50:richard

CLICK HERE TO Hinterland Season 3  Episode 6 Full HD

 Storyline:
Tom Mathias comes to Aberystwyth having abandoned his life in London. He’s a brilliant but troubled man. Despite his faults he is an excellent detective, who knows that the key to solving the crime lies not in where you look for truth, but how you look. From the windswept sand dunes of the coastline to the badlands of the hinterland, Y Gwyll is a series of four two-hour stories that are original and local, yet timeless and universal.



What the Hell is Modern Architecture? Part Three: Late Modernism [The Conclusion]

Hello friends! I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on Modern architecture as much as I have. It’s time for what is personally my favorite period of architecture, Late Modernism, which consists of the period from around 1960 to 1980. 

Late Modernism was the ideological dam of modernism bursting, and the metaphorical river diverged into many tributaries of coexistent styles. The technological advances of the 60s, and particularly the 70s led to much speculation about the architecture of the future. It was during this time that the computer became more and more sophisticated. In the span of less than 20 years, the computer went from the size of a refrigerator to the size of a television set. 

This post will focus on a few of the many movements of this time, and the philosophies behind them: Brutalism (in the UK & US), Metabolism (Japan), High Tech (Europe and some US), and finally US Corporate architecture (as a far extension of the International Style). 

Brutalism

Late Corbu as Precedent

If Mies van der Rohe’s glass and steel buildings were the prevailing stylistic foundation of Mid-Century Modernism, the same could be said of the late works of Le Corbusier and Late Modernism. 

Three of Corbu’s works stand out as having huge influence on the entirety of the field: the Unite d’Habitation at Marseille (1952) (left), the Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp (1955) (top right), and the monastery Sainte Marie de La Tourette (1957) (bottom right).

Photo Credits (CC-BY-SA 2.0): Marseille by c1ssou, Ronchamp by Sem Vandekerckhove, and La Tourette by Alexandre Norman (CC-BY-SA 3.0) 

The Unite d’Habitation became the foundation of post-war mass housing theory, with its interior “streets” and grandiose social aspirations. Ronchamp and La Tourette established the use of the spiritual and sculptural monumentality that would come to fruition in the works of Louis Kahn and Paul Rudolph, as well as the stylistic foundation for the style known as Brutalism. 

Brutalism: What is it? 

Despite its unfortunate name, Brutalism does not refer to the so-called ‘brutal’ nature of the style itself. Rather, it comes from the French beton brut, meaning ‘raw concrete.’ 

In context, Brutalism was a reaction by a new generation of architects to the sleek, now over-used the International Style (and often its corporate practitioners as a subtext). Inspired by the monumental, sculptural work of late Corbu, the Brutalists sought to create dramatic structures evoking both the ancient (think caves and other natural forms) and the future (think science fiction). 

Photo Credit: nicola j. patron, Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Photo Credit: Sengkang, Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Louis Kahn

Perhaps the most successful and enduring architects of this style is Louis Kahn, who, like Wright, did not belong to any particular school of architecture at the time. 

Photo Credit: Gerhard Richter, Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Trained in Beaux-Arts classicism in Philadelphia, Kahn’s formation occurred before the institutional establishment of Modernism on the East Coast took place. His familiarity with classicism gave him a firm hold of formal expression - perhaps why his buildings have endured while those of his contemporaries have not. It’s also why Kahn developed a deep respect for the mysticism of ancient ruins, what he called the “spiritual roots” of architecture. 

Perhaps Kahn’s most famous work, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1959-65) best congeals the architect’s mastery of materials and his (in a time of dry functionalism and stylistic mental gymnastics) emotional and sensitive design philosophy. 

(Photo Credit: Flickr user dreamsjung, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

The Salk Institute integrates the nature studied within to the nature in which the building itself is enveloped. Kahn’s sensitivity to space, place, and time are explicitly unified every evening, when the light of the sun reflecting on the ocean merges with the light reflecting in the small rivulet of water running down the central court. 

Kahn’s sense of the basics of architecture are best summed up by the architect himself: 

“If I were to define architecture in a word, I would say that architecture is a thoughtful making of spaces. It is not filling prescriptions as clients want them filled. It is not fitting uses into dimensioned areas… It is a creating of spaces that evoke a feeling of use. Spaces which form the themselves into a harmony good for the use to which the building is to be put…”

(Photo Credit: flickr user tatler, CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Not all architects of the period were as sensitive to space, light, and time as Kahn, and their works have not faired well despite their remarkable sculptural qualities. This is especially true of the Brutalist architecture of the UK, where the Post-War welfare state intersected with inexpensive construction (and ill-informed social housing practices, which I will write about at length another week.)

Structural Expressionism

The other notable American Brutalist architect of the time, Paul Rudolph, sought to reject and react against the prevailing International Style of the time, which is somewhat ironic because he was trained at Harvard under Walter Gropius.

According to architectural historian William J.R. Curtis, Rudolph’s architecture was a unification of the concepts found in the late works of Le Corbusier, the spatial drama of the Italian Baroque, and the sectional complexity of Wright. (Modern Architecture Since 1900, p. 560)

Borroughs Wellcome Headquarters, 1969-71 (Photo found here, original source unknown)

Rudolph’s architecture sought to create complex internal volumes and then express those internal volumes via the building’s exterior. This technique came to be known as Structural Expressionism, and resulted in the most complex and bewildering works of Brutalist architecture.

He also produced some of the most complex, remarkable architectural plans, drawings, and models in the history of architecture.  (Rudolph is probably one of my favorite architects, if not my favorite.)

The concept of expressing complex interior structures externally was not just an American phenomenon.

Metabolism in Japan

After World War II, the industrial expansion of Japan as a manufacturing superpower was deemed an economic miracle. The country’s development, as well as its population growth occurred at an astonishingly rapid rate. Combined with the small size of the country, issues of space became an urban planning crisis by the turn of the 1960s. 

Enter the Metabolists, a group of young Japanese architects who sought to integrate technology, Utopian ideals, and the structural expressionism established by architect Kenzo Tange into a solution for this new crisis of growth. 

Photo from @supermegalopolis, original source unknown


The Metabolists sought to use variable building elements ‘plugged in’ to a central system or infrastructure - a concept both rooted in technology and futuristic aesthetics as well as the organic structures such as beehives. 

The extreme complexity of these ideas, however, made their execution almost impossible, and their only true fulfillments were in the World’s Fair Expo 70, hosted in Osaka and the Nakagin Capsule Tower (1970-72) by Kisha Kurokawa. 

Expo 70 (Photo Credit: Flickr user m-louis, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Nagakin Capsule Tower (Photo Credit: Flickr user yusonkwan, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Despite the short-livedness of the Metabolist movement, its idea of pods and clusters of human beings are very much of the 1970s, and their science-fiction aesthetic is still fascinating even today. 

High Tech

The expression of the interior on the exterior took on another form in the High Tech architecture of the 70s. Another short-lived movement, High Tech turned buildings visually inside out with the mechanical innards and other structural components displayed on the exterior (however these were often not the actual mechanical innards but rather an artistic expression of them, just as Mies’ use of I-beams were not entirely structural but rather an expression of the structural.)

The High-Tech movement was spearheaded by the British architect Richard Rogers, whose collaborative work with Italian architect Renzo Piano, the 1971 Pompidou Center in Paris reached levels of structural complexity previously unheard of. 

Pompidou Center (Photo Credit: Flickr user dalbera, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Pompidou Center, Detail (Photo Credit: Flickr user ainet, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Despite its sci-fi aesthetic, High Tech, like Metabolism, did not last very long as its projects were notoriously expensive. However, Rogers continued to build in the style, culminating in the Lloyd’s of London Building (1978-86) and the 2016 BBVA Bancomers Tower.

Corporate Architecture

The previously mentioned sub-factions of architecture were almost exclusively relegated to the public realm; that is, public housing, university buildings, museums, and other artistic institutions. The corporate architecture of the era was entirely separate from its experimental contemporaries. 

Spearheaded by architects like Kevin Roche, Philip Johnson, the previously Brutalist I.M. Pei, and massive firms like Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), the corporate architecture of the 60s and 70s took the aesthetics of the International Style glass tower set in place by Mies to the extremes of expression. 

(Photo Credits: WTC by Wikimedia Commons user Jeffmock; John Hancock Center by Wikimedia Commons user Golbez, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

American corporations needed to express their power resulted in an era of ambitious skyscraper building, whose prominent examples included the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York (Above Left, Minoru Yamasaki, 1969, destroyed by 9/11) and the John Hancock Center in Chicago (Above Right, SOM, 1968-70).

The glass tower reached the limits of its formal expression in buildings such as Kevin Roche’s One United Nations Plaza (Left; New York, 1976) and Philip Johnson’s Pennzoil Place (Right; Houston, 1975).

(Photo Credits: One UN Plaza by Flickr user boscdanjou [CC-BY-SA 2.0]; Pennzoil Place by Wikimedia Commons user agsftw [CC-BY-SA 3.0])

One UN Plaza took the glass tower of Mies and removed from its exterior any context of the scale of the interior spaces. Miniature windows in an endless grid combined with an unconventional exterior shape, leave the viewer unsure of the floorplan or height of each story. 

Pennzoil Place is similar in that its skin and shape conceals the interior layout, but excels in its technological fetishism: the space between the two conjoined towers is a sliver of only 10 feet. 

Both are faceless and vaguely threatening corporate buildings, flaunting their power, looming over their constituents. Both are quintessentially 70s. 

Conclusion

Though sweepingly innovative, the architecture of Late Modernity was quick to lose favor with the general public, who disliked the dogmatic forms and their association with failed housing projects and corporate giants. 

By 1975, Postmodernism was already well underway via Robert Venturi (a student of Louis Kahn) in America and James Sterling and Charles Moore in the UK. When the 1980s rolled around, Late Modern architecture became best known as the aesthetic of evil in speculative film.  (Shameless plug for my new job, by the way.)

Still, Late Modernism is amongst the most fascinating periods in the history of architecture - until recently, there has never been such rabid experimentation, idealism, or fear of the future, rooted in the belief that the built environment can, in fact, save the world. 


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series on Modernism as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it - especially this post, which covers my favorite period in architectural history. Stay tuned for Thursday’s Certified Dank McMansion, as well as next Sunday, where we return to our regular sprawl-related content, with a brief history of exurbia!

Also, if you haven’t checked out the Official McMansion Hell Store, I highly recommend it! 30% of the proceeds go to environmental, affordable housing, and architectural preservation charities. This month’s donation is going towards the North Carolina Botanical Garden and North Carolina Modernist Houses, two of my favorite organizations from my home state. 

As always, if you like this post, and want to see more like it (as well as get exclusive access to behind the scenes content) consider supporting me on Patreon! 

Edit: my browser’s autoeditor corrected Kahn to Khan every damn time and I didn’t catch it until now.
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In case you need another reason to love the Lucifer cast, I present you The best, funniest, beautiful and iconic things from their Instagram.

Batboys on Christmas: Expectations vs Reality.

Expectation:

-All the boys on time for Dinner.

-Fancy dinner and small talks.

-Expensive presents.

- Waiting ‘til 12 so they can open the presents.

- “Dear Santa, I wanted to ask you if you…”

- All Batfam reunited on the Manor for Christmas.

- Damian acting like a kid only for that day.

- Alfred cooking lots of food cuz it’s Christmas.

- “You’re the most incredible boys I’ve ever met, I’m so proud to call you my sons.” Bruce Wayne being such a good father.

-Feeling blessed for their family.

Reality:

- Jason probably arrives on January 1st.

- “Fuck, gimme the fucking pepper” Jason Todd 2016.

- “I found this in the garbage yesterday, merry Christmas, Tim” Damian Wayne such a smol bean.

- “WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR, YAAYY!!1!” Dick probably.


- “Hey, Old Man. I want a new jacket, and a new motorcycle.
-lots of love, me”


- Damian being confused on the fact of a fat guy in red will appear in the middle of the night to bring presents.

- Alfred cooking lots of food cuz he want and he can.

-Snowball fights.

- Bruce admiring his sons proudly in silence.

- Feeling so blessed for such a perfectly imperfect family.

Supernatural Cast + Spouses/Children (12/4/2016)

After getting this ask, I realised I hadn’t seen a post like this before… So here’s a list of the regular/recurring (4+ episodes) Supernatural cast’s spouses and children*

Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) - Wife: Genevieve Padalecki (Ruby 2.0), Children: Thomas Colton Padalecki, Austin Shepherd Padalecki

Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) - Wife: Danneel Harris Ackles, Children: Justice Jay Ackles, Zeppelin Bram Ackles, Arrow Rhodes Ackles

Misha Collins (Castiel) - Wife: Vicki Vantoch, Children: West Anaximander Collins, Maison Marie Collins

Mark Sheppard (Crowley) - Wife: Sarah Sheppard, Children: Isabella Rose Sheppard, Max Sheppard (with Jessica Sheppard), Will Sheppard (with Jessica Sheppard)

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