All Posts By:aasakiewicz

Blue Mosque – Teenage Dream (1609-1616)  

Pride. It comes up a lot in architecture. We see it often when looking at buildings commissioned by kings and emperors; but don’t rule out the pride that goes into your neighbor’s renovations either. In a large part, the built environment stands because someone wanted to show off. And in that sense, the Blue Mosque (officially called Sultan Ahmed Mosque) is no different.

In fact, it’s that very concept on steroids.

From Where I Sit – Week 15

If I was sitting across from you right now,  I would tell you that “Honor the space between no longer and not yet,” (Nancy Levin) has been resonating a lot with me lately. In the most basic terms, it’s the weather. It is no longer dark winter, but spring hasn’t quite fully arrived either. In the most complicated terms, it is life. I am no longer the person I once was. I am not yet the person I will be. Although, those statements are easy to type, they are hard to wrap your head around. I would tell you, that if we are being honest with ourselves, we will never really be that final person. Not because we won’t change, but because we won’t stop.

Harvard Football Stadium – Concrete Sport (1903)

The idea of unfinished. Daily, as contractors continue building our latest construction, I think about this never-arriving state of done. When the last walls are painted and students fill the stands, it probably still won’t feel finished. Outside of work, I also stand somewhat stranded in this almost done state of conquering the Architectural Registration Exam.  But I know that even once this task is finished there will be a new one to conquer. Even the whole subject of this blog, history, is not done. History continues to march on. So take a walk with me.

When my parents visited Boston this weekend, we wandered over to the Harvard Football Stadium to remember the past. Although I can’t be sure, I would like to think that my grandfather once stood in one of the many spots I did. Maybe he entered that football field in the same way, maybe someone once sat on the same seat and watched him score from this exact vantage point. Rather luckily, at least to my imagining mind, the stadium is largely unchanged. I stood in utter amazement at the lack of guardrails in the entire stadium, and felt as if it could have been decades prior.

(New) Old South Church – Moral Opulence (1872-1875)

Almost every morning, I emerge from the depths of the T and face Old South Church. If I’m being honest with you, it still takes me a little longer than I would like to make it up the flight of stairs into the light, but as I emerge I always take a moment to appreciate the façade in front of me. It just stops you in your tracks. It’s a delightful mix of incredible planning with a touch of whimsy.

Taj Mahal – Labor of Love (1632-1653)

At least over here, February is the month of love. It’s just inevitable when you combine Valentine’s day, a birthday and an anniversary into a week long period. And so, I give you the Taj Mahal, love architecturalized.

The Taj Mahal is a tomb. It is a glorious, extravagantly decorated piece of architecture that is pretty much all about one woman, Mumtaz Mahal, and the love she shared with the Mogul Emperor, Shah Jahan. Women are not often the motivation behind great architecture. But in the 1600s, where king’s had multiple wives and could do whatever they pleased with whoever they pleased, the love between Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan was something else.