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Restoration of Medieval Spanish Castle Sparks Outrage and Debate

It’s safe to say we can all agree that the preservation of historic ruins is a worthwhile effort, but just how it’s done is proving to be a point of contention for residents in the southern Spanish town of Villamartín.

As reported by The Independent, El Castillo de Matrera (Matrera Castle) has stood atop a grassy hill near Villamartín since the 9th century. It’s been a national monument since 1949, and when rainfall and floods caused extensive damage in 2013, plans to renovate the privately owned castle were already in motion. Those plans were tweaked to accommodate the new state of things, but the result has set off a fierce debate. Both locals and conservators are now arguing over whether the project, with its incorporation of new materials to secure the remains, has in fact ruined the castle.

Cultural heritage association Hispania Nostra called the restoration “truly lamentable” in a post on its website, but architect Carlos Quevedo Rojas, who oversaw the project, told The New York Times that it was approved ahead of time by town authorities as well as the culture and environment departments of the Andalusia government.

“I understand the criticism of local people used to seeing the tower look a certain way,” he told the paper, “but the principal objective was to prevent the collapse of the structure.”

Quevedo Rojas continued: “You can’t make the structure have the same appearance as the original. You can’t falsify the appearance. It has to be clear which parts are new and which are old.”

Another defense of the renovation: it met its three basic goals to “to structurally consolidate those elements that were at risk; to differentiate new additions from the original structure—thus avoiding imitative reconstructions that are prohibited by the law; and to recover the volume, texture and tonality that the tower would originally have had,” Quevedo Rojas told The Guardian.

The incident has prompted many to draw comparisons to another Spanish preservation fiasco: In 2012, 83-year-old Cecilia Giménez tried to restore a fresco of Jesus and the resulting work became an Internet meme and an attraction in its own right.

[h/t The Independent]

Banner image via Twitter.

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iStock
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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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