Germany's Emporis bills itself as the world's largest repository of "building intelligence," that is, data about buildings "of high public and economic value." Search information by city (more than 60,000 are available), building name, company, or image. In addition to skyscrapers, city pages explore low-rise buildings, public buildings such as churches and theaters, and even cell phone towers.
Irene E. McDermott LiveLinks INTERNET EXPRESS Reference Librarian/Systems Manager Crowell Public Library, City of San Marino Armchair Architecture Building Design on the Web To enter Diagon Ally, the London shopping street for all things wizard in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, one taps a magic wand on a brick wall. An opening magically appears, revealing the bustling lane winding beyond. When my son and I visited London for the first time last year, we found that what we supposed was Rowling’s invention was in fact an accurate description for our experience of the old town. As the tour bus shepherded us along main routes, we caught glimpses through gates of twisted burrows or warrens lined with shops and apartments. These alleys seemed to appear as if by magic, just as in Rowling’s books. The curving streets shortened our perspective and made it seem as if we were peering at the distinctive London architecture through a hole in a panoramic Easter egg. P aris was another revelation. Our guide explained that, in the 1860s, the medieval city had been leveled and re- placed by broad boulevards and neoclassical bourgeois chitects to make connections be- tween contemporaries. Browse “Architectural Types” includ- housing by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, prefect under ing styles and construction Napoleon III. So, the unified beauty of Paris, far from being types. Entries show photos an accident, was in fact carefully planned and dearly bought. and information about the Architecture creates environment and shapes our expe- structure and the archi- rience of place. If we can’t travel the world to explore archi- tect. This is a great starting tecture in person, we can perhaps use the web to get a feel- point to explore the history ing for its creations. of architecture. History of Architecture Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey Today’s architecture springs from its past. Explore (most- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer ly Western) building design history with these links. The Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Con- gress has mounted this database from its Historic American Great Buildings Online Buildings Survey (HABS) and Historic American Engineering http://www.greatbuildings.com Record (HAER) collections. Search by keyword to find large- Architecture Week magazine hosts this eminently search- format, black-and-white photos of such diverse treasures as able database of information about architecturally important the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico and Frank Lloyd Wright’s structures from across the globe. Search by place name or by Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago. There are measured the name of the building or architect. See the timeline
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