Who's the editor of the alt.architecture group? It seems that people
talk more about subjects having little to do with architecture. What
kind of architecture is the group supposed to discuss? The design-
oriented kind, or what?
Here are some of the less than entralling subjects:
I buyed me sum tomato-basil hummus.
Folk songs of the far right wing
Hummus is simpler than even making donuts
Genuine Money Earn Every day Internet jobs for all. Earn Unlimited
To steer the discussion in some more meaningful way for architects,
here's my contribution:
What is the difference between folk and vernacular architecture? Are
McMansions our culture's new vernacular? Is everyone familiar with
the term "McMansion?"
How has the "one world, one culture" reality affected the traditions
of local communities?
There is no "editor" for a newsgroup. I am the moderator. I must
insist that you cease such attacks against the posters to this
newsgroup. It is ynwarranted. Hummus is a vernacular food and
addresses different cultures and their cooking traditions and thereby
kitchen and restaurant design, folk songs often highlight a buildings
acoustic properties, and income...well, I don't know what that one's
about. Must have slipped by me.
Please refrain from disruptive posting or your posts will be deleted.
I'll respond to your trad vs mod hook when you respond to my 2 hour fire
rating question, how's that?
You want to talk architecture? Here's your chance. Find me something for
these ducts other than concrete that can span 7 feet without hanging.
I don't know the ducts to which you refer, but I imagine that 7' isn't
exactly best practice for spans of rated fire duct that can't be
hung. My suggestion? A bridge made from heavy gauge steel studs and
gwb. That's a guess without knowing what the heck you're talking
about. Are you angry?
Look up the recent post by me on the subject. Generic "steel studs and GWB"
prescriptions will not suffice. This is architecture. Let's get specific.
I'm not angry. I am mildly annoyed by your complaining about the group being
OT, while obviously having an enormous theoretical axe to grind. If you want
to promulgate your polemics, may I suggest that this isn't a very effective
place to do it? Try a school. You're unlikely to convince anyone of
anything, and there's only 6 of us here anyway, and we all work in the real
world. Besides, my favorite groups are almost all OT...
Some guy going by the moniker of "Grand Tradition". It's even in his name.
Every post seems to be a pitch for traditional architecture. You're like a
bible-thumper in a brothel. Settle down and have a drink.
Then let's discuss things of mutual interest instead of chastising the group
for having interests that don't dovetail with yours. (Note, the trad vs mod
thing is 20 years tired for me.) Here's a story:
In 1990 I'm working for a traditionalist outfit. They get an office building
client somehow (they're not known for this sort of stuff). I start the
schematic design on the job. I drive around with the client as he points out
buildings he likes. (He's very consistent: all sleek, green glass
curtainwall buildings with few if any mullions exposed.) I get it. Client
wants sleek, green glass building. I get to work on it.
The firm hires a humorless prig from another traditionalist firm with
experience in this type of building. We're used to having fun at this
office. I can't work with the pretentious putz, and the firm is obviously
going to implode within months as the Grand Recession approaches, so I quit
to do some public sector work. The firm contracts by 80%. They can the prig
along with most everybody else. I worked for two years solid in public
housing, doing mainly hirise stuff, and design my biggest building to date.
All of it pragmatically modern.
Years later I'm back talking to the partner, and see a rendering of the most
dreadful, plodding, dark, heavy, traditional office building I've seen in a
while. (Week-old, soy-soaked polenta, if not, plainly, a turd.) I ask about
the building. It's unbuilt. (Surprise!) I ask how it got to look like that
when the client was pretty clear about what he wanted. The partner frowns at
me. "Don't ask" is the answer.
There's a story about the world I live in. Now us about yours. Keep it
interesting...no polemics....if you can.
So sue me for having an architectural preference! You have imagined
me (I'm afraid) completely 180d from reality. I may have come on
strong, but this IS an architectural newsgroup, supposedly.
I have a similar story to yours, Michael, except that it involves the
entirety of my formal education, which was Mod. Everything
traditional I've learned about architecture, other than the
historian's cut-and-dry time line of events, is a product of my
personal study. I've seen cities go down the tubes due to glass box
syndrome (GBS?), as I'm sure you have; and I've also witnessed the
sorriest revival of traditional architecture since revivals started
happening (in my opinion). It's not the brightest day for architects,
and quite frankly, I keep running into architects who ultimately don't
care, including some of my classmates from college.
I sometimes ask them why they're so non-chalant, and they reply with
the same stuff: "It's just my job." "The client made me do it."
"What do you mean?" "I've got to put bread on the table." "Let's
talk about something else."
I am definitely an advocate for traditional architecture, but
ultimately I advocate GOOD architecture. Putting bread on the table
doesn't usually produce good work. To those who I know who make that
claim, I tell them to pull away for a while and do something else that
"puts bread on the table." Overall, I get it (I think). There are a
lot of architects out there; and just like any other profession, there
are those that actually love what they do and excel, then there are
those who do it for other reasons, who usually do not find that
magical mix of circumstances required to do really well. I'll readily
admit I'm not the brainiest architect of the lot, but I do love my
profession- and I feel like cities, towns, villages, and families all
depend on architects to make the world as livable as it can be.
Have you seen a new traditional building that exceeds the design
success of a similar building erected 100 years ago? Have you seen a
modern building that exceeds the design success of a similar building
80 years ago? I blame the laissez faire attitude of many architects
today. I say get the f*ck off your asses and do something responsible
next time someone wants to do something on the cheap!
American culture being despised around the world? McAnything, let
alone McMansions? Buildings designed to fail after 20 years?
Disposable culture is dispicable to me- it's just irresponsible. And
the world (or at least the first world) can see the horrible direction
the US has taken culturally over the last century. And please believe
me: I don't want to return to the 1920's. I want 2007 to be the best
that the US has ever known. Who will paint our murals, sculpt our bas
reliefs, and plan our gardens in such a way that guides us forward
while giving us hindsight after the last of the master craftsmen are
gone? Are we going to import everything from other countries,
including craftsmen, to the extent that we have to start all over
Enough for now. I've said too much already. Please proceed with the
stoning and tarring and feathering.
It's _alternative_.architecture. Your alternative may be someone else's
You're entitled to your own perceived or rehashed preconceived
alternative. If someone buys your BS and your schematics, and you
actually get to build your perceived alternative, or if you have already
put up a couple examples for us to discuss, please let us know. I
clicked on this group as a lark and rather enjoy it., so far.
numbing numbe of very practical issues. The present day cost of the
trades and materials to construct that building are astronomical. There
are few commissions on grand budgets.
I once went this lecture by an acting dean at a grad architecture
school (flag me if you know him) accompanied by congratulatory sighs and
hurrahs by his fawning grad students, some of whom were just hoping for
the recommendation to someone somewhere for a job, any job, hopefully a
lucratice job, dare they even hope for a job where someone actually
would allow them to design?. One of his ideas had to do with not
understanding the slightest bit about Islam but willing to embarrass
himself about interesting things he was willing to do with Korans in a
mosque of his imagination. Some people begged to differ, this being a
public forum and he no longer being in his precious ari element. The
next idea had to do with his concept of painting miles of reflective
stuff on the surface of moon rock so everyone with a telescope could
literally bask in his immense creativity. That's thinking outside the
box! Until someone asked whether he should be allowed to denigrade vast
acres of the universe with what possibly non peelable substance? I
personally love dialogue.
The capstone of the night came not from dean but from his personal pet
in a little session in which the grad students were supposed to express
their architectural vision about how they conceived their practices.
The little darling opined that he would personally not accept a
commission for anything that he could not guarantee would stand for two
centuries, anything else being beneath him.
I couldn't help but ask who he planned to bankroll this personal vision,
and did this personal vision have any particular shape, material or form?
It's very easy to criticize and easy to pretend to set standards. It's
harder to come up with ideas and solutions, set reasonable goals and
standards, and still have people recognize something unique and worthy
in your design. It is harder still to get the client to pop for 5% for
design, outside or inside the box
There's no reason that a well maintained wood frame house can't last
two centuries. There are plenty of them around New England and the
rest of the world. That's how New Englanders view it - New England
and the rest of the world. ;)
Down here, there are both kinds of termites as well as a couple kinds of
carpenter ants and powder post beetles. Sure, your building can last
two hundred years. But.....the maintenance on those boards can be daunting.
buildings were NOT designed to last. My own house (1886) was originally a
beach cottage (2200 sq. ft) and had 2x3 interior bearing walls with studs
varying from 14" to 22" apart. We screwed 1/2" CDX on those walls before
wall boarding. Another example, today I inspected a 1905 building for which
I had the original contract documents. The drawings showed 2-18x55 "I" beams
placed side by side with lead throughwall flashing over them, spanning 26'.
Opened her up and there was a 26" deep built up riveted beam that clearly
had been taken from a larger older structure. No flashing and extreme
rusting. Much will have to be replaced making for a very sad owner (who
lives above the beam). Many "traditional" older buildings are not water
resistant and have serious problems with rising damp and mold that are
extremely difficult to repair, etc., etc.
I once inspected a 1850s house in Baltimore that was incredibly well
kept inside with original woodwood and fittings like marbel mantles and
glorious panelling, later fixtures from the gaslight period that had
been expertly converted, even the light on the carved circular main
stair. Nothing I had seen so far outside a museum matched the detail in
this inexpensive place. It had been used as a convent for quite a long
time and the nuns had kept it very well. Only one problem.....As you
went one room back, then two, the house listed. It was one of the
brick Baltimore houses that had been built on literally floating
foundations, on huge logs. and some part of that floating had dried up
causing settlement in several different directions.
OK, I'm not from "the real world", but I have a few questions anywhoo,
because ignoramus or not, I remain curious...
Q#1 - do you (as in, "You All", the Ubiquitous 'you') think that people
talk about "the good old days when things were built to last", not
because all things were, but rather, because all they see now (i.e., all
that is left standing) are the things that were (perhaps accidentally?)
built in such a way that they lasted? IOW, because they are working off
of a very narrow range of samples (buildings that lasted, as opposed to
"all buildings built prior to [insert preferred year]...?)
Q#2 - re: "traditional" versus "modern", is there such a thing as "most
appropriate"...? Shouldn't the "style" (for lack of a better word) be at
least partially determined by the requirements that a structure is
supposed to fulfill? So, if one of the primary ideas is to maximize
light (to reduce lighting costs), wouldn't choose to maximize the surface
area of glass...? ALso, is "traditional/historical" *ALWAYS* at odds
with "modern"? Again, maybe I'm just uneducated, but, isn't the primary
characteristic of "modern" something like "clean lines; uncluttered
design"? IOW, i don't see that "modern" MUST mean "stark; completely
devoid of any decorative, sculpted, hand-made, or softening element"...
So doesn't it create a false/unnecesary opposition to insist that
"traditional" and "modern" MUST be oppositional?
I think people see too many things in terms of black-and-white, in a
false way - humans create oppositions - the world/universe is not even
merely shades or grey - it's Kodacolor, *plus* everything down to the
far-infrared and up to gamma rays.
Doesn't it limit the possibilities to insist that certain things must be
in opposition one to the other...?
Is there any good photo/example of a beautiful and functional structure
that blends traditional and modern? IF not, isn't that kind of sad...?
"Is there any good photo/example of a beautiful and functional
that blends traditional and modern? IF not, isn't that kind of
I think architects and designers are slowly realising that a structure
is more than the walls , the limits, that a house is more than what
meet the eye , that structure is more important. It has not alway's
been like that, and also many "modern" buildings tend to be a Tinhat
with a second house inside, to provide the nessery floors and stairs,
walls ----- but as long as architecture are stuck in the old
perception , then nomatter what form, what style or what small
"innovative" gadged is added, it still is within the limitations that
kept architecture in perciving a house as four walls and a roof ---
not before structure are reconised for real, and the computer are
seriously allowed to calculate the individual building frame, will we
realise that a house are more than surfaces.
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