Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Great Buildings: Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

N 41° 00.468 E 028° 58.752

Short Description: 

The Hagia Sofia has a long and complex history. It is located at Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydani, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey.

Long Description:

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. It was originally built as the Church of the Holy Wisdom between 532 and 537 by the order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. The massive Byzantine structure was designed by the Greek architects Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.

In 1453, the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror conquered Constantinople. Minarets were added and the church was then converted into a mosque. It remained a mosque until 1935, after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, was an advocate for a westernized and more secular Turkey. He transformed the building into a museum. Much of the interior, especially the mosaics, retain the characteristics of a church and a mosque.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Googie Architecture: LAX Theme Building - Los Angeles, California

LAX Theme Building
Los Angeles, California

N 33° 56.615 W 118° 24.114

Short Description: 

The LAX Theme Building is the most outstanding building of Los Angeles Airport.

Long Description:

The flying saucer shaped Theme Building was designed by several architects and engineers headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman and included Paul Williams and Welton Becket. The initial design of the building was created by James Langenheim, of Pereira & Luckman. The building features a futuristic design commonly known a Googie architecture. It was dedicated on June 25, 1961.

The LAX Theme Building once contained a now closed rotating restaurant. For security reasons, its observation tower is open on a limited basis on weekends.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Figurative Sculpture: Still Water - London, England

Still Water
London, England

N 51° 30.772 W 000° 09.575

Quick Description: 

Still Water is a huge bronze sculpture of a horse's head located at Marble Arch in London, England

Long Description:

Still Water is a bronze sculpture of a Marwari horse's head sculpted by Nic Fiddian-Green in 2011. The head is enormous. It is 10 meters (33') high and weighs 6 tonne. The sculpture depicts the horse with its nose facing down as if it were drinking water, hence the name. The sculpture replace an earlier, similar, but slightly smaller, work by the same artist called Horse at Water.