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Author Topic: Steamy Steampunk Buildings  (Read 49809 times)
MarcusJuliusCroft
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« on: May 04, 2012, 12:05:38 pm »

Hey Guys just wondering, I recently had a look back at all the buildings I thought were Steamy, and was wondering, What buildings do you think are Steampunk and Why?  I was hoping to get a list of them compiled together so I could go do some "research" and find something to do.  Please help.
 The ones I think of when I hear Steamy is the Palais des Machines and the Crystal Palace, What do you think?
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James Harrison
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 12:20:10 pm »

What is it, though, that makes a building specifically 'steampunk' and not just Victorian or Edwardian?  I can think of several buildings off the top of my head that to me just scream 'steampunk' but that would leave others thinking 'well it just has fancy ironwork'...

You may want to research the work of Viollet-le-Duc and look at the Oxford University Museum
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 12:28:57 pm »

I do find that the ones that are most Steamy are the Exhibition buildings, they have that sort of atmosphere that we all want but cannot have.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 12:45:07 pm »

Problem is, that exhibition buildings generally have an ephemeral air- here one day, gone the next.  Also, again generally, because they were intended to be temporary structures they were lightly built with a focus on prefabrication- hence why the Crystal Palace was composed primarily of iron (it could be set up and taken apart like some giant prototype meccano set).  Is it this fleeting atmosphere you refer to? 

Of course, the one big example of such a structure surving today would be the Eiffel Tower (1889). 

For my own part, I would nominate the following as having a certain SP appeal to them:

-Paddington Station, London, 1854: Brunel's iron trainshed roofs in particular.  Probably one of the most intact (ie-least interfered with) major Victorian railway termini. 

-Tower Bridge, London, 1894: Iron framed bascule bridge, sheathed in a mock-Medieval facade.

-Oxford University Museum, Oxford, 1860: (mentioned above) Early major example of Ruskinian Venetian Gothic, with an emphasis on decor carried out by 'peasant workmen'.  Also of note due to the iron and glass roof of the courtyard. 

-Sir John Soane's House, London, stages up to 1837: A complete maze of spaces and rooms filled with momentoes of Grand Tours and architectural history.  A real 'Cabinet of Curiosities'. 

-Crossness Engine House, Crossness, 1851 (?): Sole surviving example of enginehouses built to pump sewage out of London.  Of note due to the survival of the engines themselves and the decorated iron frame.

 

 
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MarcusJuliusCroft
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 01:40:53 pm »

Yes, I would say that it is a ephemeral atmosphere, however it is much more than that.  It is the spirit of times lost.  The exhibitions had that air, but also the other buildings/objects that fill you with the feeling.  The Titanic was another that has that effect.  The Pride and Decadence, Power and Feeling they invoke affects more deeply than those temporary fleeting moments.  It last forever.
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Capt. Dirigible
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 02:52:45 pm »

l've aways loved the interior of the Bradbury Building in L.A. I first became aware of it when it was used as the publishing house Jack Nicholson worked for in the film 'Wolf'

Exterior


interior
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 03:26:37 pm by Capt. Dirigible » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 03:21:40 pm »

Oh yes, The Bradbury Building, also used to great effect in the Future Noir classic Bladerunner!

one of my favorites, though not necessarily Steampunk is the Grange, Northington:



There will be others, bit I can't recall them at the moment...

 Wink
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 07:13:16 pm by Herr Döktor » Logged

James Harrison
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 03:23:25 pm »

Here's another one I remembered:



The main erecting shops at Crewe Works (circa 1847), photographed 1953.  

This is a good example of why I asked in the second post 'what is it that makes a building steampunk?'.  Because look at it.  Steam locomotives.  Masses of heavy industrial machinery.  Lots of nice ironwork and steel framing.  All of things, to me, scream 'steampunk'.  

But on the other hand, it is simply a shed.  A Victorian version of those awful things springing up on industrial states everywhere today.  

Which brings up a query; is it what the building looks like that makes it steampunk, or more what it is used for?  Or are the two ideas interchangable?  Can we say one building is definitely steampunk because of its aesthetic, and another because of its function?

At the other end of the 'scale', so to speak, I could also mention Cragside:



Built, in the late nineteenth century, for William Armstrong (of the arms company), the first house in the UK to be lit electrically and it had (has) its own hydro-electric power station in the grounds.  Which fact on its own would make it steampunk in my opinion, but then the aesthetic too is very much steampunk to me.


Can you tell I studied Architecture?
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Capt. Dirigible
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 03:34:19 pm »

I also  love the aesthetic of The Carson Mansion in Eureka, California.  I can't  pin point why it's steampunk to me. Maybe because it's clearly inspired by large houses of the Victorian era but has been tweaked and modified just enough for it to be unique and  different from  other houses of the same period that it's inspired by.

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James Harrison
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 03:40:16 pm »

Now that is.... different.  From a professional point of view I should hate it for being a pastiche, and one that does its own thing rather than being an accurate one at that.  From a personal point of view however I agree with you; it has a charm and whimsy that I find pleasing. 
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 03:47:37 pm »

It kind of reminds me of a life size version  of one of those incredibly detailed and finely painted  miniature ceramic  houses people collect..
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Matthias Gladstone
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 03:53:22 pm »

One of my my personal favourites is whiteford lighthouse:

Built, I believe of riveted iron plates. It reminds me very strongly of the "oil rig" in the city of lost children.
Ryde Pier on the Isle of Wight is another good one; a lovely Victorian pier with what used to be a steam railway on it:


-Matt
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 04:36:19 pm »

Not far from where I'm working, is a beautiful, bizare little cottage, with gothic windows and angled gables, completely out of kilter with the estate around it- I've taken to calling it the Addams house...
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 05:00:06 pm »

I am fortunate in that I work in Birkenhead and there are some facinating bridges around the Dock area close to where I am located.
There are also some fantastic Victorian buildings in Liverpool (Castle Street) which I have to visit occasionally, most of these I would consider comparable with Steampunk or Steampunk settings.
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 05:00:44 pm »

l've aways loved the interior of the Bradbury Building in L.A. I first became aware of it when it was used as the publishing house Jack Nicholson worked for in the film 'Wolf'



interior
[spoiler


I have seen this in another movie, recently...or TV show?  This is a great building.  Thanks for posting.
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« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2012, 05:54:49 pm »

@matthias gladstone

Loving that lighthouse.
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2012, 05:59:05 pm »

Asa and Harry Packer mansions, Jim Thorpe, PA




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« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2012, 06:47:43 pm »

My favourite steamy building from my area - old power plant, built in 1907 (and operational all the way until 2005!). See it here on a postcard:


Some photos in Wikimedia Commons:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:EC1_Lodz

And the icing on the cake - a virtual walkthrough:
http://www.fototv.pl/newsy/wydarzenia/elektrownia-reloaded.html
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2012, 07:22:37 pm »

Th Addams style house I mentioned earlier can be seen here.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2012, 07:27:42 pm »

That is one odd-looking oriel window.... I do like it though *steals idea for own portfolio*
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MakerMike
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« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2012, 09:22:38 pm »

I ran across this video from the UK kids program "Horrible Histories".  Anyone from the UK know where either the long gallery with the bookshelves or the "Crystal Palace" type solarium space is?  Or were they just CGI?  In any case, quite steamy architecture to my mind!

Horrible Histories Charles Darwin Evolution song
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2012, 10:06:57 pm »

Th Addams style house I mentioned earlier can be seen here.



That is one odd-looking oriel window.... I do like it though *steals idea for own portfolio*



Toll house, maybe??

In any case, It's hardly Addams style.

The railings aren't sharp enough.


This one fits the bill.

http://www.freddibnahheritagecentre.co.uk/#/the-house/4562907446
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 10:24:19 pm by Dr cornelius quack » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2012, 10:14:22 pm »

There's the Winchester Mystery House, in San Jose, California:


Also, looking at that mansion in Eureka, which is in an area with a lot of nice stuff, reminded me that a lot of carpenter's gothic buildings on this coast date from the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2012, 10:28:52 pm »

Th Addams style house I mentioned earlier can be seen here.



That is one odd-looking oriel window.... I do like it though *steals idea for own portfolio*



Toll house, maybe??

In any case, It's hardly Addams style.

The railings aren't sharp enough.


This one fits the bill.

http://www.freddibnahheritagecentre.co.uk/#/the-house/4562907446


Fair enough, here's a far more French Colonial style place a few miles away in Leatherhead, fit's the bill much better!

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« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2012, 10:54:36 pm »

Just to prove we're not all 'dust bowls' and 'teepees'..

Most of downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma is historic Victorian buildings.  This is the library of the local Scottish Rite Temple.

Outside...is a bit glum
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Inside...makes up for it. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Most of downtown looks like this:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Architect was Joseph Foucart. His De Steiguer Building (1890) shows that he certainly had a flair for turrets, spires and other exotic flourishes.  Buildings are red tinged b/c they are made of native sandstone and brick.  (The red dirt never really washes out of your clothes.)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 11:10:10 pm by Mrs. Whatsit » Logged
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