Arabic patterning

Cordoba Mezquita, Spain. Circa late-700s. What is it? Due to its proscription against artistic representations of people and animals, Islam has long turned to calligraphy, botany and abstract patterns for architectural ornamentation. Over the centuries, this narrow artistic field has seen the development of great variety and depth. Arabic calligraphy flows across walls in myriad... Continue Reading →

La Sagrada Familia

What is it? Extraordinary cathedral in the centre of Barcelona by Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudí (1852 - 1926), who dedicated the last years of his life to its design and construction. Work on the project continued after his death, but was halted during the Spanish Civil War and for many years after. It resumed again... Continue Reading →

Santiago Calatrava

Who is he? Santiago Calatrava is a spanish engineer-turned-architect famous for his expressive, dramatically curving structural compositions. He has completed projects all over the world - our recent travels have brought us to some of those across Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. The projects shown here via photograph include the Oriente Train Station in Lisbon,... Continue Reading →

The burden of Italian cities

What do we think? Having now spent a considerable time living in and travelling around Italy, we have been able to observe an unsettling pattern amongst Italian cities. Their centres are, without doubt, amongst the most beautiful and humane in the world. Even Milan, normally understood to be the ugly cousin of knockout cities like... Continue Reading →

2010 World Architecture Festival – an overview

What is it? The third installment of the annual World Architecture Festival, running in Barcelona since 2008 under the creative direction of Paul Finch. It comprises seminars, an exhibition and project presentations by architects who have entered the festival awards programme. What do we think? We had the good fortune of witnessing high quality projects... Continue Reading →

House in A Coruña, “Chiaroscuro”

What is it? A residential project completed this year by MAS Arquitectura in A Coruña, Spain. We became aware of it through the excellent architecture blog, Coolboom, though cannot be certain who gave the project its name, either Coolboom or the architects themselves. What do we think? The term, Chiaroscuro, has a rich history in... Continue Reading →

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