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Old Posted Jul 16, 2006, 3:40 AM
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slide_rule slide_rule is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
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pretty much everything has already been said. but i'm stuck at a hotel with complimentary internet access, so i'll add my 2 cents.

the design doesn't work. it's not a dig against historicism, and certainly not a dig against LA. i'll try to explain my opinion.

i realize that historicist detailing has its appeal. the assorted bits of romanesque, renaissance, neoclassical, etc. detailing aren't coherent. but even then, strange combinations can be made to work.

i do find the faux masonry facades to be... godawful? the building's ratio of window space to masonry is similar to that of the monadnock (a load bearing masonry skyscraper), than those of the later, and generally more appreciated golden age (1920s +) skyscrapers of new york and chicago. in the other thread, another forumer remarked that people should be allowed to choose what appeals to them, and that people complained about too MUCH window space. it's hard to see too MUCH window space. if people desired privacy, they could always close the blinds.

the monadnock's load bearing masonry walls made the building seem claustrophobic. aside from more efficiently using materials, and allowing for taller buildings, modern construction technology and materials have allowed for more window space.

these proposed buildings WANT to look like taller versions of a hodgepodge of prestigious older stone constructions. of course, load bearing masonry could only produce modestly tall buildings, and certainly not anything this tall and slender. if low rise buildings were made of masonry, i would not have the same complaints. it may be less efficient than modern technologies, but at least using masonry for low rise buildings does not CAUSE more problems.

similarly, the combination of small windows, and large facades often results in questionable aesthetics.

among the portland building's numerous flaws, its tall, wide facade and its very small windows conspire to make the building look oppressive. the skewed relationships between window area and a large expanse of concrete in many rationalist/brutalist projects is often cited as ugly as well.

it's often subjective, but aesthetics is influenced by materials usage, proportion, and size. the towers in LA may have interesting bits and pieces, but they do not combine to form a cohesive whole.
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