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View Diary: An architect dies. His greatest building lives... for now. (43 comments)

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  •  I don't have a ready answer. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badscience, NYFM, SadieSue

    Who decides is a very interesting question. Museums and theatres rotate and change their offerings, so they can't inflict the damage that architectue does. Large public architecture and monumental art are going to be with us for a while, so I'm inclined against  those who "understand the current state of the field the best" as having their noses too close to the latest trend, unless they also convincingly show a love for history and context. I'd also insist that people who have to live with the thing have a say. Whoever greenlighted Tilted Arc - whoever encourages Serra, period - should spend the rest of his life as a Pentagon file clerk with no contact with any living human.

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:41:02 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Heh. Yeah, Tilted Arc is an irritant. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, Prof Haley

      Mostly because of what it does, not what it looks like.

      I went to the Guggenheim in late May; the spiral was closed and being repainted for a new exhibition. I felt like I was seeing the structure for the first time as the architect had intended. Although it is an art museum, I would imagine Wright felt that the artwork detracted from his masterpiece. And it is a masterpiece. Looks much better without art in the spiral.

      Even the bathrooms are wonderful, if tiny. Wouldn't pass code today!

      I actually don't much like the 'arts in architecture' program. Here is why. You get plop art, or you get not very well-designed art that is an add-on to some public structure (police station, overpass bridge, airport parking lot). Rarely does this art elevate its surroundings or transcend the building that paid for its existence. I would prefer that money go into a building that is well-designed and perhaps rises to art itself - get a good architect! Or into sustainable and attractive landscaping, integrated into the site. Or a public park on the site.

      Seattle has some very nice art/architecture partnerships and perhaps is the one instance where some really good stuff has come from it.

      •  Well, I'd say (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badscience, NYFM

        that Tilted Arc is plentifully ugly, though the trashing of the functionality of its former space was the worse offense.

        And as much as I'd like to agree with this:

        I would prefer that money go into a building that is well-designed and perhaps rises to art itself - get a good architect!
        we need a strong mechanism for excluding things like Kallmann's Boston City Hall. This is one ugly building.

        into the blue again, after the money's gone

        by Prof Haley on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:28:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Ugly" is subjective (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYFM, Prof Haley, nchristine

          but the crime of its transgression on space is pretty objective. In the right context, "Tilted Arc" could be not-plentifully-ugly.

          Which isn't to pooh-pooh your feelings that it was ugly: plenty of people agree! I felt it was ugly in that space, but objectively it killed that space.

          I don't really like Boston City Hall, but I don't think it is ugly. It is the beneficiary of a lot of justifiable anger against urban renewal of the sort that sweeps aside intact neighborhoods (particularly those with "problem" citizens, however they might be defined), and a lot of judgment that compares what it is to what was there, or its style vs. "old stuff" which is easier on the eyes and on the intellect.

          I think its crimes are more akin to those of Tilted Arc: it is insensitive to its space and its users. Formally I think it is pretty interesting.

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