Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inspiring civic engagement...on the subway

Great article on the Design Observer Group's site about one teacher's efforts to inspire civic engagement and journalistic practice among students and citizens alike...on the subways.

Read Article here:

"Much more than we do now, we need to use civic engagement to achieve education goals. Being educated starts with being a citizen of your community. Right now in urban centers across the United States, there is a dearth of motivation and interest among students who believe that so-called "progress in the real world" is disconnected from their classroom experiences."
-Alexander Heffner, Taking the A-Train

I've often mulled over interesting and productive ways to utilize time spent on public transportation. Obvious choices are reading, catching up on your organizer or even just taking a moment to do nothing and rest. But I love this idea of starting a trickle of dialogue among passengers. One thing I thrived on when being a student was that opportunity to connect academic projects to "real world efforts" in fact make the project a real world effort.

I hope Heffner's students have a ball with it. Their work would probably certainly make for a great that would no doubt be a great read for anyone in transit between point a and point b who has some mental time to spare to chew on thoughts about society.

Monday, November 29, 2010

U-Bahn Lorenzkirche, Nürnberg

Photos by Annika Lundkvist
November 2010

First time heading into the underground layers and levels this time around in Germany. We have been in Bavaria for just over a month now and finally, upon the 3rd visit to Nürnberg, we headed into the Lorenzkirche subway station for a brief visit...

Brutalist Repetition: D.C. Metro

Graphic of Harry Weese's sketch of vaulted subway station for D.C. transit system

Photos by Annika Lundkvist
February 2010

Harry Weese's (architect) design of the D.C. metro system incorporates a repetition in using the Brutalist style and making extensive use of exposed concrete.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

D.C. Underground: More than Metro

The underground Concourse at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. is a spacious and fluid - an absolutely lovely addition as well as a complete pleasure to move through. I, in fact, moved through it a few times in the span of one late afternoon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mythical, Military and the Spaces In-Between

I've been m.i.a. a bit from this blog for a few reasons, the most pertinent one being that my underground explorations have been on hold for many, many months. While I am more than content to plunge through countless pages on the Internet to learn more of underground space developments worldwide and gawk at the varied manifestations of underground architectural imagery, I'm just not satisfied to merely post the slew of images I view. I am keen on seeing them in person, photographing the spaces myself, chatting, when possible, with the individuals who use them on a fairly regular basis.

Alas, I currently live in a region where underground space is simply not a popular commodity, nor where you will find interesting examples of it's use. When life and movement permit me to be in close range to explore these spaces again, I will be ready, camera aimed.

Until then, I just may dedicate a batch of posts to some of the weirder goings on with regards to underground space, namely, the dissemination of information that is, well, plainly weird. When this interest first took hold, I took to the nets to see what was out there and initially only came across a bevy of writings and references to literary works that were fiction? Fact? Who knows. The underground itself immediately connotes a general space that is immediately laden with notions of secrecy, hiding, death, captivity and- survival. The allegories are rich and seemingly endless- much like an impossible labyrinth. I will get to these later.

For now, an image of a space I would like to visit, but obviously chances are slim. NORAD's control room. Tucked deep inside a mountainous terrain, it is, without a doubt, a premier example of the reality of the military's (read: the military of many nations) necessary use of deep underground space, perhaps placing them at the frontier of underground building technology and perhaps even at the forefront of understanding human psychology and capacity to sustain for long periods of time in such space.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Villa Vals

Villa Vals in Switzerland.

SeARCH & Christian Müller Architects
Photos: Iwan Baan

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Swiss Emergency Call Services

Absolutely gorgeous. AND it's an Emergency Call Center. Hurrah for creating beautiful spaces for workers in demanding and intensive services.

The historic merit of the space and surrounding buildings led to it's largely underground placement.

Architect: Santiago Calatrava Valls

Image Source (top): unidentified
Photo Source (bottom):

Monday, February 8, 2010

Underground Helsinki

(Image: Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki, Credits: Jon Hicks/Corbis, Source: Scandinavia for Design Lovers)

It makes perfect sense that my interest in the underground was born while living in Scandinavia. Stockholm has been referred to as a "swiss cheese" city (due to the plethora of carved out, underground facilities and spaces there) and other Scandinavian cities are host to an impressive range of well designed subsurface spaces.

I have a plethora of articles from the past few decades relating to all things underground...but for here and now, a link to one Finnish based architect posting on "Subterranea Helsinki." The Finnish capital is apparently the first city on the globe to have created an 'underground master plan, so it is one of the most obvious places to look to for pioneering and interesting architectural and planning concepts placed underground.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Theater in the Rock"

Theater in the Rock, Tadao Ando

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I quite unfortunately have no source info for the above image. If and when found I will add it. The sole info I currently have attached to the graphic is "Valkenburg"(and it's not the Valkenburg in NL). I suspect it is from an article for a conceptual design for a building in Norway.