Unintentionally – A Cautionary Tale

The picture above is not the building I’ll be talking about. It was simply the first one I came to in my collection that had bearing masonry arches. The building I’m talking about will remain nameless: it was large, owned by a non-profit institution, and located in upstate New York, and it was demolished some …

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Review Of Movie Engineering: The Avengers (2012)

Again, the ground rules. I’m going to accept all of the basic premises of the movie as given, and not discuss things like inertia on fast turns turning Tony Strark to lumpy jelly inside his armor, or, a topic of many years of debate, why the Hulk’s pants don’t rip off entirely when he transforms. …

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Superior Construction, Except

It turns out that I hadn’t quite run out of things to say about the second Madison Square Garden. Above, a circa 1910 view from the park, where you can just make our Diana and her bow on top of the tower. Below, the 1899 Sanborn map: The purpose of the Sanborn maps was to …

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Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal Win The Pritzker Prize

If you pay attention to the architecture world, you’ve seen a notice about this year’s Pritzker winners and some discussion of the goals they work towards in their practice. I’ll summarize it below, but given the amount that has been written, you’re better off looking elsewhere for details. I want to discuss what their work, …

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Penn Station, Take 3

The original Pennsylvania Station opened in 1910 to serve the Pennsylvania and Long Island Railroads; the later construction of the New York Connecting Railroad allowed the New Haven Railroad to enter as well. The Pennsy, as the largest and wealthiest railroad in the US, built a palace as its New York station. By the 1950s, …

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