How Burglars Commit Crime and Take Advantage of Cities by Hacking Architecture | VICE | United States

At some point in everyone’s life, you think like a burglar. It’s when you’re trying to sneak out of the house as a teenager, or you’re trying to sneak downstairs to look at Christmas presents, or you’re doing anything where you’re trying not to get caught, sneaking in, out of, or through a building in any way.

How Burglars Commit Crime and Take Advantage of Cities by Hacking Architecture | VICE | United States

Analysis of Blade Runner. In which I learned that Deckard’s apartment scenes were modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, which has relief design inspired by the Mayan temples at Uxmal, which, unicorns aside, is an interesting architectural hint, when you recall that the Tyrell Corporation is headquartered in a gigantic-ass pyramid. Via Film Studies for Free, which I discovered on my journey waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down the rabbithole of film writing after watching and reading about Thief and related works.

The novels we know best have an architecture. Not only a door going in and another leading out, but rooms, hallways, stairs, little gardens front and back, trapdoors, hidden passageways, et cetera. It’s a fortunate rereader who knows half a dozen novels this way in their lifetime. I know one, Pnin, having read it half a dozen times. When you enter a beloved novel many times, you can come to feel that you possess it, that nobody else has ever lived there. You try not to notice the party of impatient tourists trooping through the kitchen (Pnin a minor scenic attraction en route to the canyon Lolita), or that shuffling academic army, moving in perfect phalanx, as they stalk a squirrel around the backyard (or a series of squirrels, depending on their methodology). Even the architect’s claim on his creation seems secondary to your wonderful way of living in it.

Zadie Smith, opening an essay on two opposing philosophies of the reader-writer relationship, pitting Barthes vs. Nabokov. Collected in Changing My Mind, which I recommend. I’ll probably post some more quotes from this book in the near future.

What we call a home is merely any place that succeeds in making more consistently available to us the important truths which the wider world ignores, or which our distracted and irresolute selves have trouble holding on to. As we write, so we build: to keep a record of what matters to us.

From The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. (via carpentrix)


Reading between the Lines

On September 24th, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh will reveal a construction in the rural landscape, by a cycle route, that’s based on the design of the local church. This ‘church’ consists of 30 tons of steel and 2000 columns, and is built on a fundament of armed concrete. Through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art. 

Mirrored Las Vegas hotel turns into parabolic solar cooker

The tall, sleek, curving Vdara Hotel at CityCenter on the Strip is a thing of beauty. But the south-facing tower is also a collector and bouncer of sun rays, which – if you’re at the hotel’s swimming pool at the wrong time of day and season – can singe your hair and melt your plastic drink cups and shopping bags.

I work next to a building like this, except the death rays shine right on the sidewalk. (via)
Mirrored Las Vegas hotel turns into parabolic solar cooker

The Clermont Hotel | WMLB 1690 | The Voice of The Arts

A great episode about the beloved Atlanta landmark built in 1924 and the (in)famous, seedy, must-see strip club in the basement that’s been running since 1965, the Clermont Lounge. One old postcard calls it As Modern as Tomorrow.

Featured on this episode of Sidewalk Radio are guests Boyd Coons, Executive Director of the Atlanta Preservation Center, Mike Gamble, a tenured professor in architecture at Georgia Tech, DJ, the de facto spokesperson and bouncer at the Clermont Lounge at the Clermont Lounge, and Atlanta icon and dancer at the Clermont Lounge, Blondie.

The Clermont Hotel | WMLB 1690 | The Voice of The Arts