It’s a Wonderful Wall

A building facade of exquisite unorthodoxy. (Skyscraper City)

A  facade on Istanbul’s Emek Theater of exquisite unorthodoxy. Click to enlarge. (Skyscraper City)

Here’s a wall that satisfies all of my demands for a fine façade. Hats off to Michael Rouchell, the New Orleans architect who sent the picture of the Emek Theater, in Istanbul, to the TradArch list. He added a comment so exquisitely rococo that I can barely understand it, let alone comment on it myself. Actually, by looking at the inset detail of the photo, the context of the lingo emerges, with clarity in its wake. Micheal’s deployment of refined classical jargon represents the highest level of literary architecture porn.

Detail of ornamentation.

Detail of ornamentation.

What caught my eye is the small miniature Ionic columns and niche located between the volutes of the broken pediments at the second level [the lower level in the upper photo].  The architrave cap of the broken pediment juts out over the cartouche keystone to form a sort of pedestal for the miniature Ionic columns.  A portion of the sill for the opening above becomes the corona and crown for the miniature Ionic’s entablature.

These are the kind of creative architectural devices that can be employed without compromising the overall beauty of the building.  The average person would never catch such a detail, which allows the architect his/her creative freedom.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Architecture Education, Architecture History, Art and design, Other countries, Preservation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to It’s a Wonderful Wall

  1. amazing perspective


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