Novél Architecture (final post)

Square in Space


Kinetower by Kinetura


The Confinanza Tower / the Tower of David / Vertical slum in downtown Caracas

Source: CrowdStorms

Caracas, Venezuela. Considered the world’s highest squatter building. More than 2,500 squatters live 28 stories up in the 45 story uncompleted skyscraper. Each inhabited floor has electricity, jury-rigged to the grid, and water is transported up from the ground floor. Few of the building’s terraces have guardrails. Even walls and windows are absent on many floors. Dozens of DirecTV satellite dishes dot the balconies. The tower commands some of the most stunning views of Caracas. It contains some of its worst squalor.

this is not a photoshopped picture!

Habitat 67

Source: 2leep Blog
Habitat 67 is a housing complex in Montreal that was designed by Moshe Safie.

The Yellow Treehouse Restauraunt

Source: Newgroup on Usenet, alt.architecture newgroup

The slide house by LEVEL Architects, Japan

Source: SpaceInvading Inspiration Blog

Sedlec Ossuary

A small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people.

Source: CrowdStorms

UCC found on YouTube:



Our group collaboration took place entirely online.

The obvious starting point for our group was to creat a facebook group. Whilst we explored other online collaborative  environments such as Dabbleboard, Bubblus and MSN we decided on Facebook due to its notification functions. Each of us had email and phone notifications set up so that we would be alerted of any activity within our private group.

Our facebook private group was used to post and discuss links, strategies and problems:

Our final and conclusive post was created collaboratively in Google Documents. We researched lesser known CVE’s, but found that none had the features and user friendliness as the Google Docs.

Google Map Haxxx

Google Map Hacks is an archival site that relies on user-generated content to locate architecturally noteworthy buildings on popular online mapping tools.

This is the The Piano and Violin house of Huainan.

Users have provided links that pin point it on Google Earth, Google Maps, Microsoft Virtual Earth and Yahoo Earth.

The mapping software is embedded within Google Map Hacks so the user never needs to leave the site.

Google Maps:

Microsoft Virtual Earth:

Yahoo Earth:

The site is particularly interesting because whilst it does not generate any content of its own per se, but by collating information from a number of competing agencies it provides a resource with more information than can be obtained purely by one of the major companies.

The site itself relies on the altruism and interest of the user for its success. It’s strength is in the ease of uploading and accessing the content. If the user experience was less fluid, the site would languish with a lack of information, and not fulfill it’s purpose.

It is interesting to note that the site’s popularity is not hindered by its garish aesthetics and blanket advertising. It relies on the simplicity and practicality to achieve its goals.

For the purpose of our group in collating information of the worlds most impressive architecture as nominated by as wide-reaching canvas as possible, the fact that you can sort the buildings by popularity serves our purpose supremely.

Facebook and 2leep

Keen to get started on collaborating online, I decided to start where a lot of people these days decide to start; Facebook. Inspired by the scene in “The Social Network” where Mark posts up photos of some piece of art and asks people to comment their thoughts on it to later make an essay out of. So I asked people in my status what some cool buildings were and waited for people to comment. 

The comments were almost all helpful in leading me to an interesting piece of architecture I hadn’t heard of before, which was more than I expected.

Later on, still in need on further online collaboration, I went to a site I often visit, which I found using StumbleUpon, usually when there is something more important to do, 2leep advertises itself as a site for ‘connecting bloggers’. Anyone can submit articles, and the range on the site is enormous. The articles tend to go for the interest factor over anything else, with titles often using words like ‘incredible’, ‘amazing’ and ‘bizarre’.

On 2leep, I found an ‘architecture’ tag in the cloud on the left, which led me to a page of articles that were all showing incredible architecture from around the world throughout history. An example of the articles shown is this one:

10 Most Fascinating Castles and Palaces


From 2leep and Facebook, some of the buildings can be seen below:




Science Museum

Mineral House



Reddit and Technorati

After using the website we came across the website, where interesting and creatively sound architecture around the world are displayed. Reddit was quite simple to use as it works similarly to a search engine, but rather than generating results based purely on search inquiries, it places the results in order of whether people (users of Reddit) have liked or disliked the content. Subsequently when results are generated only relevant to user information and interesting information is produced as the order of the search results are dependent on the amount of times users have liked the website. Similarly, there is another collaborative virtual environment called While Reddit is designed for a large scale target audience, Technorati is more specific to an audience that requires information from experts of their topic of interest. This concept is similar to that of wikipedia however if one were to write for technorati they would often be people who specialise in one area and write articles usually only specific to that. Technorati is also quite easy to use. Similar to Reddit it allows for an easy search and appropriate results are released. While results from Reddit are placed in order by user interest, in Technorati results are placed in order of relevance, like most search engines. From both these collaborative virtual environments we were able to find useful, relevant and interesting information about our chosen topic of architecture. The following images were found using the above sources:

Crowdstorms: an all-new, just-launched CVE

We here at architecturenovél wanted to share a new CVE which has only gone live (via a private beta) a couple of weeks ago:

CrowdstormsBasically it’s a form of brainstorming via crowdsourcing, hence the name. The way it works is that users can create new topics, which is usually a general concept of something and is not meant to be a direction question to be answered like Yahoo Answers, for example.

From these topics, other users brainstorm ideas and concepts that relate to the topic and add them to the topic pool, essentially making the topic become like an open-ended, global brainstorming session.

It then doubles as an ‘Associative Reference Tool’:

As new topics, items, and associations are created, Crowdstorms cross references them allowing users to explore all of the topics a given item appears on, examine all of the ways two items are related, etc.

So not only is it quite useful for getting past creative blocks, or to gather multiple (and unexpected) perspectives on an idea, it is also fun to contribute to the other topics already placed on the site, such as ‘Things that protect’ (my input was garlic).

Our chosen topic was placed so to have a brainstorming session with the users of the site to discover further content related to extraordinary architecture:

Because it’s a new CVE there are not a huge amount of active users yet, however within only a few hours 11 items were added to the topic. I have asked the creators to feature the topic via twitter as a ‘staff pick’ which they will create on Monday, which should see a surge of items added!

Update: our topic was featured as staff pick!



A site-specific installation presented at Matadero Madrid, Spain.
Quadratura was the technique used in the baroque to extended architecture through trompe l’oeil and perspective constructions generated with paint or sculpture.

Source: todayandtomorrow
Found using CVE: Spaceinvading blog, StumbleUpon