Monday, 30 January 2012


He apparently saw this before anyone else:

Plan Voisin, which tearing down a large part of central Paris, replacing it with a highway and huge tower blocks. 1925

"The real effect of M. Le Corbusier's proposals is an over-simplification of the city(...). M. Le Corbusier's solution is to do away with the complexity. This complexity, however, is part of the subject of civic design. The modern great city is like a large orchestra wich often plays an inferior piece of music, and in which the instruments themselves may occasionally even be out of tune. It is the business of a reformer to improve the music and the instruments, but not to cut down the range of the orchestra, nor the number of musical effects that are aimed at by it. M. Le Corbusier has not the patience to attempt this, but substitutes for this orchestra a single tin whistle with about five notes, with which he plays a perfectly rythmical tune. But it is not enough."

- A. Trystan Edwards, The Dead City, in: The Architectural Review, vol. 66, 1929, pp. 135-138

Plan Voisin, model

Why didn't you listen?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Friday, 20 January 2012


Would you like to live in a pink house? It may sound absurd, but pink houses can be very beautiful, and I think pink should be no less loved than other colours, even for painting your house.

The Norwegian town of Haugesund even has a pink town hall, and Argentina's presidential palace is for obvious reasons called The Pink House. So please, do consider pink for your next house (especially if it's stuccoed; you should at least be aware of the fact that it might look a bit childish if it's wooden.)

Model: Heidi Norum
Photographer: Kristian Hoff-Andersen
Location: Istanbul

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Last Saturday, we went out of Nairobi to the town of Thika to visit a friend. It was a beautiful day with loads of sun, and as we walked around, we passed the usual mix of old colonial arcade houses, modern apartment buildings made of concrete and food booths in the shape of Coke bottles.

When we arrived at our friend's house, I was very surprised that the rather normal looking facade was concealing this beautiful courtyard.

True, it was simple, and very small, in fact the smallest courtyard I've ever seen, but the light was pouring down in the middle and was being reflected by the bright colours, the gallery surrounds were providing shadow to rest in, while people were washing clothes, talking, playing music and enjoying the  fresh air.

Maybe this way of designing houses is more common than I thought, only I'm not able to see it from the outside?

Monday, 16 January 2012


What is a team building? I have no idea, but this is what it looks like, according to a hotel advertisement we found last week.

Photographer: Kristian Hoff-Andersen
Model: Heidi Norum

Sunday, 15 January 2012


I met av very nice Russian man in Mombasa last week and was reminded about this song. I have no idea what it's actually about, but it does sound to me as if they really like villages.

(I do too, let's build more villages!)

Saturday, 14 January 2012


It's been proven again and again - classicism looks good with anything.

(Stockholm Public Library, 1928, architect: Gunnar Asplund)

Friday, 13 January 2012


While we were staying in Mombasa, there was a tree growing outside the gates to our hostel. It had lots of  orange flowers and green blobs that might have been either fruits or buds.

I find the shapes of these flowers to be very interesting. I think it might be the unfolding that makes them look so cool, maybe because there seems to be so much movement in a things that's more or less standing still. I blame the nice curves.

Oh, and I have no idea what the tree is called, so if you do, please tell me.

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Yesterday, the bus gave up on getting us into the city centre and instead dumped us right outside of it. Nairobi is full of traffic and congestion, probably because of all the people driving in their of own cars instead of using public transport, and the fact that the CBD (the tall buildings in the background) has almost no apartments, so people who work there have to spend a lot of time travelling there and back again every day.


When we arrived, we saw that many people were walking towards and on this bridge. There were people selling fruit, and clothes, playing music, chatting, burning things (they seem to have an affinity for burning things in this country) and looking bewildered. We decided to follow, and it turned out that this is a highway that's still being built. In between all the others, there were people in yellow helmets trying to finish it. There were huge cracks every 20th metre or so, which I guess explains why the cars haven't arrived yet. Actually, I'm even sure they should finish it. Research shows that expanding roads only leads to more people using their cars, so that capacity doesn't really increase. Maybe it would be better to keep the life and the people, use it as a new urban space and build some houses and workshops or something on and under it?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Finally! I have arrived in Kenya! After a hectic month (without blogging; sorry) I'm starting the work here. Although based in Nairobi, my colleagues and I will be travelling around a lot, and we've already been for a week-long holiday in Mombasa. I promised my teachers I would draw a lot here, but I'll also be taking a lot of pictures of interesting architecture (and some times other things), and will have things to blog about, no worries.

I was walking along the Indian Ocean on Diani Beach on South Coast near Mombasa, and passed this wonderful wavy wall. Constructed in the coral stone typical of the region, it creates both warm, sunny spots and shaded areas, and protrusions out into the beach with earth for the coconut palms to grow in.

In its natural form, the coral rock forms big cliffs, and by the sea it will often be covered in plants, with a dark surface and weathered by the waves like this one. It's chopped up into box shapes that are sold at 25 ksh each and used everywhere in the coastal areas, also in new construction, where is actually often is smoothed over with cement plaster. Here's a new building with walls made of coral stone, presumably covered up to look like concrete:

A whitewashed coral stone wall:

A worn coral stone wall. Note how it's white at the bottom, probably due to being worn from water running down during the two rain seasons in Coastal Kenya:

Finally, a picture of yours truly by the Indian Ocean, just to prove it's all true. Oh, and the horizon is horizontal in Kenya as well, I just haven't gotten any proper graphics software for my new computer yet.

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