HIGH ABOVE ORLANDO

HIGH ABOVE ORLANDO

Front entry

Orange County Convention Center

Design. A crucial element of architecture. On a recent visit to Orlando, I discovered the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). The building inspired me to step back into my training as an architecture and design critic. Hence, today’s blog!

Sunset

Sunset

Disney’s happy, fantasyland  permeates Orlando.  So many buildings reminded me of Disney, with arches, pyramids, turrets, moving walkways, and gorgeous, glowing sunsets draped over buildings. orange-county-center-1In particular, the OCCC. Locals call the twin-arched convention center, the “Center of Hospitality”. The convention center is one of the largest in the country, second only to McCormick Place in Chicago. Organizations like American Institute of Architects, AIA, and American Society of Interior Designers, ASID, secure spaces there for their conferences. Vendors exhibit the latest in building materials and design for architects and designers.

Arches culminating into a crown

Arches culminating into a crown

I fell for the elaborate designs of the convention center’s arches that spike above the building. Curiosity got the better of me, and I had to explore. The parts relate to each other. Smaller arches grow into the final crowning arches that tower over the building. Adjacent to these arches, there is a glass pyramid, similar to IM Pei’s pyramid at the Fontainebleau in Paris.

IM Pei

IM Pei

Solar World

Solar World

Yes, it’s GREEN! Orange County Government, who owns and operates the center must be proud of its place in power savings with solar panels on the roof on the South Concourse. On April 18, 2012, the Architect’s Florida Chapter placed the building on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.IMG_3021

I-360 changing colors, all 420ft, it’s gorgeous. It can be seen from almost everywhere around Orlando!

For another thrill, there is the I-360. At first you think it’s a Ferris Wheel. It does move, but it takes 22 minutes from start to finish. Besides being a ride, you can hire the whole thing out for a party or wedding. The wheel changes colors, as shown here. I hear the view from the top is astounding day or night.

 

Indigo Sky

Indigo Sky

If you like to read, my book, Indigo Sky is waiting for you. I hope you will read it, and I hope you’ll adore it. I’m going to choose three of you from my newsletter list to win a gift of my book on March 1st. Dash over to Facebook and say hello, and you’ll be entered two times.

You can order the eBook on Amazon and read it on Kindle. Download the Kindle App for free from Amazon for your device.

Amazon Indigo Sky buy Link

VALENTINES RECYCLED

VALENTINES RECYCLED

cedar chestMG_2253_thumbThe trip to get a card for my sweetheart is as far as our old cedar chest in our bedroom. Saved Valentine Day cards spill over the chest that hardly closes anymore. When the other isn’t looking, we choose one of the past precious cards for the current event. We giggle when we open our cards, and no, neither one of us remembers the card. We have begun writing in the date, just because it’s fun to know the year. Finally fooled those retailers that have priced cards too high for the paper they are printed on. Use your money to take  take your Valentine dancing!

Tell your story . . .

Check out some interesting facts.

11 Hilarious Valentine’s Day True Stories

The only good time for love to hurt is when it’s funny enough to split your sides. Make your sweetheart giggle this Valentine’s with these real-life hilarious Valentine’s Day stories.

Compiled by Amy Zerello From readersdigest.com

Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day tale?

 Handmade item Materials: bentwood, furniture, nailheads, wood, european, steambent, dining, restaurant, chair Made to order Ships worldwide from United States Favorited by: 6 people This shop accepts Etsy Gift Cards


This bentwood chair was originally created by Michael Thonet in 1859 without the heart. It was called the studio chair, popular in coffee shops. Today, it is still in production and toyed with, adding the heart and red covering. Perfect Valentine chair.

CRYSTAL PALACE: HISTORY OF IRON

CRYSTAL PALACE: HISTORY OF IRON

NYC SoHo Green Street

NYC SoHo Green Street

Fire burned down architect Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace. It was built in London’s Hyde Park to house The Great Exhibition of 1851, the first all glass and iron modular structure built at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

U Tube Crystal Palace fire: http://yhoo.it/1Sup13R

Crystal Palace Lithograph

Crystal Palace Lithograph

In the 1850s, the cheapness and availability of cast iron led James Bogardus of New York City to advocate and design buildings using cast iron components. Cast iron could be cast into a wide array of shapes and designs, allowing elaborate facades that were far cheaper than traditional stone carved ones. These facades could also be painted in desirable colors. If you’ve been to New York City, you’ve seen and know the elaborate neo-classical and Romanesque designs.

The designs were used pervasively on commercial and industrial buildings. Surviving examples in SoHo and Tribeca areas of New York are vast. One of the most intact ensembles in the American West can be seen in the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, in Portland, Oregon. In the old cities of the southern United States, the use of cast-iron in architecture was popular in the 1800s. Cast iron columns had the advantage of being slender compared with masonry columns but capable of supporting similar weight. That saved space in factories and other kinds of buildings like theaters, churches and synagogues.

However, cast iron has some architectural weaknesses. It is strong in compression, but weak in tension and bending. Its strength and stiffness deteriorate when subjected to high heat, such as in a fire. In the early era of the industrial revolution cast iron was often used in factory construction, in part owing to the misconception that such structures would be fireproof. Inventor William Strutt pioneered this innovation, building a number of industrial buildings using cast iron supports. Cast iron was strong enough to support the heavy machinery but was vulnerable to the frequent fires that would occur in such factories.

Dee Bridge Tragedy

Dee Bridge Tragedy

Cast iron was also used in bridge construction for the new railway system, sometimes with horrific results, especially when cast iron girders were used instead of arches. Engineer Robert Stephenson (not the author) built a bridge over the river Dee, mistakenly adding wrought iron trusses to strengthen the structure. This led to the Dee bridge disaster of 1847, which killed five when the bridge collapsed.

Tay Bridge disaster

Tay Bridge disaster

Following the disaster, such trussed bridges were demolished and cast-iron was replaced with wrought iron composite beams formed by riveting sheets together, and then steel rolled beams when steel became available in the late 1860s and 1870s. Cast iron continued to be used in railway under bridges, and there were a number of serious failures involving loss of life. The most serious accident occurred in 1879 with the Tay Bridge disaster when the center part of the bridge collapsed in a storm as an express train was passing over. The whole train was lost with more than 75 passengers and crew. The weakest parts of the bridge were cast iron lugs holding tie bars in place, and cast iron in new bridges was effectively abandoned after the disaster.

In the late 19th century modern steel was developed, and it proved more suitable than cast iron for structural and support purposes. Many of the innovations of the cast iron period were carried over to the new steel frame buildings, and were essential to the development of the modern skyscraper. But in 2001, the disasters of the World Trade Center proved that structural steel melts under intense heat and fire. We are reinventing the wheel over and over.

Thank you to Wikipedia for components of this blog.

Are you familiar with those 19th century architectural Victorian works in your hometown?

 

 

 

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