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  #681  
Old Posted May 12, 2008, 8:02 PM
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Some of the buildings championed by self-described "real critics" make me want to throw up... The Sofitel is decent, except for that nasty blank wall on the north side. But that's a small detail.

The Elysian is very much a real building, built in a real style... it is a real marker of taste in Chicago, and it is annoying to read again and again the condescending remarks made by many people here about this particular taste.

For some reason, many people in Chicago have a fondness for Second Empire Parisian architecture. Perhaps it's an expression of a mental "phantom limb" syndrome, after so much of Chicago's 19th century architecture and urbanity was brutally destroyed by modernism. Perhaps it's also a response of revulsion against the boring modernist architecture around it. "Less is a bore," it replies to modernism. The kinds of po-mo regression that it expresses (and that the Four Seasons across the street expresses less successfully) is for me a symptom of the failure of modernism with its audience, which is ultimately not, and never has been, the audience of self-conscious theoreticians from academic architecture programs.

In other words, Park Tower and the Elysian say something about Chicago, and I think they say something complex, important, and rooted in the history of the experience of Chicago architecture.

Moreover, the history of architecture is full of regressions, even in Chicago; I enjoyed the neo-Gothic UC campus... The modern Europe so idolized by some is full of "regressive" architecture. Isn't even the Capitol in D.C. neo-something?
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  #682  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 1:50 AM
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Thank all you guys for your explanations. I'm glad to get some background on what they are going for here. I don't know about any of the academic side of this, but maybe for those who study architecture the blending of styles is problematic or somehow less than pure, and I can understand that. But as for my personal likes and dislikes, it looks to me like they have taken a chateau or an old english building and made it into a beautiful towering building. And I like the "faux" stone look (albeit, I am sure it would be better if it were real stone work), I am slightly bored of every building going up looking like the Louvre or some other glassy structure. They are just not homey to me.

Ok, again, thanks for the info, good to hear the background and why people like/dislike the building.
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  #683  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 2:33 AM
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Regardless of liking the outside our not, the residences in this building are HUGE! Not really my style, but I don't suppose there meant to be. Nice to have two terraces too.
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  #684  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 3:04 AM
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Originally Posted by texcolo View Post
^

In defense of Adrian, I've never seen a 60 floor chateau in France. This looks like something that would go up in Turtle Creek in Dallas.

Well, one of the redeeming properties of the Elysian is that it is not like something in France. It's not Huis Ten Bosch* (although I liked that too) or that new-old French chateau in Tokyo**... it would be harder to defend those.


* Huis Ten Bosch, in Japan, from the official website, http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/



** Tokyo Yebisu Chateau Robuchon, from flickr:

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  #685  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 5:10 AM
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Well, one of the redeeming properties of the Elysian is that it is not like something in France. It's not Huis Ten Bosch* (although I liked that too) or that new-old French chateau in Tokyo**... it would be harder to defend those.


* Huis Ten Bosch, in Japan, from the official website, http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/



** Tokyo Yebisu Chateau Robuchon, from flickr:

Yes, but at least these are not 60 storeys tall.
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  #686  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 7:34 AM
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Funny you mention Huis Ten Bosch as I lived in Sasebo last summer. It's modeled after the Dutch though...is there a difference?

Anyways, we probably should reel this thread back on topic now.
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  #687  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 7:54 AM
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Originally Posted by AdrianXSands View Post
well, it is a faux building for faux people by a faux architect so why not?
I write computer programs and you remind me of an anology. Would you want directions for your software and computer written by the computer programmers? NO! But the programmers are so RIGHT. Get a grip, not everyone views something that is ugly as good looking like you do, just like a programmer views his instructions as best. Your architectural taste reminds me of former Soviet Block buildings but bent out of shape with wierd right angles. It is aweful. Oh tell me it isn't so, but unfortunetly your product needs to sell and that it doesn't. Also you tastes are sooooo... expensive. Too bad, the world is not made out of gold, thankfully or this would be one ugly world.

Just as computer programmers think the public just doesn't get it I fear the same is for architects.

Make fun of the, for example, Grand Plaza complex as much as you want but it actually has pedestrians outside it. OMG but it isn't hot, I mean the top half is not inverted with I dunno, ummm crap. Yeah I know the building sux and I know it would be so much cooler if it had your tastes but it would only look good from an airplane, meaning far away. Who cares if it works as part of the city, its gotta look cool.

You are not reality.
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Last edited by pip; May 13, 2008 at 8:07 AM.
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  #688  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 3:57 AM
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  #689  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 3:09 PM
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Jibba. Thanks for posting pics of this and other projects that don't usually receive much coverage. Thanks again....
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  #690  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 5:30 PM
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No problem, dude. I just happen to have way too much free time some days...that I spend taking pictures of skyscrapers.
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  #691  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 5:37 PM
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I also thank you for taking pics of a building that many here despise.

Last edited by Brian.; May 15, 2008 at 7:49 PM.
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  #692  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 7:40 PM
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^Haha, yep. Myself included, though, right?

Actually, after walking around the vicinity of Elysian extensively yesterday, I can safely say that I am glad this tower is going up. Although I have plenty of arguments against it, it at least tries to appear classy unlike plenty of other towers in the area that blatantly shove their cheapness and banality down your throat.
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  #693  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 7:54 PM
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Always nice to have another 700 footer anywhere in Chicago
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  #694  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 7:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaroslaw View Post
The Elysian is very much a real building, built in a real style... it is a real marker of taste in Chicago, and it is annoying to read again and again the condescending remarks made by many people here about this particular taste.
No. Its simply bullsh!t, adapting the APPEARANCE of a style of architcture (to be easily confused by those who know nothing about it) to a medium that that style of architecture was never designed to be used for. The only thing it shows about taste is that there are plenty of people ignorant about style, class, and architecture buying into a facade of high society and historical nostalgia. It simply shows people are too laugably unaware to actually have anything but faux taste.

(To be clear. I'm talking about the tastes of LaGrange, the developer, etc and not targeting any one individual in particular.)
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Last edited by Alliance; May 15, 2008 at 11:46 PM.
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  #695  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 8:27 PM
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Man, you are so severely ideological. And, of course entitled to be. But it's possible that at some point in life you will look a bit mre benignlyh on such adaptations. They have been going on in architecture for thousands of years and tend to thumb their collective noses at parochial convedntion of the moment. Often with diasterous results, granted; but often resulting in interestring hybrids that speak volumes about their times and people - - and sometimes even develop into accepted new standards.

That said; without your more severe brand of architectural judgement, this would be a bland world. So, keep it up; but try to keep a bit open too.
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  #696  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
No. Its simply bullsh!t, adapting the APPEARANCE of a style of architcture (to be easily confused by those who know nothing about it) to a medium that that style of architecture was never designed to be used for. The only thing it shows about taste is that there are plenty of people ignorant about style, class, and architecture buying into a facade of high society and historical nostalgia. It simply shows people are too laugably unaware to actually have anything but faux taste.
Ding ding ding! This sums up very well why I don't like this building. Well put.
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  #697  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
No. Its simply bullsh!t, adapting the APPEARANCE of a style of architcture (to be easily confused by those who know nothing about it) to a medium that that style of architecture was never designed to be used for. The only thing it shows about taste is that there are plenty of people ignorant about style, class, and architecture buying into a facade of high society and historical nostalgia. It simply shows people are too laugably unaware to actually have anything but faux taste.
Wow...you really think you've got it all figured out don't you. Nothing wrong with expressing your opinion but when it comes to degrading another’s, I would like to use your words and say that "Its simply bullsh!t".

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  #698  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 9:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DCCliff View Post
But it's possible that at some point in life you will look a bit mre benignlyh on such adaptations. They have been going on in architecture for thousands of years and tend to thumb their collective noses at parochial convedntion of the moment. Often with diasterous results, granted; but often resulting in interestring hybrids that speak volumes about their times and people - - and sometimes even develop into accepted new standards.
Amen. Many of the buildings from the 1920s or earlier were considered quite contrived and banal in their day, and now it seems just so obvious that they constitute "great architecture."

I think Alliance et al are forgetting the inherent subjectivity in architectural tastes. Personally, I agree with the general chintziness of the entire faux-French concept, but this tower definitely does not deserve to be lumped in with some of the soulless painted concrete monoliths of River North (Grand Plaza.....Grand Plaza.....) architecturally. A lot more thought and detail went into design and construction in Elysian, and I think it will very evidently show in the finished product that generally adds a good deal of character to its surrounding area (even if I may have preferred something in a different style).

The precast facade will appear "expensive" and elegant from street level (as do the many mansions in Gold Coast, Lincoln Park etc that have been clad in the same stone-like material), and the overall form and massing of the building will feel appropriate in context.
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  #699  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
No. Its simply bullsh!t, adapting the APPEARANCE of a style of architcture
Well you just described pretty much the entire baroque and rococo period of architecture, yet i don't think i'd call most of that stuff bullshit.

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(to be easily confused by those who know nothing about it)
Rarely does knowing anything about a style determine what a design achieves. By the time the Romanesque was a mature style it resembled little of ancient roman buildings.

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Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
...to a medium that that style of architecture was never designed to be used for.
Thank heavens no one pays attention to what building type a style originates from. Otherwise, we would not have the tribune building. Even FLW's (demolished) Larkin office building is just a high rise adaptation of the prairie style.

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Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
The only thing it shows about taste is that there are plenty of people ignorant about style, class, and architecture buying into a facade of high society and historical nostalgia. It simply shows people are too laugably unaware to actually have anything but faux taste.
I don't know of any building that exudes these qualities more so than the palace at Versailles, yet i think the architectural world is richer for it being here.

And while we're talking about faux tastes, pretty much all roman construction has very little sense of fidelity to building materials. They altered their building form regardless of their materials to satisfy their programmatic needs. Probably only the ancient Greeks, Gothics, and some Modern architects actually used materials with a real sense of truth. So if you're ready to disregarding anything that mimics something else you had better be prepared to discount a good chuck of architecture up to this point.


Listen, i don't have any problems with most of your criticisms, in fact, i agree that this building is underwhelming but, if you are going to take the elitist approach and criticize a person's tastes and sense of class, you had better bring some academic ammunition, otherwise you just appear jealous and ignorant yourself. If you're going to be above it all, then, you know, be above it all.
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  #700  
Old Posted May 16, 2008, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
No. Its simply bullsh!t, adapting the APPEARANCE of a style of architcture (to be easily confused by those who know nothing about it) to a medium that that style of architecture was never designed to be used for. The only thing it shows about taste is that there are plenty of people ignorant about style, class, and architecture buying into a facade of high society and historical nostalgia. It simply shows people are too laugably unaware to actually have anything but faux taste.

(To be clear. I'm talking about the tastes of LaGrange, the developer, etc and not targeting any one individual in particular.)
Now, I agree with you that the Elysian is entirely ugly and innapropriate, but your reasoning is wrong.

The Elysian is a total piece of excrement not because it is applying a style to a place where it 'shouldn't be' but because it is a skimpy cop out replication of that style. The materials are bad, the proportions are bad, the details are bad (the thing has friggin balconies)...nothing matches up with the style it is supposed to follow. If it were done in the right materials, with the right massing and the right details, it could be a beautiful building (architecturally regressive, but beautiful nonetheless).

This is the Ansonia, in New York. It is a spectacular high rise done up like a French Chateau that suceeds brilliantly because the architects paid attention to detail and the developers paid pretty penny.


wikipedia.org



Mind you every building (save Sullivan's Transportation Building) at the Columbian Exposition was revivalist, but nobody flipped shit because it was done right. It's ironic that architectural styles seen today as being unique to a time period and taboo to replicate were actually replicas themselves. If you're going to building something revivalist, DO IT RIGHT. Because if you don't, you get 60 storey towers of precast concrete with little carved in lines to give the impression of limestone the developers didn't want to spend money on.
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