Houses and people

Like many other units on this platform this one is created by its founder. You may disagree with me on many issues but this is OK. The unit is not meant to convey certain wisdom about the architecture and people. All you have to do is watch, listen and think. By the way, do you know how to pronounce this word – “architecture”? The best way is to memorize the correct pronunciation of the words is by watching videos like this one:

His sculpture became architecture, his architecture became sculpture.

Some people believe that buildings and houses have souls. Architect Robin Boyd said: "When I speak of an architect having some sort of personal affair with his design I am not exaggerating." This line is taken from the article with the following title: Do buildings have a soul? Architects give their verdicts on the best examples in Victoria. His colleague Burgess: I do agree that buildings have a soul. It's relatively rare. Some have more personality rather than soul. It's to do with the physical transcending itself, so that the soul is an overlap between the physical and the spiritual. You can feel that."


Architects, though, may believe that the bricks have souls either:

Great architecture is only gonna come from your passion. And even that won't assure you a job. Louis Kahn died in a men’s room in Penn Station and for days no one claimed the body. Look at that. Is that beautiful? What is this? - A brick.- Good. What else? - A weapon. Louis Kahn said even a brick wants to be something. A brick wants to be something. It aspires. Even a common, ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. That is what we must be. See you on Friday.

Louis Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He lived and worked in the United States. He really died of a heart attack in Pennsylvania Station in New York. This is one of his projects:

Watch one more episode from the same movie:

I graduated from architecture school and got a job at a small firm. Diana helped support us by selling real estate.

These were the scenes from the movie Indecent Proposal. Here is another scene from this movie that sounds less poetic and more realistic:

You are truly beautiful. - What do you think you're doing? - Looking for a house. - The ceilings are French gothic. Renaissance paintings, as you can see. Parquet floors throughout. The bathrooms are Italian marble. This is the master bath. Why didn't you return any of my calls? - Do you like it? No. - Thirty million, minimum. - Do you think? - I know. - Well, let's look at it. - It's not for sale. Everything's for sale. 
This is your house, isn't it? Do you like it? Well, it's certainly beautiful. What do you think it needs? - Tell me honestly. - I think it needs a life. I think it needs furniture, maybe a couple of dogs and flowers. It needs you. - Just forget it. It just won't work. - Why not? Because from where we started, we've got nowhere to go. – You don’t know that. – I never started this way either. I need you. – I know. You collect things. Don’t you? – Sometimes. – Yeah.

If you want to memorize the term “real estate”, watch this episode from Joe’s Apartment movie:

Since you are learning the language, communication and the ability to describe the objects will help you more than academic discussions about the houses’ souls. That is why we focus on real estate. Watch the real description of this building which realtors sometimes call a “hafa house”:
I'm guessing that it doesn't have central air, because you could see all those window units on the side including that one on the top over there that looks like it's completely falling apart. And this is the front of the house. Now, this is actually a quarter house. You can see that the 7302 which is the one that's for sale, that's on the right and then it's attached to 7304 which is on the left. So you have 7302 which is for sale but that is a half a house because I think… I think you get both halves here you get both doors for the asking price. Now, as you can see the door on the right side, it's a little bit on the rusty side. The thing above the door looks like it's seen better days, not sure if the go pro gets that. There is no central air conditioning, and it's not exactly the largest house. It's not the smallest house in the world, but it's not the largest in the world, and we are here in lovely Brooklyn, New York. So how much do you think this costs? if you had a guess, just any guess what do you think that this tiny house costs, that is directly attached to your neighbor's house so you know it's not like it's not it's kind of like a condo or an apartment. This is not really even so much your own house, because if, you know, if you play your music too loud you're sharing a wall with them. If you need to maintain something, if something happens with your roof, you have to deal with your neighbor. So what do you think this costs? If you had to take any guess. What do you think? Like hundred thousand, eight hundred thousand, a million? If that's what you thought, you'd be wrong. Because that house is more than four million dollars! You don't get a pool, you don't get central air conditioning, you don't get to be in some fancy-schmancy pants neighborhood, you don't get something that's new. Keep in mind we're not in Manhattan, it's not the upper West side, this is not midtown, this is not Wall Street. You got some like dirty water fountain over here it.

Fancy-schmancy = extremely or excessively fancy. It is one of many examples of Yiddish humor, which offers colorful ways of deflating pretension. This particular one is a way of describing someone or something that is pretentiously elaborate or overdressed.

There is one colorful word for describing the old houses - blight: something that has a very bad effect on something, often for a long time. Suppose, we need to describe the pictures like this:

All these photographs represent Tomsk wooden architecture in downtown area. Now watch, the following video keeping in mind those “masterpieces”: 

Urban blight

Urban” is the word which often seems new to many English learners. This is the case with its opposite – rural:

The divide we have in our country is as much rural and urban as it is Democrat and Republican.

Those who live in Russia and like wooden architecture might think that it is not all dilapidated as you saw on the photographs above. There are some masterpieces, of course. I am certain, though, the city does not need hundreds “urban blight”- style houses. This is the building my company pulled down twenty years ago and I do not regret about it:

Or do you think I was supposed to build something similar on its place? Or maybe even restore it? But business has nothing to do with insanity. There are only two conditions for old wooden buildings to survive: 1) there are those who want to live in them and this is their own choice 2) there are those who want to use them for business. There is, however, a third alternative: these building attract many tourists and there is a point to spend city’s finances for tourism alone. It is good if you disagree. Because of my logic I was called once a “market fascist”. Discuss this topic with your friends. By the way, the architects use the term «деревянщики». This is a derogatory term to describe crazy fans of wooden architecture among the professionals. They are always intolerant to others’ opinions and often ready to fight when they drink. They also use phrases like «намоленное место» proving that this is unacceptable to build the same kind of building using new materials for construction. Try to translate this absurd term into English. There is one more word of this kind – «новодел». Example:

The owners of the shop built the house using bricks, but then decorated the façade with wooden logs to make the building look the way it used to look for decades. However, «деревянщики» have stopped talking about prayers when the learned that for some time there was a whorehouse…

You have to know, that one of the meanings of the word “shutters” is «ставни». The camera’s lenses may be also sometimes protected by shutters.platband” = «наличники»…

In the country where people not only pray but worship cash, they have found the way to preserve old buildings. But they don’t look that bad as those on my photos from Tomsk. That is why they make miracles. Watch:

The owners of this home are moving house.  ???? house – What have we done? But will the home of their dream survive a nightmare run across the busy airport?  And brushes with disaster in the woods? This historic hall weighs more than 500 tons and is on the verge of falling down. Can it survive a downhill run intact?

What is missing in the transcript? You are right if you think that the first word starts with “th” and the second from “h”. Do you understand the phrase “and brushes with disaster”? You will find the answers below.  

Everyday across the world buildings are on the move. Sometimes people just want to change the scene. This century-old mansion is crossing the river to find a better view on the other side of town.

Now the answers to the questions above: if your vocabulary is not still rich enough, you would probably hear “the whole house” or “their whole house”. But if you always suspect something different, you would first check another version – “they haul house” (to haul=to pull something heavy slowly and with difficulty). And only the curious ones will check the meaning of “hall house”: The hall house is a type of vernacular house traditional in many parts of England, Wales, Ireland and lowland Scotland, as well as northern Europe, during the Middle Ages, centering on a hall.

Wikipedia: vernacular architecture is architecture characterized by the use of local materials and knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. Vernacular architecture represents the majority of buildings and settlements created in pre-industrial societies. Regarding the second question: it is not enough to know only one meaning of the word “brush” keeping only the image of a simple tool in your memory (with the verb).

Can you describe this picture? I like Venice, but not the pictures like this one:

These are the episodes from the sci-fi movie City of Ember. The city was built underground to save lucky people from the global cataclysm. 200 years underground nearly destroyed the city's infrastructure. Slogans and patriotism cannot help improve the situation.

Congratulations..on achieving this momentous occasion: your Assignment Day. Be the first to discover your future. Reach in, young man. Read it aloud. - Electrician's Helper. I get to work in the Generator. - Timekeeper's Assistant. - You get to work with clocks. - Building Repair Assistant. - They have a lot of fun. - Greenhouse Helper. - That-a girl. - Potato Peeler. - You're gonna come in handy. - Warehouse Clerk. - A vital job. Pick one, young lady. - Pipeworks? - Louder, so we can all hear. - I'm a Pipeworks Laborer. - You're a very fortunate girl. That is an important job. - Mold Scraper. - We got a Mold Scraper. Great.

Poor girl got the job cleaning the mold from "historic buildings". In my opinion, real patriotism is helping your city and your country to get rid of the "mold" that covers many objects of so-called "cultural legacy". Sometimes altogether with these "objects". City of Ember is the movie for teenagers, of course. But it can teach us certain things. People finally left their underground "legacy" and moved to the surface to build a new life.

Look at the photograph and try to describe what you see:

This is a ladder. It has rungs (not stairs). To be precise, this was a fire escape ladder.

Now I would like to share with you what kind of architecture I personally like. First, the one they plan to ban in China

I used to work for a while in this building (Novosibirsk, Akademgorodok). 

It does not seem beautiful but it is better than rotting wooden “masterpieces”. I took the following pictures during my business trip to Japan. This is my cup of tea!

Tastes differ, but “urban blight” is not for me.  The next episode is a bonus material for the patient students (Bugsy). Enjoy this video and learn some skills for real estate business.

Mind if I look around, Larry? Of course. Be my guest.- Do you mind if I call you Larry? -  Not a bit. All my friends call me Larry. - Aha -  What brings you to L.A.? - Curiosity. Wonderful house! - Thank you! A wonderful house. What do you think of the Beverly Hills Hotel? - It's the best hotel in town. Is that where you are staying? - What do you prefer: the bungalow or the suite? - The bungalows. Which do you have? - I don't. You do. Bungalow 5. - I don't understand. - I'm buying this house from you. - This house isn't for sale. - Sure it is. Everything's for sale. How much do you want? - Mr. Siegel.Why are you looking at me like that? - Like what? - You're not gonna hurt me, are you? - I would protect you from anyone who tried to hurt you. I revere you. Your voice makes life justifiable. I'm just trying to give you money. - For the house? - What did you buy it for? - $35,000, but that was a few years ago. 
I could probably get $40,000 and maybe more. But even if I ...It's not really a financial issue, 
Mr. Siegel. One, two, three, four...That's $50,000. Is that enough? - That's more than... - No, No, No! I wanna be very careful, I wanna know that this should be a pleasurable day for the both of us. How about that? Another 10. That's $60,000. It makes me sick inside when I don't bring pleasure to someone that I admire. Does this bring you pleasuere, Larry? - Oh, My goodness! Yes! - Then why I don't see you smiling?

Ben Siegel was a gangster...

Специализируемся на развитии навыков говорения и понимания реальной речи на слух. Используем только оригинальные материалы.