Who's moonlighting as an architect? Plus, movie action and airplane stunts

January 1929

Toilet humour

At a recent inspection by the members of a District Committee, of some newly-erected houses, some interesting details were reported. It was recognised that improvements could be made from an artistic point of view, but that meant an increased cost, and a higher rental. It was claimed that the new houses were as cheap as any of their size built in Scotland. At the subsequent tea-party, a councillor contended that the "whole secret" of the cheap cost lay in the fact that the sanitary inspector had done the architectural work. We do not read that the sanitary inspector disclaimed any particular architectural knowledge.

In the above, we have an excellent example of the direct method of creating ugly conditions with, we might say, the best intentions. What passes for common-sense is mixed up with economics for the purpose, if not of justifying ugliness, at least of explaining it away. As a nation, we are prone to confuse cause and effect in ugliness, probably for the reason that the authorship of ugliness is mostly anonymous. It is only when congratulations are being showered that we discover the gifted sanitary inspector, and can measure public opinion pleased with its parochial outlook.

Birth of a Multiplex

A picture theatre which can be changed at will from a Gothic cathedral to a modernist cabaret is nearing completion in New York, under the auspices of the Films Art Guild. It will further be distinctive in that it will possess four screens, three of them black, on which it will be possible to make simultaneous projections. The architect is Mr Frederick Kiesler, of Vienna. Mr Kiesler has designed three distinct types of cinemas which he calls the "ray", the "double cone" and the "megaphone" types. The Film Guild cinema will be of the last-named type, and is designed to meet the requirements of sound, to increase the screen surface and to permit an instantaneous change of atmosphere to harmonise with the film in action.

The walls of the theatre and the ceiling will be black, and will be so designed as to permit the picture to be thrown on to all four screens at once, thus "immersing" the spectator in the drama completely.

Welcome to business classSIR,-Let me ask one question. Must we keep up with the times? The answer is, Yes! Let us consider one line of development only, namely, transport. The solution to the traffic congestion and speed problems of to-day is obviously "aircraft". Am I too fanciful in thinking that before many years have elapsed, business men will be travelling and business houses will be conveying their goods by private air services? I think not. What better landing stage could they have than the flat roof of their own building?