Auditorium Building in Chicago by Louis Sullivan

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The Auditorium Building was built in Chicago in the late 1880s, and was designed by Louis Sullivan and his business partner Dankmar Adler. It was designed to house the largest, most beautiful, classiest theater in the world, specifically intended to rival New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. The Auditorium Building also housed a grand luxury hotel and a huge office space, which were intended to help pay for the theater.

The exterior of the building is simply massive; at the time, it was the largest building in the world. It’s not merely tall, it’s broad and wide, and an imposing rectangular tower rises from the front of the building. It’s covered in windows with a grid-like pattern similar to the Wainwright Building and other skyscrapers of the time. The sides of the building are set with a four-story tall column-and-arch façade, which make it look extra-classy. The outside is all right angles: The walls rise straight from the ground until they stop, and each corner and edge is sharply-defined with minimal ledges. The sharp, precise geometry enhances the impression of its size, I think; the building appears not just as a mountain, but as a solid, monolithic block. The outside is now a faded white, but I’m sure that it gleamed when it was first built, and I can only imagine the splendor it displayed.

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The inside of the Auditorium Building is simply grand. The builders spared no expense, and it’s covered with ornate designs and artwork. The theater is an unbelievably large, open room with no pillars. The ceiling is vaulted, arches abound, and the seats are organized into elegantly curving rows on various levels; the interior displays much more elegance and curvature than the angular, imposing exterior.

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Architect Blog 6: Adriana Natcheva

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The sixth Adriana Natcheva building that I chose to write about is an artist’s studio in London. I think the interior design and decorations are beautiful and give the studio a feeling that it could be a living room in someone’s home. This is quite important for a studio application, because many artists lose track of time and spend hours on end in their studios. Particularly, the stack of wood and the wood-burning heater remind me of the good times that I have spent at a friend’s home in the mountains where I am from, where she is far from her neighbors and the house is quite cozy in the wintertime. This feeling of distance from the surroundings is a rare finding in the city, which is where such a studio would be located. I also really like the way the natural light is allowed to flood the room, which seems to be a common tactic used by Adriana Natcheva. With the way the natural light is utilized here, I like the dark colors in the room because they are more blue-toned, which goes well with the lighter brown color that balances the darker colors she uses. I also appreciate the simplicity of her decorations, which are simple enough that the way they match the shades in the room can be fully appreciated.

Architect Blog 5: Adriana Natcheva

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The fifth Adriana Natcheva building that I chose to write about is the Calmia Shop and Spa in London. The first picture shows the unfinished interior, while the second picture shows the way the interior looks when it is completed. I really like the use of rectangular prism shapes inside. The rectangular prisms are randomly placed and sized so that they look artistic, but they are organized enough to serve a useful purpose. I also like that the bulk of the interior lighting is placed away from the window, so that it does not interfere with the effect of the natural light in the front. However, I do not like the finished building as much as I like it unfinished. The colors used to stain and decorate the interior are all very dark, which I do not think goes well with the natural light coming in the front. Although the colors may be fitting for the spa application, I would much prefer this interior decorated in lighter colors, such as pale blues, greens, and yellows.

Architect Blog 4: Adriana Natcheva

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The fourth Adriana Natcheva building that I chose to write about is the Town House, located in London. It is a five-story residence renovated by Groves Natcheva. This renovation involved the addition of several new rooms. In contrast to some of the previous Groves Natcheva buildings that I wrote about, the Town House is luxurious and richly decorated in vibrant colors. Particularly, the Modern design combines a vibrant blue and a rich red-brown to create bold rooms. Large windows make the rooms very bright with natural light. I really like the use of natural light to keep the house lit. Although I would generally say I like the colors used in the design, they are a little too loud for me to appreciate in a building, particularly a residence. I would prefer simple adornments in the same brown color on a more naturally colored background. I really like the stairwell shown in the last picture with the brown door shown behind it, but I do not like the room at the top of the stairs. Similarly, I like the doorway shown in the second picture but the color of the walls is so dark as to make the room feel overwhelming. Also, the white furniture is too bright when combined with the natural light; I would prefer an alternative neutral color. However, the shapes of the staircases and doorways in this house are magnificent.

Architect Blog 3: Adriana Natcheva

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This is the third building by Adriana Natcheva that I chose to write about. The picture shows the dining room of the Chelsea House in London. The wood paneling makes the room appear to have a very high ceiling, which makes the room look comfortable. I also like the shade of the wood paneling that was used because it matches the white ceiling and walls nearby. Additionally, the wood flooring adds to the comfortable appearance of the room. The windows are large but not transparent enough that someone could see in, which makes me think that the room would be a cozy place to be alone reading a book, and like it would be a room where one could spend hours undisturbed. The bookshelves and lighting make the room feel a bit like a study, in which I could spend a lot of time and not get bored. All the room needs to be perfect, in my mind, is a cozy couch and some chairs. All in all, this room gives me a feeling of coziness and comfort.

Architect Blog 2: Adriana Natcheva

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The second building that I chose designed by Adriana Natcheva is the concept for an office building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The architecture for this idea is quite modern. It has a lot of windows, not uncommon for tall office buildings, but has several quite different decorative features. There is a diamond-pattern structure on the outside of the building, which provides both structural support and an interesting aesthetic appeal. However, on at least one side of the building there are horizontal bars running through the open diamond shapes. Although these may play a structural role, it seems to me that they would create shadows and a lack of lighting in the offices behind them. Furthermore, this lack of light would probably dramatically decrease the perceived temperature in those offices. As someone who gets cold very easily, I would not like to work in this building. However, as a passerby I find it quite interesting to look at.

Architect Blog 1: Adriana Natcheva

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Adriana Natcheva, a London architect, co-founded Groves Natcheva Architects in 2000. The Zog House, which she designed, is industrial style architecture located in Queen’s Park in northwest London. It is a small split-level residence designed largely from unfinished concrete for a less-than traditional look. The lack of excessive adornment leaves more space for resident use, and the large windows shown in the pictures make the interior space feel larger than it actually is. The strategic alignment of the interior concrete panels allow the rooms to be separate but flow in sequence. I personally do not like the exterior look of the house as a whole, although I do like the use of large windows to open the house up. I find the combination of the white and black on the exterior to be harsh. In the dim evening lighting of the first picture, the yellowish green lights inside give the house a somewhat creepy air that I do not find appealing. If the exterior of the house looked like concrete and was strictly gray as is the inside I would find it much more appealing. The inside of the house, in contrast, is well-lit, appealing, and appears to utilize space quite effectively to divide the small house into numerous spaces.

Chrysler Building: NYC

c1Now in 2016, much of the New York City skyline looks the same, populated with thin glass rectangles all seemingly alike. One building that always stands out night and day is the Chrysler building. I have always been attracted to the c2Chrysler building because of its unique shape and its impressive amount of concrete instead of an all glass exterior like much of the other skyscrapers today. Another aspect of the Chrysler building that I enjoy are its subtle nods towards gothic architecture present in the eight eagle gargoyles surrounding the top of the building. The Chrysler building overall makes me feel small in comparison as it looms far above many of the more modern skyscrapers in the NYC skyline. I believe that the Chrysler building may be one of the more visually striking skyscrapers in the world just because of the fact that it varies so much from what is now considered modern construction and modern skyscrapers.c3   c4

Zion’s Bank: Vernal, Utah

v1About 100 years ago, a man decided he wanted to build a bank out in the badlands of Eastern Utah. However, the bank owner encountered a problem when the building company quoted him a large price to transfer the bricks a long distance through the maintains from Salt Lake. As a means of finding a loophole, the bank owner mailed the bank brick by brick to Vernal, Utah and save a fortune since at that point in time shipping prices were extremely low. This building is visually striking to me because of its scale and the 80,000 bricks that were mailed individually to build this imposing bank. I also enjoy the typical pillars around the door seen on most banks built in the 20th century. Knowing the backstory, this structure leaves me feeling impressed that a determined business owner would go to such great lengths for a vision when he could have easily used locally sourced materials instead. I view the Zion’s Bank in Vernal as a statement piece more than just simply a building. v2

Minute Made Stadium: Houston, Texas

I grew up m1attending the Houston Astros games at the Minute Made Stadium and was always in awe of its sheer size and the volume of people it could contain within its walls. I would probably say that this stadium is my favorite building from my childhood for two m2reasons, it had a retractable roof, and its very own train that runs on oranges! What made Minute Made Stadium so special was the atmosphere the ballpark and the fans provided, whether it was from the roar of the crowd or the sound of the train after someone hits a home-  m3 run, the atmosphere always managed to send chills down my spine. Every time I have returned to Minute Maid, I have been overcome with feelings of joy and boyhood wonder as I take in the same sights that made me fall in love with baseball all those years ago.m4