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AAnnotated

Notes and musings about things we stumble upon.

Leftovers

Boston, MA

Recently we were  in an uber driving through Bulfinch Triangle in Boston and snapped this photo. At first we weren’t sure why we did – just something interesting about the collection of buildings. In a flash it was gone, but we kept looking at the photo of this 3 story brick building sitting defiantly alone like a leftover in a way we don’t often see.

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Make it Rain

Toronto, ON

On a walk through a residential neighborhood in Toronto’s east-end recently, we began to notice a recurring theme. Extending beyond each charming masonry-clad residence were an endless series of corrugated weaving, curving and swerving aluminum downspouts and gutters.

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Tiled Tales

Seville, Spain

In the lively and sun-soaked streets of Seville, the canopies of tropical trees reveal layers of glistening buildings. Each facade is bedazzled with colorfully intricate tiles, expressing motifs of florals, animals, and other patterns that work together to create a narrative of culture. While these tiles sit proudly on the streets of Spain, some tiles have lost their home and sit tucked away in vintage stores in the same neighborhoods.

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Buildings with Faces

Toronto, ON

Friends of AAmp may be familiar with our studio’s ongoing fascination with buildings that resemble animal and human faces (there was a stint for a few years of photographing shingle-style buildings that looked like owls, for example). We find great delight in encountering these structures for the personality, humor and other expressive anthropomorphic qualities they convey.

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Stilted

Old Orchard Beach, ME

A village on stilts. Something seemingly unordinary and at odds with itself, but turns out to live all around us.

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Tucked-In

Portsmouth, NH

On a recent rainy holiday weekend we walked the historic harbor streets of Portsmouth, NH and came across this one-story building, tucked tightly into what appears to have once been a narrow alleyway...

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PoMo Ping Pong

Toronto, ON

In and amongst the raucous colorful playgrounds and exuberant splash pads of Toronto’s parks, from time to time you might catch a glimpse of a quiet, hulking concrete figure in the distance...

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Bain Co-Ops

Toronto, ON

Nestled within the vibrant and sought after East-end neighbourhood of Toronto called Riverdale is a subtle village-like housing project named Bain Co-Ops...

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Hedge-itecture

Los Angeles, CA

When one thinks of the LA streetscape, images of strip malls, billboards and 8-lane highways might come to mind. But if you veer into most neighborhoods a different type of street architecture emerges -- that of the hedge.

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Camouflage Cladding

Toronto, ON

If you close your eyes and think of Toronto, you will likely picture the ubiquitous brick row houses that line its streets. Now, take a closer look at this view and you might find some imposters. They are hard to spot at first glance, garbed in camouflage cladding known as Inselbrick. 

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Bent Bureaucracy

Brasilia, Brazil

On a not-so-recent trip to Brasilia, we climbed the central TV tower to gain an elevated view of its planned utopian context. While iconic Neimeyer structures dotted our surroundings -- a wonderful experience we don't take lightly -- what we found beneath our feet at the plaza below surprisingly intrigued us nearly as much. 

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Latent Laneways

Toronto, ON

Typically concealed, ignored and neglected, Toronto’s laneways are an intriguing example of ambiguous spaces in the built environment that we take great delight in exploring.

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Boat Buildings

Coastal & Lakes Regions, Maine

Each year something interesting happens around the coast & lakes regions of Maine, and we imagine in many other states or provinces similar to it.

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Curious Covers

Toronto, ON

Get your head out of the clouds, take a look at the ground beneath your feet and stop to admire the often ignored manhole cover.

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Veiled

Los Angeles, CA

Not so long ago we discovered this otherwise ordinary building in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles under full renovation, presumably restoring or replacing the extent of its façade.

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Beautility

Toronto, ON

Just around the corner from our Toronto office is a modest and windowless brick building with a surprisingly elegant entry.

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Stacked

Helsinki, Finland

We stumbled across this pavilion-like structure on a trip to Finland. As part of a pair of small annex buildings to the Helsinki Cathedral, the two forms flank each side of Senate Square, bookending a large set of stairs climbing to the plinth on which the iconic cathedral sits.

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The Gray/Grey Zone

Machias Seal Island, Canada/United States

Considered to be the world’s longest border, the dividing line between Canada and the United States hosts a range of traditional border conditions such as ports of entry, patrolled and surveillance areas, and borderland communities that define the relatively stable and connected relationship between these two allies.

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Empty Spaces

Netherlands

This is an empty classroom, somewhere in the Netherlands. We originally took this photo because we found the space striking -- beautifully daylit and minimally adorned. Still arresting, it now brings new meaning to our eyes.

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Witch Windows

Vermont

On a recent trip through Vermont, we spotted a number of historic farmhouses with a single double-hung window rotated on the diagonal. Intrigued by this unique form, we dug a little deeper and discovered that these are called witch windows.

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Juxtaposed

Tokyo, Japan

We’re suckers for a delightful surprise. We stumbled across this restaurant in a Tokyo parking garage and questioned why more urban moments like this don’t exist.

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Split House

Toronto, On

Sited amongst a series of row houses on Nassau St. is a modest structure with a split personality. Located in Kensington Market -- a neighborhood historically occupied by skilled tradesmen and laborers

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Stripped Opulence

St Petersburg, Russia

Here we sit, both a bit stunted. We rest, we wonder. In this gilded city built for opulence and show, what face to wear? We need to impress, but we’re tired. Tired of the garb, tired of gild:

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The Bold & the Brute-iful

Toronto, ON

Much like a soap opera star, brutalist buildings demand attention. Brutalism has presence: its forms are massive, hulking and monumental. The aesthetic is often misunderstood as brutal in some way, when in fact the name is derived from the French béton brut -- raw, rough or unfinished concrete. 

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Utility

Los Angeles, CA

Utility is the city’s bloodline: power, water and gas are all infrastructural needs required to sustain a city’s pulse. The architecture of utility is equally critical to this vitality. Power plants, oil refineries, sewage treatment, transformers, power poles, and the like, all must find a home within our streets. Often these are relegated to the periphery, blighted outliers mapping the suburban-urban divide. Another topic entirely.

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Camouflaged Communication

Los Angeles, CA

Cellular infrastructure can often be a source of anxiety for the public, both as a perceived threat to the health of the community, or as a technological eyesore obscuring the landscape.

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Sliver

Los Angeles, CA

In LA there’s nothing we like more than an easy-access parking spot. Jump in, jump out, and be on our way.

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No Man’s Land

Los Angeles, CA

Cities often suffer from a lack of green space. Which is why it was so baffling to encounter a small park at the intersection of Bundy, Ohio Ave and Santa Monica Blvd that is completely gated off and closed to the public.

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Signs & Sheds

Los Angeles, CA

Vitruvius, known for his classical treatise De Architectura, wrote that architecture should provide firmitas, utilitas and venustas (firmness, commodity and delight).

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Culver, Simulated.

Culver City, CA

Culver City is playing tricks on us. Or at least it’s trying to. 

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