Libeskind folly

World architecture... what's happening generally....

Libeskind folly

Postby takeda » Thu Mar 06, 2003 9:52 pm

I read in the papers today that the winner of the world trade centre has designed a building that is 1776 feet tall, casts no shadows on the site on 11th September and is suggestive of the statue of liberty and that the owners of the site say it will never be built. Bit naff don't you think?

Also his museum in Manchester was designed by throwing a teapot and joining together the bits, what's that all about, then?
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Postby BRUTUS » Fri Mar 07, 2003 3:13 pm

It was somehow a strange choice for the people concerned with choosing the winning design for a new WTC,I found it almost absurd to reflect the "statue" of liberty in an "abstract" architectural manner,because the uniqueness of the "statue"- or any statue in the world- is an independent unique theme by itself and this is a general case in any of the world's famous landmarks,can anyone imagine creating an abstract architectural designs that may resemble the Eiffel Tower in the heart of Paris...??!,total absurdity in the architectural logic needless to say about creating an almost a perplexing architectural phenomena to the famous skyline of NewYork.....and on the other hand there's this altitude vs historical event issue !,1776 "feet" that reflect(according to the architect) the year of independence,ok what about other countries that follows other systems of units,example: the metric system of length,what did he create in a broad perspective for others in the general architectural sense?
in my humble opinion,the Libeskind 's scheme
carried lots of artificially intended themes,shallow approaches concerning the urban memory of the city and the existing urban tissue of site...

regards....
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Mar 07, 2003 3:15 pm

i quite like the theory behind the Imperial War Museum in Manchester - a 'celebration' of war so to speak, the shards are fragments of a world blown apart....
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Postby BRUTUS » Fri Mar 07, 2003 4:52 pm

concerning his Imperial war museum design I did found him using a similar explanations same path of architectural vocabulary to verify his own architectural manifestations,as an example the conflict between order and disorder....to develop the realm of the in between....the contemporary world that is shattered into fragments...shards of history...constellation of three interlocking shards...etc
to be fair with this design I can not judge the actual success of its architectural presence unless I visit the musuem and "test" the effect of its space on me,a real ,live and three dimensional interaction thru the interiors and exteriors or by using his words the "participatory experience"
I am affraid that from what is published , the external constellation of the three giant masses is caught in the interface of Zaha's fragmented sharp masses and the famous Gehry's shiny titanium "monster"....
I think that the final words should be for the interior,relation between the horizontal vs vertical circulations,and the spatial presence ...

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Postby takeda » Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:27 pm

Sory Brutus, I am not an architect so some of your explanation escapes me but it is obvious though that your views are strongly held. I live in Manchester and have been to the Imperial War Museum. Now breaking a globe or whatever may well be a stimulus for a sculptural piece on the desolation and destruction of war but for a work of architecture it is child like in its thinking and utterly banal in my view. The proof though is in the finished building which is soulless and filled with meaning less spaces.

Someone told me this building is up for the top British architecture award, have we all gone mad? The new residential tower on Deansgate is a much more imposing and rigourous building
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Postby BRUTUS » Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:36 pm

Well what I found in his new WTC design this awkward alien building to the usual urban tissue of the city of NewYork(what is meant by an urban tissue-which is similar by the way to the physiological tissue analogously speaking,when a group of buildings works harmoniously whithin a similar pattern ,shape and close intimate shape and may share a close "spirit" the form what is known by an urban tissue-,the element of horizontality,the usual orthogonal character of the common American skyscraper is missing in his design,which was long time ago a common icon for the American city image , aside of the verticality of his building which is a must by the way,you can not find any resemblance to the actual site and its surrounding,in my opinion it's not a matter of creating monumentality,exhibitionism in the architectural logic,because the usual virtual surreal screen that concentrate its effect on the direct visual presence is usually temporary,I once compare this style,I mean the style of the so-called "expressionist" architects in general by the influence of magicians and their use of smoke and mirrors to induce the wanted psychological effect,unfortunately lots of architects doesn't share my personal opinion concerning their style and lots of artistic/architectural mood is strongly directed and even intentionally oriented by the (art/architecture) critics which follow the stream of the (media-star) system and everything is accepted under the post-modern sun as long as the form in post-modern architecture may follow imagination,anyway this could be a wide off topic issue and by going back to the Libeskind designs,I pesonally find his masses aggressive and unstable,when I compare his design by Zaha Hadid's style and Frank Gehry's Bilbao musuem,this was to show his style is not genuine aesthetically speaking.
what about his winning WTC design?
he did create a huge pit were the ugly raw concrete of the former foundations is exposed?!,is it by that we preserve the urban-site-building memory??!
I read once another opinion saying about the big arrows that he creates in the "pit",it was said that these arrows should indicate the directions of the rescue efforts during the disaster,so what is significant about the directions of the ladder engines approaches??!
with all respect to all the Libeskind's fans ,I do find that he simply "fake" the relation between his buildings and the urban site,his designs are often steal the attention of an external observer but their spaces,I mean the negative space of the interior is often consequential and "normal" in their best case scenario
"aggresive" and "unstable" masses can not by no mean be a replacement for the should be "overwhelming" and intimate" flow of space

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Postby takeda » Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:04 pm

I agree Brutus with your smoke and mirrors comment. I forgot also about the arrows marking the direction of the rescuers, which all seems a bit vague. How could he possibly know this? Was he there?

I found the same pseudo analysis present in his Jewish Museum in Berlin. Something about the zigzag windows lining up with the jewish residences of Berlin sent to the camps. The building is uncomfortable, no doubt about it and I suppose the architect will tell you it is supposed to be but such a building can only work once if it works at all and the brief to tell the story about the holocaust by deliberatly designing a unedifying building and anti architctural building has gone without comment as far as I can see. With this architect, it is the telling of the story and not the quality of the building that seems to me to be important and there is only a limited amout of time where you can spin a good yarn. At least I believed that to be true until the announcement of the winner of the World Trade Site

I also saw his photograph for the first time, he looks like a cartoon architect. All big glasses, leather jacket and open necked black shirt.
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Postby BRUTUS » Sat Mar 08, 2003 12:01 am

the use of pseudo-analysis... exactly,you remind me when I once described Frank Gehry as a pseudo-prophet for architects in this post-modern era
it's not a mere coincidence that some of the expressionist architects are .... with leather jackets and open necked black shirt others prefer polo necked with round glasses,and others (like Zaha) even design their own clothes,it's all an essential ingredient of their " star status ",the tendency to be weird,different and of course never forget to add the proper amount of artistic "deceptions",to sell better,good advertizing and the proper media coverage ,what is happening ?
an artificial mold put later as a so-called"
concept" that is pushed later to clarify their initial nebulous designs,let me clarify one thing I am not against "real" architectural concepts that are formed from the beginning of the moment of architectural creation,but it's never the other way around!
it's never by pushing my "style" ,an ego-centric repetitive mannerism that is supposed to work for everything ....hospital,school, musuem,stadium and even a fire station!,then finally searching for answers and for the proper amount of spices to fake a taste a clarification!
strong concept usually speak for itself ,we do not need to fake it....
Meis a famous modernist from the past modernist era was clear ,you may dislike his designs,but you can never find architectural bluffing in his work,the "less is more" concept,whether we like it or not,it's after all it's a clear and "tangible" concept that was clearly manifested in his designs
I bet that Mr. Libeskind would also find in his coming designs,lots of (good/poor) future explanations to verify his business....
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:06 pm

How will future generations view his work I wonder?
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Postby BRUTUS » Sat Mar 08, 2003 3:01 pm

well Paul ,I believe you put your finger on the open wound,what will future generations of artisits,architects and even normal people would like to say after 60 years from now on our current architectural situation,I guess I can only speculate what would probably happen....there's one thing is for sure in the evolution of civilisations usually after three to four generations "shallowness" and "bizarreness",and the undefined peculiarities at the artistic level gradually fade,it's similar to a parabolic line of events ,when the line of stylistic evolution can endorse a decreasing order then we reach the climax,the peak,or an evolutionary vertex ,then as it always happens we undergo a slow decreasing curve and so on ,a consecutive parabolic graphs,and it will be just another "stylistic" period,it's difficult for us to imagine nowadays from the inside,but I can imagine what the people at the end of the renaissance period used to say about their new style which was nocking their doors at their period
the rococo,used to be described as imaginative and "breaking" for the "usual",daring and avant-garde at the same time,it had the ability to break the usual doctrines of the previous "classical" renaissance and the common rules of its period,this is life I guess and this is human nature, a consecutive ups and downs,we would like to think that the current scene of the architectural presence as an eternal "solid" truth,free,everlasting and most of them all to be "ultimate",a common folly I suppose among all humans....
I hope my personal opinions will not annoy anyone at this forum,with all my respect to all the others that have counter-perspectives

regards
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Postby takeda » Sat Mar 08, 2003 5:42 pm

You have not offended me Brutus, in fact we both seem to be in agreement. I obviously have read articles about Zaha Hadid in fact she seems to appear in the press quite a lot in the North West but am not aware of anthing of hers being built.

We both seem to agree that Libeskind's work is built on sand and having visited both The Imperial War Museum and Berlin Jewish Museum I am dissapointed not for him , he is well on the way to being the most famous architect alive but for those in Manchester and Berlin who deserve something better.

So much about architecture today seems to be about p.r and front and be of very little substance beneath the surface. The extension to the Manchester Art Gallery here in Manchester by a London architect lacks sensitivity and the local architects could have done I'm sure a much better Job. What puzzles me is why other architects and critics cannot see through the spin.

The architecture critic of the Observer wrote the most ass kissing critique of the Libeskind submission for the world trade site, in my view, a couple of weeks ago, such writing does a diservice to us all, architects and non architects alike and most imporatantly to the people of New York. We are trying to learn but are faced with superlatives

Maybe Paul Clerkin can give us his view of Libeskind and how he will be remembered
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Postby BRUTUS » Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:05 pm

having discussed the first set of proposals with few Newyorkers previously in another forum ,architects and non-architects,they seemed to be widely divided among the previous 6 proposals,they simply hate them,they held great hopes,and they thought that their site and their famous skyline deserve better shots,on the other hand there was the forgotten side of the families of the victims,they were with a great tendency to create a " green" memorial,they felt that the ground was still holding the sacred remains of their beloved perished ones,and they have of course the right for this emotional approach ,it was a great human tragedy and it was at a massive scale......anyway this did somehow created an antagonistic situation and as a result an architectural dilemma was created,and so all the set for new proposals has concentrate on dealing with this this new complex situation,so the people that is in control had call after the supposed architectural salvation,the so-called "elite" in the world of architecture,and after few months of labour period,what did happened?
there was as you may have guessed a show between competetive "stars" rather than honest seekers for a real architectural solutions that should deal with the actual needs of the Newyorkers,and the so called "elite" had pushed their ego to the limit,they concentrate in creating shallow masterpieces, lots of highly expensive mirage to be built in the site!
and finally between all this crazy fiesta ,Libeskind was the winner!!
o.k,to win a competition is something in the world of architecture,but to deserve your winning is a total different subject,you do not have to be an architect to feel the beauty of the space,the 'truth" is instinctive,we do not need make-up to taste the harmony,a person can trust his instinct,art in general and architecture in particular is supposed to be a life enhancing and sacred experience,it should raise the "mundane" to the level of "ritual"
does the Libeskind's design succeed in creating this dream?
I think it's usually needs more than a "critic" to raise a person to the level of "real" success ....by the way I stopped long time ago depending on the (media-critic-star) corrupt triangle and I only trust my own readings and my pure instinct and my own reasoning ,I remembered one time that the Time's critic had chosen the Gehry's Bilbao titanium monster as the building of the century!!
says who and why and based upon what??!
tourism,sincerelly we need more than a "professional" play with the words....!!
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