A newly-built, near-circular house in Thornbury, England, is now on the market -
Archives For 21st century
Time and again, when people are asked to choose between an object that’s linear and one that’s curved, they prefer the latter. That goes for watches with circular faces, letters rendered in a curly font, couches with smooth cushions — even dental floss with round packaging.
Recently neuroscientists have shown that this affection for curves isn’t just a matter of personal taste; it’s hard-wired into the brain …. “Curvature appears to affect our feelings, which in turn could drive our preference.”
The circle-studded facade of NYC’s Dream Downtown Hotel -
The hotel is the latest incarnation of an iconic 1966 building designed by Louisiana architect Albert C. Ledner, known for a sort of playful, oddball modernism. Just off Ninth Avenue, stretching between West 16th and 17th Street, the building was recently transformed by Handel Architects. The building’s 16th Street facade, above, was covered in shiny stainless steel, as was its 17th Street facade (on the left, below, in its original red-brick cladding).
The building’s circular motif — equally in evidence in the adjoining Ledner-designed structure, the white tile and concrete Maritime Hotel — reflects the structure’s history. Both buildings were originally annexes to the headquarters of the National Maritime Union: the porthole windows were a coy reference to life at sea.
Ledner, whose use of circular forms extends from his professional to his personal life, or vice-versa, lives in a round house of his own design in New Orleans.
In an interview with The Guardian, architect Zaha Hadid talks about resisting rectangular design. “The world is not a rectangle,” she insists. “You don’t go into a park and say: ‘My God, we don’t have any corners.’”
This is the stuff you might own -
For nearly a decade, photographer Huang Qingjun has been taking pictures of families in rural China, together with their houses and all of their belongings. This picture is from 2007.
A defensive fortress from the Napoleonic era was converted in 2009 to a private residence -
Made up of some 750,000 bricks, with immensely thick walls, Martello Tower Y was originally built in 1808 as a coastal outpost against an expected invasion from Napoleon’s France. The years passed, the French attack never came, and the building fell into disrepair. It was totally derelict when renovations began, 200 years after its construction.
With the death of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer on December 5, the world has lost a leading proponent of curved, rounded, wavy and spiraling forms. A modernist innovator, Niemeyer, who began working in the late 1930s, eschewed the straight lines and boxy shapes that had characterized modernism up to that time.
“Right angles don’t attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man,” explained Niemeyer in The Curves of Time, his 1998 memoir. “What attracts me are free and sensual curves. The curves we find in mountains, in the waves of the sea, in the body of the woman we love.”