Saturday, October 15, 2022


 I really don't understand this kind of "Toytown Classicism" If you are going to reference that most abundant tradition, at least show some grasp of the basic principles.

You can certainly abstract and simplify the orders, as many architects have demonstrated. You can also bend the rules to great effect, as the mannerists did with their broken pediments and stretched proportions.

Architects like Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor could be quite brutal in their approach to massing. But in my view, this is just sloppy and arbitrary.

Architraves should sit on top of columns, not cantilevered out into space some random, irregular distance. Arches should spring from somewhere. At least give a hint at some structural logic and maybe think twice about varying the radius in such a cavalier manner.

Apologies if you have some connection to this building. It's just my opinion, no offence intended. But really... the classical tradition is supremely flexible, if treated with some respect, even in Kelowna 🤣🤣🤣


Making a BIG statement on a triangulated site next to Granville Bridge. Could be an ode to Stretcher Bond with a nod towards dogtooth corbels, but I don't think bricklaying was foremost in the mind of the designer. Perhaps at a subconscious level?

I'm glad I took a ferry across to see this, on impulse really. Planning and preparation have a place in my life but there is no substitute for seizing moments of random opportunity.

Maybe that's what was on the designer's mind, rather than oblique references to the bricklayer's art.


Different uses of metal in the historic heart of Frankfurt. Does the wrought iron scroll have a purpose? Maybe you could tie your horse up here, back in the day?

Copper gutters and down-pipes. Is the holder bat hinged for quick release? Do the decorative flourishes have any functional justification? Would be great to talk to an artisan who does this kind of work.

I love that style of handrail forged from really chunky solid bar with tapering scrolls at the end. Are the brackets secured into holes with molten lead?

Fast forward to the early modern era and a pin joint to transfer the load from the Eisener Steg (Iron Footbridge) across the river Main. It's a cantilever bridge which has to mean a highly concentrated load on those pivot points.


Middle of the pandemic. Vaccines coming into play. Probably suffering from the illusion that sanity would soon prevail.

My grandsons were doing some baking while I was pining for seeing them in the flesh.

Somehow I picked up the nerve to tackle Victor Horta in Revit based on a handful of images from the Web.

The rare bit of random cartoon sketching on my phone reminded me of the wonderful books my son Joe produced in his early teens.

The faded pencil work loses much of its vitality when digitised but I have had a couple of attempts at enhancing them in Photoshop. So many unfinished projects... One day I will get back to this. 🤣🤣🤣



Bored banana seller in the Kampala traffic. Rural homestead in Kibale forest where chimpanzees roam and clamber. Lime green mini hotel behind motor bike taxis and my former girl. Modern haircuts in a packing crate salon.

All from my trip to Uganda in 2007

The memories are still so vivid. I am deeply worried about how Africa will fare this Winter. I know Europe will have a hard time with energy and supply chain issues, but the knock on effects for Africa could be really devastating.

Big piece of my heart in that continent where I spent the best years of my life and raised three wonderful children.



Flashback to Porto in 2016. I was speaking at a Revit conference there and fell in love with the city.

Great cliffs of buildings rising up on both sides of the river. The severity of grey granite with the exuberance of tile patterns. Glazed doors opening to balcony railings everywhere.

The stay was all too short but the memories linger.



everywhere in Porto you can see glazed double doors on the upper floors, opening onto vestigial balconies. It's a very attractive architectural habit.

Isn't that what the metaphor "doorway" has come to mean. It's a flexible interface between private and public, an opportunity to enter the world outside and the capacity to keep it at bay.
The doorway to my heart. Cruel fate, slamming shut in my face.

There are doors at ground level too of course, and some similarly of language. But less inviting for perfectly obvious reasons.

I think I will add these four door designs to my list of "fun things to do with Revit" one of these fine weekends.



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