Monday, July 26, 2010

The Scientific Folklore Hallucinations of Dimitris Pikionis

Been looking at the drawings of Dimitris Pikionis recently, like this perspective study for a garden entrance, which I actually used to visit as a kid. I never knew the garden and what you saw in it was so precisely planned, though I could sense that the place was slightly spooky, and as kids we were told that this was the work of an important architect.
Pikionis was what we would call a Critical Regionalist, which means he updated modernism with a heavy dose of folk.
His seemingly simple folk landscape arrangements, were carefully, if not hysterically studied.

or were just entirely revolutionary, like this pavilion for the expo of Neo Faliro in 1938

private home
super famous path towards the Acropolis

the magnificent drawings have a life of their own, they form a strange world of scientific folklore hallucinations.
Like this house that seems to have become one with an out of focus tree.

another garden

another gate

the Pourris residence (1953) of the first garden drawing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Last night in Berlin

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Wikipedia says that "An ingot is a material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further

This is Ingot Coffee Bar in Kitakyushu, Japan by Shoei Yoh architects, from the late 70s.

I'm guessing it was called Ingot because it looks like a diamond? or some type of mineral?
And in the color picture, it almost looks like there is somebody on a laptop in there.

Anyway, loving the unexpected corporate miniature cafe with the classic Pila chair and the infinity mirror w/ plants, and these images have been patiently waiting to be blogged for months, so I guess today was the day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fragments of a Road Trip

Last week we finished off a road trip that started off in Leon, went to Las Medulas, A Coruna, Santiago, some other spots and fantastic Porto. Here's a few fragments along the way:

We admired Pirate emblems and the egde of the coast of death, at A Coruna, an unexpected town
Museum of Man, designed as a rather eccentric urban object by MrArata Isozaki
atnight you can enter and enjoy the almost camera obscura shadowplay
and by the day the view just takes over
the next morning, 
an interesting looking 
elementary school
and an incredible Menir sculpture, right no the cliffs of the la Costa del Morte

a few kilometers away, at the religious disneyland of Santiago de Compostela, we lit electronic candles
next day at Porto, we notice the amazing stairs all around the city

   diner with Ricardo at La Cunha

Christ getting married to a guy? looking good indeed

great Fundacao Serralves gardens

with electric green waters
later on, grass covered favelas

Cute Mercado de Sebastido

and interesting brutalist vegetable market, with little pyramid skylights and a grass roof, all of which Ricardo Nicolau has promised to preserve

more Serralves
fantastic Casa da Musica by OMA+RE

looking good outside and in
 more great steps

and even Bunker steps by the river

a useful beach ruin
and a fragment of the walls of Porto, left there so we could dub this Bunker Beach

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some Siza

Naturally while driving around Portugal we visited a bunch of Alvaro Siza buildings
first off was the 1956 Boa Nova tea house

otherwise know as Casa de Chá
dark wood and leather interiors

lookout to fabulous rocks and atlantic waves

instead of tea, great cocktails

slashed view

a bit further down the coast, also in Leça da Palmeira area of Matosinhos

We visited the iconic, legendary 1966 Swimming pools, a project I have been looking at in books for ever.

The entrance is typical spooky Siza, with ultra low ceiling (I mean almost-you-dont-pass low)
long corridors and weird hangers of the dressing rooms area

walls to turn corners around
peeking out to the pools


formed by connecting rocks with concrete walls

just the best hangout for seagulls wanting to cross over to New York
Then, more realistically, the great Serralves foundation, with another spookily aggressive low entrance

and fantastic play of light between volumes

The Museum at Santiago de Compostela was closed, 
though we got to see the funny steel supported stone wall.