So where is the architecture?

Believe it or not there is architecture everywhere.

It is likely you will not need to travel across an ocean to get to see beautiful buildings and design.  I read book many years ago called Outside Lies Magic by John R. Stilgoe, I thought the book was only semi-interesting but I loved its premise.  In short Stilgoe was suggesting that there is inspiration everywhere when you become acutely aware of everyday places and observe the ordinary elements around you.  The book covered some mundane stuff but what I took from it was the idea that there is design and architecture everywhere as long as you are looking for it.

Apartment Building  Herzog de Mueron inspiration

Apartment Building, Basel in Switzerland by Herzog and De Mueron, did inspiration come from the road sewer grate?
 

So I suggest that architecture is not far, it could be in your backyard.

Next time you are out on a walk or taking a bike ride – observe the buildings around you.  Most people take their everyday environments for granted and no longer see beauty and design right in front of them.  I sometimes bringing a camera which helps me focus and pay extra attention to the magical moments and minute details.

Iconic architecture can be a short road trip away.  There are many wonderful projects that are not in a city centre but a bit off the beaten track – they could be a day trip or weekend excursions.  These projects are great excuses to just get away for a day or two.

These are some of my architecture road trips:

Fallingwater

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Pennsylvania, a spectacular building and a memorable experience (6 hour road trip from Toronto).

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre by Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden architects in Osoyoos, British Columbia, I had read about the rammed earth wall and wanted to see it in person (5 hour road trip from Vancouver)

Ronchamp

La Chapelle de Ronchamp Notre Dame du Haut by Le Corbusier in Ronchamp France, had been on my bucket list since architecture school (a couple hour drive from Basel)

La Tourette Church by Le Corbusier

Sainte Marie de La Tourette by Le Corbusier outside Lyon, this spiritual convent was inspirational and spiritual (less than an hour outside Lyon, France)

Felsen Therma Vals

Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor in Vals, Switzerland, I was lucky to get into this thermal spa, architecture which touches all the senses (about 2.5 hours from Zurich)

The Bauhaus in Dessau Germany by Walter Groupius

The Bauhaus in Dessau Germany by Walter Groupius

The Bauhaus Dessau by Walter Gropius, Dessau Germany, any modernist would love to visit the school where modern architecture was born (1.5 hours outside Berlin)

ChurchOfLight

Church of Light by Tadao Ando in Ibaraki, Japan, I missed this project because I got very turned around a lost so it is still on my bucket list (just over an hour from Kyoto)

Suprising architecture

Vitra Design Museum, projects by Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, SANAA and more Weil am Rhein Germany, a campus of architecture (less than 30min from Basel)

a happy groupie is an architecture GROUPIE

visit www.archgroupie.com the architecture directory

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2 comments

  1. Hello, please note on the entry for Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre the construction is referred to as “ramped earth”. This is an example of rammed earth, so named due to the construction process is to compress (ram) earth into a solid sandstone like material. This is specifically a SIREWALL, a Stabilized Insulated Rammed Earth WALL. This project was constructed by Terra Firma Builders, the construction wing of SIREWALL inc.
    – Vincent Hanni
    Arch Tech, Construction Supervisor, and Consultant for SIREWALL and TFB.

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