Architecture?

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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 income.
What?
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?
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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.
Thank you
Moderatus Unanimous
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OK- you're in charge... stretch it as thin as you must. Do you have any response from an architectural viewpoint to the second half of my post?
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wrote:

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.
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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Michael,
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?
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wrote:

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...
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OT? Who's grinding an axe? I work for a living too, as an architect, so don't come at me with this "real world" sh*t. Or do!
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wrote:

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.
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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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 again?
Enough for now. I've said too much already. Please proceed with the stoning and tarring and feathering.
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GrandTradition wrote:

It's _alternative_.architecture. Your alternative may be someone else's mainstream.
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
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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. ;)
R
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RicodJour wrote:

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.

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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. EDS
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eds wrote:

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.

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OK, I'm not from "the real world", but I have a few questions anywhoo, because ignoramus or not, I remain curious...
So:
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...?
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in

"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...? "
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.
http://www.designcommunity.com/scrapbook/images/2573.jpg
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Not in the way I think you think it is.
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Ahh, finally...
CID...
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I didn't *think* you could do it.
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wrote:

tell you what to use and the spacing. You can try structural beams with designed penetration openings if your ducts can span 7 feet or longer.
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