Notable High Buildings of the World, 1896

Notable High Buildings of the World, 1896

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Click on Image for VIDEO

Click on Image for VIDEO

Historians had believed modern-day Istanbul was first settled around 700 BC.

However, a grave that has been recently discovered at the site of a rail project instantaneously added 6000 years to Istanbul’s history.

“We found the grave, pots and other artifacts. There were signs of houses made of tree-branches and next to the settlement was a swamp where we found small tools, wooden pieces and bones,” explains Ismail Karamut, head of the Istanbul Archaeology museum, which is leading the dig.

“It all shows there was a Neolithic settlement here in the historic peninsula of Istanbul where people lived, farmed and fished,” he adds.

The Neolithic era – when man abandoned the nomadic, hunting lifestyle and settled to farm the land and raise cattle – began east of here, gradually carrying the foundations of “civilised” life west, to Europe. The new find in Istanbul helps map that transition.

“Neolithic culture changed as it moved west. Not all of what we call the ‘Neolithic package’ was transferred,” explains Professor Mehmet Ozdogan of Istanbul University.

“Domesticated animals and some of the cereal crops came, but mud brick became wooden architecture, settlements were re-organised. The transformation is important to understand the Neolithic culture in Europe. Every new site adds data to the picture.”

The team’s first major discovery was a section of the first city walls, believed to date back to Constantine I.

As anticipated, they also uncovered a 4th Century port – once the busiest in Byzantium – and the stunningly well-preserved remains of more than 30 wooden ships, many wrecked in storms in the 10th and 11th centuries.

“We’re expecting to find more – maybe a small settlement,” Yasar Anilir explains. “We have to remove the Byzantine ships first, then we can complete our dig.”

Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh.

Tagore Theater: Essence Is In Its Interior Design and Layout

Tagore Theater of Chandigarh in India, designed by Ar. Aditya Prakash, is one of the master prices of modern architecture and symbolic of Chandigarh’s architecture style.

Dr Vikramaditya Prakash of University of Washington shares the very interesting story of how the Tagore Theater of Chandigarh was designed,  built, and named. The key players here were Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret along with famous film personalities Prithviraj Kapoor and Zul Vellani.

Story of its Design

Tagore Theater: Story of its Design

Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and Pierre Jeannerete

Conversation: Ar. Aditya Prakash, Le Corbusier, and Pierre Jeanneret

Tagore Theater has been redesigned. However, should it or rather can it still be called ‘Tagore Theater’? What defines building’s identity?

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Ar. Aditya Prakash, Chandigarh

Ar. Aditya Prakash, Chandigarh

On August 12, 2008 city of Chandigarh (India) lost an eminent architect, designer, painter, a theater enthusiast, academician, Le Corbusier’s associate. He was Ar. Aditya Prakash.

News Release- Aditya Prakash, Indian Modernist

He was on his way to Mumbai for staging the play Life Never Retires, created by G.S. Channi, in which he played the central character. He died on the way, at Ratlam station.

Aditya Prakash is well known in the world of modern architecture as Le Corbusier’s associate in the planning, design and building of the Chandigarh Capital Project which was initiated by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Edwin Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer. Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be “unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation’s faith in the future.”

Le Corbusier with Pandit Nehru

Le Corbusier with Pandit Nehru

Designed in a grid pattern, Chandigarh stands out from the rest of India with its clean lines, broad avenues and imposing government buildings built on a vast scale in concrete with columns, ramps, sculpted roof lines and screens to protect against the punishing sun.

Prakash joined the Chandigarh Capital Project in November of 1952 as one of the nine architects on the team. He had just finished studying architecture at the London Polytechnic, and became an A.R.I.B.A. in 1951.

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Mumbai's Cybertecture Egg

Mumbai's Cybertecture Egg

India has been on world architecture news for a while now. Antilla has hardly left the headlines,  Cybertecture Egg has already taken a place on top.

Talk of intelligent design- this building will surpass all that fall in this category. You will see it built by 2010.

The concept. The concept was inspired by considering the world as an ecosystem allowing life to evolve. Elements of the design and intelligence systems will work together to give the building’s inhabitants the ‘best space to work in’.

The design. The 32,000 sq m egg-shaped building will accommodate 13 floors of offices bringing together “iconic architecture, environmental design, intelligent systems, and new engineering to create an awe-inspiring landmark in the city.”

Within the building, there will be a series of innovative systems such as ‘cybertecture health’ which is designed to keep track of the inhabitant’s health including blood pressure and weight. The data collected may be retrieved and sent to a doctor if deemed necessary.

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Construction plans for the site of Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut (1954) in Ronchamp (France) commissioned by the Association Oeuvre Notre Dame du Haut (the same organization that commissioned the chapel by Le Corbusier), has ignited a serious debate and disagreement between organizations seeking to preserve Le Corbusier’s legacy.

Notre Dame du Haut (1954) in Ronchamp, France

The New Plan. The new plan calls for the replacement of an existing visitor’s center and asphalt parking lot with a new visitor center dug into the hillside and a landscaped parking lot. It also features a new facility to host 12 Poor Clare nuns and their visitors. The convent—to be located primarily underground, about 300 feet west of the chapel—would contain small, independent residential units and an oratory open to pilgrims. According to the association, the overall goal of the project is to rehabilitate the site and ensure it remains a place of worship.

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Paskov House one of architectural jewels of Russia was under restoration for 19 years, was closed down due to its dilapidated state. Pashkov House is named after its first owner Petr Yegorovich Pashkov, the lieutenant commander of the Life Guards of Semenovsky Regiment and the son of Peter the Great’s batman.

Pashkov House

Pashkov House

Designed by Vasily Bazhenov (1737-1799), one of Russia’s greatest architects, this mansion was erected between 1784 and 1786 for the wealthy Pashkov family. The central building is topped by a round belvedere and flanked by two service wings. The current building is a reconstruction of a private mansion that was badly damaged in the disastrous fire of 1812, which swept through the city as the first of Napoleon’s troops were arriving.

In the 19th century it housed the Rumyantsev collection of art and rare manuscripts and a library, and from 1925it has been a part of the Lenin Library, the second largest in the world, after the Library of Congress, and a magnet for international scholars, even during the Soviet era. Following the 1917 revolution, the museum was closed and the art collection was transferred to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art. The manuscripts were donated to the Russian State Library which now owns this building. Pashkov House is off-limits to the general public, but after years of neglect, the government finally pledged funds for restoration work, which began in 2003. Money for the state-financed restoration finally started to flow after the visit from Vladimir V. Putin, the former president.

In a city where architectural monuments are readily torn down or gaudily renovated beyond recognition, Pashkov House, which reopened in October after an $80 million renovation, is one of the few restoration projects lauded by preservationists.

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