Category - Architecture

Bathe in sound at Joshua Tree’s Integratron

The world is filled with many wondrous places that have a history we don’t yet fully understand. Locations such as Stonehenge and Easter Island draw people from all over the globe, all claiming to feel some sort of spiritual pull towards those places. While we may never know all the details of these ancient wonders, there are some newer spiritual locations whose history is very clear. That knowledge does little to deter those folks who feel as though they need a little magic in their lives. One such place is the Integratron, which can be found in a small town near Joshua Tree in California.static1.squarespace.comSeemingly stuck in the middle of nowhere, the Integratron is a dome shaped building that, at first glance, looks a whole lot like an observatory. Given the history of the building, it is perhaps no real surprise that it looks the way it does. There is an alien connection to this place, and while it is not used for such purposes nowadays, we do know the reasons why it was built.5205162597_b5e848d562_bThe history of the Integratron goes all the way back to the 1950’s, when former aircraft mechanic named George Van Tassel moved to the area with the intention of opening a small hotel. Shortly after moving there, George would spend a lot of time at Big Rock, a spiritual destination for Native Americans. It was during one of his moments of quiet solitude that Van Tassel claims he received messages form intelligent beings beyond the stars. The idea of the hotel was put on the back burner in favor of what was to become the Integratron.3860944225_d0c9b898f1_bGeorge hosted many successful UFO conventions in the area, the proceeds of which he used to build his masterpiece. More than just a simple building, George intended the Integratron to work like a massive battery that he claimed could recharge the cells in the human body. The main construction was finished in 1959, but George continued to make changes all the way up to 1973, which was when he passed. Rather than slipping into obscurity and falling into ruin, the Integratron continued to thrive, albeit under several different guises.6330619775_c48d33d7fd_bThe building was used for a variety of different purposes, and at one point came very close to being turned into a disco. Despite all the changes over the years, the Integratron has come full circle, and is now used for the purposes that Van Tassel initially intended. This is the place to go for a full body regeneration, which is delivered via sound baths. Essentially, you get to lay back and relax for an hour while the session leader created music through a series of different vessels.8772658209_afb3a3ff43_bThe acoustics of the building make this experience something quite magical. Several musicians have visited over the years, testing the sounds and sonics that the interior of the Integratron creates. The building is open to the public, so it’s certainly a place to visit if you feel as though your energy is waning and you need a little recharging.

8772657085_e3631e1117_b  Images: integratron.com

Impressive architecture: The Gehry Buildings of Dusseldorf

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.Gehry_photo_office_buildings_river_bank_fa+ºade_01_D++sseldorf_Germany_2005-07-27-minBuilt 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.Gehry_Building_D++sseldorf-minSituated 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.2015.09.26.162620_Gehry_Buildings_Neuer_Zollhof_D++sseldorf-minWhat 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.  Gehry_Building_Duesseldorf-min ghxdn9-min

Caffé L’Aubette, a masterpiece of 20th century interior deign

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.  fukf5
555uDesbourg’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.  bnhn6
fvgh6However, 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. 7uyhfg
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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.