Sunday, June 25, 2017

Konnubio

Konnubio restaurant, Via dei Conti, Florence
Konnubio restaurant
Via dei Conti
Florence, April 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel

Hôtel Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel (hôtel Nikko), quai de Grenelle, Front de Seine (Beaugrenelle), Quartier de Grenelle, Paris
Hôtel Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel (hôtel Nikko), quai de Grenelle
Front de Seine (also known as Beaugrenelle)
Quartier de Grenelle, 15th arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

“The Front de Seine district is the result of an urban planning project from the 1970s. It includes about 20 towers reaching nearly 100 m of height built all around an elevated esplanade. That esplanade is paved with frescos that can be seen only from the elevated floors of the towers. As opposed to Italie 13, the design of the towers is much more varied. The Hôtel Novotel Paris-Tour Eiffel (formerly known as Hôtel Nikkō), for instance, has red-encircled windows, while the Tour Totem consists of a stack of several glassed-blocks. A newly redesigned shopping centre, the Centre commercial Beaugrenelle has opened in 2013.” (Wikipedia)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Arco del Meloncello

Detail of the Arco del Meloncello, by Carlo Francesco Dotti, Via Saragozza, Bologna
Detail of the Arco del Meloncello, by Carlo Francesco Dotti, 1732
Via Saragozza
Bologna, June 2015

“The Arco del Meloncello is an 18th-century Rococo structure in Bologna, that forms a pedestrian portico over the road (hence an arch); it is part of the Portico di San Luca, a long arcade that sheltered the walk from the Cathedral of Bologna to the hillside Sanctuary of San Luca, Bologna. It lies beyond the gates of the Porta Saragozza, outside the former city walls of Bologna. The arch solved the problem of a site where two roads intersected at right angles, and allowed the foot traffic of the pilgrims to proceed above the road, Via Saragozza, uninterrupted. The architect was Carlo Francesco Dotti won the commission during a competition in 1714, and created the scenographic arrangement with the help of Francesco Galli Bibiena during 1721 to 1732. In the early twentieth century, in a project supervised by Tito Azzolino, the arch was raised a few meters to allow passage of a train underneath.” (Arco del Meloncello, Wikipedia)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Red Heart

Red heart cycle stand by Graham McLoughlin, Beak Street, Soho, London
Red heart cycle stand by Graham McLoughlin
Beak Street, Soho
London, September 2016

“Cyclehoop teamed up with Hackney based artist Graham McLoughlin and the British Heart Foundation to place 14 #HeartsOfLondon cycle stands across Central London. This installation is designed to promote cycling in the city and celebrate British design, but more importantly, raise awareness for the work of the British Heart Foundation. Accompanying the heart-shaped hoops are a sticker, stating ‘Share the love by making a donation to the British Heart Foundation — all you need to do is text ‘LNDN86 £5’ to 70070.’” (Lovehoops Installed around London, CycleHoop)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Infinite Column

“Colonna infinita” (Infinite Column) by Park Eun-sun, San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain), Florence
“Colonna infinita” (Infinite Column) by Park Eun-sun, 2016
San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain)
Florence, April 2017

“The sculptures by Park Eun Sun, who has previously exhibited in various Italian landmarks and been awarded for spreading Korean culture abroad, merge notions of the colourful East and the elegance of Italian style. Columns, spheres and cubes carved out of striped marble strive to emphasize the Romanesque style that lives on in Tuscany today, as well as representing the eastern concept of perfect balance. Each work contains a fracture in one way or another, symbolizing thoughts, neurosis, fears and anger, although the sculptures continue to stand strong.” (Park Eun Sun exhibition in Florence, The Florentine)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Palau Sant Jordi

Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Palau Sant Jordi by Arata Isozaki, 1990
Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring)
Passeig Olímpic, Montjuïc
Barcelona, March 2017

“Palau Sant Jordi (St. George's Palace) is an indoor sporting arena and multi-purpose installation that is part of the Olympic Ring complex located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, it was opened in 1990. The maximum seating capacity of the arena is 16,670 for basketball, and 24,000 for musical events. It is the largest indoor arena in Spain. The Palau Sant Jordi was one of the main venues of the 1992 Summer Olympics hosting the artistic gymnastics, handball final, and volleyball final events. Today, it is used for all kinds of indoor sport events as well as for concerts and other cultural activities, due to its great flexibility.” (Palau Sant Jordi, Wikipedia)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Yellow House

Yellow house, Fondamenta della Giudecca, Burano, Venetian Lagoon, Venice
Yellow house, Fondamenta della Giudecca
Burano, Venetian Lagoon
Venice, September 2013

Sunday, June 18, 2017

City Hall

City Hall by Foster and Partners, The Queen's Walk, Southwark, London
City Hall by Foster and Partners, 2002
The Queen's Walk, Southwark
London, September 2016

“City Hall was constructed at a cost of £43 million on a site formerly occupied by wharves serving the Pool of London. The building does not belong to the GLA but is leased under a 25-year rent. Despite its name, City Hall is not in and does not serve a city (according to UK law), which often adds to the confusion of Greater London with the City of London, which has its headquarters at Guildhall. In June 2011, Mayor Boris Johnson announced that for the duration of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the building would be called London House.” (City Hall, Wikipedia)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Via dei Benci

Door handle with knocker, Via dei Benci, Florence
Door handle with knocker
Via dei Benci
Florence, April 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

GSW Headquarters

Berlin
Detail of a facade, GSW Headquarters by Sauerbruch Hutton, 1999
Kochstrasse, Kreuzberg
Berlin, September 2011

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fruit on Display

Fruit on display, Via di Città, Siena
Fruit on display
Via di Città
Siena, April 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

300 Years

The Cathedral School of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overie, Redcross Way, Southwark, London
Sculpture celebrating 300 years of the school, 1704-2004
The Cathedral School of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overie
Redcross Way, Southwark
London, September 2016

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hare Krishna Dancers

Hare Krishna dancers, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Hare Krishna dancers
Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery)
Florence, April 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monk Parakeet

Monk parakeet on a tree, Pla de Palau, Barcelona
Monk parakeet on a tree
Pla de Palau
Barcelona, March 2017

“Seven species of parrot are thriving right here in urban Barcelona—the highest number of parrot species in any European city. ‘We don’t think temperature is a factor,’ said Abel Julien of the Institut Català d’Ornitologia, who has studied birds in Catalunya for more than 30 years and works as a nature tour guide. ‘They will stay in their colonised environments provided there is enough food for them throughout the year.’ First spotted in the city in 1975, their numbers were estimated at a mere 50, but with a vertiginous growth rate, there are now thought to be more than 10,000 parrots living in the Barcelona metropolitan area. Among the species in Barcelona are monk parrots, named thus for the hood-like markings on their crown and nape of bright-green and grey feathers. At less than 30 centimetres in length, they are considered tiny for a parrot. Larger than the monks—think parrot-on-pirate-shoulder size—rose-ringed parakeets have powder-blue napes, tropical-green breasts and flesh-coloured or scarlet bills.”
(Birds of a feather: Barcelona's tropical parrots, Metropolitan Barcelona)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Scilicet

Detail of the monument to the twinning of Rome with Paris, by Félix Joffre, Via Parigi, Rome
“Scilicet” by Félix Joffre, 1956
Monument to the twinning of Rome and Paris
Via Parigi
Rome, April 2013

“In front of the Hall is a gift (1961) from the twin-city of Paris (since 1956), a Roman column with the bronze caravel on the top (heraldic symbol of Paris). Behind the hall along Via Parigi conspicuous remains of buildings demolished to make way for the Baths. It also contains works that came to light during the excavation works performed in Rome and in its surroundings, such as the Venus of Cyrene or the Girl from Antium, realized by Greek sculptors of the fifth century BC. Inside the building the visitor can admire frescoes of the Republican Age.” (Octagonal Hall of Diocletian Bath, RomeTour.org)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes (heritage tomatoes), Holland Street, Bankside, Southwark, London
Heirloom tomatoes (heritage tomatoes)
Holland Street, Bankside, Southwark
London, September 2016

“An heirloom tomato (also called heritage tomato in the UK) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato. Heirloom tomatoes have become increasingly popular and more readily available in recent years. According to tomato experts Craig LeHoullier and Carolyn Male, heirloom tomatoes can be classified into four categories: family heirlooms, commercial heirlooms, mystery heirlooms, and created heirlooms. They are grown for a variety of reasons, such as for food, historical interest, access to wider varieties, and by people who wish to save seeds from year to year, as well as for their taste, which is widely perceived to be better than "conventional" tomatoes. They usually have a shorter shelf life, but are generally more disease resistant than most commercial tomatoes, except for specific disease(s), for which a commercial hybrid was bred to be resistant.” (Heirloom tomato)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Underpass of the Cure

Sottopassaggio delle Cure (Underpass of the Cure), Piazza delle Cure, Florence
Sottopassaggio delle Cure (Underpass of the Cure)
Piazza delle Cure
Florence, April 2017

“Underneath the sottopassaggio in Piazza delle Cure is an art exhibit unlike any other in Florence. The admission is free, the hours of operation are up to the visitors, the curator is self-appointed and, best of all, there are no lines. Ten years ago, local residents would suggest that you take the long way around the passage. This space was occupied by the homeless and the general environment was not exactly welcoming. That was before Salvatore moved in. Salvatore, the guardian of sottopassaggio delle Cure, has taken charge and restored the safety and beauty into the tunnels. He works on his own schedule, but generally you can find him at his post in the main hallway of the sottopassagio. The accommodations are simple: a little chair and table where he sits and talks to visitors.”
(The beauty beneath, The Florentine)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Torre Realia BCN

Torre Realia BCN by Toyo Ito, Plaça d'Europa, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona
Torre Realia BCN by Toyo Ito, 2009
Plaça d'Europa, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
Barcelona, March 2017

“The office building – orthogonal in form and positioned perpendicular to the central axis of Plaza Europa (at 30o to Gran Vía) – marks the end of the plaza and engages in a dialogue with the bordering structures symmetrically located on the other side of Gran Vía (two orthogonal towers perpendicular to the axis). This is even more apparent when one sees that when the core of the office building reaches the façade it is cut by an invisible vertical plane that is aligned with the central axis of Plaza Europa.” (Porta Fira Towers, ArchDaily)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Carlo Cattaneo

Monument to Carlo Cattaneo by Ettore Ferrari, Via Santa Margherita, Milano
Monument to Carlo Cattaneo by Ettore Ferrari, 1900
Via Santa Margherita
Milano, November 2011

“Cattaneo was born in Milan; he died in Castagnola, close to Lugano in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where he had spent the last twenty years of his life in exile. A republican in his convictions, during his youth he had taken part in the Carbonari movement in Lombardy. He devoted himself to the study of philosophy, hoping to regenerate the Italian people by withdrawing them from romanticism and rhetoric, and turning their attention to the positive sciences. In this period, Cattaneo met philosopher Giandomenico Romagnosi and he ‘was especially attracted by Romagnosi's emphasis on practical solutions and interdisciplinary work’. Developing some intuitions coming from his mentor, Cattaneo expounded his ideas in a review founded by him in Milan in 1839, called II Politecnico. He resided at the Palazzo Gavazzi from 1840 until 1848.” (Carlo Cattaneo, Wikipedia)


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Spaccanapoli

Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano, St Giles High Street, Camden, London
Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano, 2010
St Giles High Street, Camden
London, September 2016

“Acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano is to literally brighten up the lives of Londoner’s on their way to Covent Garden from Oxford Street. Aiming to bring a sense of ‘joyous vibrancy’ to the area by Centre Point, he has proposed cladding 20 different facets of Central Saint Giles, a mixed-use development by Legal & General Property and Mitsubishi Estate Company, with red, orange, green and yellow glazed ceramic cladding. As the cladding is installed a striking new landmark will emerge defined by dramatic facades of primary colours which at first glance appear a bold contrast to this too long neglected corner of central London.”
(Renzo colours London, World Architecture News)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Buddha's Hand

Buddha's hand, fingered citron, at a spring trade show, Giardino dell'Orticultura (Horticultural Garden), Via Bolognese, Florence
Buddha's hand or fingered citron, at a spring trade show
Giardino dell'Orticultura (Horticultural Garden)
Via Bolognese
Florence, April 2017

Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, or the fingered citron, is an unusually shaped citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, resembling a human hand. It is called Buddha's hand in Chinese (佛手柑), Japanese (仏手柑), and Korean (불수감). The different cultivars and variations of this citron variety form a gradient from ‘open-hand’ types with outward-splayed segments to "closed-hand" types, in which the fingers are kept together. There are also half-fingered fruits, in which the basal side is united and the apical side fingered. The origin of this kind of citron is commonly traced back to the Far East, probably northeastern India or China, where most domesticated citrus fruits originate.” (Buddha's hand, Wikipedia)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Barcino

Barcino by Joan Brossa, Plaça Nova, Barcelona
“Barcino” by Joan Brossa, 1992
Plaça Nova
Barcelona, March 2017

“In the Plaça Nova, in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, almost touching the wall of the former Roman city, seven giant letters contrast with their historic backdrop. They are part of the alphabet created by Joan Brossa to spell out the word Barcino, the principal name of the Colonia Iulia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino, which was the origin of present-day Barcelona. The letters, six of them made of bronze and one of aluminium, are bolted to the ground and make up a fun and original display, very much in keeping with this Barcelona-born artist's visual poems. Although the letters spell out a single word, each one is a work of art in its own right, and as a whole they create an interplay with the perspective and their surroundings. Surroundings which are defined by the cathedral, the wall, and the reproduction of an archway from the Roman aqueduct, which begins to emerge next to the sculpture.” (Barcino, Turisme de Barcelona)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Black Sheep

La pecora nera, The Black Sheep by ZED1, Piazza dei Tessitori, Genoa
“La pecora nera” (The Black Sheep) by ZED1, 2015
Piazza dei Tessitori
Genoa, April 2016

“Our friend ZED1 just sent us some images from his latest street work which took place on the lovely streets of Genova in Italy. Entitled ‘The Black Sheep’, the Italian artist created this signature piece of work showing one of his signature characters on his horse being lifted by a series of sheep. In this work, the black sheep is symbolized as an obstacle trying to drop the king on the ground. The meaning is that sometime even the smaller people can start a revolution.” (The Black Sheep, Street Art News)

Friday, June 2, 2017

William III of Orange

Statue of William III of Orange by Heinrich Baucke, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London
Statue of William III of Orange by Heinrich Baucke, 1907
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens
London, September 2016

“This large, bronze statue of King William III is located at the south gate of Kensington Palace. Designed by H. Bauke in 1907, this statue of King William III (1650-1702) was presented to King Edward VII for the British nation by his nephew, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is inscribed with the words ‘William III of Orange, King of Great Britain and Ireland presented by William II, German Emperor and King of Prussia to King Edward VII for the British Nation. 1907.’ King William III chose to live at Kensington Palace because the air was cleaner than at Whitehall and better for his asthma. The statue's pedestal was designed by Sir Aston Webb, who designed the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.” (King William III statue, The Royal Parks)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Roses

Roses in the garden of the Palazzo Corsini al Prato
Via il Prato
Florence, April 2017

“Within its walls, Palazzo Corsini in via il Prato holds a garden of unmatched loveliness and tranquility. Breathtaking beauty leads you through lush green citrus trees, past imposing statues to finally lose yourself in a heavily shaded labyrinth. And the best thing: no one is there. Florence can be somewhat overwhelming at times, with hundreds upon hundreds of people simultaneously trying to catch a glimpse of the wonders this city has to offer. Don’t follow the crowds for a change. Instead, allow yourself to marvel at this quiet sanctuary that is far from the tourist trail.” (Hidden from view, The Florentine)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

La Fabbrica

Restaurant La Fabbrica, The Factory, rue de l'Etoile, Paris
Restaurant “La Fabbrica” (The Factory)
Rue de l'Etoile / rue de Montenotte
Quartier des Ternes, 17e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Graves of the Glossatori

Graves of the Glossatori, Piazza Malpighi, Bologna
Graves of the Glossatori
Piazza Malpighi
Bologna, April 2015

“Although these are essentially glorified gravestones, the Glossatori Tombs are nevertheless really very special, with a unique charm quite unexpected. Adorning the graves of important Italian lawyers, teachers and scholars, the tombs are spread around no less than five different mausoleums in the city. Dating back to the latter part of the 13th century, these monuments generally comprise a grandiose shrine with graceful marble columns, topped by a tiled roof in the shape of a pyramid.” (Bologna Landmarks and Monuments, Wold Guides)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Cat on a Barge

Cat on a barge, Little Venice Lagoon, Regent's Canal, London
Cat on a barge, Little Venice Lagoon
Regent's Canal
London, September 2016

“Little Venice is a scenic and affluent part of London, known for its canals and moored boats. Much of the property in the area consists of Regency-style white painted stucco terraced town houses and mansions. Little Venice surrounds the convergence of three waterways: the Grand Union Canal and the Regent's Canal, and Paddington Basin which meet in a large, picturesque pool, Browning's Pool (usually called by residents ‘Little Venice Lagoon’ or ‘the Lagoon’), which forms the focus of the area. Little Venice is also a ward of the City of Westminster. The population at the 2011 Census was 10,633.” (Little Venice, London, Wikipedia)


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ninotchka

Ninotchka graffiti shop, tattoo supplies, Via de' Pandolfini, Florence
Ninotchka graffiti shop, tattoo supplies
Via de' Pandolfini
Florence, January 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cascada

Cascada (Waterfall) by Josep Fontserè i Mestre, Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park), Barcelona
Cascada (Waterfall) by Josep Fontserè i Mestre, 1888
Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park)
Barcelona, March 2017

“The Cascada (waterfall or cascade in Spanish) is located at the northern corner of the park opposite to the lake. It was first inaugurated in 1881 without sculptures or any meticulous details, and was thereby criticized by the press, after which this triumphal arch was thoroughly amended by the addition of a fountain and some minor attributes, which required six years of construction from 1882 to 1888, and was thenceforth put on display at the Universal Exhibition, and hitherto not been redesigned. It was erected by Josep Fontsére and to a small extent by Antoni Gaudí, who at that time was still an unknown student of architecture. Fontsére aimed to loosely make it bear resemblance to the Trevi Fountain of Rome. Two enormous pincers of gigantic crabs serve as stairs to access a small podium located in the centre of the monument. In front of it a sculpture (designed by Venanci Vallmitjana) of Venus standing on an open clam was placed. The whole cascade is divided in two levels. From the podium on a path leads to the Feminine Sculpture and to the northeastern corner of the park, and upon following the route down the stairs the fountain's pond is rounded and the southern tip of the artifact is reached.” (Parc de la Ciutadella, Wikipedia)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Campo dei Frari, San Polo, Venice
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Campo dei Frari, San Polo
Venice, September 2013

“The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, usually just called the Frari, is a church in Venice, northern Italy. One of the greatest churches in the city, it has the status of a minor basilica. It stands on the Campo dei Frari at the heart of the San Polo district. The church is dedicated to the Assumption. The Franciscans were granted land to build a church in 1250, but the building was not completed until 1338. Work almost immediately began on its much larger replacement, the current church, which took over a century to build. The campanile, the second tallest in the city after that of San Marco, was completed in 1396. The imposing edifice is built of brick, and is one of the city's three notable churches built in the Italian Gothic style. As with many Venetian churches, the exterior is rather plain. The interior contains the only rood screen still in place in Venice. The Frari is a parish church of the Vicariate of San Polo-Santa Croce-Dorsoduro. The other churches of the parish are San Barnaba, San Ludovico Vescovo, Santa Maria del Soccorso and Santa Margherita.” (Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Wikipedia)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ilona

The 242 ft yacht “Ilona”, built by Amels, West India Dock, Isle of Dogs, London
The 242 ft yacht “Ilona”, built by Amels in 2004
West India Dock, Isle of Dogs
London, September 2016

“The 73.81 metres (or 242 ft) long custom built yacht was launched by Amels in the Netherlands in 2004 and she has also refitted in 2006, and 2012. She is classed as one of the world’s top 100 largest private yachts and has the unusual feature of a helipad, when she was built the helicopter could be stowed in a hangar below deck. In the latest refit, the helicopter garage was replaced by a large 10m by 3m swimming pool. Estimated to have cost 100 million dollars, the Super Yacht Ilona is owned by one of Australia’s richest men, businessman Frank Lowy who made much of his fortune developing shopping centres with the Westfield Group. Lowy has also been one of the main individuals responsible for developing professional football in Australia in the last decade. Unusually for a Super Yacht owner, Lowy and his family have used the yacht to travel extensively around the world and the boat is the fourth yacht called Ilona which has been built and launched for the owner.” (Super Yacht Ilona arrives in West India Dock, Isle of Dogs Life)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Eve

Copy of “Eve” by Lot Torelli, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, Piazza del Duomo, Florence
Copy of “Eve” by Lot Torelli, 1886
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower
Piazza del Duomo
Florence, May 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

El Cap de Barcelona

El Cap de Barcelona (The Head of Barcelona) by Roy Lichtenstein, Passeig de Colom, Barcelona
El Cap de Barcelona” (The Head) by Roy Lichtenstein
Passeig de Colom
Barcelona, March 2017

The Head of Barcelona, or El Cap de Barcelona in Catalan, is a 64-foot sculpture done by American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The sculpture stands tall on the waterfront in the heart of the city. Made out of concrete and ceramic, it is an abstract rendition of a woman's head and appears exactly how one would expect a Lichtenstein sculpture to be. Lichtenstein did not start experimenting with three-dimensional art until the late 1970s, and prior to this his main focus was on pop art. He mainly painted on large canvases and his paintings resembled comic-strip art; his signature use of bold primary colors, thick dark lines, thought bubbles containing context and sound effects, and dots used as a method of shading, can be seen in most of his works from 1961 and later, starting with his painting Look Mickey.” (El Cap de Barcelona, Wikipedia)

‘’

Monday, May 22, 2017

Piccolo Teatro

Piccolo Teatro della Città di Milano, Teatro Grassi, Via Rovello, Milan
Piccolo Teatro della Città di Milano (Little Theatre of the City of Milan)
Teatro Grassi, Via Rovello
Milan, November 2016

“The Piccolo Teatro della Città di Milano is a theatre in Milan, Italy. Founded in 1947, it is Italy's first permanent theatre, and a national ‘teatro stabile’, or permanent repertory company, and is considered a theatre of major national and European importance. The theatre has three venues: Teatro Grassi, in Via Rovello, between Sforza Castle and the Piazza del Duomo; Teatro Studio, which was originally intended to be the theater's rehearsal hall; and Teatro Strehler, which opened in 1998 with a seating capacity of 974. Its annual programme consists of approximately thirty performances. In addition, the venue hosts cultural events, from festivals and films, to concerts, conferences, and conventions, as well as supporting the Paolo Grassi Drama School.” (Piccolo Teatro, Wikipedia)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Paternoster Vents

Paternoster Vents or Angel's Wings by Thomas Heatherwick, Paternoster Square, City of London, London
Paternoster Vents” (or “Angel's Wings”) by Thomas Heatherwick, 2002
Paternoster Square, City of London
London, September 2016

“Paternoster Square is part of a development in a high-profile, sensitive location, next to St Paul’s Cathedral in London. It is a new public space containing a pre-existing underground electricity substation. This substation required a cooling system with outlet and inlet vents, but the client team was unhappy with the proposed solution for a single large object as it would turn the surrounding space into a corridor. The studio made use of the two existing holes in the concrete slab covering the substation, to reduce the overall size of the vent object by splitting the outlet part into two smaller vents – saving significant space by setting the inlet ducts into the ground using grilles flush with the pavement. The aesthetic design is derived from experiments with folded paper, scaled up to 11m in height; the vents retain the proportions of the A4-size paper used in these experiments. The Vents are fabricated from 63 identical, 8mm thick, stainless steel isosceles triangles welded together and finished by glass bead blasting. The Vents are a permanent installation, available for the public to visit.”
(Paternoster Vents, Heatherwick studio)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Palazzo Corsini al Prato

Palazzo Corsini al Prato by Bernardo Buontalenti, Via il Prato, Florence
Palazzo Corsini al Prato by Bernardo Buontalenti, 1594
Via il Prato
Florence, April 2017

“Palazzo Corsini al Prato was created by Renaissance architect Bernardo Buontalenti in 1594, who amongst his many great works, is said, not unimportantly, to have invented Italian gelato. The building was commissioned by an aristocrat with a passion for botany who wished to have a villa in the city centre, surrounded by a large park. (Well, who doesn’t?) A few years later, however, construction had to be interrupted due to the aristocrat’s financial difficulties. It was only continued in 1620 when the Corsini family bought the property. Filippo Corsini had Gherardo Silvani create an Italian garden, adorned with statues that can still be found today. Skillfully done, the difference in height between the statues creates an effect that makes the garden look even bigger than it really is.” (Hidden from view, The Florentine)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tristan Bernard

Bust of Tristan Bernard by Josette Hébert-Coëffin, place Tristan-Bernard, quartier des Ternes, Paris
Bust of Tristan Bernard by Josette Hébert-Coëffin
Place Tristan-Bernard
Quartier des Ternes, 17e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Born Paul Bernard into a Jewish family in Besançon, Doubs, Franche-Comté, France, he was the son of an architect. He left Besançon at the age of 14 years, relocating with his father to Paris, where he studied at the Lycée Condorcet, which was noted for its numerous literary alumni. In 1888 was born his son Jean-Jacques Bernard, also a dramatist. He studied law, but after his military service he started his career as the manager of an aluminium smelter. In the 1890s he also managed the Vélodrome de la Seine at Levallois-Perret and the Vélodrome Buffalo, whose events were an integral part of Parisian life, being regularly attended by personalities such as Toulouse-Lautrec.[1] He reputedly introduced the bell to signify the last lap of a race. After his first publication in La Revue Blanche in 1891, he became increasingly a writer and adopted the pseudonym Tristan. His first play, Les Pieds Nickelés (Nickel-plated Feet), was a great success and was representative of the style of his later work (generally humorous).[citation needed] He became known especially for his writing for vaudeville-type performances, which were very popular in France during that time. He also wrote several novels and some poetry. Bernard is remembered mainly for witticisms, particularly from his play Les Jumeaux de Brighton (The Brighton Twins). In 1932, he was a candidate for the Académie Française, but was not elected, receiving only 2 votes of a total of 39.” (Tristan Bernard, Wikipedia)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cloister of St Andrew

Chiostro di Sant'Andrea, Cloister of St Andrew, Vico Dritto di Ponticello, Genoa
Chiostro di Sant'Andrea (Cloister of St Andrew)
Vico Dritto di Ponticello
Genoa, April 2016

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

London Aquatics Centre

London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

“It was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid in 2004 before London won the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The centre was built alongside the Water Polo Arena, and opposite the Olympic Stadium on the opposite bank of the Waterworks River. The site is 45 metres (148 feet) high, 160 metres (520 feet) long and 80 metres (260 feet) wide. The wave-like roof is stated to be 11,200 square feet (1,040 m2), a reduction from the previously stated 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2). The design was inspired by the Dollan Aqua Centre in East Kilbride, Scotland.” (London Aquatics Centre, Wikipedia)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Two Brothers

Wire mesh sculpture by Mattia Trotta, Villa Fabbricotti, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, Florence
Wire mesh sculpture by Mattia Trotta, 2011
Villa Fabbricotti, Via Vittorio Emanuele II
Florence, April 2017

“Italian sculptor Mattia Trotta creates amazing sculptures from wire meshes, which at first glance, I mistook to be that by Ivan Lovatt who works with almost the same materials. While Ivan Lovatt creates sculptures from chicken wire, Mattia Trotta uses steel. Both artist also employ different techniques. Trotta starts from a skeleton of steel wrapped around with wire. One by one, these wires are tangled and compacted to fill the casing. As a skilled tailor who, with needle and thread, sew a dress that fits perfectly on the body, Mattia Trotta with iron creates a kind of dress that can give fullness and thickness to thought and emotion, as he himself says: ‘Every wire and twist is given a reason to exist.’ Brought to completion the iron figure undergoes further treatment with acid to prevent corrosion and to extract the natural shades and colors of the wires.” (Iron Wire Sculptures by Mattia Trotta, Amusing Planet)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tower of Apostle Thomas

Tower of Apostle Thomas, Passion Façade, Sagrada Família, Carrer de Sardenya, Barcelona
Tower of Apostle Thomas
Passion Façade, Sagrada Família
Carrer de Sardenya
Barcelona, March 2017

“Gaudí's original design calls for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the four Evangelists and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. Eight spires have been built as of 2010, corresponding to four apostles at the Nativity façade and four apostles at the Passion façade. According to the 2005 ‘Works Report’ of the project's official website, drawings signed by Gaudí and recently found in the Municipal Archives, indicate that the spire of the Virgin was in fact intended by Gaudí to be shorter than those of the evangelists. The spire height will follow Gaudí's intention, which according to the report will work with the existing foundation. The Evangelists' spires will be surmounted by sculptures of their traditional symbols: a winged bull (Saint Luke), a winged man (Saint Matthew), an eagle (Saint John), and a winged lion (Saint Mark). The central spire of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross; its total height (170 metres (560 ft)) will be one metre less than that of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona as Gaudí believed that his creation should not surpass God's. The lower spires are surmounted by communion hosts with sheaves of wheat and chalices with bunches of grapes, representing the Eucharist. The completion of the spires will make Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world.” (Sagrada Família, Wikipedia)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Palazzo Re Enzo

Bologna
Palazzo Re Enzo
Piazza del Nettuno
Bologna, June 2015

“Palazzo Re Enzo is a palace in Bologna, northern Italy. It takes its name from Enzio of Sardinia, Frederick II's son, who was prisoner here from 1249 until his death in 1272. The palace was built between 1244-1246 as an extension of the nearby Palazzo del Podestà, which had proven insufficient for the exigences of the Commune of Bologna. It was therefore initially known as Palatium Novum (‘New Palace’). Three years after the palace completion, Enzio was captured by the Guelphs at the Battle of Fossalta, and after a short stay in Anzola he was moved here, where he remained until his death. In 1386 Antonio di Vincenzo finished the Sala dei Trecento ("Hall of the Three-Hundred"), which was to become the city's archive. The last floor was largely renovated in 1771 by Giovanni Giacomo Dotti. The current Gothic appearance dates from the restoration of 1905 due to Alfonso Rubbiani. On the right of the palace is the access to the chapel of Santa Maria dei Carcerati, where the condemned to death went to. In the first floor was held the Carroccio and the war machines, while in the middle floor were the offices of the praetor and the chapel.”
(Palazzo Re Enzo, Wikipedia)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Borough Market Hall

Market Hall by DLA Architects, Borough Market, Southwark, London
Market Hall by DLA Architects, 2013
Borough Market, Southwark
Bedale Street / Borough High Street
London, September 2016

“DLA have transformed a pocket of Southwark into a new city garden and gathering space for Borough Market through the refurbishment of The Market Hall. Borough Market was established in 1754 and is London's oldest food Market. With its roots based firmly in the local community, an Act of Parliament stated that Borough Market should remain ''an estate for the use and benefit of the local community forever''. The Market Hall strengthens this Act by promoting food education and sustainability, whilst engaging the local community. DLA have helped the Trustees of Borough Market achieve this through the development of the brief and a series of distinctive architectural interventions including a vertical herb garden, scented planter seating, a mobile olive orchard, hop planters, a demonstration kitchen and a CNC engineered timber cladding design which represents the Market through the four seasons. Located opposite London Bridge Station and the Shard, the Market Hall is a piece of urban design which for the first time in the Market's rich history stiches together the existing Market and Borough High Street, whilst providing a frontage where Market activities will be visible and education events promoted. Locals and visitors to Borough Market will now be greeted with an ever changing calendar of events and activities throughout the day and year. The flexible community hall will function as a public square, garden, education space and dining room.” (The Market Hall, Architecture.com)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Goldrake

Goldrake, Grendizer at a window, Borgo degli Albizi, Florence
Goldrake (Grendizer) at a window
Borgo degli Albizi
Florence, January 2016

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Gambrinus

La Gamba or Gambrinus by Javier Mariscal and Alfredo Arribas, Passeig de Colom, Barcelona
“La Gamba” or “Gambrinus” by Javier Mariscal and Alfredo Arribas, 1989
Passeig de Colom
Barcelona, March 2017

“Gambrinus is probably the happiest lobster in Barcelona and one of the stars of Barcelona’s public art. He waits at the end of Passeig de Colom with big pinching claws and a cheeky smile ready to welcome you to the seafront. This huge cartoon-like lobster was, like most of the urban art in Port Olympic, commissioned for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Gambrinus was created by the Valencia-born artist Javier Mariscal, dubbed “the Peter Pan of Spanish design”. He first won the adoration of the public in 1988 with his design of “Cobi,” the official Olympic mascot for the Games in 1992, creating its corporate identity with this friendly dog mascot. Gambrinus is clever, edgy, and humorous. Below it there was once a Gambrinus café bar, and whilst the café has now closed the lovable lobster remains.” (Gambrinus by Javier Mariscal, AB Apartment Barcelona Guide)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tartuca

Tartuca (Tortoise) fountain by Bruno Buracchini, Via San Pietro, Siena
Tartuca (Tortoise) fountain by Bruno Buracchini, 1951
Via San Pietro
Siena, April 2017

“The first Siena contrada to commission its own unique fountain was Tartuca (tortoise). Sculptor Vico Consorti was engaged by the contrada to make a bronze turtle, but the original sculpture lacked animation and did not satisfy the contrada committee. The replacement, as recast by artist Bruno Buracchini, depicts a child astride a tortoise in motion. Tartuca’s fountain was inaugurated in 1951, but due to the recasting and delays it was not the first but the second put into use. Tartuca’s patron, St. Anthony of Padua, is celebrated on June 13. The Tartuca contrada is in the southeast part of Siena, between the Pinacoteca and Porta Tufi, in Terzo di Città. Their fountain occupies a niche in a wall on Via San Pietro.” (Siena's Contrada Fountains, La Bella Vita in Italia)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Heroic Self Sacrifice

Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, Postman's Park, City of London, London
Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice
Postman's Park, City of London
London, September 2016

“The painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts and his second wife Mary Fraser Tytler had long been advocates of the idea of art as a force for social change. Watts had painted a series of portraits of those figures he considered to be a positive social influence, the ‘Hall of Fame’, which was donated to the National Portrait Gallery. As the son of a piano maker, who reportedly despised the wealthy and powerful and twice refused a baronetcy, Watts had long considered a national monument to the bravery of ordinary people. In August 1866, he suggested to his patron Charles Rickards that he "erect a great statue to Unknown Worth", and proposed erecting a colossal bronze figure. Unable to secure funds, the memorial remained unrealised. On 5 September 1887, a letter was published in The Times from Watts, proposing a scheme to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Entitled ‘Another Jubilee Suggestion’, Watts proposed to ‘collect a complete record of the stories of heroism in every-day life’. Watts cited the case of Alice Ayres, a servant who, trapped in a burning house, gave up the chance to jump to safety, instead first throwing a mattress out of the window to cushion the fall, before running back into the house three times to fetch her employer's children and throwing them out of a window onto the mattress to safety before herself being overcome by fumes and falling out of the window to her death.” (The Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, Wikipedia)

External links: List of tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tepidarium

Tepidarium by Giacomo Roster, Giardino dell'Orticultura (Horticultural Garden), Via Bolognese, Florence
Tepidarium by Giacomo Roster, 1878
Giardino dell'Orticultura (Horticultural Garden)
Via Bolognese
Florence, April 2017

“In 1880, the Italian Horticultural Federation chose the Horticultural Garden of Florence as the venue for the First National Exhibition. For the occasion, the Tuscan Horticultural Society sponsored the construction of a large tepidarium capable of sheltering the plants from subtropical and temperate climates. This is without a doubt the garden’s most spectacular structure. Realised by the Officine Michelucci of Pistoia on a project by architect Giacomo Roster, the work constituted an extraordinary example of architecture in iron and glass that was emerging on the national panorama. The daring building with its metal structure supported by 24 cast-iron columns is situated more or less on the spot where the ‘Chinese Pavilion’ had stood only a few years before. The tepidarium stimulated the interest for botanical research and experimentation in greenhouse cultivating.” (Horticultural Garden, Scientific Itineraries in Tuscany)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

An Iron Church

Interior of the church of Notre-Dame-du-Travail, Rue Guilleminot, Paris
Interior of the church of Notre-Dame-du-Travail by Jules-Godefroy Astruc, 1902
Rue Vercingétorix, quartier de Plaisance, 14e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014