I Will Be Back

LONDON 2014 1019

The past week is probably my favorite week so far in my life. London is such a tremendous city which is so clean, so cultural, so secure and so beautiful. I really don’t know how it managed to be so pretty as the background of our pictures. Everyone seems to be a photographer in the city and we took so many perfect pictures without even trying. I am so jealous of Londoners as they can just go outside and get fantastic photos of themselves. I absolutely loved the culture there and I loved the way people talked, dressed, and everything. I think that explains why Doug Graf spends more time in London than in states. Given the chance, I will be going back at any time and I don’t even need a reason to do so. That’s how much I love the city.


Shadows in London

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I found these pictures when I was sorting them out last night. They are from the treetop walkway at Kew Gardens. I want to mention that shadow is always a key for designing. What I think of the treetop walkway is that it’s a great idea but it’s hard to make a very interesting design in such a concept. The result is that the entire walkway is flat, for instance in sections there’s no height change at the top. However I think the architect made it interesting in another way – playing with shadows.

We see more and more screen in contemporary designs. By screen I mean for example those metal columns that are on the railing which create these fantastic shadows on the path. I think this is such a great idea because the canopy is higher than all the trees which means it’s going to get lots of sun that grants it really high shadow value. I love how the screens are designed but what’s more is that the shadow that’s created. The shadow somehow falls onto the structure under the walkway. This means it is not just randomly designed and there are lots of calculations and thinking behind the design. I think this is what we must have for our designs. We can just make cool things but what’s more important is to make things cool with meanings and thoughtful ideas behind them.


I always believe that an architect has to look at others’ ideas and “borrow” them for his own design. It always helps when you look at more stuff before designing something. Here are someideas we can steal for our studio project.
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This is a store on Oxford street. Do you see the wavy thing on the facade? It’s not a screen, but thousands of little panels. I don’t know if they collect solar energy or not but anyway I think it is a fantastic design that defines how to make a flat surface interesting.
Here are some buildings we saw on Friday, I don’t know if you guys really paid attention to them when we boated/walked pass them. Here are some pictures to look at. I think it’s really interesting to see how they meet the ground and how they deal with their forms. Also pay attention to how they deal with the corners and what they do on the roof. Everyone gets different interpretations so you don’t have to like them. Hopefully this blog will help your next studio project 😀


imageNuff said.
Ughhh, I wish I could just say this for the blog because it would be really funny. Everyone was so tired on the bus ride back from Salisbury. Being exhausted seems to be the theme of this trip. Everyone’s doing things at night and we must get up early to see as much as we can, which is really the most important reason why we are in London. I wish we could sleep in but in the mean time I don’t want to miss ANYTHING that we went to. This trip has been fantastic and here I want to thank Aimee and Troy for planning this trip out and giving us such a great experience. Also I want to thank Amy for helping :).

Just can’t get enough of it

Nothing makes architecture students more happy than being present at the buildings that they learn from history class. Yep, we are at Dulles international airport. As we got off the plane Lauren ran right to the window. I knew exactly what she’s Dulles doing. We are at Dulles international airport! Designed by Eero Saarinen, completed in 1962, curved roof, with a steel frame structure and filled with reinforced concrete. I know all these things off my head, what’s more exciting than this? We then asked for “approval” (sad face) to search for the building! Luckily we are architects and we can read plans well. We then got on a “raised up train with giant wheels which looks like a tank.” The driver told us that he’s going to make a turn and we had to catch the building fast when we are on the train. And we got this. 😛