Tag: Architecture

Romania, 2017

I spent 2 weeks in Timisoara, Romania in December, following Clément on a business trip.
I spent my days walking around the city center, taking pictures, drawing and drinking tea in Libraria Carturesti – strada Mercy.
The buildings in ‘Timi’ are fascinating by their colours and the fact the you can observe the time passing on them. During the weekends we went to Băile Herculane, Arad and Hunedoara.
 


 
The spa town of Băile Herculane has a long history of human habitation, inhabited since the Paleolithic era. Legend has it that the weary Hercules stopped in the valley to bathe and rest. Unearthed stone carvings show that visiting Roman aristocrats turned the town into a Roman leisure center. In modern times, the spa town has been visited for its supposedly natural healing properties: hot springs with sulfur, chlorine, sodium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals, as well as negatively ionized air. Before World War II, when the first modern hotel was built (i.e. H Cerna, 1930) it remained a popular destination with Western Europeans. During the Communist rule, mass tourism facilities were built, such as the 8- to 12-storied concrete hotels. Nowadays, the old spa buildings are abandoned, almost demolished ; the Austrian Imperial Baths building is ruined as well as the bridges over the Cerna river. Almost everything is in bad shape. It has the feel of a ‘ghost resort’. We managed to go inside the ‘Spa’ and it was both heartbreaking and fascinating. It must have been a very beautiful and relaxing place in the past. It made us realised how fast buildings and places can loose their hour of glory: even after being at the top for centuries it took only a decade to crumbled. At the same time it is very beautiful and a paradise for photographer: we spent at least two hours taking pictures and imagining how it was just few years back. You can read a good testimony in Vice about how the town is ‘Crumbling’ illustrated by beautiful pictures HERE.
 

 
The following week end we went to Hunedoara to see the Gothic-Renaissance Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and figures in a list of the seven wonders of Romania.
The legend said that it was the place where Vlad III of Wallachia (commonly known as Vlad the Impaler) was held prisoner by John Hunyadi, Hungary’s military leader and regent during the King’s minority, for 7 years after Vlad was deposed in 1462. Later, Vlad III entered a political alliance with John Hunyadi, although the latter was responsible for the execution of his father, Vlad II Dracul. Because of these links, the Hunedora Castle is sometimes mentioned as a source of inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Castle Dracula (from Wikipedia).
 

 
Another interesting discovery were the ‘Gypsies houses’ outside the city center of Timi. They are empty and barricaded castle like house, built by families of Gypsies, where they will use when they have families meetings such as weddings. They were for me really fascinating by their size, the mystery around them and the stories they could tell about their owners. Some beautiful shot of the interior of Houses (probably not the ones I photographed) HERE.
 

 

Constellation

 

Named Constell.ation, LIKEarchitects month-long intervention comprised several clusters of slender arches, which were made by filling red corrugated tubes with LED lighting. The clusters were scattered around the grounds of the Portuguese Presidential Residence in Lisbon, a building that now functions as a museum but whose gardens had not before been accessible to the general public. The arch – a primordial element in architecture – has the inherent power to create space and, at the same time, to build a physical relation between two places,” said Aguiar.

The reinterpretation of lightning elements associated with Christmas, has found in the multiplication of lighting arches – which usually embrace the city streets – the opportunity to form an whole intervention composed with different moments, in different places, which intended to hold a continuous diffusion within the different levels of the classical garden, celebrating the Nativities without recurring to common places associated this special festivity.

Materialised by a network of contiguous arches in red corrugated tube, illuminated by a LED lighting system, Conste.llation delicately dances on the gardens, connecting spaces and crafting unexpected routes. The arch – a primordial element in architecture – has the inherent power to create space (under, inside, etc.), and, at the same time, to build a physical relation between two places (between, inside, etc.) being related also to the idea of connection and unification.

article on Deezen

Tickle Cock Bridge

 

“DSDHA redeveloped the main pedestrian entry to the centre, Tickle Cott Bridge, to provide a warm, welcoming yet intimate landscape solution that provides seating and a safe route for users.

Having taken time to consult the public, DSDHA’s Deborah Saunt and Sam Potter initiated radical improvements to the derelict underpass and narrow pathways, and instead created a well designed public space where people could meet comfortably and no longer have to huddle up close to one another as they filed through the darkness. DSDHA worked in collaboration with the innovative Artist Martin Richman and he has been responsible for new lighting and a flock lining to the concrete structure – echoing the location’s more popular name of Tickle Cock Bridge. Working with a local historian anecdotes were unearthed about the ribald goings on and cherished relationships that grew out of late-night assignations at Tickle Cock Bridge….and that Victorian prudery had eradicated by naming it Tittle Cott Bridge, thus sanitising a key part of the town’s popular culture.

Meanwhile, DSDHA have developed the design to involve completely rebuilding the existing 1890s underpass as well as creating new public space. It include an multi-facetted and generous seating shelter with room for people to rest, along with and open plaza and green space which replaces overgrown wasteland and tumbledown walls.

Built on an extremely tight budget and with the challenging logistics of working under a live railway line, the project challenges one pre-conceptions of how the less significant places in our town’s deserve well designed infrastructure to compliment the more prominent projects that regeneration attracts. Here, everyday life is improved for thousands on an intimate and immediate level, working in tandem with the new town square and market place improvements– and the good news is that the shops in Castleford are now opening on Sunday… ” From DSDHA