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Assassin's Creed-Paris-French Revolution-Damien Hypolite-Bastille-Notre Dame-9

It’s often said (and most often by Parisians it seems) that Paris is its own museum, frozen in time. For preservation and cultural memory, this is a wonderful thing–though the architecture can make the city feel less progressive at times. One thing this level of preservation does assist–before and after photography. The latest Assassin’s Creed video game takes place in Paris, but the Paris of the French Revolution when heads were being guillotined and there were barricades in the streets. Damien Hypolite, the chef de projet infographie at Sciences et Avenir, matched up the images from the game to present day. Here’s are the images of the famous landmarks side-by-side:

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Cemetery Cities-Jardin del Humaya Cemetery, Cuilacan, Sinaloa Mexico Cartel-2Jardin del Humaya Cemetery, Cuilacan, Sinaloa Mexico

Conspicuous wealth isn’t limited to life on earth, it seems. There are many amazing examples of architectural masterpieces built for the afterlife. While much of the focus is often on the tributes to single individuals–Lenin, Sun Yat Sen–or creepy crypts full of skulls and bones, we’d like to highlight the cemetery cities we’ve been coming across recently. From a distance, some of these may look simply like a suburban residential neighborhood. Look closer, and you’ll realize they’re cities of the dead.

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Hehe-Railroad-Vehicle-Deisgn-Untapped Cities-NYCThe Métronome (Image via Hehe)

Before The High Line became “The High Line” it was an abandoned railroad track covered in vines and graffiti. It has become one of the most visited and welcome additions to NYC since it first opened. However, some of us do miss the graffiti the city washed away to keep the eyes of tourists free and innocent. Sure, if you look really closely, you can see an old COST and REVS roller, but if  you want to see anything done this decade, all you will get is art that looks like weird birdhouses.

For us who follow the art of the streets, some of NYC’ most creative graffiti pieces are on many of the cities abandoned and active railroad tracks. To venture into these tracks to see what these Picasso’s of the streets have created does come with consequences: the threat of being arrested, getting into a losing fight with a train, or worse, abducted by mole people (just kidding, maybe). So how can a family of four see what graffiti artists do under risk of being incarcerated?

Well thanks to the guys over at Pop-Up City, we may just have the answer for you. Hehe, a French urban design studio is working on a series of vehicles designed to transport urban explorers scared of the risks of urban exploration. Hehe’s goal is to open up these hidden urban museums, but to still keep the seclusion of this hidden world inside major cities. (more…)

There’s something about architects and businessmen wanting to live in the places they create. And we’re not talking about a live-work studio. We’ve been noticing a historical trend of apartments in grand civic spaces–from apartments atop the Eiffel Tower, Radio City, Bergdorf Goodman, the second Madison Square Garden–to more modern-day expressions of exclusivity–a cabin in a loft in Brooklyn, suburban houses plopped atop existing apartment buildings, an Fifth Avenue apartment full of secret riddles and compartments. Here’s a little about each of these idiosyncratic apartments.

1. Stanford White’s Seduction Lair at Madison Square Garden

Second Madison Square Garden-Stanford White-Apartment-NYC

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Infrastructure is an inevitable part of urban living. Subways and tunnels need ventilation, but the question is often–how to keep these functional spaces contained and away from the public eye? While many subway substations have been gutted and turned into apartments in New York City, other ventilation buildings have been concealed as residential townhouses. Here’s a roundup of these clever pieces of faux architecture in NYC, Paris, London and Toronto:

1. Brooklyn Heights Subway Ventilator

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Xavier Delory-Villa Savoye-Graffiti-Pilgrimage of Modernity-Poissy-France

The iconic Villa Savoye in Poissy, a surburb of Paris, is an epitome of architect Le Corbusier’s design theories, including the Five Points of Architecture. It’s a requisite pilgrimage for architecture students and enthusiasts, where visitors can see where many Modernist architectural maxims of today were realized, from the piloti that raised the building, to ribbon windows, open plan interiors, and roof terraces.

Belgian artist Xavier Delory has embarked on a “Pilgrimage of Modernity,” a quirky tribute of the monuments of the modern movement, he writes. To that end, via Photoshop he’s plastered the walls of the Villa Savoye with graffiti.

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