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.
The Hopewell Baptist Church is another of Bruce Goff’s works that I have personally visited. It was built in Edmond, Oklahoma in 1950. This building seems to blend Stereotypical Native American Symbols with common buildings sensibilities from modern Oklahoma. It’s in the shape of a tepee, yet each of the supports are named for the 12 Apostles. It’s odd to apply Christian mythos to Native American symbols. The whole building seems done on a frugal budget, and it isn’t very pleasant to look at.
The Pavilion for Japanese Art found in Los Angeles was constructed in 1978. It was one the last buildings designed by Bruce Goff, and it was only completed after his death by architect Bart Prince. The Pavilion for Japanese Art is easily my favorite of Goff’s works still standing. I love all of the edges and the central spiral stair case. This is a build that knows how to use its space, unlike the Riverside Studio in Tulsa. The flora that cover up entire walls disguises the slightly stiff shape enough to give it a more unique form. I enjoy how the stairs and the ramp cross over each other. All the different lines of the building intersect in very unique ways.
The Riverside Studio was built in Tulsa in 1928, a year before the Boston Avenue Methodist Church. It was designed by architect Bruce Goff for a singular person, a music teacher by the name of Patti Adams Shriner. It’s fascinating that it was originally built as home, even with a large studio. My initial impression is that it’s a church of some kind. The material and make appear to be adobe. I enjoy the windows that stack diagonally, and give the impression of stairs. Ultimately, I think it’s kind of ugly because of how boxy the shape is. The roof is too flat and the walls are too straight.
is located in downtown Tulsa. It was completed in the late 1920’s, and is one of the most prominent examples for Art Deco by architect, Bruce Goff. I enjoy the stretched out quality of the building with the tall spires, and three stories of windows stacked on top of one another. It seems very much like a building from the 2013 film, The Great Gatsby. It belongs in the roaring 20’s. I actually visited this building almost a decade ago. I remember being enchanted by it as if I were looking at a castle. Particularly the tower that reaches past 200 feet.