Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fantasy Architecture

Architecture is a way to interpret fantasy using details and parts used in the composition.  I find it fascinating to use architectural details or parts in a way that is fantastic as in the somewhat mysterious Gothic image above with birds flying around building copulas formed in a square (it made sense to me at the time, copulas are at the very top of buildings where birds sometimes roost), galactic stars, spaceships or patterns.

The choices are endless as are the building styles for exteriors and interiors.  

In the above image I have incorporated cathedral ceilings and spires for the image above which is a pattern of sorts, almost like looking through a kaleidoscope.

I would not have considered doing outer space art but became inspired when putting the church roofs of the image below in position and finding it looking very much like a space ship suspended in space heading somewhere.  Bring on Star Wars VIII!!

If cathedral dome roofs made into space ships are not your cup of tea, how about Victorian conical roofs with a Gothic rose window or Catherine window in stone made into galactic stars?!  

Named after St. Catherine of Alexandra who was executed on a spiked wheel, ouch!  It is from the 17th century and used in Medieval cathedrals.  All the major cathedrals from that period in France have these windows.  The Gothic revival period in the 19th century also used these windows.

You say blue is not your favorite color, too conservative how about a galactic star in shocking pink?!!  

Real stars are probably very colorful burning otherworldly metals and rocks.  Wouldn't it be interesting to see one up close.  Some stars and their colors can be seen from earth.

It is possible the origin of the rose window is found in the Roman oculous. These large circular openings let in both light and air.  The image below a sort of time capsule I believe is the dome of the Pantheon where the oculi is at the top, the best known example.  Early Christian and Byzantine architecture also made use of the use of circular oculi.

Iniquity too early of a time period how about Henri Toulous-Lautrec's Paris and the Eiffel Tower.  Here is how it might appear as a star.

Some interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower it was built to sway slightly and on the sunny side it will grow as much as seven inches away from the sun.

The Tower was originally made to be taken down in twenty years. When it went up there was a petition of 300 architects, sculptors, artists and writers asking the Commissioner of the Paris Exhibition to halt the construction.  Trying to save it, Gustave Eiffel, who's firm designed it, made a meteorology laboratory on the third floor right after it's construction encouraging scientists to use it for their experiments.  Studies were performed there from gravity to electricity.

It was the tallest man made building until the Chrysler Building was built in 1930.

Ultimately what saved the Tower was it's usefulness as a wireless telegraph transmitter, enabling the military to communicate with ships during WWI.  Today it is still used as a transmission tower with more than 120 radio and television antennas.  

It is also home to two restaurants, several buffets, a champagne bar banquet hall and gift shops!  You can't get married on the Eiffel Tower but you can have your reception dinner there.

You say "So what can top the Eiffel Tower?"   They say two is better than one, two iconic buildings of New York, the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings combined!

Taller is better, only kidding!  The Chrysler Building has some nice assets one of them being the wood inlay and chrome steel detailing in the elevator.

     Chrysler Elevator by Dogears

The lobby is a contemporary abstraction of African marble and chrome steel.  The marble is not only on the floor it is on the walls and ceiling.  Like the elevator everything looks like it is in tones of medium to dark brown.

Chrysler Building by WestportWiki

 Chrysler Building by Norbert Nagel

This is one of the radiator-cap gargoyles, there is also a band of abstract automobiles on the building.  Patterned brickwork is used extensively.  

The Empire State Building was the tallest building for almost forty years and was topped by the North World Trade Center building in 1970.  To date it is the forth tallest building in the world.  Pretty impressive for being built in 1931.

Suzanne Powers gallery: