I have this thing with stairs

Forget about the wheel. More than 8.000 years ago, somebody came up with the great idea of bridging a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical ones. A new functional element to move in space was invented.

It’s staggering just how many iconic stairs provided value to spaces and rapidly evolved beyond aesthetic and engineering virtuosity into symbolism, power and religion references for maximum impact. From the Tower of Babel to the stairway to the Acropolis.

No matter where you are you find fascinating staircases that make your day more enjoyable. Here are some of the ones I have found during the last couple of years.

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How Modernism Was Invented In The Japanese Middle Ages

Do you believe that modernist architecture is western culture’s gift to the world? If so, think again. Modernism has been less disruptively original as you might think. What lies behind many of the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, or the Eameses were actually invented in the Japanese middle ages. We have just copied and pasted them into European designs and almost no one has noticed. Continue reading

Mid-Century Houses for Mad Men

For you trying to escape reality, Mad Men is the right place. Millions have sought comfort in entertainment, namely from this award-winning show. Becoming one of the most influential shows in recent history, Mad Men has delivered some complex narratives and sharp descriptions of our commercial selves from the ‘40s through the ‘70s. This Emmy Award-winning show is now coming to an end. Continue reading

One Painful Truth About Your Dinner Tonight

Chances are you are wearing jeans, t-shirts or sweaters for dinner and you definitely should consider dressing up.

Get inspiration from a time when people were as glamorous at home as they are on the red carpet today. In 1958, Life Magazine provided a glimpse inside one of the most stylish American homes at the time, the Beattie residence. This solid piece of good design from the American architect Ulrich Franzen, well known for the mid century Modern aficionado. Continue reading

The good (Danish) life

Our family enjoys living in a housing project in Greater Copenhagen designed in the sixties by one of the most prominent architectural studios at that time, Fællestegnestuen. It is a high-density development with an inward-looking plan clearly inspired by kasbahs. The exterior walls are plain white facades without windows, but there are large windows facing the garden. The one-story atrium houses are built in a grid in which car and foot traffic are completely grade-separated. You can ride your bike many kilometers in the city without crossing a road.

Modern Home For A Modern Family

While working for the city council during the 1920’s, Ángel González produced some of the best romantic palaces and historicist buildings in the city of Cáceres, in Western Spain. Some might have originally expected him to continue on that trajectory during that prosperous period in Spain, but González shifted dramatically into Functionalism, designing the most modern housing in Cáceres at his time. Continue reading