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Villa Imperial de Katsura

Katsura Rikyu mae Kyoto, Japón

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me encanta, uno de mis favoritos

Katsura Imperial Villa - 桂離宮 (built 1620-1663, minor construction later)

The Katsura palace (Katsura Rikyū) is a pivotal work of Japanese Architecture, often described as the "quintessence of Japanese taste." First revealed to the world by Bruno Taut, the great German architect, in the early twentieth century, Katsura stunned the architectural community of the West. Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, pillars of the Modernist establishment, were fascinated by Katsura's "modernity." They saw in its orthogonal and modular spaces, devoid of decoration, clear parallels to contemporary Modernism, going so far as to laud Katsura as a "historical" example of Modernity.

But this approach obscures a deeper understanding. Though the interior of the palace resembles a Mondrian painting at first glance, the designers of course had no such intention. What the Modernists admire in Katsura does not represent an early indictment of ornament, but is rather the deeply personal reaction of its designer, Prince Toshihito, to the social currents of his age.

Katsura's prestige is not lost on contemporary Japan. Unlike most of historic Kyoto, the government tightly controls access to Katsura. Special permission to visit must be obtained in advance through the Imperial Household Agency, the office in charge of the Emperor's affairs. Unfortunately, we did not know this ahead of time and were not allowed inside. Even those who get permission are not allowed to take photographs or venture into the palace.

The above photos are a 1/100 model of Katsura's interior space built by Timothy M. Ciccone, the author. It was on display at the University of Virginia's Weedon Exhibition in February 1999. The scale of the model is 1:100.

Katsura was built in the 17th century, but its origins extend back to the Heian Era a thousand years ago, when Kyoto was known as Heian-Kyo. Around 978 a woman wrote the first novel in recorded history, the Tale of Genji, which chronicles the life of an ideal courtier and his romantic liaisons around the capital. The book gained enormous popularity through the centuries, becoming standard among the 17th century aristocracy. At that time the Togukawa Shogunate was busy consolidating its power, arrogating political control to itself at the expense of the nobles. To keep the aristocracy entertained and out of trouble, the Shogunate encouraged the nobles to pursue lives of cultivated leisure. Blocked from political participation, both the aristocracy and the Emperor diverted themselves with cultural pastimes: poetry, painting, calligraphy, tea, etc., etc.

Prince Toshihito, the founder of Katsura, was born in 1579. He was a younger brother of the Emperor Goyozei. At an early age the boy was briefly adopted by the national unifier Hideyoshi Toyotomi as a son and heir, but separated from this relationship after Hideyoshi sired his own. Toshihito, as a prince, became the head of a new line called the Hachijo family, but it was a rather poor branch without much resources. To improve this situation, it was proposed in 1615 that he marry Sen-Hime, the widow of the second Togukawa shogun, but little interest was shown by both parties. Instead, he took a wife from the Miyazu family, a dignified but not particularly wealthy family, winning the marginal income of 3,000 koku per year (about 15,000 bushels of rice).

The Prince was never fascinated by ostentatious wealth. From an early age he showed great interest in the Tale of Genji and other literature. When some land along the south bank of the Katsura River passed into his hands, he was no doubt aware of the literary significance. In the chapter of the Tale of Genji entitled "The Wind in the Pines" it is written:

Far away, in the country village of Katsura, the reflection of the moon upon the water is clear and tranquil.

Possessing the exact spot of land mentioned in his favorite book, the Prince set about constructing a villa modeled on the pond gardens of the Tale of Genji. Katsura also figured in other ancient literature. The Prince probably knew that at one time a graceful mansion stood at the spot, modeled on the villa of the Tang poet Po Chu-i. Using both of these as a precedent, he set about constructing his own villa.

The limited resources of the Prince compelled him to exercise restraint and fiscal discipline. Accordingly, the first Katsura Villa seems to have been little more than "a teahouse in the melon patch"--for most of the area had given over to melon fields. But by June, 18, 1620 the Prince had made enough of an impression that he wrote in his diary: "Shimo Katsura teahouse built. Guests come often." By June 18, 1624, the Prince had apparently devoted considerably more of his scant resources, for the records of the Shokokuji temple mention that

hills have been formed and a pond dug in the middle of the garden. There are boats in the pond, bridges over it, and pavilions around it. From the pavilions the view of the mountains in all directions is superb.

listas: ASIA_japón, arquitectura-ingeniería, contemplar, cultura museos arte, diseño, naturaleza y paisaje, snif, viajar diferente...

Ryōan-ji (龍安寺)

13 Goryonoshita-machi, Ryōan-ji Kyoto, Japón

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Palazzo del Lavoro

Via Ventimiglia 211 Turín, Italia

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obra del gran nervi

eye lo descubrió en diciembre de 2007

Pier Luigi Nervi (21 de junio de 1891 - 9 de enero de 1979) fue un ingeniero y arquitecto Italiano. Estudió en la Universidad de Bolonia y se graduó en 1913. Nervi enseñó como profesor de ingeniería en la Universidad de Roma entre 1946 y 1961. Es conocido por su brillantez como ingeniero estructural y su novedoso uso de hormigón armado. Es uno de los máximos exponentes de del movimiento de arquitectura racionalista de los años veinte y treinta.

"The Palace of Labour designed and built by Nervi and his son Antonio for the Turin exhibition of 1961 was the result of a competition held in 1959. The building—containing 85,000 square feet of exhibition space—had to be capable of conversion to a technical school at the end of the exhibition. It was erected in less than eighteen months.

Like Mies van der Rohe's buildings, there is a subtle fusion of structure and space in Nervi's buildings. But whereas Mies searched for free internal space, Nervi's aesthetic is dependent on an energetic exhibition of the structural parts of a building. The Palace of Labour was no exception... the simple 525 feet square shape was divided into sixteen structurally separate steel roofed compartments each supported on 65-foot-high concrete stems. The external walls, entirely clad in glass, wrapped round the perimeter of the building and incorporated large 70-foot-high vertical mullions."

—Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p245.

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listas: EUROPA_italia, arquitectura-ingeniería

gaudí obligatorio

eye lo descubrió en enero de 2008

de las obras más fabulosas y emocionantes de Gaudí.
La arquitectura no se explica, se visita.
Visita obligatoria
De abril a octubre, las horas de apertura son de 10 a 14 h. y de 15 a 19 h. de lunes a sábado. Domingo de 10 a 15 h.
Hay misas a las 9 h. de lunes a sábado y a las 11 y 13 h. los domingos y festivos.
De noviembre a marzo, las horas de apertura son de 10 a 15 h. de lunes a domingo.
Hay misas a las 9 h. de lunes a sábado y a las 11 y 13 h. los domingos y festivos.
Para interesados en una visita mas amplia de la Cripta y de la Colònia Güell se organizan visitas para grupos de 8 persones o mas (idiomas castellano, catalán, inglés, francés e italiano).
Visitas los sábados a las 10 y 11 h., solo la cripta y a las 12 h. la cripta mas toda la Colònia Güell con sus edificios Modernistas. Por la tarde, a las 15 y 16 h., solo la cripta y a las 17 h. toda la Colònia Güell.
Los domingos a las 10 y 11 h. solo la cripta y a las 12 h. toda la Colònia Güell.
Interesados, llamar al teléfono (34) 93 630 58 07 - Centre d'acollida visitants Colònia Güell - (Centro de acogida a los visitantes de la Colònia Güell).
Precios: Cripta 4 Euros - Visita guiada a la cripta 5 Euros - Cripta + Colònia Güell 8 Euros. Jubilados 30% de descuento.

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listas: ESPAÑA_catalunya, arquitectura-ingeniería, contemplar, cultura museos arte

Estación Megalitica de Agiña

Carretera de Oiarzun NA-4000 Lesaka, Navarra , España

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arte y pasisaje en monumento pionero

eye lo descubrió en octubre de 2007

El Museo Oteiza y la Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi pretenden recuperar y actualizar la memoria del "Monumento al Padre Donosti", que Jorge Oteiza y Luis Vallet realizaron en el monte de Agiña, situado en Lesaka, dentro de la estación megalítica homónima y donde se encuentran diversos elementos prehistóricos como cromlechs, dólmenes y túmulos. Dicho monumento es un conjunto formado por una escultura-estela de Jorge Oteiza y una capilla diseñada por Luis Vallet. El proyecto, que comenzó en 1956 por encargo de la Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi, acordaba la construcción de un monumento que consistiera en una pequeña capilla y una sencilla piedra en homenaje a José Zulaica y Arregui (1886-1956), popularmente conocido como Aita Donostia, se ejecutó en 1959. La intervención contiene elementos determinantes de la fase conclusiva de la experimentación escultórica de Oteiza y supone uno de los proyectos pioneros en la intervención artística en el paisaje, propio de disciplinas cercanas al land-art, que se popularizaron en los años sesenta y ochenta.

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listas: contemplar, cultura museos arte, naturaleza y paisaje