New York Times: The Lewis and Clark of the Digital Building Frontier. “On a bone-chilling day here with the winter rains pelting down, the architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello retreated to their cozy 3-D printed cabin in the backyard…. It was just another weekend for the couple, 3-D printing pioneers who have developed novel techniques for sustainable building, often using low-cost waste materials like mud, dirt, nutshells, coffee grounds, and other discards that are ‘essentially free,’ Ms. San Fratello said.”
Bing Blogs: Microsoft Releases 12 million Canadian building footprints as Open Data. “Bing continues to invest and innovate in the space of computer vision and geospatial intelligence. Following our release of US buildings footprints last year, we’ve been looking for new markets to apply our techniques, and opportunities to continue our commitment to the open data community. As a result, the Bing Maps Team collaborated with Statistics Canada to deliver these 12 million building footprints, released as Open Data!”
Brownstoner: Old House Lovers Will Drool Over These Vintage Architecture Trade Catalogs. “There’s an abundant amount of information online for the historic house lover. But when looking to understand just what kind of fixtures and finishes might have been popular at a particular point in time, there’s nothing quite as exciting as dipping into vintage trade catalogs.” Nice roundup article.
Sonoma News: Sonoma history group launches online architectural database. “The original information was gathered in 1978 by a group of league volunteers, lead by Johanna Patri, who is still an active member. At that time the volunteers spent 14 months surveying the Valley with clipboards and cameras, gathering as much architectural information as they could about any house believed to be more than 50 years old. Smaller surveys were completed in 1998 and 2012, updating existing data and adding more homes for a total of approximately 700 properties.”
Wirral Globe: Lottery boost for Port Sunlight ‘Drawn Together’ online archive. “The documents, including more than 4,000 original plans and detail drawings, illustrate founder William Lever’s vision for Port Sunlight, an industrial model village for his workers and the artistic and physical development, expansion and evolution of the village over a span of 70 years.”
New-to-me, from Curbed New York: The unsung modernist treasures of Queens. “In Bayside, Queens, the American Martyrs Roman-Catholic church sits proudly on a street corner, standing in high relief compared to the single-family homes nearby. It’s circular and covered in yellow bricks, with a folded-plate copper roof that’s aged into a mossy shade of green…. It’s a fine building designed by John O’Malley, one of the most prolific ecclesiastical architects in Brooklyn and Queens. You won’t find the church in most history books about modern architecture, but it is included in Queens Modern, a digital archive composed of adaptations of the movement in New York City’s largest borough, which was updated at the end of December to include deeper dives into over a dozen firms active during the mid-20th-century.” There appears to be some concern in the comments that not everything included is “real” modernist. I don’t know enough about architecture to judge.
WBIW: Indiana Architectural Foundation Announces 50 Significant Buildings and Sites as Part of New Database Celebrating Design in Indiana. “Indiana has a rich architectural history, and the Indiana Architectural Foundation wants people to know about it and experience it. The Foundation today is announcing a statewide database that features some of the state’s most significant architecture. It’s the first database of its kind in the state, where visitors can learn more about the architecture of buildings old and new and learn how Indiana’s economy and culture have been shaped through design.” There are plans to add more buildings over time.