30 November, 2007
28 November, 2007
25 November, 2007
On my independent study travels through the Netherlands, I (and by i, i mean Dannielle, Hali and I) ventured away from the big cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and found our way to Utrecht. Utrecht is a smaller city (4th largest in the netherlands, but small compared to Amsterdam) and quite quaint in most parts of it. There is actually quite a lot of interesting architecture in the city, but visiting on a sunday was a bad idea, because most of the buildings were closed and the inside unaccessible. One interesting building was the extension of the town hall done by Enric Miralles. while i was unimpressed with parts of it, one side of the building was very interesting to me. He created a facade that seemed to be (in parts) incomplete. There were gaps in the materials held together by steel beams. It was interesting because, while it seemed incomplete, you could tell that the look was done on purpose. Another part of this wall was a unique gutter system (at least i think thats what it was). These metal pipes came from the roof into a concrete trough at the base of the wall. the pipes were staggering back and forth making path for water to flow. when it was not raining, the pipes seemed to be used as a fountain. it would be interesting to see how the system works, although i am glad it wasnt raining while we were there. it was rather cold and extremely windy. After the Miralles building we walked around saw some other buildings (i.e. Reitveld Schroder house, Rem Koolhaas educatorium) and i "bahed" at some sheep.
On friday one we had a guest come and talk about public art with the class. After her lecture we went on a walking tour around BCN. More specifically in the neighborhoods of Born and Barceloneta. the tour was interesting because she pointed out art that I have definitely past by before but i never really noticed. We had discussions at each piece and it was nice to hear everyones different opinions of the pieces. Although we didnt look at this piece specifically on the walk, I want to post a photo of Lichtenstein's "face of Barcelona". Lichtenstein is one of my favorite artists, and i think it is cool to be able to say there is a Lichtenstein sculpture basically in my backyard.
24 November, 2007
23 November, 2007
This 120 meter spire is not only the tallest object in the city of Dublin, but also provided us with direction on how to get back to our hostel. I had always wondered what the spire symbolized, and finally looked it up when we got back. It was designed to replace the Nelson's Pillar which was blown up in 1966, and was meant to be a statement for the city of Dublin. Talking recently about the function of public art and the success of it in a public space, I feel that this spire is very successful. Not only is it low maintenance, but it provides a type of beacon seen from all over the city. The architect statement also stated that one of the goals was to reflect the movement of humanity both literally and figuratively. I think they were successful.
"The monument should be accompanied by abstract figures in black Kilkenny marble, embellished by stainless steel, as in the folds of a cloak, the bend of a knee doubling as a seat, or just the shiver of a glance. To draw and grow from the mercury and black marble base, shaping in an abstract from, but form with a human spirit."
Ian Richie Architects
21 November, 2007
The lease, signed on 31 December 1759, was for 9000 years at an annual rent of £45, talk about smart business. To start with, Arthur brewed ale, but by the 1770s a new drink, a strong black beer called porter, was being exported from London. Arthur decided to brew this new beer himself. He proved extremely successful and right into his seventies Arthur continued to be active in supervising his business at the Brewery, now assisted by three of his sons. When he died in 1803, he left a considerable personal fortune of about 23,000 pounds and an extremely flourishing business which later generations of his family were to develop, following the example of initiative and enterprise set by its founder.
After venturing inside the Brewery, it was cool to see the transition from the outside of the brewery, which is a dark brown brick, to the inside, which was mostly steel. It was interesting how they seemed to keep the feel of the "old" rish brewery, but transformed the inside into an industry. The outside of the Brewery is deceiving in the sense that you cannot tell what it fully encompasses. The brewery shows you full how how the stout is brewed and gives you a full out view of the industry.
the EUR (esposizione universale romana 1942) was designed to showcase fascist architecture in a functional manner outside the city, also a part of mussolini's plan to extend rome to the sea. while walking around the area of stark facades and minimal ornament, i felt a little transported back in time. the government buildings and cultural institutions all utilized marble, concrete and vast arcades creating a unified but ominous feel. despite this sentiment, the area is heavily used and there is a great interest to live here. i saw many families and business people strolling the tree lined boulevards, using the vast public spaces that come so naturally to this area. there were many private apartment complexes lining the government building spaces, each one having a pleasant courtyard and gardens. while i couldn't help but think of the strange history and building types of this area, i couldn't help but recognize that it is an area of successful urban planning and a bustling commercial district outside of the city.
The best part of Amsterdam itself is that everyone I talked to was so, so friendly. When a huge parade celebrating Saint Nicholas' arrival blocked me from crossing a street, I asked a stranger where I could cross, and then a police officer. They both gave me 10 different suggestions, all 10 in a cheerful tone, and wished me luck, also assuring me that their Saint Nicholas was NOT to be confused with Santa Claus. The other great thing about Amsterdam: the best cheese I have ever tasted. Ever.
On the downside, the immigration rules were strict and Matt and I had some trouble for about an hour -- I thought we might have to spend the night in the airport! But professor Hecker came to the rescue with the internet, and we bought a plane ticket. From now on I may just carry a bundle of papers documenting my entire life when I travel. That way when they ask for tickets proving that I'm leaving Spain eventually, I can show them that I ran cross country in highshcool, too.
After taking the mandatory pictures outside, some crafty sneaking allowed some indoor ones as well. It turns out that the hallways are color coded, mostly a bright snot green (as you can see at the end of the hall in the first picture) from carpet to wall to ceiling. Even the doors. The 8th and 9th floors were in sky blue and fire engine red, while the first two floors were grey. The condos inside were fabulous, with hardwood floors and huge windows overlooking the harbour in both directions.
The part that interested me the most about this building was it's interaction with the water. In the central hall, there are gaps so that you can look down and see the water and the docks below, where some residents parked their boats. In the front of the building, the apartments' front doors open onto walkways suspended over the water. From the top floors, looking out, it seemed like the building was just floating.
I much preferred Florence to Venice. When its cold and you don't want to go outside, it's hard to enjoy a city based on canals and.. oh the outside. And 4.50 euro for a latte is ridiculous. Favorite things from this trip: 1.seeing my Mom 2. San Miniato del Monte in Florence (first church I felt compelled to pray at, didn't feel touristy). 3.Birthday dinner 4. Hostel Archi Rossi in Florence. I'm not sure you can call it a hostel when it has a computer, tv, private bathroom, room service, heck, bidet and complimentary breakfast. OH
AND At Archi Rossi, I just lovvved how (you're allowed to write on many of hte walls there) on the column by the check in desk, very very visibly there is a big orange CLEMSON paw :-) with Clemson written beside it. That made me happy. Archi Rossi was the homiest hostel I've stayed at and that says a lot given the great places we've had (minus London for those who went!). We also had a view of the Duomo!
20 November, 2007
Quando sto viaggiando a l'italia, sempre sto felice. La terra, le spiagge... penso che l'italia é unica, perché non ho visto un otro luogo simile. E il cibo... buonissimo! In un villagio, abbiamo mangiato pizza di pesto ché era megliore di tutte le pizze in espangna! Era una sorpresa a me che i italiani nord erano molti simpatici, perché in citte come Roma, tutti hanno fretti e non piacono i turisti.
La storia di l'italia é fantastica. I Romani ha costruito edifici come la arena in Verona, e italiani a volte i usono oggi.