Throwback Thursday: The Schroder House

November 4, 2010 · Posted in Architects, Throwbacks · Comment 

by 245Ronald

The Rietveld Schröder House (Dutch: Rietveld Schröderhuis) (also known as the Schröder House) in Utrecht was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld for Mrs. Truus Schröder-Schräder and her three children. She commissioned the house to be designed preferably without walls. Rietveld worked side by side with Mrs. Truus Schroder-Schrader to create the house. He sketched the first possible design for the building; Schroder-Schrader was not pleased. She invisioned a house that was free from association and could create a connection between the inside and outside. The house is one of the best known examples of De Stijl-architecture and arguably the only true De Stijl building. Mrs. Schröder lived in the house until her death in 1985. The house was restored by Bertus Mulder and now is a museum open for visits. In the year 2000 it was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.[1]

Mrs. Schroder provided criteria for the design of the rooms: 1. A bed should be able to fit in the room in at least 2 different positions. 2. Each room should have direct water supply and drainage. 3. Each room should have a door that gave access to the outside. Gerrit Rietveld was able to meet all the criteria and created a masterpiece

Taken from Wikipedia and

Throwback Thursday: Houston MOD

October 28, 2010 · Posted in Architects, Modern Design, Throwbacks · Comment 

Photo: Bobby L. Warren

Pictured is the Chapel of St. Basil, and the Strake and Jones Halls- all designed by architect Phillip Johnson.  The website Houston Mod is dedicated to showing off and preserving these Houston buildings and many more.  Their website is full of great pictures, info and -coming soon- modern properties for sale.  You can search their database by architect, neighborhood, date, map and more, to check out all the modern that Houston has to offer.  It’s a phenomenal resource for all modern buffs.

Throwback Thursday: Vocabulary of Greek Temples

October 21, 2010 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

adapted by Athinaios, based on original image by User:Luca.p (Luca Pastorino), 2005

Because of yesterday’s post- specifically the first picture- my wife and I got into a discussion about the vocabulary of Greek architecture (awesome wife, I know).  It was really the stairs, that descend from the floor level to the grass, that reminded us of a Greek temple.  The discussion didn’t last long, but we both agreed that we love the house and that the stairs- somewhat of a crepidoma- are successful.

Throwback Thursday: The Chrysler Building

October 14, 2010 · Posted in Architecture Around the World, Modern Design, Throwbacks · 1 Comment 

This is definitely one of the coolest documentaries of all time.  It’s worth every second.

Throwback Thursday: The Crystal Palace

September 23, 2010 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

The Crystal Palace is, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating buildings of all time.  It was originally built for the Great Exhibition of 1851- an event held to show off technology from around the world due to the recent Industrial Revolution.  At its peak, it stood 135 ft. tall, it stretched 1,848 long, at times there were 2,000 people working to build it, and it cost the equivalent of over 13 million dollars to build.  The two towers seen in the picture were to store water that fueled water features and fountains.  The building was made of cast-iron and glass, which was very progressive for the time, and it was designed by Joseph Paxton.  All in all, it was a proud expression from a proud time.

The Crystal Palace was later disassembled and moved, at the today equivalent of about 100 million dollars, and never quite relived the glory days of the 6.2 million visitor Exhibition.  On the 30th of November 1936 the building burned to the ground.  It’s said that 100,000 people came to watch the blaze and close a brilliant chapter of English Architecture.

Throwback Thursday: Hagia Sophia

September 16, 2010 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

Hagia Sophia (or Holy Wisdom) has always stuck out in my mind as one of the most beautiful of the early churches.  It has a unique history of being destroyed, the roof collapsing, and being converted into a mosque.

The first known church on the site is called Magala Ekklesia,a greek word which means The Grand Church,was planned by Constantine The Great when he made the decision to make Christianity the official Religion of the Roman Empire but his time was up so the first church was built by his son ,Emperor ConstantiusII in 360 AD. We have nothing left from ths first church but probably it was a basilica with a timbered roof and served as the Imperial Church till 404 AD.

Then Archbishop of Constantinople,John Chrysostom,was exiled due to his open criticism of Emperor Arcadius’ wife Eudoxia.But people of Constantinople loved him,so they got angry and protested this exile by burning down the first church,Megala Ekklesia.

Four years later Theodosius II became the emperor and started to built the second church on the same site ,right on top of the ruins of the first church.The second church of Hagia Sophia was completed on 10 October 415 AD.This church also had a timbered roof and again was a basilica.Today right before the entrance of the third Hagia Sophia are some remains left.

The lifespan of the was longer than the first one but again burned down by angry mobs during the Nika(Nike) riots in 532 AD.

About one month after the riot Justinian I ordered a new church to be built on the same site.He ordered the finest marbles from the quarries of Greece,Egypt,Africa and Asia Minor and he called the most skilled workmen from all over the Roman Empire to Constantinople.Some sources say that 10000 people ,mostly slaves , were used to build the last Hagia Sophia which resulted the work to be finished in a record time: 5 years and 10 months.

Justinian chose two skilled men as architects: Anthemius of Tralles.


photo: Gryffindor

photo: Tranxen

Throwback Thursday: S.R. Crown Hall

September 9, 2010 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

Yes, that is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe standing above a model of Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  It was built from 1950 – 1956 and it still looks wonderfully modern.  Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about the building:

Widely regarded as Mies van Der Rohe’s masterpiece, Crown Hall is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist movement. Crown Hall was completed in 1956 during Mies van der Rohe’s tenure as director of IIT’s Department of Architecture.

Centrally located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, two miles south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, the building houses the architecture school. The two level building is configured as a pure rectangular form, 220′ by 120′ by 24 feet high, enclosing a column free interior space on the upper level sitting above a sunken lower level. The roof is supported by exposed steel columns supporting exterior steel girders visible above the roof. Crown Hall is characterized by an aesthetic of industrial simplicity, with clearly articulated exposed steel frame construction. The steel frame is infilled with large sheets of glass of varying qualities of transparency, resulting in a light and delicate steel and glass facade wrapping the open plan, free flowing interior of the upper level. While the lower level consists of compartmentalized rooms, the high upper floor level, occupying almost 50% of the total area of the building, is dedicated to a single glass-enclosed architecture studio space. Mies called it a “universal space”, intended to be entirely flexible in use.

Upon its opening, Mies van der Rohe declared it “the clearest structure we have done, the best to express our philosophy”. One critic calls it the Parthenon of the 20th Century.

Seinfield and Architecture

July 16, 2009 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

Shout out to Seinfield.  My wife and I can’t get enough of it.

Throwback to the Farnsworth House

July 9, 2009 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

Not much more can be said about the Farnsworth house- or Mies van der Rohe.  I did learn; however, that Philip Johnson designed his Glass House after the Farnsworth House had already been started.  I also thought it funny that Frank Lloyd Wright said that the house was “un-American.”

Throwback to Cool City: London 1853

March 12, 2009 · Posted in Throwbacks · 2 Comments 


I was on a hunt this morning for the first city to legislate against pollution.  I may be wrong, but the earliest thing that I could find was London in 1853.  The act was called the Smoke Nuisance Abatement Act.  It was pushed through the House by a man named Mr. Palmerston and their were, apparently, quite a few prosectutions of companies that didn’t adhere to the act.  If anyone knows of anything any earlier let me know.

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