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General Category => RPGs => Topic started by: trinite on October 16, 2014, 03:03:07 PM

Title: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on October 16, 2014, 03:03:07 PM
So instead of putting this into the General Chaos HAY GUYS thread, I figured I'd start a new one here, since it directly pertains to Ross's upcoming game. I figure it'll be more convenient to collect any weird architectural horror-type things we find in one spot.

Things like The Imaginary Prisons of Giovanni Piranesi: http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/10/11/the-imaginary-prisons/ (http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/10/11/the-imaginary-prisons/)

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/The_Lion_Bas-Reliefs_LACMA_46.27.5.jpg/433px-The_Lion_Bas-Reliefs_LACMA_46.27.5.jpg)



The full gallery can be found here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Le_Carceri_d%27Invenzione (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Le_Carceri_d%27Invenzione)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on October 18, 2014, 08:27:29 PM
Since I’ve heard Ross mention J.G. Ballard in relation to his Ruin project, I’d like to mention this:

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/CADmonkey__________/rs89full_zps4ce74730.jpg) (http://www.researchpubs.com/shop/last-copies-research-89-j-g-ballard-2/)

If you haven’t read this yet, it is a must-read for anyone interested in Ballard.  This book has some great interviews and essays, and I think of particular interest for Ruin is David Pringle’s The Fourfold Symbolism of Ballard, which examines the symbolism of the landscapes in Ballard’s stories.

Though it looks like this book is currently sold out on the publisher’s webstore, it is still available on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/J-G-Ballard-Re-Re-Search-Vale/dp/0965046974).
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on October 27, 2014, 08:29:39 PM
Cold War Architecture!

A recent posts on The Atomic Age blog jogged my memory about this:

ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE FUTURE (http://theatomicage.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/archaeology-of-the-future/)

America's Abandoned $6 Billion Dollar Missile Pyramid (https://medium.com/war-is-boring/americas-abandoned-6-billion-missile-pyramid-398d2dfe40c9)

(http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/habshaer/nd/nd0000/nd0046/photos/199343pr.jpg)

That is the first and last "Safeguard Complex", built to intercept incoming Soviet ICBMs.  It was built between 1970-75 and shut down after one day.  The Library of Congress has a great set of photos and drawings available online (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Photograph:%20nd0046&fi=number&op=PHRASE&va=exact&co%20=hh&st=gallery&sg%20=%20true).


Then there's Abo Elementary School, profiled in the 99% Invisible podcast: Cold War Kids (http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/cold-war-kids/).  Abo was a school built underground to be used as a fallout shelter in case of nuclear war, which is a slightly disturbing idea.

And for further reading, the 99% Invisible podcast mentioned One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/773935.One_Nation_Underground).  And when I shared that podcast on G+, the author of The Atomic Age blog pointed me to Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/600462.Survival_City).
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on October 28, 2014, 06:05:13 PM
I own and have read survival city - I even ran a game themed around it http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2010/07/genre/horror/fear-itself-survival-city/ (http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2010/07/genre/horror/fear-itself-survival-city/) and reviewed in an episode of RPPR http://slangdesign.com/rppr/2009/08/podcast-episode/rppr-episode-35-gencon-2009-preview/ (http://slangdesign.com/rppr/2009/08/podcast-episode/rppr-episode-35-gencon-2009-preview/)

I am aware of one nation underground but I haven't read it yet. This book is next in my cold war architecture reading list: Fallout Shelter: Designing for Civil Defense in the Cold War (Architecture, Landscape and Amer Culture) http://www.amazon.com/Fallout-Shelter-Designing-Architecture-Landscape/dp/0816669767 (http://www.amazon.com/Fallout-Shelter-Designing-Architecture-Landscape/dp/0816669767)

You should also check out Wool, which is a neat sci-fi novel that explores some relevant concepts here.

Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on October 29, 2014, 06:36:43 PM
I own and have read survival city - I even ran a game themed around it http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2010/07/genre/horror/fear-itself-survival-city/ (http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2010/07/genre/horror/fear-itself-survival-city/) and reviewed in an episode of RPPR http://slangdesign.com/rppr/2009/08/podcast-episode/rppr-episode-35-gencon-2009-preview/ (http://slangdesign.com/rppr/2009/08/podcast-episode/rppr-episode-35-gencon-2009-preview/)
Cool, I hadn't heard those podcasts, they're from before I started listening to rppr.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on November 04, 2014, 12:04:48 AM
i need floor plans of hotels, especially the kind you see near highways.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Kamen on November 04, 2014, 03:59:33 PM
I'm actually traveling a lot more for my job now, so I'm staying in a bunch of extended stay hotels. If I can grab floorplans and/or interior photos I'll link them here. Hopefully it'll be helpful.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on November 05, 2014, 10:31:00 AM
Google "hotel fire escape plan" and "hotel evacuation plan" and look at images.
These could actually be used as handouts, since they're usually posted on the hallway walls. Some samples:

(http://www.evacuation.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Leesville-Hotel.jpg)

(http://www.silverbeardesign.com/Escape%20Plans/Commercial/files/Hotel_fire_escape_plan_04.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/RETI5.jpg)




Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Ezechiel357 on November 06, 2014, 07:43:18 AM
For inspiration:

Since I am Swiss, I will do some self-promotion: we might not have SEALS and other famous units, but a serious can opener will be needed for any baddies with hostile intention (those defense are probably no more adequate for the modern warfare, but who cares  ::) ).

Bunker for all Swiss (http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/bunkers-for-all/995134) and the largest bomb shelter in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonnenberg_Tunnel).

More details on said Sonnenberg Tunnel/Shelter (https://www.flickr.com/photos/40984848@N04/6865187807/).

And since I am currenlty running a game set in modern Russia, I can only suggest you to google soviet abandoned monument (https://www.google.ch/search?q=russian+abandoned+cities&biw=1920&bih=935&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=DWtbVMGYLIPW7AbwxIGQAw&sqi=2&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=soviet+abandoned+monument).
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on November 06, 2014, 04:38:43 PM
I could see a Sonnenberg Tunnel scenario in which a carload of Swiss PCs are caught between two overlapping alternate realities: the one they come from, in which the tunnel is functioning as a normal roadway -- with dangerous speeding vehicles everywhere -- and one in which it's sealed as a fallout shelter during a nuclear attack. The PCs have to figure out why the realities are bleeding over into one another, while trying to escape the fallout quarantine. If they mess it up, they do escape the structure - but only into the nuclear apocalypse, not into their normal Swiss road trip.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on November 17, 2014, 01:01:56 AM
http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/16/stillborn-utopia (http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/16/stillborn-utopia)

http://retrieverman.net/2010/10/27/the-wolves-of-paris/ (http://retrieverman.net/2010/10/27/the-wolves-of-paris/)

Quote

A group of the boldest Parisians got together and went on an urban wolf drive.

They pushed the wolves into the Île de la Cité.

And then  drove them into the front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

In front of the citizenry, the wolves were speared and stoned to death.

And the wolves’ bloody reign of terror ended.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 15, 2015, 05:21:06 PM
So in the latest Game Designer Workshop podcast, Ross was talking about the phenomenon of the built environment changing people, and it reminded me of this documentary on urban planning:

http://youtu.be/BxywJRJVzJs?list=LLvecdACMtLnVWX1xScsAOmQ (http://youtu.be/BxywJRJVzJs?list=LLvecdACMtLnVWX1xScsAOmQ)

Have you seen it?  Perhaps it's a little broader in scope than what you're thinking of for Ruin, but I suspect it has at least some relevance to it.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 15, 2015, 07:01:38 PM
Oh, and speaking of "Freaky Architectural Stuff":

Photographer Victor Enrich Reshapes an Existing Hotel, 88 Times (http://www.archdaily.com/463163/photographer-victor-enrich-reshapes-an-existing-hotel-88-times/)

https://vimeo.com/81182837 (https://vimeo.com/81182837)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on February 15, 2015, 11:43:24 PM
So in the latest Game Designer Workshop podcast, Ross was talking about the phenomenon of the built environment changing people, and it reminded me of this documentary on urban planning:

http://youtu.be/BxywJRJVzJs?list=LLvecdACMtLnVWX1xScsAOmQ (http://youtu.be/BxywJRJVzJs?list=LLvecdACMtLnVWX1xScsAOmQ)

Have you seen it?  Perhaps it's a little broader in scope than what you're thinking of for Ruin, but I suspect it has at least some relevance to it.

Good find! I eventually plan to feature entire cities in Ruin and similar principles apply to architecture and urban planning. I'm always interested in the conflict between the ideology of designers/builders/architects vs the people who wind up using their products. The docu looks good, I'll have to watch it.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on February 16, 2015, 01:56:23 PM
Not crazy architecturally, but interesting.

Heard of Murphy's Ranch in the California LA area?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_Ranch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_Ranch)

Quote
The Murphy Ranch is a ranch built in Rustic Canyon, Los Angeles in the 1930s by Winona and Norman Stephens,[1][2] who were sympathizers of the Silver Legion of America.[3] The owner of record in 1933 was Jessie M. Murphy.[2] Designed as a base for Nazi activities in the U.S.,[4] it was intended to be capable of being self-sustaining for long periods. The compound had a water storage tank, a fuel tank, a bomb shelter, and various outbuildings and bunkers. The estate's main gate was designed by Paul Williams, a well-known African-American architect in the Southern California area.

On Monday, December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, local police occupied the compound and detained members of the 50-strong caretaker force.[5]

Wisely indeed did Lovecraft write "A dispatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some "glorious fulfiment" which never arrives, whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest toward the end of March 22-23."

Here is urbex of the interior: http://californiathroughmylens.com/murphys-ranch-abandoned-nazi-camp-in-santa-monica/ (http://californiathroughmylens.com/murphys-ranch-abandoned-nazi-camp-in-santa-monica/)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on February 25, 2015, 02:56:51 PM
Evidently you can find bomb shelters/terrorist holes anywhere.

http://wshu.org/post/toronto-police-try-uncover-riddle-mystery-tunnel (http://wshu.org/post/toronto-police-try-uncover-riddle-mystery-tunnel)

Quote
During a news conference Tuesday, Toronto Deputy Police Chief Mark Saunders said the hand-dug tunnel is about 33 feet long and contained a gas-powered generator, moisture-resistant light bulbs, and food and beverage containers.

Saunders said the tunnel appeared to be well-constructed and that there were still tools inside, along with a wheelbarrow and a pulley system, when it was found. Police also found a rosary and a Remembrance Day poppy nailed to a wall.

But Saunders said the tunnel doesn't appear to go anywhere. There are questions about whether it was just unfinished or was it meant to be a single chamber.

This proto-bunker was found by the tennis courts at York University.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31609167 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31609167)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 25, 2015, 07:45:30 PM
Evidently you can find bomb shelters/terrorist holes anywhere.

http://wshu.org/post/toronto-police-try-uncover-riddle-mystery-tunnel (http://wshu.org/post/toronto-police-try-uncover-riddle-mystery-tunnel)

Quote
During a news conference Tuesday, Toronto Deputy Police Chief Mark Saunders said the hand-dug tunnel is about 33 feet long and contained a gas-powered generator, moisture-resistant light bulbs, and food and beverage containers.

Saunders said the tunnel appeared to be well-constructed and that there were still tools inside, along with a wheelbarrow and a pulley system, when it was found. Police also found a rosary and a Remembrance Day poppy nailed to a wall.

But Saunders said the tunnel doesn't appear to go anywhere. There are questions about whether it was just unfinished or was it meant to be a single chamber.

This proto-bunker was found by the tennis courts at York University.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31609167 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31609167)
There's more photos (and maps!) here: http://www.blogto.com/city/2015/02/toronto_tunnel_mystery_gets_even_more_bizarre/ (http://www.blogto.com/city/2015/02/toronto_tunnel_mystery_gets_even_more_bizarre/)

Ghoul's nest?  Urban survivalists?

...homeless people?
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 25, 2015, 07:50:04 PM
Oh, and speaking of bomb shelters in Toronto:

Welcome to your private nuclear fallout shelter (http://spacing.ca/toronto/2015/02/04/welcome-private-nuclear-fallout-shelter/)

Quote
In 1959, the builders of Regency Acres, a 700-home subdivision in Aurora, Ontario, offered something no other homebuilder in the country could: a private, family-sized nuclear fallout shelter.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on March 26, 2015, 09:22:56 PM
In October 2010, Nature published a collection of news stories and comments on cities. Some of these may be useful for Ruin.

http://www.nature.com/news/specials/cities/index.html (http://www.nature.com/news/specials/cities/index.html)

On the latest GDW podcast (iirc) Ross said his focus on architectural horror was to invert an idea of architecture, namely that instead of humans shaping buildings to work optimally for their lifestyles; what if buildings shaped humans to function optimally for theirs?

So I skimmed a couple articles that peaked my interest with an eye for ideas that would fit Ross's theme.

Both of these articles are two pages.

A Unified Theory of Urban Living

Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7318/full/467912a.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7318/full/467912a.html)

Uploaded pdf:  http://www.docdroid.net/voa9/unified-theory-of-urban-living-comment.pdf.html (http://www.docdroid.net/voa9/unified-theory-of-urban-living-comment.pdf.html)

Overall, Bettencourt and West suggest that cities have measurable universal features; and according to their mathematical model, cities are approximately scaled models of each other. Also, they claim that. income, crime and patents (as a metric for novel ideas) scale the same way with population size.

Now starting with the title "A unified theory of urban living", I immediately thought of the Delta Green scenario The Last Equation.  What if there was a unified mathematical theory for the development of a "perfect" city. Would the equation drive the architect mad? Or could literal knowledge of the equation be a metaphysical gate into the Ur-City (Carcosa, naturally) which would suck the players into that nightmare realm if they were around the discoverer at the time of revelation?  Or say the discoverer is insane, but his knowledge of the Perfect City equation allows him to teleport around a city or even around the world committing ritualistic crimes.  Or instead of an architect who discovers this, maybe a mathematician who tries to optimize traffic discovers it.

Quote
But cities supply solutions as well as
problems, as they are the world’s centres of
creativity, power and wealth. So the need is
urgent for an integrated, quantitative, predictive,
science-based understanding of the
dynamics, growth and organization of cities.
To combat the multiple threats facing
humanity, a ‘grand unified theory of sustainability’
with cities and urbanization at its core must be
 developed. Such an ambitious
programme requires major international
commitment and dedicated transdisciplinary
collaboration across science, economics
and technology, including business leaders
and practitioners, such as planners and
designers.
Developing a predictive framework
applicable to cities around the world
is a daunting task, given their extraordinary
complexity and diversity. However, we
are strongly encouraged that this might
be possible.

There's the members of your "perfect city" cult right there.

Quote
Universal features

Cities manifest remarkably universal, quantifiable
features. This is shown by new analyses
of large urban data sets, spanning several
decades and hundreds of urban centres in
regions and countries around the world
from the United States and Europe to China
and Brazil4,5. Surprisingly, size is the major
determinant of most characteristics of a city;
history, geography and design have secondary
roles4,6.

Three main characteristics vary systematically
with population. One, the space
required per capita shrinks, thanks to
denser settlement and a more intense use
of infrastructure. Two, the pace of all socioeconomic
activity accelerates, leading to
higher productivity. And three, economic
and social activities diversify and become
more interdependent, resulting in new
forms of economic specialization and cultural
expression.

We have recently shown that these general
trends can be expressed as simple mathematical
‘laws’. For example, doubling the
population of any city requires only about
an 85% increase in infrastructure, whether
that be total road surface, length of electrical
cables, water pipes or number of petrol stations4.

This systematic 15% savings happens
because, in general, creating and operating
the same infrastructure at higher densities
is more efficient, more economically viable,
and often leads to higher-quality services
and solutions that are impossible in smaller
places. Interestingly, there are similar savings
in carbon footprints7,8 — most large, developed
cities are ‘greener’ than their national
average in terms of per capita carbon emissions.

It is as yet unclear whether this is also
true for cities undergoing extremely rapid
development, as in China or India, where
data are poor or lacking.

Similar economies of scale are found in
organisms and communities like anthills
and beehives, where the savings are closer
to 20%. Such regularities originate in the
mathematical properties of the multiple
networks that sustain life, from the cardiovascular
to the intracellular9. This suggests
that similar network dynamics underlie
economies of scale in cities.

Cities, however, are much more than giant
organisms or anthills: they rely on longrange,
complex exchanges of people, goods
and knowledge. They are invariably magnets
for creative and innovative individuals, and
stimulants for economic growth, wealth
production and new ideas — none of which
have analogues in biology.

Naturally this brings to mind sentient cities that convert humans partially into fleshy biomass to fuel their growth, or converting humans into insect like drones.  Something very similar to the July Park scenario.

Quote
The bigger the city, the more the average
citizen owns, produces and consumes,
whether goods, resources or ideas4. On average,
as city size increases, per capita
socio-economic quantities such as
wages, GDP, number of patents produced
and number of educational
and research institutions all increase
by approximately 15% more than the
expected linear growth4. There is,
however, a dark side: negative metrics
including crime, traffic congestion
and incidence of certain diseases
all increase following the same 15%
rule4. The good, the bad and the ugly
come as an integrated, predictable,
package.

Our work shows that, despite
appearances, cities are approximately
scaled versions of one another (see
graph): New York and Tokyo are, to
a surprising and predictable degree,
nonlinearly scaled-up versions of San Francisco
in California or Nagoya in Japan. These
extraordinary regularities open a window on
underlying mechanism, dynamics and structure
common to all cities.

Taking these ideas and the figure in the paper, what if there was a philanthropic cult that wanted to promote the growth of their city to the next level, and the linear relationship between crime, income and patents could actually drive the population growth of the city supernaturally if they increased? So the cult goes around by day promoting business growth and funding start ups and awarding culture (ideas) but at night they have to drive up the crime as well (literally murder rate was used as a metric for crime in the figure) so they engage directly or have catspaws that carry out ritual murder?  Of course this brings to mind the mythology surrounding Jack the Ripper and the graphic novel From Hell.

Quote
In biology, the network principles underlying
economies of scale have two profound
consequences. They constrain both the pace
of life (big mammals live longer, evolve slower,
and have slower heart rates, all to the same
degree9), and the limits of growth (animals
generally reach a stable size at maturity10). In
contrast, cities are driven by social interactions
whose feedback mechanisms lead to
the opposite behaviour. The pace of urban life
systematically increases with each expansion
of population size: diseases spread faster,
businesses are born and die more often and
people even walk faster in larger cities, all by
approximately the same 15% rule4. Moreover,
this social network dynamic allows the
growth of cities to be unbounded: continuous
adaptation, not equilibrium, is the rule.

So who is influencing who here really.

Quote
Our research shows that cities are remarkably
robust: success, once achieved, is sustained
for several decades or longer6, thereby
setting a city on a long run of creativity and
prosperity. A great example of success is
metropolitan San Jose, home to the Silicon
Valley, which has been consistently overperforming
relative to expectations for its size
for at least 50 years, well before the advent of
modern hi-tech industry.

This could be straight from the manifesto of a city cultist.

Bettencourt and West have collaborated on a number of other interesting city papers: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Bettencourt+West (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Bettencourt+West)


Synthetic Biology: Living Quarters

Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7318/full/467916a.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7318/full/467916a.html)

Uploaded pdf: http://www.docdroid.net/voj3/synthetic-biology-buildings.pdf.html (http://www.docdroid.net/voj3/synthetic-biology-buildings.pdf.html)

Since Carcosa may feature buildings of the future (or alternate futures?) this article may be of some use.

"Synthetic Biology" has a variety of definitions depending on the field that is using the term. In this paper, "Synthetic Biology" covers the canonical definition of highly bioengineered organisms, chemical synthesis of biological products, and self assembling materials which in other contexts is referred to as "nanotechnology".

Quote
Architects have long drawn inspiration from the forms and functions of natural systems. Yet biological cells and organisms have requirements — such as nutrition and growth-support structures — that limit their use in construction. Synthetic biology offers new ways to combine the advantages of living systems with the robustness of traditional materials to produce genuinely sustainable and environmentally responsive architecture.
...
Strategies will be required to achieve 'carbon negative' buildings, including innovative retrofitting, energy harvesting, recycling of materials and the use of elements that interact with and respond directly to the environment. Chemically active interfaces could alter microclimates around surfaces and act as 'environmental pharmaceuticals'. For example, coatings could absorb carbon dioxide on building surfaces, adsorb pollutants or trap dust particles electrostatically.
...
Researchers are developing promising examples of biological systems that can fulfil architectural functions. Bacteria commonly found in the environment — such as Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Pseudomonas species that also linger in air — may be adapted for use as biosensors. A new centre at the University of Oregon in Eugene plans to coordinate research that links architecture and microorganisms, both existing and designed. The university's Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center, awarded funding this summer from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York, will investigate the 'microbiome of the built environment' — the complex bacterial ecosystems that occur within buildings and their interactions with humans and the environment. Such relationships are important, for example, for maintaining indoor air quality.

Species of another airborne bacterium, Brevundimonas, show promise as an indicator of indoor pollutants: some can metabolize toxins such as arsenic, and could be genetically modified to change colour in the presence of a range of heavy metals. Other types of bacteria might be grown decoratively on walls or roofs to signal levels of harmful pollutants in cities. For example, undergraduates from the University of Cambridge, UK, engineered the bacterium Escherichia coli to change hue in the presence of an inducer, a system that could be adapted to detect heavy metals. This was just one of many pioneering entries in the 2009 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) synthetic-biology competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
...
Innovative forms of lighting that use bioluminescent bacteria are being investigated by microbiologist Simon Park at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. In 2009, with artist Anne Brodie, he demonstrated a photographic booth that takes portraits using the ethereal light generated by Photobacterium phosphoreum. A glowing Christmas tree produced in 2007 by biologist Edward Quinto of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, using bioluminescent Vibrio fischeri bacteria from the guts of squid, raises the possibility of using luminous trees for street lighting.

Biological structures can inspire entirely new construction methods and materials. Terreform One, an interdisciplinary architectural design practice in New York, has envisaged growing a leathery skin for covering buildings, dubbed 'Meat House'. By transforming pig cells and using large-scale three-dimensional printing techniques to establish the structural framework, the skin would be grown to the required shape and size and then fixed with preservatives. Its biodegradable nature would avoid the need for later demolition. The technique is prohibitively expensive — around US$1,000 for three square centimetres of skin — but it demonstrates the alternative approaches offered by synthetic-biology techniques.

As a note "Meat House" predates Eclipse Phase's Meat Hab by at least a couple of years :D.

Quote
The pressing environmental problems of Venice are amenable to some synthetic-biology solutions. Our installation entitled Hylozoic Ground, displayed at the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2010 and created with architect Philip Beesley from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, showcased the recycling of carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors into solid carbonate using protocell technology. Similar deposits could stabilize the city's foundations by growing an artificial limestone reef beneath it.

Ideas galore here. All sorts of nasty thoughts and body horror opportunities arise when thinking about sentient buildings that convert humans for biosensor use.  The images of hell in Barlowe's Inferno
would be very appropriate.

 http://www.amazon.com/Barlowes-Inferno-Wayne-Barlowe/dp/1883398363 (http://www.amazon.com/Barlowes-Inferno-Wayne-Barlowe/dp/1883398363)

Hope this has stirred some ideas!
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Morbid on April 03, 2015, 05:24:59 PM
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150402-the-worst-place-on-earth (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150402-the-worst-place-on-earth)

I found this article today, which immediately reminded me of some Carcosa-esque imagery.  It even comes with a version of Hali:

Quote
From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge.

and

Quote
At times it’s impossible to tell where the vast structure of the Baogang refineries complex ends and the city begins. Massive pipes erupt from the ground and run along roadways and sidewalks, arching into the air to cross roads like bridges.
 


There's also that potential feeling like in Twisting H's post that the environment - the sprawling network of factories, refineries, and pipes - may be more in control than the humans involved. 

Quote
Amongst the mazes of pipes, tanks, and centrifuges, there are no people. In fact there’s no activity at all. Apart from our voices, which echo through the huge sheds, the plant is silent. It’s very obviously not operating. When asked, our guide tells us the plant is closed for maintenance – but there’s no sign of that either: no maintenance crews, no cleaning or repairs being done. When pushed further our guide gets suspicious, wonders why we are asking so many questions, and clams up. It’s a behaviour we’ll encounter a lot in Baotou – a refusal to answer questions or stray off a strictly worded script.

While there's a simple human explanation - the guide isn't kept in the loop or willing to say things that can be held against him - it's also easy to map a more otherworldly explanation for gaming.  Of course the plant isn't working right now.  It doesn't want to.  When it wants to work, there will be people inside again; to question this is absurd.

There's also a certain Repairer of Reputations quality to it, but that's more down to the economics than anything else.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on April 22, 2015, 08:53:13 PM
More creepy locations and Urban Ex.

From Wired in 2014, photos from the "closed cities" of Soviet nuclear testing areas:

(http://i.imgur.com/edRpuiFh.jpg)

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/photos-ruins-ussrs-secret-nuclear-cities/ (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/photos-ruins-ussrs-secret-nuclear-cities/)

Evidently there is a iOS app of the photos.

----

UrbEx of abandoned NYC locations. Perfect for ghoul locations.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/20/travel/creepy-abandoned-nyc/ (http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/20/travel/creepy-abandoned-nyc/)

The room in the psychiatric building covered with decades worth of pigeon droppings is just creepy.

(http://i.imgur.com/BNPvENZh.jpg)

Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on May 10, 2015, 11:41:53 PM
China's Ghost Shopping Mall is apparently being slowly repopulated.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/asia/china-ghost-mall-return-to-life/ (http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/asia/china-ghost-mall-return-to-life/)

More on the ghost shopping mall.

2013 report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zPkm2SU1DM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zPkm2SU1DM)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_China_Mall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_China_Mall)

There are some fantastic haunting images on google image search.

(http://i.imgur.com/tflHr0Jh.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/xggBjozh.jpg)

----------

A 2008 report in Popular Science detailed one group of scientists idea to transplant farms into skyscrapers to solve the future's demand for food.

http://www.popsci.com/cliff-kuang/article/2008-09/farming-sky (http://www.popsci.com/cliff-kuang/article/2008-09/farming-sky)

Quote
By 2025, the world's population will swell from 6.6 billion to 8 billion people. Climate simulations predict sustained drought for the American Midwest and giant swathes of farmland in Africa and Asia. Is mathematician Thomas Malthus's 200-year-old prediction, that human growth will one day outpace agriculture, finally coming to pass? Advances in farming technology have kept us fed so far, but the planet's resources are tapped.

The choice is clear—rethink how we grow food, or starve. Environmental scientist Dickson Despommier of Columbia University and other scientists propose a radical solution: Transplant farms into city skyscrapers. These towers would use soil-free hydroponic farming to slash demand for energy (they'll be powered by a process that converts sewage into electricity) while producing more food. Farming skyward would also free up farmland for trees, which would help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Even better, vertical farms would grow food near where it would be eaten, thus cutting not only the cost but the emissions of transportation. If you include emissions from the oil burned to cultivate and ship crops and livestock in addition to, yes, methane from farm-animal flatulence, agriculture churns out nearly 14 percent of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions.

You can't buy vertically grown groceries just yet. Most urban farming efforts have been small-scale experiments run in neighborhood parks. Despommier's vision is bigger: a $200-million, 30-story tower covering an entire city block, stuffed with enough fruit, vegetables and chickens to feed 50,000 people. "With waste in and food out, a vertical farm would be like a perpetual-motion machine that feeds a lot of people," he says. Most of the technology already exists, he adds, and with some refining, the project could be up and running quickly if granted 0.25 percent of the subsidies paid to American farmers in the past decade—a piddling $500 million.

Using sewage to run the farm

(http://i.imgur.com/pfd9CIqh.jpg)

A model of a hydroponics/fish farm merge

(http://i.imgur.com/PcMVeFCh.jpg)

If we are running with Ross's central conceit of Ruin, that the building shape the inhabitants for their purposes, what would a skyscraper purpose build to be a farm do it its inhabitants?  If your purpose is a food source, you do need someone to consume it.   ;D


Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on May 18, 2015, 10:32:23 PM
I have heard the urban legend of crocodiles in the sewer and mutants/homeless in the sewer but never pigs in the sewer.

Ripped from the Something Awful Bloodborne thread.

Quote from: 'sector_corrector'
I've been watching a series on Netflix called "Filthy Cities", which is a pop-history approach to sanitation and modernization in major cities, usually taking a long-term approach that spans several decades or centuries. Anyway, the sort of filth and deprivation they describe makes me realize just how well realized Yarnham is realized in terms of history and aesthetic, and how the story and art direction teams did a great job of making a very complete feeling world with a lot of stuff likely grounded in our own history and folklore. One example is how pre-modern London had a feral pig problem, where people kept pigs as cheap sources of protein, but they would often escape and become wild, eating crops, produce, and being a general nuisance. People were paid to hunt down the pest pigs, who often made their homes in the sewers. It makes me appreciate it every time I Kirkhammer a giant boar in a sewer somewhere.

http://www.strangehistory.net/2010/06/07/victorian-sewer-pigs/ (http://www.strangehistory.net/2010/06/07/victorian-sewer-pigs/)

I recommend it as a companion if you're playing through right now.

I've never heard of Filthy Cities before, but it might be useful for Ruin or general city worldbuilding.

BBC Two link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z8r9l (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z8r9l)

Youtube Filthy Cities Industrial New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlUzD9YpaPw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlUzD9YpaPw)

Youtube Filthy Cities Medieval London:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4j1kG4HswY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4j1kG4HswY)

Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on May 19, 2015, 02:27:24 PM
Twisting H: I had some professors in college who tried to set up a fish farm/hydroponic tomato operation in their basement. They ended up with fish overpopulation, which led to the poop clogging up the hydroponics and the collapse of the whole system.

For Ruin, maybe the human inhabitants of the skyscraper become elements of the self-sustaining biocycle. They eat the fish and plants, but they in turn need to become into food for something else, to keep the cycle running. Perhaps the building begins adding additional layers of predation, attempting to complete a totally self-sustaining cycle...
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Teapot on June 13, 2015, 06:22:39 AM
Brutalist playgrounds because what could be more playful than concrete?
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/jun/09/britains-brutalist-playgrounds-in-pictures (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/jun/09/britains-brutalist-playgrounds-in-pictures)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on June 14, 2015, 10:31:08 PM
Glimpse the Absurd Parisian Ghost Town in the Middle of China (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2013/08/glimpse-absurd-parisian-ghost-town-middle-china/6413/)

https://vimeo.com/57895709 (https://vimeo.com/57895709)

Quote
Despite China's well-documented love for all things French, the ambitious development hasn't translated into success for the developers hoping to cash in on China's aspirational European tastes. Surrounded by a confusing mix of farmland and wide, abruptly ending roads, Tianducheng is now considered by local media to be a ghost town, its population well short of the 10,000 it can support.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on June 16, 2015, 11:30:36 PM
Something Awful GBS architecture thread. Featuring! The magic of Brutalism!

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701638&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1 (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701638&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1)


Reflected light from London skyscraper melts car. 2013 news story from CNN about London's 'Walkie Talkie' building.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/03/world/europe/uk-london-building-melts-car/ (http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/03/world/europe/uk-london-building-melts-car/)

Ten luxury hotels with history

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/17/travel/world-most-iconic-hotels/ (http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/17/travel/world-most-iconic-hotels/)

Abandoned movie sets!

http://www.clipd.com/movies/10049/18-eerie-and-awesome-abandoned-movie-sets#slide/0 (http://www.clipd.com/movies/10049/18-eerie-and-awesome-abandoned-movie-sets#slide/0)

Mecca to soon hold the world's largest hotel

Twelve towers, 10,000 rooms and 70 restaurants, plus helipads and a full-size convention center: That's the plan for Abraj Kudai, a complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that's set to become the world's largest hotel by room count when it opens in 2017.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/travel/2015/05/23/orig-pkg-worlds-largest-hotel-mecca-abraj-kudai.cnn (http://www.cnn.com/videos/travel/2015/05/23/orig-pkg-worlds-largest-hotel-mecca-abraj-kudai.cnn)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on July 04, 2015, 01:55:03 AM
This might be useful for Ruin

From CNN, the go to for all my architecture related links evidently:

We mustn't forget the deep emotional impact of the buildings around us

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/30/architecture/daniel-libeskind-architecture-emotions/ (http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/30/architecture/daniel-libeskind-architecture-emotions/)

Quote
Editor's note: Architect Daniel Libeskind is CNN Style's first guest editor. He's commissioning a series of features that explore the theme of "Architecture and Emotion," to be published throughout July. Here, he explains some of the thoughts behind his chosen subject.

Architecture in Game Design from Rock Paper Shotgun, also a series.

A Psychogeography Of Games #1: Kentucky Route Zero

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/07/03/a-psychogeography-of-games-1-kentucky-route-zero/ (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/07/03/a-psychogeography-of-games-1-kentucky-route-zero/)

Quote
This article is a part of a series based on 6 months as resident speaker at VideoBrains called A Psychogeography of Games. Psychogeography is a big chewy word put together by drunk French dudes in 1955 to talk about how the landscape of our lives affects how we feel, think and act. Here, I’m particularly interested in how the geography of our lives affects how we make games – the psychogeography of our games. So, in 2015, I’m going on a series of walks with some of my favourite game designers, in places that have affected how they think about what they make, and turning these into talks and articles.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Iafhtagn on July 05, 2015, 12:15:20 AM
Brutalist playgrounds because what could be more playful than concrete?
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/jun/09/britains-brutalist-playgrounds-in-pictures (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/jun/09/britains-brutalist-playgrounds-in-pictures)

I'm pretty sure I would have loved playgrounds like that as a kid. At least the real concrete ones, not the foam thing at the end.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: pigsinspaces on July 17, 2015, 07:25:06 PM
Not so freaky but interesting (and with a twist could be made freaky) are the ideal factory towns made by various chocolate manufacturers to maintain their workforce (usually inspired by the factory owners religious convictions) ... read a little intro at http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-towns-that-chocolate-built/ (http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-towns-that-chocolate-built/)


... you could look into the New Towns Act, under which brand new settlements were built in post-war UK (Milton Keynes etc) ... Livingston in Scotland was (I seem to recall) initially filled with people from slums in Glasgow and Edinburgh (a potentially explosive combination). See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_towns_in_the_United_Kingdom (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_towns_in_the_United_Kingdom) for some info.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: pigsinspaces on July 21, 2015, 05:08:15 PM
Wait ... what? An Abandoned Indonesian Church Shaped Like a Massive Clucking Chicken? http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/07/indonesian-chicken-church/ (http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/07/indonesian-chicken-church/)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on July 23, 2015, 12:40:15 AM
Ethan C. posted an interesting idea for Ruin in the comments of RPPR Episode 116.

Quote
Speaking of the varied architecture on college campuses, here’s an idea for a Ruin game: each building on campus projects a different psychic field on its inhabitants based on its style and purpose, molding them into its idea of the perfect university environment. For example, the neogothic library overwhelms people with an urge to conduct deep scholastic research on meaningless esoterica, the modernist engineering building compels them to construct elaborate and dangerous mechanisms, the sleazy pseudoclassical frat house absorbs them into a Greco-Roman orgy of booze and drugs, the smooth glass health center makes them want to exercise themselves into perfect physical specimens, etc. The PCs have to figure out a way to work out the different influences, maybe combining together artifacts from the different buildings to resolve the competition and return the campus to normal.

I was thinking, if you want to take a more biological bent instead of a "psychic field" that manipulates humans into doing what a building wants, you could tap the relatively new idea that each building in a public space has its own microecology.

From Nature News June 22 2015:

http://www.nature.com/news/urban-microbes-come-out-of-the-shadows-1.17818 (http://www.nature.com/news/urban-microbes-come-out-of-the-shadows-1.17818)

Quote

Urban microbes unveiled

Genomic sequences reveal cities’ teeming masses of bacteria and viruses.

Embedded in the filth and chaos of the world’s great metropolises, amid the people, pigeons, cockroaches and rats, there is a teeming world of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protists that scientists are only now surveying. Microbes are everywhere: on trains, pavements and lifts; in parks, libraries, hospitals and schools. Most are innocuous, some are friendly, and a handful cause death and disease. But the vast majority are unknown.

Researchers described results of early forays into this terra incognita at the Microbes in the City conference on 19 June, hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences and New York University (NYU) on the 40th floor of an antiseptic-looking glass office tower in Manhattan. “We’re really at the infancy of a very interesting scientific endeavour,” said Joel Ackelsberg, a medical epidemiologist for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Right now, we know very little.”

Researchers are not even sure how to survey this strange landscape. There are competing techniques for detecting, quantifying and keeping track of which microbes are doing what in the built environment, and where. But researchers believe that efforts could lead to new approaches for monitoring bioterrorism, tracking disease outbreaks or assessing the impact of storms and pollution.

Each month, high-throughput techniques allow scientists to sequence roughly 1,000 microbial genomes from samples collected in various environments, said computational biologist Curtis Huttenhower of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. That is an impressive amount of data, but it is dwarfed by the unfamiliar. Christopher Mason, a computational geneticist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, told the conference how a baseline survey of genetic material from surfaces in the city’s subway system had uncovered DNA from almost 1,700 known taxa, mostly harmless bacteria. But 48% of the genetic material did not match anything yet identified. “Half the world under our fingertips is unknown,” said Mason.

Still, trends are emerging from the global Metagenomics and Metadesign of Subways and Urban Biomes initiative (MetaSUB), which aims to characterize the genetic material found on public-transport systems in 16 world cities to elucidate the microscopic riders that share the commute. Storms leave a mark: months after New York City’s South Ferry Station was flooded in 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, it still harboured DNA from bacteria associated with cold marine environments and fish, Mason said. However, most of the bacteria in the subway were harmless Acinetobacter species and others associated with human skin.

In his talk, Huttenhower described a survey of Boston’s transit system that yielded similar flora. “Everything is covered in skin,” he said. He noted that metal poles on the trains, which riders commonly consider hygienically suspect, actually retain much less bacterial biomass than the system’s upholstered seats or plastic hand grips.

Microbiomes in houses tend to match those of the homes’ human inhabitants — and quickly morph after a change in occupancy, said environmental microbiologist Jack Gilbert of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. He and his colleagues described results from a survey of ten homes, which found that they become populated with new residents’ microbes within 24 hours.

Rodents are under study, too. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in New York City carry more Helicobacter and Atopobium bacteria — associated with stomach ulcers and bacterial vaginosis in humans — than their suburban counterparts, but are totally free of tick-borne pathogens, reported biologist Alyssa Ammazzalorso of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. The city’s rats carry a number of bacteria known to cause problems in people, said epidemiologist Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York. He and others have found pathogenic Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, Salmonella enterica and the Seoul strain of hantavirus, which can be fatal when transmitted to humans (C. Firth et al. mBio 5, e01933-14; 2014).

Sewage samples from New York City’s 14 wastewater-treatment plants turned up a disturbing number of genes for resistance to antibiotics, reported genomicists Susan Joseph and Jane Carlton of NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology. As a rich human-derived soup spiked with antibiotics, sewage provides an ideal niche for the growth and spread of resistance, Joseph said. Martin Blaser, director of the Human Microbiome Program at the NYU School of Medicine, said that as populations of resistant microbes and their defensive tools become more diverse, the diversity of human-associated microbes in general is declining. He told how he and his colleagues have found that people in the West carry fewer protective bacteria than isolated human groups such as the Yanomami of the Amazon rainforest.

“We may have lost as much as half of our diversity already,” said Blaser, “just as we are beginning to realize how important it might be.”

Then as an alternate backstory for a supernatural cause, suggest that some shadowy government agency hyperengineered bacteria to form distinct colonies in each building on college campus and infest humans to control them to do a specific action depending on location. 

Maybe some fraction of students die when they leave campus because they have become too dependent on the engineered bacterial colony environment and these mysterious deaths draw in the investigators.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on July 23, 2015, 04:36:49 PM
That's a cool idea, Twisting H! And thanks for the shout-out. I could see multiple levels of the horror too, Thomas Ligotti-style: the surface-level explanation is the "psychic field" idea, generated from the thought processes of the people in the buildings perpetuating themselves through the architecture, poltergeist-style. But then further investigation reveals the engineered micro-ecological conspiracy theory. But then even further down, maybe it begins to emerge that there may be some other, more inhuman intelligence causing the phenomenon...

#alwayscarcosa
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Alethea on July 27, 2015, 08:04:05 PM
Mecha buildings?

http://www.wired.com/2015/07/keep-1500-foot-skyscraper-falling/ (http://www.wired.com/2015/07/keep-1500-foot-skyscraper-falling/)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: the doomed one on August 01, 2015, 05:35:07 PM
NaissanceE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN5zri5TmPU) is a freaky architectural game. Lots of exploring really unsettling impossible Brutalist spaces.

Edit: website (http://www.naissancee.com/?page_id=2)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 03, 2015, 11:42:56 PM
Looks neat. Reminds me of Kairo, which I have beat

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShBY08Rp4D0#)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: comfortN01se on August 04, 2015, 05:22:30 PM
I just heard about Ruin today, and it may be more exciting news to me than the new Delta Green stuff.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: PirateLawyer on August 04, 2015, 08:20:50 PM
I just heard about Ruin today, and it may be more exciting news to me than the new Delta Green stuff.

Now, now. I call that extravagant hyperbole, as much as I look forward to seeing Ruin down the road.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Alethea on August 05, 2015, 08:48:11 PM
I just heard about Ruin today, and it may be more exciting news to me than the new Delta Green stuff.

Now, now. I call that extravagant hyperbole, as much as I look forward to seeing Ruin down the road.

Everybody's got their own opinion - maybe Quickstep likes the architecture fighting back over blowing it up ;D
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: pigsinspaces on August 15, 2015, 03:06:40 PM
This is a very old one but I still love the Gobbler [ http://www.lileks.com/institute/motel/index.html (http://www.lileks.com/institute/motel/index.html) ] ... the most elaborately empurpled hotel and supper club ever.


The architects website [ http://www.helmutajango.com/portfolio.html (http://www.helmutajango.com/portfolio.html) ] boasts a worryingly pyramidal police department. In fact their portfolio also includes some work in Cairo ... mythos connections abound.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on August 15, 2015, 08:53:39 PM
This is a very old one but I still love the Gobbler [ http://www.lileks.com/institute/motel/index.html (http://www.lileks.com/institute/motel/index.html) ] ... the most elaborately empurpled hotel and supper club ever.


The architects website [ http://www.helmutajango.com/portfolio.html (http://www.helmutajango.com/portfolio.html) ] boasts a worryingly pyramidal police department. In fact their portfolio also includes some work in Cairo ... mythos connections abound.

Wow. I love how that architect chooses to set his architectural concept paintings against the background of stormy night skies. Definitely a bold choice.

And the Gobbler...............I had not seen that before.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Claive on August 18, 2015, 11:11:21 AM
Have you all read High Rise?  It is an amazing example of the stories Ruin seems to be patterned after.

http://www.amazon.com/High-Rise-J-G-Ballard/dp/0393340465/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 (http://www.amazon.com/High-Rise-J-G-Ballard/dp/0393340465/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 18, 2015, 01:21:12 PM
Have you all read High Rise?  It is an amazing example of the stories Ruin seems to be patterned after.

http://www.amazon.com/High-Rise-J-G-Ballard/dp/0393340465/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 (http://www.amazon.com/High-Rise-J-G-Ballard/dp/0393340465/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8)

I have and there's a film coming out this year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Rise_%28film%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Rise_%28film%29)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on August 18, 2015, 03:46:48 PM
Have you all read High Rise?  It is an amazing example of the stories Ruin seems to be patterned after.

http://www.amazon.com/High-Rise-J-G-Ballard/dp/0393340465/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 (http://www.amazon.com/High-Rise-J-G-Ballard/dp/0393340465/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8)

I have and there's a film coming out this year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Rise_%28film%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Rise_%28film%29)

With Tom Hiddleston! Woo!
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on August 20, 2015, 09:45:23 PM
Banksy's take on Disneyland, Dismaland

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/20/banksy-dismaland-amusements-anarchism-weston-super-mare (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/20/banksy-dismaland-amusements-anarchism-weston-super-mare)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: pigsinspaces on August 27, 2015, 04:24:31 PM
Was listening to the Game Designer Workshop from GenCon today and Ross' description of the first Ruin game (mysterious hotel) suddenly brought to mind an episode of Sapphire & Steel that had a big impact in me when I was a little kid... primarily because I didn't understand it.

As I remember it, (though I suspect it may not bear up to much modern scrutiny) it was a genuinely bonkers piece of TV sci-fi .... and happily can be found on YouTube, 6 (quite long) episodes of weirdness.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on August 27, 2015, 09:55:42 PM
The Onion's parody clickbait site, ClickHole, has all sorts of bizarre/strange vidyas, but this one in particular has plenty of material that can be used in a fucked-up hotel:

http://youtu.be/U4aU0rlt7zI (http://youtu.be/U4aU0rlt7zI)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 28, 2015, 12:33:16 AM
Haha, nice! Will use in Ruin, maybe.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on August 28, 2015, 01:05:38 PM
Haha, nice! Will use in Ruin, maybe.

Thinking out loud here...

There's a grand 19th century European hotel where each time a guest checks in, they leave a regret behind in their room, which is symbolized by some sort of object. Maybe the architect was influenced by the Symbolist movement, and imbued his building with esoteric magic. Normally, it works great: the staff takes the object away and incinerates it, freeing the guest from regret and leaving them feeling relieved and invigorated. The hotel has become famous as a refreshing vacation spot, and the only a few of the discreet staff know the secret.

But not all regrets are so easily disposed of. Certain regrets of unusual strength, violence, or significance become symbolized not by simple objects, but by new architectural objects. There's a certain table in the cafe that turns tea into poison, which appeared after a newly-widowed heiress ate there in 1874. There's a claw-footed bathtub that, when filled, turns gradually hotter instead of colder, threatening to cook the bather alive. That psychiatrist who came in 1905 was famous for his hot water treatments on schizophrenics. And in 1949, after a dapper German gentleman checked in and out under a suspiciously false name, the staff discovered an entirely new second incinerator in the basement...
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on August 28, 2015, 03:17:34 PM
And speaking of weird hotels, here's the Camelot Castle Hotel (http://www.camelotcastle.com/) in Tintagel, Cornwall. At first, it just looks like a cool hotel on an amazing piece of the Cornish coastline...which it is. I enjoyed my stay there.

But it's also owned by two crazy-go-nuts Scientologists: Ted Stourton, the self-proclaimed World's Greatest Living Artist, whose paintings adorn every available wall surface (here's a sampling  (http://www.camelotcastle.com/artist-gallery.htm)that conveys his..."style"), and John Mappin, who excitedly explained to my friends and me that our souls are all 300 trillion years old, and demonstrated how we store all of our memories in the space around our bodies.

There are stories from other tourists that they have a special room in the basement where they try to high-pressure sell Ted's art to guests at exorbitant prices.

Their website makes it look like they've rebranded a little since I stayed there 8 years ago, maybe dialed back the weirdness a little bit. But it's still owned by the same folks. I would actually still recommend staying there, if you're ever in Tintagel. It was an...unforgettable experience.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 15, 2015, 04:18:30 PM
Robin Laws just gave High-Rise (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462335/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_6), a 2015 film adapting the famous JG Ballard novel, 5 stars at the TIFF. (this was mentioned a few posts and a few months ago in this thread)

This is going to be a must-see for Ruin development.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 18, 2015, 07:02:29 PM
! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZeXnmDZMQ#)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Alethea on September 18, 2015, 10:22:33 PM
Less freaky and more general city/architecture design/news: http://www.citylab.com/ (http://www.citylab.com/)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on September 19, 2015, 10:07:17 AM
! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZeXnmDZMQ#)

James Kunstler is my favorite angry post-apocalyptic architecture/economics/environmental curmudgeon. He's got a pretty good sci-fi novel, World Made by Hand (http://www.amazon.com/World-Made-Hand-A-Novel/dp/0802144012), aboute life in a post-industrial society (his preferred apocalypse, at least at the time of writing, was Peak Oil).
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on September 23, 2015, 11:33:05 AM
Now, if you don't find this building just a little bit freaky, I don't know what to say.

Media Library, Saint Paul, Ile de la Réunion (http://www.archdaily.com/773936/media-library-st-paul-peripheriques-architects)

(http://images.adsttc.com/media/images/55fc/547f/e58e/cedc/5700/000c/medium_jpg/02-LA_REUNION-015-PERIPHERIQUES-LUC_BOEGLY.jpg?1442600055)

(http://images.adsttc.com/media/images/55fc/5519/e58e/cedc/5700/0013/medium_jpg/portada_04-LA_REUNION-076-PERIPHERIQUES-LUC_BOEGLY.jpg?1442600206)

(http://images.adsttc.com/media/images/55fc/54cf/e58e/cedc/5700/0010/medium_jpg/10-LA_REUNION-080-PERIPHERIQUES-LUC_BOEGLY.jpg?1442600135)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on September 23, 2015, 11:46:28 AM
CADmonkey, I...do.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Alethea on September 23, 2015, 07:05:43 PM
Libraries don't eat people... Libraries don't eat people...

What the fuck is wrong with that architect??
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on September 24, 2015, 04:20:02 PM
Libraries don't eat people... Libraries don't eat people...

What the fuck is wrong with that architect??
Actually, the architect says that the facade is supposed to resemble the pages of a book, and "In this book, some pages opens like eyes to create chapters". :o
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Tim on September 24, 2015, 04:50:20 PM
Libraries don't eat people... Libraries don't eat people...

What the fuck is wrong with that architect??
Actually, the architect says that the facade is supposed to resemble the pages of a book, and "In this book, some pages opens like eyes to create chapters". :o

I find it titillating yet loathsome.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on September 24, 2015, 05:15:57 PM
Libraries don't eat people... Libraries don't eat people...

What the fuck is wrong with that architect??
Actually, the architect says that the facade is supposed to resemble the pages of a book, and "In this book, some pages opens like eyes to create chapters". :o

To me, they also look a little bit more like mouths than eyes...though they do kinda look like both at once. Not that that's any better.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on October 04, 2015, 11:42:22 AM
Came across the book "14" by Peter Clines recommended on a Lovecraft board.

Never read the author, but the Amazon blurb suggests it could have some utility for Ruin.

Quote
Chosen by Audible.com as the best sci-fi novel of 2012!

Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches.

There are some odd things about Nate's new apartment.

Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn't perfect, it's livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don't nag at him too much.

At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela's apartment. And Tim's. And Veek's.

Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends.

Or the end of everything...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1618680528/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=ET9XCN4C6ZYY&coliid=I3KJZMV1L432ER (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1618680528/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=ET9XCN4C6ZYY&coliid=I3KJZMV1L432ER)


If I haven't already I also recommend "The Broadsword" by Laird Barron in Occultation as an interesting twist on a haunted house (hotel cum apartment complex) story.  Along similar lines(ish) "Jaws of Saturn" in The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All may also be of use. Set partially in the same Hotel Broadsword.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on October 04, 2015, 05:45:38 PM
Neat! After I finish the last 2 DG books, I'll put it on my to-read list.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on October 05, 2015, 11:03:39 AM
This isn't strictly "architectural", but for all your uncanny department store gaming soundtrack needs -- and Vaporwave remixing needs, too, I'm sure -- here's a whole bunch of recordings of the radio soundtracks played in Kmart from 1990 to 1992. Soft pop hits interspersed with wonderful Kmart shopping ads.

https://archive.org/details/@davismv#uploads-title (https://archive.org/details/@davismv#uploads-title)

Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on October 05, 2015, 11:22:22 PM
This isn't strictly "architectural", but for all your uncanny department store gaming soundtrack needs -- and Vaporwave remixing needs, too, I'm sure -- here's a whole bunch of recordings of the radio soundtracks played in Kmart from 1990 to 1992. Soft pop hits interspersed with wonderful Kmart shopping ads.

https://archive.org/details/@davismv#uploads-title (https://archive.org/details/@davismv#uploads-title)

Yeah I posted that to the RPPR Group Me a few days ago. I spotted it on the Vaporwave subreddit. Very cool. I definitely need to do the night mall game after I finish the Hotel one.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on October 06, 2015, 02:46:51 PM
This isn't strictly "architectural", but for all your uncanny department store gaming soundtrack needs -- and Vaporwave remixing needs, too, I'm sure -- here's a whole bunch of recordings of the radio soundtracks played in Kmart from 1990 to 1992. Soft pop hits interspersed with wonderful Kmart shopping ads.

https://archive.org/details/@davismv#uploads-title (https://archive.org/details/@davismv#uploads-title)

Yeah I posted that to the RPPR Group Me a few days ago. I spotted it on the Vaporwave subreddit. Very cool. I definitely need to do the night mall game after I finish the Hotel one.

I tried to listen to it for a while at work -- I did not make it for very long before it started making me anxious.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on October 06, 2015, 03:38:20 PM
And speaking of buildings with mouths:

(http://www.evolo.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/music-pavilion-1.jpg)

Abra: Adaptive Response Music Pavilion Controls Light, Wind and Sound (http://www.evolo.us/architecture/abra-adaptive-response-music-pavilion-controls-light-wind-and-sound/)
Quote
Depending on the pavilion’s location in relation to the sun, certain panels will decrease their opening to allow ambient filtered light, while others maintain a full flexed position for natural ventilation.

It breathes.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on October 07, 2015, 11:40:17 AM
CADMonkey: wow, that's some freaky new age shit. In the exterior shots, it looks like a bicycle helmet.

Here's another weird building: Integral House, a mathematical mansion built by the king of high school calculus textbooks:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/02/04/the_house_that_math_built.html (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/02/04/the_house_that_math_built.html)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/04/travel/curve-house-23-million-integral-toronto/ (http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/04/travel/curve-house-23-million-integral-toronto/)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on October 10, 2015, 11:49:36 AM
So. .  the new American Horror Story, Hotel, might be a bit lacking in the narrative and characters so far. . .

. . . but boy oh boy do they absolutely NAIL the Hotel itself as a creepy, commanding character.  Highly recommended, at least the first episode.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on October 12, 2015, 12:21:44 PM
Found on tumblr: Sculptural Steel Labyrinth in an Abandoned Coal Mine: http://www.fubiz.net/2015/08/07/sculptural-steel-labyrinth-at-a-former-coal-mine/ (http://www.fubiz.net/2015/08/07/sculptural-steel-labyrinth-at-a-former-coal-mine/)
(http://www.fubiz.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/steellabyrinth-1a-900x613.jpg)

(http://www.fubiz.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/steellabyrinth-00-900x613.jpg)

(http://www.fubiz.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/steellabyrinth-1b-900x613.jpg)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: pigsinspaces on October 13, 2015, 06:19:49 PM
Made me think of Takashi's Castle for some reason.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on October 14, 2015, 09:13:17 PM
I can't believe I didn't remember this before:

In Ballard's Vermilion Sands (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23209928-vermilion-sands) there is a short story called The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista, which features an empathetic house which, of course, recreates the trauma of the previous tenants' stormy relationship and murder &/or suicide.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on October 27, 2015, 10:01:59 PM
I'm sure you already know this Ross or it has already been posted, but since I finally got to reading it; "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is, among other things, a "haunted house" story. Or madness in relation to a building story.

And it's free. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/literatureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/literatureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Twisting H on November 15, 2015, 05:33:49 AM
Good article on the staying power of Lovecraft's work from Slate.

I hadn't considered the environmental horror slant of Lovecraft's and other weird fiction writer's work, but it is certainly there.

Might be useful for Ruin.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/10/h_p_lovecraft_and_the_environmental_horror_of_the_21st_century.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/10/h_p_lovecraft_and_the_environmental_horror_of_the_21st_century.html)

Quote
A great story changes with the times. Decades after it’s published, a narrative with depth and dimension will still give up secrets, signifying different things to each generation. But this feat is particularly tricky in the horror genre, since society’s fears—the fuel in any good horror story—can change significantly over time. A story that can still terrify readers 90 years after it’s published is a rare thing.

H.P. Lovecraft, master of the weird tale, has taken some hits recently. Greater awareness about his racism has triggered a re-evaluation of his work, including a call to remove his image from the World Fantasy Award. These (important) cultural conversations are emblematic of a fundamental problem: Lovecraft’s work hasn’t aged well, and as a result, some stories aren’t as scary as they used to be.

Effective horror stories present a stand-in for people’s anxieties. (For example, it’s not the ghosts that frighten us in The Shining—it’s Jack’s alcoholism.) In Lovecraft’s work, the underlying anxieties are often racial. For instance, in his most famous story, “The Call of Cthulhu,” a worldwide cult consisting of “diabolist Eskimos,” South Asians, and Louisiana voodooists attempt to raise Cthulhu, an apocalyptic alien god living in stasis under the Pacific Ocean. Multiple Lovecraft stories deal with race mixing. Taken as a whole, his stories seem to postulate that anyone who isn’t white or upper-class is secretly colluding to end the world. These elements are undeniably offensive to modern readers, but this racial dimension, originally intended to enhance the horror, also doesn’t scare us like it used to. Cultural progress has reduced (though by no means eliminated) American anxieties about race, blunting these stories. Like the 1950s tales of nuclear mutants, they no longer speak to modern fears.

But not all Lovecraft stories are getting less frightening. While one Lovecraftian theme loses its edge, another—the tainted landscape—is more relevant than ever. Because here’s what our society is scared of: being poisoned.

I don’t mean in the Agatha Christie, this-tea-smells-like-almonds sense; I mean in the asbestos sense. We worry that our society is full of toxic materials that corrupt our bodies and our planet. Articles warn us away from pesticides in our food, baby products made overseas, and anything dyed with Yellow No. 5. Air purifiers fly off the shelves in China, and Americans show increasing concern about contaminated groundwater. We worry everything we touch, eat, and breathe is killing us—and Lovecraft is right there with us.

In Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space,” a meteor lands on a farm in rural Massachusetts, not far from the university town of Arkham. Puzzled by the meteor’s strange properties, the Gardiner family invites scientists to examine the object, which emits an unknown spectrum of ultraviolet color. Soon, local farmers realize something not quite right is happening at the Gardener place. The well water tastes foul. Fruits and vegetables grow in fantastic colors, and animals exhibit strange behavior. Before long, the vegetation turns gray and brittle, and the bodies of their livestock start to crumble and cave in. At night, the farm glows with an indescribable color. A neighbor warns the Gardeners not to drink from their contaminated well, but the family—already going mad from the noxious water—doesn’t listen. The Colour, a sort of vampiristic pollutant from the stars, eventually leaves Earth after eating its fill. The ashen blight around the farm, however, continues to spread about an inch a year. In the end, the narrator reveals that the state intends to flood the valley and use it as a reservoir for the nearby city of Arkham.

“I hope the water will always be very deep,” he concludes. “But even so, I shall never drink it.”

“The Colour Out of Space” is a story with staying power, malleable enough to adapt to changing fears. Though Lovecraft died in 1937, long before mass-pollution became an American concern, the story resonates surprisingly well with 21st-century horrors. Nuclear meltdowns like Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant leap to mind when one reads about the glowing trees and mutations at the Gardener farm. Likewise, the most disturbing part of the story—that the family is unable to leave, even when warned—recalls the so-called cancer villages in China, where whole towns live in a carcinogenic environment. “The Colour Out of Space” speaks to our mass-pollution fears—air quality, industrial pollutants, oil spills—the unwholesome elements we breathe or consume, but have little power to change. In “The Colour Out of Space,” as in life, once we admit there’s a problem it’s often far too late. By the end of the story, we can only hope the Colour won’t pollute the reservoir.

But if “The Colour Out of Space” is about macro-pollution, Lovecraft’s The Shunned House zeroes in on the micro-pollutants that make an individual property unlivable. In the story, an antiquarian takes interest in the sinister legends surrounding a home in Providence, Rhode Island. The house isn’t so much haunted as it’s unwholesome—for more than a century, anyone living there has weakened and died. It’s as if something, perhaps the unnatural basement mold shaped like a doubled-over body, saps their vitality. Eventually, the house develops a distasteful reputation and sits empty. It’s only after the narrator confronts a sickly vaporous entity, and fumigates the basement with chemicals, that the property becomes safe for habitation.

The Shunned House is one of Lovecraft’s most frightening tales. While other works contain more sweeping or original visions, there’s something disturbingly credible about a house that sickens tenants. What’s particularly chilling is that it kills gradually—so gradually the pattern’s only detectable with decades of hindsight.

Lovecraft deepens the dread with descriptions familiar to anyone who’s lived in a house past its prime. His treatment of the humid cellar, full of unexplained vapors and “white fungous growths,” cues immediate recognition and revulsion.

I’ve been in places like that cellar, and I bet you have, too. For me, it was a hotel room where the bathroom’s wooden walls were soft and stained black with mildew. My throat could feel spores in the air. Like the characters in The Shunned House, humans instinctively know and fear contaminated dwellings. Asbestos will drive us out of a building. Studies increasingly raise concerns about carbon dioxide building up in homes. Gas stoves feed a constant, low-level anxiety that a leak might suffocate us in our sleep. The fear is familiar, and thus terrifying.

The story even takes a brief detour into social commentary at one point, when the homeowners desert the house and begin renting it to poor families—a situation that really occurs in apartments with black mold.

Despite Lovecraft’s archaic writing style, these stories feel at home in today’s fiction, where eco-horror is the bleeding edge. You can see this environmental anxiety in the mutated landscapes of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the resource scarcity of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, and carcinogenic wastes of Mad Max: Fury Road. Climate change is sci-fi’s new nuclear war, the overriding force that creates monsters or turns us against one another.

Any horror writer can frighten readers, but only a master can frighten his original readers’ great-grandchildren. What other modern fears will make us reinterpret Lovecraft’s work? Will our social media-steeped society, where stolen identities are just a copied profile picture away, identify with Charles Dexter Ward? Perhaps climate change will strengthen At the Mountains of Madness, which ends with scientists begging their colleagues not to drill or melt Antarctic glaciers.

In the future, when the sea rises, will we think of Cthulhu emerging from the deep as we watch our cities drown?
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on December 15, 2015, 03:14:54 PM
Hey, the first trailer for the High Rise movie has come out!

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRBeZGYisLg#)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on December 15, 2015, 04:17:24 PM
yaaaaaaaayyy
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on December 21, 2015, 04:06:56 PM
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3c/fc/04/3cfc04ed2e3c7b48cd450bfc67cd23f5.jpg)

Here's a possibly interesting twist on architectural horror: the players find themselves on a highway in a wide open wilderness. No matter how far along it they walk, nothing seems to change. It's as though the road stretches infinitely in each direction. From time to time, a car comes along the road. They have to figure out some way to escape from the endless repetition of the road.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 02, 2016, 06:14:46 PM
https://vimeo.com/6736261

Quote
The idea is based on a kind of parody of the former Socialist building style. They used to build whole cities where each house was designed identically to create cheap housing for workers. These ‘blocks’ were so similar that in Soviet times, you could easily wake up at a friends place in another city and still feel like you are in your flat. Even the furniture was the same.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Review Cultist on February 02, 2016, 08:17:51 PM
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3c/fc/04/3cfc04ed2e3c7b48cd450bfc67cd23f5.jpg)

Here's a possibly interesting twist on architectural horror: the players find themselves on a highway in a wide open wilderness. No matter how far along it they walk, nothing seems to change. It's as though the road stretches infinitely in each direction. From time to time, a car comes along the road. They have to figure out some way to escape from the endless repetition of the road.

If you've traveled through the prairies, that's the gist of it, truly an endless hell. I'm also intrigue, and post this question, what stops people from abandoning the road and car (also gas issue?) and heading the intersecting directions from the road?
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on February 02, 2016, 09:18:34 PM
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3c/fc/04/3cfc04ed2e3c7b48cd450bfc67cd23f5.jpg)

Here's a possibly interesting twist on architectural horror: the players find themselves on a highway in a wide open wilderness. No matter how far along it they walk, nothing seems to change. It's as though the road stretches infinitely in each direction. From time to time, a car comes along the road. They have to figure out some way to escape from the endless repetition of the road.

If you've traveled through the prairies, that's the gist of it, truly an endless hell. I'm also intrigue, and post this question, what stops people from abandoning the road and car (also gas issue?) and heading the intersecting directions from the road?

I'm thinking that if they just start walking perpendicular to the road, they eventually come to another road, exactly like the one they left. It might be the same road, or maybe just another in an infinite set of parallel roads.

I haven't actually figured out what the resolution to the scenario might be yet.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Morbid on February 11, 2016, 03:53:39 PM
My friend was telling me about Ace Hotels, which I feel is fertile ground for a Carcosa/Ruin type series.

The idea is that the company buys up historic buildings with a lot of character as hotels that "appeal to the creative class."  Often they're buildings with an odd history that must be restored or adapted into hotels.  They often have restaurants and entertainment worked in and an emphasis on community among the guests.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Hotel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Hotel)

http://www.acehotel.com/ (http://www.acehotel.com/)  (If you look at the blog, it's pretty pretentious - something that Portlandia apparently pounced on.)

From the website:
Quote
We believe that Mr. Strummer was right when he sang, "If you're after getting the honey, hey — then you don't go killing all the bees," because there is no honey without bees.

which is delightful if you've listened to the Night Clerk.

One of the owners died suddenly in 2013, so if you don't feel too ghoulish working in real world events, that is also an option. http://nypost.com/2015/10/30/family-of-late-ace-hotel-founder-developer-clash-over-ownership/ (http://nypost.com/2015/10/30/family-of-late-ace-hotel-founder-developer-clash-over-ownership/)

For my Delta Green game, I am going to start with the planned Chicago hotel and work in many of the ideas from Night Floors and Tynes' Hastur Mythos essay. 

The fact that these are all owned by a corporation that keeps adding to its portfolio immediately adds a sense of conspiracy.  Are all the hotels connected to Carcosa?  To each other?  Are they anchoring their respective cities into Carcosa?

I could see a similar idea working in Ruin with a less flashy hotel chain.  Are those hotels by the side of the highway so homogeneous that you can enter one and find yourself in a different one?  Or when one really goes wrong, can that infection spread through the whole chain?

Still on the note of hotels: the Illuminati room in the Hotel Zaza in Texas.
http://www.vice.com/read/houston-hotel-zazas-room-322-has-got-the-internet-freaking-out (http://www.vice.com/read/houston-hotel-zazas-room-322-has-got-the-internet-freaking-out)  Here's the Vice article on it. 
Ken and Robin have talked about it as well: http://www.kenandrobintalkaboutstuff.com/index.php/episode-123-freemium-democratic-regime/ (http://www.kenandrobintalkaboutstuff.com/index.php/episode-123-freemium-democratic-regime/)

In short: a strange and creepy room that someone checked into by mistake.  A theme room?  An actual occult site?  A release valve for the emotional toxicity of the hotel's residents? 
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Tim on February 11, 2016, 08:03:00 PM
My friend was telling me about Ace Hotels, which I feel is fertile ground for a Carcosa/Ruin type series.

I am quite fond of the time I have spent in the two Ace's I have stayed at. That being said I like the idea of a Carcosa scenario were Carcosa is not a ruin in the same ways as is often portrayed. The decadence and decay comes out not from things falling apart but an over emphasis on design taken too far. Everyone obsessions about materials and the perfect placement of things and the questing for the next thing were your worth has little to do with money and everything to do with your status about what have you discovered and your 'authenticity'. You could tie in their bars and restaurants with foods and drinks taken to crazy extremes with ingredients of mythical obscurity and bizarre cooking techniques being on offer.

Could be some interesting stuff here.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Morbid on February 11, 2016, 10:59:47 PM
I have not actually been to an Ace hotel (though I'd love to stay in one, opportunity permitting).  Would you say that the design/decor was fairly unified or was it more eclectic? 

I think what they're doing is cool with restoring/rehabilitating old buildings, but that behavior parallels Carcosa itself slowly absorbing people and cities - at least in the Tynes mythos. 

I definitely like the idea of obsessive design leading to Carcosa.  "Night Floors" has the apartment with strange items epoxied together in layers, but what about constantly striving for minimalist elegance or that perfect strange juxtaposition?  Competitive "authenticity" sounds perfect, with the King in Yellow being most authentic of all. 

Over the time, I think the themes (decadent design and physical entropy) could intermingle - the residents/guests starting to succumb as they stop taking care of themselves, but they've perfected their surroundings. 

Thanks for the thoughts; I'm still working out how everything fits together.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Tim on February 12, 2016, 06:07:29 PM
I have not actually been to an Ace hotel (though I'd love to stay in one, opportunity permitting).  Would you say that the design/decor was fairly unified or was it more eclectic? 

I think what they're doing is cool with restoring/rehabilitating old buildings, but that behavior parallels Carcosa itself slowly absorbing people and cities - at least in the Tynes mythos. 

I definitely like the idea of obsessive design leading to Carcosa.  "Night Floors" has the apartment with strange items epoxied together in layers, but what about constantly striving for minimalist elegance or that perfect strange juxtaposition?  Competitive "authenticity" sounds perfect, with the King in Yellow being most authentic of all. 

Over the time, I think the themes (decadent design and physical entropy) could intermingle - the residents/guests starting to succumb as they stop taking care of themselves, but they've perfected their surroundings. 

Thanks for the thoughts; I'm still working out how everything fits together.

I have stayed at the first 2 (Seattle and Portland) when I think they were still coalescing some of their aesthetics but over all there seems to be a dominant overall pattern per property and each room has its own highlights. My understanding is they take queues from the building so the Palm Springs locations has a lot more of a 60s mod vibe that the others do not share. There signage and iconography seems to be standard but my feeling is that if you were transported unknowingly in the middle of the night from one to another it would be very apparent something had happened were as if you staying a Shearton that is not the case (having traveled some for work one of the worse feelings is waking up and having a moment where you not exactly sure what city you are in because so much is similar - but that is a different thing issue)

My main draw to the idea of doing a poisoned by design game is that unlike the room in the night floors which is obviously crazy is that things seem 'normal' if heightened but eventually you realize it is so very off.

It might be interesting to see the later stages be people moving on from perfecting surroundings to perfecting themselves and you see more and more extreme body modifications or even body integration with the environment.

Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Alethea on February 19, 2016, 05:44:03 PM
Less freaky and more spooky, but found a new photographer with some cool stuff:
(http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5375dfa5e4b0297decd64f1d/5398b671e4b0b2d8106b8d78/5398b6d1e4b01674f5aef796/1402517715804/c3.jpg)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on May 18, 2016, 03:06:02 PM
A review of High Rise with musings about Shivers and condo culture:

Quote
HIGH-RISE IS A HARSH PROPHECY FOR TORONTO'S FRAGILE GLASS FUTURE (http://tiff.net/theslate/high-rise-says-beware-the-condo)

Ben Wheatley offers up a tower. He then starts throwing bodies off the sides.

High-Rise is a modern fable, a retro-future designed by director Ben Wheatley and his team (including his frequent collaborator, his wife and screenwriter Amy Jump) as a prophecy for what’s to come for our Toronto condo future. It closely follows British author J. G. Ballard’s 1975 bleakly comic novel about a brand new high-rise building falling into chaos as the air-conditioning, elevators and human decency crumble in unison. In Ballard, Wheatley has found the perfect partner for his pitiless and aggressively confounding filmography, including previous TIFF Midnight Madness hit Kill List and the mushroom-induced psychedelia of A Field in England. Wheatley is a filmmaker who refuses to explain his low-level atrocities to the audience—he prefers to present them.

Our guide through High-Rise’s world is a passive man, Dr. Richard Laing (Tom Hiddleston), prone to slipping from floor to floor, a loner who can drift between the upper classes on the higher levels inside and the younger, poorer families huddled near the bottom—their frustrations piling up as the power is cut, garbage pick-up ignored and hours at the community pool eliminated. Even as new tenants move into the building, these discrepancies continue to fester. Residents begin to refuse to leave, abandoning jobs, friends and relatives outside, including Laing. The world shrinks. Priorities are rearranged as garbage chutes are clogged and dogs drowned.

Laing is not driven to make these choices—he lets the building carry him. He has no fraction to claim him, so he subsumes into whatever group holds power at the moment. This is not a movie where the protagonist pushes the action, High-Rise is tribal at its core. Even Richard Wilder (Luke Evans), the warrior of the working class, finds his own plans for redemption defeated by the very architecture of the building. Choice is secondary to survival. Things are not done by the characters, but to them instead. The environment shapes their actions, but this story is not new. It’s ancient and primal. Even the camera must bend to its whims.

http://youtu.be/TDJUCVCCLrs (http://youtu.be/TDJUCVCCLrs)

Wheatley and Ballard point to a pattern—a dissolution of social order that cannot be prevented by technology or progress. Even the most unnatural setting seems to only drives humanity back to its base needs—food, water, shelter, flesh. The past, the basest parts of being human, carry more weight than any building, any new technological development. Elevators become new traps for the hunters. The supermarket on the seventh floor is one last place to forage. Even the soundtrack reimagines this future past for the audience, Portishead performing ABBA’s pop hit “S.O.S.” as a warning for the residents and viewers alike—a dirge for a new world.

Residents begin to harvest the building itself for what they need and reject the outside world. Wheatley’s design team has mimicked the 70s-era incredibly well, but everything is innovative. The products and designs on the shelves are made specifically for this brave new world. The future is behind us. The high-rise becomes a place unto itself—a slow motion horrorshow.

Much like his previous work, Wheatley refuses to provide a straight narrative for the audience and at times, the film descends into an anarchic blend of images without the rules to bind them—as it should. We scurry past a horse on a rooftop, a gang of TV presenters armed with baseball bats and chair legs, a dog drowned in the pool. Parties turn into rituals, sacrifices, religious ceremonies and then dissolve back into chaos once again. Wheatley’s camera starts out sleek and mannered, transitioning smoothly from one floor to the next. However, once the social order slides, the narrative structure breaks under the strain. Viewers slider from one party to another, the camera following bodies as they rise and fall. The film itself opens with an ending.

High-Rise is a spiritual successor to David Cronenberg’s 1975 horrorshow Shivers, another film where things fall apart inside a new, presumably glorious condo building. In both, powerful men find their creations have run amok. The disease is inside. Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons) lives atop his own creation in High-Rise, eventually rendered impotent on his perch. The women in his life, including his wife Ann (Keeley Hawes), assistant Charlotte (Sienna Miller) and even Wilder’s wife Helen (Elizabeth Moss) attempt to preserve a future for their children by whatever means necessary. Initially shoved to the side of the narrative, these characters gather power in the shadows before seizing control on-screen. The building no longer belongs to Royal. It never really did.

Cronenberg’s Shivers treats his building more as a stage for the pre-destined fall, humans retreating back to their basest instincts under the insidious direction of Dr. Emil Hobbes’ parasites and his infected teenage mistress. Sex is the primary drive here, above all else. Let’s recall the scene where Nurse Forsythe confesses a dream to resident physician Dr. St Luc, explaining, “Disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other. That even dying is an act of eroticism.” In Shivers, this disease spreads through the floorboards, reducing its residents to their most base desires, captive to their own needs. The future won’t save you. The alternate title for Shivers is They Came From Within.

http://youtu.be/EMo59Tmuf7k (http://youtu.be/EMo59Tmuf7k)

Wheatley implicates the tower itself as the root of all evil. There is no disease except being human. There is no safe place. Both directors place their towers in the outer limits, as their inhabitants attempt to flee the core. Even as these towers fall, they are building new high-rises around them. There is no plan beyond surviving the next night. And then, the night after that. Cronenberg sends his monsters out into the city, spreading their infection out into the world. But Wheatley knows it will fester from within; there is no need for any outside intervention. All our wounds are homegrown, inflicted by the structure.

As Toronto continues to build its own towers into the clouds without a thought for the future, while housing for the lower classes becomes even scarcer in this city, High-Rise looks more like an unhinged prophecy than a cautionary tale from the past. These anxieties pop up in Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, as well. Set in Toronto, it traces one man and his double’s dissolution from tower to tower. From the old concrete blocks of St. Jamestown to the twirling glass spires of Mississauga, the language of the city is best expressed through streetcar wires, concrete and endless panes of glass. The men and women of Enemy are penned in and cornered by their very homes, their quiet choices exposed and re-purposed for new, nefarious means. Toronto is rendered as a city of closed off and hidden spaces, spider webs of wire, decaying concrete lobbies and freshly pressed doormen behind black marble counters. High-Rise would approve.

We have traded our concrete brutalism for spires of glass tethered to steel. We have let our lists for subsidized housing grow long for a city of cranes rooted firmly to the ground. We have convinced ourselves that we can afford this, you can afford this, well, maybe someone can afford this, but we haven’t really asked who will live there, inches from the Gardiner Expressway. We haven’t asked how long that glass will hold.

This is a body already falling, paused in flight, asking us all to meditate on its descent before it hits the ground. Wheatley and Ballard ask how long it will be before you find yourself out on a sun-drenched balcony rotating your neighbour’s Alsatian over a cooking fire. The viewer waits for a moment of clarity, for some meaning. The women are coming together on the roof, building a new world, protecting one another. The old ways are not working. Maybe this is just a cycle, a chance for rebirth. Maybe he isn’t really going to eat that dog. Maybe this is just a joke.

When the body hits the ground, the tower doesn’t laugh.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: Adam_Autist on May 18, 2016, 03:31:42 PM
Anyone heard the Archive 81 podcast yet? It's pretty good.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on May 19, 2016, 01:41:44 AM
Damn I need to see High Rise.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on May 19, 2016, 10:20:16 AM
Damn I need to see High Rise.

It'll be playing here in Ottawa next week: http://www.bytowne.ca/movie/high-rise (http://www.bytowne.ca/movie/high-rise) ;)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on May 27, 2016, 07:17:59 PM
Final tease before heading out. :P

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7353/26685444043_6a3b328bc9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/GE6SNP)
High-Rise (https://flic.kr/p/GE6SNP) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on June 07, 2016, 01:34:11 PM
A little while ago, this showed up on an Architectural blog that I follow: Punggol Waterway Terraces (http://www.archdaily.com/787479/punggol-waterway-terraces-group8asia).  And I was reminded of a bit of urban planning history which I know some folks find "Freaky", Hexagonopolis:

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/CADmonkey__________/Hexagonopolis/Hexagonopolis_zpsu8zlu0wr.png)

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/CADmonkey__________/Hexagonopolis/Hexagonal%20Plan_zps4s2px1ti.png)

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/CADmonkey__________/Hexagonopolis/Hexagonal%20Block_zps2wtr4hdr.png)

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/CADmonkey__________/Hexagonopolis/Hexagonal%20Planning%2010A_zpskt0bgjz7.png)

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/CADmonkey__________/Hexagonopolis/Hexagonal%20Planning%2010B_zpsdbounv0e.png)

On paper, hexagonal planning had a number of advantages over 'gridiron' planning (which was the norm in 19th century urban development) and was a popular concept amongst urban planners about 100 years ago.  The images above are the work of Noulan Cauchon, an urban planner for my hometown of Ottawa.  If history had gone differently, I might have been born in the first "Hexagonopolis"!

The history of hexagonal planning, its proponents and its ultimate demise was written up in an article in the MIT's Journal of Urban Design which can be found here: Hexagonal Planning in Theory and Practice (http://web.mit.edu/ebj/www/Hexagonal.pdf).  It's quite an interesting paper, which looks at the urban planning problems and discussions which drove the thinking behind hexagonal planning, and the politics behind the adoption of the 'loop and cul-de-sac' model of suburban development in the U.S.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 09, 2016, 01:31:35 AM
Neat! I want to make a war game based on those maps...
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on June 25, 2016, 08:35:32 PM
Oh Ross, have you seen High-Rise yet?

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7452/27830428311_9539064539_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JphdJT)
High-Rise (https://flic.kr/p/JphdJT) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

Showing at another theatre in town.  ;) :P
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on July 18, 2016, 11:09:47 AM
The BBC has a photo feature about relics of the Soviet era, which are exactly as bleak and colourless as you would expect.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-36764708 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-36764708)
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on July 22, 2016, 11:36:40 AM
https://vimeo.com/174312351

Quote
Spatial Bodies depicts the urban landscape and architectural bodies as an autonomous living and self replicating organism. Domesticated and cultivated only by its own nature. A vast concrete vegetation, oscillating between order and chaos.

Music specially composed by Daisuke Tanabe.
Filmed in Osaka, Japan.

Influenced by gunkan and metabolism architecture and the video game Katamari Damacy.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 16, 2016, 02:58:18 AM
aahhhhh that is so cool how did I miss this post until now
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: trinite on September 06, 2016, 10:47:07 PM
High-Rise is on Netflix now, in case anybody hasn't seen it yet. My wife and I got about halfway through tonight, and will finish it later in the week.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on December 04, 2016, 05:28:58 PM
About those Yugoslav monuments folks love sharing photos of:

Concrete clickbait: next time you share a spomenik photo, think about what it means (http://calvertjournal.com/articles/show/7269/spomenik-yugoslav-monument-owen-hatherley)
Quote
Photos of Yugoslav monuments known as spomeniks are often shared online, exoticised and wrenched from context. But now, argues Owen Hatherley, it is vital that we make the effort to understand what they truly represent
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 02, 2018, 07:57:19 PM
This would have been more relevant while The Brutalists APs were being posted, but some recent posts on social media has brought this back to my mind, so:

Opinion: What’s Wrong With Shipping Container Housing? Everything (https://www.archdaily.com/773491/opinion-whats-wrong-with-shipping-container-housing-everything)

If you've been following any architectural blogs in the past 5-10 years, you've probably seen shipping container houses/offices/etc., they're pretty popular with architecture nerds.  Liking the look of shipping containers is a matter of taste and not objectively good or bad, but some proponents of the fad like to claim that shipping container architecture is "green" and "sustainable", which is not at all true.  From the opinion piece above, here's a list of reasons why shipping containers are an objectively bad construction material:
Quote
  • Housing is usually not a technology problem. All parts of the world have vernacular housing, and it usually works quite well for the local climate. There are certainly places with material shortages, or situations where factory built housing might be appropriate- especially when an area is recovering from a disaster. In this case prefab buildings would make sense- but doing them in containers does not.
  • If you are going through the trouble of building in factory, why not build to a dimension that is appropriate for human habitation? With only 7’ clear (2.1 m) inside a built-out container, you are left with the building code minimum room width as your typical condition. It’s hardly an ideal width, and it is not difficult to ship wider modular units: modular home builders do it all the time.
  • Insulation. All surfaces of the container need to be insulated, and this means either building a new set of walls on the inside or outside of the container. If walls are furred out on the interior, this is convenient for plumbing and electrical lines but it narrows the usable space of an already small box. It also allows for a huge amount of thermal bridging unless the floor is built up with insulation on the inside (which brings up a host of other problems).  If the exterior is insulated it no longer looks like a container, and then you have to pay to clad the entire thing over the insulation. In either scenario you’re duplicating all of the walls that you started with. Improper insulation will result in heavy condensation on the inside of the metal exterior walls.
  • Structure. You’ve seen the proposals with cantilevers everywhere. Containers stacked like Lego building blocks, or with one layer perpendicular to the next. Architects love stuff like this, just like they throw around usually misleading/meaningless phrases like “kit of parts.” Guess what- the second you don’t stack the containers on their corners, the structure that is built into the containers needs to be duplicated with heavy steel reinforcing. The rails at the top and the roof of the container are not structural at all (the roof of a container is light gauge steel, and will dent easily if you step on it). If you cut openings in the container walls, the entire structure starts to deflect and needs to be reinforced because the corrugated sides act like the flange of beam and once big pieces are removed, the beam stops working. All of this steel reinforcing is very expensive, and it’s the only way you can build a “double-wide.”
  • Stacking. One recent competition boasted that because containers can be stacked 9-high, concrete floors could be provided every 9th floor with stacks of containers in between. That load still needs to travel down through the building, and still then requires columns. Those floors every ninth floor need to hold the entire weight of 9-stories of building above, which makes it dubious that you’d really be saving much on structure. The foundation also needs to be built similarly to a “regular” site-built building, and this is one of the most expensive pieces. Stacking also requires a large crane and an area for staging the prefabricated container modules, which can be hard to arrange on a dense urban infill site.
  • Utilities and Mechanical Systems. In a large building, you’ll still need a lot of space to run utilities. Because of the problems with insulation mentioned above, you will need to install a very robust HVAC system to heat and cool the building (that Mumbai tower shown above would literally be a deathtrap without cooling). You will have a hard time taking advantage of passive strategies like thermal mass if you maintain the container aesthetic. You’ll also end up with low ceilings, as even high cube containers are only 9-’6” (2.9 m) in overall exterior height, so any ductwork or utilities start cutting in to headroom.
  • Recycling. Part of the container narrative is that it’s “green” because we have a surplus of containers that can be reused. This is somewhat true, but in reality many existing container projects use brand new containers from China (which are still very cheap to buy). Used containers need to be thoroughly cleaned because there is a risk they may have been used to transport something toxic in the past.
What you get with a container is cheap structure, if you can use the box-basically as-is. As soon as you remove anything (including the ends) you need to hire welders and buy steel. Architecture is more than structure though and structure on its own is not particularly expensive- especially when you are building a space as small as a shipping container, so the savings here are minimal. Relatively untrained people can build a room that size of simple wood framing in a day without needing to rent a crane or learning how to weld for about the same cost (or less) than buying a used container.
Most shipping container projects you read about never actually get built, and those that do are for rich clients with more money than sense, but the myth that shipping containers are a viable "solution" to anything is... annoying.

There seems to have been an uptick in "shipping container porn" on social media lately (maybe due to the Ready Player One movie coming out?), and amongst that stuff I've noticed a new --possibly sillier-- idea: OPod Tube Housing (http://archatlas.net/post/170075629593).  From an environmental/sustainability standpoint, this is at least as bad as shipping container housing.  To make these things "housing", you have to build a livable space inside a cramped, enclosed space.  And stacking them up means building a separate structure to hold them in place and carry their weight (you can only pile a few of these on top of each other before the weight of the ones on top crush the ones at the bottom), not to mention the nightmare of running services between "pods" that literally only have tangental connections (at best).  But like the shipping container fad, I don't expect that many of these will actually be built.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: clockworkjoe on February 08, 2018, 02:23:51 AM
hahaha yeah, i found out shipping containers are shit as structure components at some point during the brutalist campaign. Oh well, i guess they are more viable in a zombie apocalypse because steel is stronger than zombie claws.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 08, 2018, 07:15:57 AM
hahaha yeah, i found out shipping containers are shit as structure components at some point during the brutalist campaign. Oh well, i guess they are more viable in a zombie apocalypse because steel is stronger than zombie claws.
They can make sense if you're cut off from other sources of steel and have a surplus of containers.
Title: Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
Post by: CADmonkey on February 08, 2018, 08:02:02 AM
On modern architecture, and perceptions & attitudes towards it and how those concepts have changed over time, I went to a lecture at the CCA (https://www.cca.qc.ca/en/) a couple of weeks ago, and a video is now online:

http://youtu.be/xFKz5-cuBVQ (http://youtu.be/xFKz5-cuBVQ)
Quote
Author and critic Owen Hatherley presents and comments on a television broadcast of Open University course A305, for contemporary eyes and ears. The episode, “English Flats of the Thirties,” juxtaposes two housing schemes, one in London and one in Leeds, one public and one private, one modelled on the monumental mass housing of Red Vienna and one on the ideas of Le Corbusier. Looking at how these buildings were perceived in the 1970s, Hatherley reflects both on the changing reputation of modernist mass housing and attitudes toward working class housing and the architectural avant-garde. Why did one of the buildings become “iconic” and get preserved, while the other was demolished?

Hatherley is the author of books including Militant Modernism (2009), A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (2009), and Uncommon (2011), about the pop group Pulp. He has contributed to publications including Building Design, The Guardian, Icon, Jacobin, London Review of Books, New Humanist, New Statesman, Socialist Review, and Socialist Worker.

The CCA currently has an exhibition on, The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture (https://www.cca.qc.ca/en/events/50959/the-university-is-now-on-air-broadcasting-modern-architecture), which looks at one of the courses of the British Open University project: A305, History of Architecture and Design, 1890–1939 and they invited Hatherley to comment on an episode of the course broadcasts.  If you're interested in modernist architecture and how people's concept of it have changed over time, this is worth an hour of your time.

The CCA also has broadcast from that Open University course on their youtube channel: A305, History of Architecture and Design 1890–1939 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWywjnkq2zH-T5A50NpCWowUPnKLuVHqC).  They're quite interesting on their own, with studies of a number of modern architects and buildings.  And videos from the exhibition are also online: The University Is Now on Air / L'université à l'antenne (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWywjnkq2zH8mVsLCXuXk4QBaTwbd9abJ), for anyone interested in the Open University's experiment in higher education.

Edit A few things I forgot to mention: Hatherley mentions the documentary The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, I can't recall if I've mentioned it on this forum, but it's an absolute must-see for anyone who has opinions on public housing and modernist architecture.  Hartherley also mentions that this was his first trip to Canada, and he made a brief tour of Montréal and was fairly impressed by the Metro (https://twitter.com/owenhatherley/status/957940749387096064).  He also made a side trip to my home town of Ottawa, where he was less impressed with some of our architecture (https://twitter.com/owenhatherley/status/957442070599426049). :)

Edit the Second  A "Freaky Architectural Stuff" tweet I forgot to mention: Hatherley found the high-rise from David Cronenberg's Shivers (https://twitter.com/owenhatherley/status/958759603302518789) (which he considers to be the best adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise) in Montréal.