This weekend marks the opening of the 3 month long Chicago Architecture Biennial. With a mission of creating an international forum on architecture and urbanism, the Biennial “seeks to convene the world’s leading practitioners, theorists, and commentators in the field of architecture and urbanism to explore, debate, and demonstrate the significance of architecture to contemporary society.” The calendar is overflowing with events, including free tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s S.C. Johnson Wax headquarters and the UChicago campus, as well as the opening of the Stony Island Arts Bank, all happening this weekend.
Don’t miss the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s fourth annual Open House Chicago, a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 150 buildings across Chicago. Explore repurposed mansions, hidden rooms, sacred spaces, private clubs, iconic theaters, hotels and more. Highlights include an airstream trailer on top of a roof between the Montrose and Damen Brown Line stations, a meticulously restored Frank Lloyd Wright home in Rogers Park, and a former meatpacking warehouse turned vertical urban farm.
Panoramio is a photo-sharing community powered by Google that allows users to tag their photos with geographic information so they can be plotted on a map and searched for by location. You can browse by location, and click on individual images from the map, or search for specific sites and locations.
Some of the images are indeed panoramas, and Panoramio includes both flat and spherical panoramas (the latter provide a 360º of a place). For example, check out this haunting spherical panorama of the Holocaust Monument in Berlin.
This website is useful for studying architecture, cities, and the built environment, and it’s also great for some arm-chair traveling. You can also add your own images to the project.
For more information or to start exploring, check out Panoramio!
The Archigram Group emerged in UK during the early 1960s, and while many of their projects from 1961–74 went unbuilt, they extended a significant international infuence. The Archigram Archival Project is a digital collection of the work by Archigram that is freely available online for viewing and study. Hosted by the University of Westminster, the database contains images and contextual information, linking together alternate versions created for the same project. The website describes the scope of the project:
Almost 10,000 items are included in this archive, including digital versions of drawings, collages, paintings, photographs, magazines, articles, slides and multi-media material, accompanied by original texts by Archigram wherever these are available. Around half of these items belong to the 202 projects currently listed and given project numbers by Dennis Crompton in the Archigram Archives. The rest are supporting and contextual material such as letters, photos, texts and additional projects provided by the depositors.
The AAP focuses on the main Archigram period of 1961-1974, but includes all the projects, both before and after these dates, which have been included in the project list of the Archigram Archives at the time of doing the project. The main omissions from the Archigram Archival Project website are the films, television programmes and audio-visual material which for technical or copyright reasons cannot be included at this stage. Some projects and project material have been lost over the years; both we and Archigram members would welcome approaches from anyone holding material or copies of material which is not included here.
For more information, visit the Archigram Archival Project or the Archigram website.
Via Deep Focus
Local blog Chicagoist recently posted about a Flickr set that UIC posted of the Chicago Aerial Photo Services Collection. You can check out the Flickr set, or explore the entire digital collection hosted by UIC. They describe the project:
The Chicago Aerial Photo Services (CAPS) collection has a number of aerial photographs from 1929 through the late 1940s. Primarily the photographs are of the Chicago area though there are some images from other areas of the state. They provide detailed images of both urban areas as well as countryside that would become suburbs in the future.
UIC’s digital collections also hosts several other collections pertaining to Chicago architecture, including the C. William Brubaker Collection of mid-to-late 20th century color photographs. For more information, visit the Chicago Aerial Photo Services (CAPS) collection or the C. William Brubaker Collection.
We often post about new image collections and other scholarly resources pertaining to art history, but the building blocks are just as important. Based in the Netherlands, Materia is an art and architecture materials library that maintains an extensive collection of modern products in a database called Material Explorer that can be freely searched if you register for an account. They provide detailed information about product specs and contact information for the manufacturer, and users can download a PDF about the product, add it to a list of favorites, or suggest a new material to be included in the database.
More than 16,000 images of architecture, landscape design, and the built environment from the Society of Architectural Historians’ (SAH) SAHARA project are now available in the ARTstor Digital Library. SAHARA (Society of Architectural Historians Architecture Resources Archive) is a community-built archive of digital images for teaching and research in the field of architectural history.
View the collection here. Via the ARTstor Blog.
Images from the University of Cincinnati Libraries Digital Collections, including architectural photographs by Alice Weston, are available in LUNA Commons:
Environmental artist Alice Weston photographed many of the houses in this collection in the 1990s for the publication Great Houses of the Queen City : Two Hundred Years of Historic and Contemporary Architecture and Interiors in Cincinnati, text by Walter E. Langsam, 1997. This collection of over 1400 images includes not only the photographs seen the book, but many more interior and exterior views as well as other properties not included in the publication.
LUNA Commons collections are contributed by partnering institutions from around the world. Please contact the VRC for a LUNA tutorial.
We’ve all done it…walked or driven by a building and thought, “I wish I could see what the inside looks like”. Well, now you can.
Over the weekend of Oct 15-16, 2011, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is proud to present openhousechicago 2011 (OHC2011), a free public event that gets you behind-the-scenes of some of the city’s greatest spaces and places.
Whether you are an architecture buff, history enthusiast, or cultural novice, OHC2011 is a unique event that’s fun for all ages, locals and visitors, suburbanites and city dwellers. Participating in OHC2011 is like getting a “backstage pass” to many of Chicago’s most important and interesting buildings.
openhousechicago is a free public event. You can plan your own itinerary. No reservations or tickets are required, but you can register for up-to-date information and to win prizes.
Archivists at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection are currently processing the papers of Robert L. Van Nice and blogging about the process. Robert L. Van Nice undertook an extensive architectural survey of Hagia Sophia between 1937 and 1985. His collection includes fieldwork materials, architectural drawings, and photographs, and some of these have been digitized and posted to the blog.