Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

New Chicago Apple Store

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Check these out: “Photos from the opening of the Chicago Lincoln Park Apple Store“.

Here’s the best one:

It’s Apple’s newest “Significant Store”, and it’s on the site of a former gas station.


Khan Shatyry

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Just read a story about the Khan Shatyry Entertainment Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan. Er, the whatnow?

Well, the reason it caught my eye was the title: “The New Dubai?

It’s pretty fantastic, really, it’s a 150 meter high dome in the capital of Kazakhstan – an indoor city – that’s supposed to be done next month.

The dome will create a greenhouse effect, protecting the city from the severe cold; apparently in Astana it can reach -40 degrees Celsius.

Er, -40 degrees Fahrenheit.


Here’s some cool art:

Fringe Finale

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I’m going to let my geek flag wave here today – over the weekend I watched the first part of the Fringe season finale. Sorry it’s so closely on the heels of a similar post just last month (see Back to the Alternative Future).

So this week we’re back in the Fringe alternate universe, but it’s the present day this time. First off they started out with an alternate red tinted credit sequence:

Hey, waitaminute, “First People”? In the normal credits it’s “Parallel Universes”:

Interesting …

Alternate New York City still has the World Trade Center and airships up the yin-yang (likely they didn’t have a Hindenburg disaster) but they also have a fairly esoteric early 20th century architecture reference – Antoni Gaudí’s proposed Grand Hotel:

The hotel was designed in the early 1900s but (obviously) never built. It actually looks quite a bit like a super-sized version of London’s Swiss Re Building:

Apparently there’s an architecture geek on the writing or production staff.

This New York still has a Statue of Liberty, although somehow theirs has retained its original copper-bronze hue:

Also, as you can see from the title, it appears that Fort Wood is the home of the alternate universe Department of Defense.

I’m still taken aback by the lack of Verdigris on the Statue; we can either assume that the science behind corrosion works differently in the alternate universe (which is unlikely), that the Statue has been rebuilt (perhaps their September 11th attacks had different targets) or a third, unknown reason.

Moving on, my favorite jokes of the episode are the numismatically inclined. The defense forces in the alternate world find a dead human from our world and go through his wallet. They’re particularly confused by our money:

“Who’s ‘Jackson’?”

Wow, so either the guy doesn’t know who his seventh President was, or someone else was their seventh President. Naturally this, in conjunction with the “First People” bit above, leads me to wonder about that universe’s Creek War and Seminole Wars – with no Andrew Jackson were Native Americans treated more humanely in this universe?

Or maybe I’m overthinking this.

The next one blew me out of the water, though; in wanting to compare their $20 to ours, they asked for “a Junior”.



So either Martin Luther King, Jr was a President, or they’re keeping in line with the Hamiltons and Franklins and put influential non-Presidents on money.

Either way, bad-ass.

They also use dollar coins over there:

Shocking, I know. The front was even moreso:

So Reverend King and Richard Nixon made it onto the money in this world?!


Honestly I took this more as a homage to Watchmen, where Nixon was still President in 1985 (after the repeal the 22nd Amendment and the suspicious murders of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein).

This next thing, it’s just weird and funny:

Yup, The West Wing season eleven. Why the The West Wing? Maybe because both it and Fringe are produced by Warner Brothers Television?

Maybe they’re just fans?

The last one was startling, check out the map in the background:

Time to turn to the internets for help. I found an article at SciFiWire: “Secrets of the alternate U.S.A. from Fox’s Fringe.” They saw the map in-person on set and say this:

California has clearly suffered a major catastrophe; half of it is gone, presumably underwater.

The state of Washington is called “Southern British Columbia.” (A wink to the crew of Fringe, which is shot in Canada’s British Columbia?)

Nevada is called “Independent Nevada.”

Texas is divided into two states: North Texas and South Texas.

Oklahoma and Kansas are combined into a large state called “Midland.”

North and South Carolina are combined into a single state called simply “Carolina.”

Louisiana is called “Louisiana Territory.”

The area around Washington, D.C., is called “District of Virginia” instead.

The upper peninsula of Michigan doesn’t exist.

The map designates red “quarantine areas” and blue “incident areas,” presumably either places that have been cleared of all life or areas of unusual “Pattern”-related activity. The biggest red quarantine areas are in Delaware, eastern New York and southern Maine.

I’d say it’s more Eastern Maine, say Hancock County?


Sorry Bar Harbor, MDI. You lose. Better luck next alternate universe …

Transbay Transit Center

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Check out the design for San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center released a few weeks ago.

When it’s completed in 2017, it’ll be the hub for twelve different transit systems, including the yet-to-be-built California High Speed Rail program.

I think the rooftop park (including outdoor amphitheater, playground and lily pond) is genius.

For more, check out the World Architecture News.

MIT Media Lab

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Check out this neat new building in Boston (okay, okay, Cambridge) that opened on Friday. The new hq for the MIT Media Lab was designed by Fumihiko Maki and Associates.

MIT Media Lab

Photo by Andy Ryan/MIT

When I was at BU one of my buddies was at MIT and the Media Lab. It always sounded like a geek playground. I went over there once, in about 1996 or 1997, to see Bran Ferren speak. Genius.

I wonder how many people in that auditorium are millionaires now?

Anyway, for more on the building (and the lab) check out the Wall Street Journal: “MIT Unveils New Digital Sandbox.”

Red Sox Spring Training Facility

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Today the Boston Red Sox released details of their new Spring Training Ballpark and Player Development Complex that’ll open in Fort Meyers, Florida in 2012.

Similar to Minor League Sea Dogs’ Hadlock Field, there’s a replica Green Monster at the new park:

Populous/Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc.

Populous/Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc.

New US Embassy in London

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I love architecture. In another life I could have designed buildings. I just read an interesting article in the New York Times about the new United States Embassy in London: “A New Fort, er, Embassy, for London.”

Here’s the design they picked:

Kierantimberlake Architects

Key quote from the article:

The project as a whole, however, is a fascinating study in how architecture can be used as a form of camouflage. The building is set in a spiraling pattern of two small meadows and a pond that have as much to do with defensive fortification as with pastoral serenity: an eye-opening expression of the irresolvable tensions involved in trying to design an emblem of American values when you know it may become the next terrorist target.

Over at the Embassy’s official page they have a few more renderings, including this one that’s much more spikey than the last:

Kierantimberlake Architects