Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

– Uncategorized

AIANC Center for Architecture and Design (2011)

Frank Harmon Architect PA, Architect

14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604

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Visited September 6, 2015

Comments and review coming soon!



Notre-Dame Basilica – Montreal Quebec (1829)

Old Town, Montreal

Francois Bailliage, Architect

Visited August 2015

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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.

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Grand Rapids Art Museum – GRAM – (2007)

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

101 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids MI

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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)

Mission San Xavier del Bac (1797)

Construction believed to have begun in 1783, and completed in 1797.

Tucson AZ

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Visited November 15 2014

I almost didn’t venture down to this old Mission while I was visiting Tucson, but I am so glad I did. This mission is not only striking from the exterior, but the interior is an amazing display of dramatic, colorful and in some cases astonishing sculptures, paintings, frescos, moldings, carvings, and relics. The Nave and side chapel walls are saturated with these elements. The daylight coming through the dome windows and the hundreds of prayer candles creates a truly religious experience.

Mission San Xavier del Bac Website

While visiting the area I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort

South Mountain Community Library (2012)

Richärd + Bauer Architecture – Architects

South Mountain Community College, Phoenix AZ

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Visited November 16, 2014

In a search for notable architecture in the Tucson and Phoenix, I came across the architecture of Richard + Bauer Architecture. The more I investigated their work, the more of their projects I put on my list to see. I visited 4 of their projects in my short time in Arizona, and was very impressed with their work. Take a look at this library in Phoenix, and their other projects in Tucson. Here are the links to the other projects I visited:

They were all interesting in their own way, and well worth a visit.

 Richärd + Bauer Architecture Website

While in the area I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort

Quincie Davis Branch Library (2005)

Richärd + Bauer Architecture – Architects

1585 E. 36th Street, Tucson AZ

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Visited November 15 2014

This branch library with it’s dramatic entry roof is an interesting composition sited on a nondescript corner south of the University. The exterior is where the most fun is if you are an architectural purist. The interior unfortunately has been “junked up” with all manner of taped up signs, papers, banners and assorted decorations – which of course is their prerogative as it is their building. I just wish I could have experienced the interior space before it obtained the “lived-in” look. There is an enclosed courtyard on the north side of the building.

The jutting angular roof form, the rounded courtyard fence, the rusted metal paneled box and the red accent wall are all put together brilliantly.

Richärd + Bauer Architecture Website

While in the area I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort