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Vernelle Noel’s Blog

The Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago

  • Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 7:43:25 AM
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hpnotiq, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, industrial court, trinidad and tobago

Blogged at: http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com

Above is a sketch and watercolor of the Industrial Court on Trinidad & Tobago; on the corner of Queen and St. Vincent Streets in Port of Spain. I continue to work on my watercoloring techniques, and feel good about this one. I like this building. The awnings, the main entry, the articulation at the corner and treatment of the base of the building, well done. The Industrial Court looks very dramatic in and solid… like a court should be.

Abstract Architecture of the day:

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, abstract architecture

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



Architecture Sketch – Hayes Court in Port of Spain, Trinidad

  • Friday, July 29, 2011 - 11:47:16 PM
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Hayes Court, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, architecture, port of spain, trinidad

Hayes Court, Trinidad

9” x 12” Strathmore sketchbook, ink pens, & Sharpies

This is a sketch of Hayes Court in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is the second of four sketches I have done thus far of the ‘Magnificent Seven (a series of mansions by the Queen’s Park Savannah). Hayes Court is after the Queen’s Royal College. This building was completed in 1910 by the firm of Taylor Gilles at a cost of £15, 700. It was named “Hayes Court” after Bishop Thomas Hayes, who was the second Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago.

Hayes Court, Trinidad, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac

Hayes Court, Trinidad - Photo by Vernelle Noel

Architecturally it reflects a combination of the quiet graciousness of the French and English country house design, with its high ceilings, mahogany staircase, wrought-iron fretwork, and wood paneling. Iron fretwork and a beautiful porte cochere or coach doorway are features of this classic mansion.

Abstract Architecture for the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

3.5″ x 5″ Strathmore Sketchbook, ink pens and Sharpies

Blogged at: http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com

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



Architecture Sketch – Donau City Church in Vienna, Austria

  • Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 1:49:57 AM
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  • 1910

uno city, church, vienna, austria, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture

Donau City Church in Vienna

This is a sketch of the church of Christus Hoffnung der Welt (Christ the Hope of the World) by Heinz Tesar in Donau City, Vienna, Austria. I sketched this while on my EuroTrip on May 30th, 2005. From the exterior, this “black box” building appears dense, heavy, guarded, untouchable, with “little circles” on it. Walk inside, and it’s an entirely different story. It is light, warm, breath-taking, grounded, calming, open, and thoughtful. The walls, ceilings and furniture is done in a light birch wood. The “little circles” and cubes of glass projecting into the space let light in, creating this airy world. Personally, I love architecture “tricks” and techniques like these. You would never guess the interior from the interior…”never judge a book by its cover…” not that the cover of this wonderful book is unappealing, by no means…it simply tells a different story.

Click for more photos >>>

donau church 6

In certain lights, its dark chromium (stainless) steel seems to make the building an almost black cuboid. But with even a little bit of sunshine, it changes as you walk round from deep purple to shimmering silver. A repetitive grid of bolts made of ordinary stainless steel shows how the dark steel plates are fixed, pays homage to Wagner’s famous aluminum bolt heads at the Postsparkasse in the proper city over the river, and sets up a small-scale detailed pattern that mediates between that of the plates and the circular piercings that bring daylight to the interior. The skin is taut and smooth. Each corner of the square plan is eroded into a reverse angle, intended to make the block less formidable from outside, and permitting more light to enter. Inside, the atmosphere is almost totally different from the severe external presence. Pale birch panelling on walls and ceiling is echoed in the pews, giving the whole place a gentle, luminous warmth, which changes in intensity and emphasis with the weather and time of day. The portholes, large and small, might be expected to generate glare, but rarely do because they are so numerous and have deep reveals, funneled and sometimes inclined, so surrounding each circular source of light with diffused luminance. Behind the almost black syenite altar, rough-hewn in contrast to the smooth birch, is a gently emphasized circle in the paneling, pierced in only one place, at the crux of the quietly incised cross to mark the axis from congregation to altar to priest to the emblem of Christ.

In the Wilderness: A Very Small Building Brings a Sense of Place, Humanity and Gentleness to the Harsh and Absurd Urban Landscapes of Vienna’s Business Satellite by Peter Davey

Thought for the day:

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, hard work

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



Architecture Sketch – UFA Cinema in Dresden, Germany

  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 6:32:04 PM
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UFA Cinema in Dresden, Germany

Above is a negative of my sketch of the UFA Cinema in Dresden, Germany by Coop-Himmelblau. My friends and I left Hannover on Sunday 5th June 2005 at 1644hrs, bound for Dresden. It felt calm and relaxed, like Sunday evenings usually do. Great project!

Link to Blog: http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com

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



Architecture Sketch – Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC

  • Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 8:57:23 PM
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Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC

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

I did this drawing of the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC in Summer 2003. This building was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in association with Ellerbe Becket Architects & Engineers and completed in 1998.

Link to Blog: http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com

The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center was designed to complete and augment the 70-acre wedge of government offices known as Federal Triangle. It occupies the last open site on Pennsylvania Avenue (a former parking lot two blocks from the White House) where construction was halted by the Depression. The building was designed to complement its historic context in materials and scale yet its architectural strategy is modern. It articulates structure and creates significant public spaces while fulfilling an extraordinarily rich mixed-use program of government offices, private businesses and public amenities. At 3.7 million s/f, the RRB/ITC is second only to the Pentagon as the largest federal building ever undertaken.

The design’s pronounced diagonal geometry is a direct response to Pennsylvania Avenue, which here bends east toward the Capitol. The building meets the Avenue at 90° and hinges back from a corner Rotunda to symbolically turn the street into the site. People are invited to enter a large outdoor plaza and to continue inside where a skylit conical space and public concourse offer retail, dining and vital connections to mass transit and neighboring buildings. In the seemingly impenetrable wall of government buildings that separates downtown from ceremonial Washington, the Reagan Building emphasizes access and permeability. It is both a destination and a public link to the nation’s Mall, its monuments and museums.

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

The building has a granite base with an exterior built with 42,000 slabs of limestone from the same Indiana quarry as other Federal Triangle buildings and is covered with five acres of terra-cotta roof tiles. The airy atrium is 125 feet high and contains 1,240 pieces of glass. Tunnels connect the building to the Federal Triangle Metro stop, as well as to the neighboring Department of Commerce.

At the Center of Washington’s Business, Social Worlds: Reagan Building Looming Large in City by Natalia A. Feduschak

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon


Architecture & Urban Sketch – Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Barbados

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 7:04:17 PM
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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

This is a sketch of the historic Parliament Buildings on the Bridgetown Wharf in Barbados. The west wing of the House of Assembly building was completed in 1872 and the east wing in 1874. There was a large clock tower in the east wing which had to be demolished in 1884, when its foundations started to sink. In 1886, the two towers of the west wing were remodeled and the clock installed in one of these. Material for the buildings is coral limestone, easily obtainable from Barbados quarries and used extensively in Bridgetown buildings. In the Public Buildings, Gothic-revival style is apparent in the pointed arches, the octagonal tower, and the machicolations on the parapets of both wings. The Gothic windows in the chamber of the Parliament building are paned with stained-glass portraits of the kings and queens of England. “Coolers” added to the exterior fit uncomfortably on the pointed-arch windows.

Reference: Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands by Edward E. Crain

My friend and I had lunch at the Waterfront Cafe across from it. We had fish cakes, flying fish, potato wedges, salad, and I can’t remember what else, but it was all delicious!! The service was great too. They had a delicious pepper-sauce. It was like a dipping sauce … it had body and was divine…just divine. I love boats a lot, and while I ate, talked, and laughed, I enjoyed examining them all. I love the Bridgetown Wharf! The water enters the city and one of the things I love most about Barbados is that I felt like I was really on an island. The scale of the buildings, the many views of the sea, waters oh so blue, the Jolly Rogers, people partying on boats. It felt free and wide. After my scrumptious meal and drinks I did this sketch.

History of Bridgetown
Bridgetown is the capital and commercial center and has a population of about 80 000. Bridgetown was originally named “Indian Bridge” for the rude bridge which had been constructed over the river (now known as the Careenage) by the Indians. It was later called the “town of St. Michael” in official documents, before finally being named Bridgetown. The Chamberlain Bridge was opened in 1872 and was a manually operated swing bridge allowing entry into the inner basin of the Careenage. In 2006 the Chamberlain Bridge was replaced with a modern lift bridge. In previous times, the careenage was an important hub of activity for inter-island trading vessels. Nowadays the careenage is mainly utilized by pleasure craft (catamarans, yachts, fishing boats, etc).

Reference: http://www.barbados.org/btown.htm

Link to blog: http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com/


Architecture Sketch – Queen’s Royal College Clock Tower in Port of Spain, Trinidad

  • Monday, June 20, 2011 - 7:22:01 AM
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5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook

This is a sketch of the Clock Tower of Queen’s Royal College (Q.R.C.) in Trinidad & Tobago (see photo below). The clock tower stands at 93 feet tall. QRC is located at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Maraval Road in Port of Spain (around the Queen’s Park Savannah). The foundation stone for the building was laid on November 11, 1902 by Sir Courtenay Knollys. The design was done by Daniel Meinerts Hahn who was at the time the Chief Draftsman of the Public Works Department. The main block of the masterpiece is in a German Renaissance-style architecture which is evident by its solidness and ornateness. It was constructed at a cost of 15,000 pounds. The broad galleries and corridors were designed to allow the freest possible passage of air for physical comfort. The stonework was heavily employed in the construction to absorb the heat.

Reference – A Magnificent Nine by the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago

Read more here >>>

Link to Blog - http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com/

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


Architecture Sketch – National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain, Trinidad

  • Monday, June 06, 2011 - 8:45:06 PM
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National Academy of the Performing Arts, trinidad, thinking insomniac, sketchblog, visual, vernelle noel, hpnotiq, architecture, caribbean

5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook

This is a sketch of the National Academy of the Performing Arts in Port of Spain, Trinidad with the National Museum in the background (to the left). I believe the concept behind the design was taken from the country’s national flower, the Chaconia.

Link to Blog - http://thinkinginsomniac.wordpress.com/

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