Category: Collected Items

Curry Malet, Somerset 1952

Collected Items 27.12.19

Late one winter’s afternoon the stone gable of the old farm collapsed without warning into the yard on a tidal wave of honey, leaving the apple scented attic in which my sister and I secretly whiled away rainy days open to the wind and rain. For years playing in the attic had been accompanied by the buzzing of wild bees hidden deep in the old stones; they had nested there as long as anyone could remember, building an enormous comb.

Derek Jarman, Modern Nature (Vintage: London, [1991] 2018) p. 33

From the frame

Collected Items 14.04.17

In the past houses have grown organically, like plants, from the ground upwards. But this house is different: it grows from the frame outwards, like an idea developing into a work of art from the central core of inspiration out into the material fact of realisation. Cement mixers churn and vomit. Men tramp back and forth with hods over their shoulders. Ladders stand as sharp diagonals to the rectilinear skeleton of the frame.

Simon Mawer, The Glass Room (Abacus: London, 2010) p. 46.

Pavilions

Collected Items 29.05.16

[T]here were also pavilions shaped like the character 田 (pronounced ‘tian’ meaning field), called the Pavilion of Still Waters; the character 工 (‘gong’ – work), called the Studio of Summer Coolness; and a pavilion shaped like the character 口 (‘you’ – mouth), called the Pavilion Containing Autumn.

Tom Wilkinson, Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made (Bloomsbury: London, 2014) p. 153.

 

Together

Collected Items 08.02.15

Some have insisted that public space is a studied counterpoint to the city: a longing for nature in the denatured metropolis, morsels of a vanished country placidity and solitude for urban folk to snack on. Yet my claim is that the city is open, common and public by its very nature. People come not to be alone but to be together; to interact, exchange, trade, innovate and collaborate.

Benjamin R. Barber, ‘Public Spirited’, Architectural Review, 1404 (February 2014), 20.

The Forest

Collected Items 24.08.14

At the sides of the highway, the children saw the forest: a thick growth of strange trees blocked the view of the plain. Their trunks were very very slender, erect or slanting; and their crowns were flat and outspread, revealing the strangest of shapes and the strangest colours when a passing car illuminated them with its headlights. Boughs in the form of a toothpaste tube, a face, cheese, hand, razor, bottle, cow, tire, all dotted with a foliage of letters of the alphabet.

Italo Calvino, Marcovaldo trans. William Weaver (London: Minerva 1993) p. 37

Cerdà

Collected Items 23.03.14

The regular block that Cerdà put forward, as the supporting element of the buildings, was a square, 113-metre-wide block, with a 19.8 m chamfer. The intervention was carried out following complex, detailed and concise reasoning, whereby he introduced variables like the surface of the plot of land, the height of the building, density, etc. After obtaining eight possible main sizes and eight small variants, he finally chose the 113.28-metre-wide block. However, as you would expect of any good technician, he omits the decimal points and is left with the 113 metres used in the project.

Miquel Corominas and Joel Bages, ‘The Morphological Base of the Block’, in Joan Busquets and Miquel Corominas (dirs/eds), Cerda and the Barcelona of the Future: Reality Versus Project (Barcelona: Diputacio de Barcelona and Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, 2009), p. 74.