I have been to Canada many times and the last time I went to Toronto, Ontario I saw the Gooderham Building. It draws you in by its interesting narrow or “flatiron” shape. Its surrounded by modern buildings so it really stands out. It was designed by Toronto architect David Roberts Jr. The City of Toronto designated the building under the Ontario Heritage Act and, in 1977, the Ontario Heritage Trust secured a heritage easement on the building. I loved the uniqueness of the building and how it stood out among all the other buildings. It grabs your attention and almost forced me to look at its details. If you ever find yourself in Toronto, you should definitely stop and see the Gooderham Building!
Queen’s Cross Church in Glasgow, Scotland is the only church designed by the famous Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This gothic church has some very unique features unlike the other surrounding churches. This church does not have a towering spire or large cross. But instead is a more gothic, and more humble look to it. The first memorial stone was laid on June 23, 1898 and the first service that was held in the church was in September of the following year! It’s impressive that over 100 years ago, without all of the technology we currently have that Mackintosh was able to construct this building in just over a year. To this day, Queen’s Cross Church still hosts regular services, weddings and other events, not only making it a beautiful church, but also a sturdy and enduring church that was well built and still is put to good use every week.
My family and I went and stayed at the Stanley Hotel in 2012. The Stanley was built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley (inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile). It is well known for its architecture. It has an old world charm to it and has beautiful views due to being at the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Stanley is a beautiful hotel and has so much history. The downside is that it is considered one of America’s most haunted hotels. Stephen King’s, The Shining, was inspired by the Stanley after he had stayed and experienced some of the hotels paranormal activity. Haunting’s have been recorded since 1911. So knowing that information alone, I was excited but terrified to stay here. We had a great time and even took their ghost tour. Lets just say I didn’t sleep the 3 nights we were there. It was a fun experience and an incredibly beautiful hotel but I enjoy my sleep so I probably wont return!
For me, the movie “The Big Lebowski” is one of my all time favorites. My dad first showed it to me at what was probably too young of an age and at first I did not understand any of the jokes and hated it. As time grew on and I began to mature, the movie started making much more sense to me and I grew to love it. In one scene, the main character goes to this house to make a deal, and the first time I saw the movie I was immediately drawn to this house. After doing some research, I discovered that this house is known as the Sheats-Goldstein residence. Built in 1961 by John Lautner, the house sits in the Beverley Crest Valley, just outside of Beverley Hills and sports an amazing view of downtown LA, as you can sort of see in the 3rd picture. The house was built from the inside out, with the designer wanting it to have a very close relationship with nature. It is an example of American Organic Architecture.
Here is another example of elemental architecture from Chris Pardo. This is an awesome design! The kitchen looks very spacious. Even the refrigerator is built into the wall to maximize space. I do find it odd, however, that there are two chairs missing from the picture… Who sits like that? My favorite part about this design is definitely the garage door patio. Seattle weather would be perfect for opening up the garage door for some fresh air. There are even solar panels outside. I think Chris Pardo did a great job designing the South Park Lofts. If I ever find myself working in Seattle, I’ll definitely have to look into these.
These are the introductory sketches by Steven Holl of what would be the Sliced Porosity Block, located in the center of Chengdu, China.
To say this building is impressive is an understatement. The idea behind it was to create a large public space for multiple purposes that harnesses natural light, instead of another skyscraper. The structure was built from concrete and glass.
Holl incorporates natural light, geometric angles, a modern look, water features, and a natural flow.
The center is formed into three valleys which were inspired by a local poet, Du Fu’s work. “From the northeast storm-tossed to the southwest, time has left stranded in Three Valleys.” He coins the term “micro urbanism”.
Modern architecture tends to feel cold to me, but when it’s at this scale, I can’t help but be take aback by it. If I were to visit, it would probably take my breath away.
I have visited the Saint Francis Monastery in Lima, Peru three different times. This place has left such an impression on me, even years later. The church and convent were completed in 1774. The church itself is Spanish Baroque style. The main altar (shown below) is completely carved out of wood and layered with gold leaf.
The convent is gorgeous, decorated with massive fresco paintings and beautiful landscaping.
The library was mostly roped off due to the age of books on display. It reminded me of the library on Beauty and the Beast; it was completely packed from floor to ceiling, had multiple floors, and smelled as you would expect.
The reason most people visit though, is to see the catacombs. It seems like there are endless halls and tunnels underground filled with thousands of bones. After a while, I became phased by how many bones there were. It seemed overwhelming that they were all real. The coolest part was a large well in the catacombs, that when you looked down, was filled with skulls and bones in a geometric patter (shown below).
Our tour guide was a nun who worked for the museum. She shared stories of why people had to be buried there, and how in a lot of cases, the families of these people will never really know where exactly their remains are.
My Catholic faith has a way of penetrating every aspect of my life. When it comes to travel, my favorite part is getting to go to mass in cathedrals that are older than my family’s existence in the United States. Lima is dripping with Catholic history, which made it so special for me.
While this picture isn’t necessarily the best quality I had to put this building on the blog as it was my safe place when I lived in Kigali, Rwanda two years ago. This was the place where I got to see the heart of the Rwandan people and ultimately was able to understand the culture fully. This was the hotel where you woke up in the morning to breakfast on the terrace with hot african tea and sweet plantains. It truly was an incredible experience as you felt like royalty inside the bedrooms with the sheer curtains blowing in the wind at night as you laid in a canopy bed listening to the sounds from the city. I would do anything to go back to this place to see the people who run it and just live within the culture one last time.
When I visited the holocaust museum I was immediately overcome with emotion as it truly was a gloomy place. As you can see in the photo the weather was dreary and most everything around the area was made of hard, cold limestone. I found that as I walked through this maze of gray and went underground into the actual museum that I felt the emotion that overtook the nations during this terrible event. Nothing about each day of this tragic historical event was happy but instead a place of gloom and unending days of sadness. However, I am happy I was able to experience the museum as a whole because it showed me the entire picture as well as highlighted the people who were truly affected by this awful series of events.
This is the Stanley Hotel located in Estes Park, Colorado. It was built in 1909. It is famous for many reasons. One reason is because it is notorious for being haunted and was inspiration for Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.” My family and I visited it five summers ago while playing in a softball competition. It was very creepy and my friend claims she saw an orb. The elevator wasn’t working that day and the staff told us it breaks down and begins working all on its own. The other reason it is famous is because of its beautiful Georgian architecture. I like the large windows and porch of the building. Right when you enter the hotel, there is a beautiful grand staircase. This is somewhere I would like to visit again in my lifetime.