Most people would think of Machu Picchu when asked about ancient architecture in Peru, however Sacsayhuaman predates the Inca civilization. The complex an amazing example of engineering and stonemason skill. Located on the outskirts of Cuzco, the atmosphere is mesmerizing for its craftsmanship, its commanding location overlooking the ancient city and the Andes and the occasional visiting llama.
On a recent trip to Sydney I discovered some little gems in Darling Quarter. A series of small shelters and utilities buildings created as beautifully crafted, enveloping spaces where parents watched their children play and office workers relaxed during their lunch break.
Imagine gazing out the window each day over the roof tops of this ancient Royal city. Patan’s Durbar Square in Nepal is one of seven groups of monuments in the Kathmandu Valley recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage list for their cultural significance. Architecturally, the striking forms are complemented by rich terracotta tiles, bricks and elaborate wood carvings. The square has a vibrant atmosphere frequented by tourists and locals alike.
Every even numbered year La Biennale di Architettura is held in Venezia and draws thousands of international visitors to the mystical city. In 2012 Irish architects O’Donnell and Tuomey created an installation made from timber planks, designed to speak to the brickwork of the historic building in which it was positioned.
In 2007, Palazzo Grassi won a contest held by the City of Venice to transform Punta della Dogana (the historic customs house) into a centre of contemporary art. Tadao Ando was engaged to design and document the restoration and adaptive reuse of the building to accommodate part of the Francios Pinault Foundation collection of art.
Opened in 2009, the building is a must see for lovers of Ando, contemporary art or historic buildings.
I believe everyone has a little bit of “closet architect” in them and in my daily life, I strive to bring this out in clients. Through this blog each week I will share one inspirational building or detail from my travels over the years in the hope you might also find some inspiration.
I often wonder what non-architects look at when they go on holidays……….