Sunday, June 28, 2009

FIFTH ENTRY: Islamic World

Islamic design does not designate a specific period of time. It has existed since the seventh century when the religion of Islam was formed. Islamic design covers all aspects of life, including buildings, interiors, and decorative elements for secular use. Some of the characteristics are generally geometric but sometimes ornamental. Influences such as Byzantine, Greece, Rome, and the Persian Empire.

**NOTE: A.D. 622 to the Present. Known for detailed arches and spectacular rugs, Islamic culture spread far beyond Istanbul taking root in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia. This will be mentioned later on with India and Spain.

Prayer Rug: Transylvanian Prayer Rug from Ushak, Turkey, and now lies in The Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest.

Madrasa: facade detail in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Each arched bay houses a student's dormitory. Madrasa is a religious building such as a mosque, shrine, convent, or mausoleum.
Arches: these are the 3 different types of arches. The first one is horseshoe arch and a main characteristic of Islamic architecture.

Mihrab: from the Madrasa of Mimami, Isfahan, Iraq circa 1354, faced with a mosaic of glazed tiles 11ft. Mihrab is a prayer niche served to indicate the direction of Mecca.

Sinan's Dome: located in Henri Sterlin, Geneva. This picture is the dome and 2 adjacent half domes from the ceiling of the Sulimaniye Mosque. Although the colour doesn't serve justice, the middle dome has a rich ochre colour and helps highlight the intricate detailing. The architect was Sinan.

Arabesque decoration: This tile matches a border frieze adorning the portal of the tomb of Sultan Mehmed I in Bursa. It has a deeply carved pattern of lattices formed by pairs of undulating vine scrolls. The arabesque lattices is complex, but clarity is achieved through the use of different colored glazes.

Stucco panel: from Samarra with ornate decoration.

More decorative details:

Wooden frieze: Egypt

Window-grill: from the Umayyad Mosque

Stucco decoration: Ibn Tulun Mosque ; Egypt.

Decorative brick: Mausoleum of the Samanids.

Ardabil Carpet: most famous of all Persian carpets. Was signed by Maqsud Kashani and completeled in 1530 in Iraq. Silk and wool, 36ft long.

Trendy Mosaics

Known for their high end market by exuding Italian culture and style, Bisazza is world renowned and PLuSH. They have many designers on staff to create these beautiful mosaics. I think their adds are magnifico!

I would have loved to be on set.....

The design is "chain-linked" and the hues of gold and blue give off a royal Mediterranean feel and that blue dress just tops it off*

The metallic mosaics are just illuminating and how can we forget the Egg chair! Circa 1958 Arne Jacobsen and Fritz Hansen, We will see this chair later on with others in Future Archive Entries....

Bisazza also offers a "personal elegance code for modern interiors". They provide chairs, mirrors, lamps, concoles, tables and folding screens.
Images below:

For more please check out their website:

Neoporte Doors

Neoporte is a company that manufactures stainless steel doors out of California. The have very interesting styles and attributes for design and construction. Below are some of the adds they have:

In the Dune.

Forest Life. Green.

In the Tide. Love it!

So with Neoporte as the client you have 3 different options for the glass panels.
Water effect, organic, and textured. The textured one comes in different colours.
More images below of their work:
Gated door....

This door goes great with modern architecture especially with natural elements like the wood.

The tropical trees, stone, white stucco, glass, and the stainless steel doors are the epitome of architecture!

First of all I love the landscaping! This door is very streamline and looks great with the architecture.

The small square windows are repeated in the architecture above. The style has a modern Mexican style.

Courtyard style love it! Similar to the floor plans from the Greek town of Olynthus. Floor plan below:

The Central area {shaped like a box} is the courtyard. The squares on both sides of that are the columns {and in that time} they would most likely been Doric style.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Favourite Design Mags

Inside Out: Favourite because it featured my favourite designer form Boca Raton, Alexandra Karram. It has Luxury designs from the Florida area.
Azure: Canadian Magazine and has a partner mag called Design Lines that gives you Toronto's design directory and locations.

Dwell: always up to the times with new designers and inovative thoughts. A great one to have on hand!

House and Home: What would we do without Lynda Reeves? LOL She has great design tips on before and after with a write up and floor plans!

Veranda: Also current and in style. Veranda offers the latest and trendy designs. I got a hold of a copy when I found out about CK Home. Very posh.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Skateboard Eco-Friendly Chair

Skateboard Chair: made of 8 recycled skateboards, they are screwed into the metal frame then neoprene is sprayed on top of the skateboards to give it a softer, almost leathery feel! Great for a modern space and the environment!

**check out:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Portfolio: Youth Opportunities

So my final year of post-secondary is coming to an end. To finish up this term I had the pleasure, with my group, of presenting a project to Youth Opportunities Limited in London, Ontario.

Project Requirments-To renovate their existing building they wanted:

  • Cafe
  • Kitchen
  • Recreational room
  • Medical offices
  • Reception
  • Meeting Room
  • Second floor rediential apartments
  • Roof Garden
  • Ontario Building Code
  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

First Floor Plan: rendered in prisma markers and pencil crayons.

**Note: all done in REVIT

Cafe: Bar seating in the back

Cafe Area: First floor rendering showing seating and transaction top.

Recreational Room

Reception Area: with wrap around desk and meeting room located behind. The decorative wall behind adds an architectural element.

Rooftop Garden Seating Area

Lounge Area

REVIT: opposite view of Lounge Area

Formal Dining Area

Garden Dining Area: with planters and a cage design around for vines. Verical Garden Wall in the back.

FOURTH ENTRY: Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic Period

These period styles mainly concern art and architecture that is dedicated to the church. The Christian Churches around these times would commission local artists to create mosaics, architecture, stained glass, and furniture to name a few.

**Byzantine: timeline A.D. 1-800 and 330-1453. "Roman statecraft, Greek culture, and Christian belief are the three wellheads of Byzantine development. If any of these three had been missing, Byzantium as we know it could not have existed." -George Ostrogorsky (1902-76), art historian

Empress Theodora most influential and powerful woman in the Byzantine Empire and was married to Emperor Justinian. This is one great example of the mosaic used in the architecture at the time. I think these mosaics helped influence different embellishments for future design in furniture patterns and even wallpaper.

Ivory Throne: made around the sixth-century, this throne was for the archbishop of Revenna, Maximian. It was made from elephants tusks imported from Africa or India. This displays the technique of relief carvings with ivory inlays. The carvings are of religious symbols and saints which were often gilded and painted.

Sta. Costanza: built in 350 as a mausoleum for Constantine's daughter. It features a domed central cylinder lightened by clerestory windows with an arcade of 12 Composite columns.

Dome Supports:

Squinches: diagonal members supported on the arches. More of a square-like construction.
Pendentives: Concave triangular surfaces, they start at a point on the comer of a pier, rise, and spread out to the two upper points of the triangle. This creates a fan-like shape until they approach the horizontals and meet the circle at the lowest part of the dome.

Impost Capital: meaning a member (such as a bracket projecting from a wall) on which an arch rests. This consists of stone carvings that are in the form of truncated upside down pyramid; flaring outward as they rise. Between the impost capital and the arch above is an additional block called a dosseret that is frequently used in Byzantine architecture.

**Romanesque: timeline c. 800-c. 1200. The term means "in the manner of the Romans." Romanesque era has many round-headed arches and vaults similar to Rome.

Reliquary Statue: of Saint Foy from the Abbey Church of Conques, France, late ninth century, silver gilt with gemstones, 33 inches high.

Durham Cathedral: England 10-93-1130. This is a picture of the Nave facing east. Perfect example of ribbed vaulting. Gothic influence due to the later additions.

Floor Plan: general plan of Romanesque architecture. The Apse is the front of the church also known as the alter area. This shape is a representation of the Cross; the transept (horizontal member) portraying the arms.

Ste. -Madeleine Vezelay: located in France this church is tucked away in the Burgundy region. Vezelay was dedicated to Mary Magdalen.

Tympanum: a semicircular panel above a portal. This one is carved stone and displays many figures as would a typical tympanum in the Romanesque era. This is in also in Vezelay.

Note: no specific chair was constructed in this time.

**Gothic: timeline 1132-c. 1500. This period has a series of architectural inventions like the pointed arch, ribbed vaults and the flying buttress. Gothic design also highlights the gargoyle. Gothic churches:
  • St. Denis
  • Notre Dame, Paris
  • Chartres
  • Rheims
  • Amiens
  • Beauvais (has the hightes nave)
Chartres Cathedral: located in France typical Gothic church with a Rose window (stained glass). The Nave height is 120 ft.

Amiens: church floor plan similar to the Romanesque but more advanced.

This drawing explains the breakdown of a buttress, flying buttress, nave, clerestory, and ribbed vaulting.

Wells Cathedral: located in England this exhibits the ribs springing from the central column. Beautiful piece of architecture.

Strainer Arches: located at the crossing of the nave and the transept. Also in Wells Cathedral.

The little examle of Gothic furniture:
Chair showing linenfold (on the side panel), tracery (the horizontal carving located at the top), and buttresses on the back. The chairs in this time were a reflection of their architecture. very heavy and made of wood.

An example of a modern one.
*****Coming up The Islamic World*******
Signing off