This hotel, I think, is absolutely gorgeous. It’s very memorable to me because one of my favorite proms was held there, in the gorgeous ballroom upstairs. Our prom theme was The Great Gatsby (like every single high school prom theme that year) and the ballroom was decorated in an old timey art deco black and gold theme. The historically modern hotel, built in 1911, sits in the heart of downtown OKC and is an absolutely beautiful building. Countless windows and lights at the top of the hotel to illuminate the designs and decorative points at the top. The scandalous rumors of ghosts haunting the hotel aren’t anything to joke about either! Curved walls sit between straight borders of the hotel, and overall it is easily one of my favorite buildings.
The first building for my blog is the Gwang-an Bridge(Diamond Bridge) located at Gwang-an beach in Busan, South Korea. This Diamond Bridge was built in 2002. It is the largest bridge over the ocean in Korea. It is equipped with artistic light, the bridge showcases splendid light that changes every day and every season. The bridge offers majesty beauty combined with nearby attractions during the day and a romantic atmosphere at night, attracting many tourists and residents as well. The reason why I selected this architecture was that this is my favorite site that I usually go to. This is also located at my town that I grew up. I used to hang out with my friends and spent good time with my family at Gwang-an beach by looking the Diamond Bridge. Whenever I pass by the Diamond Bridge, I always admire this architecture. My favorite factors of this bridge is it looks stable, magnificent, and light from the bridge which makes the ocean shine.
The second building I chose to write about is the United States Post Office located in Downtown Fort Worth. It was designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick and opened in February of 1933. It is made of limestone and designed with the Beaux Arts style in mind. It features longhorns and cattle incorporating the location in the architecture, making it the town’s own. When I typically think of going to the post office, small, grey buildings come to mind. This building is something extraordinary, making the simple action of mailing a package a little bit of a more pleasurable experience. I went there this summer to get a passport and instead of being overwhelmed with the confinement of twenty people in line hurrying to do the same thing, I could stop in the large lobby and look at the precise and beautiful architecture that was surrounding me. The intricate details show that Hedrick really loved what he did and makes me wish that more buildings look the way this particular post office does.
Now called the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers, the main church of Florence, Italy is architecturally astounding to me. I visited it in the summer of 2010 when a student group I was part of visited Italy. When we entered the city, it immediately stood out on the skyline. The construction of the Duomo began in 1296 and was not completed until 1436. What really amazed me about this building was the dome, which was engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. I was only 15 at the time I visited, but even then I was amazed at how something so grand and enduring was standing 574 years after it was constructed.
I could not focus on the engineering and technicality as much when I was climbing because the spiraling, steeply inclined stairs made focusing on anything but my feet in front of me difficult, but while at the top and climbing down I could really soak it in. The sheer size of the dome and building itself was incredible, but thinking about how it was created before all the technology and tools we use today made it even more so. Before I visited Italy, I never really looked at architecture in depth, but only thought of the utility of buildings. After Italy and climbing the Duomo, I really started seeing the art and thought that goes into architecture.
Everything from the incline of each stair, to the arched doorways, to the increasing slope of the walls, had to be thought out and planned to a tee to make the structure stand. The cathedral was not just built to be a building where worship happened, but more a building for people to appreciate and enjoy. The stairs may have been a tough climb, but seeing the inside and outside of the dome, the stairwells and viewing windows in between the walls, and the view of Florence on the top made it well worth the climb.
The first building I chose to write about is the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, commonly referred to as The Modern. It was designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando and was opened to the public in 2002. It is a very modern looking building consisting of forty-foot tall windows that look out onto a reflective pond with a steel tree sculpture on the opposing side. Every time I look at The Modern, I feel at ease. There’s something about looking out on a body of water that is very peaceful to me. The placement of everything in the building is perfect which creates a temporary escape from reality. Typically, high ceilings paired with a concrete exterior make a building seem cold and uncomfortable, but there’s something about this certain building that draws me in and catches my attention. I believe that Ando wanted people to be intrigued and feel at ease while looking at sometimes complicated art. Although some parts of the building are plain, it pairs perfectly with the art contained inside of it.
The Water Temple or “Shingonshu Honpukuji” created by Tadao Ando is a Buddhist temple on Awaji Island. The temple is a true testament to Tadao Ando’s philosophy of incorporating his buildings into the surroundings instead of disturbing the environment. The first image depicts the roof of the Temple, a pool underneath a large tree almost as if it were a natural. I simply feel peaceful when I look at this picture. In the middle of the pool is a concrete staircase that cuts the pool in half and leads into the temple’s inner sanctum. I love how the staircase blends in with the water so much that it can hardly be seen in the first picture and thus does not interrupt the tranquility of the pool. When descending into the temple, the path begins to circle around the inner sanctuary. As one gets closer to the center the space begins to radiate with orange and yellow. Eventually the inner sanctum and Buddha statue are revealed at the center of the temple in a sunset glow which is shown in the last image.
I tend to notice buildings that no one else does. They are probably not what many would consider beautiful, but they bring me aesthetic joy and I treasure them when I find them. I noticed this abandoned bank building in downtown Oklahoma City one morning while driving to work. I stopped later to take photos of it because I was terrified, and continue to be terrified, that one day I will drive by it and it will have been demolished. My husband and I actually took some of our engagement photos at this location, so now it has a sentimental as well as an aesthetic quality to me.
To me, this building just bleeds summer. It’s not hard to see the ocean quality of the aquamarine mosaic and the wave of the roof, which also mimics the white sand of a beach. The mosaic wall with the gold ornamentation brings Morocco to mind. While many banks are simple structures with largely no interesting aesthetic qualities, the architect and/or the funder of the project definitely went above and beyond to make certain this structure didn’t fade into the background.
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most amazing and memorable architectural buildings I have ever been to. This is a French Medieval Cathedral in High Gothic Style with beautiful rose windows, rich sculptural ornaments and enormous columns and arches. The multiple facades that the building has, transfuse different feelings while looking at it from numerous angles. Entering the cathedral from any entrance, first thing you see is a very high crisscrossing sealing and countless handmade motifs surrounding the walls and windows of the interior. The cathedral is also memorable with its monumental details from the bible on the royal massive portals. Knowing that I have been in one of the oldest cathedrals in France is why this is one of my best memories that left a great mark on me with its remarkable architectural design and sense of detail.
When I visited Oslo, Norway in 2015, my family took a trip around the city to see significant buildings and structures. That is when I had the privilege to visit the Holmenkollbakken Ski Jump. Built into the mountainside in the 1890s, this structure has been the site for many important skiing events in history, most notably the 1952 winter Olympics. Because of how it is built into the mountain, it is hard to take in its vastness from one angle. When I first came up to it, all I saw was the metallic top, with a gift shop and coffee bar underneath.
Ignoring the modern additions, it was amazing, as a sports management major and general sports fan, to see something that brought so many people together. It was still standing at its original location over 100 years after it was initially built. It has seen 19 restructuring/expansions, and has acted as not only host to major skiing events, but served as a military artillery when Germany took over during the Second World War. This now modern icon of the city can be seen from the center Oslo, and represents, somewhat, their independence. It is still used for sport today, and continues to bring money as both a national arena and a popular tourist attraction.
The grandstands, built for the 1952 Olympics, hold upwards of 70,000 spectators. The most recent design of the actual jump, built in 2006 for the 2011 World Championships, was meant to be modern but retain the classical allure. It’s simple facade of class and metal and its silhouette keep with the simplicity of the sport and the city. Its height and width make it stand out. The most amazing aspect of the recent design however is the lighting. Although I was not able to see it at night, the somewhat overcast day allowed me to get an idea. The use of spotlights both inside the jump and from the outside runway highlighted the Holmenkollbakken in a way that allows spectators to view both the simplicity of its base structure and the grandeur of its overall design.
The first couple of times I saw the library I felt like I couldn’t take it all in at once. The huge front entrance, the many statues, and the detailed art are a lot to observe. When I think about it I find symbolism everywhere. The library is a stronghold of knowledge that represents a gate that all students mass pass through in order to succeed in college. To me the large pillars at the main entrance almost resemble the posts of a large gate. The building is well decorated with statues and symbols that beautify it, just as having knowledge can lead to the career that one has always wanted and the luxurious lifestyle that can come with it. However, there are also days when I do not see the library’s beauty, instead it appears grim with its green, gloomy roofing and towering pillars that make the library almost daunting. On these days I still see symbolism; the path to knowledge is not always charming (as the library usually is) but takes work and effort to obtain. The path can be imposing in how much must be learned in order to succeed at the University, just as the giant pillars can be imposing. Ultimately when I look at the library I see my college lifestyle, mostly a great experience but at times daunting.