Blog #1

Jeanne Gang


The architect that I would like to write about is Jeanne Gang. She is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Design and is a MacArthur Fellow, which is a very famous award for great people in the academics and sciences. She is one of the first woman architects to build one of the highest buildings in the world.  For example she has build the Aqua Tower.

Aqua Tower, Chicago, U.S.


The Aqua Tower is 82 stories tall. It is a building that places in mind sustainability, through (1) energy efficient solar panels, (2) rain collecting gadgets, and (3) is LEED certified.

It also has a green roof and is LEED certified, meaning it has been passed by the law. It is called an Aqua Tower because of its wave-like structure which draws inspiration from the Michigan Lake. It is also surrounded by high rise buildings and is the first downtown building to combine type of room like condo apartment and hotel.

She has built the Social Justice Leadership Arcus Center at Kalamazoo Center, which is famous for producing the most volunteers to Peace Corp per capital which promotes social justice and has build the Eleanor Boathouse at Park 571.

She is also an award nominee from the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Design Award for Architectural Design by the Smithsonian.
From being elected to the National Academy of Design, she is also a New Generation Leader and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow.
She has also won an award for “Cultural Hero” from Time Out.


She is married to Mark Schendel in 1998.

Personally, I have read that she is famous for her design philosophy in studying the relationship between the environment, communities, and individuals.
The nature friendliness and green factor of her buildings is a proof that she studies the environment when she designs buildings. For her work, she is a Chevalier de l’Ordre National de La Legion d’honneur.

She is known for her use of strength in material fostering more clean and sustainable environments.  Her philosophy behind her design towards sustainability is also an important key factor that demonstrates her personality. In her book, Reverse Effect is generally written about a vision towards a radically green future for the Chicago River, which is a cleaner water system for the state. I am further interested in this design philosophy and will search forward for how her architecture is built more technically.

Alvar Aalto’s Viipuri Library

The Viipuri Municipal Library, (started in 1927 , completed in 1935 and restored in 2010), was the first building  Alvar Aalto designed that would signify his own personal style. Many European architects following the modernist movement created buildings that all looked more or less the same. Aalto was unique in that he used a combination of natural materials in unnatural forms, such as his use of wooden pieces on the ceiling within the library’s auditorium, made to look as though they were dancing or reverberating through their wave-like, curved forms.


Viipuri Library Auditorium.

In addition, the architect felt compelled to come up with a way to bring more sunlight into the library and therefore, “…invented a conical skylight that would funnel in daylight without allowing direct, shadow-producing solar rays. Relying on the generative grid that organizes the reading rooms, he systematically perforated the roof with two-meter light wells, giving the roof its trademark futuristic appearance. ” [2] Alvar Aalto’s use of skylights within this building would become one of the distinguishing and repeat elements within many of his buildings he designed in the future.

Viipuri Library, 2nd floor. Image from The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library.

“When I designed the Viipuri City Library (and I had plenty of time, a whole five years),I spent long periods getting my range, as it were,  with naive drawings. I drew all kinds of fantastic mountain landscapes, with slopes lit by many suns in different positions, which gradually gave rise to the main idea of the building. The architectural framework of the library comprises several reading and lending areas stepped at different levels, with the administrative and supervisory center at the peak.
“My childlike drawings were only indirectly linked with architectural thinking, but they eventually led to an interweaving of the section and ground plan, and to a kind of unity of horizontal and vertical construction” (qtd. in [3]).

Aalto’s Viipuri Library floor plan. Basement, ground floor, and second floor, (from top to bottom).


  1. Koepper, H.F. “Alvar Aalto.” Encyclopedia Brittanica. Retrieved 29 July 2017 from

2. Langdon, David. “AD Classics: Viipuri Library / Alvar Aalto”.  Arch Daily. Retrieved 29 July 2017 from

3. Passinmaki, Pekka. “The Trout, the Stream, and the Letting-Be. Alvar Aalto’s Contribution to the Poetic Tradition of Architecture.” Working paper – Alvar Aalto Researchers’ Network. Retrieved 29 July 2017 from


Dale Hall Kevin Kontchou

Image result for dale hall ouDale Hall is a building that I’ve had to spend many hours in over the course of my college career. I don’t particularly enjoy taking classes or even looking at the building. The meaning of the building to me is mindless work. There are no windows in any of the lecture halls and the inside of the building is pretty depressing. I even remember seeing high school students taking standardized tests there. The building serves one purpose, cramming as many students in to as many classrooms as possible. Every class that I took in that building I constantly checked my phone to see when I could finally leave. I even had to give out flyers and t shirts in front of Dale Hall for my job with OU IT Department. I’m not going to blame it entirely on the building, but Dale Hall’s architecture did not do much to help with some of my student absenteeism.

Aldo Rossi, Bonnefanten Museum

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The Bonnefanten Museum is a museum of fine art in MaastrichtNetherlands. The museum was founded in 1884 as the historical and archaeological museum of the Dutch province of Limburg. Aldo Rossi was commissioned to design its renovation. From an aerial view the museum looks like a three-pronged structure with the middle prong having a cylindrical building with a dome on top. The museum looks very interesting and unique. The bright red brick juxtaposed with the silver colored cylinder sitting in the middle really makes the structure stick out. I would like to visit this museum one day.

Aldo Rossi, Monte Amiata Housing

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Aldo Rossi worked with Carlo Aymonino in the late 1960s to design Monte Amiata Housing, which is a residential complex in the Gallaratese district of Milan, Italy. The housing complex does not look particularly pleasant to live in. The complex comprises five red buildings: two eight-stories slabs, a long three-stories building, another three-stories slab, and an interconnecting structure; these are grouped around a central area with a yellow, open-air theater, and two smaller triangular plazas. The complex looks like almost like a bunch of brown and red Leggo blocks being stacked on top of each other. The building looks almost fragmented and then glued together. It reminds me of housing projects that were designed by artists. The structure is interesting to look at but I don’t think I would like to live there.

Aldo Rossi, Teatro Carlo Felice

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The Teatro Carlo Felice is an opera house that Aldo Rossi designed the renovation for. Teatro Carlo Felice is located in Genoa, Italy on the Piazza De Ferrari. It is used for opera, ballet, orchestral music, and recitals. The opera house is large and majestic with white and gray coloring. I think the dull painting on the opera house works to not take attention away from the architecture itself. Aldo Rossi uses five large columns in this opera house as well but also uses arches around the entrances. The architecture reminds me of old Italian Catholic architecture with some modern features like the windows. The building looks so amazing from the outside, especially with the large statue in the front. The inside of the theatre itself is huge and can seat 2000 people.

Aldo Rossi, Teatro La Fenice

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Aldo Rossi is an Italian architect who was born in Milan, Italy on May 3, 1931. One of his works, Teatro La Fenice, is the most famous and renowned landmark in the history of Italian theatre. Teatro La Fenice is an opera house located in Venice, Italy. The four columns in the front and statues carved into the building, looking over the balcony remind me of ancient Roman architecture. The steps give the building a sense of authority or importance. The golden interior of the theatre itself is so ostentatious, it makes me picture a royal family and dukes and lords watching an opera performance there.

St. James Church in Lincolnshire Wolds, England


Blog #4: St. James Church

The fourth blog that I will be writing about is St. James Church, located in England.

This small sized church stands on a hill, and is located in Lincolnshire, Wolds.

It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the highest area of land in eastern England between Yorkshire and Kent.

The reason I am writing a blog on the architecture of a church is because of my faith, which is something that I am continuously learning and reshaping according to the growth of my knowledge.

St. James Church has a blue roof and is built with brown bricks. There is a small cross on the top of the church. The is only one entrance to the church in the front. There are three windows on the side, and a circular ornation on the main front of the church. There are two graves in front of the church, and dark tree next to it in the background. On the other side, there are a few trees flourishing on the backyard.

The interior of the church shows the back of the ornation on the main front of the church which is the face of Christ.


When I bow my head and kneel down to pray in a church, I am able to contemplate life.

I can imagine sitting here in the morning, talking about my faith to a pastor, seeking questions and asking for answers, and being humbled by Christ’s presence.



The house from my home village

This house lies at a small village in Zhejiang, China. I lived there for at least seven years. Even I don’t the exact meaning of this building, maybe my grandparents built this for living, but it means all of my childhood. I didn’t born in there, but this house is where brought me up. When I woke up everyday morning, the first thing to do was facing the green farmland, and taking a deep breath. I cloud hear the wood stair squeak for each of my steps, and each of my steps reminded me that I was lived there. For me, this house is a place where can recall the most peaceful memories, and give me the feeling of home and love forever.

Atlantis, The Palm

Atlantis, The Palm is a luxury hotel resort located at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah in the United Arab Emirates. It was the first resort to be built on the island and is themed on the myth of Atlantis but includes distinct Arabian elements. It is complemented by the Aquaventure water park and the Nasimi Beach, which frequently plays host to concerts and other events. I lived in this hotel with my parents when we travels to Dubai. The whole hotel looks very beautiful and magic.  The translation from the island to the city is the light rail which is built above the sea. The feeling of this hotel is luxurious.

Image from