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Author Topic: The more Modernism supposedly changes...  (Read 3659 times)
marcszar
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« on: January 21, 2012, 03:43:50 PM »

...the more it really stays the same.

Here are some of the "latest" ideas for college buildings. It's basically the same brutal crap that's been infecting college campuses since the 1960s. Where's the "innovation?"


^ Corbusian blob!

^ Brutalist Fuehrerbunker!

^ Socialist Plattenbau District!

^ Motel 6!

More garbage (along with bullshit archibabble) here:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/01/portfolio-week-ikon5/1014/

And WTF is this unfathomable LU doodad?


Are these guys still stuck in the 1960s?

BTW, check out these "fantastic" office buildings. Roll Eyes I don't know why a website focused on "cities" would even promote such antiurban boondoggles!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 04:02:26 PM by marcszar » Logged
billonions
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 05:09:44 PM »

  That last picture, isn't that a visual ode to the New Jersey Garden snail?

  In one of your other posts you brought up 'pattern books'.  Obviously, while pattern books might have gone by the way side, vintage coffee table books of famous whatsits still line the (perhaps secret) bookshelves at some firms.

  Most of these aren't to my taste, but some are more striking than others. 
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faraway
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 05:54:12 PM »

The only thing that's changed is the ability of virtual 3D CAD programs to render them even more lifeless, souless and flat than with previous pencil and paper technology. That must be thrill up some designers' legs right there.

When built, they will exuded the same souless, lifelessness as their predecessors.

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mhelie
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 09:21:08 PM »

Modernism is so retro that they call it neo-modernism.
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The St.Paulite
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 04:22:14 AM »

Quote
Re: The more Modernism supposedly changes...

... just the shape and design has changed. urban function remains the same as modernism.
you're right - these are exercises in antiurbanism - not city building
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marcszar
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 01:13:07 AM »

More antiurban garbage:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/01/portfolio-week-5468796-architects/1043/

Here's a ridiculous throwaway bunker from a ridiculously-named firm (5468796 Architects). Cutting edge, huh?


This slab apparently "makes a loud statement." About what? Its shittiness?


Here is the "architects'" take on historic preservation:
Quote
We think that the best approach to historic renovations – and this opinion is supported by the city’s preservation guidelines (at least on paper) – is that in order to respect the old, it needs to be viewed in contrast with the new.

Wrong. Try again.

Many of the "buildings" (narcissistic art objects) in the above link were built in Winnipeg. I feel sorry for the city - the last thing they need are more barren, banal, flat, drab, cutthroat surfaces.  Tongue
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 01:25:05 AM by marcszar » Logged
marcszar
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 09:51:10 PM »

Another heaping helping of nostalgic, historicist, retrograde pastiche:


> City Life, Recreated in the Sky

Do these historicist Neomodernists have any inkling of just how badly the "streets in the sky" fantasy of the 60s failed? Why would they want to repeat this terrible experiment in social engineering? What would you call the actions of a profession that militantly doubles-down on totalitarian ideologies? Malpractice? Starchitorture?

The article's author calls this a Bladerunner vision, but he actually intended that as a compliment! Roll Eyes He also uncritically promoted the old "skyway" concept, conveniently forgetting that skyways drained the street life from many cities. Do these guys even pretend to like good urbanism; it's as if the sexiness of a narcissistic art object takes precedence over the needs of insignificant humans!

This is supposedly the "future." How quaint. It's funny (and tragic) how so many architects are hopelessly trapped in the 1950s and 60s. It's also funny that this antiquated, technograndiose vision is never deemed "historicist."
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 04:25:30 PM by marcszar » Logged
ShadesofBleu
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 06:26:58 AM »

Another image from the original title link:



Sure you all laugh now, but we will see who has the last laugh when the dinosaurs escape from Jurassic Park.
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faraway
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 04:38:42 PM »

I'm starting to think now that there is a correlation between this crap and the fact that architects have one of the highest unemployement rates in the country.
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faraway
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 04:58:07 PM »

... seems to be an international condition.

At Edge of Paris, a Housing Project Becomes a Beacon
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/arts/design/renovated-tour-bois-le-pretre-brightens-paris-skyline.html

.... beacon of bleakness maybe. I swear this looks like stuff being built in Hawaii in the 60's and 70's (that looks like crap now). Granted, it looks shiny and new now, but all that glass and aluminum is going to look really bad in a few years, particularly when the Paris smog starts acumulating.

Quote
La Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, a half-century-old public housing tower on the outskirts of Paris, has been upgraded and now features a glittering exterior of glass and aluminum.

If you look at the interior photos, the spaces are much improved, but it's hard to see how this was cost effective for public housing, or that it can be cost effectively maintained to the standard that such materials will require. Glass balcony rails? Who is going to clean all that glass? Who is going to pay for it?

* could not get the photos to post
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 05:29:39 PM by faraway » Logged

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marcszar
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 05:22:28 PM »

Weird, I post pictures from the NY Times all the time; maybe they stopped allowing hotlinking? Is this pic from the top of the article showing up?:


The interior appointments are pleasant enough, though, and the addition of balconies is always a good thing. But look at this bedroom!:

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/03/28/arts/artsspecial/20120328BUILDING-SS-7.html

Did the architect who "reskinned" the building renovate this room as well? Or did the resident get to dictate the interior appointments (for once)? The architect did successfully manage to remove the old "project" vibe and make the thing look like a run-of-the-mill condo tower. But what about the many other thousands of dreary project towers ringing the city? (My guess is they ruled out glass curtain walls back when they first built these projects because they already knew they'd never be able to maintain them.) And how long before this thing looks dreary and run-down again:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/torontos-glass-condos-face-short-lifespan-experts-114359149.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/22/realestate/postings-landmark-s-curtain-wall-deteriorating-aging-lever-house-may-get-new.html

Note that many prewar buildings are run-down too but still manage to exude charm and grace, even after decades and decades of neglect:


I will concede this: These guys sure have a talent for deconstructing common words and thoroughly stripping the meaning from them. Only a highly-skilled con artist could take a common word like "beacon" and render it meaningless. Shame these guys can't stick to books (well they are now, but in the 2000s we actually had the hallucinated money to pay for their crazy stunts)...

As you said, this thing will age horribly. It's funny how these guys use technograndiose "green" gimmickry to halfheartedly cover up the deficiencies of Modernist design (like relying on huge expanses of glass, cheap metal, and shoddy concrete), when a seemingly-simpler and greener approach would be to just not excessively use these materials in the first place! A "green" glass+steel+exfoliating concrete building is just as ludicrous as those hybrid or electric SUVs.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 06:19:56 PM by marcszar » Logged
mhelie
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 01:28:22 AM »

I have a new theory about modern architecture - all the slanty doodads and random chaotic patterns are just attempts by the architect to distract you from the fact that all the parts that make up the building a really bad. Since you're completely confused, you can't claim it sucks.

Do this exercise - look at the buildings above and consider an individual door or window. Are they special in any way?
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marcszar
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2012, 04:24:37 PM »

I have a new theory about modern architecture - all the slanty doodads and random chaotic patterns are just attempts by the architect to distract you from the fact that all the parts that make up the building a really bad. Since you're completely confused, you can't claim it sucks.

Here's an example that illustrates that point succinctly. It's called the - no joke - "Parasite Office," a very fitting name:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/04/need-more-office-space-just-stick-some-alley/1726/

Here's the fanciful, absurd rationale:
Quote
The structure fuses onto the neighboring buildings with steel clamps, hovering off the ground so pedestrians can stroll under it. It also glows at night, thanks to a translucent plastic shell, looking like a wasps' nest from hell. It could be an attractive option for creative start-ups looking to stand out from the pack. The unusual positioning of the parasite could even allow, in some cutthroat dystopian world, for the people inside to jackhammer into its host buildings and steal their best employees.

Um, Modernists already built plenty of "hovering" buildings propped up on pilotis in the 50s-80s, and it turned out no one wanted to be under them. And shouldn't a "start up" focus on producing something new of value instead of "standing out from the pack" solely for originality's sake? All the other text is just pure nonsense (but it does reveal that "avant garde" architects are consciously, explicitly creating a dystopian aura to usher us into a roboticized Blade Runner future).  Roll Eyes

BTW what's so special about the concept of that building (or the premise of the article)? Doesn't the thesis - "In the future, real estate in a severely built-up city might not move outward or upward – but in between, or all around" - just describe the age-old process of urban infill and densification?! Where's the "innovation" here? Urban infill is old hat, blobby deconstructivist forms are old hat, and lit-up office buildings (and is that greeeeen?) are old hat!

Duany argues that this kind of starchitecture is literally parasitical - it is utterly featureless and banal, but it gets attention solely by "feeding off" the staged contrast with the neighboring decorous architecture. It's like a Hipster trying to be "original" or "different" solely for the sake of difference. Infantile adolescence, in other words. If something like this was built out in the suburbs (as has been done), no one would even notice because it would be indistinguishable from all the other crap.

Quote
Do this exercise - look at the buildings above and consider an individual door or window. Are they special in any way?
Nope!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 04:38:25 PM by marcszar » Logged
marcszar
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2012, 12:23:04 AM »

More antiurban crapola... (oops, sorry, "BOLD" visions)


^ How long before this ship sinks?





^ Really?! Really?!!! This is interesting?!!! Looks like historicist pastiche to me - and a pastiche of immense ugliness at that! Is it an abortion clinic?

And here's the token "green design" boondoggle:

We smeared the walls with green paint/plants/claddings! We're greeeeeeeen!

Again, I see nothing "innovative" in this fundamentally antiurban crap - it's the same stuff that's been churned out by computers for decades already.

One commenter (Mitchell Austin) made a very good point. These buildings may look alluring in photos (where there is little context, humanity, or scale to distract from the heroic "vision"), but they usually aren't that alluring in real urban life:
Quote
These buildings are quite interesting in photographs. In a photo the sculptural quality of modern architecture is highlighted. The artistic merit of the object can be evaluated in the abstract with no regard to the scale and proportion of the design device relative to surrounding environment. It is generally paramount in such an analysis to ensure that no humans are present to distract from the full understanding of the forms and their self-evident brilliance…

No, really one could go on for hours more like this delving into the architectonic planer qualities and deep meaning embodied by multiple-screen layering of disparate material qualities. However, I will not bore you with such a diatribe of architectural nonsense. No, as a student of architecture and a professional urban designer, I will say that these buildings have no business being built for human habitation especially in an environment we once called a city.

The Atlantic Cities does provide some fantastic articles about place, why it matters, and how people are working to make them better. This listing of “interesting buildings” does nothing to further that vision. These structures, in ignoring human scale and meaningful interaction with the public realm of the street and the private realm of their neighboring buildings, do the cities that they inhabit no more good than a fast food drive thru on the strip in the suburbs. Furthermore, to echo the sentiments another commenter, these buildings will be just as unloved and disposable as a fast food joint after the novelty wears off. Good luck with these present wonders and future eyesores, poor cities.

Generally, the comments on this article were far more insightful than the article itself.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 12:34:20 AM by marcszar » Logged
billonions
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2012, 12:45:10 AM »

One day down at the Veeblefitzer Architecture office...
  Scribble scribble scribble..."Here build this!"

Later that year
"That man's a genus!"

 "Well.... not exactly....he was committed just after he drew this."

"He's still a genus!"

  "Well, ummm.... you see he actually didn't work for us."

"Oh...ummmm  how remarkable"

  "Well..... actually he was a drunk who wandered into our office."

"Oh ummm...."

   "Well he was actually blind."

"Oh, come now, how did this happen, a blind crazy drunk ended up as the architecture?  Surely you can tell the difference between his work and your own staff."

  "Well, once his drawings got mixed into the rest of ours we couldn't really tell the difference."

....something like that must of happened.  One of those pictures reminds me of Pizza Hut BTW.
 



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