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  #61  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 8:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CGII View Post
So, only decorated, exuberant buildings are attractive, and only buidlings without ornament are ugly?
Did I say that? I'm only responding to the seeming prevailing sentiment among high-concept modern architects that only decorated, exuberant buildings are ugly and only buildings without ornamentation are attractive.

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So, anything simple cannot be beautiful just because apparently anyone could design it?
That depends on whether it looks cheap and uninspired or not.

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This building is incredibly richly ornamented. According to you, 'richly ornamented buildings are not poor architecture.'
They're not, as a whole. That one, as a single example, is.

This building is not richly ornamented. According to you, it's a brutal beauty. I'd rather not raid the "Monstrosity in your City" thread, but I can dig up plenty more.



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Simple cannot be beautiful because it resembles a commonly used shape?
Simple can be beautiful, but it usually isn't because it looks like your average building-on-a-budget.

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Pshaw! Anyone can take an elementary school jungle gym structure and put glass over it! What a cop out!
What's so special about that? It looks like a large bus stop.

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Who is telling you to have an orgasm for this building? Who is telling you to disregard classical architecture? Who is telling you all history must be abandoned to pursue modern identity?
What else am I being told when I am told relentlessly that old architectural styles are outdated and irrelevant, which is why we must abandon however many hundreds of architectural styles from the past in favor of boxes and blobs? Art deco, art nouveau, Romanesqe, neo-classical, neo-gothic, Aztec revival, neo-Georgian, Spanish baroque, and the like aren't allowed anymore because we must be true to our time with boxes and blobs.

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If you want to see a cop out, look at this:

It's impressive, but surely you know that a criticism of Gehry is that all of his buildings look alike.

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A building is a cop out when it focuses too much on itself and not at all on those who use and interact with the building, focuses nothing on the enviroment, and can be built at any location whatsoever as a 'plop a landmark.'
Would you mind telling me what else your average box office building is doing?

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Who cares if something is simple? Something has to have loads of overdone ornamentation to be beautiful?
Unfortunately, the prevailing school of architectural thought states that any ornamentation is overdone. I don't mind if something is simple, but I prefer that it look like something other than the box the nice buildings were shipped in.

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What's so awful about streamlining and keeping things simple?
What's so awful about some shoulders on a building, or a gargoyle? Art deco is my favorite style of architecture precisely because it looks antique and futuristic at the same time, whithout being too cluttered, or too boring.

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Actually, it would be FAR easier to design something like the Opera Garnier as a building:essentially, follow the basic vernacular for theatres, add some exaggerated features (such as domes, or cornices), and then commision sculptors to slather the building in ornament. Granted, the result is beautiful...
Thank you for acknowledging that. Yes, the opera house is a big building, and so is your average Wal-Mart. However, if you build enough big buildings like the opera house you build a city's entire identity. Build enough buildings that look like Wal-Marts and you sap its identity, because you can twist and torque them all you want but they'll still look like all the other Wal-Mart-inspired buildings going up everywhere else. There is practically nothing else getting built these days, and when someone tries, like with that performing arts center in Nashville, they're ridiculed by the architectural elite.

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In addition, you must realize that due to the increase in America's and Europe's quality of life, exuberant sculpture on buildings as seen on the scale of the 19th and early 20th century is no longer feasible. You simply can't afford to build another Opera Garnier or another St. Pauls Cathedral, or another Penn Station, or another Singer Building. It's just not an option.
Yes, I realize that we live in a cheap and ugly era, but I don't have to like it, nor will I when told I should just because all the buildings going up are "faithful" to that cheap and ugly era.

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Well, you could have done it the Gehry way, and make it look like shreds of aluminium in a pile, you could have done it the Calatrava way, paint lots of curved metal white and involve some sort of 'interactive' and moving aspect, you could have done it the Piano way and make a glass box with some screens, you could do it the corporate way and just build a glass box over the site, or you could do it the way it was and be the least invasive to the landscape by putting the structure underground, essentially, with stations that peak out of the ground to provide points of entry for both humans and light. I honestly think they did quite nice the way they did.
They did an acceptable job, but it's certainly not worth being the most anticipated building of the year. I admire its environmental aspects, but aside from that it is a plain and utterly unremarkable building. If it was up to me, I would have tried to combine the environmental aspects, and the rising and sinking beneath the earth, with something akin to the Helsinki train station. And your vision when you picture that won't be mine, so don't bother ridiculing it.

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Overall it sounds more like you dislike anything new and like anything old.
I dislike anything that looks cheap and uninspired and that is all.
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Last edited by hauntedheadnc; Mar 20, 2007 at 2:05 PM.
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  #62  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 9:09 PM
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I think it should be basic by now that people in general get uncomfortable when art pushes the envelope. This would be a perfect case in which those who do not appreciate the building were expecting something that is more comfortable and expected rather than something that came totally out of left feild. The way I see it, art can only exist when it continues to push forward at the expense of comfortable feelings, thoughts, etc. of the masses. Otherwise art no longer speaks.

Because of this view and in response to an earlier poster, I'm actually glad to live in this continent.
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  #63  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 9:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post



Unfortunately, the prevailing school of architectural thought states that any ornamentation is overdone. I don't mind if something is simple, but I prefer that it look like something other than the box the nice buildings were shipped in.

Umm, excuse me what decade do you live in? Is it still the 60s and I'm just missing something? How do you profess to have any idea what the prevailing school of architecture is right now when you so obviously don't know how to criticize Modern architecture on its own terms? Ever hear of Koolhaas? Herzog and de Meuron? Jean Nouvel? Yeah, maybe, but do you even know what their work is about? How bout less-known architects like Eduardo Arroyo, UN Studio, Mansilla & Tunon, Neutelings Reidijk? Have any clue who they are? Know anything their thoughts on architecture? And since right now we've been discussing Steven Holl's work just go ahead and try to demonstrate that you actually have a clue about his work as well. Come on man, your shining example of Modern Architecture for 2007 is the Seagram Building? You're so out of date your opinion is laughable.


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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post

If it was up to me, I would have tried to combine the environmental aspects, and the rising and sinking beneath the earth, with something akin to the Helsinki train station. And your vision when you picture that won't be mine, so don't bother ridiculing it.

Ok, so I won't bother ridiculing your idea. If you were a skilled architect you might actually know how to pull it off. But the truth is you wouldn't have a clue to even begin designing a building. Nobody has that ability innately. If you were to go to architecture school for just year you'd learn that so much of what you think of architecture right now consists of opinions that you've never really questioned that you would quickly be forced to start finding answers for yourself. And once you do that you realize that there is no right way to design a building that transcends all times and cultures. And on top of that as you'd start questioning many things you'd also start developing new interests in materials and spaces and you'd learn to be much less DOGMATIC about all of it. Modern Architecture in 2007 is not the same thing as the back-in-the-day variety. Modern Architecture today is about exploration and invention. It's about research and creation, it's about problem-solving and testing. It is much more of a developmental process than a purely formal pursuit that is made through 'genius sketches' made on napkins. Those who continue to evaluate it SOLELY ON FORMAL TERMS are highly mistaken of its real value.
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  #64  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 9:18 PM
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Please do not misconstrue my argument as an excuse for the average box office building. My argument is for being innovative while being appropriate for the location: Boston City Hall Plaza is certainly not any of that.
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  #65  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 9:22 PM
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Thank you, realm, for confirming that modern architecture is of, by, and for architects and nobody else. That snotty attitude is one of the reasons for the backlash against modern projects. You've as much as told me that I'm too stupid to know whether or not I like a building, and you've done more to prove my point than I ever could, so thanks again.
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  #66  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 9:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Thank you, realm, for confirming that modern architecture is of, by, and for architects and nobody else. That snotty attitude is one of the reasons for the backlash against modern projects. You've as much as told me that I'm too stupid to know whether or not I like a building, and you've done more to prove my point than I ever could, so thanks again.
Wrong again, pal. If anything I'm inviting you to open your mind. Too bad you'd rather build a wall for yourself. Better hope it's real stone and not the fake-Neoclassical stone veneer like you've been touting in the other thread. Otherwise it might just get blown over when you try to put your ill-conceived ideas out on this forum again in the future.
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  #67  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 9:37 PM
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Let's at least try and keep this argument sane... It was enjoyable throwing around different ideas but it's slipping into inevitable decay...
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  #68  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 3:25 AM
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Wrong again, pal. If anything I'm inviting you to open your mind. Too bad you'd rather build a wall for yourself. Better hope it's real stone and not the fake-Neoclassical stone veneer like you've been touting in the other thread. Otherwise it might just get blown over when you try to put your ill-conceived ideas out on this forum again in the future.
Okay, this is getting a tad ridiculous. There is a difference between someone having a lack of education and someone simply having a different point of view. One's preference of architecture is as subjective as one's preference of pizza toppings, and the only reason people are getting disgruntled with you is because you seem to consider your personal preference the objective truth, as if there even existed a fact and a fiction in this argument.
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  #69  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 3:31 AM
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This thread is the pinnacle of pretension.



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  #70  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 3:48 AM
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Realm, turn the sarcasm and arrogance WAY down, please. You're quickly running this towards a wall, and I'd hate to close this for those that actually want to civily debate the merits of the building without all of the crap. This also goes for the neo-classical thread at the top of this forum, which you're also about to completely ruin. Your's is not the only opinion.
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  #71  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 4:42 AM
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Forgive me. Frankly I didn't mean offense. And I'm sorry you all view me as pretentious because I do believe the public can learn to understand Modern Architecture. It takes effort, however. Architects don't inherently know what buildings are about. We don't just know how to design buildings because we're born with the skills. We learn it, just like any professionals. It isn't acceptable for the public to think they have the same knowledge as doctors or computer programmers. So why the double standard that takes away all the professional credibility of the architect? People think we're all about cool forms and that architecture is skin deep. I've posted several points on this thread that prove otherwise but no one seemed to listen. I only grew irritated as people continued to neglect my requests to reconsider some of their assumptions. I just want people to stop and ask a few more questions before they blast these buildings. Try to find out what the architect was really trying to do before you make a decision. I'm sorry if you think that translates to me telling you to have the exact opinion as me.
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  #72  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 4:53 AM
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For anyone who's interested, here is the link to Steven Holl's website where you can check out all of his buildings.

Again, I'm sorry to anyone I offended.

www.stevenholl.com
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  #73  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 5:14 AM
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Forgive me. Frankly I didn't mean offense. And I'm sorry you all view me as pretentious because I do believe the public can learn to understand Modern Architecture. It takes effort, however. Architects don't inherently know what buildings are about. We don't just know how to design buildings because we're born with the skills. We learn it, just like any professionals. It isn't acceptable for the public to think they have the same knowledge as doctors or computer programmers. So why the double standard that takes away all the professional credibility of the architect? People think we're all about cool forms and that architecture is skin deep. I've posted several points on this thread that prove otherwise but no one seemed to listen. I only grew irritated as people continued to neglect my requests to reconsider some of their assumptions. I just want people to stop and ask a few more questions before they blast these buildings. Try to find out what the architect was really trying to do before you make a decision. I'm sorry if you think that translates to me telling you to have the exact opinion as me.
By all means, if we're discussing the technicalities of actually designing a building, or discussing architectual history, or discussing how best to indicate importance with the building facade, or intricate geometries, or any number of other subjects, I would most definitely trust your knowledge and take your word for it. We're not talking about that though. We're simply discussing architectual preferences.

I'd trust a mechanic to fix my car over myself and my own amateur skills anyday, but just because a mechanic knows how to fix an exhaust manifold doesn't mean that the Ford Taurus is the greatest car on earth just because he drives one.
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  #74  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 1:13 PM
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Another example of why I never read Time magazine anymore.
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  #75  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 6:05 PM
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We're simply discussing architectual preferences.

Hrmmm, having thought about that for awhile it is now clear to me why the gross divide occurred here. I don't see this as a matter of 'preference' or 'taste' at all. Works of architecture (as opposed to mere 'buildings,' if the distinction should by now be clear) are all about ideas, they are like good books you have to really think about to understand. Whether the building is beautiful, you're right, is very intangible and subjective. Whether the building has real meaning or significance, on the other hand, is only determined by asking, 'What is this building doing?' The architect's aim is not first and foremost to create a 'beautiful' building that just looks nice (according to whom anyway?). It's the beauty in the ideas that really stirs the process of making architecture. To understand that is the first step toward developing a understanding why modern architecture looks the way it does. If, however, we persist in chalking things up to matters of 'preference,' then the public will never really like modern architecture.


Perhaps that should have come with a full 'pretention disclosure' at the top. Now I may be subject to further backlash. Look, I'm not trying to step on any toes...
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  #76  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 6:24 PM
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It looks like a cinderblock made out of glass. Boring, cold and unfriendly, outside and in.
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  #77  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 6:28 PM
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It reminds me of the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. I actually like the inside space.

Maybe I played too much Quake 4.
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  #78  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 7:00 PM
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who made the law were museums have to look so weird????????
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  #79  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2007, 8:50 PM
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It actually looks really conservative. The sinewy corridors might not be so conservative but the whole shape is conservative.
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 1:41 AM
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i hope the (soon to be) atlanta symphony center will be top on the list one day.
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