Sunday, 30 January 2011


Have you ever considered the fact that architects and builders are the creators of artificial horizons? That's the thought I was reminded of when I took this picture while walking to work on Friday. Wikipedia has a short and nice explanation of the phenomenon of the horizon

"The horizon is the apparent line that separates earth from sky, the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the Earth's surface, and those that do not. At many locations, the true horizon is obscured by trees, buildings, mountains, etc., and the resulting intersection of earth and sky is called the visible horizon." 

So, even in a city like Bergen, where we are surrounded by tall hills and mountains, most of the horizon we see around us is man-made, which means that we as architects have the possibility of either creating boring and hard horizons, or to make something else, like in this photo. 

I think architects owe it to the people using the environments we create, to make artificial horizons that are as beautiful, complex and close to a natural horizon as possible.

Friday, 21 January 2011


It sounds like fun, and looks even better.

One of my recent discoveries while surfing the internet looking for strange and interesting architecture from around the world, is the rumah gadang. It's built by an Indonesian people called the Minangkabau, and uses a system of wooden beams and sugar palm thatch to create dramatic roofs, with sweeping, upward-pointing gables, and extremely detailed, decorative walls.

I find that one of the fascinating aspects of this architecture, as with very much traditional and vernacular architecture from around the world, is its organized complexity (google that). Although looking very unconventional, it still uses the classical princiles of geometry, symmetry and decoration to create a beautiful and interesting design.

The picture above shows a rumah gadang some time between 1892 and 1905, and the picture below was taken in 1905. Both from Commons.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Roofscape in Prague, picture by yours truly

I just stumbled upon this video on Youtube, and I rather liked it. Supporters of intelligent urbanism, Peter Calthorpe, Leon Krier, Michael Lykoudis, Jacquelin Robertson, Demetri Porphyrios & Robert Adam explain their views on what citites are today, and what they should be. All these guys like very traditional-looking buildings, and the video is perhaps a bit too focused on American cities, but the message is universal. Have a look.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


A place in a city needn't be big to be great. This one is just big enough for a small group of friends to gather and hang out, or meet to go somewhere else. I want public spaces on this scale back in the city.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Picture by Michael Stravato for The New York Times

I saw this really cool, short lecture on recycled architecture today. The guy giving the lecture was Dan Phillips, a builder of Huntsville, Texas, who devotes his time to creating very cheap, environmentally friendly, energy efficient and quite cool-looking houses out of up to 80% recycled materials. One of his strategies for creating beautiful houses out of recycled materials, is repetition. 

"That serves me every day. Repetition creates pattern. If I have a hundred of these, a hundred of those, it doesn't make any difference what these and those are. If I can repeat anything, I have the possibility of a pattern, from hickory nuts and chicken eggs, shards of glass, branches. It doesn't make any difference."

Here's an NY Times article about Mr. Phillips as well.

Monday, 10 January 2011


We're working with sound at school, in a project called Acoustic Space. We've recorded sounds from all over the city and put them together to form montages, music and rhythms. When my piece is finished, I may publish it here. In the meantime, this fabulous collage of music taken from the animated feature "Alice in Wonderland"by Walt Disney.
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