INSPIRATION: Defining Architecture

Our old friend Webster defines architecture as the art or science of building; specifically: the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.

I like to keep this bit of information in the back of my mind as I am scouting for local buildings to shoot for my next project. But every now and again, I come across a structure that pushes the limits of this definition. Especially the β€œhabitable” part.

This old railroad shack is a classic example. It captured my attention from the moment I saw it. The bright rusty hinges add a spark of color against the weathered wooden boards. I like the way the door was built with the boards assembled in a herringbone pattern, as if someone wanted to add a bit of style to a utilitarian shed. Even the iron bars propped against the sides appear to be positioned as if to help hold up the shed.

Architecture comes in many shapes, sizes and styles in my neck of the woods. And sometimes, coming across a structure that pushes the limit can turn out to be just the shot I was hoping to discover.

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  1. November 30, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I love the “rusticness” of the photo. I, too, love old wooden buildings. πŸ™‚

    • November 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

      I would say it is rustic for sure…I wonder if it is still standing after all the storms we’ve had…

  2. November 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

    And yet another great find and shot. You do live in inspiration valley don’t you?

    • November 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Yup …inspiration valley and historic hillsides! In fact there are towns with the same names where you live!

  3. November 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

    lovely shot (:

    • November 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Thanks Big Book! The bright hinges really caught my eye as I was wandering about!

  4. November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Thanks Teri, Yes it is called inspiration valley…but I bet you do too!!!

  5. Nandini
    November 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Love it! The colorful bottom half and grey upper half makes it so interesting. I love that the door is open a little. πŸ™‚

    Nice πŸ™‚

    • November 30, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Nandini, there sure is a lot going on with this little shed. I liked that the door was open a bit also…what’s inside???

      • Nandini
        November 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

        Yes, that makes me wonder too – Mysterious things hiding inside. πŸ™‚

  6. November 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Love this, David! Photos of old buildings are great, but having some old items displayed outside is even better. The rusty red hinges and latch are unexpected and interesting bright spots!

    • November 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks Karen, I know !!! I couldn’t believe it either. I thought to mysel,f wow look at all this cool stuff!

  7. November 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Great shot, I like old sheds. As someone that has made a door or two for a shed, I would think this herring bone pattern is probably an example of the science of architecture – it would function very well to keep the door square, which it looks as if it has accomplished quite well.

    • November 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks Ehpem, old stuff is just so cool with all the textures, patterns and color available. And indeed you are correct regarding the construction of the door…I’ve built several in my day also. I just thought it was odd to include that on this little tiny shed. I guess the builder chose to use creative license!

  8. November 30, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Incredible photograph… I love how rustic and weathered each subject is… creates unity in the composition. I also enjoyed reading what drew you to this shed… and how you found architectural design within the found objects and overall composition. The lighting and combinations of textures within the crowded frame is truly compelling. Thank you for another wonderful post!

    • November 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks Polly, Yes there sure is a lot going on in this one, but as you said, I think that’s what makes it work. Funny thing…there are several other sheds all grouped in the same area that need more investigating!

  9. November 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Craft meets Art. Great workmanship combined with aesthetic appeal. I love this.

    • November 30, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Meanderer, this image along with the previous one may become part of the series for the book project my wife and I are putting together.

  10. November 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Beautiful, love the traces of color!

    • November 30, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks Sigrun, yes there are little hints of what was all over the shed!

  11. November 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I love the textures and colors of the wood. It would make some excellent frames! πŸ™‚

  12. November 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Yes it sure would make for some excellent frames…if it falls down and nobody claims it I’ll ship it out to you!

  13. November 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I love old wood buildings and am fascinated by the way they begin to lean and eventually collapse completely. I always wonder how and why they fell into such neglect. This is a lovely image with its great texture and subtle hints of color.

    • November 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Lee, I always have felt that also. Even if a building is inhabited they still seem to stay standing. But soon after they are vacant, the earth reclaims them. Maybe buildings can sense life inside of them.

  14. November 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Great find!
    Funny that you mentioned the door, as it was the first thing that caught my eye. The pattern is a pleasing contrast to the shack, which is mainly built with vertical boards.

    You just gave me an idea, David. I think it would be cool to go back there one night and take a photo of it, maybe with a colored light inside the shack, to add a twist to it. I have to find me a shack similar to this and experiment πŸ˜‰

  15. November 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks Gracie, hey that’s a way cool idea. I have a giant flashlight that I could put some colored mylar file folders over and fill the shack with a spooky light !!!

  16. November 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    You have such an eye for details! love it!
    (and thank you so much for commenting on my posts, your comments are such an inspiration and motivation!)

    • November 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you Anne for the kind words and I indeed enjoy reading your posts! They always bring a smile and traveling with you is a blast!

  17. November 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Great picture, really captures the colours. I suppose the follow up question would be what people consider habitable. Different circumstances mean this could be a nightmare or a lucky break.

  18. November 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks Blackbear, I like your follow up question. Around here we have a little of both…some really really make ya wonder…

  19. Steve
    November 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    A door: one of my favourite things! Great capture of this piece of ‘architectural engineering’. Love the old wood and contrasting rusted metal. Cheers!

    • December 1, 2011 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Steve, I am building up a collection of doors and unusual “architecture” I find them so interesting!

  20. November 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I like the composition of this David, plus it’s just really interesting with the tools and old rusty bits in the foreground.

    • December 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Mufidah, it’s an interesting place where one could spend several hours snooping about!

  21. December 1, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Yes, dear David, I agree with you, the door pattern is standing amazing, you captured such a nice one again. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • December 1, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Thank you Nia, I will revisit this place to photograph some of the other sheds and shacks that are there.

  22. December 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

    The older the better in my book. πŸ™‚ Great photo, David!

    • December 1, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Thanks Katie, there are a few more at that location just waiting for me to stop by!

  23. December 6, 2011 at 7:12 am

    I love this rustic look! Lovely image!

  24. December 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Thanks Kristina ! it sure is rustic and I have some more images for the future!

  25. December 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    This is simple yet amazing! Very well done. Colors, the light…everything about it makes me feel like I am back home right there with standing next to it. I love it!

  26. December 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Thanks Jim, this one worked out pretty well…10 minutes after I took this photo it started to rain like a monsoon!

  27. December 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Love the feelings this picture evokes. Lovely shot!

  28. December 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks Jackie, there really is some cool interesting “artifacts” at this place. It’s not a salvage yard but more like a place for the owner to store his stuff. There are several locomotives, old steam powered equipment, a couple of passenger trolleys, an old crane, 6 cabooses, and other assorted items all neatly arranged in organized clutter.

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