This center’s purpose is to introduce visitors to Fort Negley and to give them an understanding of the importance Fort Negley played in the civil war. I think it is a very interesting piece of architecture particularly because of the convergence of the fort ruins and the contemporary center. You can see that they used the same color stone and also columns. I might have thought that this would make the ruins look poorly, but I actually think that is complements them well. The center has three main areas: an exhibit lobby with enhanced graphics and interactive displays, a multi-purpose theater with capacity to seat 60 people, and an outdoor classroom. They used the outdoor classroom and its backdrop to give visual appreciation Civil War scenes. Overall, I think that this is something unique for architects to work with because of the historical element.
The COSI is an modern Museum dedicated to the advents of science and technology, including space. It is around 300,000 square feet and faces downtown Columbus on the Scioto River. It has an “ultra-contemporary” facade that adjoins the original structure. It also has a 3d theatre inside. From the pictures you can tell that this building is visually striking. The museum is hands-on museum, geared towards children but interesting to all ages. The firm Moody-Nolan contracted with lead designer, internationally renowned Arata Isozaki. The museum also partners with several different universities to create a collaborative learning environment.
The firm of Moody-Nolan designed the renovation and addition to the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s hub in downtown Columbus. As you can tell the new building is really sleek and modern. It is also very conventional and functional. The building has state-of-the-art machinery to aid in bus maintenance. It also has, I was surprised to learn, a health and wellness facility open to the public. I think this is a very cool program, especially when one considers the demographics of those who are mostly riding the buses. The building is also Leed certified gold, meaning that achieved a very high approval in terms of efficiency. The building cut-off lighting to save money. It has light-colored roofs and concrete to reflect the sun and save on cooling. It also took care to plant a high amount of durable grasses and plants that can endure the amount of foot traffic the highly populate area receives. I was really delighted to see such effort and investment going to a building for the public.
The University of Akron’s new Recreation Center and Field House is an impressive and well-designed building. With so many goals to meet and mold together, the designers of this building had both a big task and a really cool opportunity to undertake. This building includes centralized plaza serves indoor/outdoor track participants and spectators a three court gymnasium, two court multi-sports area, 56 foot high rock-climbing wall, cardiovascular area, free weight and strength training area, aerobics/dance studio, leisure pool and running/walking track, an indoor varsity golf facility, a field house with a varsity football practice field with a 60 foot-high clearance, a 300 meter six lane, indoor track, locker rooms and related spaces. That’s a mouthful. And, it is all enclosed a in a beautifully designed, curved, glass building allowing for views of the surrounding green campus. As a college student, one of the real pleasures is having access to first class athletic facilities. Although OU’s own “Huff” has its shortcomings, I still appreciate its existence. I can only imagine how much more I would exercise if I had all of the commodities of this center at Akron. I also love exercising in well-designed places. Something about health and contemporary design goes hand-in-hand. Very cool.
The International African American Museum has been contracted to be built by the City of Charleston, SC. This building has yet to be built. I found the plan for this building to be very interesting. I think the fact that it will be a museum that intends on telling a story provides the architects with a very special opportunity. Normally, designs are drawn around functional necessities like office space, lecture halls, or board rooms. A museum however, relies perhaps even more heavily on the building because of the nature of the physical path a visitor must take to visit the museum. Different parts of the museum will convey different messages, yet all will be fluid and connected. A simple room-to-room structure would fall far short of desire for a museum with a story. As opposed to an art museum with a room for the 17th, 18th, modern or abstract art exhibits, the IAAM needs to express the connectivity of African Americans of the past to today. We can see in the sketches of the building that a fluid movement is embraced. The architects have gotten together with the future museum curator and director to develop a cohesive building and design concept. I have been to wonderful art museums in the past, the guggenheim, the louvre, the MOMA, the smithsonian. The buildings were all beautiful, but I never appreciated the conventionality that I now retrospectively realize that made the museums really work well.
The CenturyLink Headquarters in Monroe Louisiana was designed my the Architectural Firm Moody-Nolan. The building boasts 300,000 sq. ft of space and was designed to be a walkable, breathable environmentally aware structure located in a grove of pecan trees. The design incorporates the use of fountains, pools, gardens and canopies to offer micro-climate controlled outdoor areas for recreation throughout the campus. This was a difficult task considering the natural climate is very hot and arid. The building itself is described by the firm as ” a layered “peeling” of curved forms which reinterpret the classic symmetry of the older building while interrupting the pervasive grid of the trees.” Furthermore, the building has a large portion of its roof covered in vegetation, aiding in the building’s climate efficiency. The building also has electro chromic glass which, almost like transition lens eye glasses, shades and clears as the sun changes, helping to reduce the buildings climate costs by 20%. Overall, I thought the environmental consciousness of the architects was fair and that the design of the building was great.
The Hagia Sophia was built in between the period of 537 and 1453 CE under the Emperor Justinian I. It originally served as a Greek Orthodox Church and was the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The church is considered “the epitome of Byzantine architecture and changed the world of architecture for ever.” It was the world’s largest dome for over a thousand years. The Hagia Sophia was one of the oldest building I had visited when I went. It went through a great many changes in churches and even religions. Thankfully, each new tenant treated the previous’ work with respect , and so you can see painting, murals and other works of art from all periods of the church’s existence. Of course, artistic forms progressed through the periods, and it is so interesting to see the different ways that biblical figures and scenes were depicted. More than anything else, it is a very special feeling to be in a place where so many people for so long have been and to experience what they felt. We have so many buildings and structures today on such a huge scale, and this building was big to me. I can’t imagine the effect it must have had on someone from 550 CE.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque, was built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I in 1609-1616. The Blue Mosque is adjacent the more famous Hagia Sophia Cathedral. I visited both buildings and for different reasons, I preferred the Blue Mosque. It is an absolutely incredible building, particularly because of its scale. It is huge! And, it is certainly beautiful. Visiting the Blue Mosque was obviously set in the context of my visit to Istanbul and greater Turkey. One of the more significant parts of this country is the call to worships that are sung in Arabic from the minarets of all the Mosques throughout the city. I found the calls, which are sung in Arabic poetry, to be beautiful. I visited the Blue Mosque during one of these calls and observed hundreds of Muslims come to pray for a few minutes. I was able to join them. I was overwhelmed by the peace that surrounded the space inside the mosque, not to mention the beauty of the enormous domed ceiling that had been tiled by thousands of nickel-sized, blue tiles. It was a very moving and life-changing experience.
Topkapi was one of the palaces of the Ottoman Sultans during the period of 1465–1856. The palace is overwhelmingly vast, ornate and luxurious. It is perched on top of a hill on the Coast of the Bosphorus – the edge of Istanbul. When I toured this palace, I was overwhelmed with visions of the movie Aladdin, any ’90s kid knows what I mean. If there is any place that inspired that movie, it’s this palace. The scenery of the location is spectacular. The architecture of the palace is also absolutely incredible. The arches, vaulted and domed ceilings are employed widely, granting every space a sort of loftiness or spaciousness that really instills a sense of luxury. Additionally, the ottomans were fixated with mosaics and tiling. Every wall and ceiling is covered in what must have been the most time-consuming process of tiling in either a pattern of mosaic scene. It will leave you wanting every space of your own home covered in tile. Ha!
I visited Milan this past Summer, and I saw some of the most impressive architectural gems the world has to offer. This gothic, Medieval cathedral took 6 centuries to complete. It is the the 5th largest church in the world and the second largest in Italy. It is a Catholic Cathedral, home to the Archbishop of Milan. Enough of the cool history and facts. This building is absolutely breathtaking. The detail of the stone work of the building is almost unending. It has literally hundreds of spires. It truly is understandable that it took 600 years for this building to be completed, and over 80 architects oversaw its construction, including Leonardo DaVinci. The interior of the building is just as impressive as the exterior. It is covered in frescoes of Christian figures and scenes. It is right in the center of the old part of the City and is surrounded by a vast piazza (square) with fine dining options all over the perimeter. The piazza is permanently inhabited by pedestrians, tourists, and salesmen.
One can only be inspired by the feats humans can accomplish. This building is truly one of the greatest accomplishments of western culture.