Archive for August, 2011

the louvre, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, drawing, art, paris, france

The Louvre - Paris

Above is a negative of my sketch of The Louvre in Paris.

Heir to the century of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, the Louvre was quickly accepted as the “museum among museums;” and since then it has remained a model and a recognized authority. Founded in 1793 as a museum for all, it celebrates humanity’s long journey with the remarkable scope of a collection that spans thousands of years, reaches from America to the borders of India and China, and is highlighted by such iconic, universally admired works as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Victory of Samothrace.

On a scale unrivaled anywhere in the world, these accumulated riches make the Louvre a focal point for permanent dialogue between past and present, and a place of learning, delight, and discovery for millions of visitors of all backgrounds. Once a home to kings, the Louvre has enduring, intimate links with French history, drawing on the spirit of the Revolution and its notion of perpetual evolution, innovation, influence, and alertness to the new; it has always been, as Emile Zola put it, “at ease with its time.” This endlessly renewed heritage has been maintained by the long succession of those who have sought art out down the ages, defended it, and passed its message on: that community of men and women who have made the Louvre a unique focal point for a host of skills. Vibrantly open to its city and the world, the Louvre continues to fire the imaginations of those who visit and those who work creatively there; its goal is to remain, as Cézanne put it, “the book in which we learn to read” and through which “we can come to understand and love everything.”

Reference: http://www.louvre.fr

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, ilana goor

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Advertisements
Massachusetts State House, Boston

Massachusetts State House, Boston

This is a drawing of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. I have arrived here and thought I would post my drawing of the State House. Built in 1798, the “new” State House is located across from the Boston Common on the top of Beacon Hill. The land was once owned by Massachusetts first elected governor, John Hancock. Charles Bullfinch, the leading architect of the day, designed the building. The self-taught architect Charles Bulfinch, who also built state houses for Connecticut (1796) and Maine (1832) based his design for the state house on the Somerset House in London.

The building’s front features an elevated portico with a series of Corinthian columns. The red brick facade was painted white in 1825 and remained painted until 1928 when the bricks were exposed again. The bricks’ red color contrasts nicely with the white columns. The dome, originally made out of wood shingles, is now sheathed in copper and covered by 23 karat gold which was added to prevent leaks into the State House. In the House of Representatives chambers hangs a wooden codfish which is called the Sacred Cod. The Sacred Cod signifies the importance of the fishing industry to the Commonwealth. At the top of the golden dome sits a wooden pine cone which symbolizes logging in Boston during the 18th century.
Abstract Architecture of the day:

chick close, vernelle noel, abstract architecture

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Visual Journal-25Aug2011-1 ti

Visual Journal - 25th August 2011

I hope all of you are alright after the weekend of Irene. I am currently in New York, a little longer than planned, as I am headed to Boston. I have been unable to upload my architecture sketches, so in the meanwhile I have posted my Visual Journals over the past few days for you. I haven’t been able to color and scan them either; I have taken photos and posted them for you. Hope you enjoy!

Visual Journal-26Aug2011-1 ti

Visual Journal - 26th August 2011

Visual Journal-28Aug2011-1 ti

Visual Journal - 28th August 2011

More on Flickr >>>

Creative Commons License

This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, ralph waldo emerson, art, design, drawing, sketch

More on Flickr >>>

Creative Commons License

This work byVernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, art, design, drawing, sketch
More on Flickr >>>

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

visual recipe, sweet and sour chicken, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Visual Recipe - Sweet and Sour Chicken

Today’s Visual Recipe is Sweet & Sour Chicken, courtesy Free-gourmet-recipes.com.

The next few days will be very, very, busy for me and I do hope to be able to make my usual posts for you while I settle in. In the meanwhile… have a great weekend!!

Abstract Architecture of the day:

architecture, design, sketch, drawing, trinidad, art, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, milton glaser

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Old Fire Brigade Headquarters, Trinidad, colin laird, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

The Old Fire Brigade Headquarters, Trinidad

This is the third day of my dedication to my mentor, friend, and fellow Trinidadian architect Colin Laird, for his contribution to the art of architecture, the profession of architecture, and to the Caribbean’s built environment. Above is a drawing of TheOld Fire Brigade Headquarters in Port of Spain. It was part of the National Library Project… the existing Fire Brigade Headquarters was restored.

“It (Old Fire Brigade Headquarters) is a precious part of our scarce building patrimony and its coarse Victorian presence deserves to be meticulously renovated to its former glory. The original building is in the form of an L shape along Abercromby Street and Hart Street with the distinctive tower power at the junction of the two wings…The 45 degree cant of the Fire Brigade Headquarters Tower within the strict rectangular grid of the area, significantly continues the diagonal path pattern across Woodford Square…emphasizing the importance of the pedestrian traffic to urban communication… This Proposal celebrates the Old Headquarters, or rather its skewed Tower, as an important element of the National Library within the whole composition of the Woodford Square District.” (Colin Laird Associates Technical Proposal for the National Library, 1998).

Previous Post on The Old Fire Brigade Headquarters, Trinidad >>>

Old Fire Brigade Headquarters, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, colin laird

Old Fire Brigade Headquarters and National Library

This is one of my favorite buildings in Trinidad & Tobago. The architecture is rich, recognizing and respecting of our culture, beautiful, poetic, and contemporary. It develops a vocabulary rooted in the genius loci (spirit of place) of the site, and Trinbagonian life. Colin, you are a master builder, designer, mentor, professional, and true friend!

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking inomniac, vernelle noel

Creative Commons License
This work byVernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

the lion house, trinidad, chaguanas, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, colin laird, architecture

The Lion House - Drawn by Colin Laird

This is the second day of my dedication to Trinidadian architect Colin Laird, for his contribution to the art of architecture, the profession of architecture, and to the Caribbean’s built environment. Above is a drawing of The Lion House in Chaguanas, Trinidad done by him. In April 1991 Surendranath Capildeo retained the services of Colin Laird Associates to advise on and supervise the restoration of the Lion House. The Lion House stands today because of the dedicated work of Architect Colin Laird and Restorer Glen Espinet.

This internationally famous house, one of the most important heritage buildings in Trinidad, reflects North Indian architecture as remembered and self-built, down to the clay bricks, by Baba. It has since been immortalized as the Hanuman House in Vidya Naipaul’s “House for Mr. Biswas.” The house on Main Street, Chaguanas, the ancestral home of the Capildeo family, was restored by Suren Capildeo, Naipaul’s cousin. The house is also preserved in paint by artist, Adrian Camps-Campin.  “Among the tumbledown timber-and-corrugated iron buildings in the High Street at Arwacas, Hanuman House looked like an alien white fortress,” Naipaul wrote. The house was built by Naipaul’s maternal grandfather, Pundit Capildeo, who arrived in Trinidad, aged 21, as an indentured labourer on board the Hereford in 1894.  He came from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, India and his destination was Woodford Lodge estate, Chaguanas.

Within months of his arrival, it was arranged that he should marry the Trinidad-born Soogee Gobin, whose family was well established in the area.  The Gobins, who owned a shop, paid off Capildeo’s bond and as a wedding gift they gave the young couple the land on which the Lion House stands.  Soogee ran a store there while her husband carried out his priestly duties, and in 1923 they began to build the Lion House.  Built in the north Indian style, the trapezoid-shaped house is unique in local architecture.  It has walls almost a foot thick, and Pundit Capildeo is said to have made with his own hands all the bricks used in its construction.  The house contains lot of decorative plasterwork, with figures and patterns embossed on or etched into the walls, and several rooms feature mirror work.

The store occupied the ground floor of the four-storey building, and the family lived above it.  The third floor is taken up by a prayer room, and from the flat roof there is a panoramic view of the canefields of the Caroni plains and the hills of he Central Range.  The lions that gave the house its name stand at each end of the wall around the first-floor gallery.  Vidya Naipaul was born here in 1932 to Pundit Capildeo’s daughter Droapatie and her husband Seepersad Naipaul, but he never knew his grandfather.  Pundit Capildeo died in 1926 while on his fourth visit to India.  His widow, Soogee, became the head of the family.  A strong-minded woman, she had over-ruled her husband’s reluctance to send their children to school, which he regarded as a corrupting Christianising influence.  Thanks to Soogee, even the girls attended school and learned to speak, read and write English.

Soogee bought properties in Woodbrook and travelled to Port of Spain every week to take care of her son, Rudranath, who was to become a university lecturer and politician, while he attended Queen’s Royal College.  It was for the sake of access to better schools that in 1940 Soogee moved the whole family to Port of Spain.  After that, the Lion House was rented out or stood vacant, and fell into disrepair.  When eventually it was renovated, it was with no respect for its original style and structure.  In 1998, however Suren Capildeo, the son of Soogee and Pundit Capildeo’s son, Simbhoonath, has repainted it white and restored the grandeur of the Lion House, which stands as a monument to the indentured Indian labourers.

Sources: http://www.nalis.gov.tt

http://www.thelionhouse.com/

Abstract Architecture of the day:

Abstract Architecture, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, milton glaser

Creative Commons License
This work byVernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Audrey Jeffers House, Sweet Briar House, colin laird, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, port of spain, trinidad st. clair

South Elevation of Audrey Jeffers House (Drawing by Colin Laird)

Above is a drawing of the Audrey Jeffers House a.k.a Sweet Briar House (a three-story, stuccoed, late Victorian house built by the first black resident in St. Clair) by my mentor Colin Laird. The house belonged to an honorable, giving woman and was drawn here by wonderful, giving man.

Firstly, who was Audrey Jeffers? Audrey Jeffers was a woman who worked very hard for the under-privileged people of Trinidad & Tobago. She gave of her time and efforts freely to help others have an easier life. Born into an upper middle class family on Baden-Powell Street, Woodbrook, on the 12th February, 1898, she did not let that deter her from her mission in life; to work for the upliftment of the under-privileged, to dedicate her efforts in their service. She could not accept that some people could live in such good circumstances whilst for the vast majority misery and depression were the order of the day. In 1921 along with young women who shared her vision, Audrey formed the ‘Coterie of Workers,’ a women’s organization for black and colored middle class women. In the opening address, Ms. Jeffers stated: “Our aim is not to copy man, no sensible woman ever wants to do that, but it is rather to see womanly and courageous women, honest-minded and good, making themselves an intelligent counterpart for men.”  During her student years in Britain, Jeffers had been one of the founders of the Union of Students of African Descent, later the League of Colored Peoples. During World War I she had served among the West African troops and started a West African Soldiers.

Who is Colin Laird? Colin Laird is in my opinion the best architect in Trinidad and Tobago, and one of the most generous persons I know. In early 1997, I met and started training with Colin Laird after using the Brian Lara Promenade as a case study for one of my classes.  Colin taught me about professionalism, ethics, good design, and writing.  His proposals read like poetry! I remember asking him what classes he took to learn to write like that… pure poetry I tell you. This poetry is visible in his writings, his love of music, his drawings, and his buildings. I will dedicate the next days posts to Colin, thanking him for his contribution to the art of architecture, the profession of architecture, and to the Caribbean’s built environment. He has given so much to so many people, and continues to today. Colin, you’re the best and a bookmark in my life!

References:
Caribbean Women Writers: Essays from the First International Conference. Contributors: Selwyn Reginald Cudjoe

Trinidad Guardian >>>

Abstract Architecture of the day:

Abstract Architecture, ralph waldo emerson, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

whitehall, port of spain, trinidad, drawing, sketch, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, art, watercolor, architecture, magnificent seven, trinidad

Whitehall - Port of Spain, Trinidad

Moleskine sketchbook, ink pens, & watercolors

This is a sketch of Whitehall in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is the fifth sketch I have done thus far of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ (a series of mansions by the Queen’s Park Savannah). The Henderson family acquired this building known as Whitehall in 1910 from William Gordon Gordon after foreclosure on Joseph Leon Agostini and lived there until 1941. They vacated it that year to give way to the U. S. Armed Forces who commandeered Whitehall for Army Headquarters.

It was used by the Americans until V.E. Day in 1944 and handed back to the Hendersons; they never returned to the building. Instead it was leased in that same year to the British Council. Whitehall also housed the Central Library, Eastern Caribbean Regional Library, The Trinidad Art Society and the Cellar Club. In 1954 the building was sold to the Trinidad Government for $123,000. In 1957 the Trinidad Government agreed to lend the building rent-free too the then Federal Government of the West Indies as temporary headquarters. Today Whitehall accommodates the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

J. Newel Lewis, one of the nation’s renowned architects, described the building as a white wedding cake because of the most unusual feature – a parapet to hide the roof. It presents a regular but undulating facade, tactile, inviting and seductive, surrounded by a white wall of appropriate design set off by a huge, dark parasol-like samaan tree. Whitehall was designed by its first owner in Corsican style with Venetian influence, and built by James Moore a builder from Barbados. Moore employed natural white sandstone imported from that island, in the construction. Besides the roof which was completed in 1910, the rest of the building took from 1902 to 1904 to construct, at a cost of around $80,000. It was the largest of the four private residences along the stretch of Maraval Road, opposite the savannah.

Over the years, Whitehall has undergone considerable renovation because of its conversion to a Government building, and the rooms have been partitioned into offices. This has undoubtedly detracted from its original beauty. However, a reasonable degree of the preservation of the original architecture still remains. Whitehall was built on an elaborate scale – three storeys high, a garden on the roof, six bedrooms four reception halls, a center room, dining room, library, large front and other galleries, porches, sweeping marble steps, patio, and a host of minor rooms like kitchen, pantry, etc., in keeping with a style of living which has disappeared from Trinidad. In the interior were long corridors. On the first floor, a dining room, said to have been done by Agostini’s daughters, Stella and Blanche, was paneled with local cyp and mahogany, carved to represent nutmeg and cocoa. The French style drawing room was decorated in wedgewood blue. Each of the large bedroom suites was meant for one of the Agostini daughters.

Whitehall, vernelle noel, trinidad, port of spain, thinking insomniac, architecture

Whitehall, Port of Spain, Trinidad (Photo taken in 2006)

When the Hendersons took over Whitehall, the dining room was decorated in the German style of the period, and in it hung four large canvasses of rural scenes. Its walls were covered with an imported wallpaper with a raised pomegranate design meant to represent leather. This paper has now been painted over, but the raised design is still visible. On the upper floor were the bedroom suites with dressing rooms attached. The plumbing was advanced for the time; there were marble-surrounded wash basins and baths, and an unusual ‘needle point’ shower of a design not seen today. Above the bedroom was a vast attic and storeroom, and still further up, was the room on the roof known as the Blue Room. From the Blue Room, one could walk onto the balustraded roof and obtain a panoramic view of Port of Spain. It used to be possible to climb onto the roof of the Blue Room until 1954, at which time it was condemned. It was replaced by a galvanized roof, and the steps were removed.

In the basement were the wine cellars; wine was imported by the cask in those days, and bottled on the premises. The kitchen, pantry, serving rooms and the tiled breakfast room decorated in German style were also part of the basement. A small service lift connected this floor and the upper floors. The stables, coach-house and servants’ quarters were located outside. The hitching post and remains of the horse trough are still to be seen. In the grounds stood a large bronze bell which the Hendersons’ had brought from Venezuela. At one time, there was some discussion about retaining Whitehall as a Cultural Center. Some thought that it would have been ideal as a venue for cultural clubs, and a place to hold small concerts and exhibitions. This has not materialized, and although it now houses the Office of the Head of Government of the nation, it is part of Trinidad’s past that is worthy of preservation.

Source: http://www.nalis.gov.tt

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, roland heiler

Creative Commons License
This work byVernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.