Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sipi Falls

I traveled to Eastern Uganda towards the end of my time there, near the Kenyan border, to Sipi Falls.  Its a series of three waterfalls in the district of Kapchorwa. It was so peaceful, I could have stayed there for at least a month.

Yes, that is me in a tree.

This is where we stayed.

The End.

Friday, October 22, 2010

2 Hour Field Trip To Harlem River Houses

My classmate John and I took a break from the freezing cold architecture building at City College and went to visit the Harlem River Houses during a short break in between classes.

We had just learned about this New Deal era housing project in our History of Modern Architecture, so it was great to see it in person after learning about its history. 

The Harlem River Houses is the first fully funded project by the federal government in New York.   The complex was built in 1937, during a time when public housing was segregated, for African American Residents.  They were built and designed according to the demand of the people who would be living in them, and the African American architect John Louis Wilson Jr. was included in the design team.  

The project is in 2 parts, organized around a triangle with a central axis.  It takes ideas of the "bending form" to create small courtyards which allowed every building to have light and air and play areas for children. It also allowed for every room to have a window.  

The Harlem River Houses are said to be the most successful public housing in New York. The architects designed a modern, spacious building that contained 574 apartments. The Harlem River Houses had child care, health care and public community room right on site, and rent in 1937 was $21.00 a month. The buildings are 4 or 5 stories tall. When the project was completed, 11,000 people applied for the new apartments available.

However, I couldn't help but noticing that the children's playgrounds and the so called garden are in desperate need of attention... Perhaps a future design project for me?

The two photos above are of the playground areas.  They are completely outdated and in need of a paint job (or of being torn down and redesigned).

This is the garden.  Where are all the plants??

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sukkah City (Yes I know I'm late posting these you don't have to rub it in)

These are some photos of one of the winners for the Sukkah City Competition here in New York City. You might be asking, what is a sukkah? Well, its a temporary hut built for the week long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, in commemoration of the huts the Jews lived in when they were wandering around in the desert for 40 years.  If you want a more thorough explanation, click here.

This sukkah, designed by Matter Practice (based in Brooklyn, NY) was on Amsterdam Avenue, on the Upper West Side of New York City, right outside of Jewish Community Center.

For more info, go here.  And here.

How To Make a Camera Case From a Pack of Cigarettes

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Saw Frank Gehry's New Apartment Building...

Whatever, Frank.

And here are some photos of the Manhattan Bridge, just for fun.

Santiago Calatrava @ 92nd St Y

Last week I went with a classmate to hear Santiago Calatrava speak at the 92nd Street Y.  I was in love with his sculptures he made from his child's blocks and toys, working in a small scale to create a series of studies on ways to suspend a weight. He was very humble and soft-spoken, and I was particularly comforted and inspired, as a student, to hear of how he started as an architect with his first project - a balcony. He said he treated it as if it was a bridge, and gave it as much love and attention as any big project would get.

Above are some of my notes and sketches from the lecture.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Last day on Ssese Islands: Buried Dog, Digging Ant, & Some Children

Lunch time: Fresh Fish in Ground Nut Sauce (they're a bit like peanuts, but different), Matoke, Rice, Avocado, Yam...

Local Coca Cola Ad.

First we tried to bury the dog in the sand.

Then we watched an ant dig a hole in the sand for about two hours.  Then the ant grabbed a dead ant and put it in the hole.  Very strange.  Perhaps its an ant grave?

Lake Victoria. So beautiful, so warm, but watch out for Bilharzia!

These kids from the island decided to show us around.

Some last shots of Hornbill Campsite before leaving....  I will return to you one day!

That little blue cabin is where Almas and I stayed.