Friday, February 11, 2011

Architecture - the best of the best

St Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, onion domes influenced by the Ottoman Empire 
Alain de Botton, the fabulous philospher who writes prolifically about architecture and its bearing on happiness and what we can learn about those who create, embrace, or reject certain manifestations of architecture explains that:  Architects seek beauty, but they also speak of ideals, beliefs, and values through their designs. He also states that bad architecture is a failure of psychology. And because successful architecture is an expression of our ideals and a satisfier of our psychological needs, our homes serve as a reminder of who we are and as propaganda (“the promotion of any doctrine or set of beliefs”) to those who visit it.

I do like his choice of words “We can be moved by a column that meets a roof with grace, by worn stone steps that hint at wisdom and by a Georgian doorway that demonstrates playfulness and courtesy in its fanlight windows.”  I can only agree - that's what beautiful architecture does for me.

Le Tour Eiffel - this picture captures a time and place in Paris beautifully.

Designed by iconic architect IM Pei - a study in Feng Shui
When Hong Kong was signed over to the Chinese in 1997, nothing sent a message like the Bank of China building did.
The Gotham or 'Batman' building - Brisbane Australia
I had to put a Brisbane building in here!  Holy hell Batman what is so good about this building!  The building underneath was ugly and an eyesore!  Yes Robin the Law Courts building got a huge facelift and now the Gotham building is an iconic Brisbane landmark.

Castle Howard, Yorkshire - represented the melancholy of Brideshead Revisited
Isn't this a beautiful castle?  Set amid beautiful grounds, owned by the Howard family, this is one place I'd love to live.

Charles Bridge - Prague....sublime
The site of the INX film clip of "Never Tear Us Apart" - this bridge is hundreds of years old.  Lined with statues of the saints and rulers of Prague it has a mystical and timeless appeal.  Helped by the fact it is located in the world's most beautiful city.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Spain - Frank Gehry's best
The winner of the building of the century.  It is awe-inspiring and the use of movement and light reflecting materials is inspirational.

King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein Castle - a prototype of Disneyland
Located in Bavaria, this dreamlike castle was inhabited by the mad King Ludwig.  But Fantasyland in Disneyland was modelled after this.

Neo-gothic magnificence - St Pancras Station, London
This station would have to be the most magnificent and stately station in the world.  I found it breathtaking.

The Old Museum, Brisbane - same neogothic architecture

Old Museum gardens in late 1800s
This building is one of my favourites in Brisbane.  It evokes so many feelings in me that I stare at it as I drive by travelling down Gregory Terrace.

Duomi Cathedral - Milan...The Wedding Cake church

This cathedral is absolutely magnificent.  Built over centuries with bits and pieces added to it, it is like an over-decorated cake.  More is defintely more!

Jardine House - complete with portholes, Hong Kong
I loved Jardine House, the first time I saw it.  What I loved was that the architecture reflected a period in the history of 'the fragrant island' in particular the British shipping trade in and out of Hong Kong - note the window design of portholes.

House on the Bosphorus, Turkey


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