David Baker Architects

ISTANBUL, BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PARIS, AND LONDON.

Travels with db...


See all Blog

Istanbul threshold, Topkapi Palace.

The new Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

Ataturk—founder of the Republic of Turkey—is still much revered.

August 2007: I was just in Istanbul for the Towards Car Free Cities Conference. Like many cities in the "Emerging World," Istanbul is car-full!

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Budapest parking strategy.

The new Budapest Arts Center by Zoboki Demeter. Nora Demeter went to UC Berkeley.

The Budapest Parliament from the bike path on the opposite bank of the Dona River, also known as the Danube.

This is a sunset view of the Dona (Danube) of the Castle in Buda. The town is gritty but gorgeous.

Pensive graffiti in Vienna.

Graffiti along the Danube promenade.

The cafe at the MAK, the Museum of Craft and Art in Vienna.

The Gaswerks Project is a new district in Vienna organized around the adaptive reuse of five giant historic gas-storage structures into housing, offices, and a shopping mall.

Velib'! hourly rental bikes in Paris.

Paris morning light.

Chard with flowers at the Luxembourg Gardens.

The Paris sky.

London water conservationists.

One of the magic centres
Of the world;
One of the world's
Dreaming places.
Ought to point the way
To the world.
Here lives the great music
Of humanity
The harmonisation of different
Histories, cultures, geniuses,
And dreams.
Ought to shine to the world
And tell everyone
That history, though unjust,
Can yield wiser outcomes.
And out of bloodiness
Can come love
Out of slave-trading
Can come a dance of souls,
Out of division, unity;
Out of chaos, fiestas.
City of tradition, conquests,
And variety;
City of commerce and the famous river,
Tell everyone that the future Is yet unmade.
Many possibilities live in your cellars.
Nightmares and illuminations.
Boredom and brilliance.
Tomorrow's music sleeps
In undiscovered orchestras,
In unmade violins, In coiled strings.
Spring waits by the lakes,
Listening to the unfurling daffodils.
Summer lingers with the hyperborean worms,
Awaiting an astonishing command
From the all-seeing eye of Ra.
Tomorrow's music sleeps In our fingers,
In our awakening souls,
The blossom of our spirit,
The suggestive buds of our hearts.
Tell everyone the idea Is to function together,
As good musicians would
In undefined future orchestras.
Let the energy of commerce flow.
Let the vision of art heal.
Technology, provide the tools.
Workers of the world
Re-make the world
Under the guidance of inspiration
And wise laws.
Create the beautiful music
Our innermost happiness suggests.
Delight the future.
Create happy outcomes.
And while Autumn dallies
With the West wind
And the weeping nightingales
And while Winter clears its sonorous throat
At the Antipodean banquets
Preparing for a speech of hoarfrost
And icicles conjured from living breath,
I want you to tell everyone
Through trumpets played with
The fragrance of roses
That a mysterious reason
Has brought us all together,
Here, now, under the all-seeing eye of the sun.

© Ben Okri, December 2002. All Rights Reserved

"Floodscapes" by John Goto in London City Hall investigates global warming as a theme.

The new pedestrian Millennium Bridge links central London with the the new Tate Modern Museum on the south bank of the Thames.

The London sky reflected in a new commercial building in the More London complex by Tower Bridge.

Istanbul threshold, Topkapi Palace.

Ataturk—founder of the Republic of Turkey—is still much revered.

Green rope on a Bosphorus ferry.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

The new Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

The Aya Sofia is one of the great spaces on the planet.

pavement in the Aya Sophia.

It's a country with a beautiful flag.

The Budapest Parliament from the bike path on the opposite bank of the Dona River, also known as the Danube.

In Hungary, the "Children's Train" runs 12 km through a Buda hills park.

Budapest parking strategy.

Budapest alley.

A shared bicycle and pedestrian path along the Dona (Danube) in Budapest.

The new Budapest Arts Center by Zoboki Demeter. Nora Demeter went to UC Berkeley.

This bike rental is located on Magrit (Margaret) Island, a large car free island park in the middle of the Dona (Danube) separating Buda from Pest.

The No. 1 Line in Budapest, the first subway built in Europe. Cute, but efficient, trains run every 4 minutes.

This is a sunset view of the Dona (Danube) of the Castle in Buda. The town is gritty but gorgeous.

Pensive graffiti in Vienna.

Vienna.

Graffiti along the Danube promenade.

The cafe at the MAK, the Museum of Craft and Art in Vienna.

Coffee served Vienna-style.

The Gaswerks Project is a new district in Vienna organized around the adaptive reuse of five giant historic gas-storage structures into housing, offices, and a shopping mall.

Stair tower at the Gaswerks in Vienna.

Chard with flowers at the Luxembourg Gardens.

Velib'! hourly rental bikes in Paris.

The state of the art in pedicabs.

The typical non-hardcore Parisien Velib' rider.

Dorade by the Marne!

The Paris sky.

Paris morning light.

The Paris Center for Architecture. This is the installation for a show about the history of European social (affordable) housing.

The London sky reflected in a new commercial building in the More London complex by Tower Bridge.

A digital London Beefeater.

London water conservationists.

London traffic is fierce but the extensive bicycling infrastructure has created a large number of notably laid back urban cyclists.

The new pedestrian Millennium Bridge links central London with the the new Tate Modern Museum on the south bank of the Thames.

"Floodscapes" by John Goto in London City Hall investigates global warming as a theme.