All posts by catwithwifi

Koolhaas – The Factory

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | post 8

The Factory in is a planned theatre and arts venue which is set to be built on the former site of Granada Studios in St. John’s Quarter of Manchester.

BP-8-1OMA’s design concept of The Factory.

The entire space is set to cover 13,500 square meters, and will be flexible enough to accommodate an audience of 7,000. Plans for the factory will align the structure with the adjacent Museum of Science and Industry. Out of 48 architectural firms, nine were invited to go forward by the council, with OMA and Koolhaas ultimately being chosen for the project. Koolhaas will be the lead architect.


The timescale of The Factory is:

July 2015 – issue for the contract for design services

mid-November 2015 – design team appointments

August 2016 – planning application submission

February 2017 to November 2019 – construction

Beginning of 2020 – opening ceremony

BP-8-3OMA’s design concept of The Factory.




Koolhaas – Seattle Central Library

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | Post 7

The Seattle Central Library is the flagship library of the Seattle Public Library system. It was opened to the public on Sunday May 23, 2004.


Koolhaas, along with Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN were the principle architects, and Magnusson Klemencic Associates was the structural engineer with Arup. The primary goal was to consolidate the different components of a library into a cohesive format. There were five stable clusters: parking, staff, meeting, book spiral, and HQ that were overlapped with four unstable clusters: kids, living, mixing room, and reading room. This gave the layout a fresh, contemporary feel.

BP-7-4Koolhaas (left), and Ramus (right) with the design concept.

The library can hold approximately 1.45 million books and other materials, over 400 computers (all of which are available to the public), and has an underground parking garage that for 143 cars.


Koolhaas – Second Stage Theatre

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | post 6

The Second Stage Theatre was founded in 1979 by Carole Rothman and Robyn Goodman with the purpose of giving new life to existing plays. The Theatre produces new plays and contemporary American revivals by both new and established playwrights.


In 1999, the Second Theatre moved to a new location where the building structure to be used was previously a bank. Koolhaas worked, in collaboration with Gluckman Tang, for the renovation and conversion.


Both architects took advantage of physical features that were already present such as a large windowed wall. By adding a moving curtain it emphasized the transformative experience of the theater.

Rem Koolhaas

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | Post 5

Remment Lucas “Rem” Koolhaas is a dutch architect, architectural theorist, and urbanist. Koolhaas is considered one of the most important architectural thinkers and urbanists of his generation.  In 2000, Koolhaas won the Pritzker Prize, which is  awarded annually “to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

bp-5-1(Rem Koolhaas, taken 1987)

Koolhaas has his own architectural firm, founded in 1975 with Greek architect  Elia Zenghelis, along with Madelon Vriesendorp and Zoe Zenghelis. The firm is called the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). One of the first notable projects completed by OMA was the Netherlands Dance Theater. Completed in 1987, this building was the first to showcase Koolhaas’ ideas and vision. bp-5-2

The theater has a structure of steel beams and girders, using metal cladding with sheet rock covered with stucco, marble and gold foil. The roof has a self-supporting structure of a double layer of trapezoid folded sheet steel. bp-5-3

I really like this building because of its modern leanings. The gold foil adds a unique element that looks cool and ties in to the other features of the interior.

Goodhue Building – LA Public Library

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | Post 4

The Central Public Library was first constructed in 1926, and is a downtown Los Angeles landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Before the construction of the Goodhue building (named after the architect who designed it), Los Angeles kept a small library at various locations within the city. Deciding on where exactly a centralized location would be sparked a surprising amount of controversy, which in turn led to long delays on the building’s construction.

It also went through an expansion renovation from 1988 through 1993. Additions included an eight story atrium, and has roughly 89 miles of shelves, and can seat over 1400 people. The principle architect for the renovation was Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates.

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The architect, Bertram Goodhue, was originally from New England and traveled west and became very influential in California. Goodue’s building has influences of ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival architectural styles. It has sphinxes, snakes, and celestial mosaisc. At the top of the central tower, it has a mosaic pyramid depicting suns on each side and a hand with a torch representing “Light of Learning” at the apex.


This library is absolutely stunning both inside and out. I used to go here a lot with my mom when I was younger. Being an avid reader, I really wanted to include a library, and the Goodhue building is definitely one of my favorite places to visit.

Conservatory of Flowers

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | Post 3

The Conservatory of Flowers is a greenhouse and conservatory (hence the name) located in the Golden State Park in San Francisco, California. It was completed in 1879, and is the largest building in the park. It is listed under the National Register of Historic Places. It is a Victorian-style building and is very ornate and grand, with large arches and domes. It currently houses around 1700 different plant species from around the world. The Conservatory of Flowers hosts different events every year, such as the release of butterflies, and has tours available to schools in the Bay area.


The conservatory was originally built as a response to the urbanization and industrial growth that was occurring in California at the time. Because of the popularity of conservatories in Europe, they began to pop up throughout the state, paid for by wealthy Californians, meant to function as private gardens. While there is no official architect attached to the building of this structure, it resembles a lot of conservatories built by architecture company, Lord & Burnham.


I really love how conservatories combine the aesthetic of nature and industrial touches. Bringing nature into urban areas provides a refreshing view, and allows people the chance to learn more about their environment through the plant life growing here. Its a beautiful place to visit, and depending on when you go, you can see different blooms that are in a given season.


The Winchester Mystery House

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | Post 2

Another building that I find architecturally fascinating is the Winchester Mystery House, which is located in San Jose, California. It is on the National Register for Historic Places, and is a tourist attraction. It was first built in 1884, and several additions to the home were made by Sarah Winchester until she died in 1922. It is allegedly haunted by victims who were shot with Winchester rifles, and Sarah, driven by her paranoia, was said to have commissioned workers around the clock to build new rooms constantly.



The house features rooms of varying heights, staircases that lead straight into the ceiling, and doors that open to nowhere. It used to be seven stories, but after the 1906 earthquake it was reduced to four stories.  It had a lot of new innovations for its time, such as gas lights in the home, a horizontal hydraulic elevator, and indoor heating. 



When I was in high school, my cousin and I took a tour of the house. The rooms were amazing to walk through. There are 160 rooms (though only 110 are open to tours) and are completely furnished. Even though the tour took place during the day,  it was really eerie in the house, which was most likely played up since it is supposed to be haunted.

The Mission Inn

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Catherine Wahpeconiah – post 1

I’m from Riverside, California and there is an inn that is considered a historical landmark called the Mission Inn located downtown. It started out as a very modest cottage inn and the owner’s son Frank Miller slowly added on the inn in varying different architectural styles until he died. It has Spanish Gothic, Spanish Revival, and several other styles.


Since its situated in downtown, they will sometimes have co-events with the hotel and the city. During the fall, downtown Riverside has weekly live music and vendors along the streets, and the hotel has a restaurant open to the public. One of the co-event occurs during Christmas time, called the Festival of Lights.


The Festival of Lights is held annually the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a tradition for my mom and I to go and see everything first lit up. They have tons of decorations, carolers, and fireworks. I have a lot of good memories with my family and friends related to the Mission Inn, and always recommend it to friends who are in the area.