The Vivarium

17 notes


U.S. Air Force, Space Pack, (1963)

The text on reverse reads, “USAF —  SPACE PACK. Strapped onto a "spaceman’s" back, this compact pack is being developed by AFSC scientists and engineers. Containing a complete life-support system, this unit is planned as a vehicle to permit an astronaut to transfer from one space vehicle to another.  The space pack also could be used for lunar exploration once man sets down on the surface of earth’s nearest neighbor. A waist-mounted panel, 8 by 5 by 4 inches, provides for three maneuvering controls —  up, down, and sideways. Weighing 120 pounds on earth, the space pack would weigh but 20 pounds on the moon’s surface.

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Philip Johnson, Research Nuclear Reactor, (1960)

One of the least known buildings designed by Johnson is his 1960 nuclear reactor in Rehovot, Israel. It is a beautifully composed diagram, a building that seems almost timeless in it’s composition and texture: as much at home in the cities of Mesopotamia as it would be among the monasteries of the middle ages. It consists of a 250 ft. long and 120ft. wide tapered almost solid concrete base and similarly tapered concrete “tomb” that contains the nuclear reactor. The base of this massive “tomb” contains the research laboratories, which are grouped around a spacious court, arcaded in the manner of a medieval monastery. It could easily be mistaken for an abandoned mosque, which is most likely the undeclared intention of the security conscious Israeli authorities. One of Johnson’s strangest and most impressive monuments.

(Source: rudygodinez)