Surreal Photography: Chema Madoz

17 Apr Virginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- Reloj

If you love photography, you’ll be quite impressed by Chema Madoz, a Spanish photographer who won The National Photography Prize in 2000. But what is it exactly that makes his photographs so unique? He always shoots with natural light and uses a medium format Hasselblad. However, the extreme sensibility of his photographs go beyond technicism.

When being asked about what inspires his work, he always answers “Everyday objects”. However, these common objects seen through his lens couldn’t be described as common. His surreal photographs are thought-provoking, they generate stories and create reactions. Nobody stays indifferent. On the other hand, If you had a chance to listen to him talk, you’ll realize how sensible, calm and gentle he is, just like his photographs.

This is a selection of my favourite photographs. What are your thoughts about them?
______________________________________________________________________       Virginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- RelojVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- AgujaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- ÁrbolVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- CerillaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- AnilloVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- CopaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- CucharaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- JaulaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- EscaleraVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- PeraVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- Horas MuertasVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- MariposaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- Vino Virginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- Platos Virginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- AguaVirginia Duran Blog- Surreal Photography- Chema Madoz- Hielo____________________________________________________________
Check all his work at www.chemamadoz.com
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Learn how to make creative cyanotype prints!

Virginia Duran Blog_How To Make Creative Cyanotype Prints_NY skyline-

23 Spots You Shouldn’t Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture

3 Apr Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Colonnade Plaza

Miami is this amazing city where you can find anything you want. If you want sun and sand, you’ll have it. But if you wanted a 12th century monastery brought stone by stone from Spain you could have it too. Impressed? Continue reading…

The clear blue water and the white sand beaches are a must-see, but also many of the city’s buildings. Miami’s architectural styles range from playful architecture that reflects its beach and Latin American culture and its old Spanish heritage to its modern architecture, the well known MiMo (Miami Modern Architecture) style. If you love architecture you should check this list!

Have you visited these buildings? Which was your favourite?


Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- The Ancient Spanish Monastery Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- The Ancient Spanish Monastery-cloister1. The Ancient Spanish Monastery
Location:
16711 West Dixie Highway
Architect: Unknown
Year: 1141
Description: This Spanish Cistercian monastery, constructed in the 12th century, is one of the oldest buildings in the Western Hemisphere. Built in the town of Sacramenia (Segovia) and later in 1925 shipped to New York City (structures were dismantled stone by stone, packed in more than 11,000 wooden crates, numbered for identification and shipped to the US) and finally reassembled in North Miami Beach. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Wynwood WallsVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Wynwood Walls- N2. Wynwood Walls
Location:
Northwest 25th Street
Architect: Tony Goldman
Year: 2009
Description: Created as something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood. The Wynwood Walls became a major art statement with commitment to graffiti and street art, a genre that is under appreciated and not respected historically. The truth is that some of these graffitis will blow your mind away, since some of the world’s greatest artists have worked here. Creativity everywhere, and it changes every year. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Bacardi Building by Enrique GutierrezVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Bacardi Building by Enrique Gutierrez- Photo_by_Robin_Hill_©_www.robinhill.net3. Bacardi Building
Location:
  2100 Biscayne Blvd
Architect:  Enrique Gutierrez
Year: 1973
Description: One of Miami’s best icons is this complex of two buildings (the smaller 1974 annex, designed by Ignacio Carrera-Justiz) that serve as Bacardi’s HQ in USA. The architect had previously worked with Mies van der Rohe on the Bacardi HQ in Mexico City, you could tell from the minimalistic sides of the façade. The other two exterior walls are adorned with fantastic blue and white renderings of a tropical paradise, handpainted by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand. Definitely worth a visit. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- 1111 Lincoln Road by Herzoy and de Meuron- exterior Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- 1111 Lincoln Road by Herzoy and de Meuron Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Parking by Herzog and de Meuron

4. Parking Garage
Location:
1111 Lincoln Road
Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
Year: 2010
Description: This is one of the best recent projects on Miami Beach, despite being a parking. The structure is the architecture. The car park is an organism made up of a family of concrete slabs, deployed as floor plates, columns and ramps. The best part of it, however, is on the top floor, amazing skyline views from here. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Lincoln Theater - H&M by Thomas W. LambVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Lincoln Theater - H&M by Thomas W. Lamb- interior5. Lincoln Theater / H&M
Location:
541 Lincoln Rd
Architect:  Thomas W. Lamb
Year: 1936
Description: I’ll admit I discovered this building by accident, I was shopping at H&M when I realized it had the typical layout of a theatre. Indeed, it functioned as a cinema until the 80s then it was used for performances of the New World Symphony which moved to Frank Gehry-designed building in 2011. While the interior was gutted and refurbished, the exterior restored to its original Art Deco and Moderne appearance. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- New World Symphony by Frank Gehry skyline Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- New World Symphony by Frank GehryVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- New World Symphony by Frank Gehry Plan6. New World Symphony
Location:
  500 17th St
Architect:  Frank Gehry
Year: 2011
Description:  Wether you’re a Frank Gehry fan or not, this is a project you can’t miss because in terms of design the building’s exterior portrays a quiet, almost tamed Frank Gehry. Directly adjacent to the building is the new Miami Beach SoundScape, a landscaped public space into which New World Symphony extends its programming. Together, the building and the public space create a dynamic new city center. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Lincoln Theater - Casa Casaurina by Alden Freeman Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Lincoln Theater - Casa Casaurina by Alden Freeman- interior7. Casa Casaurina
Location:
  1116 Ocean Drive
Architect:  Alden Freeman
Year: 1930
Description:  This luxurious mansion has gone by many names, including Casa Casuarina, the Amsterdam Palace, and most recently, The Villa By Barton G. But most will always think of it at the Versace Mansion, since it is most famous as the former home and murder site of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997. Reopened in 2009 as a boutique luxury hotel, restaurant and event space. The style, Mediterranean villa, makes this place unique on its location. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Park Central Hotel by Henry Hohauser-Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Winter Haven Hotel by Albert Anis 8. Art Deco Architecture
Location:
  Starts at 640 Ocean Drive
Architect:  Henry Hohauser, Albert Anis, L. Murray Dixon
Year: 1935-1940
Description:  Miami is well known for its amazing Art Deco architecture legacy, built between the 20′s and the 40′s. Most of the remaining buildings are located on Ocean Drive. Make sure you don’t miss these constructions made of rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation. Read more here.

______________________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Lincoln Theater - South Pointe Park by Hargreaves Associates + Nice Views- Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Lincoln Theater - South Pointe Park by Hargreaves Associates9. South Pointe Park
Location:
  1 Washington Ave
Architect:  Hargreaves Associates
Year:
Description: If you like landscape architecture, which I do very much, this is a must visit. The revitalization of this underutilized public park transforms it into a neighborhood and regional destination through the integration of diversified urban park programs, regional gardens and restored native habitats, and the connection with urban circulation systems. Also, very nice skyline views from the end of the park. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts by Cesar Pelli- Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts by Cesar Pelli-nightVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts by Cesar Pelli- Auditorium-10. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Location:
  1300 Biscayne Boulevard
Architect: Cesar Pelli
Year: 2006
Description: The Arsht Center consists of two main buildings — the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House and the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall and a tower — connected by an outdoor plaza. The tower from a 1929 Sears store, the earliest example of Art Deco in Miami, was preserved and incorporated into the plaza design. The buildings are punctuated by large glass and steel curtain walls at their entries. However, the most interesting part its on the interior. Free tours are available, so make sure you take a peek to its amazing auditorium. Read more here.

______________________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Perez Art Museum Miami + Miami Science Museum by Herzog & deMeuron PAMM H.jpg Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Perez Art Museum Miami + Miami Science Museum by Herzog & deMeuron-interior Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Perez Art Museum Miami + Miami Science Museum by Herzog & deMeuron-section

11. Perez Art Museum Miami + Miami Science Museum
Location:
  Bicentennial Park
Architect:  Herzog & deMeuron
Year: 2014
Description:  Recently opened, this building is the new home to a growing collection of international artwork by some of the world’s foremost artists. A cantilevered canopy creates a series of outdoor spaces connecting the museum with the adjacent park, and offers generous views over biscayne bay. This is another successful project by the amazing Swiss architects. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Freedom Tower by George A. Fuller, Schultze & Weaver Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Freedom Tower by George A. Fuller, Schultze & Weaver-12. Freedom Tower
Location:
  600 Biscayne Boulevard
Architect:  George A. Fuller, Schultze & Weaver
Year: 1925
Description: originally built as the headquarters and printing facility of the newspaper The Miami News. The newspaper went out of business for more than 30 years later, laying the building vacant for some time. When the Castro regime came into power in Cuba and political refugees flooded South Florida looking for a new start, the Tower was taken over by the U.S. government to provide services to the immigrants. Currently used as a museum and a memorial to Cuban immigration to the US. Beautiful Mediterranean Revival style. Oh, don’t miss the AmericanAirlines Arena by Arquitectonica across the street. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture-Old United States Post Office and Courthouse by Kiehnel and Elliott and Oscar Wenderoth Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture-Old United States Post Office and Courthouse by Kiehnel and Elliott and Oscar Wenderoth-13. Old United States Post Office and Courthouse
Location:
  100 NE 1st Ave
Architect:  Kiehnel and Elliott and Oscar Wenderoth
Year: 1914
Description:  This three-story, Neo-Classical building was the first major federal facility to be constructed in Miami. In contrast to the classically-inspired architectural details, the building’s Spanish tile roof and wide overhanging eaves are adapted for the local climate. In 1937, after the federal offices moved to larger facilities, the building became the home of the first savings and loan association to be chartered by the U.S. government. Don’t miss on the same street Miami-Dade County Courthouse, which got built around the same time. Read more here. ______________________________________________________________________________  Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Miami Tower by Pei CobbVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Miami Tower + James L Knight International Center by Pei Cobb Freed and PartnersVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Miami Tower + James L. Knight International Center by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners14. Miami Tower + James L. Knight International Center
Location:
  100 Southeast 2nd Street
Architect:  Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Year: 1987
Description: The tower consists of two separate structures: A 10-story parking garage and the 37-story office tower. The building, which dominates the skyline of Miami, has become one of the most photographed city also because its beautiful, elaborate night-time illuminations. On the other hand, it has the world’s only elevated metro station in a skyscraper, which is impressive. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- 500 Brickell by Arquitectonica street Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- 500 Brickell by Arquitectonica Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- 500 Brickell by Arquitectonica-15. 500 Brickell
Location:
  500 Brickell
Architect:  Arquitectonica
Year: 2008
Description:  This building is just one of a thousand projects by Arquitectonica in Miami. Located just accross the street you’ll see The Viceroy Tower, and a few miles away you’ll find the Atlantis Condominium all by the same firm. I may not be a huge fan of this formalistic kind of architecture, however, this typology has set a style in the city and Arquitectonica’s towers are now an icon of Miami. For instance, these two buildings which were designed as twin towers, and rise 426 feet (130 meters), with 42 floors. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Colonnade Plaza Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Colonnade Plaza-16. Colonnade Plaza
Location:
  1201 Brickell Ave
Architect: O. K. Houstoun, Jr. & H. Maxwell Parish
Year: 1926
Description:  When built in 1926, it was originally home to The Mark Store building in Miami. In the 1980s, it received a facelift and became Metromall. Not much is known about this little jewel on Brickell Ave but to me it looks like an amazing white and modern cathedral. If you ever visit it, let me know what you think. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Espirito Santo Plaza by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC (KPFVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Espirito Santo Plaza by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC (KPF)Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Espirito Santo Plaza by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC (KPF)- DiagramVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Espirito Santo Plaza by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC (KPF)- Section17. Espirito Santo Plaza
Location:
  1395 Brickell Ave
Architect: John Pedersen Fox Associates PC (KPF)
Year: 2002
Description:  This is an icon of Miami that you’ll see many times in the city skyline. Its façade features a striking concave shape. The original geometric design was achieved by the result of the  intersection of a rectangular section and a specific area of a cylinder,  overlapping both, and thereafter, and to give it its characteristic  shape end. Amazing skyline views from the restaurant on the 25th floor of the Conrad Hotel. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Simpson Park Hammock Pavilion by Oppenheim Architecture + Design-Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Simpson Park Hammock Pavilion by Oppenheim Architecture + Design18. Simpson Park Hammock Pavilion
Location:
  South Miami Avenue and SW 15th Road
Architect: Oppenheim Architecture + Design
Year: 2009
Description: Simpson Park Hammock’s history dates back to 1913 when residents requested that 5.5 acres of native hardwood hammock be preserved as a natural area.  Since then there have been many highs and lows and this new pavilion structure, by Miami architect Chad Oppenheim and Swiss landscape designer Enzo Enea, was part of the first phase of a public/private partnership to revitalize this historic park and return it to the community. This is probably one of the most peaceful places in Miami. Read more here.
______________________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Little Havana- Maximo Gomez ParkVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Little Havana- Cuban Cigars Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Little Havana- Mural19. Little Havana
Location:
  SW 8th St. and SW 12th Ct
Architect:  -
Year: -
DescriptionThis little Cuban district, often called Calle Ocho, has one of the most authentic latin atmospheres. Don’t expect extravagant street art or people wearing costumes, it’s not about fancy dresses or crazy artists but about the atmosphere. If you want to taste some local culture, take a peek at Maximo Gomez Park and you’ll meet local artists, watch cigar rollers, and listen to traditional Cuban music. To me there’s nothing better. If you love good food, you’re on the right place too. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Biltmore Hotel-exterior Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Biltmore Hotel- TowerVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Biltmore Hotel20. Biltmore Hotel
Location:
  1200 Anastasia Ave
Architect:  Schultze and Weaver
Year: 1926
Description: This is one of my favourite buildings in Miami. Going inside its wall is like being in a movie from the 30s. The Mediterranean Beaux Arts style, brings you to a beautiful time when women wore red lipstick and men smoke cigars. For a number of years it had the largest swimming pool in the world (famous picture from here) but it is best known for its great architecture details. Check the lobby main stairs for example. If you like Spanish architecture, don’t miss the Coral Gabbles entrances around the area. Read more here.

______________________________________________________________________________ Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Venetian PoolVirginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Venetian Pool-21. Venetian Pool
Location:
  2701 de Soto Boulevard
Architect:  Phineas Paist + artist Denman Fink
Year: 1923
Description: The pool was created from a coral rock quarry, where much of the original coral rock was used to border and further accentuate the pool. In its early days, the “Venetian Casino” was the destination for many celebritiesbut it was also a site for orchestrated concerts, in which the pool was emptied so the orchestra would perform on the pool bottom. What makes this place special though, are the loggias, porticos, palm trees and signature bridge. Read more here.

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Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Villa Vizcaya Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Villa Vizcaya-Boat22. Villa Vizcaya
Location:
3251 South Miami Avenue
Architect: Unknown
Year: 1922
Description:  You’ll wonder what this 18th century Italian Renaissance-like villa is doing here. Well, it was built as a winter residence for businessman James Deering who had a very fine taste. Interiors are simply amazing and the gardens appear as a dreamlike vision in the midst of the jungle on the shores of Biscayne Bay. I’ll never get tired of coming here over and over. Read more here.
_____________________________________________________________________ Virginia Duran Blog- 23 Spots You Shouldn't Miss in Miami If You Love Architecture- Paul L Cejas School of Architecture Building by Bernard Tschumivirginia-duran-blog-23-spots-you-shouldnt-miss-in-miami-if-you-love-architecture-paul-l-cejas-school-of-architecture-building-by-bernard-tschumi-detail1

23. Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
Location:
  11200 SW 8th Street
Architect:  Bernard Tschumi
Year: 2003
Description: Last but not least, the architecture school of the list (I always include an architecture school on my lists, can’t help it). The building is named after former FIU trustee Paul L. Cejas, who (ahem!) donated $2 million in support of the School of Architecture. Beautiful use of ceramic tiles in tones of yellows, oranges and reds. Design was focused on creating a communal space as a way to activate the student body and promote discussions and interactions, so don’t forget to visit its interior too. Read more here.

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This list could keep going forever, so if you want more amazing architecture check these and other amazing buildings of Miami on the map below or download my Free Architecture Guide of Miami.


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20 Amazing UI/UX Web Designs (II)

27 Mar Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- NZopera

Some weeks ago I published 20 Amazing UI/UX Web Designs and this is part II of that article. UI/UX design stands for User Interface and User Experience design. A user interface is what people see when they access a web page or an application (what it looks like) and the User experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with a company. Each of these examples did a pretty good job either on UI or UX and if have a closer look you’ll see that all of them have a clear but creative message on what’s being sold.

Hope you find these designs inspiring for your future web site. Which ones did you like best?

 

1. Windows of New York
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2. Gareth Emery
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3. Wrist (must check!)
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4. Ditto
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- Ditto DC

 

 
5. NZopera (must check!)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- NZopera

 

 

6. Velvet and AMATA
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7. RSQ
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8. Visage
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9. STAPLETON
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10. A collective
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- A collective

 

 
11. Mike Kus (must check!)
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12. Cultivated Wit
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13. Disqus
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14. Quo Vadis
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- Quo Vadis

 

 
15. Carles Palacio
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- Carles Palacio

 

 

16. Kyle Penn
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- Kyle Penn

 

 
17. Design Neat (must check!)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- Design Neat

 

 

18. Studio Hekla
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19. Church of the Atom
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing UX UI Web Designs- Church of the Atom

 

 

20. The Gilder
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Note: For more amazing Web Designs click here.
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Miami: The Best of Art Deco Architecture

20 Mar Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- The Colony Hotel by H Hohauser

Miami is the kind of city not many people visit for its architecture, unless you aren’t the average traveler. In that case you’ll be amazed by its colorful Art Deco buildings from the very first minute you step on Ocean Drive.  This kind of architecture reminds us of better times in Cuba, when ladies wore white dresses with red lipstick and men smoked cigars on the outdoor terraces of the cafés. Much has happened since then but Miami keeps this amazing atmosphere provided by these historical buildings which are still standing.

If you visit Miami soon, make sure you don’t miss any of these jewels of Art Deco Architecture.
____________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Park Central Hotel by Henry HohauserName: Park Central Hotel
Location: 640 Ocean Drive
Architect: Henry Hohauser
Year: 1937
Brief Description: Known as “The Blue Jewel” of Ocean Drive, this pastel-hued classic is the famed street’s tallest Art Deco hotel, and its grand lobby once welcomed celebrities such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Rita Hayworth. The Park Central has elaborate decorative motifs: an inset porch, porthole windows above the entrance, echoed by circular motifs at the top, a tripartite front with vertical fluting, abstract designs in the spandrels of the central bay, and a sleek stainless steel sign. Read more.

______________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- The Colony Hotel by H HohauserName: The Colony Hotel
Location: 736 Ocean Drive
Architect: Henry Hohauser
Year: 1935
Brief Description: The Colony Hotel is one of the best known hotels in the street. There are several series of thin horizontal bands either side of the sign and short vertical bars along the central part of the roofline with a zig-zag pattern on both sides. At night the character of the whole area changes when the neon is lit. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Waldorf Towers Hotel by Albert AnisName: Waldorf Towers Hotel
Location: 860 Ocean Drive
Architect: Albert Anis
Year: 1937
Brief Description: With its round corner, this hotel is one of the most distinctive. In December 2001 it completed a comprehensive multi-million dollar renovation which prevented it from its demolition (which is a destiny many other hotels are facing). Sometimes hotels with nautical motifs, like the lighthouse tower here, are defined as Miami Beach Tropical Deco. The porch is more classical but is hidden by the umbrellas. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Breakwater Hotel by Anton SkislewiczName: Breakwater Hotel
Location: 940 Ocean Drive
Architect: Anton Skislewicz
Year: 1936
Brief Description: WWI pilot Anton Skislewicz designed two of the District’s most iconic buildings, the Plymouth and Breakwater Hotels. The Breakwater Hotel shows the use of clean lines, symmetry and ziggurat (zig zag) shapes that typify art deco. Bright colours weren’t used when the buildings were built in the 1930s, but in the 1980s they were repainted. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Edison Hotel by Henry HohauserName: Edison Hotel
Location: 960 Ocean Drive
Architect: Henry Hohauser
Year: 1935
Brief Description: The Mediterranean-style hotel temporarily served as a training headquarters for World War II soldiers. The urge to recreate medieval Spain was popularized in the 1920′s and persisted into the 1930′s. Carrying out this Hispanic myth, Hohauser dressed up this concrete facade with Romanesque motifs, such as the twisted columnettes. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Essex House Hotel by Henry HohauserName: Essex House Hotel
Location: 1001 Collins Avenue
Architect: Henry Hohauser
Year: 1938
Brief Description: The Essex, like the Tiffany, wraps around the corner of the avenue and is prominently announced by a finial which bears its name. This hotel has all the deco elements. Porthole windows along the top storey. Eyebrows proving shade for the windows on the lower storeys. A rounded corner with the hotel name in neon. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Victor Hotel by L. Murray Dixon, renovation by Perkins + WillName: Victor Hotel
Location: 1144 Ocean Drive
Architect: L. Murray Dixon
Year: 1936
Brief Description: Much of the building’s original 1936 architecture still remains, but in 2003 it got a huge renovation by Perkins + Will. Interior design by Jacque Garcia. Despite its height, a horizontal emphasis is provided by the extended window ledges. Aside from a decorative feature, these ledges act as an awning. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Leslie Hotel by Albert AnisName: Leslie Hotel
Location: 1244 Ocean Drive
Architect: Albert Anis
Year: 1937
Brief Description: I loved this hotel because I already knew it from The Ace Ventura movie, which opens with Ace walking northbound from this hotel. It has the tripartite facade so common in Art Deco buildings with extended vertical fluting and bowed windows as decorative devices on the central bay. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- The Carlyle Hotel by Richard Kiehnel and John ElliotName: The Carlyle Hotel
Location: 1250 Ocean Drive
Architect: Richard Kiehnel and John Elliot
Year: 1939
Brief Description: Art Deco curves abound in this stylish hotel, which was featured in the film “The Birdcage”. The canopy here for the front porch is also the base for the upper stories, which is supported by delicate fluted columns. The decoration at the top is filigreed masonry. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Cardozo Hotel-Name: Cardozo Hotel
Location: 1300 Ocean Drive
Architect: Henry Hohauser
Year: 1939
Brief Description: Like the Carlyle Hotel across 13th Street, the Cardozo Hotel is also curvilinear. Although there is a strong sense of horizontality, accented by the bands of eyebrows and modified string courses, both the side and front facades have emphatic central bays as well. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Winter Haven Hotel by Albert AnisName: Winter Haven Hotel
Location: 1400 Ocean Drive
Architect: Albert Anis
Year: 1939
Brief Description: Unlike many of the Art Deco hotels, this one is taller. Still it has the typical tripartite front and extended eyebrows around the corners. Although its façade went through intensive restoration in 2008, it looks very much the same. Oh, don’t miss the grand cruise ship inspired staircase and the floors of ubiquitous terrazzo. Read more.
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???????????????????????????????Name: Crescent Hotel
Location: 1420 Ocean Drive
Architect: Henry Hohauser
Year: 1938
Brief Description: Unlike most Art Deco facades, this one is asymmetrical, although one could still see it as a three-part facade. Like some Art Deco structures, though, it has relief decoration. Located just beside another jewel, Mc Alpin Hotel.  Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture-Mc Alpin Hotel by L. Murray DixonName: Mc Alpin Hotel
Location: 1424 Ocean Drive
Architect: L. Murray Dixon
Year: 1940
Brief Description:  This hotel, created two years after the Crescent Hotel, relates to its sister next door. Both are about the same height with roof lines that seem continuous and even windows and eyebrows are the same height. Unlike the Crescent Hotel, the McAlpin, has the standard Art Deco tripartite facade. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- US Post OfficeName: US Post Office
Location: 1300 Washington Ave
Architect: Howard Lovewell Cheney
Year: 1937
Brief Description:  This building was manufactured in a “stripped classic” design, in a style known as Depression Moderne.  By 1977, it had seen better days, and the MDPL petitioned the federal government to refurbish it.  That they did, and what we have today is perhaps one of the most striking of its kind. Inside, muralist Charles Hardman, with funding from the WPA, created an elaborate painting of Ponce de Leon’s invasion of Florida. Read more.
______________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture- Old City Hall by Martin Luther HamptonName: Old City Hall
Location: 1130 Washington Ave
Architect: Martin Luther Hampton
Year: 1927
Brief Description: A symbol of the city’s resurrection after the disastrous Hurricane of 1926, the 9-story city hall tower included a fire station in the north wing. Disused when City Hall moved to City Center in 1975, it regained civic importance as an element of the Miami Beach Police and Court Facility complex, serving as the home of the Miami Beach branch of the county court system. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture-11th St. DinerName:11th St. Diner
Location: 1065 Washington Avenue
Architect: -
Year: 1948
Brief Description: An original Art Deco diner built in 1948 by Paramount Dining Car Company of Haledon, New Jersey and transported to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and opened the same year. Although this diner was moved to Miami Beach, its Art Deco style is compatible with the indigenous buildings. Read more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Miami- The Best Art Deco Architecture-Wolfsonian-FIU by Robertson and PattersonName: Wolfsonian Museum (originally the Washington Storage Company)
Location: 1001 Washington Ave
Architect: Mark Hampton
Year: 1926
Brief Description:  Originally designed as a storage facility, the current Wolfsonian Museum building stands today very much as it did in the 1920′s, a large block building with marginal fenestration. The decoration is in the best spirit of the Spanish Baroque Revival. Above and around the doorway is a nice example of cast stucco work in a Neo-Churrigueresque style. Read more.
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For more amazing buildings check the map below or download my Free Architecture Guide of Miami.


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10 Photographers Who Helped Make Architects Famous

13 Mar Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Julius Shulman- Stahl House (Case Study House #22 by Pierre Koenig

Architectural photography is one of the most beautiful types of art, and also my favourite.  Its goal is to capture the philosophy and essence of a building into a single image- not an easy task at all. However, when done correctly, it looks as if no effort was needed. The greatness of some of the most known buildings of the 20th century, was first brought to light by its photographers. This post is about them, the photographers who helped make architects famous and who helped us understand these buildings without ever having seen many of them.

My favourite is #4
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Annie Leibovitz- Nw York Times Building, Renzo Piano1. Annie Leibovitz (1949)
New York Times Building 2007, by Renzo Piano
See more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Balthazar Korab- TWA Terminal by Eero Saarinen2. Balthazar Korab (1926–2013)
TWA Terminal 1962, by Eero Saarinen
See more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Lucien Hervé-Notre Dame du Haut- Le Corbusier3. Lucien Hervé (1910-2007)
Notre Dame du Haut 1954, by Le Corbusier
See more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography-Ezra Stoller-John Hancock Tower by SOM4. Ezra Stoller (1915-2004)
John Hancock Tower 1969 by SOM
See more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- David Moore-Sydney Opera House by Jorn Utzon5. David Moore (1927 – 2003)
Sydney Opera House 1966, by Jørn Utzon
See More.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Erwin Blumenfeld- Eiffel Tower6. Erwin Blumenfeld (1897 – 1969)
Eiffel Tower 1889, by Gustave Eiffel
See more.

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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Julius Shulman- Stahl House (Case Study House #22 by Pierre Koenig7. Julius Shulman (1910-2009)
Stahl House (Case Study House #22),  by Pierre Koenig
See more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Charles C Ebbets -Empire State Building 19318 Charles C. Ebbets (1905-1978)
Rockefeller Center 1940, by Raymond Hood
See more.

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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- J Lewis Hine -Framework of the Empire State Building 19319. Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940)
Empire State Building 1931, by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
See more.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Architectural Photography- Admiralty Arch and The Mall by Bedford Lemer10. Bedford Lemer (1839-1911)
Admiralty Arch 1912, by Sir Aston Webb
See more.
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The Free Architecture Guide of London

9 Mar

Virginia Duran Blog- LondonLondon is one of the most interesting European cities in terms of architecture. Besides its  history, some of the most relevant towers of the 21st century have been built recently, making it a beautiful city full of contrasts. Anything interesting in terms of architecture is here. If you find any mistakes, or have any suggestions please let me know. My intention is to keep it useful. Hope you enjoy!

Download pdf here: The Free Architecture Guide of London 2014

Download map here: The Free Architecture Guide of London 2014
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Special thanks to: Mikel Rueda, Mark ND, Ellen Ward, Nick Simpson, Ed Dixon and many others who suggested amazing spots to include in this map.

Top Infographics: Subway Maps Around The World

27 Feb

Among all types of infographics, maps are my favourite kind. It’s really fascinating how much information a well designed map is able to communicate. And this makes subway maps both a challenge and a nightmare to designers.

Long before cars became our primary means of transport, the use of interurban transit provided commuters a way of traveling big distances inside a city. In 1933 the first subway map was created by Harry Beck: London Underground, a classic which then got imitated by many other means of transport. His design was inspired by electrical circuit diagrams, leaving aside the geographic references in order to make it clearer. Quite a lot has happened since then.

Much can be learnt from subway designs, and this is why I think some examples around the world can be very inspiring. I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to find all the designers behind these maps so if anyone finds out any of the ones missing please help me to complete this list.

I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible concerning dates and facts*, but if anyone sees a mistake, please leave a comment and I’ll revise.

1. London (UK)
_______________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- London-Year opened: 1863
System Length: 402 km (250 mi)
Map Designer: Harry Beck (1931), H. Hutchison (1960), Paul Garbutt (1964)

 

2. New York (US)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- New YorkYear opened: 1868 (Elevated),1904 (Subway)
System Length: 373 km (232 mi)
Map Designer: Michael Hertz Associates (1979)

 

3. Budapest (Hungary)
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BP-metro_vill 120420.cdrYear opened: 1896
System Length: 30.8 km (19.1 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

4. Boston (US)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- BostonYear opened: 1897
System Length: 61 km (38 mi)
Map Designer: Mikheil Kvrivishvili (2013)

 

5. Chicago (US)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- Chicago-Year opened: 1897
System Length: 165.4 km (102.8 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

6. Paris (France)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- ParisYear opened:  1900
System Length: 213 km (132 mi)
Map Designer: Jean-Baptiste Berlier (1900)

 

7. Berlin (Germany)
________________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- BerlinYear opened:  1902
System Length: 151.7 km (94.3 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

8. Athens (Greece)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- AthensYear opened:  1904
System Length: 79.6 km (49.5 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

9. Buenos Aires (Argentina)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- Buenos AiresYear opened:  1913
System Length: 47.1 km (29.3 mi)
Map Designer: Diseño Shakespear Argentina (2010)

 

10. Madrid (Spain)
________________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- Madrid
Year opened:  1919
System Length: 293 km (182 mi)
Map Designer: Juan de la Mata (1920), Estudio RaRo S.L. (2007)

 

11. Tokyo (Japan)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- TokyoYear opened:  1925
System Length: 34.5 km (21.4 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

12. Moscow (Russia)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- Moscow-Year opened:  1935
System Length: 317.5 km (197.3 mi)
Map Designer: Art. Lebedev Studio (2010)

 

13. Lisbon (Portugal)
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Diagrama Metr-CP outYear opened: 1959
System Length: 45.5 km (28.3 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

14. Kiev (Ukraine)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- KievYear opened:  1960
System Length: 67.5 km (41.9 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

15. Montréal (Canada)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- MontrealYear opened: 1966
System Length: 69.2 km (43.0 mi)
Map Designer: ?, Thomas J. (proposal 2009)

 

16. Oslo (Norway)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- OsloYear opened: 1966
System Length: 84.2 km (52.3 mi)
Map Designer: 2012 ?

 

17. Mexico City (Mexico)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- MexicoYear opened: 1969
System Length: 226.5 km (140.7 mi)
Map Designer: Lance Wyman

 

18. Beijing (China)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- BeijingYear opened: 1971
System Length: 456 km (283 mi)
Map Designer: Zhang Lide (1984)

 

19. Pyongyang (North Korea)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- PyongyangYear opened: 1973
System Length: 22 km (14 mi)
Map Designer: Sakazaki Motohiko (2007)

 

20. Seoul (South Korea)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- SeoulYear opened: 1981
System Length: 320.5 km (199.1 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

21. Caracas (Venezuela)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- CaracasYear opened:  1983
System Length: 54.2 km (33.7 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

22. Singapore (Singapore)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- SingaporeYear opened:  1987
System Length: 146.5 km (91.0 mi)
Map Designer: Land Transport’s Master Plan 2013

 

23. Istanbul (Turkey)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- IstanbulYear opened:  2000
System Length: 141 km (88 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

24. Brasília (Brazil)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- BraziliaYear opened: 2001
System Length: 42.4 km (26.3 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

25. Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- MeccaYear opened:  2010
System Length: 18.1 km (11.2 mi)
Map Designer: ?

 

26. Almaty (Kazakhstan)
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Virginia Duran Blog- Infographics- Subway Map- AlmatyYear opened:  2011
System Length: 8.5 km (5.3 mi)
Map Designer: Gleb K. Samoilov (2013)
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*All technical information is based on this source.
Further reading: I really enjoyed the diagrams in this article about the world’s largest subway maps.
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12 Amazingly Colorful Buildings

20 Feb Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- MUSAC by Tunon y Mansilla -1

Despite the use of color in architecture throughout history, modern constructions seem to be a bit skeptical of this design aspect. Contemporary architecture tends to avoid color in general and there are only a few buildings who manage to use tones in the right way. Architects don’t want their buildings to look like a kindergarten experiment and this is why color is probably one of the most debated issues in architecture. However, some recent architects seem to have dealt with color pretty well and these are some examples, among many others.

What do you think about these colorful buildings?

______________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- MUSAC by Tunon y Mansilla -1Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- MUSAC by Tunon y Mansilla1. MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León)
Location: Leon (Spain)
Architect: Luis M. Mansilla + Emilio Tuñón
Year: 2004
Brief Description: The facade of the contemporary museum is made of multicolored panels which has certain similitudes to the typical windows of Gothic cathedrals (of which this Spanish region is famous for). In fact, the architects got the inspiration from  the main rose window at the local 13th century Gothic cathedral, Santa María de León. Another similar but less elegant building is the Palais des Congrès in Montreal . Read more here.
________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Museum Brandhorst by Sauerbruch HuttonVirginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Museum Brandhorst by Sauerbruch Hutton Detail2. Museum Brandhorst
Location: Münich (Germany)
Architect: Sauerbruch Hutton
Year: 2002
Brief Description: The Brandhorst Museum houses a private collection of late 20th Century and contemporary art, mostly paintings. The scheme consists of a simple elongated building of three interconnecting volumes which are distinguished by cladding of different colors and hues. This is indeed a very rational use of color, you could tell it’s located in Germany. Read more here.
Note: Sauerbruch Hutton architects have many notable buildings which use color such as the Pharmacological Research Laboratories and the Cologne Oval Offices.
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musée du quai BranlyVirginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Musée du Quai Branly by Jean Nouvel- Interior3. Musée du Quai Branly
Location: Paris (France)
Architect: Jean Nouvel
Year: 2006
Brief Description: Despite its appearance of a wild, disorganized jumble of colorful boxes, this kaleidoscopic composition is used to highlight the museum’s diverse collections. Concealed light sources, invisible showcases, spiral ramps, shifting ceiling heights, and changing colors combine to ease the transition between periods and cultures. And this is indeed a great way to bond the program with the interior and exterior forms and colors. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Niekee SchoolHet nieuwe gebouw van de Niekée school aan de Oranjelaan 300 in Roermond4. Niekee School
Location: Roermond (Netherlands)
Architect: LIAG architects
Year: 2007
Brief Description: Niekee schools is known for distinguishing itself from a traditional school. The exciting, vibrant exterior merely hints at the unusual facilities inside, which is organized around a central area with its open learning centre. The building has been set up this way so that a maximum transparency is reached and interactive relations, learning with and from each other, are promoted. Who wouldn’t be creative surrounded by all this color and amazing spaces? Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- American University Of Cairo Campus Center by Legorreta + Legorreta Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- American University Of Cairo Campus Center by Legorreta Legorreta5. American University Of Cairo Campus Center
Location: Cairo (Egypt)
Architect: Legorreta + Legorreta
Year: 2009
Brief Description: The sons of Mexican starchitect Legorreta seem to have inherited their father’s taste for color. This amazing complex manages to adopt a modern architecture concept to vernacular materials and colors. The composition of blues and oranges is simply amazing, like all of their buildings. Read more here.
________________________________________________________ Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- College of Art and Design of Toronto by Aslop Architects Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- College of Art and Design of Toronto by Aslop Architects-6. College of Art and Design of Toronto
Location: Toronto (Canada)
Architect: Aslop Architects
Year: 2004
Brief Description: The Sharp Centre for Design was built to accommodate an expansion of the Ontario College of Art & Design in downtown Toronto. The center is a two-story, black and white rectangular volume set atop brightly colored, 26 meter tall columns, straddling existing buildings of the College. This bold expansion is in some way proudly soars above, which can be criticised, but modern art is all about this. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Hotel in Barcelona by Toyo ItoVirginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Hotel in Barcelona by Toyo Ito Detail7. Porta Fira Hotel
Location: Barcelona (Spain)
Architect: Toyo Ito and b720 Arquitectos
Year: 2010
Facade Description: The project consists of two towers that perform a subtle dialogue between them. The hotel’s skin is made of a system of red metal tubes placed with a certain inclination. The other tower however, uses the red tubes only on the core (inverse system). The use of color represents the relationship between the two buildings and this is probably why the architects only used one color. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Sugamo Shinkin Bank, Ekoda Branch by Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Sugamo Shinkin Bank, Ekoda Branch by Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design-8. Sugamo Shinkin Bank, Ekoda Branch
Location: Tokyo (Japan)
Architect: Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design
Year: 2012
Brief Description: Sugamo Shinkin Bank is a credit union whose motto is: “we take pleasure in serving happy customers.” The design responds to the client’s expectation: “creating a bank the customers feel happy to visit” and color is one of the main resources of the design. What I really like about the building is that the pillars are also used inside, giving it a sense of “transparency” and “continuity” that is indeed positive for a bank. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Richard Rogers + Estudio Lamela- Madrid Airport- Facade 2 Virginia Duran Blog- Richard Rogers + Estudio Lamela- Interior9. Terminal 4, Barajas Airport
Location: Madrid (Spain)
Architect: Richard Rogers + Estudio Lamela
Year: 2004
Brief Description:  Transitions between spaces are considered as if a person changes time zones gingerly on a travel. The subtle change in colors punctuate this change. But this statement, my friends, is not true. I had the chance to hear the real story and architects won’t be surprised. The architects didn’t know which color to choose so they brought beams of different colors, again and again. The final result? what you see. Read more here.
__________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Simmons Hall by Steven HollVirginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Simmons Hall by Steven Holl Corner
10.
Simmons Hall at MIT
Location:
Boston (US)
Architect: Steven Holl
Year: 2002
Brief Description: The new undergraduate dormitory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technoloy, consists of  a perforated, monolithic box with contained spaces that curve and unfold towards natural light. Where’s the color?  you’ll wonder. The use of color here is very subtle, it can only be perceived from certain angles. Given that is a dormitory full of students this can have a lot of meanings. I’ll keep mine for my own. Read more here.
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Virginia Duran Blog- Unusual Facades- Pixel Building-Melbourne Virginia Duran Blog- Unusual Facades- Pixel Building-Melbourne Detail11. Pixel
Location:
Melbourne (Australia)
Architect:
studio505
Year:
2010
Brief Description:
This is a risky project, however, the architects designed the facade as a system of perimeter planters, fixed shading louvers, double glazed window walls and solar panel shading. They developed a complex yet simple patterning system to engender the project with a human scale ‘flow’ of textures. Read more here.
__________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Nestlé Chocolate Museum by Rojkind ArquitectosVirginia Duran Blog- Amazing and Colorful Buildings- Nestlé Chocolate Museum by Rojkind Arquitectos 112. Nestlé Chocolate Museum
Location: Mexico City (Mexico)
Architect: Rojkind Arquitectos
Year: 2007
Brief Description: This museum is designed in order to deliver the most pleasant experience towards the brand. This playful folding shape is evocative for kids, of an origami shaped bird, or maybe a spaceship. From the moment you enter the space, you start the voyage into the chocolate factory. Even if this seems superficial, this building is extremely effective on its purpose. Read more here.
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10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco

13 Feb Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Mandarin Oriental at dusk

Some weeks ago I published 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Chicago and immediately thought of San Francisco. Its hilly landscape hides potential views like no other big city in the US. So to speak, you’ll have to be fit to reach many of these spots- but the views will pay off believe me.  It’s amazing how in such a small area there are so many interesting points of view to admire the city. However, these are the very best places to bring your camera, so get ready to discover San Francisco’s top sites for photography lovers!
_______________________________________________________________ Coit Tower WindowsCoit Tower Windows1. Coit Tower
Location: 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd.
Best Views: 360º
Admission: General admission $7
Web: sfrecpark.org
Description: This art deco tower was built in 1933 by architects Arthur Brown, Jr. and Henry Howard. Located over the eastern side of San Francisco, traffic makes it impossible to get here by car so I suggest coming through Filbert Street Steps. The 360º views at the top are just amazing. It opens Mon-Sun (10-17.30). It’s currently closed for renovation until April 2014.
__________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Golden-Gate-Bridge-from-Battery-Spencer-San-FranciscoVirginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Golden-Gate-Bridge-from-Battery-Spencer-San-Francisco2. Battery Spencer
Location: McCullough Rd & Conzelman Rd
Best Views: Golden Gate Bridge
Admission: Free access
Web: parksconservancy.org
Description: Originally built as a military lookout, it now provides large wide-screen vistas of the Pacific. This is the single best “money shot” of the Golden Gate Bridge. Everyone should come here at least once in a lifetime. Parking is almost impossible … almost …, but it is possible. If you can’t find a spot drive up a little further to a roundabout and then come back down the hill and “wait” behind other cars for someone to leave.
________________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Twin Peaks3. Twin Peaks
Location: Twin Peaks Blvd
Best Views:  Towers around Market St: Transamerica Tower, Hallidie Building, Millennium Tower, Shaklee Terraces
Admission: Free access
Web: sfrecpark.org
Description: At 922 feet in elevation, Twin Peaks is second only to Mt. Davidson in height. Originally called “Los Pechos de la Choca” (Breasts of the Maiden) by early Spanish settlers, these two adjacent peaks provide amazing views of Market St and its adjacent towers. Most visitors drive Twin Peaks, it’s almost impossible to come here by other means. If you hate tourists (like I do) don’t take the tourist bus.
____________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Alcatraz Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco-Alcatraz4. Alcatraz
Location: Alcatraz Island
Best Views: South San Francisco’s skyline
Admission: Ticket $26
Web: nps.gov
Description: So everyone knows about Alcatraz, a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Featured in an endless list of movies such as Catch Me If You Can (2002) or Escape from Alcatraz (1979), it is probably one of San Francisco’s best places to get a shot of its complete skyline. Cruises depart from Pier 33 (9-15.55) and return (9.20-18.15). Fare includes admission to the park and an award-winning cell house audio tour. Oh, and you need to book tickets in advance. It can also be visited at night but is kind of creepy.
_______________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Hyatt Ferry Building Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Hyatt Hotel Ferry Building5. Hyatt Grand Regency Hotel
Location: 5 Embarcadero Center
Best Views: Ferry Building, San Francisco Bay
Admission: Free access
Web: sanfranciscoregency.hyatt.com
Description: The Regency Club Lounge was once the Equinox, a rooftop revolving restaurant, but is now a stationary elite club for certain hotel guests offering 360-degree views of the city and the bay. However, if you go to one of the top floors and walk all the way down to the end of the rooms you’ll be able to get out on the fire escape to take amazing overhead shots of the San Francisco Ferry Building. Make sure to use something to prop the fire escape door open behind you- it locks if you don’t and the only way out is to take the stairs all the way out to the bottom. Also, very close to it at Rincon Park’s Cupid’s Span you can get nice shots of the bridge.
__________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Art InstituteVirginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Art Institute Rooftop6. San Francisco Art Institute Rooftop
Location: 800 Chestnut St
Best Views:  Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill
Admission: Free access
Web: sfai.edu
Description:  There are two spots to take the best views of Coit Tower, one is The Art Institute’s Rooftop and the other is the Financial District Hilton on Kearny. Both are amazing but this place is maybe less known and is even open on the weekends. Great views of Trans America tower, Coit Tower, and the waterfront. Don’t miss the Diego Rivera mural, it’s a historical fresco.
________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Ina Coolbrith ParkVirginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Ina Coolbrith Park Panorama7. Ina Coolbrith Park
Location: Vallejo St.
Best Views: Transamerica Tower, Coit Tower, San Francisco Bay
Admission: Free access
Web: sanfranciscodays.com
Description: Have you seen these views? Aren’t they amazing? San Francisco parks are just incredible, while you relax lying on the grass you get to contemplate a beautiful scenario. If you like nature make sure you check Dolores Park, Tank Hill and Bernal Heights Park.
________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- University of Law California8. Hastings College of the Law (University of California)
Location: 24th floor James Edgar Hervey Skyroom at 100 McAllister Street.
Best Views: San Francisco City Hall and The Asian Art Museum
Admission: Free access
Web: uchastings.edu
Description: It’s a shame that the City Hall’s dome can’t be visited. However, you can get to see the dome from this location. McAllister Building (known casually as “The Tower”) contains mainly classrooms, faculty offices, and student housing at University of California. You may not be allowed here so it’s time to make some friends, isn’t it?
________________________________________________________ Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- PresidioVirginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Baker Beach9. The Presidio
Location:
Marine Dr.
Best Views: Golden Gate Bridge
Admission:
Free access
Web:
parksconservancy.org
Description: If you’ve watched Hitchcock’s Vertigo with beautiful Kim Novak you shouldn’t miss this spot. Romantic views of the Golden Gate bridge. Other interesting points of view besides the Presidio are Crissy Field and Baker Beach (second image).
________________________________________________________Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Mandarin Hotel Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in San Francisco- Mandarin Oriental at dusk10. Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Location: 222 Sansome St.
Best Views: North Beach and the Transamerica Building
Admission:
Free access
Web:
mandarinoriental.com
Description
: The Mandarin Hotel is the tallest hotel in San Francisco and there is the most amazing catwalk connecting it’s two towers on the top floor. In my opinion, it’s the best. The views have the perfect angle. However, other amazing hotels such as the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel are amazing too.
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Check these and other amazing buildings of San Francisco on the map below or download my Free Architecture Guide of San Francisco.

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The Most Bizarre Concrete Building in Madrid

6 Feb Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- 1970

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- 1970Winter 1970, Madrid

If you love concrete  you’ll love this piece, built between 1960-1990. The Spanish cultural heritage building, “Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural” is the most unusual concrete building in Madrid.

Building: Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España
Architects: Fernando Higueras (1930-2008), Rafael Moneo (1937- ), Antonio Miró (1931-2011)
Year built: 1960-1990
Location: Calle del Greco, 4 (Madrid)

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- aerial viewIPC, Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculties of Architecture (ETSAM and ETSEM)

WHAT IS IT: The project of the Headquarters of the Cultural Heritage of Spain (Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España) was won in a competition by architects Fernando Higueras and Rafael Moneo (making them the winners of the National Prize of Architecture in Spain too). The program, “An artistic restoration center” was organized in a circular building layout. However, the design changed over the years.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- MaquetaModel of the initial project

Construction started in 1967 but it took several years until it got finished. In 1970, 4 months before its completion day, construction stopped leaving it unfinished for a long time. And it wasn’t until 1990 that the building completed its construction.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Dibujo por Antonio LopezFamous drawing by Antonio López

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Obras Construction stops, exterior.

PLANS: Its form changed over the years. The original design was composed by a pyramid but the built design was the result of inverting the voids. The building’s form is a 40m radius circle divided into 30 sections and 56 frames. It has 4 storeys which have a big courtyard in the middle plus 5 inner courtyards with interior gardens.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Alzado Section Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Floor Plan Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- SeccionPlans

 ARCHITECT AND ARCHITECTURE: So you’ll wonder what this piece of  naked architecture is doing here. The IPC is a stranger to the rationalist architecture of its environment (surrounded by The Fine Arts building and the two Faculties of Architecture). This building was a result of the main architect’s obsession.

He claimed he was anti-Le Corbusier and anti-Mies stating -”More is more“-

He was obsessed with the logic of construction, he was obsessed with biomorphism and the raw beauty in depth and light. Most of his buildings were therefore made in  reinforced concrete.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- ArquitectosFernando Higueras on the front

CONCEPT: His architecture could be described as an obsession of the following factors:

  1.  Simple spatial distributions: Clear circulations, functionality
  2. Composition: Construction and form get together in its geometry.
  3. Repetition: Rhythm in the structure
  4. Symmetry: By having an axis
  5. Circles: Either in form, in structure
  6. Center: Which works as the core of the building
  7. Zenithal light: That comes trough the space vertically
  8. Vegetation: Inside and outside the building avoiding limits.
  9. Balconies: Hierarchy
  10. Monumentality: Provided by geometrical forms and materials (always pure).

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- BibliotecaCircular Library

MATERIALS + DETAILS: Tectonically, the building is conceived as one whole. It is made of reinforced concrete without any interior additions, which saved money. It has two cores of stairs and elevators.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Interior Detalle
Structure Detail

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Detalle lucernarios
Skylight detail

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Detalle de la escalera
Stair detail

INTERIORS: The interiors are very impressive. It’s hard to distinguish were the exterior begins due to the light and use of vegetation. Spaces are monumental due to the floor to ceiling height and the lack of ornament in the walls.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Pintura de Caballete
Easel Painting Department

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Oficinas
Offices, 4th floor

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- interior nivel 1
Inner Courtyard
Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Primer Nivel
First Level

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Espacios abiertos
Open Spaces

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- LobbyLobby

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- AccesoAccess

In conclusion, no matter how isolated it looks from its exterior, interior spaces are fluent, open and full of light. A new concept of circulations is possible due to its circular form and lack of closed spaces. Windows and other separation devices have been added recently because water from the gardens came in the working spaces, but that doesn’t interrupt the visual continuity inside the building. Definitely, this is one of the most significant concrete buildings in the Spanish capital.

Virginia Duran Blog- La corona de Espinas IPC (Instituto Patrimonio Cultural)  by Fernando Higueras- Cubierta bnWhat did you think of the building? Would you enjoy working here?
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Discover more amazing architecture of Madrid on the map below or download my Free Architecture Guide of Madrid.


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Pictures:  Javier F. Escribano, Virginia Duran
Bibliography: “La corona de espinas Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España 1960-1990″ by Alberto Humanes
ISBN: 978-84-921038-9-8
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