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Author Topic: Things that Inspire  (Read 1342 times)
jonb
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« on: January 14, 2015, 12:09:34 am »

Victorian Water Pumping Stations.

This is a pumping station just a Practical building to pump water around London. The amount of decoration lavished on it tells you one thing the people who made it were proud of their achievement. The lack of decoration in modern buildings maybe telling us something about the modern world. I love the waste, the decorative frills, the imagination of those that made water pumping stations like this  

Video of open day at Crossness Pumping Station. Well worth looking at to see the pumps in action.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16tF9rgOR-8

Now if you think that is exuberant look at this place.

The Palace of Flowing Waters (Palacio de Aguas Corrientes) is a water pumping station in Buenos Aires, Argentina.





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Water_Company_Palace
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 12:12:48 am by jonb » Logged
Maets
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 12:37:39 am »

They don't build them like that anymore.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 01:24:22 am »

They don't build them like that anymore.

Indeed they don't.  We stayed across the road from a similarly beautiful hospital in Barcelona a few years back.

I think it's one of the key things about Victorian engineering that their designs were not purely functional.  It's something we need to grasp when we're building our various delights; just making a ray gun out of metal doesn't make it steampunk (read: Victorian), but embellishing it afterwards with nice curly bits does.

OK, gross simplification!
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jonb
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 04:49:40 am »

You know I find something fundamental here. They put their money into making something special. A modern company could not do that it only exists to make money. Also modernist Architecture and design has been about making things which have the beauty of simplicity. The problem is that a modern tower block might look magnificent when it is new, and all the lines are straight, but as it ages and becomes tarnished it very quickly becomes an eyesore. This is due partly to the way we humans see, that we notice difference rather than similarity so we don't see the clear simple lines but the cracks.
Part of the idea behind modernist Architecture was to build with simple shapes so the building could be reused to fit easily to new needs, but the problem is once its crisp design becomes tarnished it remains tarnished and quickly is no longer of any use and people don't want to use either. On the other hand look at those pumping stations if they no longer have any practical purpose the decoration does not restrict them from being reused, but actually makes them attractive buildings that are worthwhile to turn to a new use.
 
The way companies are operating now which is not to leave anything useful, is actually anti capitalism, Adam Smith showed that the reason behind capitalism was that by you pursuing your happiness, the side affects create a general good. That companies operate in such a restrictive environment and culture that they cannot do that shows I think that the society we have now cannot actually call itself capitalist.
Secondly in design that Modernism has not lead to creating a free society which can easily reuse things, but that it has restricted us into a throwaway culture with only sort term objectives that leaves nothing for future generations. These factors together I feel are destroying me.

My desire is to think I left the world even in a tiny part better than I found it. I want to see a world where places like those water pumping Stations are built again. I would love to think my generation would not be thought of as just people who used and threw-away, that left nothing for anybody else that came afterwards.

(I am sorry if I got too political for the dinner table there, but I feel this with a passion, and why I am tied to the steampunk banner.)
forgive me.
 
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 07:08:52 am »

Personally whenever I'm in town, I like to swing by the local post office:

Palacio de Correos; interior staircase area (Main Post Office) Mexico City (2007, GNU Free Doc. Lic, Uwebart)
(Click link for gigantic picture)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Panorama_staircase_Palacio_Postal_Mexico.jpg

Two "thumbnails":


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Athanor
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 09:13:05 am »

I read somewhere, many years ago, something to the effect that "The Victorians built sewage pumping stations that looked like cathedrals; today we build cathedrals that look like sewage pumping stations." The thing is, Victorian (and previous) designers and builders put their heart and soul into the process, building whatever it was - pumping station or cathedral, railway terminus or royal palace - as well and as splendidly as they were able - and the customer, whether Diocese, water authority, railway company or king - would expect no less, and would be willing to pay whatever it cost.

 Nowadays a pumping station or a railway terminus gets a sorry little brick excrescence or pre-fabbed shack and whoever gives the lowest quote gets the job. And, with few exceptions, we simply don't build royal palaces or cathedrals any more.....

That water pumping station in Buenos Aires could indeed be a royal (or at least presidential) palace; not even the most demanding King - or Ruthless Military Dictator - would be ashamed to live in it.

Athanor.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 06:05:31 pm »

Reminds me of the journey to an archaeolgical site I worked on in the 1980's, guy I worked with passed comments about the 'evil rich building a house like that'....eventually we told him what the building was.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 12:13:10 am »


Transport centres  for trains and buses  or ferries  were grand edifices back in the day. They  made a journey exciting and gave a fine welcome.  Too many have gone by the way side with "modernization"


 The now defunct Auckland Railway Station




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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 12:34:24 am »

What is it now, Annie?  Student accommodation or something, if memory serves.

We're fortunate that the Wellington railway station, an imposing brick edifice inside and out, is still heavily used for its intended purpose and is in the process of being strengthened as we speak (earthquakes, you know).

But we've lost many of our beautiful buildings here (not that wed had a huge stock of them in the first place), and modern architects (or their clients) don't seem to be able even to come close.
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jonb
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2015, 01:55:22 am »

Ah thank you all for posting, those buildings create an environment that is worth being in, individual spaces, an actual sense of place. I think people need that, most people do not want the uniform internationalist minimal style. So it could be said well you lot on brassgoggles you just like Victorian style stuff you are not normal, but look how popular graffiti artists are becoming. All people are rejecting the grey glass box world, it is not human. Different people might want to see things made in a style that they like, I presume many of us here would like to see Victorian inspired buildings, and other groups might have different preferred styles, but the truth is we all reject modern bland and the way it is stamping out individuality.
The story of the man looking at a pumping station and presuming it to be a rich man's house I find illuminating. Why would he think otherwise? We don't make anything any more that is not just functional unless it is just for the personal use of somebody with wealth.

Now this is my favourite Building in the world. My father was a member of the Microscope club there so I was privileged to wonder about the building at night illuminated only by a full moon and that was one of my favourite memories. The offices that the public do not see are built round stained glass roofed courtyards and are cloistered three or four stories high, just fabulous.







The Natural history Museum London a temple to the Natural world, it needs nothing in it to be exceptional.

 
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 09:00:37 am »

What is it now, Annie?  Student accommodation or something, if memory serves.

We're fortunate that the Wellington railway station, an imposing brick edifice inside and out, is still heavily used for its intended purpose and is in the process of being strengthened as we speak (earthquakes, you know).

But we've lost many of our beautiful buildings here (not that wed had a huge stock of them in the first place), and modern architects (or their clients) don't seem to be able even to come close.


 That is a beautiful building in Wellington. You chaps may  have  more heritage buildings than we have left in the land of Jafa.

There was some student accommodation left in the old railway station  but I think most of it is empty. The apartments didn't sell and there are been "issues"
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jonb
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 12:01:48 pm »

They don't have to be old buildings this was built in the eighties, but was too radical for the client, and parts were pulled down even when it was being built it has now been completely flattened. But the Architect Ian Pollard got it on a competitive tender so it cant even be that expensive to not build the concrete glass box.

That bit was taken down on Lord Sainsbury's orders while the rest was still under construction.






These are the only pictures I could find on the web of the building in its original colours they were soon removed after opening. The Architecture was not that radical, but it seems those that commission buildings do not like anything exuberant being placed in front of the public, although we like it they seem to think this stuff is not for us.


 
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 06:58:26 pm »

 Jonb,  it seems people play it to safe today. They don't want to  step out side the box or run with the imagination.  thosein charge of council consents and review committees  can be as much to blame by rejecting plans as "not sympathetic with area".
 

 They are all killjoys.


 It is  heartening to  know that somewhere someone  slipped in some ornate columns.
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2015, 12:48:52 am »

Perhaps we could all start subtly adding smart steampunk facets to decorate the facades of boring public edifices? It would be a bit like a form of steampunk graffiti, but beautifying the beastly banal brutalist abominations, and it would be fun!  Wink
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jonb
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2015, 01:23:41 am »

Pistons that is spot on, Imperial!
When I am able I do a bit of 'Gorilla gardening', you have added a string to my bow.

A council worker or most people in most large organisations, are not rewarded for using their heads, but at the same time are punished if they have not followed procedure. All of us have examples of this when dealing with Authorities and big organisations. If the system is wrong change the system.
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Drew P
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2015, 02:15:44 am »

My wife and I plan on adding some victorian elements to the outsides of our home. We have Widows Peak railing that's being refinished that will go up above our front entrance and I plan on making architectural elements for our windows. A repaint is inline some time and I have already replaced the front door and all of it's molding and trim to better suit.
It just looks so ordinary,  so plain, but not for too long! I hope.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 01:16:47 pm by Drew P » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2015, 02:38:12 am »

Lets me put some Quebecer contribution to this thread by presenting to you the Gare Du Palais:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7a/Qu%C3%A9bec,_Gare_du_Palais1.jpg/320px-Qu%C3%A9bec,_Gare_du_Palais1.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Hall_de_la_Gare_du_Palais_de_Qu%C3%A9bec..jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/Gare_du_Palais_de_Qu%C3%A9bec_(int%C3%A9rieur_2).jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/164/389845363_89c44911b7.jpg

And the manufacture turn design school known as La Fabrique:
http://images.lpcdn.ca/641x427/201111/03/404149-nouvelle-ecole-design-restera-edifice.jpg

And the White Birch Factory (or as i love to call it, The Babel Tower):
http://images.lpcdn.ca/435x290/201109/30/382650-usine-papiers-stadacona-quebec-emploie.jpg
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jonb
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2015, 03:20:58 am »

Nice. Mr Chicar
Now how about some machines to make the buildings, the art of Wim Delvoye Belgium Artist.




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jonb
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2015, 08:48:19 pm »

Now for something else that inspires me, I like paddle steamers, but that is not steampunk in itself but the thought of flying paddle steamers that you might consider to be a different idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J09l-jC_G24

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgOAwzG9Fd0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POHre1P_E1k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acXvl-8xrBM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlmvHfIAszo

So these ideas from the early days of exploring flight were not so far out as we may have thought.



Or this one by Henry Gateling the brother of the inventor of the gun.



Quote
Gatling performed a number of ground and air trials of his airplane the summer and fall of 1873. Eyewitnesses to machine’s 1873 first (and only) trip through the air recalled an approximately 100-foot flight from a raised platform, with the plane descending rapidly suggesting that it was actually more of a “glide” than a “flight.” The descent left the machine badly damaged, and Gatling never made the repairs necessary to attempt further flights.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 08:51:17 pm by jonb » Logged
Maets
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2015, 12:21:10 am »

Nice collection of videos.
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jonb
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2015, 05:18:21 am »

The next thing I find inspiring is the work of the Finnish Architect Lars Sonck at least his early work the problem is that the few pictures on the net do not give you a good idea of his work so all I can find is this youtube clip From Jonathan Meades if you like Edwardian Gothic it is well worth a look.
Jonathan Meades :: Magnetic North ep2 (6/6)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 11:20:35 am by jonb » Logged
jonb
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2015, 11:44:16 am »

Sorry at the mo' cant spend time here so I am missing so much stuff that would inspire me, but thought I had to leave these two things that have inspired me with you all, as I love this place and the people in it.




First is a radio discussion about 'The Curies' we hear a lot about the male Victorian inventors, so lets hear a bit more of the ladies.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05n1dmt

Secondly I am constantly hearing people say science nowadays, you can only do it with big laboratories and big money. Well I still believe that to be wrong. Big money only and big experiments only answer the questions they were set to ask, an inventor in the shed will be where the next big step forward will come from just as it has always been.

This lecture has muon (an unstable subatomic particle) detector, made out of a pint glass, a bit of tin, dry ice and alcohol. Is it not time to make one in your house my fabricator friends?

Quantum theory: it's unreal


(And its quite a good lecture as well)

Love you all, hope to be back regularly soon.


« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 12:04:43 pm by jonb » Logged
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