What Did YOU Do on My Summer Break? - This blog is going on a mini summer vacation for a couple weeks, so I'm highlighting a handful of architectural events taking place in New York City in tha...
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
What's wrong with modern architecture?
A friend of mine, Steve Murray of Minneapolis, likes to visit James Howard Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month online. Kunstler, the author of "Geography of Nowhere," takes suggestions from readers on supposed eyesores. The site features boxy buildings (like the one pictured above) and edgy new work by modernists like Daniel Libeskind. His addition to the Denver Art Museum was feature in November. So, here is Steve's question to modern architects and those who love them:
"I'm troubled and put-off -- even offended -- by looming, forbidding buildings that seem to be assembled from space junk. To me, the picture of Libeskind's Denver Art Museum looks exactly like the Star Wars-esque space fighter-ships that my son Ian made from Legos when he was 8 years old.
So I'll ask you: why do so many modern structures look deliberately forbidding? Why do they seem to be designed to give the uneasy impression that they're on the verge of toppling over and crushing anyone unlucky enough to be standing too closely? Why are the exteriors made of materials that look like they were salvaged from a plane crash, or a demolished quonset hut?
I'm not mocking here ... as I said, I don't get it and I admit as much. Are these buildings meant to be a comment on the horrific nature of an over-industrialized modern existence?"
Any takers on Steve's questions?