Kings Cross, Old Maps & VFX

Recent miscellanea that has caught my attention…

The £547 million Concourse

Western Concourse, King's Cross StationA good critical review (unfortunately not that common these days…) from Hugh Pearman about John McAslan and Partners‘ recently opened Western Concourse at Kings Cross Station in London.

From outside the new concourse has a clamshell look: surprisingly – maybe, given all the heritage attention, deliberately – unspectacular to the point of banality. The drama is all inside.

For another opinion of the project, head over to The Guardian for Rowan Moore’s take. Or browse to McAslan + Parners’ download page and click “Rebuilding King’s Cross: All Change!”.

Old Maps Online

Screenshot of Old Maps Online showing NSWUsing Google Maps as a base, Old Maps Online enables you, via an overlay technique, to compare existing places with those in the past for historical maps dating back to 1551. Instant search results appear related to your location and a date slider bar allows you to fine tune the time period. Another handy site for your online research toolbox. [via The Verge]

Boardwalk Empire VFX

Continuing a loose interest of mine (have a look here) in digital creation of imagined places or reconstruction of historic places, comes a tidy little before/after showreel from Brainstorm Digital who created Atlantic City in the 1920s for the show “Boardwalk Empire“. I always wonder how many ex-architects – some may argue you are never an ex-architect – work in VFX creating/reconstructing these environments. Enjoy! [via The Loop]


Architype Review

A bit of shameless self-promotion – Arkhitekon now resides in the sidebar of the respected Architype Review just below Archinect! In correspondence Arkhitekton was described as;

…exceptional + informative and we will pass it along to all of our subscribers. Architype Review (12 June 2007)

A fledging architectural site, such as this one, needs all the help it can get to be seen/read. Suppose it helps that I featured Architype Review previously

Jacques Herzog, Urban Photos & MoPo 2007

Mid-Week Linkage No.2

The 503

Jacques Herzog Interview | There’s worthwhile interview with one half of the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron on why they don’t have website (everyone else does it for them by writing about H&M on the Internet apparently), their stadiums and football. Of particular interest is the “photo essay” on Herzog & de Meuron which has some good pics of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium (also this page) under construction, the Tate Modern Extension in London (which looks like a deconstructed Habitat ’67 by Moshe Safdie) and a bizarre Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg.
[via Archinect]


JPG Magazine | Both an website and a published magazine, JPG has been around since 2004 and each issue is thematic. The latest issue is titled “Street” and you can download the entire issue as a PDF (12mb) or just browse online. A small selection of stunning photographs from the Urban theme accompanies this post. 10 points for anyone correctly identifying the designers of the top and bottom photographs. A few more urban and architecture related photos here, here and here.

MoPo 2007 – redux | What started as a joke listing of the most popular architecture blogs of 2007, has now returned (a week later) with a more thorough list of the Top 25 individual and Top 25 collaborative blogs on architecture. This time, there is also an online poll if you want to push your favourite up the ladder. Who knows, next year maybe will make the list!

Any suggestions for future mid-week linkage? Post a comment below or contact me by email.

Martha Schwartz, Scale, Typologies & Trees

Mid-Week Linkage No.1

Here’s the first of (hopefully) a regular mid-week selection of interesting articles or websites. Rather than resort to an automatic daily link posting via, I thought I’d try a tailored approach. Anyway, here’s a start…

  • Martha Schwartz: Landscapes of Awareness | An interview where Martha discusses the “bland landscape”, gender issues in the design field and sustainability. That, and she still looks pretty cool (for a landscape architect).
  • Universcale | In the spirit of Charles & Ray Eames famous Powers of 10, Nikon have created a Flash version which indicates the relative scale of objects from the microscopic to the impossibly large (universe). Click on an object and it automatically compares something smaller and bigger – very cool. Check it out but make sure you turn off the crappy background music.

  • Architype Review | Recent projects by Holl, Viñoly, Denari and Will Bruder, categorised by architectural typology such as schools, houses, university etc. Nice clean layout with photos (perhaps too small, even when clicked), a description and credits. Each project is selected by editorial review yet the descriptions are supplied by the architects. Strangely there’s no RSS feed, only a newsletter by email?!
  • Branch Banking: How much a street tree is really worth? | The results of a New York street tree survey that establishes the value (in $) of street trees based on species, age, size, and location. Not that unusual so far. What is a little different, is that the annual energy savings were also calculated along with the value a street tree adds to your property (0.88%, apparently). Interestingly, in the examples the value of a street tree to the home owner is between 16 to 71 times that to the city.

Any suggestions for future mid-week linkage? Post a comment below or contact me by email.