All posts by SuzanneWhite

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.

Physical Sciences Center

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The building that I chose for my sixth blog is the Physical Sciences Center at OU. My first impression of this building was when I was looking around campus for the first time. My first thought was that it would be a good landmark to look for if I ever got lost, because it looks so different than the other buildings on campus. Although not pretty because it lacks color and windows, I like that its ugliness serves a purpose – a safe haven in case of riots. The idea of having a safe haven on campus is comforting. However, looking at it reminds me of something ominous looming on the horizon, and the inside is not much better. The lower floors are dark, letting off a depressing feeling due to the lack of sunlight coming in. The lower entrance is also poorly designed, having doors at the bottom of a slope such that the lowest floor and the even lower classrooms flood when it rains. The interior tile and stairwells are not very well kept up and lend themselves to an unsettling atmosphere in general.

Catlett Music Center

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The fifth building that I chose is Catlett Music Center at OU, which I first encountered when walking around the art side of campus looking at the sculptures and other decorations outside. The exterior of the building is not appealing to me, as it looks like a jumble of different things that would be decorative alone thrown together into an unappealing collage. For instance, one section of the building has wood paneling that does not go well with the red brick, while similar sections of the building have none.  It also has blue and green stained glass windows, which would be nice if they weren’t in colors that don’t go well with each other or with the surrounding brick. The stained glass windows would also be much more aesthetically pleasing if they were not structured in ordered rectangular shapes on a square wall. Additionally, the presence of the triangular walls blocking the view of the main building seems unnecessary, as I cannot tell from the exterior that the walls serve any purpose. In all, the building evokes for me feelings of confusion and then disgust the longer I look at it each time I walk or drive by.

Walker Tower

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The fourth building that I chose to write about is Walker Tower, one of three towers that serve as residence halls at OU. I chose Walker specifically because of its special significance to me, as the place where I lived during my first year away from home. When I first saw the tower I was overwhelmed by the number of people that it housed, and unsure I liked the top-view cross shape of the building. However, the inside won me over. There are a variety of places to sit, and the space is utilized very effectively. The cross shape and large windows also means that all of the rooms have an excellent view, making them seem larger than they actually are. As far as dormitories go, the layout of the towers makes them very liveable for the amount of space available.

Beatrice Carr Wallace Old Science Hall

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The building that I chose for my third blog is the Beatrice Carr Wallace Old Science Hall on campus. I encountered this building while on a run around campus and was instantly drawn to stop and look at it. It has large windows that are arched on the top level, and is made of a single, neutral light brown-colored brick. I appreciated the simplicity of the 6-pointed star decorations that add an artistic touch but don’t cause the building to appear overdecorated. I also really liked the simplicity of the front staircase, paired with an elegant stone railing, which leads up to a door that is arched to match the upper level windows. Overall, this building has a calming color scheme and an artful simplicity, a refreshing change by comparison to some of the richly ornamented red brick buildings at OU.