A shift of opinion illustrated

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  • edited 2018-05-19 15:43:49

    I had fun when this article was floating around my dash because it turns out if you phrase something with the correct talking points you can turn avowed communists into raving traditionalists and I got to feel Incredibly fucking smug at the expense of leftists
  • My dreams exceed my real life
    Look, I am just here to mock Sam Kriss
  • My dreams exceed my real life
    image

    That said I would not like to convalesce here, because it looks like the candy palace of Prince Gumdrop, and I feel all the sugar would make me sicker
  • Munch munch, chomp chomp...
    wow, rude to centie
  • I would go there
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    image

    i don't have anything against contemporary architecture in the general sense, but turning traditionalist when confronted with such an antisocially hideous blight on the skyline is the only reasonable and humane response
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    like that just screams, 'i want people to look at this and feel soul-crushing misery'
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    one Eisenman-designed house so departed from the normal concept of a house that its owners actually wrote an entire book about the difficulties they experienced trying to live in it. For example, Eisenman split the master bedroom in two so the couple could not sleep together, installed a precarious staircase without a handrail, and initially refused to include bathrooms
    this is great though

    stupid but great
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    The Kunsthaus (a representative example of “blobitecture”) cannot coexist peacefully with the things surrounding it, because it’s impossible to stop looking at it. Like the streaker at the football game, the building parades in front of us with such vulgar shamelessness that no amount of willpower can peel our eyes away.

    the problem with this argument - while i broadly agree with the overall point that buildings should be in keeping with their surroundings - is that it demonstrates that it's actually a lie to suggest that brutalist architecture is everywhere, because if it was it wouldn't stand out
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    ok i finished it

    i thought the article had some good ideas, or at least ones i found agreeable, but is way too dismissive of contemporary architects and Frank Gehry in particular, and the 'blorp' thing at the end is phrased like it's the decisive last word when in fact it's trivial and stupid
  • But polling suggests that devotees of contemporary architecture are overwhelmingly in the minority: aside from monuments, few of the public’s favorite structures are from the postwar period. (When the results of the poll were released, architects harrumphed that it didn’t “reflect expert judgment” but merely people’s “emotions,” a distinction that rather proves the entire point.)

    <bites back high art derail>
  • BeeBee
    edited 2018-05-19 20:17:51
    I will say this much though


    Here is one hospital in Barcelona. Source: AcidCow
    Here is another. Where would you rather convalesce?

    For a hospital?  The latter.  I don't want to end up dead because tourists jammed the parking lot and surrounding streets when the ambulance got there, and the crash cart had to navigate a gorgeous series of fucking courtyards and bell towers and shit to get to the OR to stent my left ventricle.  Much as I appreciate the general thrust of the article, some things do need to be compact and efficient, and you can do that without turning them into a concrete block of despair.
  • edited 2018-05-19 18:31:36
    imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    Bee said:

    But polling suggests that devotees of contemporary architecture are overwhelmingly in the minority: aside from monuments, few of the public’s favorite structures are from the postwar period. (When the results of the poll were released, architects harrumphed that it didn’t “reflect expert judgment” but merely people’s “emotions,” a distinction that rather proves the entire point.)

    <bites back high art derail>

    see i would tend to agree with the article-writer on this one: architecture is not like other forms of art, it's not in a gallery someplace

    if you don't like Transformers films, you don't have to watch them all the time; even if you don't like the music on the radio you're free to not listen to it when you're at home - or if not, the issue is with your family, or neighbours

    whereas architecture can drastically change the environment you live and work in.  You can't avoid your surroundings without moving away altogether

    anyway yeah i see no issue with that hospital.  or most contemporary architecture, really, i just think context is important and you shouldn't actively hate the residents
  • BeeBee
    edited 2018-05-19 18:41:09
    Yeah I'm totally on board with that part.  Which is why I'm content to quietly facepalm at pretentious high art, and I'd actually make a stink about bad pretentious architecture.  Being aesthetically pleasing is fundamentally part of the function of a building, and forcing people to live in or even around a godawful opalescent pancreas or a literal bare concrete box has actual effects on their well-being that aren't worth some overstuffed idiot's ability to sneer at the masses.
  • Mostly, I'm glad that the article introduced me to Christopher Alexander.

    He really seems like my type of person.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2018-05-19 20:21:16
    And like, you can do cool and unusual stuff without falling into eyesore.  Here's the Kelley Engineering Center at OSU, where I learned programming and electrical engineering.  All that cold, unfeeling robot-ass shit.

    image

    image

    image

    Let me tell you, it was a VERY pleasant place just to be around, and that fact actively contributed to my quality of life even under stress.  I'd hang out there between classes because it was just that pleasant.

    When I was at UO I had to take a lot of garbage general ed classes.  Most of them were held here in Lillis.

    image

    image

    Kiiiinda takes the edge off the drudgery.  Not pictured because I couldn't find any shots with the building in the background: flickering wind fences around the back.

    And here's Willamette where I learned, you know, actual science.  All that boring mechanical shit REAL artists hate.

    image

    image

    image

    Not pictured: a fucking forested amphitheater with a nearby stream in the back, because if there's one thing hippies get right it's setting.  None of these buildings are older than 1989, by the way.  This is what modern architecture needs to be.

    And you know what?  You can get weird and quirky too.  Here's the old Longaberger office in Ohio.

    image

    They used to make baskets, pottery, crafts, etc.  The company went under, but all you really have to do to make it a nice office building is take the novelty handles off.  It may feel out of place, but it's the kind of out of place that make people feel happy because it turns out people like picnics in a way they don't like concrete bomb shelters.

    Here's the Wonderworks in Orlando.

    image

    It's weird, silly...and, you know, a children's museum in a commercial area instead of a place people are expected to actually live.  Though in all honesty I wouldn't mind living next to it, because a weird and silly children's museum does a lot better for local ambience than some shiny blob-ass space turd that's supposed to actually be a house or a brutalist's aggressively contagious need for Zoloft made manifest.

    But if you actually want residential space, well, here's some apartments in Milan.

    image

    It's weird and disruptive, but it feels alive in a way this other stuff doesn't.  The only downside is it probably has a nasty price tag -- but even just from this, we can learn a lot about a proper facade for a more low-income building that tells people "this is a place for you to live" instead of "this is a place for you to be stored between work hours".
  • edited 2018-05-19 19:47:17
    Tachyon said:

    Bee said:

    But polling suggests that devotees of contemporary architecture are overwhelmingly in the minority: aside from monuments, few of the public’s favorite structures are from the postwar period. (When the results of the poll were released, architects harrumphed that it didn’t “reflect expert judgment” but merely people’s “emotions,” a distinction that rather proves the entire point.)

    <bites back high art derail>

    see i would tend to agree with the article-writer on this one: architecture is not like other forms of art, it's not in a gallery someplace

    if you don't like Transformers films, you don't have to watch them all the time; even if you don't like the music on the radio you're free to not listen to it when you're at home - or if not, the issue is with your family, or neighbours

    whereas architecture can drastically change the environment you live and work in.  You can't avoid your surroundings without moving away altogether
    Yeah this is kind of the most important thing and it's maddening how much people ignore it when arguments about brutalism and stuff come up.

    I agree with the main thrust of this article but parts of it annoy me. Like, it kinda conflates brutalism with more modern stuff, which on one hand makes sense because a lot of what the article is talking about applies to both, but there are big differences. Like, one of the things that makes the worst brutalist buildings so awful is their lack of windows, whereas modern buildings are more likely to be made entirely of windows. Which is equally boring, but much more pleasant to work in.

    Also this part
    It should be obvious to anyone that skyscrapers should
    be abolished. After all, they embody nearly every bad tendency in
    contemporary architecture: they are not part of nature, they are
    monolithic, they are boring, they have no intricacy, and they have no
    democracy. Besides, there is plenty of space left on earth to spread out
    horizontally; the only reasons to spread vertically are phallic and
    Freudian.
    is just incredibly shortsighted and bad. It's actually a good thing that there are still forests that haven't been demolished to build cities, and it's also a good thing when people live close enough to where they work that they can walk or take public transit rather than putting more and more cars on the road.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2018-05-19 20:31:04
    You know, I think one of the only things I disagree with in the article (in addition to ^ that) is this:
    The contemporary architect’s passion is aligning elements in ways that intentionally jarring, disorderly, and frustrating.
    I don't mind the jarring, disorderly alignment, because life -- even good life -- is jarring and disorderly and should be.  I mind that it deliberately sets out to actively suppress any scrap of happiness and well-being people might be able to find in their very real lives that they have to live out in the shadow of the architect's virulent nihilism.

    This, for instance, I'd be willing to give a pass.

    image

    And here's the reason.  My first reaction isn't "oh God all of civilization is decaying and progress is a fruitless endeavor and we should all just kill ourselves".  My reaction is "hey, what's in there?"

    I guess while I'm totally on board with having a sense of local coherence and cultural unity, I don't really mind having a couple things shake it up as long as they're not too stark.  IMO the swiss cheese tower still looks enough like its surroundings to be merely disruptive, like the weird kid in class who makes everyone giggle and sometimes ends up in national papers for doing something really cool you didn't expect.  While Space Blob amidst suburban houses is actively destructive, like the creepy kid in class who ends up in national papers because he fucking ate someone.
  • I like the basket building
  • “Alice is like Princess Kaguya, except instead of being found in a stalk of bamboo and sending suitors on impossible quests, she was found in a toy store and eats all the candy.” – Fossilmaiden
    Fun fact: the "handles" of the basket building are heated so that ice can't build up on them during the winter time.
  • the kanji that composed her name were etched on her katana blade, the sky a firey carpet at the sunset of the longest day....
    Tachyon said:

    image

    i don't have anything against contemporary architecture in the general sense, but turning traditionalist when confronted with such an antisocially hideous blight on the skyline is the only reasonable and humane response

    I was under the impression that buildings like this were quite rare. 

    I'm not even sure what I'm looking at here actually. My first thought is "some kind of prison"
  • My dreams exceed my real life
    Taylor Swift is definitely better than Saint Paul's Cathedral tho
  • Jane said:

    Tachyon said:

    image

    i don't have anything against contemporary architecture in the general sense, but turning traditionalist when confronted with such an antisocially hideous blight on the skyline is the only reasonable and humane response

    I was under the impression that buildings like this were quite rare. 

    I'm not even sure what I'm looking at here actually. My first thought is "some kind of prison"
    My "favourite" example as far as "looks like a prison" goes is fucking CAMH. I have no idea how anyone managed to convince themself that a mental health hospital should look like that.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2018-05-19 23:39:22
    Jane said:

    Tachyon said:

    image

    i don't have anything against contemporary architecture in the general sense, but turning traditionalist when confronted with such an antisocially hideous blight on the skyline is the only reasonable and humane response

    I was under the impression that buildings like this were quite rare. 

    I'm not even sure what I'm looking at here actually. My first thought is "some kind of prison"
    IIRC it's the SESC Pompeia, a culture and rec center in Sao Paolo.  Stuff like a community theater, rented event space, etc.

    It...doesn't look much more uplifting from inside.  Kind of like the back part of a Costco.

    image

    I will reiterate, this is the building the architect expects locals to go to when they want to feel good about themselves and their community.
  • ...And even when your hope is gone
    move along, move along, just to make it through
    I think the building looks neat!
  • “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    Dunking on Sam Kriss and boring-as-piss post-Brutalist skyscrapers aside, dear gods, is that article smug and self-important. It hits upon some legitimate issues with modern architectural practice and the philosophies on the left and right surrounding it, but the underlying presumptions about what constitutes "objective beauty," while eclectic, are frightfully rigid, with the delivery being remarkably pretentious. It's like what Contrapoints said about how Marxists tend to view postmodernists writ large: "You're effete élites who don't live in the Real World! Waaaahhh!" Less horrid than the No Fun Squad, but still insufferable.

    For my part, I happen to like Brutalist architecture in small doses, and "blobitecture" can be downright fun. Furthermore, as pointed out, skyscrapers in general are more ecologically sound by far than urban sprawl.
  • edited 2018-05-20 02:32:56
    Call for help.
    Yeah, I feel like these debates tend to go on a binary?

    Like, the only options that apparently exist are either dull Brutalist structures or overly ornate classical-inspired ones.

    Some of the buildings Bee posted in here, along with Christopher Alexander's buildings (still am grateful for that article for introducing him to me, if nothing else), show good examples of ways to potentially reconcile the two extremes, if people were willing to take them.
  • “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    Personally, as someone who loves both extremes of design when done with imagination and vision, I am much more inclined to side with Eisenman in his more reasonable moments where he states that wildly disruptive and bizarre architecture can coexist with more traditional and functional spaces than I am with this binarist anti-intellectual condemnation of all which is stark, minimal, disconcerting, absurd, uncanny or simply against the grain in building design.
  • I don't think it's really of any surprise with our tastes that I'm more inclined towards Alexander's design philosophy and you're more inclined towards Eisenmann's.

    I can agree that neither of them really comes off looking good in that debate mentioned in that article, though. I'm also not super-inclined to defend the article itself, for the reasons alluded to in this thread.
  • edited 2018-05-20 07:56:24
    “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    I do respect Alexander, though, don’t get me wrong, and Eisenman definitely comes off as high-handed and snobbish. But it says a lot about the way the writers frame their arguments in how they mention Eisenman’s more moderate statements in passing before bashing or glossing over them as wrongheaded because they imply compromise and that’s not a narrative they want.

    Furthermore, they compare Eisenman derisively to Ayn Rand’s architectural übermensch Howard Roark and his obsession with a singular vision to the point of sabotage, yet completely miss Roark’s reasoning behind his actions, and thus much of Rand’s point. Roark’s domiciles are designed so that each resident may enter and exit without being watched and may have their own private view of the world around them neither obstructed by nor visible from any other vantage point. It is architecture for the sake of each member of the mass as an individual, to give them their own home with their own vista to contemplate where who knows their business and who should share their world with them is entirely their choice. It’s very un-Marxist, but it’s also very human and empowering, and not at all some uninhabitable piece of deconstructionist sculpture.

    ...my mom really likes The Fountainhead. Not a big fan of Rand’s other novels, though. Or her politics, anti-clericalism and disdain for plutocrats aside. But most people ignore those things about her philosophy anyway, particularly her fusionist fanboys.
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    i haven't read it, but the way you describe it, Roark sounds kinda like the antithesis of Eisenman, if anything
  • edited 2018-05-20 14:38:13

    this binarist anti-intellectual condemnation of all which is stark, minimal, disconcerting, absurd, uncanny or simply against the grain in building design.

    But like this is the whole thing about architecture vs other sorts of art. It is, perhaps, anti-intellectual to declare that such things have no aesthetic value, but that's somewhat beside the point. I don't want to live or work in a building that is stark, minimal, disconcerting, absurd, or uncanny, regardless of whether or not I can appreciate its aesthetics when I place myself as an outside observer.

    Especially in the (incredibly common) case that these aesthetic choices, in addition to being weird, actively make the building worse for its intended purpose. For instance, the psychology building at Waterloo. Allegedly, its internal layout was supposed to represent the structure of the brain. I'm sure the architect felt very clever coming up with that idea. But the net outcome is that the building is fucking impossible to find your way around in.

    And I'd consider any building that makes the people who spend 40 hours a week there uncomfortable to be a failure of design, too.
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    yeah i mean i can see the value of something like that in a theme park or a video game

    but like, the example Eisenman pitched as student accommodation?  that's just cruel
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    that thing with the sky bridges makes the LA twin towers look cute and cuddly 
  • Glenn "The Goose" Harvey
    oh gosh this is an architecture thread i need to shower now but i may have too much to say later
  • Glenn "The Goose" Harvey
    i posted in this thread then forgot all about it :(
  • Glenn "The Goose" Harvey
    Odradek said:

    image


    That said I would not like to convalesce here, because it looks like the candy palace of Prince Gumdrop, and I feel all the sugar would make me sicker
    Things look a bit too a like here that it might be hard to find one's way around.  Needs a bit more visual variety.


    Tachyon said:

    image

    i don't have anything against contemporary architecture in the general sense, but turning traditionalist when confronted with such an antisocially hideous blight on the skyline is the only reasonable and humane response

    V V Y V

    What exactly are those "holes" on the side of the building on the left anyway?  They don't seem like windows.  I could understand oddly-shaped windows, but...
  • edited 2020-12-21 21:33:38
    Glenn "The Goose" Harvey
    Bee said:


    Here is one hospital in Barcelona. Source: AcidCow
    Here is another. Where would you rather convalesce?

    Bee said:

    For a hospital?  The latter.  I don't want to end up dead because tourists jammed the parking lot and surrounding streets when the ambulance got there, and the crash cart had to navigate a gorgeous series of fucking courtyards and bell towers and shit to get to the OR to stent my left ventricle.  Much as I appreciate the general thrust of the article, some things do need to be compact and efficient, and you can do that without turning them into a concrete block of despair.
    The latter building seems rather functional and with reasonable window coverage.

    The spiky palm trees are more amusing though.
  • Glenn "The Goose" Harvey
    Bee said:

    When I was at UO I had to take a lot of garbage general ed classes.  Most of them were held here in Lillis.

    image

    image

    Kiiiinda takes the edge off the drudgery.  Not pictured because I couldn't find any shots with the building in the background: flickering wind fences around the back.

    And here's Willamette where I learned, you know, actual science.  All that boring mechanical shit REAL artists hate.

    image

    image

    image

    Not pictured: a fucking forested amphitheater with a nearby stream in the back, because if there's one thing hippies get right it's setting.  None of these buildings are older than 1989, by the way.  This is what modern architecture needs to be.


    Here's the Wonderworks in Orlando.

    image

    It's weird, silly...and, you know, a children's museum in a commercial area instead of a place people are expected to actually live.  Though in all honesty I wouldn't mind living next to it, because a weird and silly children's museum does a lot better for local ambience than some shiny blob-ass space turd that's supposed to actually be a house or a brutalist's aggressively contagious need for Zoloft made manifest.

    But if you actually want residential space, well, here's some apartments in Milan.

    image

    It's weird and disruptive, but it feels alive in a way this other stuff doesn't.  The only downside is it probably has a nasty price tag -- but even just from this, we can learn a lot about a proper facade for a more low-income building that tells people "this is a place for you to live" instead of "this is a place for you to be stored between work hours".
    (Several of the pictures in the quoted post are now broken embeds so I've clipped them out.)

    Those UO buildings actually look pretty reasonably nice and inviting from the outside.

    But my personal favorite is the one that looks up at the hanging staircase.



    The Wonderworks building I somehow confused with Ripley's Believe It Or Not also in Orlando's touristy area.  Regardless, both are examples of intentional novelty architecture.



    The Milan residential towers with the trees look pretty nice.  I wonder whether maintaining those plants is easy.
  • edited 2020-12-22 03:15:18
    Glenn "The Goose" Harvey
    Bee said:

    I don't mind the jarring, disorderly alignment, because life -- even good life -- is jarring and disorderly and should be.  I mind that it deliberately sets out to actively suppress any scrap of happiness and well-being people might be able to find in their very real lives that they have to live out in the shadow of the architect's virulent nihilism.

    This, for instance, I'd be willing to give a pass.

    image

    And here's the reason.  My first reaction isn't "oh God all of civilization is decaying and progress is a fruitless endeavor and we should all just kill ourselves".  My reaction is "hey, what's in there?"

    I guess while I'm totally on board with having a sense of local coherence and cultural unity, I don't really mind having a couple things shake it up as long as they're not too stark.  IMO the swiss cheese tower still looks enough like its surroundings to be merely disruptive, like the weird kid in class who makes everyone giggle and sometimes ends up in national papers for doing something really cool you didn't expect.  While Space Blob amidst suburban houses is actively destructive, like the creepy kid in class who ends up in national papers because he fucking ate someone.
    See, these are actual windows.  As opposed to those strange red holes in the other building.
  • i posted in this thread then forgot all about it :(

    that may be so but it doesn't really explain why you're replying to years-old posts from users who don't even come here anymore
  • glenn has Opinions
  • what is the internet for. if ot for screaming your opinions into the void
  • brutalism is good , by the way, but usually utilised incredibly badly especially in european towns / cities. of course a concrete car opark looks like it sucks when it is ext to a bunch of historic buildings and the architect hsa given no thought into how it fits into its surroundings. i live in a city which is mostly utilitarian concrete buildings and tbf i like it

    then again possibly dont listen to my opinion because i see, like, a chemical factory or coal fired power plant, and think 'that looks cool as hell'
  • decommission all the coal fired power plants imo, use wind power instead. and, then let me live in the power plant.
  • some power plants look cool, I'll give you that
  • My dreams exceed my real life
    sunn wolf said:

    decommission all the coal fired power plants imo, use wind power instead. and, then let me live in the power plant.

    If you told me you lived in an abandoned power plant I'd probably be like "Well, checks out"
  • “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    My opinions still stand, for the record. I like Brutalism when it's used correctly.
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