August 15, 2008

Not another photo puzzle.

It's too easy (for a lot of you):

DSC_0074

But I wanted to put this up, because I should have put it up when I made my point back here about the way a design for a beautiful exterior of a building should produce a beautiful interior to be truly beautiful. Do you agree with this aesthetic principle?

ADDED: Simon emails:

33 comments:

TitusSheBreaksForRainbows said...

The dome at Madison's capitol.

Give me a prize Mary.

chuck b. said...

It looks like Christmas.

Skyler said...

I agree that all things should be designed to be beautiful, inside and out.

But I'm not always willing to pay for it!

vbspurs said...

The ornateness of the dome is both saddening, and very lovely.

Saddening because it reminds me that domes like that will never be constructed and painted like that again (largely because Skyler, myself and others would balk at the pricetag...).

Cheers,
Victoria

chuck b. said...

It's not just the pricetag. The skills to make something like that are lost.

vbspurs said...

Possibly.

We can't import thousands of Italian artisans with those skills anymore, but I heard stonemasonry is making a professional comeback.

MadisonMan said...

You can really tell you weren't lying down on the floor with camera pointing directly up, centered on the dome.

Wisconsin taxpayers recently shelled out 100s of millions to refurbish the Capitol, and it was worth it.

Ann Althouse said...

MM, the picture is cropped. I have the center exactly where I want it.

bleeper said...

Read "From Bauhaus to Our House" by Tom Wolfe. He maintains that the skills required to build good buildings are still known by practicing workers. What is missing is budget. In every project, from an addition on an existing house to a brand new structure, budget is the limiting factor.

Of course, Victor Hugo argued that literacy is what killed good architecture - if information could be passed to the masses through books then buildings no longer had to convey history or important stories. Was he correct? I read his book, so there you go...

gophermomeh said...

The WI State Capitol (not Madison's). Anyway, my daughter's day care would take trips down the capitol and do just that - lie on the floor and look at the ceiling. The kids always got a big kick out of it.

Ann Althouse said...

That's not what I got out of "From Bauhaus to Our House."

gophermomeh said...

Life's in balance when your insides match your outsides - it goes for buildings, too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Anyway, my daughter's day care would take trips down the capitol and do just that - lie on the floor and look at the ceiling."

Good way to immobilize them!

Original Mike said...

I LOVE that building.

When I was a kid, we siblings played a game from the back seat of the car to see who could spot the capital first whenever we were driving back into town. Of course, it wasn't very challenging on the oft traveled routes, because we all knew the spot where that would occur.

gophermomeh said...

He was actually pretty good at teaching these toddlers the rules for public places.

Chip Ahoy said...

WOOT!

Browser window opened and

BLAM !

MadisonMan said...

I have the center exactly where I want it.

My main point is that the camera is not pointing directly up. Otherwise the circles would be concentric, and they're not to my eye. But I do need new glasses.

Fabulous building though. I wish the public were allowed to go all the way to the top of the dome. And it is amazing how you can see it from waaay outside Madison.

Ann Althouse said...

It's also fisheye.

chickenlittle said...

Been there many times as kid and visits back "home".

It turns out that a childhood classmate of mine is serving in the WI legislature. Next time I’m back in the Madcity I’m going try and weasal access to that secret balcony that surrounds that highest most ring of windows (barely visible in the photo and not open to the GP).
Anybody here ever been up there?

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bleeper said...

Right. Among the other points my close personal friend Tom Wolfe made were: sloped roofs are bourgeois, flat roofs were nonbourgeois and therefore good. The elimination of hand work and the reliance on machine made parts - also good. Marxist architecture was by definition bourgeois-proof. Lintels, overhangs, decoration - all bad. Beige bricks good. Columns bad. Having the know-it-all architect's client take it like a man - best of all.

My previous comment referred to a story that Mr. Wolfe related early in book about the stone masons in NYC being put out of work. As a skilled worker myself I know for a fact that the skills remain, employment is the issue. It always boils down to budget.

Mr. Wolfe is my close personal friend because I talked to him for 90 seconds while he autographed my copy of From Bauhaus to Our House. I tried to use that book when teaching architecture - the students were too dim to get it. More's the pity.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I am grateful that the people who settled the state saw fit to leave a most beautiful capitol for the citizens who followed. Being in that building feels transcendent and substantial.

ricpic said...

A dome's outside's convex, of course,
And almost can't be ruined;
A dome's inside's concave, of course,
And's not quite such a shoe-in.

Original Mike said...

Chuck B. said: It looks like Christmas.

Christmas is not allowed in the capital, sorry to say.

Brad V said...

Both the exterior and interior of the Wisconsin Capitol are beautiful, but neither is a completely faithful reflection of the other.

For example, the interior dome visible from the rotunda floor is really a shell inside of the exterior shell; the stairway up over the oculus to the lantern goes through a strange stark gray/white space that was really quite vast from what I recall.

There are other places where the two public faces of the building are a bit disjointed. A number of 'banana rooms' (named for their odd shape) exist that are essentially windowless leftover spaces used primarily for storage - spaces that resulted from the attempt to negotiate the exterior and interior goals. I believe they're located behind the four principal mosaic murals seen from the floor, although I can't remember precisely which staircases one uses to reach them.

In general, yes, the building's exterior influences the curvaceous lines inside, but there are some tricks, too. It's not an entirely seamless mirroring.

It's.....Katrinka ! said...

When is the next sojourn to the Perverted Fat House.....?

Ooops. I mean 'Converted Frat House'.

Typos. ---Truly.

Ron said...

It may be Hal...but it's Glam Hal!

Mrs. Dunka Dunrobin said...

Oh yes...the Converted Frat House !

That was one of my favorite posts EVER !!! I remember how Maxine got raked over the coals for her 'rude imagination'.

How can an imagination be rude ?

I guess Maxine's can.

Some of the funniest comments, ever, on an Althouse post !

Chet said...

I believe it was called the 'Inhabited Frat House'. A visit to the Sigma Phi home in June 2006 ?

But yes, I think we are long overdue for a new visit, especially for those of us who are monitoring the development of both the home, and its inhabitants.

blake said...

It looks like a bumble ball for the future Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

(I was going to say a "rococo bumble ball" but then it would've had to be more pink-ish, I think.)

Ann Althouse said...

You guys aren't very ambitious googlers. A search for althouse + the one term you knew, "sigma," would have easily found Inside Sigma Phi House.

Still... thanks for remembering.

Ron said...

If we were ambitious, would we be blog commenters?

Ben Masel said...

Besides the look, there's the acoustics. The building went up just before electric amplification, and there's patterns on the floor directing speakers to the sweet spots.

I once heckled a Tommy speech, much louder than he was with amplification. Whoever placed the now permanently installed speakers had no idea.