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December 01, 2008

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James Bodi

Um. As amusing as it would be to have cities where you could walk upright in the AC ducts (avoiding the deadly overpowered ventilation fans of course) and there were sluiceways for easy removal of all the zombie parts ... I think game designers would be as bad as Modernists in their own way, lumbering us with gigantor pyramid arcologies and domes and such because they looked so awesome on the computer screen.

I think the best plan is to legislate that the historical building protections don't apply to anything built after 1940 or so, and let cities redevelop their own way out of the horror. Eventually a new, pleasing style will come along. Hopefully.

Dennis Brennan

I was going to respond with an essay about how Louis Kahn was basically a bigamist, and Frank Lloyd Wright was a rotten family man, but then I went and found this:
http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/?p=27

Tony Zbaraschuk

One wonders what 20th century architecture will be known and loved and admired in, say, the mid-22nd century?

Charlie Stross

James, I figure it's vital to keep some of the post-1940 buildings -- including the very worst of them -- pour encourager les autres. Indeed, this has happened in the UK, where most of the worst examples of 60s Brutalism have been torn down, but some archetypes that are structurally sound have been Listed, for pretty much this reason.

(Also: there are some modernist buildings that are just lovely -- although regrettably they're in the minority.)

Charlie Stross

James, I figure it's vital to keep some of the post-1940 buildings -- including the very worst of them -- pour encourager les autres. Indeed, this has happened in the UK, where most of the worst examples of 60s Brutalism have been torn down, but some archetypes that are structurally sound have been Listed, for pretty much this reason.

(Also: there are some modernist buildings that are just lovely -- although regrettably they're in the minority.)

James Bodi

But we'd have pictures, Charlie. Wouldn't pictures be scary enough? Well, perhaps not, given that the original drawings didn't cause the patrons to choose new architects. So perhaps you're right - but bear in mind I grew up in Toronto, City of the Repulsive Buildings.

Carlos

Two words, Doug: Las Vegas.

(Benjamin was comparing architecture to mass media seventy years ago; Venturi made his study of the Las Vegas strip nearly forty years ago. Nihil sub sole novum.)

(And before you ask, architects and theme park designers have been working together for decades.)

(Anyway.)

Jussi Jalonen

Since Toronto has been mentioned, I should probably note that if anything, Viljo Revell, who bears the responsibility for the City Hall - presumably one of those repulsive buildings mentioned by James - at least cannot be blamed for lacking empathy in his personal life and imagination.

Not sure if his background had anything to do with it, but one assumes that serving on the warship "Ilmarinen" and escaping its destruction just barely may have had an impact on him. As a human being, he was OK.

Still, he was also accused of "concrete brutalism", the sausage building as the most famous example. Personally, I suspect that in that particular case, he was basically just giving the people of Helsinki what they deserved, and using the architecture to reveal the true character of the city.


Cheers,

J. J.

Josh

"mid-20th century "modern" architecture mostly sucks"

Funny you should say this, given that it's currently undergoing a bit of a rehabilitation. (Dunno if you've ever heard of Dwell magazine http://www.dwell.com , but it's one of the more visible attempts at rescuing mid-century modern's reputation.) There's quite a lot of good mid-century modern out there. (See this: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/house-tours/dwell-on-design-ray-kappes-classic-mid-century-home-053099 , for example.)

Ikram

Toronto is full of beautiful modern buildings (like the iconic city hall), as well as ugly ones. Here's Spacing's Sean Micallef with a wonderful article on Modernist toronto.

I love the TD centre, and if you ever tour their boardrooms, all the furniture is still from the 60s. Very cool.

Ikram

Toronto is full of beautiful modern buildings (like the iconic city hall), as well as ugly ones. Here's Spacing's Sean Micallef with a wonderful article on Modernist toronto.

I love the TD centre, and if you ever tour their boardrooms, all the furniture is still from the 60s. Very cool.

Ikram

Toronto is full of beautiful modern buildings (like the iconic city hall), as well as ugly ones. Here's Spacing's Sean Micallef with a wonderful article on Modernist toronto.

http://www.drunkenboat.com/db8/canadanonfiction/micallef/Micallef%20utopia%20excerpt.pdf

I love the TD centre, and if you ever tour their boardrooms, all the furniture is still from the 60s. Very cool. I also liked the now demolished Bata Shoe Headquarters. I wish T.O. had given this building a heritage designation

http://www.uer.ca/locations/show.asp?locid=24546

Keir

One wonders what 20th century architecture will be known and loved and admired in, say, the mid-22nd century?

Everything out of the Bauhaus (van der Rohe and Gropius) and De Stijl (especially Rietveld); Le Corbusier; Saarinen, Gaudi, heaps of the German Expressionists.

Manhattan.

An awful lot of Brutalist architecture, like the Centre Pompidou and a bunch of universities/hospitals/general-gov't stuff will be quite loved. (Or it should be.)

Probably an awful lot of Modernist buildings. Modern architecture isn't stunningly bad, and is, in places, often quite brilliant.

Dennis Brennan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googie_architecture

Tomorrowland, "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas", Wildwood NJ, your neighborhood bowling alley.

Will Baird

fah. The cube abortions they're coming with now are even worse, IMNSHO.

We need a real architectural innovator again. gah.

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/12/48_langton_not_official_inventory_but_officially_on_the.html
http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/11/the_socketsite_scoop_and_rumor_confirmed_artani_is_susp.html
http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/11/the_noe_valley_summit_gets_closer_still_and_new_listing.html

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