale, where you touch the city, and where you touch the buildings – that’s what counts for quality. […] I find it striking that the quality of the urban habitat of homo sapiens is so weakly researched compared to the habitat of mountain gorillas and bengal tigers and panda bears in China.”

At Clearleft we often talk about what happens when you design at the wrong level of zoom. Dribbble, for example, encourages you to focus in on a 400×300 pixel rectangle, so you end up with something beautiful that has no bearing on the real user experience. It’s easy to marvel at the theoretical perfection of your work but ultimately it’s not your judgement that matters. The end users – the citizens who has to live in your streets – these are the people who determine its success.

The video clip above is from Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized, which you can now watch online for just $3.99. Highly recommended.

Related posts:

  1. Dave Meslin on designing for intentional exclusion

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

A historic 1880′s warehouse in Melbourne, Australia has been converted into a stunning luxury home with high ceilings, exposed red bricks walls and dramatic archways. The addition of new wood floors, white drywall and a modern kitchen make the space livable without overpowering it.

The renovated apartment is located in ‘Leicester House’, a five-story Neo-Gothic building in downtown Melbourne with deep cornices and detailed Florentine arches on the exterior. Most of the spaces within it are still in use as offices.

While many aficionados of warehouse conversions would likely prefer to see less carpeting and more modern furnishings, the space itself exudes all the historic charm that you could wish for in a building of this age, particularly in the ceiling and the brick walls.

Rustic, recycled, modern and minimalist – apartment remodels come in all varieties, whether they’re redesigned from an out-of-date state or completely converted from something else. Check out 9 more amazing apartment designs and cool condo plans, and 11 lofty additions to urban rooftops.

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Color, pattern, unexpected materials and careful editing of rustic historic architectural details make these apartment and condo remodels one-of-a-kind.
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Know of other recycled design or amazing architecture projects? Be sure to list them in the comments below!
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[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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As a native of Jerusalem, an Orthodox Jews’ appearance is not alien to me. The thought which often comes to mind when thinking about the ultra-Orthodox community is “so close yet so far”.

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Zothecula writes with an excerpt from an article in Gizmag: "The FRAC Centre in Orléans, France will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots. Titled 'Flight Assembled Architecture,' the six meter-high tower will be made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules. The installation involves a fleet of quadrocopters that are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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