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  #61  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2007, 2:08 PM
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Office buildings are designed to meet pro formas, with aesthetics far down the list of priorities.
the seagram building and lever house were built as works of art, with no expense spared, similar to the 'whacky' museums of today. the fact that these buildings could also function as practical office buildings attests to their status.

these modernist designs were both efficient and aesthetically pleasing, spawning a zillion cut-rate imitators. because these designs became so widespread, people became inured to their presence. but it doesn't diminish the original impact.
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  #62  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2007, 5:38 AM
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Maybe Seagram was built as art. Today that style of building is built mostly because it's cost-effective. An office building is like a hotel: rental rates and occupancy rates don't reflect beauty.

Actually, the quality of the work environment is rising as a criteria. More companies are realizing environment's role in attracting and retaining the best staff -- location, character of the space, etc. While this impacts the design of new buildings, it's most closely related to the resurgence of many old buildings.
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  #63  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2007, 6:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Maybe Seagram was built as art. Today that style of building is built mostly because it's cost-effective.
that isnt true at all....curtain wall costs $50 per square foot...masonry is closer to $20....modernist buildings are not cheap...quite the opposite.

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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Actually, the quality of the work environment is rising as a criteria. More companies are realizing environment's role in attracting and retaining the best staff -- location, character of the space, etc.
you are very right....which is why the modernist style became popular in the first place.....people might like the decoration of a retro style building from the outside, but there is no comparasin to the quality of the interior environment of a modernist building.....openness, views, connection to the outside and access to natural light are critical factors that create healthier environments, increase productivity, reduce sick days and generally make better spaces to occupy.

solar gain also is a key strategy for sustainable design that is not possible with masonry, punched window design.



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  #64  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2007, 7:15 PM
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retro
Otherwise known as classical.
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  #65  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 2:30 AM
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TrueViking: I believe your masonry figure is only for part of the enclosure system price, while the curtain wall figure is more inclusive. I'll ask someone at work. But I know that there's no such thing as a $20 exterior for a major commercial building. Part of my question will be about weight difference, and its impact on structural needs.

You're right that natural light is desirable. But my 1889 office building has plenty, with its 50% window coverage above desk level. In fact, most people close their blinds when there's direct sunlight. Personally, I also appreciate that we're not in a fishbowl -- who wants to be on display for people across the street?
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  #66  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 2:40 AM
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...anonymous boxes like the Seagram Building and...whatevers like the San Francisco courthouse will never be loved.
How do you know? First off, the Seagram is still regarded as one of the best examples of modernism in the world. Second, what makes you think you can predict the legacy of a building? It's just utterly moronic to call out that some brand new building will be hated in a few decades to come. Well, that's what they said about the Eiffel Tower. They also thought shit like the NY Colisseum would age well. I've gone into this before.
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  #67  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 2:52 AM
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Maybe the San Francisco courthouse will surprise me. But Seagram has had how many decades? Maybe it was admired at some point, but it doesn't seem to be today among non-architects.

Speaking of Seagram, architects in denial over the survey often talk about a public bias for "familiar" buildings. But that rings false once the buildings from the 50s-70s are considered. Those are plenty familiar and simply scored poorly.
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  #68  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 4:19 AM
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furthermore, why is the Seagram building higher in the cannon than the Pepsico headquarters farther up the avenue?



oh wait I know- one is Mies, and one is SOM. But in my opinion, THIS is the best midcentury building on Park Avenue. You never hear about it though.
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  #69  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 6:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
TrueViking: I believe your masonry figure is only for part of the enclosure system price, while the curtain wall figure is more inclusive. I'll ask someone at work. But I know that there's no such thing as a $20 exterior for a major commercial building. Part of my question will be about weight difference, and its impact on structural needs.

You're right that natural light is desirable. But my 1889 office building has plenty, with its 50% window coverage above desk level. In fact, most people close their blinds when there's direct sunlight. Personally, I also appreciate that we're not in a fishbowl -- who wants to be on display for people across the street?
where i come from at least, a stucco wall (EIFS) runs about $12 psf.....masonry $20-25 psf (masonry, air space, rigid insulation, air/vapour barrier, exterior drywall, steel studs, finish drywall)...curtain wall runs between $45-50 psf.

anyways, whatever the numbers in your area...it cant be argued that modernist buildings are popular because they are cheaper....they simply are not.

my 1897 office space certainly does not offer the same light quality that a modern building would....
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  #70  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 7:32 PM
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I asked someone in our (general contractor) estimating department, who happens to be a 25-year architect. He gave me figures of $90 for curtain wall and $75 for a typical punched window system for a high-rise, obviously ballparked and dependent on many other factors. Locally, panelized brick would be a significant additional cost due to the lack of a big commercial supplier. The punched window system has the disadvantage of being a foot thick in some cases, meaning reduced interior square footage.

So yes, curtain wall is apparently chosen due to preference, not cost. On the other hand, this same architect, who personally tends toward modernity, honesty of materials, and so on, brought up the same point I have, which is that homes are a clearer indication of what people like than offices.

He also told me something about Seagram's own dishonesty/fakery. Apparently Seagram's structure is steel encased in concrete, and the exterior steel facade is pasted on (like shutters on a suburban rambler). Is this true?
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 9:39 PM
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^I know that's the case with Mies' Lake Shore Drive apartments in Chicago. The fire code wouldn't allow him to use exposed steel, so he put black steel panels overtop the fireproofing to mimic the look of an exposed steel frame. He claimed that this was to express the structure underneath, but how is that not considered ornament?



Modernists are guilty of the same kind of fakery as the historicists they claim to hate. You love the look of the cantelevered ribbon windows of the Starret-Lehigh building, so you inexplicably replicate the look but not the functionalism by doing ribbon windows and wraparound corners with structural columns right up against the glass. Cantelevered roofs like on the Pirelli Tower or Robie house are indeed impressive, but a little metal awning that angles out over the front door is no different than skinny plastic columns on a suburban villa- it's pastiche, done for style.

And to trueviking: I don't see how traditionalists are any more nostalgic than an architectural establishment that continues to romanticize the struggle of the Bauhaus architects against the establishment, and hold up the Seagram building as the be all and end all of architecture, 50 years after the fact. The whole profession needs to stop telling everyone that their ultimate asperation is to be a rebel genius, and start teaching them how to design competent, functional buildings based on what we already know works.

PS- I do like the buildings in the picture above, so don't get me wrong. I like them more than the Seagram building, in fact. I believe they're earlier.
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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2007, 7:09 AM
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Originally Posted by LostInTheZone View Post

And to trueviking: I don't see how traditionalists are any more nostalgic than an architectural establishment that continues to romanticize the struggle of the Bauhaus architects against the establishment, and hold up the Seagram building as the be all and end all of architecture, 50 years after the fact. The whole profession needs to stop telling everyone that their ultimate asperation is to be a rebel genius, and start teaching them how to design competent, functional buildings based on what we already know works.
i agree...i doubt many architects aspire to design strict modernism of the 50's...they see the flaws just as everyone else does....and as i said, .00001% of the profession is out there trying to a 'rebel genius'.....modernism was a reaction to historic styles...yes, it went too far in the other direction, but it started the movement towards the architecture that we see today....interesting, human scale, context appropriate, sustainable, light filled, healthy architecture that uses massing, volume, proportion, rythm and scale to create beauty instead of intricate sculpture and replication of ancient typology.


















Last edited by trueviking; Feb 21, 2007 at 7:23 AM.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2007, 7:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
I asked someone in our (general contractor) estimating department, who happens to be a 25-year architect. He gave me figures of $90 for curtain wall and $75 for a typical punched window system for a high-rise, obviously ballparked and dependent on many other factors. ?
wow...not the same as here...if you figure a square box of 100'x100'x12' thats like $45-$50/sf of construction area just for the envelope....nothing would get built here if those were the costs.
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 12:03 AM
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Break down for me what you find so ugly about it. I don't have the same feelings so I'm honestly interested to see where you're comming from.

Here's what I like to be fair:
2 story windows, colors, general property layout (fountain, village facade) Scale, and the faux-patina roof.
It's a 40 storey Italian Villa. It's out of proportion and KITSCH (sp?).
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 1:01 AM
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trueviking, personally I find the buildings in photos 1, 2, 4, and 5 ugly, though I see positives in each one. I bet those would score poorly among non-architects. Photo 3 is cool, though a nerve-wracking escalator ride for some people.

Bellagio: Most people don't care that it's an out-of-scale representation of a certain formula. They just think it looks nice. Though I'm not necessarily a fan, I don't mind the building at all based on these pictures.
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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 6:24 AM
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trueviking, personally I find the buildings in photos 1, 2, 4, and 5 ugly, though I see positives in each one. I bet those would score poorly among non-architects. Photo 3 is cool, though a nerve-wracking escalator ride for some people.
thats fine....my aesthetic preferences are no more valid than yours....it was simply a response to this:

"The whole profession needs to stop telling everyone that their ultimate asperation is to be a rebel genius, and start teaching them how to design competent, functional buildings based on what we already know works."

those buildings are all far more sustainable and create healthier environments than any old or faux old building ever could....they do what he was claiming is not done in modern architecture.....personal taste aside, the point was to show that buildings can be unique, interesting, functional and competent without being self indulgent and over the top or pretending to be built by the ancient greeks.
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  #77  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 7:09 AM
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  #78  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 7:28 PM
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I thought the same thing! What a bizarre omission.
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  #79  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 10:09 PM
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Does anyone know what city Ranked 4th? Also anyone have a picture of the Hotel Del Coranado in San Diego? I didn't know it was famous...
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2007, 3:04 AM
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Great list....
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