Thursday, March 29, 2012

Admiring Architecture

I have always had an affinity for old buildings.  I think it was because I grew up in South Florida and the buildings at that time, in my opinion, didn’t have a lot of character.   Thankfully my family visited Savannah a lot when I was a kid and I was enthralled with the grand old homes.  I learned new words like Federal and Gothic-Revival.
My first taste of contemporary design was visiting Boston and meeting my uncle at his job in the John Hancock Tower.  Henry Cobb designed the sleek and shiny Hancock Tower located just blocks from the gritty stonework of the Boston Public Library.  I liked the Victorian design of Charles McKin better.  Perhaps it was because I could see where others walked before me in the scuffs and worn spots of the floors and banisters in the library.  I liked imagining people from many generations reading, writing, and browsing through the many selections of books and art.

Large Sliding Doors NYC
After joining the commercial door and hardware industry I began to notice doors and hardware everywhere, very much to the annoyance of my friends and family I might add.  Old and new I always stopped, explored and often took pictures.  I liked the doors and hardware best that fit with the entrance way and unique to the business or building.  Still I had never given much thought to the amount of time and talent the architect put into designing buildings.  I only knew if I liked a building or not.
With social media I am now able to follow many architects and their projects.  I have a new and deeper appreciation of their talents.  I learned that a chamfered retaining wall edge is a pretty sweet detail.  

I even experienced a 10’ x 10’ beautiful steel door hung on center pivots up close at the Chihuly designed by Alfonso Architects.  

Now when I walk the streets of a city I pay attention to the design of a building.  How does it flow and function?  What does my eye catch immediately and what subtleties are hiding just waiting for me to notice? Most importantly how does the design make me feel?

1 comment:

  1. Me too! I absolutely feel that old architecture (as you call it above) spiritually impacts us all. Are ghosts really the devil in the whimsical details? Hope to see you at AIA!