ruminations about architecture and design

Saturday, February 20, 2016

a mild success of urban non-planning

That the Lawn on D is the only successful green space in the Fort Point area speaks volumes about the development trajectory of that particular piece of Boston. Its existence is apparently accidental and precarious. Towers of ilium dispatched a reliable team of reporters to the neighborhood make an objective survey of the architecture. The overall impression is not positive; Windswept streets and uninspiring buildings compete with feeble clusters of commercial activity. Advertisements for "Loft Living" can't hide the paucity of amenities and character. Wastebaskets are hide to find. Dogs on leashes look sad and lost--uncertain if they are allowed to mark their territory of it is expressly prohibited by zoning regulations. Street crossings for pedestrians develop into mini-dramas that would make Samuel Beckett lose hope in humanity. Cars race by, searching in vain for the vast parking lots that once made up the district.

In twenty years, things may have improve somewhat, but the austerity and crassness of the infrastructure and architecture is depressing. Take us home to Boylston Street, or even Government Center.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

where many martyrs fell

Towers of ilium was wrong about the boom in domestic oil and gas production that started about a decade ago. On a side note, Gerald Ford deserves some measure of credit for encouraging research in fracking--more gummint meddling in the glorious free market.

The oil endgame is probably a few decades off--at which point more than 20 million American homes will have rooftop solar. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

things that get forgotten

Towers of ilium frequently suffers from amnesia. In this post we will try to remember some important things about architecture and building science.

-Durability is an illusion
-Flow-through assemblies are okay if you have exterior insulation and rainscreen cladding
-Double vapor barriers in wall cladding is okay for certain panelized systems
-Roxul is still too expensive
-OSB can act as a vapor barrier
-Continuous insulation will soon be mandatory for all cold climate buildings
-Glass is a lie