A theme park inside a 2,000-year-old Transylvanian salt mine is like playing on another planet

Transylvania Salt Mine. (Courtesy Richard John Seymour)

Transylvania Salt Mine. (Courtesy Richard John Seymour)

Each year, thousands of visitors descend into Salina Turda, a Transylvanian salt mine dating over 2,000 years. In its lifetime the salt mine has had many uses, storing the coffers of Hungarian kings and Habsburg emperors, providing shelter during World War II, and even operating as a cheese storage center.

In 1992, Salina Turda reopened as a visitor attraction, and after 16 years and $6.5 million of investments, has transformed into a museum and theme park. British photographer Richard John Seymour, documented this subterranean destination.

More after the jump.

School of Night: This small book of poetry and photography speculates on giving form

Other
Thursday, January 7, 2016
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(Courtesy Spuyten Duyvil)

(Courtesy Spuyten Duyvil)

We often have books come into our office that are not necessarily on the topic of architecture or urbanism. Slowly, they move down to the bottom of one of our review piles, topped by new arrivals. One such book is School of Nite by the artist and photographer Nancy Goldring and the writer Peter Lamborn Wilson.

But it’s worth another look…

On View> Matter, Light, and Form: Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom, 1968–2003

Architecture, On View, Preservation, West
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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Denver Art Museum (Wayne Thom)

Denver Art Museum (Wayne Thom)

Matter, Light, and Form: Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom, 1968-2003
WUHO Gallery
6518 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
Through December 20, 2015

Best known for his keen documentation of Late Modernism, Wayne Thom’s architectural photography brings drama and beauty to a period marked by corporate and developer-driven design. Now, the Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury University presents an exhibition of Thom’s work at the WUHO Gallery in Hollywood.

View a gallery of Thom’s work after the jump.

On View> SURPLUS! explores Cairo’s housing crisis through the lens of photography

house

Cairo’s Townhouse gallery is hosting an exploration of Egypt’s housing crisis through the lens of 18 photographs by Anthony Hamboussi. The views encapsulate urban and architectural vistas that tell the story of “housing real estate in all sectors of the economy, formal and informal, from high-end developments to state-built “affordable” housing and piecemeal private investments.”

But act fact, SURPLUS! Housing from the Periphery closes on November 4.

Read More

Kissing Constructs: Barbara Kasten’s surreal photography at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Art, International, Midwest, Newsletter, On View
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
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Barbara Kasten's all-analog photography from the 1980's is on display at the Graham Foundation in Chicago. (Bika Rebek/AN)

Barbara Kasten’s all-analog photography from the 1980’s is on display at the Graham Foundation in Chicago. (Courtesy Graham Foundation)

Thursday night, Barbara Kasten’s first major retrospective opened at the Graham Foundation as an offsite event of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Set in the Madlener house, a turn-of-the century Prairie-Style mansion, the exhibition brings together a roughly chronological overview of the artist’s practice from the 1970s until today. The works on display are of an astonishingly contemporary quality—many of the framed photographs follow the aesthetic paradigms of current net—or Tumblr art featuring primitive geometric shapes of varying surface texture lit in a rich palette of pastel colors forming surreal spatial compositions.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Psychadelic Farnsworth House installation gets a second life at a Chicago art gallery

(Kate Joyce)

(Kate Joyce)

Last year artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero led a collaborative effort to take over Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House with kaleidoscopic light and video loops. That project, INsite, followed similar work at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Robie House, and imbued Mies’ modernist touchstone with a vivacity often lacking in the contemporary experience of midcentury interiors. (Read AN‘s review of Luftwerk’s INsite installation here.)

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Kim Stringfellow’s Jackrabbit Homestead at The Autry

(Kim Stringfellow)

(Kim Stringfellow)

Kim Stringfellow’s Jackrabbit Homestead
The Autry in Griffith Park
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles
Through August 23

The California desert has long been an object of fascination for creatives and explorers fleeing the monotony and sprawl of Los Angeles. Artist Kim Stringfellow follows in that tradition with Jackrabbit Homestead, an exhibition that explores—through photographs and audio interviews—a collection of dilapidated 1950s cabins and the surrounding reclamation of land and structures in this harsh landscape.

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Photographer Wayne Thom captured Late Modernism like no one else, and now his archive is looking for a home

Sears, Roebuck and Company, Pacific Coast Territory Administrative Offices. Alhambra, CA.  A.C. Martin & Associates. design 1969, completion 1971. (Wayne Thom)

Sears, Roebuck and Company, Pacific Coast Territory Administrative Offices. Alhambra, CA. A.C. Martin & Associates. design 1969, completion 1971. (Wayne Thom)

As 1970s and 1980s architecture returns to vogue, a new recognition of those associated with its making and documentation also arises. So it is with Wayne Thom, long the preeminent architectural photographer of the large, Late Modern building by the large firm.

More after the jump.

On View> “David Hartt: Interval” at the Art Institute of Chicago

Art, Midwest, On View
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
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(David Hartt)

(David Hartt)

David Hartt: Interval
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Through October 11

Canadian artist David Hartt examines the culture and built environment of a given locale through the changing needs and values of its community. For this essayistic series of films and photographs, Hartt selected two economically and geographically isolated sites: Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon and Sakhalin Island, a Russian territory at the tip of the Japanese archipelago.

Read More

The water is so clear right now in Lake Michigan, you can see sunken ships beneath the crystal waves

The 121 foot brig James McBride ran aground during a storm on October 19, 1857. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

The 121 foot brig James McBride ran aground during a storm on October 19, 1857. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

Winter ice is melting around the Great Lakes, revealing cerulean waters below—and, in northern Lake Michigan, an open graveyard of shipwrecks.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and The Construction of a Social Landscape

Architecture, Art, On View, West
Monday, April 20, 2015
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Ain's Dunsmuir Flats (Julius Shulman)

Ain’s Dunsmuir Flats (Julius Shulman/ J.Paul Getty Trust)

Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and The Construction of a Social Landscape
WUHO Gallery
6518 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
Through April 26

Gregory Ain was a pioneer in the development of low-cost modern housing, and many of his efforts fused radical, left-wing politics and cooperative living with architecture. And a new exhibit in Los Angeles spotlights five of the architect’s most innovative housing projects.

Continue reading after the jump.

Last House Standing: Photographer Captures Haunting Images of Lone, Abandoned Row Houses

(Courtesy Ben Marcin)

‘Last House Standing’ by Ben Marcin (Courtesy Ben Marcin)

Like a lone pea out of its pod, the desolation of a solo row house waxes stark in Baltimore-based photographer Ben Marcin’s new series: Last House Standing. Often painted in garish colors at variance with their boarded-up windows and battered brickwork, the row houses are an architectural quirk of certain cities along the eastern seaboard.

Read More

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