04w17:1 Architorture

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 17 number 1 (architorture)

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” | John Massengale
“At the same time, the university announced a gift of an increasingly ubiquitous Gehry-designed building on the edge of the campus. Much of the money for Whitman College was donated by Meg Whitman, the young Chairman of eBay (a BoBo). While the Gehry building was donated by the octogenarian Princeton alumnus Peter Lewis, Gehry’s biggest patron. For ideological reasons, Whitman is more likely to appreciate Gehry’s design than Lewis is to like the new Gothic building. Gehry himself ungraciously and publicly criticized Whitman College, as did Robert Venturi, who has designed several important buildings at Princeton. I say ‘ungraciously’ not only because they are biting the hand that feeds them: why does Gehry feel that it is his role to lecture the students and tell them they must like what he likes? He went so far as saying that an institution of higher learning should not build a traditional building today. (How tolerant and pluralistic is that?)”

Eyesore of the Month (Nov 2003) | James Howard Kunstler
“Behold the new $30 million Ontario College of Art & Design classroom and studio building by British architect Will Alsop — a totemized retro-futuroid coffee table joined umbilically to its Soviet-style predecessor below. The message, apparently: art and design are nothing but fun fun fun. Nothing to get serious about. A playful spirit of induced hazard will keep students wondering when the checkered box might wobble free of its cute swizzle-stick legs and come crashing down on their heads. This exercise in hyper-entropic avant garde faggotry is so cutting edge that it is already out of date. The only question: which of the two conjoined buildings is more cruelly ridiculous?”

The Terrazzo Jungle | Malcolm Gladwell
“Fifty years ago, Victor Gruen designed a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant shopping complex with a garden court under a skylight – and today virtually every regional shopping center in America is a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight. Victor Gruen didn’t design a building; he designed an archetype. For a decade, he gave speeches about it and wrote books and met with one developer after another and waved his hands in the air excitedly, and over the past half century that archetype has been reproduced so faithfully on so many thousands of occasions that today virtually every suburban American goes shopping or wanders around or hangs out in a Southdale facsimile at least once or twice a month. Victor Gruen may well have been the most influential architect of the twentieth century. He invented the mall. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 19 April 2004 @ 10:47 PM

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