Posts

Errors, Omissions and Typos, oh, my!

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | May 14, 2021

Years ago, I was the architect and Project Manager for a new, $40-million-dollar middle school in New York state. It was a nice design in a great location. The only 4-story school I have ever been involved with. During the construction phase, there were the inevitable changes to the scope of the project, and the…

The Polysensory Perception of Space

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | March 22, 2021

In 1977, after my third year in architecture school, a friend and I convinced our parents to send us to a  three week immersion course in German (which we were already studying) and then we traveled all over Germany for 10 more weeks. The course was in Würzburg, were the famous Baroque architect Balthasar Neumann…

The A.R.E. exam in the old days

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | February 16, 2021

The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is a series of tests required in the United States in order to obtain a professional license as an architect. It has existed for decades, as a method to ensure that those of us in the profession are properly qualified by a combination of education and experience to safely practice…

Compare and Contrast

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | January 10, 2021

Remember when you were a kid and you received a magazine, or a section of the Sunday newspaper, that had one of those puzzles where you were to find several differences between two apparently identical pictures? I enjoyed doing those, and still do. As an adult, in my late twenties, I studied architectural history at…

Spanish ‘dialects’

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | December 15, 2020

I have always been interested in languages. My father spoke several, and my mother was fluent in English. When I was 9, we lived in Denmark for a year. Learning English was required in school in Venezuela, and I also took a bit of French in college. At the same time, as an extracurricular activity,…

Coffee, tea and regional pride

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | December 6, 2020

A recent post in FB about what people have for breakfast in different countries brought back some memories, which will probably require this to be my first “long” blog (90 seconds to read rather than the usual 60.) My dad was a tea drinker. He would make a full teapot (porcelain, of course), with loose…

Architect memories

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | November 16, 2020

Recently, in the EntreArchitect group in Facebook, we reminisced about what architectural practice was like in the “good ol’ days.” Below are some memories I shared. More to come. I studied architecture in my native Venezuela. There, your university education is all you need to practice. No ARE. I graduated a Saturday, and Monday I…

Surnames in Spanish – Apellidos

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | November 3, 2020

Despite their frequent presence in all kinds of media, many people still don’t seem to understand how surnames (last names) “work” in Spanish. The concept itself is easy: a child is born and given a first name, perhaps (but not always) a second or “middle” name, and TWO last names: the father’s first and then…

No millimeters in architecture

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | October 9, 2020

“The distance to the building shall be 29′-6 11/32″.” “Classrooms shall have an area of 116,250 ¼ square inches.” “And God said to Noah … the length of the ark shall be 137,100 mm …”  A bit ridiculous, right? When building codes insert the (mathematically accurate) conversion to millimeters, it sounds just as absurd. One millimeter may…

Accuracy

By Christian Nielsen-Palacios | September 19, 2020

Father Jesús Orbegozo, S.J., is now the Rector of the Jesuit school I attended in Caracas. But back in the early 70s, he was my Physics professor. In those days, hand-held calculators were a new thing (we were taught to use slide rulers) but my father had one. We had to write a lab report…