Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Barbican Complex: Exploring London's Radiant City

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Like the surrounding Barbican housing estate, the Barbican Centre was designed by the team of Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon. It was shoehorned into the complex after much of the estate had already been built, or was underway. It  wasn't opened until 1982. Photo ©Darren Bradley
I have been to London at least a dozen times - sometimes for extended periods for both holidays and for work. Also, I used to live in Paris, and it was an easy weekend trip from there. But believe it or not, until just a few weeks ago I had never been to the Barbican. Sure, I knew about it, and had always been meaning to visit. But to be honest, based on the photos I'd seen, I was never really blown away by it. Of course I thought it seemed interesting, but I wasn't really in a hurry to get there for some reason. It was on my list... just not at the top of it. Anyway, I finally did see it a few weeks ago, and now realize what an idiot I've been. The place blew me away. It's over 50 years old, and it's still revolutionary. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mixed feelings about the Venice Architecture Biennale...

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My favorite pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Nordic Pavilion by Sverre Fehn (1959). Photo ©Darren Bradley
As you probably know if you follow my Instagram account, I just attended the opening week of the Venice Architecture Biennale. I was invited this year to exhibit some of my work, as part of the TIME SPACE EXISTENCE show at the Palazzo Bembo, which was a great excuse to finally get to see what is essentially the largest self-love event for architects in the world. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

My Pilgrimage to Tomba Brion

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This circular portal forms the entrance to the chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley
While in Venice last week, I had to make an obligatory stop at the enigmatic Brion Cemetery, by Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. Most people have never heard of this place, located outside a small village about an hour's drive (or train ride) north of Venice, near the city of Treviso. Most people have never heard of Carlo Scarpa, either, for that matter. But to most architects, Brion Cemetery has an almost mythical status as a pilgrimage site.