Dusseldorf, Germany. A typical German city, with typical squares and buildings, and with Baroque and Gothic styles all over the place. The Old City and the Rhine offer colorful and picturesque landscapes, but there is something else amazing in Dusseldorf: the Gehry Buildings.Built in 1999, based on a design made by the American architect Frank O. Gehry, the Gehry Buildings are three buildings which look like a huge sculpture. One is covered in white plastic, one is covered in stainless steel, and one is covered in red brick. The stunning trio are curved and all lean. Round shapes and metallic exteriors put Gehry within the Deconstructivism architectural style. These buildings are Gehry’s masterpiece. Even if the exterior is unusual and strange, the interior is designed perfectly as office space and not a single inch is wasted.Situated in the new harbor of Dusseldorf (Media Harbour), the Gehry Buildings attract architects and photographers from all over the world. When you see a building made of cylinders of different heights, with protruding window frames which seem arbitrary distributed around the building (there are more than 1, 500 of them with individual design), and totally different from anything you’ve seen, you think it would be hard to find a good place for it. But the German harbor adopted the buildings so well that they became the modern landmark of Dusseldorf, the first step to urban development in the 21st century.What is even more amazing is the fact that the Gehry Buildings look so awesome together, even if they are so different. The shapes and glaze, the colors and glamour give the impression of a very photogenic jewelry. Modern and romantic, rough and sweet, these buildings will still look perfect in 100 years and will always be the pride of Dusseldorf.
Sunrise over orange-red dunes, constantly shifted by the light early morning desert breeze that threatens to engulf everything in its path with sand. Centuries pass in the blink of an eye. The River Nile meanders slowly north beside a cluster of pyramids, silhouetted by the already blazing sun. Yet this is not Egypt, but the forgotten pyramids of Sudan’s ancient Nubian kingdoms.The deserts of Sudan, one of Africa’s largest nations, boast 255 pyramids compared to Egypt’s 130. Like those in Egypt they were constructed centuries ago as the final resting places for the grand granite sarcophagi of the monarchs of two kingdoms, Napata and Moroe, which ruled an area encompassing southern Egypt and northern Sudan. The sarcophagus of just one king, Aspelta, weighs 15.5 tons and its lid another 4 tons.It is at Moroe, just 60 miles north of the modern Sudanese capital of Khartoum, in what is poetically described as between the fifth and sixth cataracts of the Nile, which has the most extensive group of pyramids. Over forty mummified kings and queens were buried here covered in jewels and surrounded by regal earthly goodies. They date to between 700 and 300 BCE.Despite more than two millennia of plundering, when first explored by archaeologists in the nineteenth century they were found to still contain a multitude of treasures. From bows and arrows to glass and intricate pieces of furniture – they contained everything the royals might need in the afterlife.Today the pyramids bear the scars of a Victorian adventurer sure the structures contained gold and other precious goods, leaving many of them decapitated. However, rising between 20 and 100 feet into the expansive African skies, the pyramids remain a powerful reminder of the agelessness of human civilisation, while reconstructions demonstrate what the site must have looked like in its heyday.
Caffé L’Aubette is an interior design project created by Dutch artist Théo Van Desbourg. Placed in a 18th century Baroque military building in Strasburg, it was part of greater reconstruction project which started in mid 20s of the last century. Reconstruction included designing of the café, tea room, two bars, billiard rooms and two banquet halls. They were fashioned in different geometric aesthetics by Théo and two more artists, Sophie Taeuber and her husband Hans Arp.
Desbourg’s project at Caffé L’Aubette was inspired by the De Stijl movement, as he was one of its founders along with Piet Mondrian. The Netherlands-based artistic movement Neo-plasticism gathered painters, architects, sculptors and decorative artists who shared a view that art should be expressed in a universal visual language, which they found in juxtaposing horizontal and vertical lines, creating geometrical forms. Two dimensional squarish geometric shapes in black, white and primary colours were used as the abstract language of this movement.
However, Deosbourg wanted to implement expressiveness in this project and to create a more dynamic space. Although restricted with financial limitations, Théo van Desbourg came through with what he intended by using aluminum, mirrors, glossy nickel and painted panels. He also managed to create visual tension of a Ciné-dancing hall by applying his own theory of Elementarism. On one hand, walls were covered with grids of brightly coloured rectangles tilted at a 45-degree angle to the ground and mirrors reflecting it. On the other, orientation of windows, doors and furniture was commonly placed at 90-degree angle.
His intention to consolidate more than one art, such as painting, architecture, audio-visual art, music and kinetic art, into one space was realized. He made Gesamtkunstverk out of Ciné-dancing hall. Although, we might guess that the opening of Caffé L’Aubette wasn’t according to his taste. It was opened on February 17th, 1928. in a nationalist atmosphere. Film of the French Army’s entry into Strasbourg after the defeat of the German empire in World War I was played echoing French Army March – Sambre et Meuse.