Saturday, January 31, 2009

+ Architectural crimes against humanity

+ the UN really should look into setting up a commission for the prosecution of Architectural Crimes Against Humanity.

+ was there ever a more smug profession than architecture?

+ when architects' creations are grand and remotely useful, they pile each other with awards and self-congratulations in the most ridiculously expansive terms

+ when architects build duds that blight the landscape and their inhabitant's lives for generations, they appear to get off scot-free

What happens when there is all reward and no punishment for architects? It seem unnatural and counter-evolutionary (sic) not to build in some kind of disincentive for self-aggrandising experimentation at the expense of society.

Check out these gems, gleaned at random from just 5 minutes research in an architectual mag. With fruity stuff like this, who needs satirists?

  • a beautifully resolved steel stair leads up to the supremely private master bedroom
  • the architect cleverly proposed that ...
  • the home offers a rich sequence of sightlines that sympathetically but assertively marries old and new
  • the clients are an architects's dream - educated and socially conscious, with a refined aestheticism that is evidenced by their collection of Scandinavian-inspired furniture. They have resisted the urge to add bedrooms, a media room, and a huge deck...
  • Tom decided to push back against the hostile context with what he calls an industro-residential architectural vocabulary (DH swears this is for real, and not a Larsen cartoon)
DH, too, has decided to push back against the hostile context of a roof with no insulation in a glasshouse facing west, with the clever solution of something she would like to call a plastic spray bottle of water intermittently directed at the portable fan. Yet she chooses to marry old and new by retaining that ever-servicable houso-tenantial vocabulary of " w...ers".

+ 08 National Architecture Awards

Thinking to give the architectural profession an opportunity to redeem itself, DH checked out the 2008 Australian Architecture Awards for Public Architecture. They went to 2 of our ritziest private schools, no doubt paid for by funds dragged out, along with the toenails, of public education by Howard et al whose legacy looks more and more repulsive by the minute. Here's some more prose...

  • The Centre for Learning and Leadership ... creates an enduring positive impact on the design of the public domain and on those who use and visit its facilities ... achieving an even greater public presence that conveys, through architecture, a commitment to the highest standards of education and the development of the individual in society
  • The architecture ... conveys a “no-nonsense” message – a bold and purposeful architecture that is heartening to contemplate when considering the education of young women.

Bold and purposeful alright, though DH prefers the terms "brazen" and "relentless" when considering the upper classes' capacity to cream off the fat of the land for themselves and congratulate themselves for it to boot. Pity the ordinary school kid who doesn't get to "use and visit" such wonders.

Let's be fair. No-one wants to put chains on anyone's dreams, and DH dreams of winning the lottery and having a dream home too. She has to admit that she is utterly ignorant of egalitarian movements in architecture as no doubt there are such, and looks forward to educating herself further in the future.

Meanwhile, there's "Architects Sans Frontieres" and "Emergency Architects".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Architects often refer to other architects work as excrement and ask that such architects refrain from the production any further excretions. This is the description I contemplate expressing when faced with public housing. How they build these monstrosities and say they want you to fit in to the suburb when half the people in your barrio are responsible all the crimes in the area.