KRAKOW – ST.MARY’S BASILICA – KOŚCIÓŁ MARIACKI


The most famous and most visited monument of Krakow/Cracow.Located in North – East corner of Krakow’s medieval square, is a symbol of city’s history, and one of the most precious monuments in old town centre. 

The church has been built in 13-th century in gothic era after the first  romanesque church had been destroyed by Turkish invaders.The three naves have been rised , the main, middle one which was the tallest and  one smaller nave to each side of it, with half circular chapels, main oltar at the end, and two different height towers to the front of the building.

We can see lots of little long windows with pointed/lancet arches, so popular  in central europe at those times.

The main body of the building has been  made of red, local manufactured brick, with many stone surrounds, stone or brick window heads and sills, the two towers have been covered with the spires, each in different style. 

The taller tower has been designed on a square plan, then, in  the end it turns into octagonal, on the other side, shorter tower is square in plan , with the size  getting gradually smaller aproaching the top.
After few centuries the octagonal in plan lobby has been added in a baroque style with neo- gothic stone pinacles.

To the side of basilica you can see the massive, vertical windows with stone surrounds and  subdivided to few stone moulions ended with  another internal lancet arches ,oculuses and cusps, and all windows have been decorated with the stained glass.

At the external side of the brick walls we can see the brick buttress piers between the windows, with set offs, without flying butress in this case but with pinacles with crockets and finials.

If you want to find out more about gothic architecture commonelements, please see a fantastic blog:
http://gothiceraarchitecture.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-techniques-lasting-looks.html

Advertisements

LONDON – LONDON EYE – SOUTH BANK OF THAMES RIVER


EDF Energy London Eye – formally opened by Tony Blair in 1999 – for many people, one of the biggest tourist attraction of London after the Buckingham Palace and the rumours about the royal scandals but there are also some more critical opinions like of Sir Richard Rogers, who basically said that from architectural point of view London gained nothing  but another symbol and another structure to climb on and lookback down it , just like Eiffel Tower in Paris – form my point of view that is not fair.

 The weel has been designed by architectural team which consisted of :  Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steven Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, Julia Barfield , David Marks.

Located on the south bank of London, opposite the London Parliament and Big Ben tower, the structure is generating 3.5 happy customers every year.

 The tallest ferris weel in Europe, with 32 stell and reinforced glass capsules (symbolizing each borough of London), which are air conditoned and spin very slowly  around the big weel/loop

 It is unforgetable experience to see the town from such a height, and I am sure sir Richard Rogers would definitely change his mind if he ever had a chance to experience this feeling.

 By the way designed by him building, O2 Arena – Millenium Dome is giving the city one function only , (apart from the commercial one), is providing a concert hall for the city , and that is just enogh for me, and many others.




LONDON – THAMES RIVER MOVABLE FLOOD BARRIER


Thames River water regulating barrier  is located in east part of London, Greenwich .It is clear for everyone and has been known for many years that the famous british river is very vulnerable to flooding  and storm surges coming from the Atlantic Ocean.

The solution to that problem was to invent a sort of tame, barrier which would span across the River and block the excessive flow of water.The construction of the structure has been mainly completed in 1982.


It consists of a seven piers resembling the shells or a form of a swiveled half  bodies of  ships embedded in a renforced concrete base, and anchored deep at the river bed.Between the piers we can see the horizontal laid cylinders being the actual gates, and the steel, yellow painted mechanical arms, operating the opening and closing the gates.

Althogh the construction was created almost 20 years ago, it has undoubtedly a remarkably  contemporary character.The designing company  Rendel, Palmer and Tritton used a very expressive shapes to form the overall look of the piers, and finished  it with a very shiny metal which even from a further distance distinguishes from  the scenery.           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Really fascinating construction and its unusual appearance draws many tourists’ attention and is another very good reason to visit this area of  London .
For me at least as sexy as the painting  Birth of Venus by Sandro Boticelli 😉                                                                                                         


DUBLIN – BRIDGE ON LIFFEY RIVER- SANTIAGO CALATRAVA


Let me introduce you a very absorbing bridge located in the centre of  Dublin, called after James Joyce, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The bridge was opened in 2003, structure is designed as tied- arch bridge, 30 m wide and 40 m long, and is connecting  the South and the North side of Dublin.

We can see that functionally it has been divided into one, middle passage for a vehicular traffic, and two pedestrian walkways on both side of the bridge.

On each side, between pedestrian and vehicular traffic, there is a special area excluded for people who want to stop and admire the Liffey River.

The designer used basically  only three materials for it’s construction; glass , concrete and steel.

You can distinguish nice details of stainless strained steel cables/wire ropes stretching from the top of the arch to the bottom support- the structure has no support below the deck of the bridge whatsoever .
Personally I really like the way of designing the steel and glazed balustrade, and it’s connection to the existing retaining wall.
The architect, structural engineer S.Calatrava , here again did very well and I think he prooved that no architecture is to small for the good designer.
The building looks esspecially charming when illuminated by night.


ROME – ANCIENT PANTHEON


An ancient beauty and a symbol of excelence and the perfection.

The buidling located in the centre of Rome,  is a glamorous example of ancient temples.

Edifice has been  built by Marcus Agrippa, roman general and statesman , and originally has been  dedicated to all ancient roman gods .

In the begining the building was surrounded by  many gods sculptures and had a stepped approach with the pediment.

The temple is circular in plan, consists of  three ranks of grey granite Corinthian columns which support a triangular stone portico/porch (originally there were two of  them),  pronaos (columnade leading to the entrance )  and a main chamber of a temple which is a rotonda that houses a nishes, apses and the oltars of the cult figures.

In the next centuries after conversion the temple into a catholic church, the gods figures were replaced by figures and thombes of the catholic saints, popes, great artists like Rafaell Santi, or music composer Corelli.

One of the most impressive things about the building is it’s interiour with  roman concrete dome, oculus – the only sorce of direct light in the temple and  lovely square coffers around the dome as well as the constructiion of the dome itself  which thickness variess from 6.4 m at the base of the dome to 1.2m at the top .

 No wonder why it is one of the most popular monuments in Rome for many centuries until today.

One more thing : when visitng that great edifice do not forgett about a lovely obelisk located outside, in front of the building, which was a very thoughtfull  idea in terms of a composition of a square, housing the Temple.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ROME – COLOSSEUM- COLISEUM


This time I am going to present the slightly older, but still impressive building, the largest ever amphiteatre built in Roman Empire.

Located in the heart of Rome, to the east of the Roman Forum.It was constructed in 80 AD and until today is a wonderfull example of almost perfect, undoubtly beautyful architecture, transcendent patern for future thousands of stadiums.

The builders used all their knowledge and put a maximum effort to make sure that every element of the edifice was to ceasars standards and as technologicaly advanced as nowhere in the world, at those days.

They used a very steady travertine stone which gives the  building a yellowish hue,  the half collumns and pillars were all in  roman architectural style, following : roman doric, roman ionic, roman corinthian which seems to be the perfect solution giing the lightness and an illusion as if the building was rising to the sky.

 

Very popular those days in rome but how greatly practical and functional use of the roman arches,vaults, which were able to add some bigger openings to the really massive walls and on the other hand it was an excellent way of making the built more stylish, and more decorative.

They proposed almost impossible as for those time capacity of the building ,and the building was capable of seating          50 000 spectactors.


The ideal way of a drainage, superb design of a stage with it’s lots of facilities for the performers, and a spotless outlook for the audience.


Today it’s condition is slightly deteriorated but the structure is still considered as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.            Here you will find out more about the Colosseum

 


PARIS- CINEMATHEQUE BUILDING


This lovely building was designed by one of the most famous architects in the world,  Frank.O.Ghery – Ghery Partners.

Located in Paris, on 51 Rue de Bercy the building is facing the front elevation to  Park De Bercy, which is still admired by
architects, urban designers and landscapers.
 
 
The edifice is called by it’s designer  ” The dancer raising her tutu”.
Now is a centre of a cinematography and a very popular place of visit of parisiens.
 
 
When you see it for the first time , it strikes you that you can easily tell who created it .
 
 
Very common for Frank Ghery use of concrete masses to build the structure with a lot of bends and curvatures.The architects idea is usually to make a building look like in the move, often likes to refer to dance,  plays with his strcuture like if it was a “Lego” toy building bricks.
 
 
He also uses very different types of metal cladding , but not in this case where everything was kept clear and pure, like poored concrete.
 
 
The architect is often called de- constructivist for his very bold and unstopable use of almost impossible to build structures and for creating a dramatic, very expressive, emotional and breath taking atmospere, and suspension in time.
 
 
Frank Ghery was also a father of serpentine’s gallery exhibition pavilion in London in  2008.
 

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=paris+parc+de+bercy,+la+cinematheque+francaise+building&aq=&sll=48.837478,2.382987&sspn=0.002334,0.004801&ie=UTF8&hq=parc+de+bercy,+la+cinematheque+francaise+building&hnear=Paris,+Ile-de-France,+France&t=h&ll=48.837003,2.382571&spn=0.000618,0.00114&z=19&output=embed
View Larger Map