4/16/14

Actelion Business Center, Alischwil Switzerland


Herzog & de Meuron designed the business park for Actelion Pharmaceuticals in Alischwil Switzerland, completed in 2010. The 6 floor complex includes an auditorium and restaurant.

Each of the 350 work spaces are stacked around each other as needed for circulation and close communication. A detailed list of programs in the facility are related to each other and this carries over directly into how each space is arranged. The result is a crystal-like form.

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4/11/14

Masjid Sultan Mosque, Singapore


Irish architect Denis Santry designed the Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam, Singapore, completed in 1928. It replaced the mosque next to the palace of Sultan Hussain that was built in 1826.

The Indo-Saracenic Revival style mixes traditional Hindu and Islamic elements with the Gothic and Neo-classical styles popular at the time. Careful distinction is made from Arabic styles. The British imperial building standards and typical layout for sacred structures can be seen particularly inside. But the flair for exotic Eastern aesthetics is dramatically on display as well.

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4/9/14

How To Design Buildings To Prevent Break-Ins



Simple architecture helps stop burglaries and break-ins. You don't need an expensive alarm system to keep you safe. Learn from techniques developed throughout history about fortification and designs that keep enemies away and allow you to defend yourself.

Control Access & Visibility

A house on a well-traveled street should be open and easily seen. Criminals will hesitate if there are lots of witnesses. Fences and bushes only conceal burglars and help them out.

But if your building is somewhere that does not have people walking around all the time, access and visibility should be blocked. Don't let them see what you have in your yard, if your lawn is unkempt, if the snow is undisturbed.

Chain link fences are easily hopped over and they are ugly. Put up a little money for a nice cast iron fence with a jagged top, or solid brick. Put a gate across the driveway. The point is to prevent an intruder from getting in or out, or at least to slow them down.

Clearly Show Private Property

Don't be that guy that is always yelling at people for cutting across their yard. Establish the privacy of your property. Have clear pathways that people should use, provide lighting at those pathways, and use plantings and barriers to keep people away from private areas.

This is important because it is easier for a burglar to gain access to a site that is occasionally accessed by the public. There should be no confusion about where people should be and who should be there.

Be Able To See Everything

Ancient cities typically had tall towers from which they could observe the outlying landscape. You can apply this concept to your house by designing the yards so that everything is visible from the front and back doors. A quick glance out the window or peep hole tells you what is going on.

This should be the case indoors as well. The layout of the building should be simple and easy to navigate, for a variety of reasons as well as security.

Often the main bedroom is considered the refuge where a person will go to be safest. Try to make it as easy as possible to see what is going on from the main bedroom. Install security cameras if needed. Make the bedroom door impenetrable.

Prevent From Getting Inside

Use features to prevent intruders from getting inside. Double-paned windows and safety glass are important for energy savings and disasters as well as security. Ensure all doors are equipped with good locks, not just safety bolts, and that windows are impossible to force open. Make your building a fortress.

Automated lighting and window shades give the impression that someone is home. Consider parking a car outside the garage. But be careful about automatic garage door openers. Thieves often break into cars to open the garage door and thus gain entry to the house.

Use More Light

Lighting up the property at night is an important step for deterring crime. It only takes a couple bright lights to take away a burglar's cloak of darkness, and the money you will spend is not really all that much.

Consider using a interior lighting system that can switch all the lights in the building on at once. That way you won't be the typical victim you see in the movies stumbling in the dark.

Look Like Somebody Is There

Break-ins are less likely if it appears like someone is home. Along with automatic lights and shades, have a huge mailbox to accommodate weeks of mail if you are away on vacation. Keep plantings in your yard that don't grow out of control if not kept up on a regular basis.

Remember that scene in Home Alone when Kevin used cardboard cut-outs of people and loud music to make the robbers think a party was going on? That is not so far-fetched. Why not have a kind of scarecrow home-owner in your yard while you are away? It is easy and effective. You can set a timer to turn on music and lights at random times.

Stay Armed and Ready

Don't underestimate two big Rottweilers. Having pet dogs that attack intruders is one of the best things you can do. Even a small yappy dog can alert you to danger and scare them away.

A good weapon is also necessary. If the law allows it, keep a weapon close by. Keep in mind that you might need to access and use it quickly, but don't make it possible for kids or visitors to get it.

A phone that you can use to call police is of course necessary. Consider also having a loud siren or other ways of deterring intruders.

Security System

Security systems are pretty simple. A magnet attached to a door or window breaks an electrical circuit when the door or window opens. The device sends a signal to switch on a siren or call police. Motion detectors can also do this.

You can do all this yourself. Install motion detectors and magnetic devices attached to a siren or even that will automatically call police. Security cameras can be easy to install as well. A camera wirelessly sends a signal to a recording device that can be viewed from any internet connection. But be careful that this internet connection is password protected!

4/1/14

Shadow In Perspective Drawing- Art Technique



Shadow Vanishing Points
Raised Object
Complex Shadows
Tilted Object
Twisted Object
Drawing The Shadow
Shadow is the darkness that results because an object blocks light from hitting another object. This is different than shade.

Shade is the dark part of an object that doesn't receive light. The front of a pitcher, for example, reflects light toward the viewer and the back side is in shade. The pitcher casts a shadow on the ground and wall.

Light travels in a straight line.

If you explode a balloon full of paint where the light source is, the area blocked by the object from getting sprayed by paint is where shadow will be. This makes it easier to figure out what this shadow area is. Just draw straight lines from the light source to the outside edges of the object. Continue that line until it hits the other object.

You need to use the object's same perspective points for the shadow. The cast edge of the object does not change vanishing points. A ball's shadow will cast as an oval, and it will go to the same vanishing points.
But there is something else you need to consider: the light source's vanishing point. This tells you how far back the object's shadow gets cast.


Shadow Vanishing Points




Raised Object

Cut out alower part of the object. You have a floating object. The only difference in the shadow is now you have light shining through the part that got cut out. Draw light lines to this new lower edge and find where they intersect your existing shadow lines.



Complex Shadows

As you figure out the dimensions of the shadow edges, the important thing to know is if the edge vanishes toward the object vanishing point or toward the light vanishing point. Just remember that if the shadow edge is being cast away from the object, you use the light vanishing point. If it is following the object, you use the object vanishing point.



Tilted Object

What if the second object is not aligned with the first object? First figure out how tilting an object changes the perspective points. The shadow edges that vanish toward the first object's vanishing points change. Their new vanishing point moves some amount toward the new object 2 vanishing point, depending on how much the object is tipped. All other shadow edges use the same vanishing points.



Twisted Object

Twisting an object is similar:



Drawing The Shadow

Color- Every light has a color to it. The sun is orangish-yellow. In places where the light doesn't hit the object, the color of the object looks different. It will have a complementary tint of color in its shadow. This is why buildings in the sun have a purplish shadow.

Gradient edge- The softness of a shadow's edge depends on three things.
  • The type of light source. An ambient light produces soft edges and a hard spot light makes crisp edges.
  • The distance of the cast shadow from object 1. A shadow cast over a long distance will diffuse light at the ends. Shadows will be crisper at parts close to the object.
  • The object. The texture and quality of both objects determine how crisp the shadow gets.

See also:

How to draw objects in perspective
How to draw a perfect cube

3/24/14

Top 10 Ugliest Buildings In England


Robin Hoods Gardens - This housing complex in London was designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in 1972 and demolished in 2013 after a fierce fight to preserve the building by the English Heritage and Design Council Cabe failed. It was long regarded as ugly. Plans to replace the site include a school and mosque.


Manchester Arndale Tower - Hugh Wilson and Lewis Womersley designed this shopping centre development. The tower was completed in 1979. It was immediately received with derision and is now called one of the ugliest buildings in Europe.


Blackhorse Road Station - This tube station in London opened in 1968 at a historic railway. Cost cuts made it flat and bland, with bathroom tiles for walls, and causes resentment from locals.


Grosvenor Street West - This brick building is next to the Old Union Mill on Sheepcote Street in Birmingham.


Elmers End Station - This Beckenham station serves rail and tram lines.


Trinity Centre Multi-Storey Car Park - Rodney Gordon designed this Brutalist parking garage in Gateshead, England, built in 1967. A concrete rooftop restaurant floated above the massive building. It was demolished in 2010. Long considered an eyesore.


Manchester Business School - Part of a city centre that has a reputation as ugly.


Royal Liverpool Hospital - Holford Associates designed this Hospital in Liverpool, opened in 1978. It is huge and known as ugly. A replacement is due for completion in 2017.


Pimlico Academy - John Bancroft designed this school on Lupus Street in Westminster London, completed in 1970. Complaints were not only about the appearance, but also of uncomfortable extreme temperatures, excessive amount of entrances, and no disabled access.


Mems on Moorefield Road - This area of Moorefield Road in London is near Bruce Grove Railway Station.