Re: Re: libeskind / Manuel Aires Mateus on the docks
That Manuel Aires Mateus hotel when first proposed was always described in terms of it being “geological” as if hewn from a massive piece of rock – the renders suggest as much. So when I saw it flying up and saw the white panels I assumed it was some Kingspan isulation panels or something similar.
Imagine my surprise last week when I saw the finished product was just that! The whole “hewn from rock” design looks ridiculous when the foyer now looks like a smooth plastic cave. Hewn from formica!
That’s the point exactly, although, I don’t know if I’d even go as far as saying that it has slipped since the original renders. I think it’s probably being slipping since it was first sketched on the back of an envelope. These are the kind of ideas that hit you like a lightning bolt, usually at 3 in the morning and often with drink taken, but you try and translate them into an actual building, especially that most commercial and superficial of building types, the designer hotel, it just can’t be done. In fairness to them, it’s almost surprising that they even did this well.
I’m not sure that 1m deep window reveals would have saved this building, or that the concept has been dragged down, because the facade looks veneer_eal. I’m inclined to think that the concept was daft in the first place, and should never have gotten beyond napkin sketch.
From what I saw of the construction, there was a mess of steel frames internally presumably corresponding to the room modules. Hotel room specifications change every twenty years or so, and this one doesn’t look like it has a shread of flexibility in it to accommodate a re-fit, if and when a re-fit is called for.
If this building gets hailed as a triumph, the last word in hotel design, we may have to do a serious bit of back-pedaling, or a quick name change.
Who did that sloping green hotel shocker in Glasgow a few years ago? johnglas. Has that bedded in now, or does it still stick out like a sore thumb?