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Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Our Top Five Favorite Movie Architects

Becky

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Architect seems to be the favorite job for movies to give a certain kind of character. Here’s a look at our top five fake architects, all for various reasons. Please add yours to our list in the comments section. And apologies to Gary Cooper for leaving you out, but I liked the book a lot more than the movie.

photo via Vancouver Lookout

5. Richard Gere in Intersection (1994). Yeah, this movie bombed at the box office, but the building they chose to pretend Gere’s character built was a superior choice. It’s the Musuem of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia campus, designed by architect Arthur Erickson and built in 1976 (with a stunning landscape designed by Cornelia Oberlander). The fact that the movie pretends this was designed and built in 1994 shows how successful and surprisingly timeless the mix of brutalist concrete and glass and how well it fits into the landscape are.

photo via moviescreenshots.blogspot.com

4. Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day. This tale of one woman trying to have it all is exhausting, and her work situation doesn’t seem all that realistic, but the breaking of the model, well, anyone who has ever dealt with one sure felt that pain. Man though, that is one ugly building, huh? I think the model deserved what it got.

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer (2009). We gotta give this movie props for being ahead of the chalkboard paint wall tipping point, and for using it better than anyone else has to date. I loved the way it fit in with the sketchy architectural graphics used in the movie as well. A broken heart and reassessment cause this sweet lovestruck man to drop out of the greeting card business in the funniest way ever, and rekindle his true passion, architecture. Plus, his love of architecture provides a lot of special moments from his favorite bench that overlooks the city. Kudos.

photo via Twentieth Century Fox

2. Matt Dillon in There’s Something About Mary (1998). Pat Healy is the fakest fake architect around. He claims he’s working on a soccer stadium in Santiago Chili, he skirts his way around answering what the difference between Art Deco and Art Noveau is, and he has a pocket full of Napelese coins. Chompers is an all-time sleazy favorite. And a big part of his sleaziness is that he’s claiming to be an architect when he’s not.

photo via hookedonhouses

1. And our favorite movie architect is … drumroll please … Steve Martin! The problem is, we can’t decide if we find him more appealing as the hapless Newton Davis HouseSitter (1992) or as the self-defeated sensitive guy who is giving Meryl Streep the kitchen of her dreams in It’s Complicated (2009). Well, who would redo that perfect Nancy Meyers movie kitchen anyway?”  Newton Davis reduced me to a puddle, laughing on the floor when he sang “Toorah Loorah Loorah,” so the winner is HouseSitter. We look forward to seeing Martin play another architect soon.

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Monday, April 26th, 2010

Inspiration Monday: MacKay Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Becky

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Sharon Portnoy, an architect featured on the A.I.A.S.F. House Tour in Marin County. When I asked her about her inspirations, she mentioned MacKay Lyons Sweetapple Architects so I immediately searched for their work on the internet. Ah yes, I spent another hour away from working and browsed their entire portfolio. In addition to designing beautiful buildings and showing them via spectacular photography, they include models and sketches as simple as this one, sketches that portray just how much they have thought about site planning and space:

I’ll tempt you with a few images here (it’s really hard to choose just one; at last count I had swiped twelve), but I’ll highly recommend you check out their website. Also, if you just feel like “I want to go to there!”, they have designed some cottages in Nova Scotia that you can rent. I am not sure I’ve seen a more sublime spot than the one they are situated upon. For more information about staying there, visit The Shobac Cottage and Studio Rentals site. Here’s a peek at their setting:


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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Underground Alps House

Becky

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underground-home-designs-swiss-mountain-house-1

Whoa.

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Underground home in Switzerland.

underground-home-designs-swiss-mountain-house-1

In Twitter withdrawal & m havg trbl using <140 characters lately. Luckily, this house speaks for itself. Check out a full tour at Trendir.The interior shots are really striking as well.

By the way, I must warn you about Trendir. You will get sucked in for HOURS! They are great online curators. Each house made me gasp; gasps that alternated from awe gasps to envy gasps. So don’t head over there if you are trying to get work done. However, if you have time to indulge in some architectural fantasies, go for it.

photos originally from Christian Muller Architects.

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Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Beautiful Coastal Architecture: Van Dam Architecture and Design

Becky

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I was perusing Maine Home and Design the other day and fell upon an ad for an architecture firm I just love. Van Dam Architecture and Design does absolutely beautiful and thoughtful work, with careful consideration of site, context, and materials in each project. You can check out more images here, and here are a few of my favorites:

 

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