Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

  • 01_Hunt Library
  • 01_AIANC
  • 01_Notre Dame Montreal
  • 01_Old Montreal
  • 01_Habitat
  • 01_The Belt
  • 01_GRAM
  • 01_Mission
  • 01_South Mountain
  • 01_Quincie


James Hunt Jr. Library – Raleigh NC (2013)

Centennial Campus North Carolina State University, Raleigh North Carolina

Snohetta Design Architects, Pearce Brinkley Cease & Lee Executive Architects

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Comments and review coming soon!

AIANC Center for Architecture and Design (2011)

14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604

Frank Harmon Architect PA, Architect

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Visited September 6, 2015

Comments and review coming soon!


Notre-Dame Basilica – Montreal Quebec (1829)

Old Town, Montreal

Francois Bailliage, Architect

Visited August 2015

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Basilica is a “marvelous confection” (to steal a term used by Brendan Gill referring to the interior of UofM’s Rackham Auditorium). The main Basilica is a grand room with the high alter dramatically backlit with a blue and yellow glow. Behind the Basilica is the chapel Notre-Dame du Sacre-Coeur. This was rebuilt after a fire in 1978. The first two floors of the chapel were rebuilt, with the vaulted ceiling being executed in a modern design using linden wood. The new altarpiece was crafted in bronze sculptural panels.


Click here for the Basilica’s Website

Old Montreal – (settled in 1642)

The Old Montreal District is roughly defined by the old fortification walls.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Habitat 67 – Montreal Canada (1967)

Moshe Safdie, Architect

Built by a then young architect in 1967 for the Montreal Expo.

I was in Montreal with a very small window of opportunity to sightsee, so only had a chance to observe it from a distance. My photos are not great, as they were taken from across the river, but I wanted to post them anyway. Hopefully I can get back and get up close. I am interested in prefab construction, and am glad to see that this early experiment is still up, occupied and appears to be desired complex to live in.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Belt – Detroit MI (2015)

Public Alley behind the “Z” Parking Garage.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This project definitely falls into the Creative Built Environment category. A public alley has been transformed into a public art gallery – while still functioning as a public alley. Bedrock Real Estate, in conjunction with the Library Street Collective in Detroit are behind this transformation. They have turned this into an inviting walkway with commissioned artwork installed along the way. Recently Shepard Fairey installed several installations while in town. One of his murals will become the background for a new open air bar that will be in an alcove along the alley. Unusual benches provide spaces to sit. Another thinking-outside-the-box project transforming downtown Detroit. I am looking forward to future additions.

Grand Rapids Art Museum – GRAM – (2007)

Kulapat Yantrasast, Yo Hakomori, Aaron Loewenson, wHY Architecture; Architects

101 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids MI

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Touted as the world’s first LEED Gold certified art museum, this brutalist bare concrete structure actually has very sophisticated details and beautiful spaces. The “green features” are integrated throughout the building. Some are obvious, and some are cleverly integrated and were only discovered by reading reports of all of the earth friendly features of the building.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum website

Need a place to stay while visiting? The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Downtown Courtyard are within a short walk.

Hungry? These are my favorite restaurants within a short walk that I discovered while visiting:

Osteria Rossa, Rockwell Republic and San Chez (which also has breakfast)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.