Architectonic · Human-ities · Technology

Think Your Office Is Soulless? Check Out This Amazon Fulfillment Center

Shining blue and bright above a subterranean labyrinth of hollow shafts, a warehouse sits upon the abandoned remains of a coal mine that once defined this working-class English town. It is as bright as the mines are dark, as vast as the shafts are claustrophobic, as clean as they are filthy. This warehouse represents a future of shopping that does to brick-and-mortar retail what it has already done to the coal mine that used to thrive in its place: Bury it without filling the hole it left behind.

This warehouse is the focus of one particular vision of retail’s future captured by Ben Roberts in Amazon Unpacked, a haunting series of photographs exposing the inner workings of Amazon’s massive fulfillment center in the English Midlands.

Text and Images via Fast Company. Continue THERE

Architectonic · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Public Space

Architecture Without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture (1987)

“One of the most radical solutions in the field of shelter is represented by the underground towns and villages in the Chinese loess belt. Loess is silt, transported and deposited by the wind. Because of its great softness and high porosity (45%), it can be easily carved. […] The dark squares in the flat landscape are pits […] about the size of a tennis court. Their vertical sides are 25 to 30 feet high. L-shaped staircases lead to the apartments below whose rooms are about 30 feet deep and 15 feet wide, and measure about 15 feet to the top of the vaulted ceiling. They are lighted and aired by openings that give onto the courtyard.” [from LeopoldLambert’s boiteaoutils on B. Rudofsky’s Architecture without architects]

Amazon: In this book, Bernard Rudofsky steps outside the narrowly defined discipline that has governed our sense of architectural history and discusses the art of building as a universal phenomenon. He introduces the reader to communal architecture–architecture produced not by specialists but by the spontaneous and continuing activity of a whole people with a common heritage, acting within a community experience. A prehistoric theater district for a hundred thousand spectators on the American continent and underground towns and villages (complete with schools, offices, and factories) inhabited by millions of people are among the unexpected phenomena he brings to light.

The beauty of “primitive” architecture has often been dismissed as accidental, but today we recognize in it an art form that has resulted from human intelligence applied to uniquely human modes of life. Indeed, Rudofsky sees the philosophy and practical knowledge of the untutored builders as untapped sources of inspiration for industrial man trapped in his chaotic cities.

Marrakech (Morocco)