IM Pei: an audacious daredevil who built the impossible

From his provocative Louvre pyramid to his inverted wedge for Dallas, the Chinese-American architect was too modern for his time but his angular marvels look perfect now So bold were IM Peis designs, they were often regarded as wilfully controversial, designed to shock. But Pei himself never saw it like that. He was possibly the last living link to such founders of modernism as Bauhaus stalwarts Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, all of whom he met. He carried their torch, abiding by their principles and adding flourishes of his own usually too many for the general public. To those modernist foundations of proportion, simplicity, geometry, Pei added audacious angles and structural daring. The result is a body of work that …

Sterile or stirring? Britain’s love-hate relationship with new towns

Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? A new archive film compilation takes a look at the UKs controversial postwar towns People sometimes say to me, You must get a terrific kick out of having been responsible for a huge thing like a new town, said Sir Frederick Gibberd in an interview in 1982, 35 years after he created the new town of Harlow. Well, I get a lot of misery out of it, in fact. I go around and think, My god, thats unbelievably bad, and it could have been so good. If that was what the designer thought, imagine how everyone else who moved to Harlow felt. The interview comes in a short film at the end of Stevenage, …

Rooftop pool? Notre Dame proposals defy traditionalists

Designs from architects around world also suggest glass, crystal and metal spires An architecture firm has proposed replacing the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral with a swimming pool, as France prepares to were damaged in a firein April, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was open to a contemporary gesture in rebuilding it more beautiful than before, and the prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, called for a new spire adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era. The said the architect Alexandre Chassang, who has designed a proposal for a glass spire. PierreTrollment (@PierreTrollment) Pour la transissions cologique. pic.twitter.com/hmHLfCrZ9U Florian Renucci, a master mason at the experimental medieval building site at Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate …

‘I see any dinosaur, I buy it’: at home with the embattled owner of the Flintstone house

Florence Fangs colorful home is a landmark for many in Californias Bay Area. But the town of Hillsborough is suing her, declaring the property a public nuisance When Florence Fang purchased a new house in Hillsborough, Details around the yard of the Flintstone house property in Hillsborough. Photographs by Cayce Clifford, The Guardian Fred and Dino are indeed here now, as are Wilma, Barney and Betty Rubble, giant letters reading Yabba dabba do, a backyard posse of 15-ft tall metal dinosaurs, and a second, larger Fred. Theres also an astronaut, a moon rover, a spaceship and the Great Gazoo (thats the name of the alien who crashed to earth during the final season of the classic 1960s cartoon). I wanted …

How to Build, and Keep Building, a Cathedral Like Notre-Dame

The roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral wasn’t just a roof. Sure, it kept the rain out. But what burned away in Paris in April was a technical marvel, the height—literally—of 12th- and 13th-century engineering. “If one imagines the stresses on a large sail of timber and lead rising over 100 feet from the ground, one can only marvel at the ingenuity and skill of these early builders,” as the historian Lynn Courtenay writes in an essay for the Society of Antiquaries of London. The wooden trusses—made of trees cut down in 1160 or so—were specially braced with an extra plate linking them to the walls, and clasps to keep them from sagging across the span. The wood was in tension, helping …